Thursday, June 04, 2015

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Aziz Ansari: Live at Madison Square Garden:
This comedy special was not quite as good as his previous specials. It had some funny bits in the moment, but none that I can recollect now as I write this review. There was a lot of audience engagement stuff that was probably great in a live show, but just seems like filler when recorded. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: C+

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I:
Mockingjay was the most poorly written book in the series, and breaking it up into an unnecessary two-parter to close the movie trilogy does it no favours. There's minimal forward momentum here and an overabundance of distractingly famous actors in the various roles. It was nice to revisit Philip Seymour Hoffman one last time, but otherwise, this movie could have been compressed greatly without losing much.

Final Grade: C+

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Season One:
I watched four whole episodes of this show but never got into it. It suffers from the same turn-off I had with 30 Rock -- the show tries too hard to be cleverly funny and uses characters and situations closer to fantasy than reality to set up humor. I inwardly cringed (which kind of feels like a cough without the recovery breath) during the autotuned opening credits, which felt both dated and forced, and never did find whatever else liked so much about it. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: Not Graded

Transparent, Season One:
The draw of this show is definitely Jeffrey Tambor in the main role as a transgendered father. Unfortunately, he's surrounded by three selfish, unsympathetic children who take up most of the running time. It all fits into the theme of the show, but it was hard for me to watch the random trials of the grown kids without anyone to root for. Also, one of them looks so much like Courteney Cox that my brain took me out of the action every time she doppleganged her way onscreen. A pleasant, quick season overall, though the piano soundtrack gets old pretty quickly. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: B-

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