Thursday, December 31, 2015

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (PG-13):
I've only seen the most recent 3 MI movies (starting from when JJ Abrams took over), and this is the best of those three. It has a strong collection of fun, tightly-orchestrated action sequences with minimal cuts and special effects getting in the way, and benefits from the comic relief of Simon Pegg.

Final Grade: B+

Jurassic World (PG-13):
Surprisingly, this Jurassic sequel is as good as the original. It's the perfect popcorn movie, with just the right number of callbacks, and a reasonably fresh plot. If every summer blockbuster were as good as this, I'd probably go to the theatre occasionally.

Final Grade: A

The Code, Season One:
This is a six episode Australian show with all the intensity of the movie, Prisoners. It's very bingeable, and tells the story of a government conspiracy in New South Wales. An Australian version of Jason Bateman stars as a journalist with an autistic hacker brother. The suspense never lets up, the hacking sequences are visually appealing and mostly based in truth, and everything resolves in a satisfying conclusion that doesn't need a 2nd season. Additionally, the workmanship and cinematography of the show feels fresh, just because it isn't another HBO or Showtime show. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: A

Ash and Silver by Carol Berg:
The second (and final) book in the Sanctuary series is a logical continuation of the story and effectively builds upon the foundation of the first book without any unnecessary new invention. The story is a page-turner requiring continuously revised perspectives on the motivations of the characters, although it was occasionally too puzzle-like for its own good. The pacing of the reveals is well-done, and the main character doesn't suffer nearly as unnecessarily as in the author's Rai Kirah series. I enjoyed it over my Christmas break, in spite of the cover art which suggests that the man has a neck like a giraffe.

Final Grade: B

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