I know the first TL; DR round up wasn’t as popular as my Iceland posts. I don’t think anything will be. But I had fun with it so here I am again with a second review round-up of some various media. This time we’ve got a podcast, some movies and a pair of tv shows. Good times.
Split : Recommended
What is it: By Director M. Night Shyamalan this seems at first like your normal kidnapping/ psychological thriller film. However, Shyamalan films are never as simple as they seem and this one is no different. The kidnapper in the film has Dissociative Identity Disorder (previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder) and has 23 different personalities. These include a young child, the creepy kidnapper personality, a strict matronly type, and a fashion designer. James Macavoy plays all these personalities to perfection and gives an amazing, intense performance. In the film he has kidnapped 3 girls, but the focus is clearly upon Anya Taylor-Joy’s character. She too gives an amazing performance. Overall, this film has some great twists and turns, great acting, and great atmosphere. It had many tense moments, but was not nearly as outright scary as trailers made it appear. Shyamalan has stumbled in the recent past, but this film is a return to form.
Who’s it For: Fans of Shyamalan films, psychological horrors or James McAvoy.
SPOILERS [Highlight to read]: If you were a fan of Unbreakable, this is actually a tie in film. I always loved Unbreakable. I thought it was way before its time with a realistic take on comics and super heroes. I for one am actually pumped at the idea of a trilogy of movies exploring this concept and cannot wait for Glass to pull these two films together. [END Spoilers]
Colossal : Weird film, but I liked it.
What is it: Take a Kaiju film (Godzilla etc) and combine it with a black comedy that deals with alcoholism and bullying. That gets you a close summation of the film Colossal. Yea, it is a weird mixed bag of a film- and I kinda loved it for that. This movie is so strange and so creative, it is not like any other movie you’ve seen this year I guarantee it.
The main gist is that Anne Hathaway is a drunk who moves home to work on herself after her boyfriend kinda breaks up with her (Dan Stevens Wooo). Upon moving home she runs into a friend from her childhood played by Jason Sudekis. Oh, and any time she blacks out drunk, she ends up controlling/ becoming a giant monster that terrorizes South Korea. The film hits some comedic tones, but also includes wanton destruction, so it is also a pretty serious film at times. It also has some big twists in it that you don’t see coming. I really loved the movie because, well, I love anything with giant monsters and this was a really new take on things. The premise is bazaar in the best ways, though if you are looking for a logical reason why it happens you won’t find that here. It kind of just is. But it doesn’t really matter too much, the point of the film is to explore human emotion through a kaiju film lens. I love the message it conveys with Hathaway’s journey and definitely recommend it… if you’re into cinema that gets a bit strange.
Who’s it For: Aficionados of weird movies, giant monster films, and Anne Hathaway.
American Gods: Recommend
What is it: This new show on Starz is the adaptation of the 2001 book American Gods, written by Neil Gaiman. It follows the story of an ex-con named Shadow Moon who is released from jail a few days early upon the sudden death of his wife. While en-route to her funeral he meets with an old conman named Mr.Wednesday, whom eventually hires Shadow to be his bodyguard/ errand boy. It quickly starts to become clear, though, that Shadow is now mixed up in a face off between the old gods and the new gods of America.
The original book was a somewhat slow, but amazing read. The show so far has been a great adaptation with insanely impressive acting from the likes of Ian McShane, Gillian Anderson, Rickie Whittle, Peter Stormare and Orlando Jones. The visuals of the show are bright and flashy. It is helmed by Brian Fuller and you can definitely tell. While the show is also incredibly graphic in a sexual and violent manner, it is not immature in its handling of these topics. This show has some things it wants to say, and it says them well.
A major topic of American Gods is the experience of immigrants in America. That is, after all, how the old gods end up in this country. It is a topic that is incredibly relevant right now, and is handled well in this show. For its mix of both good story telling and important stories to tell, I think this show is a must watch right now even if some scenes will leave you thinking ‘what on earth did I just see?’.
Who’s it For: Neil Gaiman or Brian Fuller fans. Also all those mythology nerds out there. I know there’s some of you.
What is it: Another book to show adaptation. Written by Diana Gabledon this show follows a WWII nurse named Claire who suddenly finds herself transported back in time to the Scottish highlands in the 1700s. This is of course a very dangerous time and place for a British woman to find herself, and she soon falls in with a clan of Scottsmen who are resisting the crown. While at first they want her dead, or think her a spy, they eventually warm up to her if only because her nursing abilities come in use. There is of course a love interest, which is a bit of a problem considering she also has a husband from her ‘previous’ life (Future life? Whatever, time travel).
Before watching this show I’d heard people calling this the ‘Game of Thrones’ for women. So far in season 1 this show is not as much a fan of wantonly killing people, and that is fine by me. It does nail setting, romance, and political intrigue though which is always fun. Anyways, if you recently acquired a Stars subscription to watch American Gods like I did then this is another good show to check out.
Who’s it For: Fans of …. romantic time travel. At this point that’s a legit sub-genre. Also fans of period pieces, men from the highlands, or those who read the books.
Easy Allies: Recommend (To gamers)
What is it: This is your ‘nerds talking about games’ sort of PodCast. Its a weekly show that clocks in just under 2 hours. I don’t normally listen to Podcasts but I had a 5 hour road trip this past weekend and now I’ve listened to about 6 episodes.
What I like about this show is that they always mix up how they cover topics. There’s a lot of different segments and they don’t always appear each episode. Sometimes they might rank their favorite controllers or discuss if a game from last year is still thriving or no longer relevant this year. They might do silly games like try to guess the name of a game that has been translated into Norwegian. Its a mix of good personalities and I like that some of their conversations have been pretty deep. One particularly interesting conversation in recent episode was about the appearance of a character from one Kickstarter game in another in order to move copies, and if this was a bad practice or not, for examle. Overall its a pretty good listen if you are a gaming nerd.
Who’s it For: Fans of podcasts like GiantBombcast or another nerd podcasts.
So there we go. Yea, I didn’t actually find any shows or movies I disliked this month. That happens sometimes and isn’t that great? What good shows or movies have you seen this month? Share in the comments!