Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
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The movie to watch

The Florida Project

“For [writer-director Sean] Baker, this is an empathetic peak: a truthful and sublimely bittersweet slice of life, tracing celebratory highs and lamentable lows on the outer economic edges of the Sunshine State. Incident tends to hold more interest to the filmmaker than plot, and The Florida Project pushes his storytelling even further into kicking-around naturalism, propelled by the sometimes abrasive, nearly always funny personalities on screen. […] But even as it starkly depicts the realities of its characters’ circumstances, The Florida Project never dips into hard-knock-life miserablism, into poverty porn; its too alive with the boisterous spirit of its community.”
Read the rest of our review here.


The video game to play

A Hat In Time

A Hat In Time is a throwback to collect-a-thons from the era of Super Mario 64. It’s innocuous and simple, but there’s a relentlessly charming off-kilter personality driving it. Unlike Yooka-Laylee, which set out to revisit this same lost age of 3-D platformers by resurrecting Banjo-Kazooie in slavish fashion, A Hat In Time is less beholden to a single predecessor. It’s got the structure of a game like Super Mario Sunshine, but in playing through the first two worlds, it seems to approach that formula with the imagination and verve of something like Psychonauts.”
Read about the rest of the games we’re playing this weekend here.


The album to listen to

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, The Kid


“[Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith’s] sixth full-length, The Kid, reaches a career high as the synthesist and composer ponders her existence, tracing the life cycle through four distinct stages. From the primordial chatter of opener ‘I Am A Thought’ to the bittersweet departure of ‘To Feel Your Best,’ The Kid’s stunning arrangements are as playful as they are emotionally complex, with Smith deepening her sonic experimentation while also crafting some of her poppiest songs to date. […] The Kid is truly an album to experience beginning to end, one with a knack for making you feel—as Smith sings on ‘An Intention’—‘everything at the same time.’”
Read the rest of our review here.

The podcast to listen to

I Only Listen To The Mountain Goats, The Best Ever Death Metal Band In Denton


“Simply put, this is a podcast in which a couple of Mountain Goats superfans will sit down with singer-songwriter John Darnielle and discuss, in depth, one of his songs and the artistic process. […] If you’re not familiar with Darnielle or his band, you should know that he is an extremely prolific and idiosyncratic musician with both a passion and talent for plumbing the depths of the human condition. And not just in his songs. He’s also a remarkably candid interview.”
Read about the rest of the week’s best podcasts here.

The TV show to watch

The Gifted

“The fear of discovery and of the unknown that runs through The Gifted’s pilot will be familiar to readers of X-Men comics, or just fans of the film adaptations helmed by Bryan Singer. But The Gifted’s hour-long premiere isn’t just some truncated movie spin-off. The episode may bear Singer’s hallmarks, but Matt Nix’s story provides a fresh take on teen angst, family tensions, and being feared for being different. The script is far from flawless; some of the dialogue is clunky, and Amy Acker’s character is underdeveloped compared to the rest of the Strucker family. Good performances and respectable special effects help the pilot clear those hurdles, though, and set up a promising new drama.”
Read the rest of our review here.


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