Categories
Film Review

Dune (2021)

IMDB link
Running time: 2h 35min
Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Written by Jon Spaihts (screenplay by), Denis Villeneuve (screenplay by), Eric Roth (screenplay by), Frank Herbert (novel)
Starring Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya

Frank Herbert’s Dune from 1965 is one of the most well-regarded SF novels of all time. David Lynch’s 1984 adaptation is widely considered weird and flawed. How, then, does Denis Villeneuve, who has made a name for himself as a director of somewhat artistic, critically acclaimed, yet commercially succesful films in recent years (Prisoners (2013), Sicario (2015), Arrival (2016), Blade Runner 2049 (2017), etc.), do with the material?

Categories
Film Review

The Matrix (1999)

IMDB link
Running time: 2h 16min
Directed by Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski
Written by Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski
Starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss

The Matrix (no relation to John Matrix of Commando (1985)) is one of the most influential films ever made, and not only in the genres of action and scifi. It was a huge hit that shaped the landscape of film-making and teen fashion trends for years, and spawned a franchise that got its latest entry in 2021 — not to mention all the memes. But does The Matrix have the same impact and remain as watchable as it was in 1999? Not quite, in my opinion, but it is still a monumental piece of action cinema that cannot be dismissed from the conversation about the greatest of the genre. During the years since its release, it has been endlessly viewed, analyzed, discussed, and reviewed. There is not much to say about the film that has not already been said, but I will give my two cents on it anyway.

Categories
Film Review

The Farewell (2019)

IMDB link
Running time: 1h 40min
Directed by Lulu Wang
Written by Lulu Wang
Starring Shuzhen Zhao, Awkwafina, X Mayo

The Farewell is feel-good drama/comedy which centers on the Chinese custom of not informing (or lying to) people about their terminal illness, so that they can live the rest of their days in blissful ignorance. The film is based on the true story of director/writer Lulu Wang’s life experiences.

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TV Show Season

Severance (2022–) Season 1

IMDB link
Running time: less than 1 hour / episode
Created by Dan Erickson
Starring Adam Scott, Zach Cherry, Britt Lower

Severance is a mystery/drama/science fiction show on Apple TV+ that has been getting some praise (at the time of writing, 8.7/10 on IMDB, 83 from critics and 8.4 from audiences on Metacritic), so I decided to check the first season out. I must say that this is one of those rare occasions where I am neither with the critics nor the regular viewers — I did not enjoy Severance. It does have some things going for it — a stellar cast, some great ideas — but I think the execution (mainly the writing) was sorely lacking, and the characters were not at all interesting. The mystery aspect is revealed only slightly during the course of the season, and the pacing is at times glacial. But let us get into the details.