Whatcha Been Watchin? Vol. 02

We’re near the end of January, and everyone has gotten back into the swing of work since the holiday break. The two weeks off are spent celebrating the holidays with family and friends––and watching an enormous amount of content. The holidays are a perfect time to catch up on movies and TV shows, and it’s time for another installment of ‘Whatcha Been Watchin?!

Benton Olivares | Writer and Content Development
I’ve been watching a few things. I recently watched Beware the Slenderman, a documentary on HBO about the criminal case in which two girls stabbed their friend 19 times in order to appease an internet bogeyman, the Slenderman. It dives into the criminal case, itself, but it’s about so much more. It talks about mental health, parenting, bullying, and the societal parameters in which folklore can thrive. Documentaries, in general, either stand or fall on the editing – Beware the Slenderman has fantastic vision and editing. The story is pieced together in a marvelous way that doesn’t lose track. I highly recommend it.

I also got a chance to check out Netflix’s new show A Series of Unfortunate Events based on the book by the same name. I read the books when I was a kid, and I don’t remember much from them. However, the elements that I do remember are present in the series. I haven’t seen the whole show, but what I’ve seen is almost like Wes Anderson directed it. Obviously, it’s not quite the caliber of a Wes Anderson film, but it has the storybook flavor that I love. Also, Patrick Warburton is an omnipresent narrator who defines words; just like in the novels. I love it.

Jay Putnam | Business Development
“I’ve been watching The Crown, which is an original show streaming on Netflix. It’s about how Queen Elizabeth II came into her role as the Queen in the mid-20th Century. It is utterly magnificent. Claire Foy, who just won a Golden Globe for her performance as Elizabeth Windsor, gives a stellar performance. The way the show looks is incredible, as well – the cinematography and production design are masterfully done.

What I love about the show is how it subtly builds upon itself in every episode. There’s obviously power dynamics because it deals with political discourse, and those relationships are teased out well. It also spans a lot of time, and, as a viewer, I never felt lost or confused by what was going on. It’s a fantastically written show.”

Harrison Riggs | Editor
“I’ve been watching an old TV show, actually. I’ve been ripping through Friends because of a couple reasons. One, I was tired of hearing references from Friends and not understanding the reference. Two, it is a major cornerstone in TV history, and I felt like it was an important show to watch. Obviously, it’s incredibly funny – a classic show full of characters that I enjoy. I’m having a ton of fun going through the show.

I’ve also been trying to catch up with the Oscar films this year. I went and saw Hacksaw Ridge, and I really enjoyed it. Braveheart is my favorite movie, so I was all too excited to see another film directed by Mel Gibson. I thought the story about a conscientious objector was fascinating – especially when he’s at boot camp and clashing with his fellow soldiers. To me, Saving Private Ryan is still the pinnacle of war films, but Hacksaw Ridge has a great story and some incredible direction in it.”

Ellie Sights | Manager of Workflow and Development
“I’ve been in full Oscar season-mode. I love to actually see all of the Best Picture nominations because I usually throw an Oscar party with my friends. To be able to root for the movies to win Best Picture, I like to have seen all of the films nominated. So far, I’ve seen La La Land, Manchester by the Sea, Lion, Hidden Figures, and Moonlight. I love this time of year – the movies are always so wonderful.

The standout, for me, is probably Manchester by the Sea. I know it’s probably the most depressing movie out of the bunch, but it affected me the most out of any of them. It’s a grounded story about grief and family, and it explores those topics in such a truthful way. The performances are incredible – Casey Affleck is amazing in this movie, as well as Michelle Williams. This movie definitely resonated the most with me.”

Randy Brewer | Executive Producer
“I’ve seen Silence a few times in theaters, now. It’s one of the strongest films I’ve seen all year. I know that the almost three hour run time can be off-putting, but the story needs to unfold at the pace that it does. It’s an incredible story of a man whose faith is challenged at the most extreme level. It’s a personal film, it’s a timely film, and it should be seen.

The cinematography alone is worth the price of admission. Right from the start, we open on a wide shot on a hazy, rocky hillside in feudal Japan and it immediately draws you in. The rest of the film is just as gorgeous; like every frame could be a painting on your wall. Even more, the story itself is so rich and complex that it requires repeat viewings. Every time I see it, I come away with new information that furthers my appreciation of the movie. Plus, it’s Scorsese, and he’s a master.

We hope that you get to check out some of our recommendations! Obviously, we love to see what kind of content is out there – there’s so much of it. Remember, be sure to check out our year-long series ‘20 for 20’ in which we dive into the history of Revolution Pictures. The first episode, ‘The Founding of Revolution’ is up on our home page now under Work.


by Benton Olivares