Thursday, July 14, 2016

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Ronin (R):
This is a well-constructed heist movie from the classic DeNiro era before anyone was meeting any parents. The actors play off each other very well, although there are a few too many car chases that blur together by the end of the movie. It definitely overuses the "person in the way of a car chase flails out of the road at the last minute" trope, but that's one of those fun things that you don't see in modern movies anymore. Besides the back-and-forth of the heist itself, the movie also doubles as a tourism video for nice cityscapes and landscapes in France. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: B-

Hail, Caesar! (PG-13):
There's an expectation set up around Coen Brothers movies -- just like I know I will hate Wes Anderson movies before they start, I know that I will find Coen Brothers movies cinematically interesting but not love them (I'm in the minority with Raising Arizona and Fargo being the only ones I really like). This movie is definitely in the top 50% of all Coen Brothers movies that I've seen, but it functions more as an extended love letter to classic film making than it does as a real movie. It's jam-packed with a distracting number of cameos, and dances along the line of reality and fantasy to the point where I almost expected it to end like Blazing Saddles. However, if the Coen Brothers are your jam, you will definitely like this one.

Final Grade: B-

Fresh Meat, Season Two:
The second season of this show about UK university freshmen really found its groove. There are no dud episodes (skip the one about Russell Brand's head in the first season) and the characters all have their own story arcs to root for.

Final Grade: B

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