Thursday, December 24, 2015

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Terminator Genisys (PG-13):
In the first twenty minutes, it felt like this movie was going to be a self-indulgent rehash of scenes we'd already seen before from different perspectives. Thankfully, it breaks out of that cycle and gets better pretty quickly. The movie can't decide whether it wants to be a serious Terminator story or a parody of the series, so it has weird tonal shifts throughout. However, I enjoyed the performances of JK Simmons and thought Emilia Clarke did a good job channeling her own version of Linda Hamilton. Visually, the movie's a little too dark (thanks, blackout curtains in the living room!) and has too much reliance on CGI effects that look like a video game. A fun diversion, but not the best Terminator movie.

Final Grade: B

The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule:
This true crime book tells the tale of Ted Bundy from the perspective of someone who was a long-term friend of his in Washington. The tale is pretty interesting, although the narrative structure is hindered by too many endings, since the book was constantly revised over the thirty years since its original release.

Final Grade: B-

Daredevil, Season One:
In contrast to Jessica Jones, this super hero series had too much super hero nonsense. There are so many repetitive action scenes that they all run together, although the extended single cut shots are technically well done. However, the characters all feel shallow and cookie-cutter, and no one is as interesting as Jessica Jones' Kilgrave. By the 7th episode, I was just watching out of the corner of my eye as I did other things. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: C

Dust and Light by Carol Berg:
This is the first in a two-book fantasy series about a magic-wielding artist. The world-building is intricate and the pacing kept me reading. I also like the fact that it's a two-book series with the second already published.

Final Grade: B+

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