What Did You Watch This Weekend?

By  · Published on August 5th, 2013

An open thread where you can share what you’ve recently watched, offer suggestions on movies and TV shows we should check out (or warnings about stuff to avoid), and discover queue-filling goodies from other FSR readers.

The comments section awaits. I’ll get the ball rolling.

With the anticipated announcement of the new Doctor on Sunday night, it was a great weekend to get re-acquainted with Doctor Who via Matt Smith and David Tennant. Although I remember catching the original series on PBS during the insomniac years of my youth, I can’t claim the street cred of being an old school fan. Christopher Eccleston was a manic entry point for me, and it’s been impressive to see that chaos expanded with each new doctor.

Now with Peter Capaldi taking over, I eagerly await him seething, “Fear me. I’m the fucking Doctor. Fuckity bye!”

Obviously this was more about luxuriating in televised comfort food than discovering something new, but re-watching several episodes made me question how the show can pack high stakes into such a tight package. I still don’t have an answer, but whoever figures it out will be able to conquer the entertainment universe (and the kind-of-bubble-but-not-really place just beyond that). [Netflix Streaming]

It’s pretty fascinating that they’re making a movie for “Into the Woods.” Not because the folk and fairytale mash-up seems odd for Hollywood (because it sounds exactly right, right now), but because if you’ve seen the musical, then you realize how non-traditional the structure is.

The production led by Rob Marshall has a strong cast, but they face an existential crisis that not all adaptations face: either stay true to the source and potentially confuse an audience that can handle nothing beyond three-act cat-saving, or stuff the musical into the formula and disrupt the spirit of the source. Plus, by transferring it to the screen they automatically lose at least 4 prop cow jokes.

The play itself is a little cheesy, but it’s a lot of fun. It’s also amazing how the actors can sing so well with their tongues shoved so fiercely into their cheeks. Hopefully the new version comes up with a role for Bernadette Peters, though, because as excellent as Meryl Streep is, the musical really came to life with Peters’ bravado, dry wit and stellar voice. I watched the American Playhouse recording of it (which I had trouble finding a hi-res picture for…), and it was like revisiting childhood through the looking glass of sarcasm. [Netflix Streaming]

What did you watch?

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Movie stuff at VanityFair, Thrillist, IndieWire, Film School Rejects, and The Broken Projector Podcast@brokenprojector | Writing short stories at Adventitious.