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 Matrix Trilogy – With The Matrix Resurrections making its way to theaters and HBO Max in December, there hasn’t been a better time to revisit the Wachowski’s epic, sci-fi film series in a long, long time. The original Matrix film is still genuinely amazing and undoubtedly the best of the three (and one of the greatest science fiction films ever), but that doesn’t mean you should skip the somewhat underrated sequels. The expanded world-building in Reloaded gives the Machine War a much bigger scope while also showing how desperate things are for humanity’s freedom fighters, and the back half of Revolutions is all kinds of sci-fi action insanity that had me on the edge of my seat all over again. I hadn’t seen any of these films in at least a decade, so going back to them was not only a worthwhile refresher for the story so far, but it also gave me a deeper appreciation for the latter two films (cinematically and thematically) behind the further solidified filmmaking marvel that is the first film.
Ben’s Movie Pick: Prisoners of the Ghostland – Prisoners of the Ghostland makes up for its occasional lack of narrative and thematic sense with tons of style and an unshakable confidence in its own strangeness, making it all but destined for cult classic status. The story follows an unnamed protagonist (Nic Cage) who is strapped into an explosive leather suit and tasked with saving a young woman from a mysterious, possibly supernatural wasteland. That plot alone only gives you the slightest hint at how bizarre Prisoners of the Ghostland is. The feature as a whole is far more entertaining than it has any right to be thanks to its unique world, crazy costumes, and wild, wild cast led by Cage, who delivers yet another memorably insane performance. The best way I can describe this movie is as a Mad Max-ish fever dream that was a bizarre blast from start to finish. I probably said “what the fuck” out loud more times while watching this than I had in the previous six months. Cage himself has said it’s the “wildest” movie he’s ever done, and he’s probably not wrong. If this is what the rest of director Sion Sono’s filmography is like, then I have some catching up to do.
Lauren’s Streaming Content Pick: Critical Role Campaign 3 – As sad as I was to say goodbye to the adventuring party of Critical Role’s second D&D campaign earlier this summer, I’m happy to report that the feeling of loss has been greatly assuaged thanks to campaign 3’s inaugural episode last Thursday. With a shiny new set and everyone back sitting at the same table finally – happy to report Laura Bailey is already causing mischief for those around her trying to eat their snacks – this bunch of nerdy ass voice actors did not disappoint, bringing both new and old (old as in returning and old as in Travis Willingham is playing up his geriatric fighter’s need for naps both in and out of conversations) characters to the table, from Liam O’Brien’s halfling fighter who will continue to allow the actor to show off his knack for describing these amazing action sequences mid battle, to his fellow Exandria Unlimited (an 8 episode campaign that ran between C2 and C3) carryover played by Ashley Johnson, a wildfire druid and faun of the Feywild with a penchant for taking what isn’t hers and sweetly implying she could shank a bitch if they got on her bad side, to Laura Bailey and Marisha Ray’s traveling companions and sorcerers who already have the entire fandom shipping them thanks to the dichotomy of the unassuming pastelled country girl often overwhelmed by the thoughts of those around her and the creepy goth girl who Marisha is physicalizing in ways that already have many of the characters (and players) horrified. If you have yet to check out the show because of the substantial backlog of hundreds and hundreds of hours of content, now is your chance to see what all the fuss is about.
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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- Written reviews from both Zac and Lauren for the newly released films The French Dispatch and Halloween Kills, respectively.