It's the weekend, yet again, and you've got nothing but time ahead of you for two whole days. Please be sure to fill those two days with as much movie-watching as you can manage, ideally across multiple platforms, because you are living in 2013, and you take advantage of the opportunities The Future offers you.
Fourteen years since Malcolm D. Lee's original romantic comedy, comes The Best Man Holiday, a sequel that reunites the cast, including Morris Chestnut, Sanaa Lathan, Taye Diggs, Regina Hall, Nia Long, and Terrence Howard. Just like the original, this one's gotten good critical reviews and will attempt to crack a marketplace that (hopefully) is ready to embrace an African-American ensemble comedy that doesn't have anything to do with Madea.
In Limited Release
Nebraska, Alexander Payne's follow-up to The Descendants is getting a platform release, the better (one assumes) to position it for the year-end movie awards. It certainly stands a chance – our Richard Lawson says the film " feels strikingly real, even in the more heightened comic moments, and is commandingly anchored by Dern's riveting and gently, subtly heartbreaking performance." [Opens today in New York, at the Lincoln Plaza Cinemas and Angelika Film Center; and in Los Angeles at the Landmark and ArcLight Hollywood.]
Video On Demand
One of the year's top documentaries makes it to VOD, as Blackfish (iTunes link), Gabriela Cowperthwaite's exposé on the commercial marine park business – and in particular Sea World's practice of keeping killer whales in captivity for performance purposes – is now available in your living room. It's rabble-rousing of the first order.
In more broadly familiar news, giant summer blockbuster Man of Steel (iTunes link) will finally be available for all the puny humans – with their earthly concerns and non-Kryptonian constitutions – to consume. For a movie that's grossed over $660 million worldwide, it never felt like that much of a sensation, did it? This was the Summer of Obligation Blockbusters. "Oh I should see that World War Z, shouldn't I?" "Don't want to get left out of that Pacific Rim chatter." "I know everybody says The Lone Ranger looks bad, but I want to be able to make fun of it on Twitter." So now, if you managed to let Henry Cavil's performance as a Mr. Metropolis pageant contestant pass you by, now's your chance.
Well, I've held off as long as I can, but finally, here's the part where I holler at everybody to watch Frances Ha, now that it's streaming on Netflix. Director/screenwriter Noah Baumbach and screenwriter/star Greta Gerwig combined to give us one of the funniest, sharpest, most unobtrusively insightful films of the year. (Also? Pretty cool that you might have the chance to see two contemporary movies filmed in gorgeous black-and-white this weekend.)
Once you're finished watching Frances, you could always move on to the latest in the Bond franchise, Sam Mendes's atypically weighty Skyfall. Judi Dench has been playing around in her M clothes recently, in order to shame the MPAA into bumping her Philomena down from an R to a PG-13 (it worked!), so celebrate with Dame Judi this weekend, won't you?
Movies on TV
Who wants to spend their Saturday night with renowned professional face-puncher Mike Tyson? Folks, it's either that or watch Lady Gaga on Saturday Night Live (which, honestly, you probably should do, if only because there's a chance Aidy Bryant might do something as funny as her Cartoon Catchphrase character from two weeks ago). Back to Tyson, though: Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth is the filmed version of Tyson's one-man show from Broadway last year, directed by Spike Lee. Reads the official HBO.com copy:
Over the course of 90 riveting minutes, Tyson opens up about his troubled Brooklyn youth, landmark boxing career, key influences in his life, personal and professional controversies, time in prison, loss of family members and, most recently, his rehabilitation and redemption, forged by sobriety and a renewed commitment to family life.
In this case, "personal and professional controversies" refer to the time Tyson was convicted of rape and then later bit someone's ear off in a boxing ring. Enjoy your seminar!