CS Recommends: Star Trek TMP The Art and Visual Effects, Plus TV & More!
Stuck inside? Don’t know what to watch/read/play/listen to? ComingSoon.net has got you covered. In this week’s CS Recommends our staff gives you solid tips on the best media to consume during your downtime, including Star Trek: The Motion Picture: The Art and Visual Effects, Amazon’s The Boys, and more! Check out our picks below!
MAX EVRY’S RECOMMEND: Star Trek: The Motion Picture: The Art and Visual Effects
This week saw the official Star Trek Day celebrating one of sci-fi’s most enduring franchises. To celebrate, I read Titan Books’ latest large-format movie tome Star Trek: The Motion Picture: The Art and Visual Effects, which focuses on the visual development on arguably the most visually influential film in the franchise. Yes, ST: TMP is widely considered an overlong chore of a film, but whether you appreciate it’s epic grandeur or not (I DO!) you can’t deny the mark it made, from Jerry Goldsmith’s classic score (later incorporated into The Next Generation) or the gorgeous ship design, elements of which are still present in the Kelvin Timeline films. This book goes into great detail on the effects and set design, from the initial concepts for Phil Kaufman’s abandoned Planet of the Titans movie, to the unfortunate firing of Robert Abel and much more. A feast for fans of TMP!
KYLIE HEMMERT’S RECOMMEND: The Boys Series Adaptation
Amazon Prime Video’s The Boys series adaptation is known for its jaw-dropping sequences, memorable characters — some you’ll love, some you’ll love to hate, and some you’ll just flat-out despise — and pushing the envelope, but besides the blood, insanity, and its perfectly-timed hilarity, The Boys knows how to pack a punch emotionally thanks to one hell of an ensemble cast and hard-working crew bringing to life the writers’ vision. The first four episodes of the second season are currently available now to stream (along with the first full season), and Season 2 continues the themes fans have fallen in love with while also further fleshing out each of the characters and their relationships with each other. No spoilers, but I’ve seen the remainder of the season and am beyond impressed with the careful balance the show carries in order to maintain its usual violent and hilarious spectacle filled with very real human complexities and plenty of tearful moments, some that will absolutely catch you off-guard.
Created by Eric Kripke, Seth Rogen, and Evan Goldberg, the series is an irreverent take on what happens when superheroes, who are as popular as celebrities, as influential as politicians, and as revered as gods, abuse their superpowers rather than use them for good. It’s the powerless against the super powerful as The Boys embark on a heroic quest to expose the truth about the supergroup known as “The Seven.”
This series, like the original comics created by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, does come with a few trigger warnings, though. To put it simply, The Boys is not for everyone, particularly anyone averse to violence and gore (among other things), and it’s important to do a little research before jumping on board. For those who do decide to start the journey, you are in for a wild and heavy ride.
GRANT HERMANNS’ RECOMMEND: Hannibal
The horror genre has really seen a mixed bag of efforts on the small screen over the past couple of decades and though the character had seemingly been run into the ground on the big screen in 2007, Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal proved to not only be the best adaptation of Thomas Fuller’s work but also one of the best horror and general series of the millennia. Acting primarily as a prequel to Harris’ first novel Red Dragon as well as adapting elements of all of his novels, the series follows gifted criminal profiler Will Graham as he works with the FBI to bring down some of the country’s most twisted serial killers while also struggling with the toll it’s taking on his psyche and is referred to Dr. Hannibal Lecter for therapy, only to further be manipulated by the most dangerous killer he doesn’t know.
Brilliantly expanding the mythos and exploring the deeper relationship between Graham and its titular hero while also offering a more complex portrayal of Lecter, the series is further supported by its stellar performances from its cast, namely Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen, delicious visual palette that will make even the most resolute ponder Lecter’s cannibalistic cooking, and an ending that still leaves the door open for potential future stories.
MAGGIE DELA PAZ’S RECOMMEND: Fight My Way (South Korean Drama Series)
Starring Park Seo-Joon, Kim Ji-Won, Ahn Jae-Hong and Song Ha-Yoon, Fight My Way centers around the lives of four childhood friends named Dong-man, Ae-ra, Joo-man, and Seol-hee as they try to navigate their way through the consequences of adulthood. Despite being considered as underdogs, they’ll draw strength and determination from each other to achieve their individual dreams. At the center of this is the blossoming romance between the childish duo of Dong-man and Ae-ra, and the burgeoning problems that will test long-time couple Joo-man and Seol-hee’s relationship.
Fight My Way is a 16-episode comedy-drama which aired in 2017 and has garnered a lot of acting awards from local award-giving bodies. What I like the most about the series is its Slice of Life storyline that gives a realistic portrayal to the problems and issues faced by young working adults. It is not only very relatable but it also features a well-balanced mix of fun and emotion. On top of its well-executed story, the series’ charming main cast delivered great chemistry and incredible performances which would definitely make us want to have a friendship like theirs. So, if you’re having a hard time looking for a new K-Drama to binge, I highly-recommend you check out Fight My Way!
JEFF AMES’ RECOMMEND: Bugsy
Barry Levinson’s Bugsy is an odd entry in the pantheon of gangster films in that it looks and feels like Casablanca (except in color) but revels in the blood, violence and language of a Martin Scorsese picture. Indeed, the finale in which Warren Beatty’s titular Bugsy Siegel, a violent sociopath who spends his time beating other mobsters to a bloody pulp when he’s not baking cakes for his daughter, bids farewell to Annette Benning’s Virginia Hill on an airport tarmac is strikingly old fashioned in execution and leans hard on the emotions in a manner similar to Beatty’s own Heaven Can Wait. Except, rather than head off for a cup of coffee with Julie Christie, Bugsy gets pumped full of bullets while watching a movie in his living room.
Even so, Bugsy is oddly optimistic for a film about evil crime lords and gun-wielding mobsters, which makes it all the more satisfying. And while writer James Toback sidesteps the famed gangster’s more tantalizing details in favor of crafting a more likeable antihero, played to perfection by Beatty, the story revolving around Bugsy’s desire to turn a barren desert into an oasis (that would eventually morph into the billion dollar revenue generating Las Vegas) stays pretty close to the facts without ever losing its star studded entertainment value. As gangster films go, you can’t do much better.
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