The Suggestion Box #92: Siblings, and Walkthroughs, and Break Ups, 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 Anime Pick: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Entertainment District Arc (Season 2) – The back half of Demon Slayer‘s second season is yet another stellar outing for Tanjiro and his friends. The heart, humor, and characters that fans love shine almost as brightly as they did previously, with my only real issue being that Nezuko still isn’t given much to do. Partially outweighing that is the fact that studio Ufotable’s animation has reached an almost unbelievable level of quality. Aside from the finale of the Fate/stay Night Heaven’s Feel films (also a Ufotable production, one I’d wager had a much higher budget), I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more visually entrancing battle in animation than the one in the Entertainment District Arc. The first season of Demon Slayer really stood out because of the way it presented beautiful, painting-in-motion brawls that would lead to one final, thoroughly satisfying and visually captivating moment, and season two doubles down on that; almost any segment in the big battle from this 11-episode arc could nearly rival the very best from season one, and that aforementioned “moment” was lengthened to an entire episode. Ufotable has once again set a new standard for action anime, something they’ve done so many times by now that it shouldn’t be a surprise to any long-time anime fans.

Lauren’s Miniseries Pick: Daisy Jones & the SixThough I cannot speak to whether or not this is a strong, faithful adaptation of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s novel of the same name as I continue to wait for a copy to become available at my local library – I’m now 129th in line, down from 304th after 3 weeks of waiting (please pray for me in this trying time). What I can say is it made a fan out of someone who generally doesn’t enjoy music industry dramas for the same reason I often skip sports films: if you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all. You’ve got the sex and the mistreated spouse, and you’ve got the drugs and horrible, inebriated behavior, making for two egocentric front people of a band thats only real obstacle to greatness is itself, for starters. Honestly, with the combination of those obnoxious and abrasive qualities I am shocked that I didn’t hate them both from start to finish, but I think the sympathy and willingness I had to give them chance after chance speaks volumes about the performances of both Riley Keough and Sam Claflin. They both play the hurt, anger, competitiveness, charm, yearning, and all other qualities and emotions of the spectrum perfectly; and together they’re simply electric. As for the rock and roll of the “sex, drugs, and…” trifecta? It has no right to be this good, to put it simply, especially considering the utter gobsmacking revelation that neither Keough nor Claflin considered themselves musically inclined before this. The lyrics add more layers to the story playing out on screen, but even held apart from the show, the album is undeniably full of hit after hit. 70s rock is far from a go to of mine, but we’re still talking favorite album of the year potential for sure.

Ben’s Movie Pick: Enter the Dragon As someone who has loved action films his entire life, I’m ashamed to admit that I only recently watched my first Bruce Lee film, even though I’ve been well aware of the legendary actor’s influence on action flicks and Asian representation in cinema for a long time. And now that I’ve seen one, surprise surprise, I loved it. Lee is an effortlessly charming yet believably intimidating action hero, and easily the best part of the movie, while John Saxon and Jim Kelly are great as Lee’s co-leads and fellow warriors. Unfortunately Kelly’s character is tragically mishandled in the movie’s back half, and there’s no denying Enter the Dragon‘s treatment of women is another big flaw as they either have zero dialogue or are killed to motivate male characters. That said, I can still see why it inspired generations of filmmakers, with incredible martial arts fight sequences that are far ahead of anything else I’ve seen from other 70’s action flicks. Despite some aspects of it not having aged all too well, Enter the Dragon still gets a fairly enthusiastic thumbs up from me, giving me all the motivation I need to check out other features from Bruce Lee’s filmography down the road.

Ben’s Short Film Pick: My House Walk-through This 12-minute terror takes a tour of a less-than-cozy home and gets gradually creepier until… Well, I think it’s best to find that out on your own. All I’ll say is it managed to thoroughly unsettle this avid horror fan, making it well worth a brisk watch. You can find the short on YouTube here.

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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