Friday, June 26, 2020

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

The Expanse, Season Four:
The new season produced by Amazon shows continuity in the transfer from SyFy other than a few awkward fadeouts. The story is more intimate with good sources of character tension although most of the new female characters feel interchangeable. The final episode feels a little rushed and tacked on, especially the end of the storyline for one of the semi-main characters. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: B-

Joker (R):
Not everything needs an origin story. This movie is an extended, uncomfortable voyeurism of a descent into mental illness. While I appreciated the harsh, grainy 80s style of the production, I struggled to take Joaquin Phoenix seriously because he looks too much like Ty Burrell from Modern Family here. Phoenix also runs more in this movie than any given Tom Cruise movie.

Final Grade: C

Luther, Season Five:
This detective series continues to excel at matching macabre crime with intense personal drama. The background story here felt too convoluted, or maybe I just watched Season Four too long ago. By the end, I struggled to understand the main characters' unspoken motivations, which lessened my enjoyment of the finale. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: B-

Borderlands 3:
After a bad first impression of this game, I gave it another shot and found nothing to draw me in. The game starts identically to Borderlands 1 and 2, and features writing that tries so hard to be edgy that's it's just awful. The story beats you over the head with how clever the dialogue is supposed to be and the UI makes it tedious to tackle the primary motivation of the game -- the acquisition of bigger and better guns. I gave up after about 3 hours -- I'd rather play Borderlands 2 again.

Final Grade: Not Graded

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