What to watch, listen to, play, eat, and read this weekend

The movie to watch


Photo: 20th Century Fox

“One year after Deadpool pushed the limits of extremity in an X-Men movie, Logan pushes them further. By the end of the opening scene, in which some very dumb carjackers mess with the wrong furry loner, you know why this third and supposedly final entry in the solo Wolverine franchise has been handed an R rating. It went looking for one. The language is blue (the very first line, spoken by our aged antihero himself: “Fuck”) and the violence is red, with limbs hacked off and faces skewered. Logan is as brutal and bleak as any superhero movie in recent memory; they could have called this one X-Men: Apocalypse. But it’s also a comic-book adaptation that takes its characters and its themes seriously, that elevates the genre past spectacle and on to something resembling art, even poetry. It’s adult in more ways than one.”
Read the rest of our review here.


The album to listen to

The Magnetic Fields, 50 Song Memoir

“Stephin Merritt loves a good gimmick, doesn’t he? There was his Magnetic Fields magnum opus, 1999’s 69 Love Songs—exactly what it sounds like—and his subsequent experiments with form and instrumentation: i, Distortion, and Realism. While those latter gimmicks purposely limited Merritt, perhaps as a means to rein in his peripatetic style, 50 Song Memoir, like 69 Love Songs, allows him to indulge it. The central hook here is that, for the first time, the notoriously droll, guarded songwriter would write autobiographical lyrics across 50 songs, one for every year of his life (he began recording on his 50th birthday in 2015). The result, as you might imagine, is sumptuous, scattered, funny, and gutting, sometimes within the same song.”
Read the rest of our review here.


The video game to play

The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild

“The first hours of Breath Of The Wild feel like a direct rebuke of one of the biggest issues plaguing many of the latest Zelda games: their interminable, brain-dead openings. Like Skyward Sword or Twilight Princess, Nintendo’s latest fantasy adventure spends its early goings teaching players how it works and what they’re in for, but while those past introductions held your hand and dragged you along at a snail’s pace, Breath Of The Wild offers only the most perfunctory of guidance. A mysterious old man provides some basic tutorial information and your objectives, while a disembodied voice helpfully marks your first destination on a map. Other than that, it’s just Link and Hyrule, a land that hasn’t felt this alive and dangerous in more than 30 years.”
Read the rest of our game-in-progress coverage here.

The TV show to watch


Photo: FX

Casually Mixing A Martini While On The Phone With Olivia De Havilland would make an excellent alternative subtitle for this installment of Feud. (Equally fitting: Mid-Atlantic Accents: The TV Show.) Aesthetically, the five episodes screened for critics are wall-to-wall glamour, composed of cavernous studio offices, on-set intrigue, and bathroom ice chests stocked with vodka. The Hollywood publicity machine has always masked dysfunction in stardust—in Feud, the dysfunction and the stardust go hand in hand, and no one’s trying to make you look at one instead of the other. Bette and Joan are set at odds by their decorating styles (Davis: high-class rustic; Crawford: plastic on the furniture) and chosen liquors (Crawford prefers the clear stuff to Davis’ browns) as much as their differing opinions and philosophies. Actors, directors, studio heads like Jack Warner (Stanley Tucci, a hoot), and trade reporters like Hedda Hopper (Judy Davis, doubly so): All are in the business of spinning fables, and the sheer degree of artifice on display in Feud is fascinating.”
Read the rest of our review here.


The comic to read

Ronald Wimberly, Black History In Its Own Words

With Black History Month ending this week, it’s a good time for readers to grab a copy of Ronald Wimberly’s Black History In Its Own Words and gain a resource that can be used to continue exploring black history all year round. Composed of 40 portraits (including Wimberly’s self-portrait for the foreword) of black Americans who have played a major role in the country’s past and present history and culture, this art book is a striking showcase of Wimberly’s bold graphic art style and his ability to evoke a rich personality in a single shot. Each portrait is accompanied by a quote from the subject along with a short biography on the opposite page, and this small amount of information is very effective in creating an urge to keep exploring the works of these entertainers, artists, athletes, scientists, philosophers, politicians, and activists.”
Read the rest of our review here.

The podcast to listen to

Hello From The Magic Tavern, “Usidore’s Quest

In this special 100th episode, the Magic Tavern crew is finally ready to embark on its quest to defeat the Dark Lord, a journey that’s been discussed ever since Arnie first arrived. First, the hosts must gather the fellowship: Pimbly Nimblebottom the gem-pooping imp, Germ Crust the dual makeup artist/ghost handler, and Tannakin The Pinglet, a tiny flying pig who is not the least bit evil or suspicious. It’s a landmark episode in more ways than one, and the show has never been more confident than as it lays this groundwork for a new chapter of hilarious podcasting, adding unprecedented depth to its magical world.
Read about the rest of the week’s best podcasts here.


The treat to eat

Photo: Kevin Pang

Cookie It Up’s chocolate chip shortbread

I first encountered these chocolate chip cookies on a flight to Toronto. I mindlessly took a bite and thought, “My god, these are obscenely delicious.” Obscene in the sense that it was like biting into crumbly butter. One reason I asked the flight attendant for three more was because I was viewing these through the lens of a cookie and not what it actually is: shortbread studded with chocolate chips. I immediately took a photo of the packaging and searched for the product online. It’s from a Canadian company called Cookie It Up, but to my disappointment, it wasn’t available for purchase in the U.S. I pleaded with one very nice online retailer, No Nuts About Us, to ship 40 shortbread chocolate chip cookies to Chicago. Maybe you’ll have some luck, too, because even at $1 a cookie, it was completely worth the expense. [Kevin Pang]