The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild (Screenshot: Nintendo)

The video game to play

The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild—The Master Trials DLC

The Master Trials, the first of two major downloadable updates for Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, just dropped last week, and it’s exactly the kind of thing to draw players back in. The big addition is The Trial Of The Sword, a gauntlet that strips you of all your gear and pits you against 45 rooms full of monsters. Like the brilliant, self-contained challenge on Eventide Island, it forces you to scavenge for everything and use every bit of combat knowledge you’ve accumulated to survive. Without access to your Divine Beast powers or vast food stores, you have to approach each situation with more untraditional tactics, sneaking around and taking advantage of your surroundings. It encourages the kind of creativity BOTW was designed for but seldom required, and it’s definitely a rough, lengthy challenge.”
Read the rest of our thoughts on this Breath Of The Wild update here.

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The album to listen to

Toro Y Moi, Boo Boo

“We’re nearly four minutes into Boo Boo—already well intoxicated by the groove of opener ‘Mirage’—when [Chaz] Bear turns and says, ‘Oh, hello, I didn’t see you there,’ like we’ve just drifted in, unknowingly eavesdropping on a personal moment. Boo Boo chronicles the difficulties of a failing relationship and an identity crisis with that kind of enchanting intimacy, and even its more melancholy moments feel inviting. Electro-funk rhythms and low-key melodies drive Bear’s hazy brand of progressive pop-R&B, as in lead single ‘Girl Like You,’ where he Auto-Tune-swoons like a G-rated Travis Scott. Scott is explicitly named as an influence on the album, along with Frank Ocean and Oneohtrix Point Never—all for the sense of space they employ—and their collective presence is felt throughout Boo Boo’s 50 minutes.”
Read the rest of our review here.

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The movie to watch

A Ghost Story

A Ghost Story defies easy classification. You could describe it as a haunted house movie from the point of view of the haunter—one scene could come straight from Poltergeist—but that might lead people to expect horror, when raising hairs isn’t really on the agenda. This is a film with long stretches of deathly quiet, where the camera will adopt a somnambulistic stasis. At the same time, director David Lowery treats his scenario with a certain playfulness; the cliché childhood image of the ghost itself has a plain comic appeal, and there are moments, like the subtitled dialogue between our ethereal hero and another ghost across the street, that seem caught between whimsical humor and an existential melancholy. For the writer-director, A Ghost Story is a return to micro-indie roots after a soulful detour to Disney for Pete’s Dragon. And yet it would be hard to call a movie with this much reach ‘small,’ especially once it starts stretching forward and backward through time, the canvas expanding to cosmic proportions.”
Read the rest of our review here.

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The show to watch

Tour De Pharmacy

“At one point in Tour De Pharmacy, the second of Andy Samberg and company’s sports mockumentaries (following 2015’s absurdist tennis-centric 7 Days In Hell), Kevin Bacon appears as Ditmer Klerken, former head of the UCI, the world governing body responsible for overseeing the Tour De France and drug-testing all its competitors. Rocking a comically dumb Swedish accent and sunglasses, Bacon explains, ‘Most people don’t realize that cycling was invented so that men could fuck in the woods.’ It’s an outlandish and crude gag that nonetheless earns a laugh thanks to the guileless stupidity of it all, which is an apt description of Tour De Pharmacy, as well.”
Read the rest of our review here.

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The book to read

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Matthew Quick, The Reason You’re Alive

“Dysfunctional families are Matthew Quick’s specialty, and the latest novel from the author of The Silver Linings Playbook doesn’t deviate from that focus. The Reason You’re Alive deals with the impact of PTSD, depression, and adultery on a Philadelphia family, but also zooms in on the especially sharp divides created by America’s culture wars. Quick forces both readers and characters to reexamine their first impressions through his narrator, David Granger, a self-described ‘American patriot’ who manages to be both likable and sympathetic in spite of his constant rhetoric about ‘the great Jihad,’ ‘bullshit global warming theories,’ and other favorite right-wing subjects. It’s already been optioned as a movie, and its mix of breezy humor and poignant reveals is perfect for the big screen. It’s not likely to solve too many family feuds, but there is merit in its message that people are rarely entirely as they seem.”

Read the rest of our review here.

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