Thursday, February 07, 2008

Review Day

there are no spoilers in these reviews

LOST, Season 3:
The show stumbled a bit in this season, treading water on several plots, and spending too much time on tangents like The Others rather than the core mysteries of the island. Despite that, several of its standalone episodes were best-of-series quality, like Desmond in the ring shop. It almost feels like they could have compressed season two and three into a single season and not lost much.

The one thing that the LOST writers do very well is to make great season finales, and this one is no exception. If you initially liked LOST but felt it was going nowhere, it's definitely worth it to muddle through season three to get to the current one -- more actual plot actually occurred in last week's episode than three of any previous season's episodes and that pace looks like it's not about to let up now that an end date has been set.

Final Grade: B+

Undeclared:
A light comedy about a geek's freshman year in college, made by the creator (and many of the same actors) of Freaks and Geeks. It's great fun and never gets serious, but as a cancelled show the end comes too quickly without any major resolution. Like Freaks and Geeks, this set is very expensive, but comes jam-packed with worthwhile DVD extras. If you don't care about extras, just rent it.

Final Grade: B

Metroid 3: Corruption:
I purchased this at the same time I bought Zelda for the DS ($5 discount at Costco), but could never get into it. I've played it a handful of times -- where the original Metroid was a game of quiet exploration punctuated with exciting boss battles, this game feels like a nonstop timed arcade sequence. I'm all for gripping introductions (especially after ten years of Zelda games where you walk around a village fishing for eighty hours before you get a sword), but the pace of this one prevented me from getting comfortable with the control scheme. Maybe I'll try playing it again in the upcoming Bachelor-Month when Rebecca's in Guatemala, but if Super Smash Brothers Brawl comes out first, this is highly doubtful.

Final Grade: C

Paris, Je T'Aime:
A French movie with subtitles, this is a collection of very short stories about Paris, written by multiple directors and acted out by all sorts of famous and not so famous names (Steve Buscemi, Natalie Portman and Elijah Wood both appear at various times). The shorts range the gamut from funny to serious to way too artistic to be taken seriously.

Final Grade: B-

He Was a Quiet Man:
This indie movie started out with a lot of promise but squandered most of it away by the midpoint. The story tells of an office drone who dreams everyday of shooting all his coworkers but becomes an unlikely hero when another coworker beats him to it. Christian Slater gives one of those brilliant performances where you don't even realize he's Christian Slater anymore (he's the old guy on the cover), and William H. Macy plays a traditional William H. Macy-esque role. Elisha Cuthbert (also known as Jack Bauer's daughter on 24) is a horrible, horrible actress and unfortunately doesn't get eaten by a cougar. I didn't understand the ending, but I don't think anyone else did either.

Final Grade: D

Teens Unremorseful After Stealing From Girl Scout
Four visits required to make sure it's prostitution
Boy tries to buy baseball field for $5

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