Dune: Part Two

Close-up of Paul

Let’s get straight to the verdict. Dune: Part Two is visually spectacular but dramatically inert, the good stuff attributable to its remarkable director Denis Villeneuve, the bad stuff down to the writer of the original novel/doorstop, Frank Herbert. This is not going to be how everyone sees it, of course, what sort of a world would that be? But if you’re one of the people who picked up Herbert’s original Dune at some point only eventually to put/fling it down again after tiring of the relentless one-thing-after-anotherness of it (see also Tolkien) the movie won’t offer much that the book didn’t, its retina-cleansing visuals to one side. It picks up right where Part … Read more

The Roads Not Taken

Leo leans on Molly's shoulder

For middle aged people wondering what the hell happened to the great life they were going to have, where the hell it all went wrong, The Roads Not Taken is your film, but don’t come to it expecting uplift. Javier Bardem plays Leo, a guy living a life of extreme misery in New York. Floored by what might be a stroke, he needs help to do the most basic everyday things and gets it mostly from his devoted daughter (Elle Fanning), who matter of factly sorts out Leo when he pisses his pants at the dentist and then loses her job because caring for dad has been taking up too much of her … Read more