Review: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

I learned long ago that “things happened that I didn’t like” and “it was badly made” are two different complaints about a movie. And while a lot of stuff happened that I didn’t like, it was interesting and creative in a way that Star Wars hasn’t been able to be in decades. We knew where the prequels were heading, we knew where Rogue One was heading, and The Force Awakens followed essentially the same plot beats as A New Hope.

It’s dark, yes – but not really much darker than Revenge of the Sith, another film that features the slow, inexorable snuffing out of hope by a powerful galactic-sized force, leaving only a handful of heroes at the end. But with RotS, we knew things would get better (eventually). This time, we get a triumphant return at the end, and a hint at a better future in the epilogue.

The Last Jedi made it possible for Star Wars to be surprising again, and unless Episode IX goes out of its way to reject it (or even if it does), I suspect it’ll be received better in the long run than it has been in the moment.

Review: Mpow BH044 Bluetooth Receiver

I’ve been using this in my car to listen to music and podcasts from my phone for the past year. Sound quality is virtually identical to what I got plugging into the headphone jack (when I had one), plus now I have physical buttons for pause, play, forward and back, which is *really* nice for driving!

Occasionally the connection doesn’t quite work right and I get very crunchy audio, but when that happens I’m able to just turn off the phone’s bluetooth and turn it back on, and when they re-pair the sound is back to normal.

The one thing that bothers me about it is that the battery warning sound (bleeping once a minute) doesn’t start until there’s only about 10 minutes’ worth of battery left, which always seems to happen 5 minutes into a 30-minute drive.