Friday, January 27, 2017

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Rise of the Tomb Raider:
Like its predecessor, this is game is very well done and really gives you a kinetic feeling as you spiral through 3D landscapes with a tight, effective control scheme. It's as much fun to watch as it is to play, but gets a little bogged down by console-style gameplay (collect X useful things, unlock Y useless upgrades, and of course, crafting things out of animal skins) and too much repetitive combat. I enjoyed playing it for about 20 hours, but never really got enough momentum or inspiration to finish it off.

Final Grade: B-

Borderline, Season One:
This mockumentary about agents working in a small British airport starts out promising, but after a few episodes, it plays out like a much weaker version of the American version of The Office. The last few episodes are needlessly repetitive, as if they just eventually ran out of ideas -- this doesn't bode well since the whole season is only 6 twenty minute episodes. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: C-

Hyperion by Dan Simmons:
This book was the driving force behind the forming of a book club amongst Rebecca's yoga friends. Told in discrete stories, similar to the Canterbury Tales, the book excels at world-building but drags on and on. Of the six back stories revealed, I only really liked the Scholar's Tale, and I was disappointed by the lack of payoff at the end of the book.

Final Grade: C

Lucky Number Slevin (R):
This is a stylish gangster / whodunit film that reminds me of the glory days of such films before Quentin Tarantino OD'd on the genre. It's always fun, and features good performances from all of the main actors (including Ben Kingsley, Morgan Freeman, and Bruce Willis). Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B

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