Here you see some great movies and shows to get you through the bear of this weekend, whether you're traveling, cooking, or simply reflecting on a life well lived in infamy. Don't forget to check out our lists of what's leaving and what's coming to Netflix at the end of the year.
- The Shining (1980)—I mean being married to a writer is crazy enough!
- 47 Ronin (2013)—Keanu Reeves shreds the jello as Kai, a half-English samurai that leads a real-life group of bad-asses to take their revenge on something like witches or something.
- Falling Down (1993)—Joel Schumacher directed this film, in which Michael Douglas rebels against all the things that continue to oppress affluent white men to this day. Inspiring!
- Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982)—The last film for Edith Head and composer Miklós Rózsa, this is a very weird collage film that would have made a lot more sense ten years later: Directed by Carl Reiner but more importantly edited by Bud Molin, it's a Steve Martin comedy/mystery that splices modern performances into old noir classics to create a new, composite story. Noir's always been ripe for cleverness and postmodernity (Murakami; What's Up Tiger Lily, The Long Goodbye; Veronica Mars, Brick) but this one comments just as much on the process of filmmaking itself: A form that's always been about the medium uses the medium to comment on itself.
- Ladyhawke (1985)—Rutger Hauer and Michelle Pfeiffer are cursed lovers that turn into a wolf and a bird depending on whether it's nighttime or not, which makes sex awkward—but not impossible.
- Great Expectations (1998)—Same basic principle but with a kickin' soundtrack.
- The 100 (the last five episodes)—It's Hulu so you only get the last two, but given this week's wild fall finale, I can tell you that these five episodes will be enough to get you hooked. The show rebooted itself at the end of the first season, in one huge way, but the stakes are so consistently high in every single episode that—like its fantasy cousin Vampire Diaries—every episode feels like the most important episode of all time. We love Black Mirror, Orphan Black and all the other rarefied sci-fi coming out these days, but feel strongly that you shouldn't let the CW pedigree keep you from getting into this brilliant, beautifully made and acted show.
- Not Another Happy Ending (2013)—A struggling publisher realizes that his only successful writer (Karen Gillan!) can't write when she's happy, so he devotes himself to fucking up her life and falls in love with her in the process. No joke that is the plot.
- Freeway (1996)—Reese Witherspoon gives a "wild" performance in this genius work of horror-comedy that's still just as disturbing and engrossing almost twenty years later. Kiefer Sutherland's metaphorical Big Bad Wolf is his scariest, sexiest role, and Witherspoon's career-defining turn as a trashy, fearless "trickbaby" abused by the system and on the run is the reason we are still enjoying her company today, on this thousand-mile hike we call life: She's great in Cruel Intentions, but the other side of Reese was first brought to life here, and it's intense.
Four shows you should either already be watching, or have every reason to get back into and/or catch up with. They also benefit from repeat viewings and short seasons, if you're looking for something to do next week.
- Orphan Black (2 seasons)—Returns 18 April, so you've got a lot of time, but don't let that stop you from getting into this as quickly as possible. Everybody talks about Tatiana Maslany's multitasked acting as the jewel in the crown, and it is, but she's part of a larger excellence that is tough to describe: Each scene, every moment, contains some insight or visual pun or off-the-cuff reaction or remark, a little surprise or treat, that rewards multiple viewings.
- Downton Abbey (4 seasons)—Returns to the US 4 Jan. Everybody's always so ready to move on from this one but I mean, it's eight hours of your year. That's not a lot of time, even when you feel like it's being wasted. This first season without Matthew is marked with some sadness, but watching Tom and Mary step it up in his absence, butting heads with the Earl, is a real treat. Less fun is Anna Bates's storyline, which you've probably heard about by now—but I feel like that's more than made up for by Lady Edith's absolute, hilarious misery.
- Hannibal (2 seasons)—There's no official return date yet, but Season 2 debuted at the end of February 2014. People will tell you it's gross and scary but also beautiful: Don't worry about that, they're just covering their bases in case you're grossed out. The beauty is the main part. And the story: An operatic romance between two superheroes, one a psychopathic Ozymandias and the other a wounded beauty whose superpower is compassion so strong that it cripples him. Even when they're fucking other people, they're fucking each other; it takes two full seasons to tell the story of their damned, doomed daughter and how far they are willing to go for love (and also the killing and eating of people).
- Broad City (Season 1)—Basically the same but with girls. Returns 14 Jan, alongside a new season of Workaholics.
- The One I Love (2014)—Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss are sent on a retreat by their therapist, Ted Danson. For some reason this movie has the reputation of being a surprise party in some way, like, "just watch it, don't read up on it, just do it" but the twist, as such, occurs almost immediately: It's what the movie's about, so, not really a twist. In fact, if you've been "spoiled" on the movie that could work out better for you, since you can just absorb Moss's (in particular) performance without trying to "figure it out." And if you've been through it already, try:
- In Your Eyes (2014)—Joss Whedon wrote this movie like a hundred years ago, and it finally got made this year. A man and woman in New Mexico and New Hampshire suddenly start feeling each other like on a vibe level and fall in love via ESPs. Somebody described it as a "rom-com Shining," which I say is redundant.
- Nightbreed: The Director's Cut (1990)—The best Clive Barker movie, which like all Clive Barker works depends on your ability to accept the horrible and ugly as one-half of the story: The antidote to George Lucas-style, Puritan "balance" that is completely unbalanced, it's thus a complete abomination, until you get onboard with what he's trying to do, which can be super challenging. Anyway, this version takes out twenty minutes of the theatrical edition and adds 45 minutes of new stuff, including the ending. Also Boone's girlfriend is a rock star—if you ever wondered why she is so down for his bullshit, it's because she has her own thing going on—and she sings a k.d. lang song. Sold!
- The Strange Color of Your Body's Tears (L'Etrange Couleur des Larmes de Ton Corps)—While stylized and experimental films leave me cold these days, I liked this one. Following on a previous movie by the French-Belgian directors Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani, Amer, which intended to create a pure Italian slasher (giallo) by removing as much substance as possible and going for straight stylistics, this second attempt follows a man who wanders his apartment building seeing horrible awful disgusting things for no reason.
- I am obsessed with documentaries about LARPers but there haven't been any new ones in a while so this fall I made do with Santa Clauses and Batmen: I Am Santa Claus (2014) is a documentary about a happy thing meant to make you sad; Legends of the Knight (2013) is about a sad thing that will make you happy. Something to do during the interminable wait for Trekkies 3, at least.
Previous editions of the Weekend Stream are here. You live in the future now! Almost any media you can think of, you can find from the chair you're sitting in. Even if you can't, take comfort in the fact that the amount of things you can't find online will never go up: Only down. In that spirit, Morning After asks: What are you streaming this weekend?