REVIEW: Dune (2021)

Josh Brolin, left, as Gurney Halleck and Timothée Chalamet, right, as Paul Atreides in Denis Villeneuve’s DUNE — Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures / Legendary Pictures.

Directed by Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049) — Screenplay by Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve, and Eric Roth.

When science-fiction neophytes first lay their eyes on the marketing material for Denis Villeneuve’s latest science-fiction film, Dune, they should be forgiven, if they immediately remark that it looks like an imitation of Star Wars — or other similar films. Obviously, they would be under a false impression, but, after all, it is a little bit strange that one of Star Wars‘ most obvious sources of inspiration — Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel Dune — has not previously generated a widely known or appreciated adaptation.

In fact, the Dune property is perhaps especially renowned for being difficult to adapt. Famously, Alejandro Jodorowsky tried but failed to get an adaptation off the ground, while David Lynch’s adaptation from 1984 was critically panned. Those ‘failed’ attempts are, in fact, more widely known than the Sci-Fi Channel mini-series that the franchise also spawned. Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. have now entrusted auteur Denis Villeneuve with the job of adapting Frank Herbert’s rich, influential, and dense source material, and I think that was a very smart decision.

Continue reading “REVIEW: Dune (2021)”

REVIEW: Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)

Ray Fisher, Ezra Miller, Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, and Jason Momoa (left to right) in Zack Snyder’s Justice League — Photo: HBO (Max / Nordic).

Directed by Zack Snyder — Screenplay by Chris Terrio — Story by Chris Terrio, Zack Snyder, and Will Beall.

In 2017, Warner Bros. released the film titled Justice League in theaters worldwide. This was a superhero team-up film that was supposed to be the third installment in a series of films set in Warner Bros.’ cinematic universe that has been dubbed the DC Extended Universe. The previous two installments — Man of Steel and Batman v Superman — were directed by Zack Snyder, who had essentially become the godfather, or the face, of the DC Extended Universe.

Snyder was also supposed to complete Justice League, but, due to a family tragedy, he decided to step away from the film and let Joss Whedon, the seasoned superhero filmmaker hired by Warner Bros. to replace him, finish the film. But Whedon and Snyder are very different filmmakers and they have different sensibilities, and, ultimately, the theatrical cut of Justice League was met with largely negative reviews. The final product lacked a uniform vision and tone, and it started to become clear that a lot of the essential material that Zack Snyder had planned for the film had been left on the cutting room floor.

Continue reading “REVIEW: Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)”

IJR Awards 2018: Nominations, Part One of Two

Today I’m revealing the first half of the 2018 nominations for this blog’s IJR Awards (I’m Jeffrey Rex Awards, but you probably already guessed that). The two legend awards (Film Legend and TV Legend) aren’t getting any nominees, instead, I’ll reveal the winners, or honorees, in the two upcoming IJR Awards 2018-posts. Continue reading “IJR Awards 2018: Nominations, Part One of Two”

REVIEW: Justice League (2017)

Theatrical Release Poster – Warner Bros.

The following is a review of Justice League – Directed by Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon.

A couple of months ago, I was looking through some old pieces of paper that I had found in a drawer. In it, I found a membership certificate for some sort of Danish Batman-fan club, and it had my name on it (actually, it was misspelled). This certificate was from when I was just around the age of six or seven.

I am telling you this to provide you with a bit of context for my own background and my love for DC Comics. I’m one of those kids who would hunker down and read Superman comics in the back of the store, while my dad was talking to the comic book store owner. Did I read Marvel Comics too? Definitely, but that shouldn’t take away from my love for DC Comics. I am now, and always have been, a fan of these characters. Continue reading “REVIEW: Justice League (2017)”