Gems of Entertainment: Movies, TV Series, and Books Worth Exploring

Imaginary Companions

How we waited for The Idol and how weird we felt after watching five episodes along with the promised six. Barbie was watched back in the summer, as was Oppenheimer. The strike in Hollywood has taken its toll, and now the question is, "What to watch and consume?"

Marika's editors have taken care of that and, more than that, added two books for this fall. We invite you to read the stories you may have missed because of the buzz of the big pictures.
The Covenant
Afghanistan. During a special operation, U.S. Army Sergeant John Kinley and his squad are ambushed. The only survivors are John, who is wounded, and the interpreter, Ahmed. After waking up, Kinley does not remember how he managed to survive but realizes that it was Ahmed who saved his life. Now the feeling of guilt does not give John rest, and he decides to go back for Ahmed and his family, who in Afghanistan are intensely looking for the Taliban.

Editor's Notes
Everything we love Guy Ritchie for is here: suspense, action scenes, an intense plot, and great actors. The lovers of The Boys series will also be satisfied to see Antony Starr acting in the movie. For me, for example, it was the moment from the meme with DiCaprio from Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

The film itself portrays a catastrophe created by a government that breaks its promises. It is sad when you watch it happening on the screen, and it is even sadder when you realize that your home or close ones may experience that. The realization of that strikes deep when watching The Covenant; it makes you worry about the characters. And it is the point of thrillers and actions, so Guy Ritchie deserves esteem.
Asteroid City
The year is 1955, and a small fictional town is located near a crater left by an asteroid impact thousands of years ago. Every year, a gathering of young astronomers is held there, attended by students, their families, teachers, and the military. Another such gathering is abruptly interrupted by a world-changing event.

Editor's Notes
We saw a cartoon about dogs from Wes, a watchable article by Wes, a film with dolls by Wes, and now it is time for play by Wes. In the City of Asteroids, no one is the main character. It is this new approach that is the reason for the film's interest. And of course, name your favorite actor, and he will be in Anderson's movie. But the main thing is that the film has a running plot, and it'll either please you to no end or scare you away from the city altogether. What to say? Magic of cinematography!
In the early 20th century, the vampire Dracula meets Renfield and takes him as one of his familiars. After 90 years of killing mortals, searching for victims, and abusing them, Renfield begins to question his loyalty to his master. Can he walk away from him, or will Dracula kill his assistant and all his new friends?

Editor's Notes
It is a classic in every way, but it is a reimagined classic with the plot "What if?". Today, all these reshoots are boring because they show exactly the same, if not worse. The movie Renfield has another vibe: the main character is a former minor one; the action takes place in our time; and the genre is comedy with elements of horror.

Renfield became a good friend of mine for those times when you want to relax and watch a movie without worldly thoughts, when you want to entertain yourself and get into the mystical world where friendship wins.
Love and Death
Candy is a stereotypical housewife in the late 1970s. She has a good husband, a cute daughter, and her own house. She goes to church and spends time with other Christian women. One of them is Betty. It is to her husband that Candy proposes a love affair that ends with a murder.

Editor's Notes
It is unclear whether or not the creators want to make viewers juries of the main character, but they have made it. The series starts with the background of a crime, and you are not allowed to witness the moment of murder until the trial. It forces you to collect evidence of Candy's guilt or innocence. The series was based on a real happen murder, and this knowledge is literally killing you to know the results of the trial and the future of Candy. The crime is merciless, and only you as a watcher can decide whether it is an accident or intentionality.
Therapist Jimmy, after a personal tragedy, begins to tell his patients what he really thinks of them. Unexpectedly, his harsh comments change not only their lives but also his own.

Editor's Notes
When working with people, you realize that many of them are stupid. They come for advice on how to handle simple tasks such as bulb screwing. It seems like nothing to worry about, but they go straight to you and ask which way to turn, what to do if a holder is hung too high, and whether they should use gloves to do it.

The main character of Shrinking works with such people, and one day he decides to call them stupid, disregarding the doctor's code. It is a guilty pleasure to watch it. Step by step, he made mistakes, learned new approaches to work and life, and fixed his relationship with his daughter. He teaches us that it is never too late to right your wrongs, and the main plus for me is that he does it with lighthearted humor.
Strangers Amy and Danny are going through a difficult period in their lives: she feels a mental emptiness, and he - an empty bank account. One day their cars collide in a parking lot, and the accidental altercation escalates into hatred: both start doing everything they can to get back at their adversary.

Editor's Notes
The first episode is here, so you'll know which of the main characters you'll be supporting. You choose one, and then you watch how your candidate messes up another's life. It is a unique series, as each of the A24 pictures shows, and you will experience a feeling like that when you win against someone in Mortal Kombat. You cheer for one to destroy another, but your desire is coming out of fun, not pure anger. Beef is odd and gorgeous, and you just have to watch to understand why.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
The reclusive old Hollywood legend Evelyn Hugo announces that she is ready to present her memoirs to the public. Her entire career has been accompanied by mysteries, sensations, and numerous scandals. Unexpectedly, Evelyn chooses an unknown magazine employee, Monique Grant, as her confidante. Monique is discouraged, and her first meeting with Evelyn Hugo only adds more questions.

Editor's Notes
The book is read as fast and easy as you have ever done it with fairy tales, but this one is for a more mature audience. And here is a spoiler without spoilers: the seven husbands from the title are pages of Evelyn's life and stairs on her career ladder. There is also a reason why Monique was chosen to write, and the book is worth reading at least to solve that. Another reason is the woman power Evelyn has. Would I want it in exchange for experience and fame as the actress? I doubt it.
The Half Moon by Mary Beth Keane
Malcolm is a bartender who dreams about his own establishment. When his boss retires, he spends almost all his money to buy back the bar. It would seem like a dream come true, but Malcolm can barely stay afloat. Meanwhile, his wife, Jess, realizes that her goal of having a baby is not right for her at all. Like Malcolm, she realizes that her youth is fading away, the present does not suit her, and something urgent needs to be done about her future.

Editor's Notes
Imagine that you read The Defining Decade by Meg Jay, but it was fictional. The Half Moon is about the midlife crisis when you begin to doubt everything and think you have not enough or are not right. The book forces you to analyze yourself and think about your life choices. After reading, you will want to fix your mistakes, follow your deepest desires, which you have been putting off for a long time, and face your fears. The two characters allow each reader to associate them with themselves and show individual decisions, but whether or not you accept these decisions or choose a completely different path is your responsibility.
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