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Since you could never pay me enough money to actually read the original novels that have inspired countless movies and mini-series, I'll just have to make an educated guess that the source material simply isn't very cinematic in any conventional sense. And, sadly for fans of the Dune novels, George Lucas got there first and came up with his own vision, in an inherently cinematic way that still remains unsurpassed.
So, the work that most inspired George Lucas, a work that he borrowed many concepts from wholesale, is something you wouldn't read if someone paid you to?

Sorry, I wouldn't read the rest of your nonsense review if someone paid me to!

Hey, what a fun game!
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I think it's pretty obvious that GL was more inspired by Flash Gordon and Saturday morning serials than by anything in Herbert's books.



INNER WORKINGS
(2016, Matsuda)



"The mind and the heart are at constant odds with each other – war and peace – the internal struggle."

Inner Workings follows a typical day in the life of Paul, starting when he wakes up and continuing as he goes to work. The interesting thing is that we experience most of these events from the perspective of Paul's inner organs; most notably his Brain, Heart, and Stomach.

Grade:



Full review on my Movie Loot
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Most recent home video purchase...



Cemetary Without Crosses (Robert Hossein / 1969)

Everybody knows that the Italians made tons of Westerns in the late '60s and early '70s, but nobody ever really thinks of the French in terms of the Western genre. And that's because they probably haven't made that many over the years. But Cemetary Without Crosses is the brainchild of French actor/director Robert Hossein, and it's an extremely distinctive, unique and special. Admittedly made very much under the influence of Sergio Leone (who was a good friend of Hossein's), Cemetary Without Crosses is a revenge story about the widow of a man killed in a family rivalry, played by MichŔle Mercier, who enlists the aid of a gunfighter she knows by the name of Manuel (played by Hossein himself) in order to help her get revenge on the rival clan responsible for her husband's death. This is very much a cool, almost minimalist revenge tragedy, the story specifically focusing on the cyclical and destructive nature of vengeance. It is probably most minimalist in terms of its dialogue, which is extremely sparse. The movie also has a really cool theme song, The Rope and the Colt (named after the English translation of its French title), sung by none other than the late, great Scott Walker! A completely "blind" purchase made on my part, after reading so many good things in the books I have read (including Alex Cox's 10,000 Ways To Die), but I've always had good luck when it comes to Euro-Westerns! Highly recommended...

And here's the aforementioned theme song, sung by Scott Walker...

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Drive-Away Dolls


Despite some razor-sharp dialogue and a bravura performance from Margaret Qualley, Drive-Away Dolls doesn't quite hit the bulls-eye, and it's a real shame because the movie definitely had potential.

This noirish rom-com by way of screwball comedy does have a lot going for it, but it is ultimately undermined by what in many ways may be a terrible misconception about lesbian culture. It is perhaps not surprising that the script was written by a straight couple - they are to be commended for trying something that might have been outside their comfort area, but which they are ultimately not ideally equipped (no pun intended) to probe in any kind of satisfactory way.

Definitely worth a watch, though, if nothing else, for Qualley alone - she's incredibly talented and I definitely look forward to whatever else she's in next.



Dune Part Two - My first comment is, how many parts will it be. Isn't two enough? OK, I admit to not having read the book. I can't compare the two, so I just see it as a movie. In that regard, on the one hand, the FX were pretty good. All the sand, battle scenes, etc, were well rendered.

The other side, however, is plot and acting. To me, it seemed like a 2 hour movie masquerading as a 3 hour movie...too much dead air, filled by ponderous music and sand. Then there's the acting. What acting, he says? Cast members mainly strike poses....in the sand. There was hardly a moment that was relatable, not really any characters that I could relate too. Timothee Chalamet just didn't have anything like the gravitas that Paul Atreides seems to need. Nobody else stood out either. My favorite "performance" was actually Zendaya, as Chani, who at least made good eye candy.

My favorite part was the visuals, which I did like, at least if you like sand and wind. It all looked good, considering the plot.

Oh well.

Quote from Jimmy Fallon, minutes ago...."Thank you Dune, for making sand worms look like a giant cat butt".






I forgot the opening line.

Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9050451

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen - (1988)

I saw this for the first time at the movies, and while impressed with the realistic battle scenes the movie kind of lost me during all the varied fantasy segments. Over the years I've kind of come to like it a little more with each subsequent watch. This time around I found the movie funnier than I ever have in the past (for the most part - especially when it's John Neville delivering a comedic line) and all-up a mixed bag with a lot to like and parts to love. Munchausen and Gilliam were a match made in heaven, and as such this is teeming with quirks and spectacular visuals - funny that the Ottoman vs European battle scenes take up a relatively small part of the story, and yet the effects make it look like a hundred million dollar epic recreation. Everything is just-so though, and the art direction, costume design and visual effects are marvelous (and Oscar-nominated.) Pure fantasy and imagination hasn't always been my thing, but I like grand spectacle and fun. I don't know why it doesn't grab me completely, but I keep on watching The Adventures of Baron Munchausen over the years, so surely does grab me on some level.

7/10


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The Brothers Grimm - (2005)

Here's a Terry Gilliam movie I hadn't seen yet - The Brothers Grimm has the feel of being the movie where Gilliam just completely sold out and made what a studio would expect from a big budget fantasy film. Since when did Gilliam pump out studio-pleasing movies? Since 2005 it seems. He'd tried to make The Man Who Killed Don Quixote and had been studio-less since Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas in 1998, while in the meantime he nearly directed the first Harry Potter film. Obviously he was desperate enough to change his ways and the Weinsteins were willing to ride him really hard. The movie, making out famous writers Will Grimm (Matt Damon) and Jake Grimm (Heath Ledger) to be spiritualist con-men who one day come across the real thing in an enchanted forest in Germany, is full of CGI, and has a neat, conventional, mainstream-friendly narrative. It just doesn't feel like a Gilliam film at all. It's as mainstream as Coca-Cola, with plastic characters and only Jonathan Pryce really giving a damn. Nice production design though.

5/10


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I Was Monty's Double - (1958)

This British war film actually features the man who pretended to be General Bernard Montgomery to fool the Germans into thinking the D-Day invasion in 1944 would be bolstered by forces in the south, thus diverting German units from Normandy. Yeah - he plays himself, M. E. Clifton James, in this - and he does look a bit like Montgomery. The film is about his rehearsing, stage fright, various trouble-spots - and it adds a German plot to kidnap him, which didn't ever really happen. Neither thrilling nor boring, and kept my attention despite my skepticism.

6/10


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Revanche - (2008)

One man's plans to kill a man for revenge is becomes complex when he gets to know his wife intimately. Great German/Austrian film about vengeance and grief. Reviewed here, on my watchlist thread.

8/10


https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b5/DeepCrimson.jpg

Deep Crimson - (1996)

Two Mexican lovers start killing lonely old women when their plans to con them go awry - thanks to jealousy. Very sad, farcical and fascinating version of the "Lonely Hearts Killers" story. Full review here, on my watchlist thread.

9/10
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The other side, however, is plot and acting. To me, it seemed like a 2 hour movie masquerading as a 3 hour movie...too much dead air, filled by ponderous music and sand. Then there's the acting. What acting, he says? Cast members mainly strike poses....in the sand. There was hardly a moment that was relatable, not really any characters that I could relate too.
I agree with you quite heartily.

The biggest problem in these movies is that, even after having spent 5 hours in this weird world, there still doesn't seem to be much reason to care about what happens. Do I really care who gets to be Emperor? Nope. Do I care which House gets to rule Arrakis? Nope. Do I care very much about what happens to Paul Atreides? Nope, don't really care for that bloke. At least not in this version of Dune. I remember the David Lynch version at least made it all seem like fun (weird fun, but still fun).

The few things that might have seemed worth caring for have all been left behind in the dust, and it seems that the more trusting a character is, the worse their fate turns out to be.

Some people speak of this movie as though it were one of the great accomplishments in the whole history of cinema. Well, good for them if they enjoyed it, but when you compare it to the actual classics that truly have proved to be some of the great accomplishments in the history of cinema, DV's Dune movies seem awfully, awfully paltry accomplishments.

And I say that despite strongly liking most of the actors in the cast.







SF = Z


Humm, quite enjoyed this. Don't think it deserves all the hate it gets.




[Snooze Factor Ratings]:
Z = didn't nod off at all
Zz = nearly nodded off but managed to stay alert
Zzz = nodded off and missed some of the film but went back to watch what I missed
Zzzz = nodded off and missed some of the film but went back to watch what I missed but nodded off again at the same point and therefore needed to go back a number of times before I got through it...
Zzzzz = nodded off and missed some or the rest of the film but was not interested enough to go back over it



Players (2024) I suffered through watching this on Netflix. This is not funny or entertaining. It's badly written, predictable, and cliched. Performances are mediocre. If these are the players, let's call off the game. Out of the 16 films I have seen this year, this would rank as number 15.





Dune (1984)

The universe of Dune feels at times like some kind of fever dream, and no director has done a better job of capturing that aspect of it than David Lynch.

His 1984 adaptation may remain rather underrated, partly because he tried to bring this world to life with effects technology that was perhaps somewhat insufficient to fully bring the visual aspect of that world to life - not that it stopped him from doing everything he could to give it life and fill it with the eccentricity the director is well-known for.

I've revisited this movie after having seen the 2nd of however many adaptations Denis Villeneuve will eventually make; however the territory covered in his first two movies roughly corresponds to that which Lynch tackled - and also managed to give a much more satisfactory ending.

The cast in the Lynch version also features some much cooler actors in key roles, many of whom would work many times with the legendary director. I think Kyle MacLachlan is a much better Paul Atreides than anybody since him, and I also really dig Patrick Stewart's Gurney better than Josh Brolin's. I would also take Jose Ferrer's Emperor Shaddam over Christopher Walken's barely-there weak attempt; Sting is also easily a better Feyd-Rautha than Austin Butler could have hoped to be (though he's still a great Elvis!)

It may not be Lynch's best film, but it is definitely one of his most idiosyncratic and one can only hope younger generations will discover it in time.



I forgot the opening line.

By Studio and or Graphic Artist - Can be obtained from film's distributor., Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61333308


The Informer - (2019)

Okay, so The Informer is a pretty average crime thriller that throws up another big starring role for Joel Kinnaman as inside man Peter Koslow, a soldier in the criminal enterprise of Ryszard ôThe Generalö Klimek (Eugene Lipinski). His FBI handlers are nearly worse than the crooks though, with Erica Wilcox (Rosamund Pike) asking him not only to risk it all betraying one of the most brutal crime lords in New York, but also to go back to prison to weed out Klimek's network there. Things don't go to plan, and as such Erica burns Peter and leaves him to the mercy of the prison system, with about a dozen people wanting him dead. Thank Erica's boss, the positively sickening Keith Montgomery (Clive Owen) for that outcome. Lucky for Joel though, there's an NYPD cop, Edward Grens (Common) sniffing out the murder of his partner - a trail that leads right to Joel, and his crooked FBI handlers. Very violent this, and there's simply not enough Klimek - instead the focus is on Erica and Keith who, while evil, lack the entertainment value of a monster like the Polish crime boss. Okay, but average.

6/10


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Julien Donkey-Boy - (1999)

This Dogme 95 film is close in spirit to Harmony Korine's film Gummo, and keeps it's focus on a dysfunctional family led by the at-time hilarious Werner Herzog. Reviewed here, on my watchlist thread.

8/10



It's tonight's late night movie - The Hound of the Baskervilles - It's from a cheap DVD set of those old British movies made from Sherlock Holmes stories, The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection. It's really a pristine, excellent transfer, looking better than I've ever seen those old movies, 1939 in this case, look before. It's the classic cast, Basil Rathbone as Holmes, Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson. It also has Richard Greene (you know who HE is, right) as a doomed Baskerville family member. In case you don't know who Greene was, he was the titular player in an old TV series, Robin Hood. Like a lot of old British movies, everybody speaks very loudly and clearly. It has creepy butlers, big sets in large estates and lots of fog from The Moors.





In Fear (2013, Jeremy Lovering)

Actually this was pretty damn decent. Especially in the beginning... the atmosphere, the scenery, the slow buildup of dread were nicely done. It doesn't quite hold up so well after the reveal of the mysterious stalking force but it's still pretty tense. You just have to turn your critical brain off for certain portions of the plot and allow the situation of terror the protagonists find themselves in to just wash over you and take you wherever it takes you.



Raven73's Avatar
Boldly going.
Dune Part 2
7.5/10.
I found Part 1 slow-paced, but the third act of this Dune - despite the movie being nearly 3 hours - was very fast-paced; almost too fast. They introduced new characters who almost seemed unnecessary as they seemed to have had very little impact on the eventual outcome. Overall, I enjoyed the action, the special effects and I definitely think the movie should receive an Oscar for costume design.
Dune has been compared to Star Wars, with Star Wars appealing to families and Dune appealing to adults. I find Dune intentionally brooding (including the colours: some scenes are so blanketed in blacks and whites they look as if they were shot in black & white), while Star Wars is uplifting. I prefer Luke Skywalker as a savior over Paul Atreides.
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I prefer Luke Skywalker as a savior over Paul Atreides.
But is Paul Atreides really a savior?

For folks who haven't read the novels, it's a bit hard to tell -
WARNING: "DP2 spoilers" spoilers below
is he just out to grab power for himself at the end of this one, caring only about revenge over those who attacked the House of Atreides? or does he actually intend to help the disadvantaged peoples of the galaxy? Maybe he just wants to use them in order to consolidate his new-found power? This movie, imho, doesn't make it clear, and it makes him look like a bit of a cad for abandoning Chani to marry the Emperor's daughter.


At least in the David Lynch version, where PA was clearly the target of the galaxy's "bad guys" from the start, you got a sense by the end of the movie, that good had triumphed over evil. He didn't even abandon Chani at the end.

I don't mind movies that leave some degree of uncertainty behind at the end; but with DP2 it's a bit hard to even know whether or not the protagonist is meant to be an antagonist or, as you called him, a "savior". And if he is indeed a "savior", then it just becomes another "white savior" narrative where some kind of indigenous population cannot prevail without the "white savior" intervening.