Movie Review: Metal Lords (2022)

Metal Lords (dir. Peter Sollett, 2022) – Two high schoolers attempt to complete their death metal band with a cellist ahead of the upcoming Battle of the Bands.

3/5

In 2003, the School of Rock made its name. Guitarist Dewey Finn, while impersonating a substitute teacher, put together a band of talented high school musicians and turned their classical training into rock fuel in weeks. Despite his initial self-serving intention to win the Battle of the Bands, he soon inadvertently brought out the best in them. The coming-of-age masterwork remains celebrated almost 2 decades later today, cementing its place as an all-time best for many.

At first glance, Metal Lords seems to mirror the Richard Linklater film like a spiritual sequel, only for a heavier genre. The competition this time comes down to high school duo Kevin (Jaeden Martell) and Hunter (Adrian Greensmith), the founders of experimental death metal band Skullfucker. The only trouble? They are missing a bass player, and they aren’t exactly the most popular kids in school.

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Movie Review: Fresh (2022)

Fresh (dir. Mimi Cave, 2022) – Noa’s dating life takes a turn when she learns about her new partner’s unusual appetite.

4/5

Ask any woman about her online dating experiences, and you are bound to hear more than a few horror stories. Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones) has had her fair share, which might explain her eagerness to jump at her chance at love when she meets a seemingly decent man – Steve (Sebastian Stan) – in real life.

After all, their meet-cute in a supermarket aisle feels like the perfect set-up for a happily ever after. That is even if her best friend Molly (Jojo T Gibbs) calls red flag on his suspiciously quick moves and absence of online presence. Is it possible that Steve may be hiding something more? By now, any discerning viewer would be nodding along to Molly’s doubts.

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Book Reviews: April 2022 Reads

Happy May! We are halfway through the list, with 3 more books for Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge 2022:

#9: Read the book that’s been on your TBR the longest.

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock (Matthew Quick, 2013)
4/5

Forgive Me Leonard Peacock Novel

Did you ever think about all of the nights you lived through and can’t remember the ones that were so mundane your brain just didn’t bother to record them. Hundreds, maybe thousands of nights come and go without being preserved by our memory. Does that ever freak you out? Like maybe your mind recorded all of the wrong nights?

18-year-old Leonard Peacock is planning a murder-suicide on his birthday, but not before his final goodbyes. Depicting the preamble to his big mission, Matthew Quick’s Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock leads us deep into the tortured psyche of a lonely teenage killer.

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Movie Review: Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)

Everything Everywhere All at Once (dir. Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinert, 2022) – A middle-aged woman finds herself dragged into a strange multiverse, where she gets a glimpse into her alternate lives.

4/5

Undone taxes, a crumbling marriage, an estranged mother-daughter relationship. Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh) is struggling to cope with everything around her and she is starting to feel like her best will never be enough. As the pressure builds, she feels her reality slipping away. A web of parallel universes awaits her, each a glimpse into the lives she could have led.

One minute she takes on the persona of an action movie star and the next, an ordinary everywoman with edible hotdog fingers. Worsening matters is the danger that lurks in the multiverse as a weapon has surfaced in the form of a… bagel? It is almost impossible to describe the plot of Everything Everywhere All At Once without sounding like a raving lunatic.

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Movie Review: The Batman (2022)

The Batman (dir. Matt Reeves, 2022) – When a sadistic killer begins to murder key political figures in Gotham, the Batman steps in, only to uncover a larger ploy against the city.

3/5

It is a constant stagger back to square one for the DC Cinematic Universe as the studio introduces its 3rd major iteration of the caped crusader in just under two decades. There seems a reluctance to move past its tried and tested characters, even as Marvel races past and starts dipping into its backlog – to resounding success for the most part.

So we get The Batman. Again. Albeit this time, there is a promising director at helm. Matt Reeves’ take falls somewhere between his recent predecessors, grounded in its world-building and villainy, balanced with a tonality suited to its comic book origins. It fits Gotham well enough. His film noir influences hold merit, picking up where Darren Aronofsky’s Year One project fell through years ago.

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Book Reviews: March 2022 Reads

Three months into the Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge 2022, and I’m almost at the big 10. If only I hadn’t gotten distracted right near the end of March. A good distraction, regardless. Here’s hoping your reading month went well too!

#7: Read a romance where at least one of the protagonists is over 40.

The Mountain Between Us (Charles Martin, 2010)
3/5

The Mountain Between Us Novel

If the worst is a possibility, then you keep it on the table. Don’t hide from it. Don’t run. It can happen. And if and when it does, you need to have thought about it ahead of time. That way you’re not crushed when your worst thought becomes your reality.

Confession: I cheated at this challenge; Payne is in fact, 39.

After a serendipitous meeting, Surgeon Ben Payne and writer Ashley Knox get on a private charter plane in hopes of flying home quickly on a stormy winter night. When their pilot suffers a fatal stroke mid-flight, they crash and end up stranded in the cold wilderness.

The Mountain Between Us is a survival story that is, at its core, about love. There are heavy bits to get through as the characters suffer an endless streak of violent trauma, hunger, and despair. Yet the story is more about the irreplicable emotional bond between the two strangers, whose lives will never return to the way they were.

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