Thursday, January 15, 2009

Capsule Review Day

There may be spoilers for the third season of LOST below.

LOST, Season Four:
As the first season where the number of remaining episodes was set in stone, LOST really regained its momentum. Not a lot happened in the first season, but it was new and intriguing. By the time the third season had rolled around, there still wasn't a lot happening, and things had started to drag. By turning the whole flashback storytelling device on its head and giving us glimpses of what happens in the future when some people have escaped, the story once again feels like it's worth watching.

The only negative is the introduction of an entire slew of new characters -- though good, they take time away from the originals, and red-headed Charlotte, in particular, is an annoying character who probably won't shine until next season (which starts next Wednesday). I feel the same way about her as I did about Ana Lucia: she might have a compelling story in the future, but I already hate her for her extended bitchy introduction.

This season also had one of the best episodes of the series: The Constant.

Final Grade: A-

Tales of Beedle the Bard:
An extremely brief supplementary book to the Harry Potter series, this novella is a collection of short stories supposedly read by the main characters in the final REAL Harry Potter book. It won't take more than a half hour to read, but shows just as much polish as the real thing -- worth it (at only $7) if you're a Potter fan.

Final Grade: B+

Weeds, Season Two:
The whimsical satire of middle class life takes a back seat to family drama in the second season, but it never gets so intense that it's off-putting. The season cliffhanger does a great job of tying all the threads of the season together in an over-the-top but enjoyable way. This season was the weakest of the three for me, but it was still worth watching.

Final Grade: B

Charlie Bartlett:
An offbeat teen movie, in which a rich smooth-talking kid tries to assimilate to public school and becomes popular by psychoanalyzing his classmates and prescribing mood-correcting drugs, which he gets from his shrinks by faking various conditions. Robert Downey Jr. is amazing as always, and the movie is a light, enjoyable viewing.

Final Grade: B+

US Troops in Iraq get beer for the Super Bowl
Wee dog nearly killed by Wii Remote
Fat ninja fails at ATM thefts

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