If you have finished watching the film Dune (1984) and are looking for other movies like it, here is a list of options to consider.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes
Despite a challenging premise and an overlong runtime, the Hunger Games prequel makes the most of the hand it’s been dealt.
The character of Coriolanus Snow is an odd choice for a Hunger Games hero. In the original books and films, as played by screen giant Donald Sutherland, Snow was a cold-hearted, cruel dictator clearly meant to echo real world fascist leaders. Here, in the prequel story The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (say that five times fast), Coriolanus (Tom Blyth) is just a sensitive, emotional teen dreamboat whose main goal is to provide for his family in the wake of the violent revolution that tore apart Panem, the country formerly known as the United States of America.
It’s difficult to understand why author Suzanne Collins, who wrote the novel Songbirds is based on, made the decision to try to humanize a violent authoritarian when a core theme of the original Hunger Games books and movies was lashing back at systemic oppression. Nonetheless, director Francis Lawrence (Catching Fire, I Am Legend) and his enthusiastic cast of talented performers make the best of the rather thematically confused story arc they’ve been given, turning in one of the most exciting, emotionally arresting entries in the franchise. Continue Reading →
Even before the internet, certain movies had reputations they didn’t quite live up to. Some, like Salo or 120 Days of Sodom, earn their mythical status as movies designed to make your skin crawl and your stomach clench. Others, like the Faces of Death series, while unpleasant to watch, were just empty, acting as a controversy delivery devices and nothing more. Others still, like William Friedkin’s Rampage, never courted outrage. But unlike those others, whatever reputation it earned before the public got a chance to see it didn’t much help. As a result, at least partially, it remains one of the more obscure releases in Friedkin’s filmography. Continue Reading →
Meg 2: The Trench
Ever since James Cameron boldly wrote “S” after ALIEN on a chalkboard and then changed it to a dollar sign, the quickest way to sequel-ize your killer extraterrestrial/reptile/mammal/whatever has been to add more of it. You scored a hit with people fighting one giant mosquito? Great, here’s a sequel with six of them. Continue Reading →
My mother was not much of a movie fan. They just never interested her that much, but when it became obvious that I was obsessed with them by the time I reached preschool age, she did nothing to discourage me. Every once in a while she'd let me know that the feature on the The 3:30 Movie (my primary outlet for watching films in those pre-cable, pre-VCR days) was something that I had to watch. Oddly, her instincts often proved to be correct and I was exposed at a very early (perhaps inappropriately so age to such films as The Producers, Duel and the Joan Rivers-penned TV movie The Girl Most Likely To. . ., all of which would be long-standing favorites of mine. Continue Reading →
There’s something to be said for a ramshackle film that delights in itself and doesn’t take anything especially seriously. Unfortunately, what a filmmaker and their fans find fun may read as piffle or drudgery to less dialed-in audiences. Case in point: Kaboom. Continue Reading →
Apples opens with a series of thuds. With each one, we move in until we’re close-up on details. These are little seeds of a world. Such is the process through which director Christos Nikou peels back the skin of his story. He repeatedly plants tiny granular clues that one would be tempted to spit out and dismiss, but which make all the difference to the growth of the narrative. Continue Reading →
The Bad Guys: A Very Bad Holiday
Who doesn't love a good redemption arc? We want to believe the best in people. We want to believe people can change for the better. It's no surprise, then, that the reformation of a character from an unrepentant villain to a heroic figure provides a very satisfying type of catharsis. Continue Reading →
デジモンアドベンチャー02 THE BEGINNING
There are certain places that, when you visit, you can feel the weight of time pushing up from under your feet. In 2015, I was visiting a friend in Sweden when his partner took us to the island of Oland, where you can touch the monolith headstones of the Vikings buried there. In one spot, two rows of stones met, parted, and met again in a longboat shape. I’ve thought about that day often since then, the long-dead warriors whose monuments I could touch. Less than a year later, my friend would be gone, but I will always remember that day, the way the time-worn stone felt under my hands. Continue Reading →