Thursday, July 09, 2015

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Before Sunrise (R):
We tried out the first in this relationship trilogy by Richard Linklater after enjoying Boyhood. It was an interesting experiment but your enjoyment will be directly proportional to how in the mood you are to watch two characters walking slowly across a city having deep, meaningful conversations. Obviously, we were not in the right mood as we turned it off after about 30 minutes.

Final Grade: Not Graded

Catastrophe, Season One:
This is a fun, brief relationship comedy about an American who knocks up an Irish woman while on a business trip. The characters feel organic and the dialogue is frank and humourous, like one character's description of birth as "seeing a little troll come tobogganing out of your wife's snatch on a wave of turds". A scene in the final episode feels a bit misplayed in terms of how quickly tensions escalate, but overall it was a fun way to spend a few evenings. The female lead, Sharon Horgan, reminded me of an Irish Sarah Chalke. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: B+

Secrets of People With Extraordinary Willpower by Katie Morton:
Katie Morton was the former creator of the Dating is Hell blog long, long ago, and was last seen here on the URI! Zone after winning a 2009 caption contest. Rebecca and I donated to the crowdfunding of her first novel and received our personalized copies a few weeks back. This book is actually a self-help book written in the form of a novel. The format is successful in sustaining interest and keeping the plot moving, although sometimes the self-help sections feel like monologues (see also, Victor Hugo and the 300 pages of Les Miserables about sewer construction). I am definitely not the target audience for this book, so take my grade with grain of salt, but Rebecca said she enjoyed it. Congratulations to Katie for completing such a daunting undertaking!

Final Grade: B- if you have male genitalia, potentially higher otherwise

Last of Our Kind by The Darkness:
The newest album from The Darkness hits all of the right notes -- they return to their bombastic rock roots without evolving too far out of what their listeners want. A high percentage of tracks on this album are infectiously catchy and come off sounding frantically like the most important rock song you'll hear before the end of the world. In particular, I greatly enjoyed Mighty Wings. I can picture the lead singer singing "Open up your might wings and fly!" to the heavens surrounded by smoke machines, as the soundtrack to what would simultaneously be the worst and the most awesome Maxi Pad commercial of all time.

Final Grade: A

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