This week as the Northern Hemisphere awaits the approach of spring, Cheddar recommends some entertainment to keep you occupied if it's still a little too chilly to cavort outside: "Turning Red," "Gaming Wall Street," "The Next Thing You Eat," and "The Dark Knight."
Turning Red - Disney+
Picked by Digital Editor Mike Nam
Adolescence can be a chaotic, emotional time for anyone — but for 13-year-old Mei, it gets a bit more complicated when she learns that due to her family's mystical legacy, she also begins to transform into a giant red panda when her emotions are heightened. Director Domee Shi, who also created the heartfelt short Bao, makes her feature debut with this Pixar flick set to premiere on Disney+ this Friday. Set in early 2000s Canada and heavily saturated with the kind of boy band pop music of the era, it's sure to be funny, nostalgic, and heartfelt like a lot of previous Pixar projects.
Gaming Wall Street - HBO Max
Picked by Reporter Alex Vuocolo
This business reporter was basically obligated to check out HBO Max's new docuseries about the 2021 meme-stock craze, and I'll say that it was mostly a worthwhile experience. It definitely simplifies the topic (like most pop-docs) and Kieran Culkin's narration is a little on the nose in how it plays up the heroic retail investors' life-or-death battle with Wall Street short-sellers, but it's still a fascinating window into the lives of the oddball Americans who tried to send GameStop and AMC to the moon. If anything, it's an interesting cultural document of a time and place when people said things like "stonks," "YOLO," and "tendies."
The Next Thing You Eat - Hulu
Picked by Sr. News Editor Dina Ross
This week I started watching The Next Thing You Eat, a series from 2021 on Hulu hosted by restaurateur David Chang. It's not about cooking — it's about understanding what we eat and why. I didn't find it preachy, but I did find it interesting. I jumped right in with Episode 4, entitled "Breakfast: An Illusion of Choice." I guess I was expecting to watch beautiful shots of eggs, bacon, and pancakes while I chowed down on my own meal. And yes, there was plenty of beautiful food videography, but Chang brings a unique take on food and dives into the question: why do we eat what we do for breakfast? As a kid who convinced her mom that ice cream for breakfast was better than nothing (ed. note: thanks mom!), I think it's a solid question. I mean, how much difference is there between traditional desserts and traditional breakfast foods like sugary cereal or anything drenched in maple syrup? Chang digs into this idea with a series of experts who have unique opinions and add different viewpoints to the conversation. I watched several other episodes as well, which I thought were put together in an interesting way with, of course, plenty of food beauty shots.
The Dark Knight - Netflix
Picked by Producer Lawrence Banton
Before I jump into why you should re-watch The Dark Knight, I promise this isn't to deter you from watching the latest installment, The Batman — mainly because I haven't even seen it myself. Now, I will say the fact that there is a new Batman movie in theaters, it made me want to revisit my favorite in the collection. Without seeing the new one, I think Christian Bale's performance as Bruce Wayne is unmatched and Heath Ledger's adaption of the Joker has already been etched in history. What I think makes this film so good is the very obvious struggle Batman had with toeing the line between being a hero and outright vigilante. Oh, and the action? The crew made good use of its $185 million budget. I also really enjoyed the emergence of Two-Face, aka Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), and the eventual backstabbing by the Joker. Can you really ever trust a supervillain?