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My NERDy Favorites: April 2018

APRIL

This is my monthly nerdy obsession update. From movies to music to video games and whatever other related nonsense I’ve gotten myself into.

Let’s start with my biggest addiction,

MOVIE: In Theaters: AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR

April is when the floodgates open and the summer blockbusters begin to drown us all in amazing spectacle or masochistic excuses for entertainment. Anticipation can be the mother of all disappointments but when a movie can live up to it that’s something special. Avengers: Infinity War had a hefty list of achievements to check off and amazingly it did it. Not only did it manage to entertain but it circumvented expectations providing an unexpected journey with tragedy and splendor alike. It’s greatest achievement I believe is the interest it created in the continued stories still on their way. If it faltered then all future projects become at risk.

MOVIE: Blu-Ray or Digital Release: Insidious: The Last Key

In this resurgence of horror we have been reintroduced to the horror franchise. If the project has either Blumhouse attached or horror maestro James Wan the film generally is not only well made it’s accepted by the majority of the horror community. While Insidious and it’s follow-ups aren’t the most amazing or original they are done with conviction and authenticity. Now four films into The Further and we have The Last Key, an origin story of sorts about our horror heroine Elise, the ghost whisperer. Much like the Conjuring films, Wan takes his expertise in old school stylings for horror scares and breathes new life into them for a modern audience. Fog machines, heavy makeup, long uninterrupted takes, and a play on our imaginations all create a concoction of delirious dread. And the special features lend a deeper look into the creation and inspirations that manage to keep a franchise four films deep still as fresh as ever.

MUSIC: BREAKING BENJAMIN: Ember / POST MALONE: beerbongs & bentleys

For both the rockers out there and the rap fans I have a release from both genres. If you’re feeling a bit aggressive and want that anger in music form give a listen to Breaking Benjamin’s new album ‘Ember’. This is without question their heaviest release both in sound and theme. Featuring a lot of screaming and a more pronounced presence from the drums section than ever before combined with a dark theme of anguish, loss, and hopelessness Breaking Benjamin is on a dark journey at the moment and the soundtrack is immensely badass.

Once you’ve released your demons and need to calm the hell down you psycho I suggest Post Malone’s new album ‘beerbongs & bentelys’ as a palate cleanser for all that angst released earlier with your good buddy, Ben. Featuring a healthy mix of rap and r&b, Post Malone shows off his abilities as a multi talented artist capable of the club hits and the more intimate moments of being famous or simply losing someone important without any real clarity as to why. It manages moments of surface level concepts like partying like a rockstar but also dives in the deeper end with tracks like ‘Stay’ and ‘Better Now’. If you want a more relaxed vibe to your rock n roll alternative I highly suggest giving Post Malone’s new album a listen.

TV: SAFE– Season 1 (Now streaming on Netflix)

Now that he’s done murdering the murderers, Michael C. Hall has moved on to playing a loving, albeit distant single father trying to maintain some semblance of a functioning family in the wake of tragedy. In a series where he held nearly all secrets (Dexter), this time around his character is completely in the dark and must navigate a treacherous trail of “breadcrumbs” in order to find his missing daughter. In a place he once thought safe, he quickly discovers is a poisoned suburb filled with deceitful pretenders masking as his friends and neighbors. As the clues begin to add up he begins realize that everything he knows is clouded in history long hoped lost in time.

The first episode sets everything up for what’s to come but it didn’t quite hook me in. Rather it left me intrigued just enough to find out what came next and what follows without question sank its hooks deep into me; I was in, all the way. Michael C. Hall turns in another convincing performance as a frantic father balancing his desire to find his daughter and the overwhelming guilt he feels for things the led up to his daughter’s disappearance.

Safe’s greatest strength is keeping the intrigue high episode after episode. At the culmination of every chapter it leaves the audience on a cliffhanger demanding that another episode be watched. It’s a slippery slope that led me to watching six episodes in a single sitting. Viewers beware.

Most Disappointing: TRUTH OR DARE

As mentioned above Blumhouse has been on a successful run as of late so this one was especially unfortunate as it was a return to that stale concept of empty jump scares and hilarious moments meant to be scary. If you’re going to release a PG-13 horror film you have that much more of a responsibility to up the scare factor. And since you can’t allow the rating to be a hindrance the scares must also be even more creative. Tension and anticipation are fantastic tools for any horror film but especially for one seeking a more teen friendly rating. Push that rating to an R and take a single step back just out of R territory. Films like the Insidious franchise and A Quiet Place are prime examples of tension and imagination taking over for any perceived need for blood and gore. Truth or Dare just resorts back to old, awful habits and the audience suffers because of it.

Most Anticipated for May 2018:

Movies:
Solo: A Star Wars Story, Terminal, I would have put Deadpool 2 on here but full disclosure- I already saw it by the time I wrote this. P.S. GO SEE DEADPOOL 2!

Music: Ray LaMontagne: Part of the Light

TRAILERS:

Avengers: Infinity War

Insidious: The Last Key

Breaking Benjamin

Post Malone

SAFE

Truth or Dare

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"Cinema is the most beautiful fraud in the world"-Jean-Luc Godard