Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

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

Screenshot: God Of War (Sony)

The video game to play

God Of War

“The new God Of War is not another gritty reboot of an aging cartoonish hit. It’s a transformative, introspective sequel, taking up the Herculean task of shunting a series that, for as thrilling as its spectacle was, epitomized an embarrassing adolescent phase of games into something resembling actual maturity. It’s a surprisingly emotional story for one of gaming’s most emotionally stunted characters, told with care and wrapped in a production that’s a flat-out technical marvel, visually spectacular from start to finish and captured with an omnipresent, unflinching camera that makes it look unlike anything we’ve seen before.”
Read the rest of our review here.


The TV show to watch


“For those who felt the first season of [Westworld] had a reach that regularly exceeded its grasp, take comfort: The second installment has toned down the J.J. Abrams-esque ‘mystery box’ style of storytelling that previously resulted in things like a massive hunt for a maze turning out to be a cheap metaphor for self-awareness. There’s still mystery aplenty to be found in the tale of androids slowly coming to the realization they aren’t human, and what that means to their existence, but said riddles are now less enigmas hinting at grand existential questions of reality, and more clues to clearly defined end points, ones that already begin to get clearer in the first couple of episodes of season two.”
Read the rest of our review here.

The podcast to listen to

Latina To Latina, “Jackie Cruz


“One might not think it possible that a Dominican-American actor who spent her childhood in the Caribbean could be considered insufficiently Latina-looking to play a Latina in movies and television shows. But you know what they say: In Hollywood, anything is possible! Such is the experience of Jackie Cruz, best known for her role as outspoken goth inmate Marisol ‘Flaca’ Gonzales on Orange Is The New Black. In this inaugural episode of Latina To Latina, the 31-year-old actress-musician expresses the frustrations she experienced prior to her breakout role on the Netflix series, when the narrow vision of many casting directors blocked her opportunities to many gigs.”
Read about the rest of the week’s best podcasts here.

The comic to read

Sloane Leong, Prism Stalker


Prism Stalker is a complete multimedia concept, with a tie-in website, soundtrack, and animated trailer. [The comic] has a multimedia presence, but this doesn’t feel like a comic-book pitch for a movie or TV show. [Sloane] Leong respects the medium too much for that, and she takes full advantage of the creative opportunities provided by the comic-book page. The trailer opens with a shot of a lavender-colored Vep floating through blackness in the fetal position, and looking at this moment on the page shows how comics can do things other media cannot.”
Read the rest of our review here.

The movie to watch

This Is Our Land

“Early in This Is Our Land, the latest effort from perpetually underrated French filmmaker Lucas Belvaux (The Trilogy, Rapt, Not My Type), a group of friends—all of them white—are enjoying a backyard barbecue when one of them makes a racist joke. Immediately, someone else calls him on it, insisting that such remarks are unacceptable even in jest. He predictably gets defensive, and it’s all downhill from there; the argument ends with the woman who objected getting up and going home, disgusted not just by one person’s casual racism but by everyone else’s tacit acceptance of it. What’s extraordinary about the scene is who it’s not about: the righteously angry defender of human dignity.”
Read the rest of our review here.


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