Got some free time and wondering what to watch, play, listen to, etc.? Well we have some suggestions for you!
Lauren’s Comic Pick: New 52 Batman – After DC Comics announced it was going to rebirth it’s titles back in 2016, I stubbornly refused to finish my favorite comic from that period out of pure annoyance at yet another relaunch. But just because it was gone, doesn’t mean it was truly forgotten. Let’s face it, I could never really quit Batman’s New 52 run; the Scott Snyder / Greg Capullo team-up was just too strong! So after a few years spurned, here I am diving right back into the lore of Gotham with The Court of Owls, Batman’s most destructive romance with the Joker in Death of the Family, Bruce Wayne’s attempts at finding his vigilante footing in Zero Year, and an obnoxious time jump before volume 7. I wouldn’t blame anyone who gives up on this run here instead of reading the 52 issues of the lesser Batman: Eternal needed to understandable what’s been going on in Gotham in the current timeline while we’ve been busy strolling down a memory lane reclaimed by nature, but I recommend powering through. If anything read the lengthy Wikipedia summary because the time apart between Joker encounters and context is pretty necessary to feel the full impact moving forward. I say it’s worth it to get as much of this Snyder/Capullo combo as possible, but 6 volumes of great storytelling illustrated by one of my favorite comic book artists (I have this series to thank for really bringing Capullo’s art to my attention) is still better than none.
Ben’s Podcast Pick: The A24 Podcast – Even though I’ve been on Middle of the Row: The Podcast for almost two years now, I’ve never been a big fan of any other podcasts. That may change soon, though, as I recently started listening to The A24 Podcast and got hooked. There’s no host, just two different filmmakers or actors discussing a wide variety of topics, like rising horror legends Rob Eggers (director of The Witch) and Ari Aster (who directed Hereditary and Midsommar) diving into what inspires them, or Molly Ringwald (who rose to fame with 80’s classics Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and more) and Elsie Fisher (Eight Grade‘s breakout star) talking child acting, social media, and anxiety, and I’ve loved everything I’ve heard so far. I obviously can’t compare it to other podcasts, but I still definitely recommend at least giving it a listen.
Ben’s Movie Pick: Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2 – Quentin Tarantino is easily one of the greatest living filmmakers currently, and the Kill Bill films are the best of his works so far. Star Uma Thurman delivers one of the most badass characters in film with her performance as the Bride, the rest of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad (and a few other supporting characters) feel like their backstories could be the basis for multiple other great films, the grindhouse-meets-martial-arts action is still jaw dropping even after my many rewatches, and the world they inhabit is one of the director’s finest. The movie wears its inspiration on its sleeve, but Tarantino gives Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2 a unique feel that not only separates them from the films that inspired him, but also places the duology above his other movies.
Ben’s Movie Pick: Bear With Us – My brother and I came across Bear With Us while browsing a limited selection of films while staying at a hotel in Arizona about two years ago, and we were both absolutely floored by how funny it was (especially considering seemingly nobody besides us even knew it existed). It’s an incredibly bizarre film, but Bear With Us leans into its strangeness with such gusto that I can’t help but love it. Even on a second viewing I was laughing so hard I almost cried, and I will continue to recommend it until it receives the wide-spread recognition it deserves. A film this great deserves a Wikipedia page at least….
Lauren’s TV Pick: Titans – Due to the multi-title comic book chicanery mentioned above in my Batman rec., I found myself trying to make the most of the 7 day free trial of DC Universe initiated by an unwillingness to spend 60+ bucks on Batman: Eternal, a comic I was reading extremely begrudgingly. Which means, while everyone else was probably binging the highly anticipated Amazon show, The Boys, I was busy making my way through the widely mocked Titans. Good news is the only thing that is truly horrendous about this show is the CGI. And the rest? The rest is pretty decent. Sure I found myself growing slightly disinterested in the half of the core four Titans focused most on (it was just a little annoying to feel like no real progress was being made developmentally, character or story wise, when Robin is constantly blaming anything/anyone but himself for who he has become, and Raven mostly just stumbles her way from one spot of trouble to the next without getting any real answers to what’s going on), but my interest in Starfire, Beast Boy, the Doom Patrol, stand out power couple Hawk and Dove, and a few other DC heroes showing up to keep the dynamic fresh, more than carry the weight. Because of that I say it’s definitely worth giving it a shot, and if it turns out what worried you about the trailer still isn’t for you then you can come back and tell me all about how you were right to be wary of this “Airbendered” tone shift to the true Teen Titans.
So what do you think about these picks? What content did we miss over the past two weeks while we were spending time with these? Be sure to leave a comment below letting us know about everything (both current and simply new to you) you’ve been consuming lately!
And while you’re here, be sure to check out everything else we’ve posted between this Suggestion Box and the last: podcast episodes on Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, Stranger Things Season 3, and Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, as well as Ben’s written reviews of Hobbs & Shaw, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling, and The Righteous Gemstones, Jons review of Riverdale/Stranger Things, and a co-review between Ben and I on Capsized: Blood in the Water.