Wednesday, October 27

Film: Dune Click for more info

In theory Dune should have been a failure. Filmed in quite an abrupt manner, it's a mess of ideas, plot and imagery that requires background reading to make sense of. But of course that's not necessarily asking for much, and since I have read the initial trilogy I rather liked the movie.

I didn't like the book. It was muddled, badly constructed and failed in its promise to deliver. I also thought back then that a well reasoned movie could easily fix all the issues I had with the book, and it turns out that that's what happened. The movie introduces a purpose and pacing that clears up some of the flaws with the storytelling of the novel, and the story and universe are all the better for it.

That said, it wasn't a perfect film. Continuing the ironic relationship between it and the source material, I don't think I would have understood much of the film without having already had the story told to me. And as previously mentioned editing seemed a little rushed, with the acting merely doing the job. Special effects were of a decent quality.

Perhaps then it seems that this movie reinforces what we may already have known - that the Dune universe is bigger than just a book and movie, and that you really need to consume it in multiple forms to really get the most from it. And when you do, it's all pretty good.

Wednesday, October 20

Film: Venom: Let There Be Carnage Click for more info

Given that the first Venom movie was actually pretty good, it's both surprising and disappointing that the second in the series could be so bad.

My hot take is that Venom vs Carnage is only half a movie. I can only speculate where the rest of the movie is, but what remains are a couple of acts at best - and I don't even mind spoiling the fact that the two symbiotes meet just the once during the mercifully short 80 minutes that the film runs for.

Anyway, skip this one.

Wednesday, October 6


It what must be the most cringe thing I've done this side of the pandemic, tonight I spent a few hours in the live audience of a Gamesmaster filming. Yes, after 25 years (or something) it's back. I would spend some words talking about the memories - it really was a special show in many ways - but you either know it or you don't.

Of course I didn't know who the presenters or celebrities were. And of course I was probably amongst the oldest there. Interestingly I wasn't expecting it to be so white and male, but then I guess some things are yet to change. The location was in line, apparently a power station (but really a water treatment plant).

We saw Splatoon 2 and Tekken being played, with Mortal Kombat being queued up as we left (there was only so much faux enthusiasm we were able to take). I may have been part of some direct audience participation - I will confirm or deny such a thing once the show airs.

Oh and no, we didn't get to see who the new Gamesmaster is - presumably that will be done elsewhere and put together in post.

Tuesday, October 5

Film: No Time To Die Click for more info

And so we have it. After a whopping 15 years, the Daniel Craig era of James Bond is over. The good news is that unlike other movie saga "endings", No Time To Die doesn't disappoint. In fact it may even sit toward the top of the list.

Whether this lack of disappointment is due to the lack of hype (COVID delays notwithstanding, this was no Endgame level event) or just a well built film is a question I don't have the interest to ask. Some may find the age old formula of dependable Bond tiresome, but I guess I'm a bit of a fanboy when it comes to this spy. Six years is a long time to wait though.

Interestingly there is a maturity here that we may not have seen in other Bond eras - gone are the ridiculous gadgets for instance, while the female representation seems to have moved on (although really James, no does mean no). On the other hand we do still have the disfigured villain - albeit one whose drive and ambition is left unexplained.

A special nod goes to Ana de Armas, not just for being, well her, but also to contribute to an overall strange yet brilliant set piece which played more as an Easter egg for Knives Out fans than anything else - kind of like 007's take on an item number. They even seem to acknowledge that.

Otherwise the film was well acted and produced, and even built in way that seemed much more solid and secure than its four prequels. The 160 minute runtime didn't labour much at all. So yes, after five films No Time To Die was pretty much the perfect ending to a brilliant series. Recommended.

And for completion here's my thoughts on the previous films: