Movie: Kill List
Horror is kind of like the hot sauce of movie genres – once you’ve added it, it’s probably going to dominate the other aspects of the movie. Most horror movies like to have several dozen “pop out and kill somebody moments” to ensure the adrenaline never goes down. But when an action movie allows for horror aspects to just slightly seep into the otherwise normal plot – then you’ve got something unique. Kill List looks more like a heist/hired killers action movie, but the main character’s tormented past, shady bosses, and a torch-wielding masked mob of creepy girls in negligees promises to keep the “oh SH__” factor as high as any slasher film.
Ryan Gosling, critical darling and female-favorite meme, was somehow not enough to push this movie towards an Oscar. (Well, they got nominated for Best Sound Editing, but F that.) Maybe it’s because it doesn’t have families crying at each other, or it doesn’t conveniently solve racism in two hours. Then again, maybe it’s because a story about a stuntman/getaway driver who barely speaks and occasionally face-stomps people doesn’t have the broadest appeal. But babe-magnet or not, Gosling – as well as an all-star supporting cast of Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks, Carey Mulligan and Christina Hendricks – absolutely kill it it in this decidedly gritty but thoughtful action showcase.
Tom Waits might get all the credit for being owner of the best world-weary gravelly growl in the world, but don’t count out Leonard Cohen. While he doesn’t get quite as into the howls and yips, Cohen’s soulful songs inspire, his sad songs hit hard, and his love songs sound like eternal devotion. (Oh, and he also wrote “Hallelujah”, which you’ve maybe heard 10,000 times before). Lead single “Darkness” vamps a little soft blues, and lets Cohen command an imaginary seedy nightclub. And after hearing the superior effort on “Lullaby”, most country singers will give up and put their drawl a rest.
Video Game: SoulCalibur V
The Soul series is a fan favorite for many, many reasons. Everyone’s got special moves, but unique weapons adds a whole new element of fun. Rolling and dodging? SoulCalibur was the first game to feature full-on eight-way movement. And of course, the completely impossible geometry of the female fighters (but hey now). What does the latest chapter in this legendary series bring to the table? Critical finishes and the Soul Gauge are out – “Brave Edge” and “Critical Edge” attacks instead reward those who charge up their super meter during battle. And characters like Maki are no more – here she’s replaced by her (slightly more proportionally stable) student Natsu, Good old evil pirate Cervantes is back, as is his whip-loving daughter Ivy, the pogo-sticking Yoshimitsu, and everyone’s favorite S&M knife-nut, Voldo. And hey, check out the guest appearance from Assassin’s Creed‘s Ezio!
Don’t want to stay in on a gorgeous 75-degree winter day? Plant a tree to fight global warming, or accept your doom and just check out what’s going on in your town this weekend!