With a few days passed in April, it’s time to look ahead to what’s coming out in the next 3 months in movies, music, tv, and games. Before we would pretty much include everything we could look of, but that went deep into the land of ridiculous lengthiness, so to make this less painful all around we’ve decided to pick (no more than) our top three selections in each category. Enjoy!
Zac’s #1 Pick: Shane Carruth’s masterpiece, my review, is being distributed independently by the director and will get a limited release before quickly coming out on home video, which is best for everyone. Surpassing his previous effort, and debut film, in every which way, Upstream Color has to be seen to be believed. It is one of the most original films you will ever see.
Pain & Gain (April 26)
Zac’s #3 Pick: Michael Bay’s return from the Transformers series, which have their merits, cuts a hell of a trailer, and could potentially be his best film yet. Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie is a hell of a leading cast and the tone of the film looks like a whole lot of fun. I have heard some people describe this as Michael Bay meets the Coen Bros. and that sounds like quite the combo to me.
Iron Man 3 (May 2)
Lauren’s #1 Pick: If you’d like to read my full breakdown of the Iron Man 3 trailer, then click here. Long story short, no matter your feelings on the second film in this series, it’s hard not to imagine that this film isn’t taking a step in the right direction. We just saw Tony Stark grow into a true, selfless hero at the end of The Avengers, and now we get to see him lash out like many refuse to do, in pure revenge at The Mandarin. Sounds awesome to me! Plus this looks like it might be hitting some tones new to the character so far.
The Great Gatsby (May 10)
Lauren’s #3 Pick: This and Star Trek: Into Darkness were fighting for my #3 spot, and you would think that my genre preference would put Into Darkness at the top, but eventually what tipped the balance was Baz Luhrmann at the helm. Moulin Rouge, Romeo + Juliet, Australia… So pretty! The drama, the visuals, this man knows how to make some epic films that will affect you. That and I am excited to finally be reminded what the heck happened in this book because my memory for the written word is laughable. Don’t talk about Google at me!
Before Midnight (May 24)
Zac’s #2 Pick: The only reason this is not my number one pick is because I have seen Upstream Color and its greatness that it holds. This is the end of the Before trilogy, following Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, and expectations couldn’t be higher if you have seen those films. In lieu of a trailer I suggest you do just that and don’t watch anything about this film until you step into the theater. Start with the original, move on to the even better Before Sunset, and you will be lining up blind to see Before Midnight with me come May.
Man of Steel (June 14)
Lauren’s #2 Pick: As a Superman fan, as well as a Superman Returns fan (yeah I said it), I can’t help but be a little weary for this Superman film because of the directing choice. Zack Snyder is also a man who knows how to make visually stunning films, but the darker look of saturation and shadows that made me love the man doesn’t fit with my vision of this character and his world. It’s already getting haters crying foul about it trying to ride Christopher Nolan’s Batman series’s coattails, and I really hope that the end result doesn’t prove them right. With that said, it’s Superman, so I am forcibly creating high levels of optimism that are loud enough to drown out the skepticism. And indecision about the bulbous “S” on his chest.
Zac’s Honorable Mentions: The Bling Ring, White House Down, I’m So Excited, Monsters University, This is the End, Much Ado About Nothing, The Iceman, Mud, Frances Ha, Star Trek Into Darkness. I would call all of these, “Must See.”
Paramore: Paramore (April 9)
Lauren’s #1 Pick: I can remember exactly where I was when I heard that Paramore was breaking up, and the gloomy sky of that afternoon was fitting for the drop in mood that followed that announcement. But now they’re back! The self titled album is quite the statement about how they’re still here, in fact, and I hope it’s also not a sign of a reinvention. Guess we’ll see when the full album comes out. I’m not a huge fan of the first single, “Now,” but that has not put any fear in my mind yet as, other than with All We Know Is Falling, most of the first singles turn out to be one of my least favorite songs on their respective album.
James Blake: Overgrown (April 9)
Alan’s #1 Pick: For some reason, I completely ignored British electric musician James Blake’s first album way back in 2011. Now, Overgrown is out, and I am all too excited to listen to this. The first single to come off of the album, entitled “Retrograde,” is already a strong contender for my song of the year, bringing a sexy kind of melancholy that I haven’t heard since Matthew Dear’s “Her Fantasy” last year. But instead of a giant dance beat behind it, we get some minimalistic hand claps and a gospel feel that fits all too perfectly. I just hope the album itself matches up to the standard the first single put itself on.
Allison Weiss: Say What You Mean (April 16)
Lauren’s #2 Pick: Like with Now, Now, I have to thank Alan for pointing this singer out to me. This might not sound like a compliment, but Weiss has a voice that makes it sound like she isn’t trying hard. In other words, she just sounds genuine, like she would be just as comfortable singing these on a stage alone, without a band behind her, as opposed to going with a big production. Based on her Youtube videos, I’d say this isn’t far off base. To hear more than just what this video presents, follow the link here to a few more songs, including my favorite song to listen to right now, “Wait For Me.”
Kid Cudi: Indicud (April 23)
Alan’s #2 Pick: WZRD, for all intensive purposes, was a mess. The production was off, the instrumentation was bad, and Cudi’s fire was just not there. But Cudi now is in a different place now, and the songs that he has been releasing from Indicud sound great. It sounds like he is focused, primed and ready to come back into the discussion of current hip-hop heavyweights. I don’t know if it’s going to be as good as the Man On The Moon series has been thus far, but from what I’ve heard from Indicud makes me believe that it will be miles ahead of WZRD. And that’s a great thing.
Vampire Weekend: Modern Vampires of the City (May 14)
Heather’s #1 (and only) Pick: YES YES YES! Vampire Weekend’s third CD is arriving just in time for summer. Which means, if it’s anything like the last two, I will be playing it over, and over and (Yes…really) OVER again. While cruising around town? Check. While jogging at the gym (or mentally picturing myself jogging at the gym and counting that as exercise)? Check. While frolicking about while I Swiffer the floor? Check. So what if half of their lyrics make no sense? I don’t care, and neither should you.
Thirty Seconds To Mars: LOVE LUST FAITH + DREAMS (May 21)
Alan’s #3 Pick: Why there is so much hate for this band is beyond me. In fact, besides the newly departed My Chemical Romance, Thirty Seconds To Mars is the only modern rock band out there right now that is making interesting rock music that can also appeal to an average music listener. Their first single off of LLF+D sounds like a better Muse song than anything off of The 2nd Law, and I can’t wait to hear more from this project.
Mad Men Season 6 (April 7)
Zac’s #2 Pick: Arguably the best show on television in my book, Mad Men returns for its second to last season and injecting Sunday nights with an incredible one, two punch between this and Game of Thrones. Not a lot is known about the season, show runner Matthew Weiner keeps it that way on purpose, but it will surely be great as always. I think season five was a bit of a step back from season four, not even half a step though, and I am intrigued to see where the gang goes with their second floor and all.
Awkward. Season 3 Premiere (April 16)
Lauren’s #2 Pick: They’re throwing in another guy!? But we finally got a decision between Matty and Jake to move the show away from the “who do I love and want to be with!?” question that permeates in every episode now that Jake is dating Jenna’s best friend! This could cause more urges to smack Jenna upside the head, but as long as the writing is as good as it always is then I’ll survive.
Family Tree (May)
Zac’s #3 Pick: Christopher Guest has been a part of some of the best comedies of all-time and I love that he is doing a series for HBO. With only one weak link in his mockumentary filmography I can’t wait to see how this turns out. Chris O’Dowd is a newcomer to his crew, but a welcome one, and a lot of familiar faces are popping up in this series. Very excited for this one and I hope we get plenty more to follow.
Teen Wolf Season 3 (May 21)
Lauren’s #1 Pick: Now that the kanima story is done with, Teen Wolf will hopefully go back to focusing more on werewolf mythology with the new alphas coming into town, as opposed to reaching too far out there with this lizard man and the resurrection of a character who seemed pretty dead at the end of season one. Some more Scott and Allison time would be a plus, but it will take a while to get back to the teen love now that they’ve broken up. Ugh… Bring back the excellence of season 1! Also, I can’t wait to see how they move from last years finale since it was drenched in a storyline that is no more thanks to the exit of Colton Haynes. Should be interesting to see the writers work their way out of that hole.
Breaking Bad Season 5 Part 2 (June)
Zac’s #1 Pick: Arguably the best show on television in my book (those paying attention will see that the argument is between this and Mad Men), Breaking Bad comes to an end with a chance to cement itself as the greatest show of all time. If they can stick the landing the series will be viewed as a pillar of television of years to come and I can’t wait to see if they can get there. The show left off with an incredible reveal and it will be interesting to see how quick that manifests in the new season to cause trouble for everyone involved. Don’t screw this up guys.
Dishonored DLC: The Knife of Dunwall (April 16)
Lauren’s #2 Pick: New single player campaign DLC is always an exiting offering for favorite games, so considering Dishonored was easily my favorite new IP from last year, who could resist the excitement for The Knife of Dunwall? In order to get around the ending, we will actually be inhabiting the mind and body of the assassin that took out the Empress to start the game. Based on the Gamespot video below, it doesn’t look like we’ll be getting too many new locations, if any, but in the addition to the return of Blink, we’ll have a whole new bag of tricks to play with on Daud’s journey to redemption.
Remember Me (June 4)
Lauren’s #3 Pick: I have to admit that the combat footage I’ve seen so far has actually left me wanting because the combo scheme doesn’t seem quite to move as far away from button mashing as they may have hoped, and I have a feeling that it’s just going to be like any other game of this nature in which you have your few favorite combos on repeat from start to finish. There have also been better environment scaling games as well. “G Lauren, I thought you were looking forward to this.” I know I’m not selling this well, but even with all of these mediocre draws, the memory altering scenes are just as exciting as they are disturbing in idea, making this game something worth checking out. Just watch the video and see for yourself.
The Last Of Us (June 14)
Lauren’s #1 Pick: When I first saw glimpses into this world from Naughty Dog (responsible for the Uncharted series), I thought that an Ellen Page look alike was wandering around a less vibrant version of the world before it reaches the point in Enslaved: Odyssey to the West when it has been taken back by nature. There are some glimpses in this amongst the decay, which is always a look I love to explore, but the real thing that grabbed the front of my shirt and ripped me into anticipation for this is the story and gameplay that fills it. Man is pitted against each other in lawlessness to fight for supplies and just survive. This I can handle, but the hyperventilating is going to be going full force when the grotesque inhuman beings tag in.
Now that you’ve seen HST’s list, what would yours include? Share with us down below, and also feel free to tell us how spot on of off base we are.