The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back, and we couldn’t be happier. Also this week, we’ve got a scary beach read, an excellent movie from last year that’s finally streaming on HBO Max and a fun flick that will get you in the mood for summer.
TMNT is back!
The turtles are back in a new retro beat-'em-up that channels the arcade brawlers of the late ’80s and early ’90s. Fans of the 1989 TMNT game or those it inspired, like Konami’s The Simpsons and X-Men, will find a lot to love about Shredder’s Revenge, including gorgeous pixel art and an up to six-player co-op. Developer Tribute Games also included some nostalgic gems, like the original cast of voice actors from the ’80s TV show. It’s available this week on Xbox Game Pass, too.
‘The Card Counter’ is a slow burn
This gripping and tense thriller featuring Oscar Isaac as a disgraced military veteran turned card player is “Taxi Driver” writer Paul Schrader’s first film in four years. It came out in 2021 but just began streaming on HBO Max, and it’s worth a watch just to see Isaac’s chilling portrayal of William Tell and the extent to which the steely gambler goes to keep his past life from catching up with him. It’s a slow burn of a film, and its best moments are when the plot seems to hang in the air, with no telling where it’s headed.
‘The Candy House’ is not the beach read you’re expecting
We could all afford to do a little less doomscrolling through the dystopian end of society brought on by technology and the surveillance economy. Instead, we recommend an excellent new book about the dystopian end of society brought on by technology and the surveillance economy.
“The Candy House” is Jennifer Egan’s sequel to her 2010 novel “A Visit from the Goon Squad.” The interconnecting stories catch up with the characters from the first novel, but not at any particular time in the future or the past: Both books span decades from the early 1960s to the late 2030s. Through stories told in traditional narrative, emails, texts and tweets, we see the creation of an alternate version of social media that has people uploading their consciousnesses to the cloud and volunteering to let the government surveil its enemies through their eyeballs. It’s a great beach read, if you like your beach reads to scare you half to death.
Get ready for summer with ‘Fire Island’
“Fire Island’s” initial marketing push, where there was no mention of its “Pride and Prejudice” vibes, did not do this movie justice. Written by — and featuring! — Joel Kim Booster, the movie follows a group of longtime friends on a summer vacation to Fire Island, the famous gay village on Long Island. Upon realizing it’ll be their last summer making the trip together, the boys do everything they can (binge-drink, fall in love, get in fights) to commemorate this sacred summer place. The project originally began as a Quibi comedy series, but after the company’s shutdown, Searchlight Pictures purchased the script and created this funny, delightful masterpiece.
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