Well folks, this is it. It’s the final weekend of 2023. What a weird strange trip it’s been. 2024 is almost upon us, and the best thing I can think to do this weekend is chill out with some video games, movies and TV shows to ring in the New Year. And some good food.
And hey, if you’re into sports games, I think there are some sports games on New Year’s Day. American Football, I believe. I might even watch some. Football is kind of a fascinating pause-and-play game. If you think about it, it’s kind of like old-school RPGs like Dragon Age, where you pause the game and give everyone their orders, then un-pause it and everyone fights until you pause it again. It’s not quite action like basketball, but it’s not exactly turn-based either.
Anyways, here are all the new shows and movies out this weekend, as well as some of the stuff I’m currently watching. Happy New Year’s!
Saltburn (Amazon Prime Video)
I’ll probably watch this dark, twisted film this weekend. I’ve been putting it off simply because I wanted to stay in the Christmas spirit, and this is a movie about a dark summer among the very rich and debaucherous. It looks fantastic. And it’s free on Amazon Prime Video now, so no excuses. Written & directed by Academy Award Winner Emerald Fennell, the film only hit theaters on November 24th, so it’s a pretty quick turn-around. The blurb:
Academy Award winning filmmaker Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman) brings us a wicked tale of privilege and desire. Struggling to find his place at Oxford University, student Oliver Quick (Barry Keoghan) finds himself drawn into the world of the charming and aristocratic Felix Catton (Jacob Elordi), who invites him to Saltburn, his eccentric family’s sprawling estate, for a summer never to be forgotten.
I never watched Money Heist, though the Spanish caper show was wildly popular. This is a prequel to that series. So if you’re a Money Heist fan, you should probably watch Berlin!
It Lives Inside (Hulu)
It Lives Inside (named eerily like It Follows) looks quite scary. I like that it brings East Indian culture into the horror genre. The blurb:
“Sam is desperate to fit in at school, rejecting her Indian culture and family to be like everyone else. When a mythological demonic spirit latches onto her former best friend, she must come to terms with her heritage in order to defeat it. From the producers of GET OUT.”
The Holdovers (Peacock)
The Holdovers is one of my top movies of 2023 and made my recent Best Christmas Movies list. It’s a fantastic, character-driven movie about a teacher at a boarding school who has to watch the “holdovers”—boys who aren’t able to go home over Christmas break—one year. That year is 1970, and the whole movie feels like something made in the 70s’. It’s charming, emotionally poignant, often quite funny and absolutely worth watching especially now that it’s out on Peacock.
Ongoing Shows Worth Checking Out
Fargo’s fifth season continues weekly on FX and Hulu and it’s quite good, though I have many bones to pick with it. The fact is, while it’s still terrific TV, the show is a cracking at the seams in a few places. Still, June Temple and Jon Hamm are knocking their respective roles as Dorothy Lyon and the sheriff Roy Tillman out of the proverbial park. There’s much to love in this season, quibbles or no.
Slow Horses (Apple TV)
The third season of Slow Horses actually just wrapped up this week, but it’s still something I want to put on your radar. The Gary Oldman-led British spy show is one of the best things on TV right now. It’s a delightful, exciting, often very amusing spy comedy/drama that’s so well-written and acted I just can’t get enough. I’m so sad I have to wait for Season 4!
Reacher (Amazon Prime Video)
Season 2 of Reacher is based on the eleventh book in the Lee Child thriller series. Unfortunately, the season is a lot weaker than the excellent Season 1. Still, it’s mindless entertainment with some fun fight scenes that isn’t terrible. It’s just fallen into mediocrity whereas the first season was a blast.
Percy Jackson And The Olympians
I’m not a book reader of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series, so I’m coming to the show as a newcomer. I didn’t even see the movies. So far, I’ve enjoyed it quite a bit, though it’s clearly geared toward a much younger audience than your humble narrator.
you know, a lot of people hated Rebel Moon but I thought it was decent. Not great but also not terrible. I think Netflix screwed up by not letting Zack Snyder have his R-rated space opera, and I think Snyder messed up by not hiring some really top-notch writers to give the script some much-needed love.