Happy Saturday, and R.I.P. Donald Sutherland

We lost a legend this week

Good to see you, friends, and hope summer is treating you well so far. I’m continuing to rehab from my knee surgery and coming to the realization that I really can’t start driving again for a little while, which is frustrating. Still, movies keep coming out, so I’ll find a way to see them.

Here’s what we reviewed this week on our Breakfast All Day YouTube channel:

Austin Butler, rebelling against whatever you’ve got.

  • THE BIKERIDERS. We really don’t agree on the latest from writer-director Jeff Nichols (“Take Shelter,” “Midnight Special”), which was inspired by a real-life Midwestern motorcycle gang from the 1960s. It’s gritty and atmospheric, but (I thought) ultimately empty. Tom Hardy, Austin Butler and Jodie Comer star. In theaters.

  • THELMA. All hail June Squibb! The 94-year-old actress gets her first leading role in this charming action comedy about a grandma who’s scammed out of $10,000 and goes after the culprit to get her money back. This is based on something that happened to writer-director Josh Margolin’s own grandmother. Plus it gets San Fernando Valley geography right, which I always enjoy. In theaters.

You hear the bird talking too, right?

  • TUESDAY. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is heartbreaking in a rare dramatic role as a mother negotiating with Death, which comes for her 15-year-old daughter (Lola Petticrew) in the form of a magnificent, talking macaw. Either you’ll go with the high-concept premise of this fable or you won’t, but if you do, you’ll be moved. In theaters.

  • MOVIE NEWS LIVE! We pay tribute to the legend Donald Sutherland, who died this week at 88. More on his incredible filmography in a bit. Plus, we play a fun game with our viewers: Who would we cast in a remake of “St. Elmo’s Fire”? Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Jacob Elordi and Maya Hawke are all serious contenders. Join us every Friday at Noon Pacific time.

What, is there something on my face?

Over at our Patreon, we reviewed “The Masque of the Red Death” for June’s Off the Menu. Alonso offered several movies from the late Roger Corman, and this 1964 Edgar Allan Poe adaptation is the one our members selected. Vincent Price stars as the preening and sadistic Prince Prospero, who throws a midnight masquerade ball with his hangers-on to stave off the plague. It’s sort of his twisted version of a Covid pod. But Death finds a way, as Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ character also learns in “Tuesday.” Corman’s film is both hilarious and hypnotic, full of exaggerated performances and lurid colors. It’s available for streaming in various places including Pluto.

Heavy is the head that wears the crown.

On Thursday night, I took Nic to see the director’s cut of “Midsommar” in IMAX. It’s part of A24’s summer series of re-releasing some of their best-loved movies in large-screen format. I figured he’d appreciate the incredible vision and craftsmanship of Ari Aster’s 2019 film, which is the very definition of elevated horror, and that at nearly 15, he was ready for its more disturbing elements (as much as any of us can be). He was a tad traumatized! A couple different times, he turned to me and said: “Why am I here???” I told him afterward, “Someday, you’ll appreciate the fact that your mom took you to the director’s cut of "‘Midsommar’ in IMAX.” He responded, “I know, but not today.” At 171 minutes, this version lays more of the groundwork for Dani and Christian’s toxic relationship, and it goes into greater detail on all the twisted rituals. And on the bigger screen, I was more in awe than ever of the ambitious artistry of Aster’s camerawork. “Midsommar” remains a masterpiece of messed-up arthouse cinema.

Donald Sutherland, 1935-2024

What an incredible legacy Donald Sutherland leaves behind. The veteran Canadian actor died this week at 88, following decades of indelible performances. He was so versatile, but no matter the role, he brought something unpredictable — a richness and complexity, and often a little danger. He’s one of those actors who instantly elevated whatever film he was in the moment he appeared on screen. He could do it all as either a character actor or a leading man, from the grieving father in “Ordinary People” (1980) to the stoner professor of “Animal House” (1978) to the villainous President Snow in “The Hunger Games” movies. One of my favorite Sutherland performances was his Mr. Bennet in Joe Wright’s “Pride & Prejudice” (2005), a classic literary character that he made totally his own with his warmth and wit. What’s your favorite Donald Sutherland performance? We’ll honor him at our Patreon with July’s Off the Menu poll, so keep an eye out for that.

Lodge Cast Iron camping sale runs through July 1

Finally, I wanted to mention a great sale from one of the brands we’re proud to work with at Breakfast All Day. Save up to 20% on Lodge Cast Iron camp dutch ovens and other outdoor accessories. If you’re planning a camping trip this summer, this is a great way to stock up on supplies, and these products last forever. Enjoy some tasty stew by the fire! Sale runs through July 1 with our link: https://lodgecastiron.pxf.io/c/3656599/2057688/23521

(Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase something, we may receive a small commission.)

Thank you so much for spending some time with me this weekend. I’ll just be home doing my physical therapy exercises and trying not to have running FOMO, and I’m grateful to have you here with me. If you’ve found value in my newsletter, I’d be honored if you’d share it with a friend. Have a great week, and I’ll see you back here next Saturday.