Movie – Edge of Tomorrow: A+

edge of tomorrowA+
Remember in Matrix Revolutions when they had one scene with cool mecha suits fighting squiggly robots? Now imagine even cooler mech suits fighting nearly the whole movie against yet cooler and even more squiggly aliens using Groundhog Day’s premise. (Sorta. Mostly for the character arc.) Add all that up and you get a visually stunning scifi actioner that juggles its fantastic premise with humor when necessary, enough character to feel attached, and wave after wave of beautiful chaos. It wisely avoids being epic, staying focused and intimate. This very well could be war science fiction at its best since Aliens.

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TV – Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 1: B

agents of shield season1B

It’s incredibly difficult to assign a grade to SHIELD’s inaugural season. I’m sold on the show now, but I’d given up halfway through until I’d heard it improved and Captain America 2 confirmed something had to be happening. The first half is fairly awful, with boring characters and weak stand-alone plots, like rejected X-Files episodes.  Then  Winter Soldier forced a change (though clearly in the works all along), and the show becomes episodic and suspenseful, full of great reveals and red herrings. The characters found their places, and the actors meshed. Even the fight choreography got notably better. It attempts Whedon-esque wit throughout, and the quips evoke more chuckles than groans. The addition of some fantastic actors, including Bill Paxton and cameos from Sam Jackson, Patton Oswalt, and Cobie Smulders, also did much to improve the show.

Movie – 2 Guns: B+

2 gunsB+
Denzel played himself, naturally, and Wahlberg played the funny version of his two personas, and with the help of some good dialog, they gave the film some great buddy flick humor. The story wasn’t terribly original, and the twists were pretty standard fair for such a film. I went into this without really having any idea what it was about, and that lack of presumptions certainly helped that poor plotting seem less detrimental.