Saturday, March 30, 2024

Film Review: Dune: Part Two (2024)

There’s a clear and definite characteristic of both Dune films and it’s not something, at least in my experience, that the reviews tend to notice or mention. That characteristic relates to the issue of characters and their relatability. While both films come with many different individuals who have widely different personalities and goals, all of them have in common the fact that I don’t really care what happens to them.

I don’t want any righteous retribution against Baron Harkonnen, just as I don’t care if Paul Atreids becomes the emperor. I’m not invested in whether or not Chani ends up with Paul or if the Sardukars protect the Emperor or die trying to do that. I also couldn’t care less whatever Stilgar or Gurney Halleck want or aim for.

Instead, like the first Dune film, we’re left with an audio-visual spectacle that dazzles the senses, potentially tickets the mind, but does next to nothing to the way we feel about it. The second film, furthermore, even follows the Hollywood blockbuster formula. As we follow Paul in his newly instated guerilla war against Harkonens, we get the well-known 1-2-3 punch. First step is dialogue, followed by combat, followed by something mysterious and grand, like a spice trip, impressive outwordly location, or a fever dream.

All of these - including dialogues - look great, but feel void. Through this shuffle of elements, the film streams on through its plot and races to its completion. The only moment it breaks its stride is the short excursion to the Harkonne world, where again, we get the same 1-2-3 formula, but this time in black and white.

A clear pattern is emerging from Denis Villenu in his last three films - that includes the two Dune movies, but also the Blade Runner 2049 that came before them. These films feel great visually as you watch them and there is an undeniable aesthetic power to them. But, beyond the nice shots there is a plethora of cardboard cutouts representing characters and that, sadly, undermines the entire experience in a subtle but unmistakable manner.

Friday, March 15, 2024

Two Paragraph Review: The Zone of Interest (2023)

Creating a film that takes on a different perspective on the Holocaust is not a new thing. Movies like The White Ribbon and The Counterfeiters quickly captured the attention of critics and audiences alike. However, few of them are as ambiguous on the surface in their topic and presentation as The Zone of Interest is. The film follows Rudolf Höss and his family, all of whom seem completely normal people. However, Rudolf is the commandant of a German death camp and their family home lies just beyond its walls.

In the film, director Jonathan Glazer does so much with the things unsaid, unseen, and finally, even unshown. In these moments, when the camera showcases nothing but colors, red and black mainly, the full force of the film can be presented. Through these colors and background sounds, the film showcases that evil is often neither malicious nor dumb, but simply present. The resonance of that idea with the modern world is not just poignant, it is bordering on a dark prophecy that could see the whole of humanity slid into oblivion of its own making.

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Enter the Gripping Myth of The Kiamichi Beast with The Quachita Beast Incident!

The legend of the Kiamichi Beast dates back over 200 years. Back then, in the area of the mountains in Oklahoma, the tales of the local Native American tribes tell of an elusive creature that is haunting the same wild woodlands. In that rugged terrain, this mythical creature has been accused of bringing fear into the hearts of men and even worse, disappearing into the night with their children. 


This story is the basis of a whole series of films from Master Hughes Productions. Behind them is Master Hughes, director, actor and producer who took on the legend of the Kiamichi. The series begins with The Kiamichi Beast Expedition, where Hughes, along with a veteran tracker Victor Inman, sets off into the mountains for a perilous mission. There, things that are not only dangerous for them, but also able to install unspeakable terror, lie in wait.

The successful title was followed by The Kiamichi Beast Expedition 2, Trail of the Kiamichi Beast and finally the latest entrance in the series, The Quachita Beast incident. All of the films were more greeted by the Bigfoot enthusiasts community, but also found their audience among other interested viewers. Through them, the crew around Master Hughes focused on creating the best possible experience for the audience of this series. In the foundation of each sequel was the unshakable desire of everyone involved to blend reality and imagination into an unforgeable cinematographic encounter.

Now, with The Quachita Beast Incident being available for online viewing, it is certain that a brand new generation of fans will learn about this series. If you're interested in Bigfoot and many other mysteries that our great world offers, check out the same film on TubiTv right now and watch it - it will be an unforgettable experience no matter what!