Andrew Ducker (andrewducker) wrote,
Andrew Ducker
andrewducker

Some brief reviews

Dr Strange
Good, fun, Marvel movie. Suffers from all the failings you'd expect (hero's story that's too close to Tony Stark's, dodginess around Tibet/Nepal and replacing a major Tibetan character with a white one), but on its own terms is solidly entertaining, had an ending that didn't fall into the usual traps, and was gloriously pretty whenever magic was involved. Most fun I've had with a Marvel Movie since Winter Soldier. 7/10

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
Harry Potter spin-off set in 1920s New York. Eddie Redmayne came across to me as a cross between David Tennant and Matt Smith, but that's no bad thing, and I enjoyed this a fair amount. It's not amazing, but it does have a lot of sensawunda, and lays the ground for apparently _five_ movies. Spoilerish thoughts, encoded in ROT13:
Tryyreg Tevaqyrjnyq pna nccneragyl svtug n ybnq bs jryy-genvarq Nhebef gb n fgnaqfgvyy, ohg Arjg pna (ng yrnfg) fvatyrunaqrqyl fheivir uvf nggnpx? Naq ur gheaf hc va Arj Lbex whfg nf fbzrbar vf nobhg gb tnva pbageby bire na Bofphen? Zl thrff vf gung Arjg vf n uvtuyl pncnoyr ntrag, frag ol Qhzoyrqber gb znxr fher gung Tevaqyrjnyq vf ceriragrq sebz trggvat jung ur jnagf. 6/10

Arrival
It was a proper science-fiction movie! By which I mean that it bore some resemblance to the written science fiction fiction I love, being largely about exploring an interesting idea in the way that only science fiction can. Not everyone I know loved it, but the majority of them thought it was marvellous. Aliens arrive, and our viewpoint character is a linguist trying to understand them. I've seen it twice at the cinema, and there are so many lovely moments in there about the difficulty of understanding one another. Not perfect, but ambitious in all the right ways, and well worth seeing. Also, you should totally read the short story, available as part of "Stories of Your Life, And Others" by Ted Chiang. 9/10

Moana
Disney does Polynesia. Gorgeous scenery, lovely songs (although largely not memorable), nice plot, good characters, and well worth watching. Lots of it was fun, the resolution wasn't what I was expecting, and I had a thoroughly good time. Not sure it's going to stay with me, but I will definitely be enjoying a second watch when it hits the small screen. 7/10

OnePlus 3
My new mobile phone. Which doesn't suffer from the flaws of my old mobile phone (basically: lack of memory), and works very nicely. Being able to draw a V on the screen to turn on the flashlight is a nice touch, and the fast charging is great. Basically, a great top-of-the-range-last-year phone for only £300. I've not really found anything wrong with it yet, other than it being very slightly larger than I'd like (about halfway between the 5X (perfect size) and the 6P (definitely too large for me).

Serendipity
This film could be used as a test. If you think it's a delightful story in which two people are brought together by the power of fate then you're a terrible person who should never be allowed anywhere near any kind of machinery or device that might cause harm to others. If you think it's a terrible story about two awful people who must not be allowed to ruin the lives of anyone else, and must therefore date each other, then your opinions are probably generally trustworthy.
John Cusack is a guy who will cheat on his girlfriend within seconds of meeting another woman, Kate Beckinsale is a woman who believes the universe has opinions about who she should sleep with. This would be fine if the director didn't seem to think this was a lovely story, and that the universe works this way. Which I don't mind if you play it with a certain level of knowing whimsy and magical realism (LA Story is one of my favourite movies), but it's awful if you play it straight. -173/10

LA Story
God, I love this movie. It makes it clear that we're in fantasy land really early on, and doesn't take itself even slightly seriously, except when it needs to. Steve Martin, Victoria Tennant, Richard E Grant, and Sarah Jessica Parker are all clearly having a marvellous time making it, and I grinned the whole way through. 17/10

Lara Croft GO
Turn-based puzzle game starring Ms Tomb Raider. Got it on my mobile phone, and have been enjoying working my way through the puzzles. Nothing too complex, but nicely presented, and only £1.50. Well worth picking up if you spend much time on the bus.

You're The Worst Season 3
I introduced Jane to You're The Worst so that I had someone to watch season three with. We binge-watched the first two seasons, largely at her insistence, and they continue to be great TV about two people who should never be in a relationship with anyone. Funny, smart, well-written, and self-aware. Then we watched season 3. The first half wasn't as good as the first two seasons - the writers treated the characters as cartoonish versions of the people we'd gotten used to. And then, about halfway through, it got its mojo back, and proceeded to rip my heart out through my chest. Marvellous stuff. 6/10 for the first half, 9/10 for the second half.

Westworld
I haven't seen this yet. Yes, I know, I'm a terrible person. I score 0/10.

York
I just spent two days there. It was good. The train museum was a fascinating slice of British history - particularly comparing the train carriages which had belonged to various members of the royal family over time. We enjoyed walking the walls too. And the Christmas market was nice. And the hotel we stayed in had enough electrical sockets, an event unheard of in my existence. 7/10, would happily go back for a couple of days at some future point.

Jane
10/10. Would snuggle again.

(Because there are loads of different things in here, if you're going to leave a spoiler-ridden comment then be a lovely person and ROT13 it, so that people can read about the other ones without bumping into spoilers.)



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