Best of Summer 2022
Updated: Sep 16, 2022
By The Gatepost Art & Features Staff
"The Boys": Season 3
By Jack McLaughlin
Amazon Prime’s “The Boys” released its third season throughout June and it continues to be the obscene masterpiece it’s been since season one.
With popular media being dominated by the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s films and shows, “The Boys” is focused on what would happen if the heroes people looked up to were corrupt, power-hungry villains.
This idea is personified in the antagonist Homelander, played by Antony Starr. His presence dominates each scene he’s in, being the intimidating “all powerful” force whose unpredictability keeps everyone in fear of him.
This season focuses on Butcher and Hughie, played by Karl Urban and Jack Quaid, looking for a missing supe from the ’80s who would be powerful enough to eliminate Homelander.
After growing more tired of superhero films and TV that have come out in the last year, this show was a breath of fresh air in a genre that desperately needs it.
By Emma Lyons
Arts & Features Editor
Alternative music artist Beatrice Laus - better known as “beabadoobee” - released her second studio album “Beatopia” in July 2022, letting her fans jam along for the first time since 2020.
“Beatopia” opens with “Beatopia Cultsong” which introduces listeners to the album with the question: “Is it me, or recently time is moving slowly?” - which is repeated continuously with instrumentals that bring the listeners into the setting of the record.
The album includes 14 tracks with a slightly techno and stronger rock feel than that of Laus’ previous albums. Tracks like “Talk” and “Don’t get the deal” utilize electric guitars and heavy drumming to lean toward the pop rock aspects of the alternative genre.
Laus still shows her original sound that long-time fans have become familiar with through songs like “Ripples” and “broken cd” - which highlight Laus’ soft vocal quality, supported by simple string and piano instrumentals backing her throughout the songs.
“Beatopia” has a song for every mood and each song has the ability to stand alone as a hit.
This album will be a fan favorite for summers to come, as fans are able to find a utopia within the melodies of the tracks.
"Orphan: First Kill"
By Ryan Schrieber
“Orphan: First Kill” came out Aug. 19 being uploaded exclusively on Paramount+. This movie is such a good prequel to an already great film.
This is the second installment in the Orphan franchise. The first movie was released in 2009. It stars Isabelle Fuhrman, who plays Leena, a deranged psychopath from Estonia who suffers from hypopituitarism, a disorder that impedes growth.
Essentially, Leena is a 30-year-old woman trapped in a little girl's body. In the first movie Leena impersonates a little girl named Esther, who we find out in the second film is a missing child.
One major reason why I love this movie is because of the kills. Within the first 15 minutes, we watch two people get bludgeoned to death and a man who gets his head repeatedly bashed against a wall. The deaths were creative and bloody, which are two boxes that were immediately checked off for me.
Another thing I loved about this movie was the twists. A family learns that this little girl is not so little and then tries to plot her demise.
“Orphan: First Kill” wastes no time in becoming one of my favorite movies.
By Raena Doty
“The Sandman,” a Netflix original TV series based off a Neil Gaiman comic by the same name, is an absolutely magical tale.
It follows the titular Sandman - usually called Dream or Morpheus - through the events that lead to his imprisonment and what happens after. The epic fantasy is unlike anything else, but it has familiar characters taken from the Bible and mythology, which adds depth to the structure of the world.
Despite the grandiose adventure that the story tells, the characters are the lifeblood of everything - they’re loveable, they’re frustrating, they’re utterly and completely human (even the ones who are otherworldly).
The tone of the story is intermittently humorous, dark, heartfelt, and optimistic - all in the right places. While this show may not be for the faint of heart, the fuel of the fire that keeps “The Sandman'' burning is hope. This is exactly what the viewer is left with at the end, and in the state of this world, everyone could use a bit of hope.
Whether a thinker or a feeler, a watcher or a listener, an angel or a demon, this show has something for everyone. If you’re looking for a high-brow story to pick apart symbol by symbol and metaphor by metaphor, or if you just want a way to occupy a Thursday night, you cannot go wrong with “The Sandman.”
By Ryan O’Connell
Arts & Features Editor
The third film directed by Jordan Peele to hit the big screen, “Nope,” is a science-fiction horror with the western genre helping influence its setting and themes.
Released July 22, the movie follows OJ (Daniel Kaluuya) and Emerald (Keke Palmer) at a crossroads - while OJ tries to hold up the family business after their father’s death, Emerald is ready to leave it all behind and carve her own path in Hollywood.
These differences are put aside, however, when the siblings discover an otherworldly, territorial, unidentified flying object near their ranch, threatening their horses and presenting a golden opportunity to Emerald.
The master plan to catch the alien on physical film and capture something never before seen involves meticulous planning, a network of cameras, and a daring performance as bait, which OJ has only one shot at.
“Nope” is a shockingly tense, action-oriented flick with a handful of disturbing and visceral scenes, which have the viewer feel exposed and vulnerable - followed by a hectic, extreme collapse in the plan that climaxes minutes before the film ends.
While the extreme stakes - and even the more graphic scenes - contribute to the quality of Peele’s modern adaptation of the American Western, the characters, naturalistic - and funny - dialogue, and bizarre premise make “Nope” a great watch.
"Stranger Things 4"
By Emily Rosenberg
After three years of living through something quite strange ourselves, the Duffer Brothers swung at us with the long awaited fourth season of everyone’s favorite Netflix Original series - “Stranger Things.”
The whole gang is back, except this time they’re not just in Hawkins. Mike and Dustin are chilling with super senior, super silly, (sexy?) DM of DnD club “Hellfire,” Eddie, while Will and Eleven become the fresh meat for the bullies at their new school in California.
In the midst of this, Joyce goes on a “work convention” to Russia with Maury after getting a cryptic doll in the mail, and Lucas is getting a taste of popularity as a player on the basketball team.
While each group fights their own battles this season, we get a close up of each character as we dive into Eleven’s background, Will and Robin’s sexualities, Lucas’s identity, and see Steve beginning to forgive himself while Nancy is crafting her future.
Full of twists, psychological terror, and fresh romance, “Stranger Things 4” will not only have you running away from grandfather clocks but also running up that hill (away from Vecna).
By Owen Glancy
“Bullet Train” is a thrilling and refreshing break from the action movie norm of modern Hollywood.
The action scenes offer a breath of fresh air in their creativity, despite the largely limited setting of one train and its stops.
Lots of this variety comes from the colorful and quirky cast of characters. Brad Pitt shines as Ladybug, an aloof and chill protagonist in a very violent and chaotic film. His banter with the rest of the crazy killers and yakuza are without a doubt the film’s highlights.
The acting and characterization are just as well done as Brad Pitt’s Ladybug, with Tangerine (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Lemon (Brian Tyree Henry) being standouts with their twin dynamic.
Some parts of the film do fall short of the fun action and interesting characters. The villains are built up so much throughout the film as a massive unstoppable threat, only for their eventual reveals and actions to be somewhat underwhelming.
Some potentially interesting minor villains also reek of wasted potential, Hornet (Zazie Beetz) and Wolf (Bad Bunny) fit this envelope. Unfortunately, the main villain is perhaps the most disappointing of all.
White Death, played by Michael Shannon, is well acted but feels very underwhelming and tame compared to the all-out insanity of the rest of the film.
Despite the subpar villains and occasional pacing issues, Bullet Train’s bombastic action and likable main cast make the film well worth a watch.
"Minions: Rise of Gru"
Arts & Features Editors
Fans flocked to movie theaters on July 1 to see the highly anticipated fifth installment to the “Despicable Me” franchise - “Minions: Rise of Gru.”
With the groovy backdrop of 1970’s San Francisco, this movie acts as a sequel to “Minions,” released in 2015, and documents 12-year-old Gru’s path to becoming a super villain after acquiring the following of the Minions.
Gru has to fight to be taken seriously as he attempts to join the “Vicious 6” - a famous team of super villains. He is criminally underestimated by the group and takes it upon himself to steal a precious jewel from them to prove himself.
“Minions: Rise of Gru” is an action-packed comedy that has something for everyone. It allows for new “Despicable Me” fans to become acquainted with the well-known characters without being lost, while also throwing in cameos of past characters and callbacks to previous jokes.