Dec 15, 2017

[Movies] Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) Review

Wow, it's go time. After so much anticipation that really started building up as soon as The Force Awakens screened in 2015 or maybe as far back as when Disney confirmed a new trilogy of films upon acquiring Lucasfilm and all of its related properties. But it is anticipation that has been more than well-earned and now everything has come to a head.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is an interesting addition to the franchise that is very fresh in feel while still remaining quite familiar. It goes through familiar beats but it also surprises you in terms of how everything is put together in a new way. It's rathher different from the original trilogy but it also isn't entirely strange or alien either.

In other words, it's a GREAT movie that manages to balance the complex demands of supporting newer fans who only came on board with The Force Awakens while still giving longer term fans something to enjoy and quite a number of winks and nudges to more extreme levels for fans of the Legends and Expanded Universe stories.

Dec 14, 2017

[Videos] What You Need to Know Before Watching Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Star Wars Explained)

So I just watched Star Wars: The Last Jedi last night and I'm still processing things for a proper review out tomorrow. But I first wanted to share this video by Star Wars Explained that acts as a quick spoiler-free primer for the movie based on current Expanded Universe material from the books, comics and other media. Not all of the speculations were in the right place but most were pretty close or at least in the right direction.

So if you don't want to go into the movie blind, this is worth the 6+ minutes of your time to watch it.

Everything You Need to Know Before Seeing The Last Jedi

Dec 13, 2017

[TV] Black Books Review

Around the time we first got into the likes of Miranda and later celebrated Vicious, friends of ours had recommended that we also try watching Black Books given its similar comedic tone. But one thing led to another and we didn't find the time to watch it until recently. Ironically we had managed to watch the entire run of The IT Crowd before Black Books despite having related creative minds behind both shows.

But once we finally sat down to watch the show we were laughing constantly at its subtle yet brilliant humor and its excellent use of proper build-up for a good gag delivered as a visual punchline at the end of the episode. These days you may see this sort of thing once or twice in a season but for this show it was something they aspired to do in each and every episode.

But like many great British comedies, the show had very short "seasons" to use American terminology and a total run that feels briefer than we'd like it to be. But it just goes to show how good writing can only go so far and there's a certain prudence in knowing when to quit while you're ahead. And thus the definitely ends on a high note.

Dec 12, 2017

[Movies] Smaller and Smaller Circles (2017) Review

Good Filipino movies are hard to find since it's a lot more cost-effective to invest mainly in popular stars while scrimping on story since you rely on the star power of the personalities to draw audiences. Movies that begin with interesting stories or explore difficult subjects struggle to find funding and get themselves out there. Completing the movie is hard enough, but then you have to fight to get screen time when cinema operators find it's more proftable to focus on international blockbusters or those aforemented star-driven movies.

Smaller and Smaller Circles is a good movie that's very hard to watch not because of its content but more because it's literally difficult to catch a screening. Case in point, the only theater in the BGC area showing the movie was Market! Market! and that one cinema only showed the movie in the afternoon, with a more mass-market movie taking the more lucrative evening slots.

But this is a movie that deseves to be seen. But by the time you read this review it may already be too late.

Dec 11, 2017

[TV] Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 3 Review

So Brooklyn Nine-Nine has never quite reached the same comedic heights as shows like The Office or Parks and Recreation in my head, but it is a fun little sitcom that delivers a lot of great moments more often than not. Earlier seasons were a bit crazier than you'd expect for something that takes place in a police department. But as the show has progressed over the years, a bit more sensibility has come in to push actual police work and related cases and investigations.

The third season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine actually had a pretty impressive larger story arc that transcended the typically episodic structure of the show that I rather enjoyed. And there were quite a number of developments in this season  that represented significant shake-ups to the status quo. And the way things culminated in the end made for quite the fulfilling entertainment run on the whole.

For me, this third season was one of the best for the show and one that I look back on fondly. As much as more recent seasons have continued to attempt to push the envelope, this season  just had a great balance to it that hit so many buttons.

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