Thursday, January 15, 2015

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Newsroom, Season Two:
The second season of this HBO show is less preachy than the first (Aaron Sorkin's shows always seem to feel a little preachy), and has a few interesting storylines giving momentum to an overall story arc. It's over quickly and won't change your life, but has a sharp sense of witty repartee that's enjoyable to watch.

Final Grade: B

Mozart in the Jungle, Season One:
This is the show about classical musicians in the New York Symphony that was picked up from Amazon's Pilot Season. Even though the dramaticized representation of musician life isn't always true to real life, it has just enough music nerd references to keep musicians interested. It's also refreshing to see a show focus on something other than cops, spies, or the usual procedural tropes, and the eccentric conductor character is played to perfection. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: B+

Frozen:
I don't understand the appeal of this movie one bit, possibly due to my Y chromosome. The introductory setup is too disjunct and too long, the songs are forgettable and choppily inserted into the story, and the moral of the story is poorly communicated. It's not an unpleasant movie but it's no Finding Nemo -- I don't understand how kids today could watch a second-tier movie like this ad nauseum. Also, Idina Menzel's voice just doesn't fit with the other singers.

Final Grade: C-

Walking Under the Stars by Hilltop Hoods:
The Hilltop Hoods are an Australian hip-hop group that's been around for over twenty years now, and the experience and polish really shows in their music. This is their most recent album and is filled with fun, catchy tunes like Cosby Sweater. They sometimes go a little overboard with repetitive samples, but the beats are smooth and listenable, even without the lyrics.

Final Grade: A

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