CS Recommends: Silver Linings Playbook, 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 kicks off gives you solid tips on the best media to consume during your downtime, including David O. Russell’s award-winning Silver Linings Playbook, and more! Check out our picks below!
MAX EVRY’S RECOMMEND: Inner Sanctum Mysteries: The Complete Film Collection
I was thrilled when the folks at Mill Creek Entertainment sent over their recent collection of all six cult classic Inner Sanctum Mystery films, which Universal’s B-division released in quick succession from 1943 through 1945. Fans of the old-time radio program of the same name that featured a creaking door and spooky stories may be a little bummed that these movies feature neither a creaking door nor any real horror. They are, as described, MYSTERIES, but generally with a creepy element. All of them star the legendary Lon Chaney Jr. of The Wolf Man-fame, though! Probably the most fun of the set is the second film Weird Woman, which has also seen play on MeTV’s Svengoolie. It follows a professor who marries a woman who practices voodoo, and the same story was later adapted as the cult classic 60’s film Burn, Witch, Burn!
KYLIE HEMMERT’S RECOMMEND: Outcast
Based on the Skybound/Image comic by creator Robert Kirkman and artist Paul Azaceta, Cinemax’s supernatural horror story follows Kyle Barnes (played by Patrick Fugit), a young man who has been plagued by demonic possession all his life. Now, with the help of Reverend Anderson (Philip Glenister), a country preacher with personal demons of his own, Kyle embarks on a journey to find answers to his lifetime of suffering, and what makes him so special to be known as “Outcast”?
Outcast thrives in its strong characters and intriguing mysteries, but just as important, it introduces a unique take on the theme of possession — as well as the act of exorcism — that presents interesting questions: What happens to the person possessed if the demon is inside for too long and is suddenly ripped out? How much violence is justified in “saving” that person? And… what if some of them prefer sharing space with the demon? As the series plays out, Outcast focuses not only on our hero Kyle but those surrounding him, especially his family, that ultimately get pulled into this particular nightmare as a few realize they play a bigger part in the story than they ever could have imagined.
Be warned: Outcast’s two seasons (a cancellation I’ll never get over) are intentionally gruesome and not for the faint of heart. If a little bit of gore, genuine creepiness/scares, mind-blowing twists, and a solid demonic mystery are in your wheelhouse, then look no further.
GRANT HERMANNS’ RECOMMEND: Yakuza Kiwami
While many open world titles tend to take place in fantastical worlds or put players in the shoes of someone going on a crime spree, a nice change in this formula can be found with Sega’s Yakuza franchise and while some players might not have a PlayStation 2 on hand to dive into the original game, those with current-gen consoles can still follow Kazuma Kiryu’s journey from its start with the HD remake Yakuza Kiwami. Set in a fictionalized region meticulously recreating the real Tokyo district of Kabukicho, the story feels like a great blend of a moving melodrama and wacky anime and with gameplay and controls easy enough for newcomers to pick up, plenty of fun substories and activities, and killer voicework from its Japanese cast (don’t change the audio to English dubbing), it’s an absolute blast of a game that will keep you hooked for hours. While a physical copy is currently only available for the PlayStation, the game and its sequel remake became available on the Xbox and Steam stores last year!
MAGGIE DELA PAZ’S RECOMMEND: About Time (2013)
Starring Domnhall Gleeson and Rachel McAdams, About Time centers around Tim Lake, who comes from a unique family where all men from his father’s side have the secret ability to time travel. Using his newfound gift, Tim tries to improve his love life by constantly re-doing some past mistakes in order to win the woman of his dreams. However, like all powers, his time-traveling ability does come with a slight hiccup as changes in the past could alter something in his present.
This 2013 British romantic dramedy is definitely an underrated film. Its charming and quirky storyline didn’t overpower the emotional moments of the film which made it an absolute delight to watch. Gleeson and McAdams’ performances were what made the film stand out in its genre and their chemistry was effortless. So, if you’re looking for a unique rom-com feature for Valentine’s Day, I highly recommend you check out this gem!
JEFF AMES’ RECOMMEND: Silver Linings Playbook
Over the years, David O. Russell quietly became one of my favorite directors. The man only produces a movie once every three or four years, but when he does it’s usually worth the wait. With the exception of, say, the curious bomb Accidental Love, Russell hasn’t made a bad film dating back to 1996’s Flirting with Disaster. Then, in 2010, he went ahead and made one of my favorite films, The Fighter; and followed that up with the even better Silver Linings Playbook in 2012, and the terrific American Hustle in 2013. That’s a helluva run. Particularly since Silver Linings Playbook is perhaps the best romantic comedy-drama you’re likely to find this Valentine’s Day.
In the vein of Cameron Crowe’s Jerry Maguire, Silver Linings is a rom-com men can appreciate as much as women — and not just for the sports angle. The film is funny, sad, emotional, upbeat, quirky, and features perhaps the best “big dance number” payoff since Dirty Dancing. But the real ace in the hole is the film’s amazing cast led by Bradley Cooper (in the role that made the actor more than “that guy in the Hangover films”), Jennifer Lawrence (who won a well-deserved Oscar), Robert DeNiro, Jacki Weaver, Anupam Kher, and Julia Stiles. There’s even a brilliant extended cameo by Chris Tucker, whose character, Danny, pops up for a couple of laughs whenever he can escape the mental hospital. Seriously, this is brilliant stuff.
So, this Valentine’s Day, if you’re in the mood for love and have grown tired of the sappy Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks vehicles, give Silver Linings Playbook a whirl. Like most of Russell’s work, the film is nuts and packed with batshit crazy characters, but by the end, you’ll be cheering right alongside them and hoping Pat and Tiffany can stick that landing.
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