The Suggestion Box #28: Phantoms, and Lovecraft, and Money Laundering, 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.!

A Silent Voice

Ben’s Movie Pick: A Silent Voice A Silent Voice is an immensely powerful film that tackles bullying, self worth, and second chances through its cast of unique and memorable characters. Even though protagonist makes it hard (or impossible) to root for him in the beginning of the story, there’s no outright “villian” in A Silent Voice. The conflicts in the movie arise from the immaturity of its young cast as they struggle with their own imperfections, opinions, and misconceptions of themselves and others, often making mistakes or lashing out because of the emotional pain and confusion they feel. It’s a raw take on the coming of age story, but it’s also one that is believable and truly makes you care about the core group, warts and all.

Tigers Sliver

Lauren’s Movie Pick: Tigers Are Not Afraid Thank goodness Ben’s last horror film recommendation of The Blackcoat’s Daughter (a film I watched for my 2019 Halloween Prep List) didn’t turn me off from the whole experience, or else I would’ve likely missed out on this gem of a movie that had me flashing back to the first time I saw Pan’s Labyrinth. That could be mostly due to the blending of fairytale and light horror elements in both Spanish language films, but I think it has more to do with the tone built on the juxtaposition of the fantastical and real life horrors that the young leads are forced to survive. Both films flourish in the tragic nature of their settings because they give just enough to catalyze tentative optimism and hope in both the characters and audience; but in the end you’re left wondering if this coping mechanism was just that and nothing more, or if the belief in something better is truly warranted and not just pure fantasy.

Ozark S3

Ben’s TV Pick: Ozark Season 3 – As a fan of Ozark since its premiere episode, I’m happy to report that not only is the recently released third season the best season of the show yet, it is easily one of the top contenders for my favorite show of the year. The writing in season 3 is the sharpest so far, the score is incredible, the pacing is damn-near perfect after the first couple of episodes, and the entire cast is fantastic as usual, with two of its leading ladies absolutely crushing every moment they’re on screen. Honestly there were multiple scenes surrounding Laura Linney’s Wendy Byrde and Julia Garner’s Ruth Langmore that were so moving and poignant that I was brought to tears thanks in large part to these actresses’ performances. Season 4 can’t get here soon enough…

Borderlands 3 guns love and tentacles

Ben’s Video Game Pick: Borderlands 3: Guns, Love, and Tentacles Guns, Love, and Tentacles (my favorite title for any video game DLC since the 80’s throwback Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon) centers on the marriage of two characters from the main game, within the context of a whole bunch of romantic/Lovecraftian hijinks. G+L+T is noticeably weaker than the stellar Handsome Jackpot DLC that was released at the end of last year, but it still impresses with the new gothic areas to explore, the surprisingly wide array of betentacled enemies to take down, the return of yet another fan favorite character from a previous Borderlands game, and, of course, new loot to grind for. What’s more is the level cap has been increased yet again (an update that is free to anyone with the main game), giving even more reason to spend time in the shooter-looter until the next batch of new content arrives in April.

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!

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