Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (PG-13):
This one-off Star Wars movie (which fits plotwise in between Episode 3 and 4) takes a little while to get rolling (the first hour or so is character introduction), but it's otherwise reasonably watchable. The final battle scenes drag on a bit long, but the main characters are fun to watch and none of them are Jar-Jar levels of irritating. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B-

Ozark, Season One:
This show starring Jason Bateman as a financial advisor in trouble with a Mexican drug cartel is never bad, but overall, it just feels unnecessary. It maintains a nice, brooding tone that rarely lightens up, but it also stands in the massive culture shadow of Breaking Bad, a show which it actually has very little in common with, but which people can't help but to compare it to. A late season episode functions as a useful flashback episode, but does all sorts of weird chronology jumps for no other reason besides "style points", like J.J. Abrams with a brain tumor flashing back 48 hours while skipping through time on a mysterious island. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B-

iZombie, Season Three:
As in season two, there's about 10% too many parallel plots going on in this season, but the net effect is very enjoyable. There were plenty of callbacks to old characters and plotlines, but I just let myself go along for the ride and found all of the threads nicely organized and resolved by the end. This was a very good season with a nice 4400-esque plot twist to set up the next season. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: A-

Goliath, Season One:
This Amazon Original started strong with interesting characters and a nice style, but gradually peters out like a guy named Peter running a mile with weights around his ankles. The courtroom drama portions of the story are disappointing, and the final decision in the case doesn't feel earned, based on the work and evidence presented in earlier episodes. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: C-

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