Friday, January 24, 2020

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch:
This comedy special functions simultaneously as a parody of, and heartwarming homage to childrens' shows from the 1980s, like Electric Company, Today's Special, Pinwheel, and Sesame Street. It accurately captures the inherent weirdness of the format while being so earnest in its execution that you can't help but to enjoy the ride. The guest stars and musical numbers are equally effective, with the final surprise guest star (as "Mr. Music") clearly giving 110% and having the time of his life. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: A

Late Night Feelings by Mark Ronson:
I was hugely disappointed when Mark Ronson finally reached mainstream audiences with Uptown Funk, only to put it on an album full of aural boredom (Uptown Special). This new album is even worse -- a dozen identical low-energy songs with depressing lyrics that flow from one to the next with no sharp edges. We listened to it several times in the car and in the kitchen and our most common recurring thought was, "Oh, this CD's still playing?".

Final Grade: F

Ronny Chieng: Asian Comedian Destroys America!:
Ronny Chieng's newest comedy special feels like it covers a lot of familar ground but it's funny enough to have on in the background while working on a puzzle. I'll admit that I have minimal recollection of any particular joke two weeks after watching it. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B-

Parasite:
This movie by the director of Okja, Bong Joon-Ho, features a sly family in poverty that cons its way into jobs working for an upper-class family. The first half is a pleasant, meandering thread that gradually builds up the tension and leads into an unpredictable denouement. The movie didn't quite stick the landing with its extended epilogue, but I still enjoyed it from start to finish.

Final Grade: B+

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