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Reviews

Musings about media. Mostly movies.
I’m @joaobfreire on Letterboxd.

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  1. Station Eleven

    2022 TV show

    Watched 21 December 2021 – 14 January 2022

    A miracle unfolding in slow motion. Pure, clear, and brimming with understanding. Every episode destroying me and building me back up, each time a different person. I wasn’t ready.

  2. Star Wars: Visions

    2021 TV show

    Watched 17 December 2021 – 3 January 2022

    Cool animation, but the presence of lightsabers in every single episode reveals a frustrating lack of imagination.

  3. The Voyeurs

    2021 film

    Watched 24 October 2021

    I couldn’t possibly predict twists this dumb, and that just made them all the more effective. Hats off to this movie!

  4. Nobody

    2021 film

    Watched 19 September 2021

    John Wick has been losing its way but this movie knows what it’s all about. A blur of a 90-minute punch in the face — just enough to put you in the hospital, not enough to kill you of overstimulation.

  5. Stowaway

    2021 film

    Watched 19 August 2021

    I learned that Toni Collette is australian in real life. Next: do solar storms actually look like that? This movie is great at making me want to check Wikipedia.

  6. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

    2020 video game

    Played 20 March 2020 – 27 April 2021 on Nintendo Switch

    Just… so many good feelings from this game. I’ll cherish it forever.

  7. For All Mankind, Season 2

    2021 TV show

    Watched 22–24 April 2021

    Once again this show attempts to strike a good balance between People Drama and Society Drama, but this season’s timeskip tilted the scales and made it clear that the long game is always going to be about the societal outcomes first. Character moments are less emotionally effective as a result, but boy is the spectacle of the alternate timeline geopolitics worth the tradeoff. Season 1 got me invested. But now I’m excited.

  8. For All Mankind, Season 1

    2019 TV show

    Watched 19–22 April 2021

    I’m super into this space trauma and societal progress nerdfest.

    It may sometimes feel predictable and clichéd but I just want to engross myself in this alternate history, and the level of realism is more than good enough to support that by my standards.

  9. Godzilla: King of the Monsters

    2019 film

    Rewatched 8 April 2021

    The uncanny valley between the ponderous Godzilla 2014 and the bombastically campy Godzilla vs. Kong. I’m sorry but if you want to make a serious movie you have to stick to the serious monsters, you can’t put on the three-headed electric dragon and big moth. Pokémon aren’t scary.

  10. The Expanse, Season 5

    2021 TV show

    Watched 16 December 2020 – 3 February 2021

    This series has built so much, and gone so far. The transition from “Game of Thrones in space” to one of the most poignant human dramas in science fiction has been a true joy to witness.

  11. The X Files

    1998 film

    Rewatched 14 January 2021

    More exciting than I remembered, but still disappointing and, at best, inessential. It tries too hard, and also not hard enough. Like most TV-to-film adaptations, the texture feels wrong. Character-wise, the plot isn’t much more than condensed retreading of old ground. And worst of all, it shows too much! It’s certainly a big-screen adventure, but the desire for one-upmanship has the side effect of making the world, the conspiracies, and even the aliens seem small and shallow.

  12. Drill Dozer

    2005 video game

    Played 4 September – 19 October 2020 on Game Boy Advance

    There’s some interesting ideas and clever mechanics here, but I could never get past the clunky, sluggish controls. Movement expressiveness is limited to such a degree that neither platforming nor combat feel good.