Thursday, November 05, 2015

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz:
The fourth book in "The Girl With a Prepositional Phrase series by Stieg Larrson" is a faithful posthumous continuation by a different author. It's actually a little too faithful, as it tries so hard to be like the previous books that it repeats many of the flaws: too many supporting characters, extended descriptive monologues, and plot progression through the dialogue of one character telling a story about another character. There's nothing as egregious as the infamous twenty page section on Lisbeth decorating her apartment with furniture from Ikea, but the plot struggles hard to push forward. A few great page turning sections, but otherwise forgettable.

Final Grade: C

Layer Cake:
This movie in the "British heist" genre is very easy to follow and stars a pre-Bond Daniel Craig. Stylistically, it reminds me of Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels but with more substance and less flash for the sake of flash. I had to turn to the Internet to understand the last five seconds of the ending, but liked it much more after knowing what was going on.

Final Grade: B

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn:
Gillian Flynn's first book tells of a city reporter returning to her Midwestern home town and unhealthy family dynamics while investigating the murder of some children. Like Gone Girl the writing is exquisite, with turns of phrases you'd wish you'd come up with yourself. The plot and characters aren't quite as good though, and the logistics of the crime seem suspect after the fact.

Final Grade: B-

iZombie, Season One:
The hardest part about enjoying this series is getting past the premise: the main character gets turned into a zombie and works in the morgue for a steady supply of brains, while solving crimes based on visions she receives from the brains of murder victims. It's surprisingly good, although it sometimes tries a little too hard to be like the creator's previous show, Veronica Mars. The supporting characters, especially David Anders, make the show shine, and the plot builds logically and intelligently to a great season finale. I hate zombie-themed things as much as vampire-themed things, but liked this show.

Final Grade: B+

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