Monday, September 25, 2017

Road Cycling World Championships 2017

Little bit different post this time. I didn't realize I have used my backlog of reviews and did everything else last week. I watched something I could have reviewed this time but I want to make video review of it. Road Cycling World Championships were raced last week. Races were shown free on YouTube.

Races were held on Bergen Norway. Norwegians had found really interesting routes for the races. Everything went well until the last few kilometers of the last race. Power outage took away few kilometers before the last one.

Time trials made next year's Tour de France more interesting if Dumoulin participates. He and his team were unstoppable in both races. Having win Giro earlier this year and almost catching Froome in time trial makes him biggest challenger next year if he rides the Tour. Route was interesting with tough climb in the end. I thought it would have been better to ride with normal bike but both Dumoulin and Froome rode it up with their time trialing bike in time trial position.

All previous road races avoided bunch sprint. However men's race was really interesting even when it ended in bunch sprint. It was never clear who would win. We didn't know if big climb was tough enough to make selection. Picture went after last climb. At that point it wasn't still sure. Men who got away were still clear. The race ended Sagan taking historic third championship in row despite doing anything at all before the end. Anything we saw.

Next week I will get back to normal reviews.

Monday, September 18, 2017

American Gods (2017)

American Gods is based on graphic novel of same name by Neil Gaiman. Neil Gaiman is one of the producers. This surely feels like Neil Gaiman's work in both good and bad. My exposure to his work is limited to Sandman and its spin-off Death. This has everything I liked in them and what I didn't like.

Based on eight episode first season it is hard to see where this is going. It ends when it starts to get really interesting. If you have seen Star Trek episode Who Mourns for Adonais you know what this is about. God needs to be worshipped to live. Nowadays people don't care about old gods. New gods have taken their places. This is what our protagonist Shadow Moon learns from mysterious Mister Wednesday. It took way too long for me to realize who he actually was even when it was clearly hinted who he is.

Neil Gaiman is good telling interesting stories. However he want to tell so many different stories at same time he loses the focus. There are interesting short stories and awesome scenes. Series jumps too much from place to place. It is not enough to have two groups series follows. It gives half episode to stories which have very little to do with the main story arc. At the end of first season each main character have had their moments and more. It ends with most all main characters at same place and the story can really start.

American Gods is good series but I wanted to like it even more. Only thing I didn't like was all the jumping. It hits you hard with symbolism. We get American Gods don't like foreigners. We didn't need to see it in each episode with short story which had nothing to do with main story arc. Unless these stories introduced something for later seasons. First season of American Gods is more collection of short stories than one big story.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Castlevania (2017)

Castlevania has got lot of praise for being first really good adaptation of video game. I thought Mortal Kombat was the first. At least it is older and good adaptation. I think I understand why it gets the praise. However I don't think it is as amazing as people say it is. It is quite good and I see why people like it.

Castlevania is edgy in many ways. There is lot of gore and language. This certainly is not for kids. I guess part of the praise comes from the edginess. I could have done with less of it. That one discussion in bar went bit too far. Edginess wasn't only things which saved the series. This is really dark series. There are no boy scouts. Everybody is more or less bad guy or just trying to survive. It even makes Dracula relatable.

Castlemania is only four episodes long and under two hours total. It is only first act. It introduces main characters and settings. It ends when main characters get ready to fight against Dracula. Next season probably has another boss they have to fight before they get to Dracula. Castlevania is frustratingly short. It ends when it gets you hooked. It is all set up without payback. With all the positive feedback this will certainly get next season where we should get some payback.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Inferno (2016)

Inferno is sequel to The Da Vinci Code (2006) and Demons and Angels (2009). It really feel they wanted to repeat winning formula of The Da Vinci Code. It didn't work too well with Demons and Angels. It doesn't even that well this time. Plot is so forced I couldn't take it seriously. Someone is trying to release some kind of plague to save the earth. He has left hints where his plague package is using references to Dante.

Robert Langdon wakes up at hospital wounded and hallucinating. He doesn't remember anything from last few days. When he tries to find out what has happened everything gets weirder. Felicity Jones plays woman who helps him. She is not anywhere near of Audrey Tautou. I don't even remember who played the role in Demons and Angels. Here you remember Felicity Jones' character because of plot twist. She is as forgettable as she was in Rogue One.

I would be lying if I didn't say I was excited at the end. I have no idea why. Maybe it was professionalism and talent of filmmakers. Movie didn't deserve my excitement. Ending worked for some reason. Setting was cool looking and music worked. But it was only the ending. Everything before it didn't excite me. Many parts of the story didn't make much sense. Movie just want to repeat successful formula of the first movie without thinking if the story makes sense. Book is probably the same. If you liked both of the previous movies you might enjoy this too.