The Suggestion Box #48: Period Pieces, and Stranded Girls, and Disguised Robots, 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: Die HardOver thirty years since its release, Die Hard is still a top tier action flick in every way that matters. John McClane is tough as nails, quick on his (bloodied) feet, and is so endearing that he could even make it through a bad movie mostly unscathed (which he does later). Hans Gruber is an all-time great bad guy; one that oozes a villainous charm, is arrogant as Hell, and pushes his adversary to his physical, mental, and emotional limits. The supporting characters are all instantly likable (or detestable) too. Each fight, be it a gun battle or slugfest, is intense, chaotic (but easy to follow), and outstanding overall. The score is also incredible, making the whole affair that much more harrowing. And that finale? LEGENDARY. This iconic action romp set a bar for its genre that very few have even come close to clearing in the three decades and change since. It’s a stone cold masterpiece, and yes, an awesome Christmas movie too!

Ben’s Movie Pick: Kung FuryThis short film is a brilliant, laugh out loud funny homage to the 80’s, B-movies, martial arts flicks, Saturday morning cartoons, and cop films. The story follows a police officer who gains super kung-fu powers after being bitten by a cobra and struck by lightning (at the same time, mind you), and ends up traveling/hacking through time to fight Adolf Hitler. Kung Fury‘s self-aware wackiness and apparent love for everything it riffs on is genuinely delightful throughout, and it constantly outdoes itself by adding crazier elements and characters almost every step of the way. Also, there’s a feature-length reboot on the way that’s set to add Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Fassbender, and Alexandra Shipp to the cast!

Lauren’s TV Pick: Bridgerton With my copy of the Emma. Blu-ray lost in the mail somewhere, currently unavailable to scratch the period piece itch typically assuaged with Joe Wright’s Pride and Prejudice, there was no time like the present to see what all the fuss is about with Netflix’s new series, Bridgerton. It has all the dancing, scheming, flirtation, yearning, dramatic scenes in the rain, and commentary on the differences between what is expected of woman and men by society at the time you could ask for, but something that Bridgerton has over Pride and Prejudice (besides a hilarious running through line of girls not understanding how babies are made) is a ton of sex. Get ready to see some butts! The last few episodes of the season take a step down as certain storylines are awkwardly wrapped up – just gonna take this opportunity to let everyone know that I figured out who the writer of the gossip mag spilling all the tea on everyone is 2-3 episodes before the end and I felt like a genius. I probably shouldn’t since everyone else watching may have been right there with me, but shh my brain doesn’t need to know that – but overall Bridgerton is pretty much everything I hoped it’d be. 

(SPOILER/CONTENT WARNING: If “is this rape?” conversations are being had about one of your romances you should probably reconsider how a certain storyline is being presented and rework the adaptation accordingly.)

Ben’s TV Pick: Transformers: War for Cybertron: EarthriseThe second six-part chapter of Netflix’s War for Cybertron trilogy builds upon what made the first so enjoyable while also introducing new characters (well, new to this iteration of the saga) and offering up a wider look at the Transformers universe. It also further fleshes out Optimus Prime and Megatron, making this portrayal of the latter the most intriguing version of the character that I’ve seen to date (and there are a LOT of different versions of Megatron) and delivers more than enough explosively entertaining robo-warfare. It’s hard to explain what I like about Earthrise without going into spoilers, but the way it manages to include so many characters and elements from previous Transformers canons while putting a new spin on War for Cybertron is quite impressive. It also appears to be leading to a wildly exciting final chapter, with the last shot of Earthrise hitting my nostalgic nerve like a bolt of lighting.

Lauren’s TV Pick: The Wilds I’ll admit that had it not been for the recommendation from a friend I would’ve never given Amazon Prime’s The Wilds a chance; which would’ve been a real shame because, for as dumb as it sometimes is – these words are seriously uttered in the first episode: “So if we’re talking about what happened out there… then yeah, there was trauma. But being a teenage girl in normal-ass America… [looks at camera] that was the real living Hell.” – it’s also highly entertaining, both purposefully or otherwise. The Wilds is basically Lost meets a female Lord of the Flies with actresses of various body types – a note that feels worth mentioning simply because: 1) it is atypical enough for me to take notice of, and 2) it was nice to see – trying to survive on an island post plane crash, with enough mysteries to keep the viewer speculating through the entirety of the season, and begging for more once it ends. It’s not the best show as some of the drama and conspiracy spiraling gets to be a bit much at times (I may have yelled at characters to calm down a lot, though admittedly I’d be freaking the f out on this island too), and I laughed at way more than I probably was meant to, but I would be lying if I didn’t say it wasn’t one hell of an fun watch.

Lauren’s Video Game Pick: Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales With Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla at 100% completion over on my XBOX I could finally switch over to the whole reason I prioritized getting my hands on the PlayStation 5: Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Being a spin-off from Marvel’s Spider-Man means that there’s gonna be a lot of comparisons to this previous Peter Parker centered game thanks to the similar gameplay, mission types, map traversal, etc., which may be a little same old same old for some (especially since it’s the same map), but same old same old is far from a bad thing in this case because that gameplay is basically perfected, as far as I’m concerned. And just so much fun. Sure I grew up with Pete, and he’ll always be my favorite, but Miles Morales is far from a lesser substitute for the OG web crawler, with a story of community, family, responsibility, and loss all his own that’ll have you tearing up with how affecting it is. Sure, some of those tears were because I was wearing a skin with earmuffs and a scarf over the Spidey suit, a weirdly comical juxtaposition with the emotional climax of the story arc, but the tears were mostly due to all the heart Miles brings to the table. Oh, and one last thing: Bodega Cat.

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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