My Cultural Diet

429 reviews of movies, TV shows, books, restaurants, etc. My own private Goodreads, Letterboxd, and Yelp all rolled into one (more info). Star ratings are 100% subjective, non-scientific, and subject to change. May contain affiliate links, which support Opus.
3 Body Problem

If you’ve read Liu Cixin’s Three-Body Problem, then you know that producers David Benioff, D. B. Weiss and Alexander Woo had their work cut out for them. Cixin’s ambitious novel, which stretches from China’s Cultural Revolution to the modern era, puts an intriguing spin on the “alien invasion” storyline with some pretty heady ideas (e.g., virtual reality, multi-dimensional supercomputers, quantum entanglement, orbital mechanics). As such, the novel seemed unfilmable. To their credit, Benioff, Weiss, and Woo do a decent job of capturing the novel’s ideas and weirdness. (As for the novel’s infamous “boat scene,” it was just as horrific as I expected.) I just wish 3 Body Problem had more interesting characters to go along with those ideas. With the exception of Benedict Wong’s rumpled investigator and Liam Cunningham’s manipulative secret agent, the principle cast is boring, if not annoying. The occasionally ham-fisted dialog about the power of science and the need to understand reality doesn’t do the actors any favors, but humanity seems pretty screwed if the “Oxford Five” are our only hope.


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