7 Can't Miss Things From April 2021
April can often be a slower month in the pop culture world. The first quarter of the year is usually jam-packed with exciting announcements for the latter half of the year. Typically things fizzle out until the summer blockbuster season ramps up into overdrive with the warmer months and with kids getting out of school.
But, like most other aspects of a post-pandemic world, the usual suspects are out of consideration. April 2021 has been jam-packed, bringing a smorgasbord of must-see shows, movies, news, and games.
Here’s our list of seven things you just cannot miss from the past month:
1. Rock the Block Superhero Fridays
I remember first seeing the trailer for Invincible and thinking there was no way it was going to work. I was otherwise unfamiliar with the franchise, but hoo boy was I mistaken. Invincible has brought it with an action-packed and deceptive superhero coming-of-age story filled to the brim with gore, intrigue, and masterful story-telling. Not to mention the all-star cast and performance—seriously, if you can stomach it, this is a show you don’t want to miss.
But the Friday fun didn’t stop there—after I would close the browser from watching the latest episode of Invincible on Amazon, I would pop open my Disney+ account and get into the latest episode of Falcon and Winter Soldier. Was it my favorite Marvel show of all time? No. I’m a Winter-Soldier-hater, so this one was kind of set up to flop. Even still, like with all other superhero-media, I binged it each week and ate up every minute of it.
It didn’t ever really live up to the hype and mystery of it’s Disney+ warm-up act Wandavision, but the good news is that you can cancel your subscription for a little while now until June when Loki drops on the airwaves. Enjoy the month off before the mad god (I’m talking about Owen Wilson, of course) brings us back in with his wily antics.
2. Fujifilm Brings The Nostalgia
Fujfilm rocked the Nintendo world by announcing that their Instax photo printer will supposedly be able to work with the Nintendo Switch to print off photos that are taken on the device. This was perfectly timed with the release of the upcoming New Pokémon Snap title and brought 90s kids instantly back to the Blockbuster days of printing out their awful photographs they tried to take from the Nintendo 64 version of Pokémon Snap.
Will it really pan out? I think so. Will we be able to find a mini link printer until May of 2023? Probably not. If the trailer’s in sight, scalpers delight.
3. The Uninstallables Premiered
Okay, this might be a bit self-promotional, but we started our newest series this month and it’s really a good time. If you’ve missed the show so far, it’s all good—but we’d love to have you join in on the fun. Each Tuesday, we’re playing a title from Nerd Pastor Nate’s extensive backlog of games for two hours. After the two hours are over, we decide as a group of viewers whether or not we would continue playing the game or uninstall it. It’s been a riot so far and we’ve had a blast playing some awesome games and some terrible ones.
Even better, we are engaging our Discord community by giving them the ultimate decision of what we play each week. We post in #TheUninstallables channel on the Discord four choices that are randomly RNGed from one of Nathan’s four game playlists on Steam. It’s been a great time seeing what everyone thinks about the games each week—consider joining in on the fun!
4. Mortal Kombat, Kong vs Godzilla on the Big Screen
After a whole year off, it feels like we finally have a real reason to go back to the theater experience. With blockbusters like Mortal Kombat and Kong vs Godzilla officially hitting the silver screen, I’m finding myself longing for that delightful buttery taste of popcorn mixed with over-syrupped Pibb Extra.
The best part is that these movies are also airing on HBO Max or some other streaming service day of release, so there isn’t any peer pressure in the viewing experience—it’s just a voluntary desire for some IMAX or THX-mastered experience. No need for less options in the internet world… ¿porque no los dos?
5. Apple Event
You can read a summary of the full event here, but basically Apple just decided to put their best performing chip into every device they have—which just feels like such an insane flex. As an Android user, it’s not enough to tempt me back to the franchise, but I have to respect the hustle that Apple is putting into the details of their machines. No shade—but I was a bit disappointed at no real reveal of exciting software or innovative hardware. I mean, the AirTag is really just a modest step forward on location technology that’s been around for years. I mean, I can go buy a cloud-based key finder at the Marshall’s, y’know?
Most excitingly (it seems) they revealed a purple iPhone 12. To others, this was kind of a weird thing for Apple to be so hyped about, but here at Checkpoint, we totally get the purple craze. No bias here.
6. Jeff Kaplan Leaves Blizzard
Probably the most surprising thing to happen this month was Jeff Kaplan announcing his leave from Blizzard. Jeff has been with Blizzard since I was in Elementary School, so needless to say this was pretty jarring for any and all who have been in the gaming sphere their entire lives. This is most shocking because Jeff is seen by many as the figurehead of Blizzard’s hit title Overwatch, which he has served as Director of since release. Doubling down on the surprise is the hotly contested release of Overwatch 2 seeming to be on the horizon (where it has been for a while now).
Whether these factors are all related to his departure or not, I am encouraged in knowing that Jeff wouldn’t leave a project he worked on for fifteen years without believing it to be in good hands with Aaron Keller. Nearly twenty years in any position is a long time, I hope that Kaplan goes on to pursue his passions and be fulfilled wherever he’s headed next (even if it’s retirement).
7. Uh, Easter obvs
You didn’t think an organization like Checkpoint Church would forget the biggest and most important thing from the month, did you? We put out a special devotional on Easter to celebrate the complex relationship between the nerds, geeks, and gamers of the world and the messy concept of resurrection.
Christians should really be Easter people—it’s kind of the whole thing. Christ died, Christ rose, Christ will come again. What does resurrection look like in the life of our community? Is it just playing as Mercy in Overwatch? Is it just getting one hundred rings to get another life? Or is it something more? Make no mistake—this is what every video, conversation, and piece of content is really about here at Checkpoint.
So, that was April, but what about May? Time can only tell what surprises are around the bend, but here are just a few of the announced things we are excited about; who knows, maybe they’ll end up on our 7 things next month.
What We’re Most Looking Forward to in May
Mass Effect Legendary Edition
World’s End Club
Love, Death, and Robots
Spiral: From the Book of Saw
Star Wars: The Bad Batch