Thursday, May 09, 2013

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Silver Linings Playbook (R):
I felt like this movie was oddly paced, which leaves me torn on how to rate it. The first half did a very good job building up the characters in a fairly realistic way and getting me invested. However, when Jennifer Lawrence's character lays out her price for helping to deliver a letter, it seems incredibly contrived and breaks the spell. Had the movie started closer to this point in the plot, it would have been any cheesy 80s movie, complete with montages. It's still worth a watch though, and hopefully we can see some more DeNiro/Cooper pairings in the future.

Final Grade: B-

The Mythical Man Month by Frederick Brooks, Jr:
This 1975 text is a seminal work in the field of software development, and introduces such rules as "Adding developers to a late project makes it later". The writing is academically dry, like any of my dad's enconomics books, and references software projects long gone from the public eye, which makes it more difficult to get engrossed. Also, with forty years of perspective, most of the hypotheses come off as common sense rather than visionary. Save $20 and read the Wikipedia summary unless reading this is on your bucket list.

Final Grade: C+

For True by Trombone Shorty:
This album carries the same fun-loving vibe of Backatown with a little more polish. It's overflowing with guest vocals, from folks as varied as Kid Rock and Lenny Kravitz. As before, the most successful beats are the ones without lyrics -- the title track, Buckjump is one of my favourites.

Final Grade: B

Somersault by Decoder Ring:
I stumbled upon this old soundtrack to an independent Australian film when searching for more music by Lenka. It's a typical atmospheric electronica soundtrack that you might find paired up with any particular student movie in the FSU film department, but it's pleasant enough for studying or coding to -- not unlike a less uneasy Twin Peaks soundtrack. Other than a single song's vocals, there's barely any Lenka at all here though.

Final Grade: C+

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