The Suggestion Box #45: Spider-Man, vs Al Capone, vs Soccer Mom, 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.


Ben’s Movie Pick: Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 The first two chapters of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy are heartfelt superhero romps that capture almost everything that makes the titular hero so popular. Tobey Maguire gives Peter a goofy charm and genuine warmth, all the while never letting you forget about the strain he’s under as he juggles the responsibility of his newfound power and purpose along with the complexities of his everyday life. Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 also feature a pair of phenomenal villains; Willem Dafoe just GOES FOR IT as the darkly campy Green Goblin, and Alfred Molina’s tragic monster, Doctor Octopus, is one of my all-time favorite movie baddies. The action is all great too, with lots of well shot, explosive, high-flying, web-slinging fights and chase sequences backed by visual effects that still hold up fairly well today, and they’re elevated even further thanks to Danny Elfman’s fantastic score. In my opinion, Elfman’s Spidey soundtracks sit fairly high above the music in any other superhero films. Overall, Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 are still brilliant and entertaining superhero movies that are made with a level of quality you’d see in most of the MCU films they helped inspire years later.

Sadly, the same can’t be said for Spider-Man 3 though…

Ben’s Movie Pick: The Untouchables This was my first time watching The Untouchables, and I was actually kinda surprised that it completely lived up to its prestigious reputation. Most older classics end up feeling over-hyped or fall short of my expectations (recent example: I thought Dirty Harry was mediocre) but that definitely isn’t the case here. Sean Connery and Kevin Costner give two of the greatest performances of their respective careers, and Robert De Niro is an outstandingly sleazy and scummy Al Capone, stealing almost every scene he’s in. Charles Martin Smith and Andy Garcia are great too, on par with their leading co-stars. The film has so much heart, and even though some of its biggest moments were entirely predictable (as the story has been replicated by countless other films in the years since its release) they were still able to deliver quite the emotional wallop.The bond between the eponymous cop crew and their unwavering dedication to serving the greater good is equally genuine and unbreakable. The action is just as incredible, with each set piece building tons of tension before exploding into impeccably choreographed and filmed moments of chaos. Now that I’ve experienced it myself I can easily see why The Untouchables is so highly regarded.

Lauren’s Music Pick: Soccer Mommy – Taking a break from quietly weeping to the soundtracks from The Newton Brothers for The Haunting of Hill House and Bly Manor, I finally decided to check out an artist that has been constantly at the top of my recommendations for ages on Spotify and the like. And just like with those Newton Bros soundtracks, boy do I sure feel like a dumb dumb for not getting to her albums sooner, which get better with each entry into her discography. With a sound that reminds me faintly of Now, Now’s premiere album (one of my favorite albums of all time, though I am sure someone who listens to more music than I do would have more apt comparisons), Soccer Mommy has such an accessible and calming voice and sound that her tracklist makes her a perfect pairing to break up my obsessive repetition of Julien Baker’s albums. Favorite songs: “Flaw” and “Scorpio Rising” off of Clean, “Royal Screw Up,” “Night Swimming,” and “Yellow Is the Color of Her Eyes” off of Color Theory.


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:

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