It's Winter Olympics time, it's true, but in between the moguls and the luge, you may want to take a break this weekend for some movies. We're here to guide you through your many options.
If we told you a year ago that a weekend would offer a) a movie directed by George Clooney and starring Matt Damon and Cate Blanchett, b) a cheeky vampire/bitchy girls comedy from the director of Mean Girls, and c) The Lego Movie, would you have in a million years predicted that The Lego Movie would be the clear must-see of the bunch? And yet here we are. And it's a beautiful day.
The Lego Movie currently sits at 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, making it the clear critical favorite of the weekend (and probably the year so far). As we mentioned this week, you should not be as surprised by this as you are, because the movie comes from the people who made Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 21 Jump Street, and Clone High. Meanwhile, The Monuments Men is proving that its move out of awards season at the end of last year wasn't entirely devoid of red flags. Kenneth Turan calls it inert, while Manohla Dargis says Clooney "slips into pandering mode." If you do go see it, do your homework first.
As for Vampire Academy, which, yes, looked like a mess, but maybe the kind of mess that could turn out to be fun and diverting ... it did not screen for critics. So buyer beware.
In Limited Release
Video on Demand
If you're into watching all of this year's Oscar nominees, VOD is here for you this week, with debuts for Dallas Buyers Club (iTunes link) and The Broken Circle Breakdown (iTunes link). Alternately, you could lower your expectations considerably and fire up Naomi Watts as the title role in Diana (iTunes link).
Of course, if you're in the mood for a good solid cry, the choice is easy, with Richard Curtis's messy but lovely About Time (iTunes link). If you're not already misty after watching Bill Nighy and Domhnall Gleeson trade "my son" / "my dad" declarations in the trailer, you may be beyond help.
Netflix debuted a bunch of streaming options this week—The Usual Suspects; M*A*S*H—including a pair of interesting double-feature opportunities. If Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns are your thing, you can stream A Fistful of Dollars and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly—though strangely enough, not For a Few Dollars More, the middle film of that particular trilogy, which is currently only available on the DVD plan.
Movies on TV
HBO's Saturday night premiere is 42 (8:00 pm), starring newly minted Vanity Fair cover model Chadwick Boseman. Meanwhile, on Showtime, you could spend your Saturday with the music of Inside Llewyn Davis, with Another Day/Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis (8:30 pm), a concert of the music from the film featuring Avett Brothers, Joan Baez, Marcus Mumford, Patti Smith, and Jack White, not to mention Oscar Isaac himself.