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.
Ben’s Anime Pick: Dragon Ball Super – Dragon Ball Super is a sequel series to the iconic action anime Dragon Ball Z, continuing the story of the Z fighters. It completely ignores the now non-canon sequel Dragon Ball GT (thank goodness), and takes the narrative in a new direction involving Gods and alternate universes, all the while still delivering the same quirky humor and mind-blowing battles that made me a fan in the first place. Even though Super features the same cons as its predecessors – pacing issues, filler arcs, convenient power-ups, and the occasional plot hole – I was never really that bothered by them. That’s probably because the fights (i.e. the series’ main draw) are still insanely epic. In fact, Super‘s final battle might be my favorite anime battle ever. Watching Goku and Vegeta power up and throw down got me just as hyped as it did back in the day when I was ten years old, and the show is more than worth the time of any Dragon Ball fans.
Lauren’s Movie Pick: The Hunt – With the state of the world being what it is, it seemed like the perfect time to watch a film that plays up just how insufferable white people are in their presumed superiority, no matter what far side of the political spectrum they fall on. And The Hunt doesn’t mess around. The cleverness of the catchphrase dialog can become tiring at times, but the action is as surprising as it is genuinely a good time. The Hunt comes out of the gate sprinting, wasting no time as bodies start dropping at a rate that I was most definitely not prepared for. No one is safe, and because of that I probably looked like an idiot for the first 10 minutes of the film: slack jawed, choking out short bursts of laughter at the unexpectedly immediate casualty tally. And then there’s Betty Gilpin. On its own The Hunt would’ve been relegated to the list of “fun to see once, but nothing special worth coming back to” films, but Gilpin’s performance is easily one of my favorites of the year so far. She adds so much character to simple lines and actions, in a way that reminds me so much of Jodie Comer’s performance as everyone’s favorite assassin on Killing Eve. I kid you not when I say there is one moment in this film that I rewatched a good handful of times, and if I do watch this one again someday it’ll be all because of her.
Ben’s Movie Pick: The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part – There’s a whole lot to love about The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part. It has multiple, distinct, crazy worlds, witty humor, a lovable cast of returning and new goofball characters, a super catchy soundtrack (especially the song that drops with the credits), and top notch voice acting from a wide range of comedic actors. There’s also a surprisingly powerful message about masculinity that doubles as a not-so-subtle jab at all the grim and dark reboots, remakes, and sequels Hollywood has been churning out. Everything was awesome in the first Lego Movie, but it’s even better the second time around.
Ben’s Movie Pick: Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind – Despite being set in a dangerous, post-apocalyptic world, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is filled to the brim with hope. The titular heroine and her bond with nature allows for more than a few touching moments to arise in unexpected places, and the effect she has on those around her is as believable as it is powerful. While it technically isn’t a Studio Ghibli film, it’s easy to see why it’s often thought of as one. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is a beautifully animated, wondrous, and touching film that has inspired generations of artists, animators, and filmmakers in the decades since its release.
Lauren’s TV Pick: Locke & Key – After watching the premiere episode of Locke & Key back when it was first released by Netflix, I decided it would be better to wait to move on in the season until after I finished the run of comics – as much as I hate spoilers, I’ve always been very pro read the source material first when it comes to adaptations, whereas moving in “reverse,” from the adaptation to the original book, tends to be a struggle (made that mistake with the first Song of Ice and Fire book post season 1 of Game of Thrones and boy was that a slog considering how faithful the show was to that rather lengthy book). Long story short, it turns out the wait was completely unnecessary because the show branches out on its own just far enough to take the concepts and certain character beats and plot points of the comics and mold them into something new. And something pretty good. Admittedly, the horror fan in me wishes that it had stuck a little closer to the darker, more horrifying aspects of Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’s original creation, and the season finale is honestly pretty unsatisfying in how weakly it bookends the story so far, but that’s just because it’s already looking towards the next season. So if you haven’t done so already yourself, be sure to go back and read the comics while we wait to see where the show’s story goes from here.
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:
- Ben’s full review of The Hunt.
- Lauren’s reviews of the films Becky, The Lovebirds, Sonic the Hedgehog, and The Vast of Night.
- Middle of the Row: The Podcast episodes flashing back to Gladiator and Never Let Me Go.