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 Movie Pick: The Babysitter: Killer Queen – The Babysitter: Killer Queen is a dumb but immensely entertaining follow-up to one of the 2010’s most underrated cinematic gems, and, amazingly, is even more outlandish than its predecessor, for both better and worse. A couple of awful jokes/gags and one too many change-ups definitely drops Killer Queen down a peg or two below the first, but I had an extremely hard time holding any of the sequel’s flaws against it because it was just so damn confident, and even more enjoyable. For the vast majority of its runtime, director McG and his cast (particularly the returning crew) deliver the schlocky, over the top fun and silliness I was hoping to see in this second outing. With all said and done, The Babysitter: Killer Queen is a ridiculous horror-comedy romp that hopefully isn’t the end of this fantastic franchise. As of now, it’s the second funniest 2020 release that I’ve seen.
Ben’s Movie Pick: Train to Busan – I was blown away by Train to Busan as it breathed new life (heh) into the zombie horror subgenre back when I first saw it, and it’s just as impressive on a rewatch. The inventive, unique premise, multiple insane setpieces, awesome score (seriously, how did I not realize how great the music was in my initial viewing?!) work so well, and on top of all that there’s a core group of endearing survivors that you actually care about! The film builds up its protagonists as effectively as it does its tension. No other zombie movie or show has had the emotional impact or strong enough characters to make my eyes water before, and TtB did it THREE TIMES on my second viewing! I’m still debating internally if it should dethrone Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead as my favorite zombie movie ever, and I can’t wait to watch the sequel once it drops on Shudder. As much as I want to see Peninsula, there’s no way I’m going to see a movie in theaters during a pandemic, especially a zombie movie.
Ben’s Movie Pick: You Cannot Kill David Arquette – Twenty years ago, the then-rising movie star David Arquette won the most coveted title in professional wrestling. Most wrestling fans think of that match as one of the sport’s lowest points, and it also had a significant, negative impact on Arquette’s promising film career. The documentary You Cannot Kill David Arquette follows the actor, now in his late forties, as he tries to regain some respect by going back to the world of wrestling, and offers a brutally honest look at the Scream star’s life, health, and state of mind. The highs (like his time with a group of luchadores) had me laughing and cheering, and the lows (such as watching his reaction to celebrities and TV show hosts making fun of the blood sweat and tears he poured into this endeavor), genuinely made my heart sink. It’s a roller coaster of emotions that gives you all the insight you need to root for Arquette (and then some) but also worry for his safety and well-being. It has all of that going for it, and it also somehow made me care about wrestling, which I never have before in my life.
Lauren’s Music Pick: Gordi’s Our Two Skins – With the world making it so an anxiety attack feels right around the corner all the time, I’m so happy that Julien Baker led me to Gordi when she was a part of an Instagram music mini-fest of sorts a few months back. Ever since then I’ve been taking full advantage of Gordi’s music, especially the acoustic collection Beneath the Reservoir, sinking deep and nestling into her calming voice. With her newest album, Our Two Skins, I get to continue playing a fun game of “can I sing as low as Gordi does without my throat feeling funny?” as Gordi takes advantage of her wide range that dips a bit lower than most of the artists of a similar ilk that I’m used to listening to, giving her a very distinct sound that does not get lost among the rest. (Favorite song off the album: “Volcanic” or “Radiator.” Don’t make me choose.)
Lauren’s Music Pick: Samia’s The Baby – Earlier this year when Samia released her single “Is There Something in the Movies” I fell down a fixation spiral of listened to that, her abrasively raw (in a good way) live cover of “Little Lion Man,” and two of her songs out of 2017, “Welcome to Eden” and “The Night Josh Tillman Listened to My Song.” Ever since then I’ve been somewhat impatiently waiting for her first full length album, and though I doubt any of the tracks featured will ever unseat the aforementioned 2017 songs as my Samia go-tos, her stellar voice is powerful enough to ensure the album will be on frequent rotation at my work desk even though the poppier sound is a little more upbeat than my typical fare. (Favorite song off the album: “Stellate.”)
Ben’s Short Film Pick: Candyman – Nia Da Costa’s shadow puppet short acts as both a teaser for her upcoming (and recently delayed) feature-length Candyman movie and an unsettling horror film about racial injustice and persecution. It’s a somber collection of vignettes of all too real atrocities and a recreation of the Candyman’s origin story. To me, the most haunting aspect of this three-minute project is how the ghostly killer’s beginning fits so “well” with the other non-fantastical segments. Supernatural monsters can certainly be scary, but humans have the potential to be just as terrifying.
You can watch it 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:
- A Middle of the Row: The Podcast episode on the newly released She Dies Tomorrow
- Book reviews from Lauren for the first two books in the Throne of Glass series: Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight.
- Whatever Zac’s I’m Thinking About Reading, About I’m Thinking of Ending Things writeup is. A Charlie Kaufman exploration? Sure, we’ll go with that.