Sunday Suggestions: 6/7/2020

It’s that time of the week again. Welcome to another installment of Sunday Suggestions! This week, we’ll be covering the following suggestions:

TV Show
Video Game
Broadway Musical

Insidious 1 & 2
Starring Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins, Lin Shaye, Leigh Whannell, Angus Sampson, Barbara Hershey, Andrew Astor, Steve Coulter (Insidious: Chapter 2)
Rated PG-13
Released in 2010 & 2013
Found on Netflix (Insidious) and Amazon for purchase (Insidious: Chapter 2)

Yesterday, I spoke about my love for supernatural thrillers and the feelings of fear and anxiety they invoke. Last week, my fiancee and I delved back into that genre by rewatching Insidious and watching Insidious: Chapter 2 for the first time. These movies follow the Lambert family as they move into a new house and discover something sinister. Dalton, the oldest son, slips into a coma, and we come to learn that it isn’t medically related. Instead, Dalton is able to project his astral self into the ghostly realm and has strayed too far from his physical body. Ghosts, demons, and sinister beings from that realm realize that his body is empty and attempt to overtake his body so that they may once again walk in the mortal realm. While it sounds extremely cliche, the director James Wan does a phenomenal job of instilling a sense of constant dread throughout the movie. More than just jump scares fill the hour and a half runtime. In Insidious: Chapter 2, the father, Josh Lambert, seems to be a little different after the climax of the first movie. The Lamberts are forced to face their fears once again as they realize the horrors of what it means when astral projection travelling has unbelievable drawbacks. Turn off the lights, pop some popcorn, and good luck falling asleep that night.

Insidious Trailer Insidious: Chapter 2 Trailer

TV Show
Death Note (Anime – Dubbed)
Starring Brad Swaile, Vincent Tong, Trevor Devall, Brian Drummond, Chris Britton, Alessandro Juliani, Shannon Chan-Kent, John Murphy
Rated TV-14
Found on Netflix

Death Note is an anime based off a manga written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takesha Obata. The show aired in 2006, but it follows some very dark paths and ideas revolving around a serial killer. For fans of the show Dexter, this show provides the same idea but in a more fantasy driven world with one of the best games of psychological cat and mouse I’ve ever seen. Light Yagami comes across a notebook where if somebody writes the name of a person in the book while thinking about the face of that person, the person whose name is written will die. Light, a brilliant young prodigy, immediately begins writing the names of violent criminals. Eventually, he learns more about the rules of the book and begins a journey to become the god of the new world by getting rid of criminals once and for all. The police bring in an equally genius investigator named L that attempts to track down the serial killer. What follows is around 25 episodes of two men squaring off and attempting to thwart the other’s every move. While the original voices are amazing, I actually really liked the dubbed version of this show and would recommend it to those not wishing to read subtitles throughout. As a forewarning, once you reach the second arc of the show, it falls off and becomes slightly less interesting, but for posterity, I recommend watching the entire thing.

Death Note Trailer

Video Game
Life is Strange
Starring Hannah Telle, Ashly Burch, Nik Shriner, Dani Knights, Carlos Luna, Dayeanna Hutton, Don McManus, Derek Phillips
Rated M (Mature) by ESRB
Developed by DONTNOD Entertainment
Published by Square Enix
Platforms: PC, Playstation, XBox, Apple Store, Google Play

Life is Strange is an episodic adventure in five parts about a young girl named Max who moves back to her hometown to go to a prestigious school for photography. During her time there, she learns that she has the power to rewind time and make different choices that can affect all aspects of her life. Unlike some other video games, the choices made in Life is Strange have a lasting effect on future episodes. Every time you make a decision or dialogue choice, there’s a good chance it will cause some alternate version of the future to take place. The game is mainly point and click with a few puzzles here and there, but the entire premise of the game revolves around the idea of experiencing Max’s journey as she comes to terms with her power and what it means for her future. I don’t want to give anything away, but I will say that it was one of the first video games to make me cry. The art, voice work, music, and story are top tier. Don’t go into this game expecting battles or non-stop action. Instead, jump into the game expecting what I can only describe as a book in a video game, where instead of following a path set by an author, you choose the outcome of Max’s life and what it means to the small city in which she inhabits. Get ready for the ride of a lifetime.

Broadway Musical
The Last Five Years
Starring Jeremy Jordan, Anna Kendrick
Rated PG-13
Released on 2014
Found on BroadwayHD

The Last Five Years is written by Jason Robert Brown and originally premiered in Chicago and found its way to Off-Broadway in 2002. I have personally never seen the stage show, but I am familiar with the movie released in 2014. The movie follows two people named Jamie and Cathy as we watch five years of their life unfold. The movie time jumps back and forth to the past, present, and future as we watch the different stages of their relationship as it develops and breaks in very real ways. Cathy is an aspiring actor and Jamie is a published author, and their lives intertwine in ways reminiscent of watching two opposites attract and then pull apart in the real world. The music has a modern feel that does a good job of appealing to a wide range of music lovers. Unfortunately, I have been told that the movie isn’t nearly as riveting as the stage show, but that does seem to be the case with most musicals adapted to the big screen. This doesn’t make me enjoy the movie any less given that Jeremy Jordan and Anna Kendrick are excellent in their roles. This movie might be a struggle for those that aren’t well adapted to musicals as more than 90% of the plot is completely done through an all-singing narrative style. Either way, if you’re a fan of musicals and stories that represent the raw, gritty reality of real life relationships, give The Last Five Years a few hours of your time.

Until next Sunday!

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