And now, for your entertainment pleasure, it’s time for the month-end media roundup!
Actually, we’re not doing that. It was kind of lacking in substance and it took a long amount of time to do without a lot of payoff.
So instead I’m going to break down my FAVORITE thing from each type of media I consumed over the month of March.
Let’s get to it!
I didn’t watch a ton of movies during March (I rarely do these days, it seems), but I did see Batman v. Superman (it was garbage), I watched Deadpool for a second time (still glorious), and I watched a movie called Slow Learners from Netflix. It stars Adam Palley and Sarah Burns, both of whom you recognize on sight. I’m not sure I’d call Slow Learners my favorite movie that I watched in March (at least new movie I watched in March), but it definitely had some funny moments despite being a completely typical indie rom-com.
No, if I was going to pick a favorite movie for March, it would have to be 10 Cloverfield Lane. I went in with pretty high expectations because I like both John Goodman and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and I liked the first Cloverfield movie (even though this one has basically nothing to do with it). Goodman and Winstead rocked the movie hardcore, though. Goodman especially. He gets a lot of credit for the silly little roles he plays, but he can be a dramatic actor with the best of them.
I can’t get into too many details without spoiling the hell out of it, but a movie that slips so seamlessly between genre after genre while still feeling like a cohesive narrative AND keeping you in dreadful suspense the entire time? Oh God, it was great. Go watch it.
I haven’t been listening to a lot of new music lately, but there were a couple of new artists I found, one on random happenstance from Pandora, and one from a recommendation from an employee at my day job.
Sarah Jarosz was the Pandora find. Give her a listen for some modern folk tunes.
But the recommendation from an employee is the one that I will recommend. Basia Bulat. She’s crazy talented and plays multiple unique instruments like the autoharp and the hammered dulcimer. The dulcimer is probably my favorite instrument and when it’s played with precision and speed I just get swept away. Basia has a genre listing of “folk” but I think she’s more folk rock than anything.
I read very few comics these days, most of which are daily/weekly webcomic types. Among them is Questionable Content, my perennial favorite for its slice of life aesthetic and really respectful approach to non-binary gender types and sexual orientations. A lot of that doesn’t appear until a couple of years into the comic, but it’s an interesting blend of science wishfulness, indie band humor, poop jokes and horny robots and explorations of different types of people. The art is pretty rough at the start, but stick with it. You’ll be glad you did.
I watch a fair amount of TV at this point. There’s so much good on that it’s hard to choose, so I just watch it all. From superhero shows like Arrow/Flash/Supergirl/Daredevil/Agents of SHIELD, to AMC dramas like Better Call Saul and Walking Dead, to supernatural shows like Supernatural and iZombie, there’s a ton of good to great TV right now and it’s a great time to be a geek.
But of all those I mentioned, I have to give it to Daredevil’s second season, which I haven’t finished yet, but which is an improvement in pretty much every way on the original season and shows Batman v Superman just how a dark, gritty comic book property can be done RIGHT. From the spot-on portrayals of Jon Bernthal as Punisher and Elodie Yung as Elektra, to the incredible performances of Eldon Henson as Foggy Nelson and Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page, to the ridiculously well-choreographed and visceral fight scenes, to just everything. Daredevil is in the right hands and it may not be perfect, but it’s getting oh so much right.
So I didn’t really finish any games this month, but I did play plenty of Minecraft, The Last of Us remastered, and Grand Theft Auto 5. I’ve talked at length about Minecraft and The Last of Us, so I won’t bore with retreading those. I’d have to give it to GTA5 for the month for sheer sandbox fun and really cool Heist missions, but I have two important caveats to that.
The first is that the game features a torture sequence. I’d heard vaguely about the sequence early on in the game’s release, but didn’t understand that it was a lifelike depiction of torture in which you, as the player, have to engage in things like electrocution and waterboarding to get information out of a character in the game. This has finally crossed my own personal line of what is too much to allow in a video game. And as far as I could tell, there was no way to get through the mission without doing the torture to progress the story.
The second is that there were a lot of nonsense filler missions in setting up the super-fun Heist missions. Placing vehicles and buying masks. The unfun shit that happens in 45 seconds in a montage in the movies. Nobody wants to do that shit.
But you give me a motorcycle and a winding road and I’m gonna flip that fucking thing.
I listen to only three podcasts at this point: Mad Writers Union, which a friend runs about writing advice; The Adventure Zone, a D&D adventure podcast by the incredibly funny McElroy brothers and their dad; and Blurry Photos, an informational podcast about history mysteries, conspiracy theories, mythology, religion, cryptozoology, and making silly jokes and accents all along the way.
I will give it to a particular episode of Blurry Photos this month, in which they talked about the history of Druidism and its modern iterations. It was a good mix of fun and information. Spoilers: They love puns, so just be ready for that. You’re welcome.
And because I can, let’s not forget that Blurry Photos did a reading of my spooky short story Weeping Thief around Halloween last year!
Oh, novels. How I love you. I finished reading a few things this month, but I think my favorite was Christopher Ruz’s Rust Three. It has just enough mystery to keep you going, while also having a fun cast of characters – hero, villain, and everything inbetween – to root for their success and failure. And it is impeccably paced, which I say often of Ruz’s work, but it continues to be true. Also it’s filled with a lot of horror and gore, so fair warning.
Welp, that’s about it for the different media types I consumed this month! What’s gotten you excited to turn the page, start the next episode, rush to the theater, hit Start New Game, or open your ear-holes for?