Tagged: Denis Villeneuve

Summary: 
Feature adaptation of Frank Herbert’s science fiction novel about the son of a noble family entrusted with the protection of the most valuable asset and most vital element in the galaxy.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates:  2nd December 2021 (Australia), 21st October 2021 (Thailand), 21st October 2021 (UK), 22nd October 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA, Canada

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Screenwriter: Jon Spaihts, Dennis Villeneuve, Eric Roth

Cast: Javier Bardem (Stilgar), Dave Bautista (Beast Rabban Harkonnen), Neil Bell (Sardaukar Bashar), Josh Brolin (Gurney Halleck), Timothee Chamalet (Paul Atreides), Chang Chen (Dr. Wellington Yueh), David Dastmalchian (Piter de Vries), Sharon Duncan-Brewster (Dr. Liet Kynes), Elmi Rashir Elmi (Shamir), Rebecca Ferguson (Lady Jessica Atreides), Stephn McKinley Henderson (Thufir Hawat), Oscar Isaac (Duke Leto Atreides), Jason Momoa (Duncan Idaho), Tachia Newall (Tanat), Babs Olusanmokun (Jamis), Charlotte Rampling (Reverend Mother Mohiam), Golda Rosheuvel (Shadout Mapes), Stellan Skarsgard (Baron Vladimir Harkonnen), Roger Yuan (Lietenant Lanville), Zendaya (Chani)

Running Time: 155 mins

Classification: M (Australia), 12A (UK), PG-13 (USA)

OUR DUNE REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Dune Review:

Dune has always felt really personal to me. I read the novel, by Frank Herbert, in my first year at High School and completely fell in love with it. I then made the mistake of watching the David Lynch film adaption, an adaption I loathed and Sting’s costume still haunts me to this day.

During my time at uni a friend suggested that I watch the mini-series and told me “that it was remarkably better than the film.” To her credit it was better but it never even went close to reaching the lofty expectations that I had in my head for what the world of Dune should look like since reading the novel.

So as you could imagine I was pretty nervous going in to watch the Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049) version. Actually perhaps nervous isn’t the right way to describe how I was feeling. To be honest I was trying not to feel excited because in the pit of my stomach I had a feeling that I was once again going to have hopes dashed. But, I am happy to say I was wrong, I was very wrong because Villeneuve has delivered a masterpiece.

For those who do not know the Dune story. It is told through the eyes of a young Duke-to-be, Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet – Lady Bird). He has watched his father, Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac – Ex Machina), build their family empire to make them one of the most respected families in the galaxy. With the likes of Gurney Halleck (Josh Brolin – Avengers: Endgame) and Duncan Idaho (Jason Momoa – Aquaman) training their Army they feel safe and secure.

Meanwhile both Gurney and Duncan train Paul in combat, in case there is ever a need for it, while his mother, Lady Jessica Atreides (Rebecca Ferguson – The Greatest Showman) trains him to saddle the special abilities that have been handed down to him through his family line. And while Paul attempts that those abilities are providing him of dreams and visions of Chani (Zendaya The Greatest Showman), a young native Fremen from the planet Arrakis.

Paul has no idea what the visions mean but is soon worried by them when he learns that the Atreides family have just been ordered to travel to Arrakis to bring peace to the planet and to stabilise and operate the ‘spice’ mining operation on the planet.

Villeneuve’s vision of Dune is nothing short of amazing. It is like he somehow went into my head and took my visions of what the Dune universe would look like and brought it to the screen. The first thing that hits you when watching Dune is the understanding of the themes and morals of the original novel that Villeneuve had the second is the fact that his film-making makes even the harshest scenes of the film look like a thing of beauty.

It was funny because when the credits were rolling after the screening the other night a stranger sitting next to me started to use a loud voice to say why he hated the film. I realised that every reason he said he hated the film was a reason why I loved it. He said he hated that it wasn’t like Star Wars – while I loved the fact that Villeneuve gave respect to the novel and didn’t decide to include cheesy ‘creatures’ or ridiculous one off lines.

The stranger said he didn’t like the fact that the film felt dark. Well of course it was dark, the themes explored in the film are not exactly something that you can make light. I was actually in awe of the way that the director kept a dark tone throughout the film without depressing his audience in a way that made the film a chore to watch. Talking of that the stranger also didn’t like that fact that he had to think during the film. Yes, he is right Villeneuve doesn’t spell out everything to the audience like they are dunces he makes you work at times to figure out what is happening and the result of that is you become so engrossed in the film itself that you feel like you are part of the universe alongside the characters at hand.

The power of this film really comes through the way that it looks on the big screen though. There is a dark, foreboding feeling that remains while the film throughout. Having said that though the film does reach epic heights that match the special moments of a film like Lord Of The Rings but there is an alternative feel to this film that allows for more character development then you would expect from a film of this magnitude, while Villeneuve never fails to remember one thing – at the heart of this film it is a coming-of-age story and even during epic battles etc the storyline of the film still remains a learning curve for Paul. I don’t say this very often about films that are supposed to be a spectacle or blockbuster. But this is truly a masterpiece and it shows that is okay to make a blockbuster film have an alternative edge to it. This is a film of true beauty and I cannot wait to revisit it again.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

Other Subculture Dune Reviews:

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Trailer:

Oscar nominee Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival,” “Blade Runner 2049”) directs Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ “Dune,” the big-screen adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal bestseller of the same name. A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, “Dune” tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence—a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential—only those who can conquer their fear will survive.

The film stars Oscar nominee Timothée Chalamet (“Call Me by Your Name,” “Little Women”), Rebecca Ferguson (“Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep,” “Mission: Impossible – Fallout”), Oscar Isaac (the “Star Wars” franchise) Oscar nominee Josh Brolin (“Milk,” “Avengers: Infinity War”), Stellan Skarsgård (HBO’s “Chernobyl,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron”), Dave Bautista (the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films, “Avengers: Endgame”), Stephen McKinley Henderson (“Fences,” “Lady Bird”), Zendaya (“Spider-Man: Homecoming,” HBO’s “Euphoria”), Chang Chen (“Mr. Long,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”), David Dastmalchian (“Blade Runner 2049,” “The Dark Knight”), Sharon Duncan-Brewster (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” Netflix’s “Sex Education”), with Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling (“45 Years,” “Assassin’s Creed”), with Jason Momoa (“Aquaman,” HBO’s “Game of Thrones”), and Oscar winner Javier Bardem (“No Country for Old Men,” “Skyfall”).

Villeneuve directed “Dune” from a screenplay by Jon Spaihts and Villeneuve and Eric Roth based on the novel of the same name written by Frank Herbert. Villeneuve also produced the film with Mary Parent, Cale Boyter and Joe Caracciolo, Jr. The executive producers are Tanya Lapointe, Joshua Grode, Herbert W. Gains, Jon Spaihts, Thomas Tull, Brian Herbert, Byron Merritt and Kim Herbert. Behind the scenes, Villeneuve reteamed with two-time Oscar-nominated production designer Patrice Vermette (“Arrival,” “Sicario,” “The Young Victoria”), two-time Oscar-nominated editor Joe Walker (“Blade Runner 2049,” “Arrival,” “12 Years a Slave”), two-time Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Paul Lambert (“First Man,” “Blade Runner 2049”), and Oscar-winning special effects supervisor Gerd Nefzer (“Blade Runner 2049”). He also collaborated for the first time with Oscar-nominated director of photography Greig Fraser (“Lion,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”); three-time Oscar-nominated costume designer Jacqueline West (“The Revenant,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Quills”) and co-costume designer Bob Morgan; and stunt coordinator Tom Struthers (“The Dark Knight” trilogy, “Inception”). Oscar-winning and multiple Oscar-nominated composer Hans Zimmer (“Blade Runner 2049,” “Inception,” “Gladiator,” “The Lion King”) is creating the score.

Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures Present a Legendary Pictures Production, a Film by Denis Villeneuve, “Dune.” The film is slated to be released in Australian theaters beginning 2 December 2021

Oscar nominee Denis Villeneuve directs Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ “Dune,” the big-screen adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal bestseller of the same name.

A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, “Dune” tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence—a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential—only those who can conquer their fear will survive.

DUNE stars Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya, Chang Chen, David Dastmalchian, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Charlotte Rampling with Jason Momoa and Javier Bardem.

DUNE releases in Australia and New Zealand in cinemas on December 26, 2020.

 

FeatureBladeRunnerRemake

Director Denis Villeneuve has given us a first look at his dystopian universe that has been created for the Blade Runner sequel that he is currently working on.

Villeneuve has told the press “I’ve always been attracted to science-fiction films with strong visual signatures that lead us into unique parallel worlds and the original ‘Blade Runner’ is by far the best of all time. Ridley Scott had the genius to blend science-fiction and film noir to create this unique exploration of human condition. The new ‘Blade Runner’ is an extension of the first movie a few decades later.

Sony also released the following information about the film:

Denis Villeneuve (SicarioPrisoners) is directing and principal photography is scheduled to begin this month.  The film will be released by Warner Bros. in North America and Sony Pictures Releasing International will distribute in all media for all overseas territories.

The sequel is set several decades after the 1982 original, with Harrison Ford reprising his iconic role as Rick Deckard. The film is written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, and succeeds the initial story by Fancher and David Peoples based on Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. Story details are not being revealed.

Cast includes:  Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Robin Wright, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Carla Juri, Mackenzie Davis, Barkhad Abdi, Dave Bautista, David Dastmalchian and Hiam Abbass.

Frank Giustra and Tim Gamble, CEO’s of Thunderbird Films, will serve as executive producers. Ridley Scott will also executive produce. Bill Carraro will executive produce.

Untitled Blade Runner Sequel releases in Australia October 5, 2017.

Sicario

Summary: When FBI Agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt), her partner Reggie (Daniel Kaluuya) and her boss, Jennings (Victor Garber) accidentally uncover a Mexican drug cartel’s house of death Kate suddenly finds herself thrust into a brand new, very dangerous world.

With Jennings’ blessing Kate finds herself recruited to join a black-op mission led by special Agent Matt graver (Josh Brolin) and a Columbian operative known only as Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro). The mission soon sees Kate very much in the middle of the borderland drug war in a word where there seems to be no rules whether you are on the side of good or evil.

Year: 2015

Australian Cinema Release Date: 24th September 2015

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Screenwriter: Taylor Sheridan

Cast: Edgar Arreola (Guillermo), Jon Bernthal (Ted), Emily Blunt (Kate Macer), Josh Brolin (Matt Graver), Julio Cedillo (Fausto Alarcon), Benicio Del Toro (Alejandro), Laurence Scott Deveraux (Alex Driver), Jeffrey Donovan (Steve Forsing), Victor Garber (Dave Jennings), David Garver (Bob Fisks), Maximiliano Hernandez (Silvio), Daniel Kaluuya (Reggie Wayne), Lora Martinez-Cunningham (Jacinta), Jesus Nevarez-Castillo (Eliseo), Hank Rogerson (Phil Coopers), Bernardo P. Saracino (Manuel Diaz), Boots Southerland (U.S. Marshall Keith), Adam Taylor (U.S. Marshall Kevin), Matthew Tompkins (Jessie Garza), Raoul Trujillo (Rafael), Kevin Wiggins (Burnett)

Runtime: 121 mins

Classification: M

 

OUR SICARIO REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

David Griffiths:

No I’m not chucking in my card to the Comic Book And Cult Film Lovers Association but one of the films I was most looking forward to this year was Sicario. Yes I am not too embarrassed to admit that the fact that a certain director is at the helm of a movie is sometimes enough to make me wanna see a film and that was certainly the case here. See to me Denis Villeneuve’s last film was a cinematic masterpiece. I can watch Prisoners over and over again and find something new that I like about each time, add that to the fact that Villeneuve was directing a borderland crime film starring Josh Brolin and yes Sicario had me at hello. My biggest fear for Sicario was that Hollywood would have claimed Villeneuve and that he would decide to rope in his grittiness and harshness, luckily that certainly isn’t the case here.

Many have labeled Sicario a blockbuster for this year, yet that title just doesn’t seem to fit comfortably with this film. This film is harsh, bloody harsh and it’s not hard to see that the popcorn set are going to struggle with the film’s brutal opening in with Kate finds a house that contains more dead bodies than your local morgue. And in typical Villeneuve fashion he doesn’t make it easy watch for its audience, no as he goes in for the close-up on a decaying man’s face you are well and truly aware of the fact that while he is making a Hollywood film he certainly hasn’t been claimed by Hollywood.

Visually Sicario is a blessing. Villeneuve along with DOP Roger Deakins have made this movie look like some kind of modern day western with it’s yellow tinge and cinematic aerial desert shots, and somehow that works wonders with Brolin and Del Toro cruising around like modern day Sherrifs seeking vengeance. Sadly though Sicario’s screenplay isn’t always as good as the visuals the audience are being treated to. Unlike Prisoners this film has some weak points that leave the audience shaking their head, nothing major but little moments like Kate picking up the Police Officer in the bar… isn’t it just too much coincidence that her partner would just happen to be good friends with the guy?

Still there are powerful moments in Sicario, moments that are so powerful that they will stick in your mind for ages. From the fact that this is a very much anti-Mexican tourism video as Villeneuve takes you past bodies hanging from Mexican border-town overpasses to suspenseful scenes such as the border battle which will have any cinema lover watching with baited breath. Then there is the magnificent finale with Del Toro and a dining table… I’m not going to say anything else but that as I don’t want to spoil the film… but hell it is one of the most suspenseful scenes you are going to see in cinema for a long, long time. Adding to the suspense all throughout this film is the pounding soundtrack that simply becomes a character upon itself.

Now you may have heard some people criticize Emily Blunt’s acting performance in Sicario. Don’t believe it. She puts in a great effort and those complaining about her performance are simply looking for something that doesn’t need to be there. Kate is not Lara Croft in a Police uniform. She’s a very innocent but good at her job cop normally used to dealing with hostage situations who suddenly finds herself thrown into a world she just doesn’t understand. Anyone that goes into this film expecting Blunt to be the gun-ho character she was in Edge Of Tomorrow is going to be disappointed, it’s just not what Kate is.

Then there is Brolin and Del Toro who knock their performances out of the park. Brolin is gruff and rough as you expect him to be and is well backed up by Del Toro who has an air of mystery about him from the moment he first appears on the screen here. Some of the Del Toro’s performances have been a little questionable recently (no I still have not recovered from that scene with him, Diaz and a windshield in The Counselor) but here he bounces back with a brutal performance and for once he doesn’t over act his way through it. He’s just on song.

If you’re a fan of Denis Villeneuve’s past films you are certainly not going to be disappointed by Sicario. It is brutal, rough and in-your-face, just the way a crime thriller should be. Brolin and Del Toro bring their A-Games and this is one film that is a must see for 2015.

Stars(4)

 
 

 

 

Adam Ross:

You can hear Adam’s full Sicario review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #147

 

 

 

Stars(4)

 

 

 

 

Greg King:

You can read Greg’s full Sicario review on www.filmreviews.net.au

 

 

 

Stars(4)

 

 

 

Nick Gardener:

 

You can hear Nick’s full Sicario review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #147

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stars(4)

 

 

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(4)

 

IMDB Rating: Sicario (2015) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Sicario reviews: You can listen to our full Sicario  review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #147. You can also read our Sicario review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.

Trailer:

Django Unchained

Well the sun has set on another year in cinema land. Films came, films went. Some exceeded expectations, others went away quickly never to be watched again. But if you are looking for the cream of the crop in 2013, then these are this writer’s favorite ten films.

“Django Unchained” – This is a borderline film for most people’s Top Ten lists this year. In some countries it opened in 2012, in other countries it opened in January 2013, so let’s call it a 2013 film. “Django Unchained” was director/screenwriter Quentin Tarantino at his absolute best. The script sizzled with great one liners and brilliant characterization and while the film did lapse a little (incidentally at about the time that Tarantino himself appeared on the screen), the film did more than enough to be one of this year’s best films. As if the script wasn’t enough to win you over, you then have some marvellous performances by Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson that make this film a must see.

“The Way Way Back” – Every now and then a coming-of-age film comes along that reminds you just how good this genre can be when it is done the right way. Directors Nat Faxon and Jim Rash certainly go the formula right when they put together “The Way Way Back.” The film saw Steve Carell play one of the best against-type roles of all time as he played the emotional abusive father of Duncan (Liam James) while Sam Rockwell put in one of the finest performances of his career as he played the fun-loving owner of a water theme park. If you didn’t get to see “The Way Way Back” when it hit cinemas make sure you check it out when it reaches shelves on DVD.

“Mud” – There was a time when actor Matthew McConaughey was considered a joke. He acted in poorly written romantic comedies that used him more for his looks rather than acting ability. As a result people started to believe that McConaughey was a poor actor, but he turned that around with some great performances in “Bernie” and “Magic Mike.” 2013 saw McConaughey deliver another powerful performance in “Mud,” a small-time drama in which he plays an escaped convict using an island as a hideaway who uses two local boys Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) to help him escape. Director, Jeff Nichols, manages to make this drama an intense thriller by drawing the audience in and making them wonder exactly what Mud is hiding or willing to do in his escape.

“Rust And Bone” – When people talk about some of the acting performances of 2013, it is surprising how many people seem to skip right over Marion Cotillard’s performance in French film “Rust And Bone.” In what is at times a harrowing film Cotillard plays Stephanie, a young woman who loses her legs in an accident involving a killer whale at the marine park at which she works. In an extraordinary piece of screenwriting, Stephanie’s life is completely turned upside down when she meets Alain (Matthias Schoenaerts), an out-of-luck guy who loves to get involved in backyard fights. “Rust And Bone” may have been a gritty drama, but it is also one of the most intense romances to have surfaced in 2013, making it one of the most underrated films of the year.

“Prisoners” – One of the biggest surprises of this year has been the fact that when all the talk of Oscar nominations has been circulating, the film “Prisoners” hasn’t been getting more love. To be blunt “Prisoners” is one of the best crime thrillers to have surfaced since “Silence Of The Lambs.” Director, Denis Villeneuve makes this an intense thriller that sees Australian Hugh Jackman play Keller Dover a father who is pushed to the absolute extreme when his daughter goes missing along with her friend. Out-acting Jackman, just, is Jake Gyllenhaal who plays one of the most intriguing script cops of all time in Detective Loki. This is one crime thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end.

“Flight” – With “Flight,” cinema goers walked into the cinema expecting to see another disaster film. Denzel Washington would play a pilot who had to save a plane load of people as something went wrong … it would be a simple film right? Director, Robert Zameckis surprised everyone by delivering a film that opened with pilot, Whip Whitaker (Washington) snorting cocaine and drinking before boarding a flight. The film then became a well-written thriller after the plane crashes and the investigation tries to work out whether Whip is a hero or a villain. Sensational writing and a great performance by Washington makes for one hell of a film.

“The Paperboy” – One of the other big surprises of 2013 was the film “The Paperboy.” Zac Efron doesn’t normally spell one of the films of the year but this time the young actor really delivered. Efron plays Jack Jansen, a young boy that works at his father’s local newspaper who teams up with his older brother Ward (Matthew McConaughey) who is a journalist working on a racial murder case. Director, Lee Daniels, gets the absolute best out of his cast. Efron and McConaughey are sensational and are well supported by Nicole Kidman and John Cusack, who both act against type remarkably well.

“Broken” – Just when it looked like it was going to be a lean year for British films along came “Broken.” Directed by Rufus Norris “Broken” was a nasty little film that showed British society at its absolute worst. Told through the eyes of a young girl named Skunk (Eloise Laurence), “Broken” tells the story of the violent events that occur at the end of what should be quite English street. From a man who accused of being a sexual monster, to a broken marriage that is affecting some young children and a father who simply cannot cope any more, this is a film where the audience is left wondering who (if anyone) is going to be left emotionally okay (or even alive) by the final credits. “Broken” is British drama at its best.

“What Maisie Knew” – Another surprisingly good film for 2013. On the surface “What Maisie Knew” looked like it would be a film that should be on the Hallmark channel. Instead it became a gritty drama told through the eyes of a young girl named Maisie (Onata Aprile). This young girl becomes the victim of a bitter custody battle between her washed up rock star mother, Susanna (Julianne Moore), and her proud art-dealing Dad, Beale (Steve Coogan). The film had the power to emotionally affect anybody watching it as it soon becomes painfully plain that neither parents want the girl; they just don’t want their ex-partner to have her. “What Maisie Knew” delivers one of the most emotional scripts of the year.

“The Railway Man” – Rounding out the top ten is a late contender with the Australian/British co-production “The Railway Man.” Over the years a lot of filmmakers have told the story of how men cope when they return from war. Few, however, have focused on a story where a victim returns and faces the man who tortured them. Based on a hit novel, “The Railway Man” centers around Eric Lomax (Colin Firth), a man whose war demons come to the surface after he has married Patricia Wallace (Nicole Kidman). As the ghosts who have haunted him since he was a POW forced to work on the Thai Burma Railway come to the fore, Patricia inspires him to return to the scene of the crime, unaware that it will result in a tense standoff with Nagase (Hiroyuki Sanada). The scenes of the two men confronting each other made for some of the best cinematic moments of 2013.

It would be neglectful not to also mention the following films when talking about the best films of 2013. Also worth a look is “Thanks For Sharing” (with a surprisingly good performance by Pink), “Lygon Street: Si Parla Italiano,” “West Memphis Three,” “Trance,” “A Place Beyond The Pines,” “Performance (A Late Quartet),” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Compliance,” “The Impossible,” “Warm Bodies” and “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.”

Now that 2013 is out of the way, it is time to wait and see what new gems film lovers can uncover in 2014. Bring it on!