Flick Picks Panel: West of Memphis and Drinking Buddies
Welcome to the Flick Picks Panel. Each week, our community reviews new releases now available on Rogers on Demand. This week, Rob Gaudette reviews West of Memphis (14A) while Rolland Chidac watches Drinking Buddies (14A). West of Memphis In West Memphis, Arkansas, in 1993, three young boys were murdered. That sentence right there is enough, as a dad, to make me squirm, but what happened next is just as important to know. Three teenagers were tried and convicted: Jessie Miskelly and Jason Baldwin were sentenced to life in prison, while Damien Echols was sentenced to death. However, the story is far from over as you will witness in the stunning documentary West of Memphis. This subject may sound familiar as the case garnered attention under the moniker ‘The West Memphis Three” due to severe injustice against the three convicted. I don’t think I am spoiling the movie by stating that the convictions were wrong. This documentary, produced by Peter Jackson (director of The Lord of the Rings trilogy), lays out the facts of the crime, the evidence used by the prosecution to obtain the convictions and a theory as to why the state refused to accept new evidence. Finally, it also presents evidence as to who may be guilty of the murders. My interest in this movie is two-fold: I remember this case and the attention given to it by various entertainment personalities such as Eddie Vedder, Henry Rollins and Natalie Maines. Secondly, I believe that documentaries, in general, are an important medium to educate the viewer on various subjects, such as the events of West of Memphis. I know that some people may shy away from watching a documentary because they think it’s boring. Trust me when I say West of Memphis will open your eyes to the world outside of our self-imposed comfort zones. And any movie that challenges us is a movie worth watching. Rob is an avid movie watcher. Well, he used to be. Before falling prey to the blue-eyed lady that is his wife, he worked in a video store (back when they rented VHS!) and immersed himself in all things pop-culture. Drinking Buddies Drinking Buddies is a comedy, written and directed by Joe Swanberg, and starring Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick and Ron Livingston. The movie follows Luke (Johnson) and Kate (Wilde), who work together at a small brewery and are currently in relationships with other people, but seem to have romantic feelings for each other. IMDb classifies Drinking Buddies as a comedy, drama and romance. I didn’t find it to be all that funny, and the romance seemed light. The movie started off a bit slow, but started to pick up as the plot was revealed. Drinking Buddies’ storyline seemed predictable, and the dialogue seemed unscripted – it reminded me a bit of a reality show in that regard. Luke was one of my favourite characters. He was easy going, and one of the funniest characters of the bunch. He always seemed to make the “right” choice and that was refreshing to see. Drinking Buddies is a movie that is available on Rogers on Demand, while it’s still in theatrical release. I love going out to the movie theatre, but sometimes it is easier to enjoy a movie in the comfort of your own home. Rolland Chidac is an elementary school teacher by day and a husband and father by night. He loves watching movies because it is a great way to relax and be entertained at the same time. All new movie releases, including West of Memphis and Drinking Buddies are available now on Rogers on Demand starting at $4.99.