Thursday, January 28, 2010

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

LOST, Season Five:
I hated the fifth season finale when it aired last year, but of course that wouldn't stop me from rewatching the season in preparation for next week's LOST Steak Night. Ultimately, it's the sixth and final season that will make or break the fifth season, but on its own, it's still not that good. The writers packed on too many dense layers of additional complexity when they really should have spent more time streamlining the plot and focusing towards a conclusion. Then, after incorporating the idea of "flashes", it felt like the writers weren't sure if we'd get the concept, and spent several episodes bashing it into our brains. The LOST DVD menus continue to piss me off as well, but that's a topic for a Pet Peeve List Day.

Final Grade: B-

Star Trek:
My complete exposure to Star Trek as a child can be counted on one finger (and not the good one): in high school, I conducted the "Theme from Star Trek" as drum major in marching band. Before watching this movie, I had never seen a Star Trek movie or an episode in its entirety, and my knowledge was limited to pop culture catch phrases and mockeries. This movie definitely feels like a J.J. Abrams production, though thankfully it didn't turn into Alias in space. The movie got a bit more interesting as it went on, but was held back by overuse of lens flare and jerky camera motions -- obviously Abrams hired the camera guy from The Bourne Identity and a production artist using a 1990s edition of Paint Shop Pro to touch up his scenes.

Final Grade: B-

The Taking of Pelham 123:
This is an enoyable cookie-cutter movie about a hostage situation on a subway train, buoyed by the acting power of Denzel Washington -- John Travolta comes off as any other unmemorable villain. It's suspenseful, but over quickly, and won't tax your brain as much as other movies in the genre.

Final Grade: B

GOP fundraising letter looks like census form
Pensioner astonished by double banana
Dance parties a no-no at Jefferson Memorial

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