It’s Memorial Day Weekend and Summer is unofficially here! But before we honor our fallen heroes who’ve fought so bravely for this country, not to mention show off the fact that we haven’t had a carb since St. Patty’s (and all that beer didn’t count because it was thrown up ), let’s take a little time to soak up a few of the juiciest pop culture tidbits of the week.

1. Benedict Cumberbatch

star trek into darkness benedict cumberbatch

Alright Fassbinder, you’ve got some serious competition, at least in the acting department! I’ll admit that I went to Star Trek into Darkness for JJ Abrams, but this tall drink of water with those deep lapis eyes, and that movie star charisma is all that was on my mind when I left.  I know that I’m new to the cult of Cumberbatch, but sign me up for my haircut and complimentary cup of Kool-aid, cause I’m all in!

2. Todd Haynes and his actresses….


2011’s melodramatically delicious Mildred Pierce was everything that I wanted it to be and more! Watching Kate Winslet and Evan Rachel Wood rip into their seriously dysfunctional mother/daughter roles with gusto was so enjoyable that I literally thought that I had died and went to actress-worshipper Heaven. Naturally Todd Haynes, who elicited similarly dynamic performances from Julianne Moore in two – count em, two – modern classics, Safe and Far From Heaven, was responsible for the HBO mini-series. Now the gifted filmmaker has just signed on to direct another talented, buzzy duo – Mia Washikowska, and Cate Blanchett (whom he steered towards perfection as one of his Bob Dylans in I’m Not There) – in the new movie, Carol, and my heart palpitations have already begun. Keep the mind-blowing collabos coming, Todd!

 3. Fast and Furious 6


Whodathunk that the 6th installment in this series that began when I was a freshman in college (don’t bother looking it up, it was a long time ago) would be the best action film of the year, so far?!!! The cast is reliably charismatic, there’s plenty of flashy automobiles/jiggle factor, and Michelle Rodriguez and Gina Carano have some of the best girlfights since Uma vs. Vivica and or Lucy Liu in Kill Bill 1. Who cares that I don’t even know how to change the oil on my car, I’m a gearhead this weekend!

4. Before Midnight


Another spot, another sequel to a film series that began more than a decade ago; though with this one, try 20 years… Boy don’t you feel old now! Yes folks, it’s been almost two decades since Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) first met on that train to Budapest, and now three films and a whole lot of life talk behind them, their relationship is as juicy as ever. Though it’s official, we are all old!

 5. Nina Conti on Family Tree


I had high hopes for this precious little gem, and boy have they been met! Last week’s “horse race” reached Best in Show levels of ridiculous visual hilarity, and nothing gets me chuckling quite like the sight of Tom’s (Chris O’Dowd) shy big sister, Bea (comedian and ventriloquist, Nina Conti), conversing with her best friend, a droll sock puppet- sorry miniature companion, named Monkey. I’ve see enough of TLC’s My Strange Addiction to know that habits like this can become alienating crutches (for instance when you prefer eating sofa stuffing over human connection) but I still think that there’s something so hilariously endearing about embracing one’s crazy, external opinions be damned!