As a film student/nerd, I consume a lot of entertainment. As a film student/nerd in a pandemic, I consume an unhealthy amount of entertainment. Since my parents, sister, girlfriend, friends, pets, and and the cashier at my local taco spot are all tired of hearing me talk about all the things I watch, I've decided to write it all out for you to enjoy. Here's an album, movie, tv show, and video game you should check out this week!
Movie: 'I'm Thinking of Ending Things', 2020
I'm Thinking of Ending Things, the 2020 Netflix original film directed by Charlie Kaufman and starring Jessie Buckley alongside Jesse Plemons, is easily the most confusing movie I've ever seen. This is the kind of film you should watch with friends, and then argue about what happened for two hours afterwards. I had absolutely no idea what happened in this movie until the end, and even that was just a theory. This movie makes you feel like you're in a modern art museum. You're intrigued, you want to understand it, you form your own ideas, but you really still have no idea what the point was. If you like interpretive works as much as I do, you're absolutely going to love this movie. The seamless cuts into new realities, the juxtaposition of hard and soft light, and the intentionally pretentious tone of the film make it what it is, and what it is is great, I don't care what IMDB says.
Album: 'Czarface Meets Metal Face', 2018
With MF DOOM's passing last month, hip hop heads all over the world are grief stricken. Doom collabed with Czarface, the hip hop supergroup composed of Inspectah Deck, 7L, and Esoteric for Czarface Meets Metal Face, a project I can only describe as a 44 minute flex. These are legends of hip hop who know how to rhyme. The wordplay is immaculate. The beats are layered and polished. The interludes and bars alike are dripping with the superhero aesthetic that defined Doom's masked career. If you're a hip hop purist, or just enjoy pure hip hop, this album is a hidden gem that you need to go appreciate as soon as possible.
TV Show: 'Lovecraft Country'
Something that continues to befuddle me is the lack of hype surrounding Lovecraft Country. Maybe I'm just a Jordan Peele fanboy (and I am), but this is my favorite show of 2020. The show follows Atticus Black (Jonathan Majors), his Uncle George (Courtney B. Vance), and friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett) on a journey through Jim Crow America to find Atticus' missing father. What starts as a story of the brutality of being black in the 1950s, quickly turns to cosmic horror with magic, potions, and inter-dimensional travel intertwined. And, of course, anything with Jordan Peele involved is going to have amazing camerawork in it. Some scenes are admittedly hard to watch, but they should be watched, because a harsh truth is never easy to swallow. Shot beautifully, acted beautifully, and beautifully told, this show should be at the top of your list.
Video Game: 'Hades', 2020
Following an early access release in 2018 that garnered significantly more attention than an indie normally receives, Hades was released on all major gaming platforms in December of last year. In this dungeon crawler, you control Zagreus, the son of Hades, kept hidden from the entire world, and in particular, his relatives on Olympus. Enraged, Zagreus decides to escape from the Underworld, where his father has kept him all his life. But Hades isn't going to make it easy for you, trust me. This game is amazing. Seriously, as a lifelong gamer, I've never spent a better twenty dollars in my life. With an array of weapons to choose from, powers you can constantly upgrade, boons from your Olympian relatives that reset every time you die, and a map that always changes, Hades is a game where you can do the same thing over and over again while never doing the same thing twice. The voice acting is superb, especially for an indie game, with a plot that develops the more and more you die, giving the game a number of different endings, or means to the same end, I should say. I don't know how many different combinations and variations you can have playing as Zagreus, but I know it's a lot, and I know that this game is superb. And, at a twenty dollar price point vs $60 for a major release, how much do you really have to lose?
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