Dominic LeRose and Johnny Bildings are seniors at UW-Madison who are fanatics about all things entertainment. Their goal is to recommend their favorite, movies, tv shows, books, music, documentaries and specials to make the dismal times of the current pandemic a little less sufferable.
Shore by Fleet Foxes
There’s no better time for indie folk than Fall and luckily we have a freshly released compilation from the superb band “Fleet Foxes” just in time for sweater weather and apple cider. With 15 beautiful, heart and mind capturing songs, their latest album Shore is a sensational blend of upbeat rhythms and harmonic tunes from a variety of instruments that will set even the most dismal of souls into a proper mood.
"Stand Up" by Katt Williams
Anyone looking to hurt from laughter can head over to Netflix to stream a number of the specials from the King of Underground Comedy himself, the energetic, filter-less Katt Williams. Known for speaking his mind and being fearless to confront any subject, Katt has a way of engaging with his audience in such a way that each and every joke hits home in the perfect manner. Foul-mouthed and vulgar, this man is the perfect escape from the times we’re facing and is without a doubt one of the most underrated comedians of our time.
"There Will Be Blood"
Any film buff knows that Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2007 masterpiece “There Will Be Blood” is an absolute masterpiece that is a force of nature to be reckoned with. Set in the early 1900s, relentless oilman Daniel Plainview maneuvers his way through the state of California hungry for profit as he slowly descends into madness in his quest for power. Daniel Day-Lewis, in what may be arguably the single greatest acting performance of all time, is a loose canon of a man in a deeply unsettling and forceful performance of unparalleled talent and force. Anderson, proving he is a master filmmaker, constantly holds us in riveting tension and with his vision creates a monumental triumph that captures the essence of the American economy and the soul of an empty man. The film is currently streaming on Netflix.
"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"
A science fiction twist on a classic love story, director Michele Gondry and writer Charlie Kauffmann’s 2004 romantic dramatic isn’t an easy watch — but most definitely a rewarding one. Jim Carey provides some incredible dramatic chops as he transforms into the against-type role of shy, socially-awkward Joel, a man who plans to undergo memory erasure to forget a previous relationship with the eccentric and free-spirited Clementine, played by Kate Winslet. Following the relationship from a highly unique perspective, the chemistry between the two leads bleeds through the screen as viewers learn the reasons behind why things fell apart, and supporting performances from Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo and Elijah Wood will keep you engaged regardless of how you feel about the main romance. You may want to stock up on Kleenex — “Spotless Mind” is a heartbreaking and undefined conclusion to an old adage, a movie that will truly make you question whether it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
"The Social Network"
Time to rewind Aaron Sorkin fans and treat yourself to some of the screenplay master’s finest work before his second directorial outing “Trial of the Chicago 7” hits Netflix on Oct. 16. With calculated direction from little-known filmmaker named David Fincher, a powerhouse performance from Jesse Eisenberg as Harvard dropout and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and a haunting score from Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross of Nine Inch Nails fame, “Social Network” is, in my opinion, the best cinema of the past decade, and should be considered appointment viewing for anyone who wants to learn how a good movie gets put together. The power of this biographical tale grows with each passing year as Facebook’s influence over our virtual lives — and sometimes democracy — looms larger and larger, and Eisenberg’s portrayal of a billion-dollar idea born out of the mind of the world’s loneliest man is truly something to behold. If you haven’t seen this movie before, I don’t know what you’re doing — just go watch it already.
"Popstar" Music Video by DJ Khaled
Definitely one of the most creative music videos I’ve seen built on the backs of our socially-distanced society, “Popstar” is an average hip-hop song with a pretty unique twist in the center of the screen. I won’t spoil too much, but there’s a combination of classic Drake vibes, stereotypical Justin Beiber shenanigans and aggressive DJ Khaled antics here you won’t find anywhere else in the music scene right now, and it’s worth the five or so minutes you have between Zoom classes to check out for a somewhat catchy tune and interesting way to make the most out of coronavirus border closures. At this point, I’ll take what I can get for free content.