Much to our surprise, we have a new candidate for "best movie of the summer," and it's already available for you to stream! On top of that, Volume 85 has an inspiring interview, great design, and a new jam to add to your summer rotation. The weather is still hot, and as always, so is the Friday Five.
In the current age of streaming and IP-driven franchises, prequels and sequels mostly feel pretty safe and, frankly, boring. Luckily for us, Dan Trachtenberg decided to break that mold with Prey, his new prequel to the hit action film Predator. To put it simply, this movie is sick. The plot follows a young Comanche warrior in the late 1700's as she goes out on the hunt of a lifetime. But she isn't out stalking lions or bears -- instead, she finds herself going toe-to-toe with the extraterrestrial Predator. After the first 15 or 20 minutes of the film sets the stage, you get a non-stop thrill ride for the rest, full of all the blood and guts that you'd expect in a Predator movie. So many of Trachtenberg's decisions make this stand out from the rest, though. First and foremost, the setting and the casting of almost all Native American and First Nation actors is pretty revolutionary for a big budget sci-fi/action release, and this film was even dubbed in Comanche. Beyond that, the use of silence throughout the film ratchets up the tension, and really puts you in the middle of the hunt. There are a lot of hand signals and unspoken communication, especially once the Comanches realize they are the ones being hunted, and it all keeps you on the edge of your seat. Our only wish for this movie was that it was playing in theaters -- but on the plus side, you can go check it out on Hulu right after you finish reading this.
Lewis Hamilton for Vanity Fair
One of our favorite athletes took the time to reflect on some life-changing moments, which is pretty much a guaranteed way to make it into the Friday Five. Formula One superstar (and all-around awesome guy) Sir Lewis Hamilton was featured in Vanity Fair's ReFramed segment, and he took a look back at some huge milestones and achievements over the course of his life. Hamilton is one of (if not the) greatest drivers to ever race the F1 circuit, and his persona both on and off the track has made him one of our favorite athletes to root for. So we were ecstatic to get the rare opportunity to watch someone at the top of his sport look back and share some truly emotional (and funny) moments from his rise to greatness. The very first moment is a young Hamilton racing remote control cars, already revealing the competitive spirit that would propel him to the top. Seeing someone that was already so driven at a young age is pretty inspiring, especially when you get to see the end result of his career! But we appreciated the humor, the sentimentality, and the look inside the mind of one of the most decorated competitors in the world.
The Lagoons - "Surfing"
We don't have to stop adding to our summer playlists just because the season is slowly coming to an end. The Lagoons have become a mainstay in the Friday Five, and they have a new single out that is perfect to soundtrack a hot, sunny day. The underlying bassline and percussion really give off the same vibes as old surf rock like "Wipeout" which brings the listener into the genre. Over that, the guitar riffs and signature Lagoons vocal effects give it a modern flair that make it stand out, and really give it a chill feeling. On top of all that, the lyrics are about a cool guy wearing Ray-bans. What more could you ask for in a track while you're driving around, sitting on a beach, or popping open a beer on a summer day?
The king of alt, cringey comedy is back and (maybe) better than ever. Nathan Fielder, the mastermind behind the brilliant Nathan For You, is back on HBO with his new show The Rehearsal. In the show, Fielder "rehearses" life moments with nervous participants so they are better prepared to take on the challenging encounters. If that sounds strange, it's because it is. Fielder's brand of offbeat comedy is designed to make you feel uncomfortable and on-edge, but he is somehow incredibly disarming to the real-life people cast in his show. The Rehearsal crew creates incredibly detailed simulations of scenarios that the participants in the show have been dreading, so that they can practice and feel more confident going into the real thing. It will make you laugh, cringe, shift around uncomfortably, and keep you on the edge of your seat -- but all in a good way. There's not a whole lot else we can say about the show, you'll just have to watch.
As we love to do, we are highlighting an animator this week that posts all sorts of behind-the-scenes content to let us in on their process. Lion Young is an Australian animator who posts really distinct animated scenes and vignettes on their Instagram, and then later puts out a video showing a detailed step-by-step tutorial of how they made them. We appreciate that Lion Young seems to be as interested in helping others learn as they do putting out their own, original content. They use a combination of programs like After Effects and Photoshop to great effect, and make it seem so simple and easy that anyone can do it. If you love interesting animation -- or want to learn how to make it -- you should give Lion Young a follow!