Mar 16, 2018

[TV] Zumbo's Just Desserts: Season 1 Review

Netflix introduces us to a weird variety of shows. Scanning their library of documentaries and reality TV shows is sort of the new channel surfing experience for us in this post cable TV life and I don't regret it. There are a nunber of shows that will surprise you in a nicely positive way.

That was what happened to us with Zumbo's Just Desserts, which we had expected to be just like the many other cooking-related competition shows out there. But now many of the tropes of the genre are pretty familiar and the reality TV framework sort of nudges folks in almost predictable directions given a particular setup.

But this show felt rather fresh as it was pretty much centered on the titular chef and his unique brand of creativity as applied to his dessert creations. All cooking fields have their distinct flavors and nuances in terms of overall style and how they present on TV. But this show tried to give things a distinct slant that may not necessarily feel 100% original in all aspects but it's certainly fun to watch.

Mar 15, 2018

[Videos] John Oliver on the Risks of Cyptocurrencies

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies continue to gain popularity despite many of the same people not fully understanding what exactly they're buying into when they invest. So I suppose it was only a matter of time before the likes of John Oliver would address the cryptocurrency market in his show Last Week Tonight and the resulting video wasn't necessarily a glowing review.

But in this typical style he does his best to break down the complex concepts behind the cryptocurrency market into terms that people can understand along with rather colorful metaphors and internet-friendly imagery, if you get my drift. The video runs for over 25 minutesd but it is totally worth your time and attention if you wanted to have a decent understanding of what this whole business is about and from there you can decide whether or not you want dip your toes into this particular pool.

Cryptocurrencies: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Mar 14, 2018

[Movies] A Wrinkle In Time (2018) Review

I had mixed feelings going into A Wrinkle in Time since Disney's track record with their recent big budget live-action movies has been rather mixed. There's a lot of love for the book that this movie was based on though, so that helped push away some of the initial trepidation. I have yet to read the original book, but it does seem to promise to contain a lot more of the quantum science that sort of defines the flavor and feel of this story.

The initial trailers for this movie certainly went all out and made sure to highlight the interesting cast of characters brought together for this movie. That's sort of par for the course for a lot of movies these days, especially the ones backed by a lot of moeny. But it isn't a guarantee of it being a good one either.

This movie left me a litle underwhelmed but I guess generally satisfied? There was clearly an effort to limit the movie in order to ensure it could be best appreciated by viewers of the same age as the protagonist but a little less likely to satisfy their older movie companions. Maybe it is what it is. Maybe it's something lacking.

Mar 13, 2018

[Theater] Evita (Lunchbox Theatricals)

By now a lot of us have been exposed to Evita through the Madonna movie released in 1996, one of the first in the "modern era" wave of movie musicals. But that wasn't quite like the original stage play and I've been eager to see it staged one way or another.

My recent trips to Singapore included spotting the signs promoting the touring company of Evita being in the country but at the time it was too early. One thing led to another and another trip came along just in time to catch then show in its final weeks.

While it's not my favorite musical, I admit that I know the songs better than I'd like to admit because whatever childhood. So I was generally looking forward to how they'd present things on stage versus how they were done in the movie. And end result was interesting but not quite what I had hoped it would have been. So let's dissect that.

Mar 12, 2018

[Movies] The Shape of Water (2017) Review

The Shape of Water now has the record of being the first fantasy movie to win the Academy Award for Best Picture since The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, but versus the many other fantasy movies that have come before it (including those also directed by Guillermo Del Toro) it seems a somewhat odd choice. But I guess this is what happens when you add some old Hollywood romanticism into a narrative format?

The Shape of the Water is an odd romantic drama between a woman who cannot speak and a fish-like humanoid "monster", for lack of a better term. It's sort of your classic meeting of two different worlds with a forbidden love but with a movie monster twist to things.

There are a lot of parts of this movie that work and you can tell there's a lot of love and care that went into the cinematography and other shots for this movie. The story is simple but still good and a nice enough romance. It's easy to find things to love about this movie. But it's not perfect either.

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