One look at a board at the movies lately and you may be inclined to think that the Summer Movie season has already begun. Big Hollywood movies are hitting the screen giving moviegoers some serious choices this weekend. But not to be overlooked, television isn’t far behind. With that in mind, here are some releases that you really should put on your radar this weekend.
We start with a movie from a Hollywood star about, well, himself. Can’t get much more Tinseltown than that eh?
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
On the surface, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is a movie starring Nick Cage about Nick Cage. And, on the surface, admittedly, it may seem grandiose to have such a project greenlit. I’ll admit that thought crossed my mind before screening the film. I am also big enough to admit that I could not have been more wrong.
The plot line goes like this. A wealthy fan named Javi Gutierrez (Pedro Pascal) solicits Cage to appear at his private residence for an obscene amount of money. Cage, who is in need of money, accepts the invitation and travels across the globe to meet Javi.
Because this is Hollywood, things are not what they appear to be (they never are, are they?). Without spoiling any major storylines soon the FBI (Tiffany Haddish) and Cage’s fake family are involved. Before you know it, Cage is right back into the action star role he was known for some years ago.
To say this is a hilarious film is an understatement. I might as well say that New York has a few people who live in the city. Or, that it snows occasionally in Minnesota. The movie is a riot! The pairing of Pascal and Cage is perfect! The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is most certainly this generation's buddy comedy. Pascal delivers just as many laughs, if not more, than the man who is at the center of the movie.
I don't recommend sitting on this film. This movie is worthy of your hard earned cash this weekend. Take the other half, take your BFF, ah hell, take your mama. You can’t go wrong with this film. It really is the most fun I’ve had in the movies in years!
On the other side of the movie spectrum in a land far, far away is The Northman. The film stars Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawke and Anya Taylor-Joy.
Skarsgård is Amleth, a Viking Prince who, as a young man, witnesses the murder of his father King Aurvandil War-Raven (Hawk) and the kidnapping of his mother Queen Gudrún (Kidman). After his family is torn apart he spends most of his life vowing to avenge his father’s murder and set his mother free.
The Northman is cinematically stunning. It doesn’t hurt either that Skarsgård is ripped. He is so chiseled that it makes you want to cry. Whether you are shedding tears over how fine a fella he is, or over your jealousy over his bod really is of no matter.
He is joined alongside Olga of the Birch Forest (Taylor-Joy) and together the pair make some pretty hot scenes in the cold wet forest if you catch my drift.
The Northman is filled with action, mysticism, and fantasy (and not just the sexual kind of fantasy either). Apart from the hard to understand accents the movie is great. Part 300, part Game of Thrones it adds up to a whole movie that is beautiful and epic.
It’s not often this movie critic is surprised by a story plot point, but The Northman gave a big one courtesy of Nicole Kidman who is spectacular.
They Call Me Magic
If you think you are seeing a lot of Magic Johnson on TV these days, you're not wrong. And believe me, I love telling people they are wrong.
Over on Apple TV+ is the documentary series They Call Me Magic. The four-episode series is packed full of athletes, celebs and the Johnson Family. The major difference with the project on Apple TV+ is that it is a documentary. This means you’ll get true stories and real interviews from Magic/Earving and those who lived right along with him during his epic rise in basketball, his diagnosis and his life after basketball.
This includes Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird and Michael Jordan on the professional side. On the personal side you’ll hear from his wife Cookie, their kids EJ and Elisa and other family members.
The series spans his entire career from his college days at Michigan State to the Lakers and his three retirements and the Olympics. Not to mention his business ventures that include movie theaters and owning the Dodgers.
Normally, I would say four-hour-long episodes are overkill. But, again, I am wrong in this aspect. There is much to learn about and admire after seeing Magic’s life and his accomplishments. And don’t worry kids, there is a lot to say about his rivalry with Larry and his HIV diagnosis. This is a must-see series.