The Weekend Watchlist
Moon (2009) - The first feature film of director Duncan Jones, Moon tells the story of Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell), who is working a solo mission mining Helium on the moon. To avoid spoilers, I won't say much more about the film's plot, but I promise you that this slow burn is worth every minute. One of my all-time favorite science fiction films, Moon has great writing and acting, and layers of visual references to other classics of the genre.
Streaming on Netflix.
Mute (2018) - Okay, so I've heard that this one got overwhelmingly terrible reviews, but I still am looking forward to getting a chance to watch Duncan Jones' newest film over spring break. I've been avoiding reading too much about it (partially to avoid spoilers, partially to avoid letting the negative press poison the well), but based on stills and trailers, Mute looks fantastic. Critics notwithstanding, I trust Jones' critical eye as a director, and even if the story leaves something to be desired, I anticipate Mute to at least be several hours of beautiful cinematography.
Streaming on Netflix.
Zathura (2005) - Based in the same narrative universe as Jumanji, and directed by the wonderful and talented Jon Favreau, I'm surprised that this film totally flew under the radar for me. The combination of children's adventure story + practical effects + reality bending science fiction sounds exactly like the sort of film I'd have loved growing up.
Streaming on Amazon Prime.
Branded (2012) - Since it can't all be fun and games, I'll include a film that's good for hate-watching and little else. Although the film has an ambitious satirical premise (it is definitely trying to be a post-millennium version of They Live), the story-telling is muddled, acting and dialogue are ham-fisted, and the effects leave much to be desired. Slipping from satire into pure didacticism, Branded is so heavy-handed that it makes Nada's "kick ass and chew bubblegum" line seem subtle in comparison. It's worth a watch if you feel like killing a few brain cells, though.
Streaming on Hulu.
New in Theaters This Week...
[Click the posters for more information]