Movie Review: Dune

Dune (2021)

Starring: Timothee Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, Zendaya

Directed By: Denis Villeneuve

Frank Hebert’s sci-fi epic Dune has long believed to be unfilmable, and judging from the previous David Lynch and Syfy channel original attempts, they were right. But after doing the impossible with Blade Runner 2049, director Denis Villenueve has staked his claim in a property even loftier than the Blade Runner universe. Hebert’s original novel is a densely packed tale of greed, legacy, power, and revenge, so big that Villenueve has made it publicly known that this film is only going to cover the first half of the novel (the title screen even refers to the film as Dune: Part One). It’s a risky gamble even without the box office slowly recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic (once again, please get vaccinated if you have yet to do so), the chief gamble being if Villenueve can even make the original text something that the average moviegoer can digest.

Read the rest of this entry

Movie Review: Halloween Kills

MOVIE REVIEW!!

Halloween Kills (2021)

Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Anthony Michael Hall, Andi Matichak

Directed By: David Gordon Green

MINOR SPOILERS

The latest film to finally open after a lenghty delay, Halloween Kills finds Michael Myers once again wreaking havoc on the town of Haddonfield, Illinois, making up for lost time after being in prison for forty years. He’s got some scores to settle, namely with the now adult (and badass) Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her daughter and granddaughter (Judy Greer and Andi Matichak), who previously left him for dead inside of Strode’s burning home. Like the original Halloween II thirty years before, Halloween Kills picks up right where we left off in the previous film, and is more brutal and ambitious than the previous entry in the long running slasher franchise.

Read the rest of this entry

Movie Review: No Time To Die

MOVIE REVIEW!

No Time To Die(2021)

Starring: Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Rami Malek, Ana De Armas, Ralph Fiennes

Directed By: Cary Joji Fukunaga

MINOR SPOILERS

After five movies, fifteen years, and one global pandemic delay (that’s still going on by the way, so get that vaccine), James Bond finally returns to screens with No Time To Die, the final movie where Daniel Craig dons the famous tux and Walther PPK. Craig’s time as OO7 has been filled with ups and downs, with some of the greatest moments in the franchise (Casino Royale and Skyfall) and some of the weirdest (Quantum of Solace, Spectre, his constant desire to stop being in these movies), so it comes as a relief to see his that his swan song is finally here, even though I’m giant fan of his take on the character. Craig’s Bond is fallible in a way that really shakes up the franchise, and he deserves to go out on a high note. So does he?

Read the rest of this entry

TV Review: What If?

What If...? (TV Series 2021– ) - IMDb

TV REVIEW

What If (2021)

The small screen output of Marvel Studios has been fairly well received, albeit with a lot of pacing issues. With the arrival of What If, Marvel Studios’ first animated series, those issues aren’t really addressed, but you will probably find yourself wishing you had a bit more time with some of these characters.

Read the rest of this entry

TV Review: Midnight Mass!

TV Review!

Midnight Mass

Netflix decided to get into the Spooky Season early this year with Midnight Mass, the latest from Haunting of Hill House and Doctor Sleep director Mike Flanagan. Unlike those previous works though, Midnight Mass is a fully original creation from Flanagan, and even then, it still feels like a lost work by the master himself, Stephen King. But even with that, Midnight Mass stands as a truly original and deeply personal work from the director, and is one of the best pieces of media I’ve consumed this year.

Read the rest of this entry

Movie Review: Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings

MOVIE REVIEW

Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings (2021)

Starring: Simu Liu, Awkafina, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung

Directed By: Destin Daniel Cretton

MINOR SPOILERS

It’s no secret that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is in desperate need of some more diverse faces. As the first Marvel movie with an Asian lead, Shang-Chi and The Legend Of The Ten Rings already has a lot of eyes on it. Sure it’s a Marvel movie, but will it reach the heights of a film like Black Panther? That movie had the benefit of introducing T’Challa in a prior film (Civil War), and that character has a higher profile than Marvel’s Master of Kung Fu who debuted in the 70’s. Add in the fact that the pandemic is still a major factor in the box office (for the love of God please get vaccinated so I don’t have to keep adding this to my reviews), and that Shang-Chi is not getting a simultaneous Disney+ “premiere access” debut like Black Widow did, and suddenly a whole lot is riding on Mr. Chi and his cinematic debut. If this film goes the way of current box office releases, it could effect not only the rest of the MCU releases for 2021, but it could also spell doom for other major studio releases this year too. Legend of the Ten Rings is an interesting film in a lot of ways, and has a lot to do. But it also stands out because this is first time there’s been an MCU film based on a character that I know pretty much nothing about.

Read the rest of this entry

Movie Review: The Suicide Squad

The Suicide Squad (2020)

Starring: Idris Elba, Margot Robie, Joel Kinnamen, David Dastmalchian, Viola Davis

Directed By: James Gunn

2016’s Suicide Squad was…not well received. While it made a ton of money and gave us Margot Robie’s great iteration of Harley Quinn, the rest of David Ayer’s entry into the then-newly born DCEU was pretty much a gigantic mess, filled with too many needle drops, too many introductions, and not enough story to get us to care about Task Force X. Despite making a lot of money at the box office, the critical and fan reaction lead Warner Bros to sit on a sequel idea, until James Gunn was fired in a show of bad faith by Marvel Studios (he’s since been rehired). Since the original Suicide Squad‘s final cut was heavily influenced by Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy, it made sense that WB would jump at the chance to let Gunn put his stamp on the makeshift team of DC baddies. And make no mistake, this is very much Gunn’s take on the supervillain team.

Read the rest of this entry

TV Review: Loki!

TV REVIEW!

Loki

Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sophia Di Martino

Directed By: Kate Herron

SPOILERS

The still burgeoning small-screen Marvel Cinematic Universe has made some pretty big impressions since beginning earlier this years. From introducing us to “Agatha All Along” to bringing the shield of Captain America to Sam Wilson, the latest installments of the mega franchise have made some pretty small-to-medium size splashes in the pop culture sphere. But all that is about to change, thanks to a series starring the God of Mischief himself, Loki.

Read the rest of this entry

Movie Review: Black Widow!

MOVIE REVIEW!

Black Widow (2021)

Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Rachel Weisz, Florence Pugh, David Harbour

Directed By: Cate Shortland

SPOILERS

It’s been a long voyage for Natasha Romanoff to get to the big screen on her own. Regardless of the fact that she’s been a supporting player since her debut in 2010’s Iron Man 2, the Russian Super spy also had her big solo adventure delayed multiple times during the COVID-19 pandemic (which is still going on, even if things are improving around the country and places want you to think it’s over). Poor Nat bounced around release dates five different times, but finally, Black Widow has arrived to signal not only a return to some of sort of normalcy for the box office, but for the pop culture behemoth that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As the long-awaited solo movie for a character that’s deserved one for a few years now, there’s a lot of hype surrounding the film. When you add in the delays due to COVID, that hype increases exponentially. Can the super-spy Avenger live up to those lofty expectations?

Almost.

Read the rest of this entry

Dad of Steel

The CW Arrowverse is getting a bit long in the tooth. The Flash is running on fumes this season. Supergirl and Black Lightning are both wrapping up their final seasons. Batwoman has had an awkward sophomore season that has somewhat successfully carved a new bearer of the bat mantle. Hell, Arrow wrapped a year ago. That leaves Legends Of Tomorrow as the last of the original batch truly worth watching, but it’s honestly a show that defies expectations, even of the DC centric Arrowverse. It’s clearly time for a new show to become the torch bearer for the long-running CW franchises, and it belongs to the best show you’re not currently watching: Superman & Lois.

Read the rest of this entry