It can be hard to keep up with what's going on in the world of movies and television—but we're here to help out.
Each week in the CT Movies Quick Take, we check up on how the critics are responding to a couple recent releases, update you on the biggest movie news, and suggest a few picks to stream at home on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. One quick read, and you'll be caught up for the week.
Streaming This Weekend
The charming documentary Herb & Dorothy, about the elderly Vogel couple who, despite being "just" a librarian and a postman, amassed the one of the most impressive collections of contemporary art in America in their tiny Manhattan apartment, is streaming on Netflix. So is the artistic sci-fi film Upstream Color (by the director of Primer) and the animated The Tale of Despereaux. If Regency England's more your style, check out the 2005 Pride & Prejudice, starring Kiera Knightley and available on Amazon streaming video.
The talk of the town (and the Internet) last week was the final season premiere of the AMC drama Breaking Bad, which began its run with the show's biggest audience ever: 5.9 million viewers. (The New York Times reported that this was a gain of over 100% from the previous season premiere of 2.9 million.) The critics generally liked the episode: Matthew Yglesias at Slatecalled it "tense" and "well executed"; Grantland's Andy Greenwald's recap of the episode pointed out that showrunner Vince Gilligan seemed almost gleeful, going all-in for the end of the show.
The comedy We're the Millers premiered last weekend to mediocre reviews. The movie stars Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts, and Will Poulter as a group of people posing as a fake family to move a marijuana shipment over the border. The film garnered a 43% on both Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes. Andrew O'Hehir at Salon praised Jennifer Aniston's performance and liked the film, but called the movie "a raunchy, hard-R comedy with almost no plot worth recounting." Claudia Puig wrote in USA Today that "not only is it not funny, it's offensive."
The Disney animated film Planes, part of the Cars/Cars 2 franchise (though not produced by Pixar), was considered roundly underwhelming by critics, though it wasn't as criticized as Cars 2, which some consider Pixar's sole failure. In The New York Times, Neil Genzlinger said the content "imitate[d] rather than innovate[d]," though it has at least one weird element: it "carries the clear suggestion that planes have sex." Steven Greydanus at Decent Films says that it "cannily avoids the pitfalls" that made its predecessors "unsatisfying."
Casting News: Director Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, Gladiator) is slated to make a movie tentatively titled Exodus, with Christian Bale as Moses and Gatsby's Joel Edgerton as Pharoah. Dean Winters (who played Liz Lemon's loser boyfriend Dennis on 30 Rock) is joining the cast of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, starring Saturday Night Live's Andy Samberg and produced by Parks and Recreation's Michael Schur.
New Releases: Sony Pictures Classics recently announced that the distributor will release Foxcatcher, the newest film by Bennett Miller (Moneyball,Capote), on December 20. The film, based on a true story, stars Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo as Olympic wrestling champion brothers whose relationship with an eccentric heir (played by Steve Carrell) led to murder.And The Grandmaster, the latest from director Wong Kar-Wai, will now be released by the Weinstein Company—a risk for a subtitled film.