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: The Mandalorian – Seasons One and Two (2019/2020)

The Mandalorian Still Image
‘The Mandalorian,’ Still Image — Photo: Disney / Disney Plus / Lucasfilm.

Had it not been for the fact that I think there is a notable jump in quality from the first to the second season of the Disney+ Original series, it would’ve been really difficult for me to separate the two first seasons of the first-ever Star Wars live-action series. You see, while, for Americans, there was an entire year in between the two seasons, Disney+ didn’t arrive in Denmark until September of 2020, and Disney made the decision to release the first season week-by-week. They did this so that when it ended, the second season would be ready to begin, but they also did it in an attempt to keep people on the streaming service for as long as possible. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Mandalorian – Seasons One and Two (2019/2020)”

REVIEW: The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special (2020)

Film Poster - Lego Star Wars
Release Poster – Disney+

Directed by Ken Cunningham — Available on Disney+.

It can be difficult to enjoy Star Wars fully when the fanbase is as fractured as it has been these last few years. A significant part of the fandom has a deep hatred for a film that I like quite a bit, and it has made it so draining to debate Star Wars opinions these days. These last few weeks, I have been watching the second season of The Mandalorian, which I will hopefully be reviewing soon, and it, along with this LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special released on Disney+, truly reminded me why I have always loved Star Wars so much that even online disputes can’t ruin it for me. The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special is genuinely wonderful and a good time for the whole family. Continue reading “REVIEW: The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special (2020)”

Nomination Predictions for the 92nd Academy Awards – Special Features #58

Edited image originally from ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019),’ Sony Pictures

It is finally that time of the year again, folks! The nominations for the Academy Awards will be released on Monday (January 13th, 2020). Just in time, I am ready with my final predictions for this awards season’s Oscars nominations. Below I have tried to predict every category except for the short film categories, as I simply haven’t seen enough short films from 2019. So, without further ado, let’s get to it! Continue reading “Nomination Predictions for the 92nd Academy Awards – Special Features #58”

7th I’m Jeffrey Rex Awards, Part One – 2019

Happy new year! Today is the very first day of 2020, so it makes perfect sense to take a look back and begin to celebrate the best of the year to which we are saying goodbye. In the first part of the I’m Jeffrey Rex Awards for 2019, I will reveal my personal winners in my video game, song, superhero, and television categories. To see a complete list of the nominees, click here. Please do remember that my film nominations and winners will be announced in about a month. Continue reading “7th I’m Jeffrey Rex Awards, Part One – 2019”

IJR Awards 2019: Nominations – Television, Games, etc.

Today, I am revealing the first half of the 2019 nominations for my blog’s awards (I’m Jeffrey Rex Awards [IJR Awards]). The nominations that I will reveal today concern the television, video games, superhero, and music categories. The second half of the nominations — the film categories — will be revealed at some point in early February, so that I am able to watch some of the Oscarworthy films that won’t be released in Denmark until the beginning of 2020. Continue reading “IJR Awards 2019: Nominations – Television, Games, etc.”

REVIEW: Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Disney / Lucasfilm

The following is a review of Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker — Directed by J. J. Abrams.

Although the subtitle of this film suggests otherwise, Disney has been pretty adamant in saying that the Skywalker saga (i.e. the episodes) is coming to an end with this ninth episode, which thus ends Disney’s sequel trilogy. It has been a trilogy that has been bumpier than I expected it to be, which is largely due to Lucasfilm hirings and firings, as well as the return of a rabid, entitled, and toxic part of the Star Wars fandom, which has been determined to have their say on what can and cannot be appreciated about these films. This part of fandom has been absolutely infuriating, and it has robbed Star Wars fans of the happiness that one should get when you discuss something that you love. J. J. Abrams’ The Force Awakens was an undeniably satisfying and very rewatchable table-setter, and Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi was an ambitious, bold, and critically acclaimed exploration of legacy, legends, and failure. Now we have The Rise of Skywalker, J. J. Abrams’ curtain-closer. Though I did ultimately enjoy the film, I have to admit and acknowledge that this is definitely the sequel trilogy’s low-point, in part due to Abrams’ obvious attempt to appease parts of the fandom that could only be pacified by reversing decisions that were made in Rian Johnson’s film. Continue reading “REVIEW: Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019)”

REVIEW: Knives Out (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Lionsgate

The following is a review of Knives Out — a Rian Johnson whodunnit.

Are Agatha Christie-inspired murder mystery films making a quiet comeback right under our noses? In 2017, Kenneth Branagh resurrected the genre on the big screen with his adaptation of Murder On the Orient Express, which is getting a sequel in 2020. Earlier in 2019, Kyle Newacheck released an Adam Sandler-led murder mystery film titled Murder Mystery, which I suggested might be “the most watchable of Sandler’s made-for-Netflix comedies.” Now we have Rian Johnson’s Knives Out, which isn’t just the best of the bunch, it’s also genuinely one of the most entertaining films of the year. Knives Out is a fresh and modern labyrinthine murder mystery complete with a stylish main location, as well as witty and timely social and political satire. Continue reading “REVIEW: Knives Out (2019)”

Uncle Jeff (or, How I Learned to Listen to Film’s Best Uncle)

So, yeah, I’m going to be an uncle. Not too long ago, my sister, Jessica told me that she is pregnant and that I’m going to be an uncle later in 2019. That’s a lot of pressure. For my sister and her boyfriend, I mean. After all, uncles don’t really do much, do they? Still, though, I want to be there for my sister and her future kid.

Naturally, my first thought was to look to entertainment for some kind of guidance, after all that’s how my mind is built. So, today, I’m going to present you with a very short list of film-uncles and what their roles mean to me. One uncle, in particular, is going to give me — and you, if you somehow stumbled onto this article by accident — the right advice, so stay tuned. Continue reading “Uncle Jeff (or, How I Learned to Listen to Film’s Best Uncle)”

Box Office Predictions – Biggest Opening Weekends of 2019

And we’re back. As you may have noticed, Box Office Predictions has been on a hiatus since July 2018, but the article series is making its grand return in 2019 today. The first predictions of 2019 are all about the biggest opening weekends at the North American box office. Will Star Wars: Episode IX suffer due to the widely-reported fan divide that defined the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi? I will do my best to answer this and many other questions right now as I list my predictions for this year’s biggest opening weekends. Continue reading “Box Office Predictions – Biggest Opening Weekends of 2019”