Paul Reubens and Sharon Stone in Mosaic (Photo: Claudette Barius/HBO)

The show to watch

Mosaic

“Steven Soderbergh’s movies are a testament to his love of a good crime caper. From the Ocean’s films on through to Logan Lucky, the director’s fondness for a well-executed plan—or just an executed plan, really, no skill required—shines through. The only thing he might love more is an unreliable narrator, which allows him the freedom to play around with everything from plot to perspective to structure itself. But with Mosaic, his new six-part miniseries for HBO, Soderbergh has crafted what might be his ultimate statement of purpose on that tactic: a story about stories, a murder without a body, and an entire narrative that unfolds within a show in which the camerawork forces you to rethink everything any character says.”
Read the rest of our review here.

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The album to listen to

No Age, Snares Like A Haircut

“Rather than retreading [No Age]’s winning formula of ruthless hooks, primitive drums, and guitars looped into endless strata, Snares makes it bigger, brighter, and more polished than ever. […] And while it lacks the power the duo found in the DIY rawness of its earliest material, the album’s confidence—made manifest in lyrics like ‘Maybe this is progress, maybe it’s not, but it’s not for you to say’ from head-spinning rocker ‘Soft Collar Fad’ and [Dean Allen] Spunt’s atypically emotional vocals on the shockingly balladic ‘Send Me’—craft, and poise is enchanting in a whole new way.”
Read the rest of our review here.

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The movie to watch

Have A Nice Day

“[Director] Liu [Jian] is clearly inspired by live-action filmmakers (the Coen brothers and the Japanese actor-director Takeshi Kitano are acknowledged influences), but his casual side trips into the fantastic—say, an extended daydream sequence that’s part parody of Cultural Revolution propaganda, part karaoke video—can only work in drawing. His characters’ motivations are small-time and small-minded, but the world they inhabit is bizarre and bedecked with items of high and low foreign culture that seem to mock their surroundings, be it the Counter-Strike sound effects blasting through an internet café, the Rocky poster in Skinny’s butcher shop, or the Leo Tolstoy quote (‘Still spring was spring, even in the town’) that begins the film before cutting to the opening shot of an unsightly construction project.”
Read the rest of our review here.

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The book to read

Robert Harris, Munich

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“The book—grounded in real history, with real-life figures as major characters, but otherwise fiction—is set in the days leading up to the September 1938 Munich Agreement. Munich, in large part, is [Robert] Harris’ attempt to empathize with [Prime Minister Neville] Chamberlain; the author depicts him as an honorable man and a canny statesman, though his options are limited by the cards he has to play. At one point he huffs that negotiations come down to ‘If! It’s always if!’ Certainly his goal of preventing what would be the most destructive war the world would ever know—‘one month at a time, one day at a time, if needs be’—is noble.”
Read the rest of our review here.


The video game to play

Monster Hunter: World

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The central stars are the monsters, a coterie of fire-breathing dinosaurs, lightning-hurling unicorns, and devastating, nigh-unstoppable dragons, all ready and waiting for your puny hunter to track them down and pick a fight. One of the biggest appeals here is how convincingly one-sided these fights are presented: walk up to a flame-dripping T. rex and try to fight it, face to maw, and you probably deserve what you’re going to get. That devotion to making you feel like a fly staying just ahead of the swatter occasionally goes too far, but for the most part, it serves as a pleasant goad to get you to use every tool at your disposal.
Read the rest of our review here.


The podcast to listen to

Drinkers Anonymous,Gorilla Suit

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“On Drinkers Anonymous, Chicago-based hosts Rashid Lamarre and Becca Slack discuss the lighter side of being drunk. Up top they’re adamant about presenting their and their listeners’ stories (anonymously submitted) as tales of mild debauchery, urging anyone who feels like they might have a more serious problem with the sauce to seek proper support. From there, they launch into the sort of recollections that are familiar fare among old drinking buddies. This week, the trip down memory lane goes as far back as the beginning, as Lamarre and Slack recount the first time they ever ‘experienced what indulging in spirits felt like.’”
Read about the rest of the week’s best podcasts here.

Note: Both Rashid Lamarre and Becca Slack are employees of Onion Inc.