Available via Netflix Watch Instantly as of late December, last weekend I finally got the chance to check out writer/director Joe Swanberg‘s romantic comedy Drinking Buddies. I should disclaim that it’s near impossible for me to be objective when talking about Swanberg given that he’s a fellow Southern Illinois University alum and few things make me prouder than a Saluki film student enjoying success in the industry. That out of the way, I enjoyed the heck out of Drinking Buddies. Much has been made of the film’s stellar cast and I won’t try and dispute those claims at all. As someone who has never watched a minute of Fox’s New Girl, I loved Jake Johnson‘s turn in the pic and I bought he and Olivia Wilde‘s romantic chemistry hook, line, and sinker. As for Anna Kendrick and Ron Livingston? Lets just say that I love each of them in almost everything and this is no exception. All in all, Buddies is a funny, sweet, realistic teetering on the verge of understated look at the universal concept of being just friends.
Instant stream recommendations aside, this week’s Top 5 includes our Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit set visit coverage, the first look at the Marvel One-Shot All Hail the King starring Ben Kingsley, a set visit recap for Muppets Most Wanted, some villain rumors surrounding Batman vs. Superman, and Adam’s latest installment of Oscar Beat that breaks down the guild nods and what they could mean for Oscar season. Like you might expect, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.
1. JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT Set Visit
I can’t say that I’m a diehard fan of Tom Clancy inspired pop culture artifacts but Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit has one huge ace up its sleeve that has me looking forward to it: Kevin Costner. Whether you’re a Jack Ryan/John Clark enthusiast, a Rainbox Six/Splinter Cell veteran, or you just can’t get enough of the greatness that is Costner, I think Steve’s Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit set visit coverage has something for you: set visit recap and video blog, Chris Pine set interview, Kevin Costner set interview, director Kenneth Branagh set interview, and producers Lorenzo di Bonaventura, David Barron & Mace Neufeld set interviews.
2. First Look at Marvel One-Shot ALL HAIL THE KING
I was among those who were fairly disappointed with the way Iron Man’s premiere nemesis, The Mandarin, was handled in Iron Man 3. Nevertheless, I can’t deny that it was a daring move that I’ve gained more respect for since my initial viewing. Also, there’s no disputing that the great Ben Kingsley knocked the role out of the park. All of this in mind, you can now consider me among the group of those who can’t wait to see Kingsley reprise the role in the newly announced Marvel One-Shot “All Hail the King” to be included on the upcoming Thor: The Dark World Blu-ray.
3. MUPPETS MOST WANTED Set Visit
The older I get, the more I believe that not liking The Muppets is a surefire sign that you and I won’t get along. Jim Henson’s beloved cast of puppet characters is just too endearing, too funny, and too ingenious not to enjoy. As a result, it’s with excitement that I present to you Steve’s Muppets Most Wanted set visit coverage: visit recap and 30 things to know about the film, Kermit the Frog set interview, Miss Piggy set interview, Walter set interview, and producer Todd Lieberman set interview.
4. Lex Luthor Not the Only Villain in BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN?
With Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel follow-up, unofficially titled Batman vs. Superman, set to begin filming soon, I imagine speculation of the ilk that I’m about to link to will only become more commonplace in the coming weeks/months. For now, though, here’s what the rumor mill is saying: Lex Luthor won’t be the only villain in the pic and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman will have a “cameo-plus” sized role. Click here for more.
5. Oscar Beat: The Guilds Have Spoken, So Where Does This Leave Us for Oscar?
We’re in the heart of Oscar season, friends. The 86th Annual Academy Awards will announce its nominations this Thursday, January 16th and, in anticipation, Adam tackles the DGA nominees, overviews the nods from various guilds thus far, and discusses what all of it might mean for the 2014 Oscars in this latest installment of his excellent ongoing feature Oscar Beat.