Category Archives: Reviews

Reviews of books, movies, music, and maybe even games.


Rampage was everything I wanted from a cinematic adaptation of one of my favorite video games. The writers did a fine job of splitting the difference between making the monsters our protagonists, and giving us human protagonists we can relate to.

It’s worth seeing on the big screen, because big. I experienced actual glee during some of the rampaging monster scenes because it was just so pretty.

Rampage clears my Threshold of Awesome, and is going to end up in the Blu-Ray collection. Also, I think THIS version of the film’s promotional poster is superior to the one used in the United States.

Ready Player One

Ready Player One was a visual extravaganza with a story that gave it convenient excuses to feature pop-culture icons from the past thirty years. I enjoyed it a lot, but the most innovative part about the film was that zipper thing on an expandable suitcase which allowed the producers to say “oh, wow, we can put EVERYTHING in here! And it all fits!”

It didn’t ruin my childhood, but it did aggressively strip-mine several shallow deposits of nostalgia. It comes in at number 3 for me this year, just below my Threshold of Awesome.



Pacific Rim: Uprising

The last fifteen years have spoiled us. Back in MY day when we heard that a movie had a sequel we were mildly enthusiastic because we knew it wouldn’t be as good as the first one. Smokey and the Bandit II, and Sister Act: Back in the Habit present themselves as typical examples.

Pacific Rim: Uprising takes me back to those days by being a “2” movie. It positioned itself for further serialization, but I don’t think they’re doing a very good job of serializing it. They simply sequeled it.

Granted, they made a fine sequel. By my “back in the day” standards we’d have been floored by how good this particular sequel was… for a sequel, of course. The movie does a number of things right, starting with fine performances by John Boyega and Cailee Spaeny. There there were several action sequences that were simply delightful, and it even had surprising-yet-inevitabe plot twist. It didn’t clear my Threshold of Awesome, but it certainly didn’t disappoint me.

A Wrinkle In Time

I saw A Wrinkle In Time in the IMAX theater on opening night, and loved it. The film is beautiful, and the younger cast members were absolutely brilliant, especially Storm Reid and Derek McCabe.

It’s been decades since I read the book. In fact, it’s been so long that I barely remember it, so I can’t speak to whether or not the film is faithful to the finer points of the source material. I am, however, confident that the film is quite faithful to the theme of the book.

The film didn’t have as much explanation of tesseracts  as I hoped it would, but there were several scenes that at least paid homage to the various pop-sci explanations of higher-dimensional math. In particular, the shadows of the rafters against the sloped ceiling of Meg’s room created some interesting patterns. The shadows were not mentioned at all—they just existed, and it made me happy to see that somebody framed the shot to display a lower-dimensional projection of a higher-dimensional object.

Some of the dialog seemed a little “on-the-nose” to me, but it worked on me so I can’t complain. A Wrinkle in Time is only the third film I’ve gotten around to seeing this year, and enters my list at #2, just below my Threshold of Awesome, but well above my Threshold of Disappointment.