Dune Review

My thoughts on David Lynch’s 1984 film Dune.

Where are my feelings?

Dune is among the worst films I’ve seen.  It’s disappointing because it’s written and directed by my favorite director. It doesn’t work on any level, especially when compared to contempary sci-fi films. The story is illogical, the character development is nonexistent, the special effects have aged very poorly, and the dialogue is often laugh out loud cheesy. 

Also, Patrick Stewart’s mullet. I can’t even. 

Going in without having read the book and hearing pretty divided opinions on the film, I tried to stay open minded. Woof, a bit of a let down. 

Honestly, the best part was the pug.

Dune - Kyle - Pug
Dune - Family Pug
Dune - Patrick Stewart - Pug

Dunkirk Review

Why Christopher Nolan’s 2017 war thriller didn’t work for me.

I feel like I need a weekend at the spa after seeing Dunkirk. It’s certainly impressive, but it’s too intense for its own good. The nonlinear editing was a strange choice, and the dialogue was mostly impossible for me to understand (bad mix or bad speakers?). 

The raw carnage of the events at Dunkirk hit hard, more so than any of the characters the film invents. It’s still difficult to believe that less than a century ago the world was at war for the second time. It, at times, almost feels fictional with the current state of things. The visuals displayed in the film felt real, which is what I find most impressive.

I keep drawing comparisons between Dunkirk and Mad Max: Fury Road. Not because they both feature Tom Hardy not talking much. But because they are both non-stop intense action thrillers. Fury Road, for me, succeeds on a higher artistic level. Even though neither slow down much, Fury Road strikes a better balance for the intensity. 

To me, Dunkirk is a lesson in intensity. I appreciate quiet films and the quiet moments in loud films. It’s very hard for me to enjoy a movie where there’s a stopwatch ticking almost the whole time. It felt like I was being manipulated over and over with each scene in a way that was upsetting at a deeper level than most manipulation in film.

I didn’t enjoy Dunkirk, but I appreciate that it exists and that I got to see it in 70mm.

All the Great Scenes: The Thread Will Be Torn, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

David Lynch is the master of intensity, and this scene proves it.

There was a stillness.

The sound design in this scene totally makes it. And Ray Wise’s performance as Leland Palmer is brilliant. I think he’s one of the great underrated actors.

Also, Lynch’s seeming obsession with the elderly walking slowly never gets old.

Unexpected Laughter

How audience reaction can negatively impact a film.

Last night I had the rare opportunity to see David Lynch’s directorial debut from 1977, Eraserhead, at a small theater in the Portland Art Museum. It was a rare opportunity to see the film on the big screen, and I was, let’s just say, excited.

It was my second time watching Eraserhead. The last time I watched it was over two years ago on my iPad with headphones. Seeing it projected on 35mm film with good speakers made me appreciate it in a new way. It was really special.

But the strangest thing happened during the film–the audience would break out in laughter during many scenes that I don’t find funny. Sure, parts of Eraserhead are absurd and make me smile slightly, but I didn’t laugh the first time nor the second time I saw the picture.

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Okja Review

Why Bong Joon-ho’s latest film should have gone further

Okja is the latest film from Bong Joon-ho, the director Snowpiercer, Mother, and a handful of other movies. It tells the story of a girl, Mija, who raises a super pig named Okja on her grandfather’s farm in South Korea. The corporation that owns Okja comes and takes her away, leading Mija on an emotional journey across the globe.

I enjoyed Okja and the themes it presents, but it fell short for me in a few different ways.

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Chungking Express Review

My thoughts on Wong Kar-wai’s 1994 film Chungking Express.

Chungking Express is a 1994 film by Wong Kar-wai set in Hong Kong. It consists of two parts, each following a different police officer and their experiences with love. It’s visually stunning and incredibly stylish.

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