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{weekend watch} Your Hulu Plus Homework

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There’s nothing I’m particularly excited about opening this weekend, so I’m going to go all pedagogical on y’all. Here’s a film-watching assignment designed to get you prepped for upcoming releases.

1. Sign up for Hulu Plus’s Free Trial

You’ll get a taste of the Hulu Plus awesomeness that could be yours…if you win one of the Hulu Plus giftcards we’re giving away. Enter as many times as you want by spreading Gimme Some cheer.

2. Watch The Hobbit Trailers and Clips

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is opening on December 14, and you’ll want to be fully prepped for this cultural event. (These trailers and clips are also available on regular Hulu, so you won’t need the free trial for this part of the assignment.)

3. Watch Reservoir Dogs

This crime classic was Quentin Tarantino’s 1992 feature-film debut. He’s been gifting America with his hyper-kinetic, genre-celebrating films ever since, such as Inglorious Basterds, the Kill Bill series and Pulp Fiction. Confession: I’ve never seen Reservoir Dogs. But I want to fill in some of my Tarantino holes before seeing Django Unchained, which opens this Christmas.

4. Watch Strictly Ballroom

1992 was also the year another idiosyncratic director made his debut: Baz Luhrmann wrote and directed this uber-charming and quirky romance set in the sparkly world of ballroom dancing. It set the stage (pun intended) for what people call his “red curtain” trilogy, which includes William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge. These three films share an sumptuous and over-the-top stylistic approach, and, yes, red curtains make a literal appearance in all three. You’ll want to see where Luhrmann started from before you check out his newest film, The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role. The film opens May 10, 2013, and it has a pretty fantastic trailer, featuring a cover of one of my favorite songs of all time.

What are you watching this weekend?

Be sure to enter the Gimme Some giveaways this week:

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Sarah Magill

Sarah Magill has a full-time movie habit made possible by a day-time greeting card writing gig. She blogs at Gimme Some Film and is learning to write scripts and direct. She tries to balance her screen obsession with trail running, jazz singing, book clubbing, and hanging out with The Best Golden Retriever Ever, Copa.

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8 comments on “{weekend watch} Your Hulu Plus Homework”

  1. Whoa! I had no idea that Strictly Ballroom was on there. This looks awesome!! :)

  2. I also added Strictly Ballroom, since I’ve never seen it. I’ll be curious what you think of Reservoir Dogs. I first saw it after it had been out for quite some time and, while I appreciated the film, I wasn’t as impressed with it as people who had seen it when it first came out because so much of what was groundbreaking then has been done so many times since. That made it hard to recapture some of that magic. I imagine it’d be like someone watching The Matrix for the first time now and trying to explain to them how amazing bullet-time was when the movie came out even though now you see it in commercials.

    • Yeah, I’m kind of expecting it to be like listening to the Velvet Underground and going, ooohhhh, that’s where everybody else got that…I get it now. Not so much blown away as appreciative of how other things I’ve seen have made reference of it.

    • Brian, very astute comparison to The Matrix. I would take it a step beyond “bullet-time” and say The Matrix proved that the world can swallow, and enjoy, a very cerebral story all blended up with their huge action movies. Inception wouldn’t have had a chance if The Matrix never happened.

      I often say that Tarantino did to the film industry what Kurt Cobain did to the music industry.

  3. These are some great assignments. Tim Roth and Harvey Keitel are brilliant in Reservoir Dogs. And Luhrmann’s films are dazzling indeed. And so audacious. Strictly Ballroom is his most “human” story, I’d say, but R+J is still my favorite of his.

    That may change next May.

    • I am so hoping it changes next May. High hopes. That trailer gives me goosebumps. I also get goosebumps thinking about that last scene in Strictly Ballroom where the color gradually fades to natural from the super-garish, over-saturated color he’d used to show the dance world before, and everything gets so BEAUTIFUL. I had to yell that because it’s true.