100 Words: 1/4/2015

Connecting the dots.

By Louis Balzani

100 Words is a new feature that will help me cover more content faster. Each article will feature several micro-reviews, each of which will be no longer than one hundred words. Enjoy!


Nightcrawler is a grim and excellent film that soars thanks to Jake Gyllenhaal’s exceptionally creepy performance as borderline-psychopathic thief-turned-TV-cameraman. You don’t so much root for him as watch helplessly as he becomes manic, ruthless, power-hungry, and openly obsessed with his craft. The film explores the depths of human depravity, media sensationalism, and what happens when television personnel actively shape the news we consume and trust. Tense, taut, and complex, Nightcrawler tells a gripping tale without overstaying its welcome.




The final season of The Newsroom feels like a completely different show. With a renewed focus on the characters’ personal turmoil, these last six episodes deliver some of the most emotional and gripping moments this series has to offer. It still pontificates openly, and the controversial rape episode certainly ruffled some feathers, but it’s hard to argue that the show’s come a long way from its overly-preachy beginnings. Still, I suspect most critics won’t be sad to see it go.


SCORE: 7.5


Two Dots takes the addictive fun of the first game and aggressively expands on it with beautiful presentation, tons of levels, varied objectives, and more power-ups. Unfortunately, it ties progress to a lives system and a paywall. Every time you fail, you lose a life; lose all five, and you can’t play anymore unless you pay money or wait a minimum of 20 minutes. I’d much rather pay a dollar or two right away to play for as long as I want, but that’s not an option. At least the menus look pretty.


SCORE: 7.0


The latest entry in the Geometry Wars series makes some pretty radical changes. The game’s new Adventure mode features Super Mario Galaxy-esque levels that have you traversing spheres and cubes, making for some intense, albeit frustrating, experiences as it’s all too easy to run into an enemy you couldn’t see or one that spawned right on top of you. New “Super” states and customizable drone buddies add fun new ways to tackle challenges, and the return of the classic score-hunting modes is a plus, but for all its complexity, Dimensions can’t top the simple fun of the first two.


SCORE: 8.0


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