Thursday, March 06, 2014

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

My Name Is Earl, Season Two:
The second season of Earl is a funny and often feel-good way to pass my exercise time, although they start to run out of ideas by the end of this season. Over time, the "good deeds for Karma" idea goes stale, but the show is buoyed by the supporting characters, especially Jaime Pressly as Joy Turner.

Final Grade: B

My Name Is Earl, Season Three:
This season was just plain awful, like the fourth season of Community or the almost-final season of Scrubs where the episodes are in the wrong order. Earl goes to prison for a crime he didn't commit, but then gets back out almost as soon as the writers realize that the new setting doesn't give them any new story ideas. The last half of the season follows Earl in a coma, mocking tropes of 80s sitcoms in his coma dreams, and even a guest appearance by Alyssa Milano can't turn things around.

Final Grade: D-

Elysium (R):
This sci-fi tale, from the creator of District 9 is set against the backdrop of a polluted Earth full of poor people, and an orbiting space colony of rich people who want for nothing. It was engrossing, and more sci-fi than action, although the plot gets progressively shakier as the movie rolls. The villain was fun, but a little too over the top.

Final Grade: B+

The Family (R):
This was a sick night movie that I probably wouldn't have watched otherwise, featuring Robert DeNiro as a gangster in witness protection. His family has trouble staying hidden, because they always exact revenge when they've been unfairly treated. The movie drags a bit in the middle, and the bulk of funny moments cluster around the first third (many of them are in the trailer). Overall, it was pleasant enough for a sick night, but couldn't tonally decide whether it was going for comic action, tongue-in-cheek satire, or situational humor.

Final Grade: C-

The World's End (R):
This was the third movie in the style of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, about a group of old friends trying to complete a pub crawl they never finished in their youth, until things go awry. Like all of these movies, there's an obvious shift when the movie changes gears, and I actually liked it more when it was just a buddy movie about going to the bar. The last half is fun but not as engaging, but it was over before it outstayed its welcome. Overall, I enjoyed it, but liked Hot Fuzz more.

Final Grade: B

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