The Suggestion Box #25: Harlequins, and Terminators, and Hitler Youth, Oh My!

Wondering what to do with your upcoming free time? Good thing we have some suggestions for what you should be watching, playing, reading, listening to, etc.!


jojo rabbit

Lauren’s Movie Pick: Jojo Rabbit Of the 5 best picture nominees I’ve seen for the most recent Oscars, Jojo Rabbit ranks second, falling only behind 1917 (1917 > Jojo Rabbit > Parasite > Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood > Joker, for those who are curious). It’s a movie that doesn’t surprise with its story, but the writing that won Taika Waititi the best adapted screenplay trophy elevates it above anything it might be compared to. I don’t think I’ve laughed this much at a movie in a long time; and I’ve definitely never felt this much joy thanks to a genocidal dictator… but that’s Waititi for you, creating something so memorable and hilarious as he builds this sense of comfort and camaraderie between a member of the Hitler Youth and the man who has molded his views of the world. I love how this imaginary relationship changes as Jojo’s understanding evolves over time as other characters start to influence his worldview, with the movie owing a lot to Roman Griffin Davis as he carries a large portion of the story’s hilarious to heartbreaking arc on his shoulders. Fortunately he’s not alone, with Thomasin McKenzie, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson, and scene stealing Archie Yates all equally deserving praise. Jojo Rabbit might not be for everyone, but boy was it for me.

Dark Fate

Ben’s Movie Pick: Terminator: Dark Fate Although some might see its status as a box office bomb and assume otherwise, I wholeheartedly believe that the intended Terminator franchise revival, Terminator: Dark Fate, is a legitimately great movie. The cast is terrific, with Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davis, and Gabriel Luna all being total badasses, and Natalie Reyes sells her emotional moments admirably. Even though the CGI is far from great at times, the fights are all kinds entertaining thanks to the varied settings, weapons, vehicles, and characters at play. The pacing is excellent too, there’s never a dull moment throughout the film. It’s no Judgement Day, but in my book Dark Fate is still an awesome adventure ride from start to finish.

For a few differing opinions, check out our podcast episode discussing Dark Fate.

Harley Quinn

Ben’s TV Pick: Harley Quinn DC Universe’s first animated original series follows everyone’s favorite psychiatrist-turned-clown-themed-criminal (Kaley Cuoco) after she’s broken up with the Joker (Alan Tudyk) and decides to become a respectable supervillain in her own right. She quickly builds a crew of her own, including the likes of Clayface (Tudyk again), King Shark (Ron Funches), Dr. Psycho (Tony Hale), and is often assisted by her BFF Poison Ivy (Lake Bell). These underdog baddies and their struggles are always entertaining, and even if it’s hard to root for them occasionally, the vibrant animation and amazing cast of voice actors do a great job getting big laughs and showing solid character development for the entire gang. Harley Quinn is yet another reason to subscribe to the DC streaming service.

Primal

Ben’s TV Pick: Primal – Oddly enough, I was a fan of Genndy Tartakovsky long before I even knew who the writer/director/animator was. A good chunk of my childhood was spent watching Tartakovsky’s Cartoon Network creations like Dexter’s Lab, Cow and Chicken, Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003), and Samurai Jack. The latter also aired an adult-oriented final season almost a decade and a half after the series’ initial cancelation, and it totally blew me away. Tartakovsky has continued with this darker, more violent tone in his newest project, Primal. It has zero dialogue in its first five episodes – the rest of the season will air later this year – but still manages to tell a moving story about loss and survival set in an unforgiving, prehistoric world. The hand-drawn animation is stunning, the score evokes a wide range of emotions, the action sequences are equal parts brutal and breathtaking, and the series has that magic, unmistakable Tartakovsky touch that made me a fan of his over twenty years ago. If I hadn’t put this off for so long, the first batch of Primal‘s starting season would have earned an honorable mention spot among my favorite shows of last year.


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 some of the site’s other recent content: Zac’s final entry into his “Decade’s Best” countdown, as well as his Best Films of 2019 list, Lauren’s review of The Gentlemen, Ben’s review of Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (we refuse to use its new title), and our podcast episodes on 2009’s Away We Go and last year’s Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker.

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