Thursday, January 05, 2012

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Drama by Bitter:Sweet:
This is the follow-up album to Bitter:Sweet's first album, featuring the same mix of electronica, horn sections, and sultry vocals. The mood is slightly brighter and more playful, making for a nice contrast when I merge them on a blank CD into a super-album. Oddly, the vocalist seems to have developed a much more noticeable lisp since the first album.

Final Grade: B

Malcolm in the Middle, Season Two:
I'm watching old episodes of Malcolm on Amazon Prime, and I think it's stood the test of time pretty well. It even survives the immediate puberty peril that also afflicted seasons of Home Improvement, although Malcolm himself is the least interesting, most annoying character on the show. I feel like this was one of the shows I made time for in college, but don't really remember ever sitting down to watch it.

Final Grade: B+

The Hangover, Part II (R):
Like most comedic sequels, this one was completely unnecessary, but it managed to be unnecessary in the least disagreeable way possible. It brings back all of the original characters in a new setting, and then rebuilds the original plot with slightly different twists. If you loved the first one, you'll love this one -- it doesn't ever try to be more than an obvious reprisal for fans. From my perspective, the first movie was great, and the second was similar enough that I'd rather just watch the first one again. I also tend to think that TV shows and movies that depend on trained monkeys for humor's sake tend to be stretched thin in the ideas department, but maybe someday I'll meet someone who actually thinks they're funny.

Final Grade: B-

Crazy Stupid Love (PG-13):
This movie is something of a romantic comedy mixed with a bromance, and was surprisingly enjoyable. The main stars are Steve Carell as a man whose wife wants a divorce, and Ryan Gosling, as a club-trolling manwhore. The tone is generally pretty light, and though the plot tries to be cleverer than it actually is, the twists and turns merely serve the comedy -- it doesn't steamroll-vomit into a storm of frogs, Magnolia-style. Steve Carell's character was colored by all of the seasons of The Office we've watched recently, but this did not destroy the movie.

Final Grade: B

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