This week, we ended up finding a lot of inspiration from geniuses. Whether they were musicians, filmmakers, or athletes, we ended up watching a lot of masters at work (or at least talking about their work). Sprinkle in a few more super hero projects, and Volume 62 is pretty loaded!
The most hyped movie of 2022 (so far) has finally arrived in theaters, and we can’t wait to see what all the buzz is for. The Batman is a huge spring-time release in a pretty slow period for movies, which means it will absolutely dominate the film landscape for the next few weeks. We’re really curious to see what this iteration of the character brings, because it appears to split the difference between Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder’s versions of the Caped Crusader. Robert Pattinson has been doing some amazing things in the indie world, and Matt Reeves already found a lot of success in the franchise world (with Planet of the Apes), so it seems like a match made in heaven. Beyond Pattinson, the cast is incredible, with Paul Dano, Zoe Kravitz, Colin Farrell, and Jeffrey Wright leading the way. The trailers have looked pretty wild and very dark, and according to Reeves, the film leans more into the detective aspects of the hero. It’s probably best to see this one on the big screen, but if you can’t, it won’t be long before it’s streaming on HBOMax. We’ve got great memories of seeing The Dark Knight in theaters, and while it probably won’t quite live up to that standard, we have to hope there’s some new life in one of the great superhero franchises.
The Boys Presents: Diabolical
Speaking of dark superhero content, Amazon released an animated spin-off of The Boys this week, in case that’s more your speed. The live-action show has made it into the Friday Five before, as it turned the genre on its head, playing with tropes and exposing the dark underbelly of the superhero obsession. Now, the creators have taken it into the animated space, and by the looks of the trailer, they had a lot of fun with it. They aren’t unfamiliar with the animated hero space, either, after having put out another one of our favorites from last year, Invincible. We are huge fans of animated projects because of the freedom that they allow creators to explore, so it’s always cool to see bigger-budget, wide-ranging shows hit the air. We’ve dabbled in animation ourselves, too, so it’s also inspiring from a creative perspective. The voice cast and writing staff are absolutely incredible, with too many comedic geniuses to name. Between the adult humor, the language, and the gratuitous (animated) violence, we do have to say this probably isn’t a family show. But if you don’t want to go to the theater, you can get some hero (or antihero) content from the comfort of your couch this weekend.
We combined our interests in documentary and music this week and dove fully into the Netflix docuseries on Kanye, jeen-yuhs. Regardless of your feelings about the rapper, we have to recommend you check it out, because there are inspiring creative stories both in front of and behind the camera. Coodie, one half of the directing duo behind the project Coodie & Chike, decided in the late 90’s that he wanted to make Hoop Dreams but for rappers. And somehow, the Chicago-based comedian and producer stumbled on a young, pre-fame Kanye West. The docuseries follows Kanye’s rise and fall, and we really respect how real of a project it is – the filmmakers don’t shy away from telling the whole story, no matter how hard it is. To get in on the ground level of such an influential artist’s career is still mind-blowing to us, and it was really motivating to see the hustle it took to get to the top of the rap game. The confidence and conviction displayed by both Kanye as well as the filmmakers throughout the project is really cool, because they knew what they wanted and just went after it full-bore. Of course, as expected, the music is incredible, and you get to see the early cuts from some of the biggest tracks of the 21st Century. To see something like “All Falls Down” getting worked on in the studio is pretty surreal, not to mention the all-access footage that includes other legends like Jay-Z and Mos Def. It takes a lot of grit, hustle, hard work, and luck to get a break in the creative world, and that’s all on display in this stunning doc.
Francis Ford Coppola GQ Breakdown
While we’re on the topic of geniuses, another one of our creative inspirations dropped by GQ this week to break down his most iconic projects. Francis Ford Coppola is doing press as he prepares to self-finance his dream film, and lucky for us, he sat down to talk about the creation of some of the greatest movies ever made. Even though the stories have been told a million times, it is always incredible to hear about how hard it was to get some of these films made. Whether it was the infighting on The Godfather or Martin Sheen’s heart attack on Apocalypse Now, nothing was ever easy. Coppola is a true master at his craft, so it’s really awesome to hear him go in depth about storytelling and his process. Something like The Conversation seemingly came from a small, inkling of an idea, and it turned into an Academy Award-nominated movie. It’s great to take advantage of the legends while they’re still around, so we ate up all 30 minutes of this GQ segment. And here’s to hoping Coppola can finally put together his White Whale film.
Ja Morant vs. San Antonio Spurs
Just when we thought Ja Morant couldn’t surprise us anymore, he managed to one-up himself. We’ve already included Ja in a Friday Five and a Sport Science this year, and yet, he still dropped our jaws once again on Monday. In an inspiring display, Ja threw down a potential Dunk of the Year, hit a wild-buzzer beater, and dropped 52 points to lead Memphis to a win. He’s quickly become the premiere “must-watch” player in the NBA right now, and it’s only his third season. Morant was rightfully an All-Star this year, and we’d be shocked if there’s not an MVP in his future – he’s just that good. He’s the most fun player in the NBA on a nightly basis, and we can only hope the Grizzlies get a long playoff run to showcase their young star. The audacity it took to attempt Monday’s dunk, the faith from his teammates to hit the buzzer-beater, and the skill it took to complete either of them… it’s really special stuff. Once again, we are dumbfounded by Ja Morant.