Weekend Viewing Roundup – a mixed bag of 3 genres & 1 addictive TV series

Happy Monday everyone!

Did you have a great weekend? It was a good one for me as well as bittersweet as one of my good friends is going back to our home country for a year for personal reasons, so we had a farewell dinner on Saturday night. I skipped the cinema again and opted for home-cinema viewing and also working on my Avengers assignment for my pal Terrence of The Focused Filmographer as part of the countdown for the movie. The posts will be revealed next week, though I’m so jealous that folks in Europe will see this first as it opens about a week before we get to see it here in the US!

My blog friend Jaina was fortunate enough to be at the London premiere last Thursday when ALL of the cast members were there, right around the corner of her office!! She took a bunch of photos of the event which you can check out on her blog. She was kind enough to let me use one of them as you can see above. Oh man, I’m so jealous yet happy that she got to be a part of such a fun event!

Well, as part of the Avengers countdown, I re-watched the first Iron Man movie and it’s still as entertaining as ever. Can’t believe that it’s been four years ago since that one came out and now we’ve got Tony Stark as part of the assembly of superheroes on a mission. It’s amazing how the Stark Industries is so key in the whole Avengers universe which of course began with Tony’s dad Howard with Steve Rogers’ transformation into Captain America in the 40s.

Now, part of my goal this year is to catch up on some classic movies that’ve long eluded me for whatever reason. One of those movies are The French Connection, prompted by a review that my good friend Jack Deth gave me last week. I’ll publish that review at a later date, but let me just say that it’s one heck of an excellent thriller. It’s gritty, chock-full of suspense cop thriller by William Friedkin. Two of the major reasons I’m curious to see this movie is Gene Hackman’s performance, and that famous car chase that wasn’t really a car chase as the driver was chasing an elevated subway train above him. This film did NOT disappoint on both counts! People always remember the car chase and rightly so, but I think the foot chase scenes of Hackman & Fernando Rey through NYC streets and subways are just as thrilling!

I’m glad I finally got to see the film, it’s definitely a great thriller with great performances by Hackman and Roy Schneider, a sharp script, and great editing. That iconic car chase scene is really icing on the cake, I could see how it has inspired a bunch of other urban car chases in movies. Fogs is right in selecting it as one of those Movies Everyone Should See.

Another film I saw this weekend is a 1994 CBS miniseries Scarlett, which is a follow-up to the epic civil war saga Gone with the Wind where Scarlett is determined to win back Rhett. So did Rhett really mean it when he said “frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn?”

Well, when Rhett is played by none other than Timothy Dalton, I certainly have to find that out. Interesting that both Scarlett and Rhett are played by Brits this time, Joanne Whalley is from Manchester and Dalton of course is Welsh, but I think both did a decent job with their Southern accent, though Dalton’s inimitable Welsh brogue did slip out every once in a while 🙂 I have only finished Disc 1 but I enjoyed it so far, especially with Sean Bean appearing later on. I’m loving the Bond connection here, one Bond actor and Bond villain together in a movie, the 007-fangirl in me is loving this!

Oh and I finally finished the first season of BBC’s Sherlock… and it ended with a titillating cliffhanger!! Darn, I wish season 2 is available on Netflix already. The wait until May is going to be torture!

Well, that’s my summary of my weekend roundup. What did YOU see this weekend?

57 thoughts on “Weekend Viewing Roundup – a mixed bag of 3 genres & 1 addictive TV series

  1. *evil cackle* Nice to know you’re getting addicted to Sherlock and darling, I don’t blame you in the least bit. (For what it’s worth, the wait for the third series/season is going to be more unbearable. Trust me.)

    1. What I love most is the writing, it’s as sharp as Sherlock’s acidic tongue, ahah. So when is the 3rd season up? Is it currently running right now on BBC? Man, I wish they just hurry up and make more 😀

        1. Oh dear, that is gonna be a looong wait. I suppose both are busy filming The Hobbit now, that darn PJ ruining our enjoyment w/ Sherlock 🙂

    1. Hi Fernando, welcome to FC. Yeah, wouldn’t it be nice if we could see a premiere happening right on the corner of where we live/work? Not gonna happen for me as I live in the upper Midwest! 😦

      1. Hi Ruth! Thanks for welcoming me to FlixChatter 🙂 That would indeed be very nice but it’s next to impossible for me since I live in Mexico. There are some cool premieres now and then but all the way down in the country’s capital, Mexico City. Sure, Hollywood is at a two hour car trip away but I don’t have a car and my visa just expired! haha

        1. Hola Fernando! Well at least you’re a whole lot closer to Hollywood than I am, ahah. The closest thing I get to a movie event is the local film festival here that’s happening in October, but that’s ok, I’d rather watch the movies anyway, and blog about ’em of course 🙂

          1. I love that, too! As long as I’m watching movies, I’ll be happy 🙂 I took to blogging a couple of years ago and now it’s an integral part of my movie-watching experience. I can’t watch a movie and not review it!

    1. I haven’t gotten to Disc 2 yet where there are more scenes of Sean, but seeing his pics in this series I was like, yowza! Dalton AND Bean together, talk about massive eye candy! 😉

    1. Yeah, epic is the word. I haven’t checked on iTunes but on Netflix Streaming it’s not available yet, so I might just wait for that as I’ve already paid for the subscription.

      Woo hoo, enjoy The Avengers matey! Must look great on IMAX!

  2. I’m off to see Avengers Assemble on Thursday evening. It’s what’s getting me through this week at work and I can’t bloody wait!

    Thanks for the shout out here 😀 I only wish I had some people there with me to share it with.

    1. Again, so so jealous! The closest thing for me to The Avengers is meeting Capt. America’s Chris Evans at Comic-con and I didn’t even say ANYTHING to him at all. Hey, anytime you need someone to go to a premiere like that with, just gimme a call. Yeah right, as if I could just fly over there 😀

  3. I didn’t know it was coming out a week early. It’s being released here on Thursday, but don’t know if I’ll manage to see it then.

    Nice to see you’ve seen the French Connection, really enjoyable movie and of course the chase scene is iconic.

    1. Yeah, that was well done for that time, I think it’s better than the one in Bullit IMO. I do like the story too, so the car chase was really icing on the cake.

  4. I saw a French film called Tomboy which was really excellent. I highly recommend it. Also 21 Jump Street made the immature little kid inside me laugh my ass off.

    Think I may have to start watching the BBC’s Sherlock. Heard a lot of good things. Also I just watched French Connection too for the first time this year. Deserves its classic status.

    1. Hey, I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s just caught French Connection. It does merit its classic status, I thought it was very well-done.

      Not sure I’ll see 21 Jump Street even tho I like the series growing up. Yeah I know people like it but I really don’t care for the cast.

  5. yep, for some reason we’ve been getting early premiers this year here in Europe, BATTLESHIP, JOHN CARTER, AVENGERS, WRATH OF TITANS and many other of this year blockbuster have been released earlier even in my country 🙂

      1. not at all 😛 I’m one of those who won’t watch any of the fanboy popular films this summer – AVENGERS, PROMETHEUS, MAN IN BLACK, DARK KNIGHT…. not interested in any of those.

  6. How funny, I *almost* watched The French Connection over the weekend as well. We opted for Robert Rodriguez’s debut film, El Mariachi, instead since it was a bit shorter (we were pretty tired that night).

    I also managed to catch two movies in the theater. 21 Jump Street was pretty funny, but I’m not sure why so many are calling it one of the best comedies in years. Cabin in the Woods was great. Loved it, especially when it kicked into a different gear in the final act.

    1. Oh that is interesting, Eric. So did you like El Mariachi? It sounds like a movie about a mariachi band ahah, but I’m sure that’s not it 🙂

      I’m more inclined to see Cabin in the Woods than 21 Jump Street despite my aversion to horror stuff. Somehow it sounds like it’s more of a psycho thriller than horror though, so I might rent it if I have the courage to see it, ahah.

      1. El Mariachi was good low-budget fun. I thought it was going to have more crazy over-the-top action a la Rodriguez’s other films like Machete and From Dusk Till Dawn, but it was a little more restrained. Still worth seeing.

        As for Cabin in the Woods, you ought to see it in the theater if you can. It’s not scary at all, and it has some truly great moments. I left the cinema with a big smile on my face.

    1. Oh man, I really can’t wait to see it! That cliffhanger is KILLER!! I couldn’t believe they’d end right there. That guy who plays Moriarty is quite good, totally unexpected.

  7. markuswelby1

    Been gearing up for Avengers so I gave Thor another go round this weekend. Such a silly film, but I kind of love it!

  8. Ted S.

    Pretty excited for The Avengers, especially with the news that The Dark Knight Rises full trailer will be attached to it.

    Glad you enjoyed the French Connection, one of the best films of the 70s and it’s the first to have shot with that documentary style to it.

    I didn’t watch or go see any movies over the weekend. Went location scouting again for my short movie.

    1. I know Ted! Are you still interested in going together? We’re not planning to see it on IMAX though.

      Yeah, The French Connection is great, I think it still holds up even today, it doesn’t feel dated to me. Of course the cars/clothes etc are vintage but it actually looks retro cool. I sense there’s that hand-held camera style applied to it, but it’s not too overwhelming that it becomes annoying.

      Btw, looking forward to the audition thing on Sat 🙂

      1. Ted S.

        Yeah I think I have about 10 to 12 actresses coming for the audition now, they started emailing me over the weekend. At first I thought I would only have about 4 or 5 coming.

    2. PrairieGirl

      Hey Ted, my movie career fantasy is to be a location manager… need any more scouts? I’d have no idea what I was doing, but I’m sure I would have fun! ;-O

      1. Ted S.

        Hey Becky,

        I’m looking for an isolated farmhouse type of a location, if you know anyone who owns a farm or any place like that close to the Twin Cities, please let me know. You can ask Ruth about it since she read the script.

  9. Hohoho You are going to LOVE season 2!!! My friend, Wulan, can’t get over it….Irene Adler was the perfect enemy for Sherlock.

    When are you going to review it Ruth?
    I am thinking of rewatching it soon.

    1. I can’t wait to see Irene thrown in the mix, she looks stunning from the pics I saw her online.

      I might do an appreciation post of Sherlock, not necessarily a review. I just love that show!

  10. PrairieGirl

    Saw Kingdom of Heaven (2005) with Orlando Bloom and Eva Green, mostly for the history lesson, but liked the film. Fast forwarded through many battle scenes, however. Was surprised to see Nikolaj Coster-Waldau had a small part, since I really hadn’t heard of him until Flixy’s and Ted’s Bond post last week 😀

    1. PrairieGirl

      Oh, and here’s my soap box for the day: IMHO Zen was MUCH better than Sherlock, and the eye candy in Zen was too (Come on, Rufus Sewell AND Caterina Murino on the same screen? Wow, that’s hard to beat.) It should have continued on as a series, but no such luck. And the very BEST current British series (just started it third season yesterday on PBS) is Doc Martin.

    2. It’s been a while since I saw Kingdom of Heaven but I just didn’t buy Orlando as the lead. What?? Nikolaj is in it? I wish he had been the lead actor! He’s got the looks and way more charisma.

      I have only seen bits and pieces of ZEN but yeah, if only BBC has room for TWO good detective drama series. I do think ‘Sherlock’ is superb in terms of writing, acting and production quality though, no wonder it’s so successful.

      1. PrairieGirl

        Well, pardon me, but don’t you think it’s about time you saw ALL of Zen? Smile! It has everything you mention about Sherlock, PLUS Rome and Italy, plus one of the best looking, most faceted and interesting detectives ever…

  11. Ooh. I can’t wait for The Avengers either! Thanks for mentioning the Avengers event on my page Ruth. Glad you are a part of it!

    Glad to see you liked the French Connection. I still have yet to see it, but it’s written down as a must watch for me.

    as for my wknd watching: i saw Chimpanzee…and that’s it. ha.

    Happy Monday!

    1. Oh well of course you are, my friend!! I’ll make the updates to the Coulson post for you and send it over. Can’t wait to see others’ submissions and also your TVT tomorrow.

  12. I can’t wait to see Avengers on Friday, I’m very excited!
    As for Sherlock, it’s pretty amazing! If you liked this cliffhanger, you will love the one in the second season- well, actually, not love, hate, because you will want to watch season 3 right away! Great series!

    1. Oh man, next week’s gonna be so full of The Avengers’ reviews and I’ll be so jealous that I can’t write one yet 😦

      No doubt Sherlock writers are so good at creating cliffhangers… yeah like Anna said, it’d be even more torturous waiting for season 3 to come out!!

  13. Great post Ruth!

    I will recap my cinema viewing later this upcoming weekend 😉
    I did see Annie Hall; just posted my quick reaction.

    I have seen the first two episodes of the second series of Sherlock. Holding out for the final one 🙂 It’s good

  14. It’s great you finally got to catch up with The French Connection, Ruth! Unfortunately, as much as I love Sean Bean (have you seen his Sharpe series? Fantastic stuff!), his being in Scarlett is not enough to get me to watch it.

    Was too busy last weekend to watch much, but did manage to sneak in a viewing of The Last Sunset, a really interesting psychological western with Kirk Douglas, Rock Hudson, Dorothy Malone and Carol Lynley. Hope to wirte a review of it soon.

    1. Hi Jeff, yeah, better late than never right?

      Ahah, well I didn’t think you’d like Scarlett if you’re not a fan of GWTW. I LOVE Dalton so he’s the main draw for me.

      The Last Sunset sounds great. Y’know I’ve never seen any Rock Hudson film but the one you just reviewed sounds good. He’s soooo good looking! 🙂

      1. You’ve never seen a Rock Hudson movie, Ruth? Hmmm, be careful…you might start another movie star crush, like with Gregory Peck! 😉

        Hudson does light comedy and drama very well. Movies of his I’d recommend include Pillow Talk, Man’s Favorite Sport, Giant, The Undefeated, Tobruk and Ice Station Zebra. Plus I’m sure you’d enjoy the other Douglas Sirk dramas that I mentioned in my review.

        And The Last Sunset was pretty great too, if strange and twisted for a western.

  15. I only watched one movie this past weekend: Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol and it’s easily my favorite of the franchise so far. Totally over the top action-wise but it’s so cool you don’t care. And I love the bit of humor interjected every now and then. I also started on Malcolm X but damn, a 3 hour and 20 minute movie…

    1. Oooh, I’m glad you saw Ghost Protocol. Yes, that’s my fave from the franchise too. The plot is a bit all over the place but the action is so exhilarating you don’t mind it, ahah. Malcolm X is over 3 hrs long?? Yikes.

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