CS Recommends: Nightcrawler Plus Toys, Books & 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 Nightcrawler & more. Check out our picks below!
MAX EVRY’S RECOMMEND: My Fairy Garden Nature Cottage
My wife and daughter have been having a magical time with this great gardening toy from PlayMonster! It’s a whole plastic fairy cottage you get to snap together with your child, and then it gives you watering can, gardening tools, soil, seeds, etc. You’ll see sprouts starts to grow within a day or two, and it will be fun for your child to revisit daily to check the progress, as you can see in the photos above! Definitely a great activity if you live in an urban area and maybe don’t have access to a backyard.
KYLIE HEMMERT’S RECOMMEND: Nightcrawler
Written and directed by Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler features one of my favorite performances by the uber-talented Jake Gyllenhaal who stars as Lou Bloom, a driven young con man desperate for work who discovers the high-speed world of LA crime. Lou eventually becomes a nightcrawler, seeking to be the first one on a crime scene in order to turn footage of victims into cash. The more successful he becomes in this new line of work, aided by Rene Russo’s TV news veteran Nina, the more he begins to blur the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story — and the more heinous his actions become. Gyllenhaal shines as the sociopathic Lou in one of his best roles ever (which is saying something) in this disturbing thriller that is absolutely a must-watch and should be on your shelf of at-home titles.
GRANT HERMANNS’ RECOMMEND: John Dies at the End by David Wong
There’s a lot of reading one could do during our times trapped in our homes, from self-help books to upbeat comedies to moving comedies, but I’m here to recommend David Wong’s bizarre-but-hilarious sci-fi horror-comedy John Dies at the End. Told from the first person perspective of the author (real name Jason Pargin), the story centers on the slackers Dave and John as they investigate strange phenomena in their undisclosed Midwestern US town with the help of a mysterious drug known only as Soy Sauce. The duo’s first encounter with said sauce sees them stumble on to a case in which the whole world is at stake and only they can stop them. Blending the best bits of stoner and Hunter S. Thompson-level humor with Lovecraftian horror and Phillip K. Dick-level sci-fi, John Dies at the End is one of the most thrilling and easily page-turning books of all time that is sure to thrill genre enthusiasts and newcomers alike. Plus, horror filmmaking icon Don Coscarelli brought Wong (or Pargin)’s novel to life on the big screen in 2012 in glorious fashion, creating one of the best film-to-novel adaptations to date.
MAGGIE DELA PAZ’S RECOMMEND: Pee Mak (Thai Film)
Set in the mid-19th century during the Rattanakosin Dynasty in Siam (now known as Thailand), Pee-Mak was among the many Thai men who were drafted to join the army when the country was at war with other neighboring kingdoms. Because of this, he was forced to leave behind his pregnant wife named Nak. During his time at the army, Mak was able to meet four new friends, who he bonded with when he saved them from the battlefield. After the war, he invited Ter, Puak, Shin and Aey to visit his hometown and stay at their house so he could introduce them to Nak. However, unbeknownst to Mak, rumors have been starting to spread around his village that a powerful ghost has been haunting his house where eerie sounds of lullabies can be heard throughout the night. Now as the five friends have arrived in Mak’s house, they will soon find themselves trapped in a nightmare as they try to convince Mak, who’s seemingly the only one not experiencing the hauntings, that there’s an evil ghost in his house.
Based on the Thai folklore called Mae Nak Phra Khanong (Thai Female Ghost), Pee Mak is a comedy-horror film that had made its premiere in 2013, where it had become an instant box-office hit across Asia and is currently Thailand’s highest grossing film of all time.
Overall, Pee Mak is a really funny and entertaining film that will make you laugh at every scene especially the ones involving the five protagonists. Titular star Mario Maurer’s performance had proven that he’s not only fit for romance dramas but is also capable of leading a comedy film. However, the chemistry between the four friends (portrayed by Nattapong Chartpong, Pongsatorn Jongwilak, Wiwat Kongrasri and Kantapat Permpoonpatcharasuk) is something that you should definitely watch out for as their group performance is what really carried the film throughout its simple storyline. So, if you want something a little bit scary that could also make you laugh or if you’re a fan of slapstick comedy, I highly recommend you to check out Pee Mak.
JEFF AMES’ RECOMMEND: HBO’s Band of Brothers and The Pacific
I’m cheating here and recommending two options for you to check out this week. Since Band of Brothers and The Pacific are more or less part of the same story, I think it’s only natural to view them back-to-back.
Start with Band of Brothers, which is essentially Saving Private Ryan: the TV Show in that it follows Easy Company, 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, U.S. Army and their efforts against the Germans in WWII. Expertly crafted, and superbly acted, the series offers a raw, relentless view of life in the trenches from D-Day until the end of the war as seen through the eyes of Major Richard Winters (a stellar Damian Lewis) and his men. Think the opening sequence of Private Ryan, except extended through 10 episodes, some of which are directed by Tom Hanks, Phil Alden Robinson and Game of Thrones vet David Nutter.
Once you’re done enduring the violent campaigns of Germany, pop in The Pacific and follow three separate marines, Robert Leckie (James Badge Dale), Eugene Sledge (Joseph Mazzello), and John Basilone (Jon Seda), as they endure the brutal horrors of the Pacific theater, namely the battles of Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester, Peleliu, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. Emotional, brutal and intense as Hell, The Pacific remains one of the great achievements of television. Wait till you get a look at Joseph Mazzello of Jurassic Park fame. He’s a knockout.
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