Friday, October 11, 2019

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Stranger Things, Season Three:
Finally, a season of Stranger Things I can stand behind. There's no bloat or unnecessary episodes and the pacing kept my interest from episode 1. The show transcends its traditional overreliance on 80s nostalgia to tell a compelling coming-of-age story full of humor and fun characters. The homages (like an episode featuring horror movie tropes in an under-construction hospital) are still there, but serve the story rather than overshadowing it. Winona Ryder is finally given something to do besides freaking out about a missing child.

This season is worth a watch even if you don't totally remember everything that happened up until now. It functions well as a trilogy ender if there are no more seasons coming, in spite of a very minor cliffhanger after the final credits. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: A-

Interpreting the Masters, Volume 2: A Tribute to Van Halen by Bird and the Bee:
I'm not sure if the world needed an indie re-imagining of songs from Van Halen, but it is what it is. There's nothing wrong with any of them, but they all feel a little forgettable. I'd rather get an album of new original material.

Final Grade: C

Money Heist, Part Two:
This is a perfect treadmill show -- interesting enough to make me want to exercise, but not so good that I want to binge it. Part Two has a few good twists and builds the tension well, although there are a few too many flashbacks and repeated scenes to pad it out. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B

Between Two Ferns: The Movie:
This movie is based on the webseries where Zack Galifianakis asks weird, insulting questions to real movie stars that don't appear to be in on the joke. The awkward, Andy Kaufman-esque humour is intact, although the road trip storyline that glues all of the interviews together here feels obligatory and not as funny. The best part of the movie is actually the 10 minutes of outtakes at the end where the movie stars can't help but to laugh at the ridiculous questions. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B-

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