Got some free time and wondering what to watch, play, listen to, etc.? Well we have some suggestions for you!
Lauren’s Movie Pick: Annabelle – It’s not as strong as The Conjuring (though it does get major points over the first film in this universe for not killing a dog), but Annabelle gets the thumbs up for being more than what I expected from a horror film about a doll. It’s not all pitter pattering of tiny doll feet, or Annabelle showing up in random places away from where she was last left, but there’s actually some genuine creepy check-the-shadows-of-my-darkened-room moments thanks to the demonic places the film goes in addition to the staples of the sub genre. There’s even a moment that made me feel sick to my stomach; that’s how effective it is at times. That’s what Annabelle has to offer: creepiness and child endangerment to really up the stress levels. Now if only it earned the ending it went for…
Speaking of surprises: a wild Jon appeared!
Jon’s TV Pick: Barry – Sure, Game of Thrones is something that undoubtedly should be watched in this last season, if anything for the cultural impact, but it would be criminal to overlook the work being done by the team behind Barry. Alec Berg and Bill Hader have been knocking it out of the park with the second season delving deeper into the title character’s backstory and bridging his trauma with his new creative and artistic pursuits. Even more so, Berg and Hader have found a way to fully round out Sarah Goldberg’s Sally Reed, drawing on her past relationship to make her a more sympathetic figure whose acting ambitions aren’t just self-involvement, but now contextualized in her past abuse. Hader and Goldberg get some potent moments of personal triumph together, which makes the latest turn in their arcs and relationship all the more hilarious.
Also, NoHo Hank 2020.
Ben’s Movie Pick: Blade: Trinity – The last film in the Blade series had a notoriously troubled production, and it clearly shows in various aspects of the final product. However, Blade: Trinity’s hilarious supporting cast, particularly Ryan Reynolds, Parker Posie, and Triple H, and mostly-fun action sequences allow it to be enjoyed if you’re in the right mindset. It’s certainly no Blade II, but it’s not the worst send-off Marvel’s vampire hunting anti-hero could’ve had.
Ben’s TV Pick: Game of Thrones – “The Bells” is the best episode in the entire series and the finale was decent, fight me.
Lauren’s TV Pick: Lucifer Season 4 – By the time Lucifer was resurrected by Netflix, I’d already made my piece with the show being cancelled. Don’t get me wrong, I was definitely mad at Fox for giving it the ax (and mad at the show runners for ending it with a major cliffhanger fully aware of the angelic trumpets calling them to TV heaven), but it was no Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I was bummed, but I would survive. But now that I’ve watched the newest season thank God, or, err… thank God’s children, Lucifer has risen again. The overarching story of the season didn’t really get interesting til Eve showed up half way through and Lucifer really started to struggle with who he is vs who he wants to be, and I could’ve done without the return of Detective Douche, but I didn’t realize just how much I was missing the peripheral characters until I got them back. Tom Ellis and Lauren German’s lead roles/performances/abs are also great (would’ve given up after episode 1 had they not been), but Aimee Garcia’s ever present forensic enthusiasm and the friendship between Lesley-Ann Brandt’s demon and Rachael Harris’ overworked psychiatrist are what has moved Lucifer past being simply a Castle replacement for me. So please give us a 5th season, Netflix. Please!
Ben’s Movie Pick: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World – From the old school video game-themed Universal Studios intro all the way to the credits, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World constantly exhibits the wonderfully bizarre and endearing charm that director Edgar Wright is known for. The cast, lead by Michael Cera and Mary Elizabeth Winstead (while including so, SO many other greats), embody the characters of this wacky world and deliver hilarious, heartfelt performances, making the most out of Edgar Wright and Michael Bacall’s ingenious writing. AND OH MY LORD, THAT SOUNDTRACK!!! Scott Pilgrim vs. the World isn’t just my favorite Edgar Wright film, but one of my favorite films period.
Lauren’s YouTube Pick: The Valleyfolk – When I thought I had found the peak internet throw-your-guest-off-their-game tactic with Hot Ones interviews, well, I had not yet heard of Trivia Bidet, a trivia show where people get their undercarriages violently cleansed for their wrong answers. Now I know better. Brought to you by my favorite SourceFed alums (Joe Bereta, Lee Newton, Steve Zaragoza, and Elliott Morgan), Trivia Bidet is just one aspect of The Valleyfolk channel that showcases the quartet’s jealousy inducing comedic sensibility through off the cuff responses to fan comments and questions, as well as sketches and videos inspired by said audience, public domain art, serial killer quotes, amazon reviews, and much more random content I wish I was capable of conceiving myself. Oh, and they’ve got a good ol’ fashioned, obligatory podcast as well. One that is actually worth listening to. Though I cannot forgive them for their affinity for ET paraphernalia, I still love them anyway.
Ben’s Movie Pick: Van Helsing – Hugh Jackman’s action hero version of the titular character is like a gothic combination of Indiana Jones and James Bond. He’s an adventurer with all sorts of fancy gizmos designed for killing supernatural monsters, and watching him use them is always extremely entertaining. Van Helsing is a little longer than it should be and the story is all over the place, but the twists on the legends it’s inspired by, a delightfully schlocky lead villain, and Jackman’s star power make it worth watching anyway.
Last, but not least:
JON’S MOST IMPORTANT PICK: THE TORONTO RAPTORS – LESSSSGOOOOOOO KAWHI LEONARD KYLE LOWRY SERGE IBAKA MARC GASOL PASCAL SIAKAM DANNY GREEN FRED VANVLEET NICK NURSE FOUR BOUNCES COME AT US DEER COME AT US GREEK FREEK WE THE NORTH GAME SEVEN NOTHING EAASSSSY.
(Lauren’s More Most Important Pick: The St. Louis Blues – PLAY GLORIA ALL DAY EVERY DAY.)
So what do you think of these suggestions? What content did we miss over the past two weeks while we were spending time with our chosen selection? Be sure to leave a comment below letting us know about all the content (both current and simply new to you) you’ve been consuming lately!
And while you’re here, be sure to check out Ben’s reviews of Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Booksmart.