This week we’re addicted to Sifu, one of the best Chinese martial arts action games released in a while. Grifter stories are sweeping Netflix, with “Tinder Swindler” and “Inventing Anna” both keeping us on our toes. And are you ready for the vibe shift?
Sifu is intense, hard and super fun
Slocap’s Sifu is one of the best action games I’ve played in years, combining Chinese martial arts with Dark Souls-like difficulty and a roguelike structure that gives it an immense level of replayability. It’s certainly not for everyone; the game has no difficulty settings. But once you wrap your head around its unique take on the trusty “try, die and try again” loop, you’ll be hooked. It’s available on PlayStation and in the Epic Games Store on PC.
‘Inventing Anna’ and the rise of the grifter
Everybody loves a good grift. Case in point: another Netflix crime production, this time about real-life con artist Anna Delvey (real name Anna Sorokin), taking over the platform’s Top 10. It’s a fictional dramatization of the story of the Russian-born fraudster who pretended to be a wealthy German heiress to infiltrate the socialite class of New York City. It features a captivating Julia Garner of “Ozark” fame, in which the actress dons a starkly different but still equally jarring accent to play the enigma that is Delvey.
Watch out for the ‘Tinder Swindler’
Netflix’s new crime documentary released earlier this month details the life of an Israeli playboy and conman who constructed an elaborate life of luxury and fraud based on fabricated personas he used on Tinder. The documentary is a fascinating look at the tricks and tactics of modern con artists, especially the role mobile dating apps play in such schemes by providing the fraudsters with a virtually endless supply of potential marks. The takeaway: Beware when swiping right.
Ready or not, the vibe shift is coming
Are you prepared for the vibe shift? Are you at a risk of getting left behind when the vibe shifts? What is a vibe shift, really? Allison P. Davis’ instantly iconic essay and interview piece for The Cut published Wednesday has everybody talking, about the pandemic, about cultural trends and how to spot them, about mortality. Whether the vibe is actually Web3 and crypto, or a move toward Substack newsletters, the point is that something is changing. We just don’t know what.
‘Kimi’ is a timely movie telling a timeless tale
Steven Soderbergh’s new techno-thriller is about Amazon’s Alexa and Big Tech accountability, but only sort of. The titular character is the anthropomorphized digital assistant of a fictional tech company aptly called Amygdala. When Angela Childs, an audio moderator for the firm, thinks she’s heard a smart speaker record a crime, she’s sent down a rabbit hole of conspiracy that unravels her painful past. It’s a timely film (the pandemic plays a central part) telling a rather timeless tale about our relationship with technology.
— Nick Statt
A version of this story also appeared in today’s Entertainment newsletter; subscribe here.