Your time is valuable and at the end of a long week, the discretionary time must be spent to its maximum value. In order to help narrow choices down on the film and television front, every Friday we’ll give you the rundown of your options and an educated guess as to which ones make the most sense. There is a very complex formula involved. Usually, that formula includes us watching the things and then telling you if they’re good. OK, we admit it’s not exactly the recipe for Coke, but we’re trying to help.
I predicted the box office returns for this film last Sunday, but I must admit that my track record hasn’t been too accurate thus far.
On the Screen
The Huntsman: Winter’s War
Director: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan
Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt, Jessica Chastain
Current RT Meter: 17% Fresh
My box office prediction last Sunday: $29,000,000
Snow White and the Huntsman was a beautiful and at times, visionary film that was hampered a bit by a limp performance from leading lady Kristen Stewart and the fact the Snow White was a character too many felt only served for children’s films. It was a success, helped in no small part by Chris Hemsworth’s ascent to the A-list and marketing that showcased the astonishing designs and visuals. They’re back it with 100% less Kristen Stewart and massive upgrades in the form of Jessica Chastain and Emily Blunt. Though the reviews haven’t been great this may be the ideal late April release to tide audiences over before Captain America comes in and changes the game.
The Verdict: If you’re a fan of the first film this one has a chance to improve upon it.
On the Console and PC
Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst Closed Beta
Though the actual release date for the game has shifted like the sands of time, EA’s upcoming Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is finally letting gamers in through the launch of the closed beta which is now available. The first game in the parkour-inspired series was transcendent and many feel this one will take the concept to the next level. Lucky folks with their hands on a key are in for a treat.
The Verdict: This is an immersive and kinetic experience too good to pass up.
Star Fox Zero
There are many reasons to be excited for Nintendo’s long-awaited new installment in the Star Fox series, and now audiences can find out for themselves as Star Fox Zero finally arrives in stores. The latest installment ups the ante in almost any way and as so many of Nintendo’s games go, the real value will unfold over the course of deep immersion in the game. They’ve come a long way from the FX Chip.
The Verdict: This is manna from Heaven for Nintendo fans.
On the Tube
Game of Thrones
Let’s face it: nothing compares to this. This is the #1 appointment television moment of the year for episodic television. There’s nothing that comes close. Game of Thrones is finally back and dozens of questions will be answered and dozens of more will be asked. We are putty in the hands of the brilliant minds behind HBO’s flagship show. So take the Crash Course, learn about the new characters, ruminate about ravens, and long for the next wave of book characters to appear. Anything that makes the wait until Sunday night less excruciating.
The Verdict: Unless you’re having a child Sunday night (and if you are you planned poorly), there’s nothing else you should be doing.
The boys of Pied Piper are back and they are undoubtedly bringing tons of belly laughs with them. This year the gang is having their power and dignity stripped from them by their superiors and the results will most likely be vulgar, insulting, and deeply rewarding for audiences. This and Veep back to back is magical. The hour after Game of Thrones may be just as rewarding.
The Verdict: Mike Judge has found the perfect vessel for his genius. Binge away.
Seinfeld‘s best and funniest alum is back in the role she was born to play. Seeing Julie Louis-Dreyfus lose her mind in profane and unpredictable ways is only one of a multitude of charms in this show from the man who created the legendary In the Loop. Your political affiliation is irrelevant. All that matters is that Veep makes everyone hilarious from Kevin Dunn to Gary Cole to Hugh Laurie to whatever gem they unearth this year.
The Verdict: It’s a lock.