Watch List Weekly Recap 5/20/22

The Watch List goes out in the field and becomes one with everything. Also: Reviews of "Downton Abbey: A New Era" and "Men."

Watch List Weekly Recap 5/20/22

This is the Friday recap of Ty Burr’s Watch List postings for the week. If you’d like to receive this weekly email ONLY, please go to your account page and under “Email notifications” uncheck every box except “Weekly Digest.” If you’d prefer to not receive it at all, uncheck just “Weekly Digest.”

Just two posts this week, and only one about the movies. As the Watch List gets closer to its first anniversary and I get closer to figuring out what works and what doesn’t, I do wonder whether I’m inundating readers with too many posts per week, or whether they’re too long, or if the posts that want to be useful are useful. (The posts that are more personal seem to have been received in the spirit in which they are written, for which I am grateful.) Feedback is always welcome, either in this space or via email. Thanks.

Scarlet Tanager/Photo © Brian Tang

It’s peak migration season, and I wrote about the pleasures of looking at birds and feeling the borders melt away between oneself and the world. Featuring a guest appearance by Hardcore Jim.

Birdsongs of the Anthropocene
Hardcore Jim and I roll into the parking lot along the edge of an exurban pond, behind where the state hospital for the insane used to stand, and we open the car doors. This is always the moment of truth: A cacophony of birdsong washes over us as we leave our human travel pod and eject ourselves back into nature. At fir…

Two new movies in theaters get reviewed for the Friday post — “Downton Abbey: A New Era,” which is as comfy as a men’s club chair, and “Men” (above), an unsettling allegory of toxic male neediness. Plus four ideas for weekend streaming on four different services.

What to Watch: "Downton Abbey" & "Men"
The Nut Graf: “Downton Abbey: A New Era” (in theaters, **1/2 stars out of ****) You can take the Crawleys out of England but can you take the England out of the Crawleys? And why would you want to? “Men” (in theaters, *** stars out of ****) is the latest unsettling fever dream of misogyny’s discontents from the gifted Alex Garland (“Ex Machina”).

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