The radar: May’s cream of the crop
Film: Ghost in the Shell (2017)
As the era is now comprised of both technology and humanity, the film Ghost in the Shell takes the stage to visualize the possible future ahead of us. From a mortal-body-turned-cyborg up to the quest of defeating evil all while searching for an identity, this movie caters to those looking for a new taste of sci-fi.
Though the film received some criticism concerning its failure to address the race and cultural identity of the major characters—even going as far as being accused of whitewashing—the Ghost in the Shell still romps to victory, presenting a new-age recreation of a classic cyberpunk flick. And as the film portrays, we are defined by our actions, not by our memories.
Series: Sense8 Season 2 (2017)
Starring: Max Riemelt, Brian Smith, and etc.
Action-packed, developing, and steamier than ever—Sense8’s comeback in its second season expands its paradigm, even more than what the first installment achieved. After the release of the Christmas special episode last December 2016, the original Netflix adaptation continues to figuratively blow minds with its bolder and crazier plot.
The cast—or rather the sensate family—is pretty much the same except for Capheus, as the actor was recast for the second installment. Everything about this season is near incomparable to the first one as the storyline overthrows the ambiguity of the first season. What will excite its fans and novice viewers the most is its superb character development among the cast; it is clear that the unfolding of their past is over and it’s time for an unpredictable shaping of their future.
Improvement is an underrated adjective to describe how this season stepped up its game. With its connecting flashbacks, clearer insight about the Biologic Preservation Organization (BPO), and emotional finale, this season triumphantly diverts our senses from reality to the cruel yet fascinating space of homo sensoriums.
And to summarize this season, bring it on, b-tch!
Music: Of Sound Mind and Memory by Reese Lansangan (2017)
Gentle yet powerful—words that perfectly sums up Reese Lansangan’s genre. With her undeniable talent in music, Lansangan has been able to incorporate a skillful story using her words and tunes. Her music gives us a sense of relief, a kind of inner peace we’ve all been yearning for.
From her 2016 debut album entitled Arigato, Internet!, Lansangan showed an out of the box concept of space exploration, poor grammar distaste, and everything in between. This year, she’s up for her new EP (extended play) consisting of four tracks that are arguably more sad and serious—beautifully made from having sound mind and memory. With a handful exceptions of her pitch-perfect renditions, Lansangan plays a bit more attention to acoustics with her guitar and soft voice.
Lansangan showcases her different personas for this EP and effectively narrates the story of growing up and finding your inner self. Of Sound Mind and Memory is an album for every weary and lost soul finding hope amidst the perfect storm of loneliness and longing.
Music: After Laughter by Paramore (2017)
Head banging—but we’re getting them a little bit softer now. Paramore has gone on a full circle revival withtheir ultimate comeback from years of silence in the music industry. Although the emo, eyeliner junkie, and electrifying rock days of Paramore have come to a close, every single Paramore fan was still stoked when the long wait came to an end this month when their latest album After Laughter was released.
There’s no way this album sounds like the rest that they’ve made. It might have hurt some fans that the scorching fire of their riot was given a touch of electronic dance music. But nonetheless, it’s still the same brand of Paramore—the band that has the lyrics that don’t just come around some generic song hits, but the beat that perfectly combines head bangs and hip sways.
They’re hitting the stages and radios again, still as the punk rock band that they are—just a little bit sweeter. Years later, the head banging still continues with their latest album After Laughter—even after all the tears.
Book series: The Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan
Written by the American best-selling author Rick Riordan, The Trials of Apollo tells the story of the titular character—the Greek god of the sun living the life of a mortal after he was cast by his father, Zeus, from Olympus for angering him. Apollo finds himself dumped in the alleyways of New York City, where he has to fend for himself without his usual awe-inspiring, mortal-zapping godly powers, and later embark on a quest to prove himself worthy of godhood once again.
In case you haven’t heard, the series is set in the same universe as Percy Jackson and the Olympians (Percy even makes an appearance every now and then.) If you’ve read that, then you should be familiar with how the almighty Apollo is actually a laid-back, easy-go-lucky guy with a smile that dazzles like the sun (pun intended). Now that he’s lost his Maserati Spyder of a sun chariot, he hopes that you’d still root for him as he downgrades to a measly, average-looking kid with a bad case of acne. It’s a whole new story with a couple familiar faces, and it still has that PJO feel that we’ve all come to know and love.
So far, the series has two books released: The Hidden Oracle (2016), and The Dark Prophecy (2017) with the third installment, The Burning Maze scheduled to be released on May 2018.