Denis Villeneuve’s eagerly awaited sci-fi epic adventure is that rare thing where its sequel is stronger than the original. The release of this highly anticipated sequel based on Frank Herbert’s cult novel, is finally here following a few hiccups due to the actors’ strike. The action picks up exactly where the other one ended – Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet) and his mother Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) have survived the brutal attack on their family and are now living in the desert under the protection of the Fremen. Paul’s bond with Chani (Zendaya) is re-ignited and together they embark on a new adventure seeking vengeance against the conspirators and oppressors, who pose a new threat to the universe…
Villenueve’s masterly vision is extended to even more breathtaking set pieces which once again are perfectly complimented by Greig Fraser’s stunning cinematography best experienced on the giant IMAX screen. The stellar cast deliver vivid, memorable performances – Chalamet and Zendaya share a lovely quality, while Javier Bardem’ Stilgar is portrayed with power and force and with just the right lightness of touch. Florence Pugh is a new addition to the saga as the dignified Princess Irulan and so is Austin Butler as the fiercely evil antagonist Feyd-Rautha and threatens to steal the film especially during the thrilling climactic sequences. And Hans Zimmer’s stunning, pulsating score provides once again the heart and soul of this great visionary epic for our times!


The end of the superhero adventure is nigh and the disastrous reception of this lame project is the final nail on the coffin. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t hate this as much as other recent Marvel Comics and I found the first half of the movie quite intriguing.
The prologue takes place in the jungles of Peru in 1973, where a research team discovers a rare species of spider with healing powers. Ezekiel Sims (Tahar Rahim) betrays his pregnant partner, shoots her, and steals the spider for his own benefit. Miraculously, the baby is saved by an indigenous tribe and grows up to be Cassie (Dakota Johnson), a New York paramedic in 2003. After a near death experience Cassie begins to have strange visions and like Troy’s Cassandra, she can also foretell the future…
So far so good – an engaging, intelligent heroine but as the preposterous action develops, all credibility is lost especially during the badly directed, messily edited climactic sequence. A mixed bag!


The innovative documentary filmmaker Bill Morrison couldn’t believe his luck when he received a call from a friend in Iceland that four reels of a Russian film were found in a fisherman’s net drawn from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. The Icelandic film archive soon discovers that the reels were from the 1969 Russian film “Derevesky Detektiv (The Village Detective)” starring the popular character actor Mikhail Zharov.
Although the original print of the movie is not lost, Morrisson uses this found footage of the famous Russian film in his own distinct way with a special music composition by David Lang. He also pays tribute to Zharov’s career, whose popularity in Russia equalled that of Humprey Bogart and Clark Gable in Hollywood. His vast filmography includes work with Eisenstein and his theatre credits include work under the great stage director Meyerhold. A mesmerising experience!


This excellent documentary paints a fine portrait on the life and career of professional footballer Jermain Defoe. He is a friendly and likable man and talks openly about his childhood years living with his mother and grandmother when his father left them behind for a new life with another woman. But it is his passion for football from a young age that has led to his success as a major player in the Egland team before becoming a coach at Tottenham Hotspurs Football club.
Defoe’s work with young children is admirable and his relationship with Bradley Lowery, the 6-year-old boy battling a rare kind of cancer, touched the whole nation. You don’t have to be a football fan to enjoy this!


Everardo Gonzalez’s powerful documentary becomes a witness into how easy it is for young Mexican children to be lured into the gun culture. In Mexico over 30,000 people under the age of 18 were killed during the last 15 years. Gonzalez attaches his camera (it is an iPhone in fact) at the back of his subjects’ heads and follows these youths around, which are collectively called “Ernesto”, as they talk about this Catch 22 situation where there is no escape.
No faces are shown, just the back of people’s heads, which can be frustrating but at least these youngsters talk openly about gun violence which affects their lives on daily basis. It is not an easy watch but an important one!


This marks Daniel Levy’s directorial film debut following his remarkable success as an actor and writer for SCHITT’S CREEK. His sensitive screenplay is set in London and Levy also plays Marc, a happily married man to Oliver (Luke Evans). They are celebrating Christmas with close friends but soon after their lively party, a tragic accident shatters their lives. Marc struggles to come to terms with his grief and a year later he travels to Paris with his two best friends in search for a new life…
Levy’s articulate screenplay combines comedy with drama in equal measure and provides his actors with fully fleshed characters. The acting is excellent – Levy is suitably funny and effortlessly demonstrates despair combined with hope while Ruth Negga and Himesh Patel excel as Marc’s loyal, fun-loving friends Sophie and Thomas. Intelligent and fun! (Netflix)

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