We’re ready to have some this weekend. If you are, too, and if your brand of fun is watching the latest and greatest movies and TV shows, playing the hot new games, or even listening to the record all your friends will be talking about in a few months, then you’ll want to check out our weekend guide below, which should get you set up for what to do with all your free time this fine mid-August.
While The White Lotus wrapped up its buzzy run last week and Shang-Chi And The Ten Rings won’t be out for a couple more weeks, there’s still lots of new, at least vaguely interesting stuff to talk about this weekend, from Chadwick Boseman’s final appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to Hugh Jackman’s new sci-fi noir Reminiscence. Let’s get started.
The aforementioned Reminiscence is this weekend’s big new studio release. It’s on HBO Max and in theaters this weekend, but, honestly, the visuals in this movie are one of the more interesting things about it, so if you’re vaccinated and looking to get out of the house and sit in some A/C, you could do worse than this movie. Our critics gave it a B-, which isn’t great, but it’s also not abhorrent?
“In the intriguing, convoluted dystopian noir Reminiscence, the future is not so bright. In fact, it’s so dreary—a damp tomorrow of climate change and post-traumatic stress—that everyone pays for the privilege of escaping into their buried memories of better times. On the outskirts of a perpetually flooded Miami, the lonely and damaged decamp for a dingy warehouse. Here, they slip on an electronic halo, settle into a bed of shallow water, and are lulled into a state of posthypnotic remembrance; they become like the Precogs of Minority Report, except that it’s not premonitions of what’s to come but vivid flashes of what already has that run through their heads and are projected holographically as they slumber, a little show for their hired conjurer of lost experiences. This is, of course, cinema’s latest metaphor for itself. What are the movies but a weaver of collective memory? It’s a connection made clear long before the film trots out an older version of the tech, sending these visions of the past onto a white wall like a flickering projector, in black-and-white no less.” [A.A. Dowd]
This year’s big Sundance winner, CODA follows a child of deaf adults as she pursues her musical dreams. It hit theaters and Apple TV+ last weekend and has been steadily building online buzz ever since, with more and more critics and viewers singing its praises and hailing its portrayal of the breadth of the deaf community. It’s currently holding down a 96 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, and our own critic gave it a pretty solid B.
“The best and the worst of writer-director Siân Heder’s heartwarming underdog drama CODA are on display in the film’s first 15 minutes. Early on, Heder excessively stacks the deck against her high school heroine, Ruby Rossi (Emilia Jones). The popular girls in Ruby’s class look down on her because she dresses unfashionably and she often smells like fish—a byproduct of waking up before dawn to work on her family’s trawler. In their Gloucester, Massachusetts neighborhood, the Rossis have long been figures of curiosity and pity, in part because Ruby’s parents, Jackie (Marlee Matlin) and Frank (Troy Kotsur), and her brother, Leo (Daniel Durant), are deaf, and in part because they often behave eccentrically in public, unconcerned with what people think about them.” [Noel Murray]
An animated show with an intriguing premise, What If… is the latest Marvel project airing on Disney+. While it’s no Loki, it’s still drawing viewers and sparking discussion—particularly around this week’s episode, which features one of Chadwick Boseman’s final performances. The episode, “What if... T’Challa Became A Star-Lord?,” follows just that premise. As our reviewer summed it up: “We get the Ravagers abducting T’Challa in the 1980s, Yondu raising him to be a space outlaw, and, finally, T’Challa becoming Star-Lord.” It’s multi-verse mayhem at its finest, and the episode is packed with Marvel goodies and guest voices. It’s worth checking out, especially if you’re just itching for some good old fashioned super hero ass-kicking.
“Yes, this is the ‘Chadwick Boseman is Star-Lord T’Challa’ episode of What If…?, and it’s somehow even more fun than that premise would imply. The episode starts just like Guardians Of The Galaxy, with Star-Lord on a desolated planet trying to retrieve a metal ball that we Marvel fans know contains one of the Infinity Stones. Just as he grabs it, though, he’s interrupted by a squad of goons led by Djimon Hounsou’s Korath. Rather than waiting for Star-Lord to introduce himself and getting the great ‘Who?’ gag, though, Korath immediately recognizes his celebrity idol. As it turns out, T’Challa’s Star-Lord isn’t a wannabe Han Solo dirtbag like Peter Quill; he’s a widely beloved Robin Hood-type figure who has single-handedly reformed the Ravagers into a team of space heroes.” [Sam Barsanti]
We won’t have a review of Lorde’s Solar Power up until next week—the record’s been on completely understandable pre-release lockdown—but it’s definitely our most-anticipated new release. As Gwen Ihnat wrote in our August music preview:
“The first few singles from Lorde’s highly anticipated upcoming third album Solar Power reveal a dreamier, more ethereal songstress than we’re used to: The unstoppable momentum of a song like “Green Light” has been replaced by the low-key squeaky acoustic strings and “prettier Jesus” of the groovy title track, aided by collaborator Jack Antonoff. Lest you fear Lorde is too sunny now, though, she thankfully has also released the moody ballad “Stoned In The Nail Salon,” rightfully putting the spotlight on her better-than-ever vocals and wise-beyond-her-years lyrics: “’Cause all the music you loved at 16 you’ll grow out of / And all the times they will change, it’ll all come around.”
Hell yes. Let’s do this thing, Lorde.
If you’re looking to catch up on your news this weekend, we’ve got you covered. Our most popular story of the week, “Ryan Reynolds says Disney has collected enough coins or rings or whatever to get another Free Guy” speculates on the potential sequel to one of this summer’s most popular films. This week also saw amazing new trailers for two upcoming epics: Marvel’s Eternals and the long-awaited Apple TV+ series Foundation, which stars Lee Pace as a ruthless space leader so needless to say we’re on board.
If you’re looking to dive into something a little meatier and have just finished The White Lotus, our interview with Jake Lacy sheds some light on why newlywed Shane is such a goddamn asshole. On the flip-side of the dickhead sphere, our longform Random Roles interview with Mike O’Malley tackles the entire scope of his career, from Nickelodeon mainstay to Heels showrunner.
We’ve also got stories about why dollar stores are such a scam, Ethan Hawke and Jude Law’s great Gattaca, and the continuing saga of Mike Richards, scandal-plagued ex-The Price Is Right producer and now-former host of Jeopardy!
All in all, a veritable cornucopia of great content to consume this weekend. You won’t even have to go outside if you don’t want to! Now just kick back and enjoy the latest track from Lizzo.