With “The Avengers” smashing box office records left and right, it’s a bit challenging to focus on any other movies that don’t involve Earth’s mightiest heroes. But we’re doing exactly that in this week’s Watch It, which contains an ode to Maurice Sendak, a trip six feet under, and a visit to ’70s era New York with Woody Allen and Diane Keaton.
Tami Katzoff, MTV News producer:
“The Frisco Kid” was one of my favorite movies when I was very young. The 1979 film stars Gene Wilder as a fresh-off-the-boat Polish rabbi on his way to a gig in San Francisco, and Harrison Ford as a soft-hearted Wild West bank robber who helps him get there. I must have watched “The Frisco Kid” (and “Time Bandits”) on VHS a dozen times in the 80’s, but until recently I hadn’t seen it in many years. So when I sat down to watch it on DVD with the fam I was sort of expecting to be disappointed – tastes change over time, of course, and the things we loved as children often lose their appeal. I’m happy to say, however, that this 13th viewing did provide some laughs. “The Frisco Kid” is no “Blazing Saddles,” but it’s still entertaining, especially if you happen to understand a bissel Yiddish.
Brian Phares, MTV News producer:
It was just another Tuesday night and I really wanted to find a good background movie to go with my “Diablo 3″ Beta hack-and-slashing. I chose chose Ryan Reynolds’ “Buried.” Unexpectedly, I found myself spending more time watching the movie than I did killing n00bs with my monk, to the point where I logged off, dialed down the lights, and got fully into it. Of course then the ending came, and I remembered why this was a “background” movie.
Fallon Prinzivalli, MTV Movies editorial assistant:
They say you should never judge a book by its cover and I think the same thing goes for movies. But it’s something I can’t help doing when I’m perusing Netflix looking for a movie to wind down with at the end of a long day. What struck my eye this time was the British film “Albatross.” Jessica Brown Findlay (“Misfits,” “Downton Abbey”) plays Emelia Conan-Doyle, an aspiring novelist obsessed with her familial relation to “Sherlock Holmes” author Sir Authur Conan Doyle. She lands a cleaning job at the inn run by Beth (Felicity Jones) and her family and simultaneously begins a friendship with Beth and an affair with her father. The cheeky, yet thought provoking drama is a great after work dinner companion.
Kevin P. Sullivan, MTV Movies editorial assistant:
I wanted to see “Never Let Me Go” when it came out two years ago, but I forced myself to wait until after reading the Kazuo Ishiguro book it’s based on before watching it. My patience was handsomely rewarded. Mark Romanek directed this loving and visually-stunning adaptation, which adds a new level of sorrow to the book’s already despairingly beautiful story by illustrating it in such literal and haunting images. Add to that uniformly great performances from Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield and Keira Knightley, and you have one of the most overlooked films of 2010.
Josh Wigler, MTV Movies Blog editor:
I returned home from an excellent and much-needed vacation to the sad news that Maurice Sendak had died. This week, I’m planning a “Where the Wild Things Are” reread and rewatch in his honor. The original story he penned speaks for itself, but critics weren’t exactly kind on Spike Jonze’s “Wild Things” adaptation when it hit a few years ago. Me, I loved it — an excellent execution of childhood whimsy and make-believe, even if it wasn’t the most coherent tale of all time. If nothing else, that first trailer remains one of my very favorites of all time. I’m looking forward to revisiting the film, even if I’m not happy about the reasons behind the revisit.
Amy Wilkinson, Hollywood Crush editor:
One of my admitted pop-culture blindspots is, rather regrettably, the early works of writer/director Woody Allen. I’ve somehow managed to see several of his more, um, interesting later films like the Jason Biggs-starring rom-com “Anything Else,” but classics like “Hannah and Her Sisters” and “Manhattan” have eluded me. (Mea culpa!) I began to remedy the situation this weekend with a viewing of 1977’s “Annie Hall,” starring Allen and then-ingenue Diane Keaton. To be sure, watching a movie for the first time more than 30 years after its release presents its own set of issues, namely that the whole thing feels like a bout of deja vu. After all, many of the lines have become part of the pop-culture lexicon (“I luuuurve you”) and the motifs, while probably fresh at the time, have become well-worn. But there was still enough novelty to the viewing experience (like spotting a much-younger Christopher Walken) that made it an enjoyable watch.
Tell us what you’re watching this week in the comments section and on Twitter!