Thursday, March 24, 2016

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Bridge of Spies (PG-13):
This is a very "safe" Spielburg movie that hits all of the marks you'd expect it to hit. The first hour is incredibly slow-paced, like foreshadowing the Industrial Age with cuneiform, but it gets passably more interesting once the setup is out of the way. It's a little on the long side.

Final Grade: B-

Justified, Season Six:
This show was never really about the plot (which tries one too many double-crosses here) -- it was all about the character interactions and crackling Appalachian dialogue ("I'm so hungry I could eat the ass of a low flying duck"). The cast in this final season is solid (although no one really likes Mary Steenburgen in anything), and the ending is a good one. I actually bought the series set after finishing this up, as it's one of those shows I'll enjoy watching again in a couple years.

Final Grade: A-

The Great Gatsby (PG-13):
This movie was unnecessary, sporadically interesting, and a case study in over-the-top Baz Luhrmann tropes. Tobey Macguire played his typical role with minimal acting involved, not unlike a white Cuba Gooding Jr., and Leo seemed to be simultaneously channeling the Wolf of Wall Street and the Talented Mr. Ripley. This opinion is coming from someone who actually liked Moulin Rouge (of which there are about 4 of us), so it's not just unselective Baz hate. Conversely, Rebecca liked this movie a lot.

Final Grade: C-

Master Apache Spark by Mike Frampton:
This book is chock full of useful code examples for Apache Spark, but is weighed down by too much transitional prose. The author spends so many lines restating his intent for the current section or telegraphing what's coming in the next section that it distracts from the core content. I also felt like there could have been a beginner-to-intermediate chapter added on the Core API, so you should probably read the official Spark docs before diving in here.

Final Grade: B

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