Your weekend time is valuable and at the end of a long week, the discretionary time must be spent to its maximum value. To help narrow down your choices on the film, television, and gaming fronts, every Friday, the Weekend Preview gives you the rundown of your options and an educated guess as to which ones make the most sense.
At the Movies
Fifty Shades Darker
Director: James Foley
Stars: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Kim Basinger
Current RT Meter: 8% Rotten
Drew’s box office prediction: $34,000,000
Nicks box office prediction: $27,000,000
The box office is about to get sexy. Just before Valentine's Day, we've got a hefty helping of naughtiness with Fifty Shades Darker. The sequel to the smutty and successful Fifty Shades of Grey, this installment has Christian and Ana delving deeper into their BDSM relationship. But not all is well as secrets and the past lurk, threatening all they hold dear. This is a film you won't be seeing unless you're a fan of the previous one and probably the books. If you are, this is going to earn your money. If not, find something sexier (and better reviewed) for you and your loved one.
The Verdict: Do you adore the Fifty Shades books? You can admit it! Maybe you have a group of friends wanting to watch and snicker this weekend? Pony up some cash. Otherwise, this likely isn't for you.
John Wick: Chapter 2
Director: Chad Stahelski
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Ian McShane
Current RT Meter: 89% Fresh
Drew’s box office prediction: $22,000,000
Nicks box office prediction: $25,000,000
Oh. Yeah. Now we are talking.
2016 was an awful year but 2017 is already a million times better because we get John Wick: Chapter 2 [our review]. Will the movie be any good? Watch the trailer above and you tell me. The answer, by the way, is hell yes. Reeves is back and in fine form, ready to kick some serious butt. The bullets and blood will fly and many, many fans are beyond ready. The reviews have been strong, the anticipation is high. This is a must-see for lots of people. You better be one of them.
The Verdict: The verdict is yes. A million times yes. Go see John Wick: Chapter 2 so we can get John Wicker: Chapter 3.
The LEGO Batman Movie
Director: Chris McKay
Stars: Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Zach Galifianakis
Current RT Meter: 91% Fresh
Drew’s box office prediction: $60,000,000
Nicks box office prediction: $53,000,000
The only reliable, well-reviewed Batman film we're going to get for some time is a LEGO one. What a world we live in. I never thought I'd be so excited to see a bunch of toys bounce around on screen but LEGO Batman looks adorable, funny and something that even the most humorless Batfan will smile at. The cast? Perfect. The visuals? Brilliant. The jokes? Sure to be plenty.
The Verdict: Wash the taste of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice out of your mouth with a colorful, cheerful and cute Caped Crusader.
On the Tube
59th Annual Grammy Awards (CBS. Sunday, 8 PM)
Ready to sing and dance? You better be because the Grammys are here. Lovable, loud Brit James Corden hosts the festivities which celebrate music from the last year. Who's going to win? Beyoncé? Adele? Drake? Who will perform? Lady Gaga, Metallica, Bruno Mars, A Tribe Called Quest just to name a few. Like every year this show is going to be packed. It's also going to be long, so bring lots of snacks and drinks.
The Verdict: Have several hours to spare Sunday night? You should tune in so you're able to catch the performances everyone will be talking about Monday morning.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO. Sunday, 11PM)
The world needs John Oliver. Things are shaky and politics has never been uglier. We need perspective and humor, Oliver brings both in spades. With our tweet-happy president providing enough fodder to last years, Oliver has his work cut out for him. Expect outrage, expect exasperation, expect comedy. Also, expect plenty of bittersweet laughs as John Oliver showcases just how dysfunctional, scary and weird this world had become recently.
The Verdict: In these trying times there is no better way to start the week.
The Walking Dead (AMC. Sunday, 9PM)
The season picks up again and all signs point to the show toning down the nihilistic gore and giving the fans what they want. Will Negan and Rick square off? Will there be any major twists? Half the fun is speculating.
The Verdict: You've come this far.
For the Gamers
Nioh (Playstation 4. Available February 7)
Nioh is going to be very fun for many people. For me, it looks hard. Super hard. Like Dark Souls and Bloodborne before it, Nioh is incredibly challenging - frustrating even - but also immensely rewarding when you finally slay that boss who has been giving you the business for hours. This is a game you'll get your money's worth from because you'll be dying constantly and playing for hours upon hours. The reviews and trailers promise a dark, haunting and violent journey through a Samurai-inspired underworld. It's not for everyone (see: me) but it'll certainly be an epic journey for anyone willing to give it a stab.
The Verdict: Let's make this clear: Nioh will not hold your hand. You'll die a lot and possibly through your controller in anger. But, hey, if that sounds fun to you, pick it up!