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: America: The Motion Picture – This was pretty much what I expected and was hoping for: an hour and forty minute barrage of super random, dumb, over the top jokes and gags delivered with gusto by a spirited voice cast of energetic, talented, and funny actors. And it’s the constant confidence and self-awareness that every facet of America: The Motion Picture exudes in its own brand of satirical insanity that makes it equally endearing and fun. Some bits aren’t as hilarious or witty as others, sure, but I was laughing out loud at least once every few minutes. As of now, it’s one of the funniest movies I’ve seen this year, so if you saw the trailer and thought it looked promising, enjoy Channing Tatum’s more absurd performances, or are looking for the most comically insane and loose retelling of the birth of America, then I highly recommend giving it a watch.
Ben’s Movie(s) Pick: The Fear Street Trilogy – Unsurprisingly, this series of interconnected horror films give off a distinct R.L. Stine vibe (as they’re based on another book series from the Goosebumps author), all the while paying homage to classic horror films and genres. Part 1 is set in 1994, opens with a brilliant reinterpretation of one of the greatest horror film intros ever, and mixes the previously aforementioned vibe with the supernatural slasher archetype. Part 2, which takes place in 1978, harkens back to summer camp legends like Sleepaway Camp and Friday the 13th with a mostly-new cast. The finale, 1666, fleshes out the origins of the series’ overarching villain, and then jumps forward to wrap up the stories of the characters from the first two movies. Each part is fun, scary, bloody, backed by a group of endearing young talents, and the trilogy as a whole is one of the summer’s biggest horror highlights. And since they’ll be on Netflix forever, I could easily see these becoming a gateway to help younger (but not too young) up-and-coming horror fans take some of their first steps into the genre.
Ben’s Movie Pick: National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon 1 – National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon 1 is a slapstick comedy in the vein of the Naked Gun franchise that, well, lampoons 70’s and 80’s cop flicks like Dirty Harry, Die Hard, and most prominently, the Lethal Weapon movies. The leading pair of Emelio Estevez and Samuel L. Jackson are great together as more comedic, less intelligent versions of Mel Gibson and Danny Glover’s iconic cop duo, bringing out big laughs pretty frequently. The rest of the cast (which I do not recommend looking up) is great as well, as the film constantly barrages you with other comedic heavyweights in both supporting roles and as a member among the cavalcade of cameos, one of which is my all-time favorite in cinema. Its jokes may not stick the landing as consistently as slapstick landmarks like Naked Gun or Airplane, but Loaded Weapon 1 still hits the mark far, far more than it misses, making it one of the best in the subgenre that doesn’t have Leslie Nielsen in its cast.
Lauren’s TV Pick: Centaurworld – I was completely blindsided by Netflix’s Centaurworld. To summarize it simply, the story follows Horse as she journeys across a colorful and insanely flamboyant world of centaurs to collect the pieces of a key to send her back through a portal to her war torn wasteland of a home. The chaotic randomness of the humor that truly feels like there was no amount of absurdity that would get an idea vetoed took me a couple episodes to get comfortable with and appreciate, but once I was in I was in thanks to the cast of weirdos and the hidden depths of heart that sneak up on you as the ridiculous elements like centaurs being about to shoot mini versions of themselves from their hooves, Paul F Thompkins playing a talking tail, a klepto who keeps her stash in the hammerspace of her belly, and a song about farts pull focus. No matter the subject matter, one thing is true: every single song on this soundtrack is a bop, killed by all the performers as a multitude of musical genres are explored throughout the course of the show. When I first started watching I never expected to be earnestly jamming out to the soundtrack, yet here I am, with songs like “Rider’s Lullaby,” “What You Need,” and “The Nowhere King” stuck on repeat in my brain. The latter song, as well as the occasional line or story beat, hint at a darker shadow to this presentationally upbeat world, culminating in such an unexpected way that I have no idea where the show goes from here, but oh boy do I want to see it! So please, I am begging you, watch Centaurworld so that this chaos gets renewed for a second season.
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 recently released Plan B.