Thursday, February 18, 2016

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

The Lego Movie (PG):
This movie is great as a visual spectacle and full of witty one-liners for adults, but less effective as a kid's movie. It's too visually chaotic and with a so-so plot that resonates more with people who played with Legos in their youth. If six-year-old me were watching it, he'd think it was pretty cool but lose interest after about 20 minutes.

Final Grade: B

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (PG-13):
Having never read a single Tom Clancy book, I went into this movie knowing nothing at all. It's ultimately a harmless action movie with a few good sequences held back by a bit too much of an "origin story". Keira Knightley costars as a needy physical therapist who starts dating her patient, which Rebecca tells me is a big no-no. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: B-

Black Mirror: White Christmas:
This 70 minute "Christmas special" from the Black Mirror series was a perfect blend of creepy and thought-provoking. Where each of the previous episodes explored a single near-future concept, they somehow managed to tightly coil 3 separate, strong ideas here. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: A

Canon Powershot SX270 HS:
This camera satisfies all of my hobbyist needs. It has a profile similar to the ELPH series (so it still fits in my pocket), but is denser than lead and features substantially better image quality and stabilization. Changing from Auto to P is restored to a mechanical wheel on the back of the camera, so I no longer have to waste hours tapping through software menus. This is a slightly older camera, but its 12.1 megapixels look much better than the more recent 16 megapixel options I've compared to. The only thing holding it back is that it requires yet another Canon battery size, making it the 4th type of battery in the past 4 cameras. Also, I had to purchase the international version because Canon has retired this line in the US, but the only difference was the lack of a printed manual in English.

Final Grade: B+

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