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 games like Mondo’s Dream Crush and more! Check out our picks below!
MAX EVRY’S RECOMMEND: Mondo’s Dream Crush
Inspired by the classic dating games of the past half-century or so, Dream Crush was brought to life by Found Footage Fest co-founder Nick Prueher, with graphic design by Chris Bilheimer and the Mondo team, original artwork by We Buy Your Kids, and incredible photography by Carli Davidson featuring a gorgeous cast of Crushes. The game is played over five rounds: in each round, a Milestone Card with steadily increasing impact is revealed (ex: “They ask you to be on their bar trivia team” or “You must co-sign a lease with one Crush”. Next, a Secret about each Crush is revealed, lending insight into their unique personalities and lifestyles. Each player secretly chooses a Crush to embark upon the Milestone with, writing it on their scorecard, while also predicting who their friends will pick. Once everyone has recorded their answers, players take turns revealing their choices, often engaging in passionate table-talk defending their decision-making process (which becomes more agonizing as the rounds pass). All correct guesses count as points toward a total that will determine the winner at the end of the game.
KYLIE HEMMERT’S RECOMMEND: Shutter Island
Leonardo DiCaprio has a long list of stellar performances, but one of my absolute favorite films starring the award-winning actor is 2010’s Shutter Island. Directed by Martin Scorsese and adapted by Laeta Kalogridis from the novel written by Dennis Lehane (the same brilliant author behind Mystic River, Gone, Baby, Gone, The Drop, and more), the movie takes place in 1954 and follows U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels (DiCaprio) and his partner, played by Mark Ruffalo, as they investigate the disappearance of a murderer who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane. The neo-noir psychological thriller is effortless and engaging every step of the way, between its twisty and mysterious plot, unforgettable scenes, an incredible cast, and a noteworthy soundtrack that heightens every moment and burrows deep under your skin.
GRANT HERMANNS’ RECOMMEND: L.A. Noire
After seven years of development, Rockstar Games’ L.A. Noire might have had a few bumps in the road and some problems behind it, but boy is it still one of the most fascinating and exhilarating video games to ever been delivered. Putting players in the shoes of on-the-rise Detective Cole Phelps in 1947 Los Angeles, the game brilliantly captures the tone of its titular genre, delivering intricate and captivating cases, the most innovative and involving interrogation gameplay mechanic to this day, a stellar score and incredible facial captures. It might not have the fast pace some Rockstar fans expect, but for those used to the more deliberate nature of Red Dead Redemption 2 and love the hard-boiled world of the noire genre, it’s the perfect title to add to your collection.
MAGGIE DELA PAZ’S RECOMMEND: Hidden Figures (2016)
Starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe, Hidden Figures centers around the untold true story of three brilliant Black women mathematicians named Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, who all worked at NASA during the Space Race. Throughout the film, they will strive to move past the barriers that forcedly limit their unbounded potential as they each make their own monumental changes at NASA during the 1960s. However, despite their remarkable intelligence and determination, their journey to success won’t be easy as they must deal with the stereotypes and workplace discrimination that comes with being a Black woman.
This 2016 biopic drama is loosely based on Margot Lee Shetterly’s non-fiction book of the same name. Since its theatrical release, the film immediately garnered critical acclaim and was a commercial success with a gross of over $230 million worldwide. What I like about this film is that it memorialized Johnson, Vaughan and Jackson’s groundbreaking accomplishments which had been undeservedly overlooked despite the importance of their works in American history. On top of its well-told inspiring story, it featured a powerhouse cast led by Henson, Spencer and Monáe, who all delivered great performances.
In celebration of the Women’s History Month, now is the perfect time to check out or revisit Hidden Figures!
JEFF AMES’ RECOMMEND: The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film
I’m a sucker for behind-the-scenes documentaries and have a pretty nice collection of books detailing the making of films such as Indiana Jones, Pearl Harbor, Titanic and Aliens (among others), but had shied away from J.W. Rinzer’s “The Making of Star Wars” for whatever reason. I figured I already knew enough about the tumultuous production that there was nothing else Rinzer’s book could tell me. As Obi-Wan would say, “I was wrong.”
“The Making of Star Wars” is an incredible read from start to finish, jam-packed with interesting details regarding George Lucas’ classic film. Did you know Luke was called Luke Starkiller throughout the early days of production but changed to Luke Skywalker right before his introduction to Princess Leia? Did you know Lucas decided to kill off Obi Wan midway through production — a decision that left Alec Guinness furious enough to threaten a walk-off? And did you know Lucas met with practically every aspiring actor and actress in Hollywood before ultimately deciding to cast Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher — a grueling process that left even Brian DePalma exhausted?
Oh sure, we’ve all heard about the difficulties Lucas faced when dealing with the film’s groundbreaking FX and read about his many dealings with 20th Century Fox, but Rinzer provides context to such situations and truly walks the reader through the ins and outs of filmmaking. Ultimately, though, after reading “The Making of Star Wars,” I came away with a stronger appreciation for George Lucas. The man had a vision and put everything he had into achieving that vision. And while Lucas’ subsequent meddling with Star Wars has drawn the ire of fans — to say nothing of those questionable prequels — the book serves as a reminder of his genius. Hollywood wouldn’t be the same without him.
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