Thursday, September 09, 2010

Review Day

There are no spoilers in these reviews.

Observe and Report:
I have mixed feelings about this movie. It was not the type of movie I expected to be watching (kind of like having a sip of beer and finding out that it's fruity) but it never fully embraced the dark comedy style it was shooting for -- sometimes it felt like it wanted to be a dark movie without losing the audience expecting to see another Paul Blart: Mall Cop (who are going to hate it anyhow). Parts were good, but this movie was nowhere near as successful at being both dark AND funny as Bad Santa.

Final Grade: C+

More Joel on Software by Joel Spolsky:
This is another, more recent, compilation of articles from joelonsoftware.com in Kindle format. Going in, I understand that most of the content is already free online, but sometimes it's nice to have a more digestible format than a web page. The problem with this collection is that it's pure shovelware: people may not notice if you use the same three paragraph example in two articles written two years apart, but when you stick them next to each other in book format, it just feels sloppy and unreviewed. A few too many articles center around the author's company and products as well -- these are obviously good case studies which the author is an expert with, but can occasionally teeter on the edge of advertisement. There are some good articles in the mix, but a little editing for cohesion or a greatly reduced price (maybe $5 vs $10) would have greatly improved the product.

Final Grade: C

Moon:
Like District 9, I enjoyed this movie much more than I expected after watching. Without spoilers, the movie tells of a space miner who has spent the past three years on the dark side of the moon alone without human companionship other than the base computer (voiced by Kevin Spacey in an obvious HAL homage). With only two weeks until he's sent home, he starts going a little stir crazy and begins seeing things that might not actually be there. Short and tightly woven (like homemade spandex), this movie was very effective.

Final Grade: A

Husband says wife faked cancer for free goodies
Belize mob torches Americans' animal sanctuary, but their will endures
Forget Product Placement; Get Ready For Product Anti-Placement

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