Welcome to Erik Henriksen Tells You What to Watch This Weekend™, a weekly post in which I, Erik Henriksen, tell you what you should watch this weekend! I will continue doing this post until you have watched everything you should watch.
Movie-wise, things are bit slow at the moment, since all the major studios are saving up their films for the weeks directly leading up to Christmas, at which point they're going to punch you right in the face with Mary Poppins and Aquaman and that Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic that looks like it's going to be kinda bad? But there are still some things you should watch this weekend! Here they are.
THE FAVOURITE—One of the best-reviewed movies of the year is the latest from The Lobster genius Yorgos Lanthimos, who's rounded up an insanely good cast—Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone—for what the Mercury's Ned Lannamann calls "a movie that works magnificently on every level." I can't go until Sunday, so if any of you spoil this for me before then there'll be hell to pay. (Now playing, various theaters)
DUMPLIN'—I can't put it any better than Ciara Dolan did: "Based on Julie Murphy’s YA novel, Dumplin’ is a total delight. Here are a few of the totally delightful things you will see in the Netflix dramedy’s 110 minutes: talent show yodeling, Dolly Parton drag queens teaching youths how to vogue, and Jennifer Aniston blow-drying away her tears." (Netflix)
SCHINDLER'S LIST—One of Spielberg's best films gets a depressingly relevant rerelease on its 25th anniversary. "Individual hate is a terrible thing," Spielberg told NBC Nightly News when asked what he hoped 2018 audiences would take away from the film. "But when collective hate organizes and gets industrialized, then genocide follows." (Now playing, various theaters)
ROBOTRIX—In this issue of the Mercury, Ben Coleman went to Movie Madness to check out the rare movies they once made people pay insane amounts of money to rent. His findings included this "intensely sexual RoboCop ripoff" as well as a video with Jackie Chan talking about his stunts. God bless Jackie Chan. (Movie Madness)
IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE—This plays somewhere in town every year—usually multiple somewheres every year—and people just keep going, so I guess if every single scene has yet to be hammered into your lizard brain, you could go again. (Now playing, Academy Theater) But a better idea might be....
SCROOGED—A few years back, Bill Murray and Sophia Coppola tried to make a Bill Murray holiday special for Netflix and it just kind of laid there, slowly turning into one more piece of #content forever floating in the unseen, overflowing backwaters of Netflix, where movies go to die. It's still there! 1998's Scrooged, meanwhile, is at the Mission, and is 100 percent worth going to see. (Now playing, Mission Theater)
GREMLINS—More Spielberg, of a decidedly different sort—he produced Joe Dante's 1984 film that Bobby Roberts argues may, in fact, be "the best Christmas movie." The Laurelhurst also has Gremlins 2, which is fine. (Now playing, Academy Theater)
THE WICKER MAN—No, not the Nicolas Cage one. (Sat Dec 8, NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium)
TOP GUN IN 70MM—The greatest opening credits sequence in history (see below for scientific evidence), and the very great, very Reagan-y, very gay movie that follows them, playing on the big screen and in 70mm! I CANNOT WAIT. (Sat Dec 8, Hollywood Theatre) The Hollywood also has Howard the Duck in 70mm this weekend, but do not, I repeat do not, see....
HOWARD THE DUCK IN 70MM—Howard the Duck is very very bad in any mm, and the part where the tube comes out of Jeffery Jones' mouth scared me so much as a child that my parents had to turn off the VHS—the VHS I had begged them to rent for me—so I could flee screaming into my room and never come out. (I'm still in here!) On the downside, I never recovered from that terrifying scene in Howard the Duck, but on the upside, I also never recovered from my crush on 💖 Lea Thompson 💖. But I still do not recommend watching Howard the Duck. (Fri Dec 7, Hollywood Theatre)
BUTTONS, A NEW MUSICAL FILM—The fuuuuuuuuuuck is this? (Whaaa—?)