Friday, February 01, 2019

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Patriot, Season Two:
I liked the first season when I watched it, then loved it when I watched it again with Rebecca. The second season is slightly more absurd with less payoff but I appreciated how tonally and thematically consistent it was -- the creator definitely has a unique voice and cinematography that he stays true to. A couple of the characters I liked the most from season one were pushed to the sidelines here, but it was still worth a watch.

Final Grade: B-

The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu:
This highly-regarded sci-fi book is flawed. The core ideas are actually pretty interesting but held back by flat characters and the fact that it's an English translation of a Chinese work. The last third of the book is actually the best part and does a good job of merging the science with the plot, but it takes forever to get there. I almost gave up around the 40% mark.

Final Grade: C+

Eighth Grade (R):
Bo Burnham's movie on the difficulty of being an eighth grader feels very honest, even without the craziness of phones and social media added to the mix. It effectively captures that middle school feeling of "I'm so much more mature than I was last year and I'll never make the same mistakes again" and makes me hope that the technology pendulum swings back towards being Amish by the time Maia is in 8th grade. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: B

Sing Till You Die by Yearbook Committee:
I occasionally buy albums ear-unheard based on singles I liked on Pandora. In this case, it was the instrumental, Old Churchyard. This album had two catastrophic negatives going against it -- none of the musicians seem to be able to carry a pitch, and none of the rest of the songs are instrumentals. As I played the album the first time, the rate at which I skipped awful-sounding songs like Ballad of Eleanor Cecilia Bailly accelerated towards the speed of light after which I permanently deleted it.

Final Grade: D-

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