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: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition – The story is still a little lacking in places (although far, far more coherent than the theatrical cut) but Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Ultimate Edition‘s cast and action more than make up for it. Henry Cavill is terrific as Supes, even if he’s just a smidge too dark and brooding for my taste. Batfleck is clearly inspired by the version in Frank Miller’s graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns, the greatest Batman story ever written, and the result is the best live-action caped crusader to date. BvS: UE also gets more mileage out of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman than either of her stand-alone movies, despite the Amazon warrior having far less screen time than her soon-to-be-fellow-leaguers. Hell, even Jesse Eisenberg’s Ridd- I mean, Lex Luthor grew on me just a bit this time around. Lastly, as expected from Zack Snyder, the film is impeccably shot and has outstanding visuals. As far as CGI slugfests go, the final confrontation in BvS is one of the biggest and most badass battles that I’ve seen outside the MCU. It’s because of this cut that I have a moderate amount of hope that the revamped Justice League film will be what we were hoping to see four years ago.
Ben’s Movie Pick: Freaky – Director Christopher Landon’s follow-up to his Happy Death Day films is another fun and inventive horror comedy that features similarly endearing characters, dark humor, and over the top, gruesome kills. Kathryn Newton and Vince Vaughn go all out in their switched body roles, with the former shining as a villain that is both comical and menacing, and the latter delivering the movie’s biggest laughs, along with some surprisingly effective moments of emotion. Freaky‘s supporting cast is great too (for the most part), adding quite a bit to the film’s tension and levity, although they are far from completely fleshed out. Here’s hoping we get to see this crew again and learn more about them in a Freaky sequel, spin-off, or, throwing a hail Mary here, a Happy Death Day/Freaky crossover. Make it happen, Blumhouse!
Ben’s Movie Pick: Godzilla (2014) – The first entry in the Monsterverse is an awesome film that gives the iconic monster an almost Jaws-like build-up, and has one of the better human casts in any kaiju flick (although that’s admittedly an extremely low bar to clear). But let’s be honest, nobody watches giant monster movies for the human characters, and Godzilla is more than satisfactory in the gigantic beast department. At first the film gives you tiny glimpses of its humongous star, slowly building up to the phenomenal moment where you finally see him in all his fearsome glory. The M.U.T.O (which was almost definitely inspired by “Clover” from J.J. Abrams’ Cloverfield) is pretty dang scary in its own right, and intimidating enough to give GZ a run for his money. All and all, this is still my favorite Monsterverse feature, but I’m crossing my fingers that Godzilla vs. Kong will top it.
Lauren’s Music Pick: Julien Baker’s Little Oblivions – For those of you who listened to our Time Capsule 2020 podcast episode you’ll know that I pegged Julien Baker’s new album as something I expected to be shouting out at the end of 2021, to which Zac promptly joked that this was extremely high praise considering how much I bemoan my inability to adequately talk about music. Welp, guess I better start figuring that out, because Little Oblivions does not disappoint in the slightest. I’ll admit that I was a little nervous about Baker’s evolving sound, with added instrumentation building upon the smaller, more intimate and minimal accompaniment usually backing her up. In retrospect I’m not sure why I was so concerned about this: did I think adding more to her simpler setup would feel overproduced in comparison? That it’d be a cacophony of sound drowning out the lyrical artistry in these new songs? Who knows – considering the only major change my inept music brain can really pinpoint is percussion I don’t know where this fear even originated from. What I do know is these hard of hearing old lady ears have been graced with yet another album with nary a skippable song, as themes of escapism and assuagement through substance abuse, guilt, anxiety, self sabotage, self worth, ideas of goodness, etc etc. provide an incredibly truthful tracklist of self reflection from Baker. Favorite songs: “Ringside” and “Repeat”
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:
- Jon’s review of Sydney Sprague’s debut album.
- A Middle of the Row: The Podcast flashback episode on The Skin I Live In.