M A R C H
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: READY PLAYER ONE
The month of March is usually a preview month of the Summer movie season and for my money it didn’t get any better than Ready Player One. It’s Spielberg, it’s nostalgia, it’s big, bold, and beautiful. I would argue too most importantly it’s just a damn fun time without relenting integrity or intelligence. It is in my humblest of opinion the quintessential blockbuster.
Thor: Ragnarok has the distinction of being the funniest MARVEL movie to date and unquestionably one of the most entertaining. It manages to take characters we’ve all seen in action before and reinvents them in a whole new light. It still brings the expected action adventure element of all MARVEL-dom but does it in original fashion in a wholly unique environment. Third installments of film franchises are rarely the best of the three.
The Shape of Water is the best picture winner at this year’s Oscars and for good reason. It possesses elements of familiarity to create a bridge of relatability in spite of the extraordinary circumstances. Things like a love story between outcasts, villains with tunnel vision and no ability to see the bigger picture. It’s humorous and endearing from start to magical finish. The time setting of the 1960’s Cold War era is one of paranoia and disbelief. It’s the perfect background for a love story between a woman that can’t speak and a mythical creature and the true monster who wants to kill their fairytale ending. It’s odd for sure but never without its endearing qualities. It’s lovely to listen to, to witness, just to experience it is something truly special.
It’s beauty lies in the brutality of the unremitting onslaught of guitar shredding. The drumming is raw and vicious with an uncanny ability to combine the savagery with the groovy. Brent Mills dances effortlessly between vocal tearing screams of earnest anger and clean singing that elevates each song from aimless angst to music that has something to say and has no problem clarifying their truth. This is hardcore chaotic goodness and my favorite album of March.
Video Game: Far Cry 5
Admittedly I don’t play video games all that often so this category won’t always be on these hopefully regular monthly updates. But when I do pick up a new game it will be on this list, unless it sucks of course.
Far Cry 5 campaign is open world fun with enough to avoid the main missions for hours. The side missions are equally as engaging as the main storyline. And for my personal tastes, it combines some of my favorite things, first person shooters and an unflattering light of the religious types. Seriously the entire story is your character has taken on the burden of freeing a small Montana town from the grips of a psychotic religious cult and you still hear the supposed sane thinking characters thanking a higher power when something goes well. It’s absurd how honest this irony is. Getting off topic, Chase… right, sorry. It’s a beautifully crafted piece of interactive art that does not skimp on what it can bring to the table. The story is engaging, and the choice in paths is left up to you the player. You determine the outcome or rather how the outcome is reached. It costs roughly $60 and the creators know this can turn some away so those lovely folks at Ubisoft jam packed this sucker with all kinds of room for activities. (Bunk beds not included 😉
TV: Santa Clarita Diet: Season 2 (All episodes now streaming on Netflix)
The genius of this show lies in the absurdity of it all. An unsuspecting suburban family is dropped into a nightmare when the mother is born again, undead. She still has her human capabilities of speech and fornication but as the series progresses her zombie traits begin to overtake all that resembles a functioning human being. Now take this scenario and make it funny and what you get is Santa Clarita Diet.
Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant star as deranged zombie wife and nervous husband. Together they, along with their much smarter daughter, try to navigate the pitfalls of family life in modern day America, with a zombie for a mother. This show is relentlessly funny and increasingly ridiculous with each new episode and this only adds to the overall strength of the show. The weirder it gets the better it gets.
Something I’ve personally noticed with this show is the usage of cursing. There is cursing, a lot of it but it’s never arbitrary. Pretty much anytime a bad word slips out it’s delivered emphatically and hilariously both in its timing and placement. I’ve heard, read, and said the word fuck so many times I don’t think there’s an actual number to describe it but with this show it takes that familiar outburst and breathes new life into it. Fuck hasn’t been this funny in a long time.
Most Disappointing: Tomb Raider
With each new video game based movie comes a new sliver of hope that this time it will be different, this time it will be good. As naive as this hope may be it still creeps up every time. Assassin’s Creed, Max Payne, Resident Evil (Any, all), and many others all bring about a certain amount of hope only to fall apart in epic fashion. Tomb Raider is the most faithful adaptation to date and in many ways this is its greatest failure. It has zero identity of its own. On top of this the action is uninspired and boring. The biggest affront is to its star, Alicia Vikander who is the perfect embodiment of the titular character. It’s clear she put everything into her performance despite the lack of luster surrounding her. It never reaches beyond predictable and therefore it’s just like the rest.
Most Anticipated for April 2018:
Hopefully some of these will pop up on next month’s list.
Ready Player One
The Shape of Water
Far Cry 5
Santa Clarita Diet
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