Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. (Letterboxd)
The Messiah narrative thread with Paul and the Fremen is a bit white-saviour-y, but will hopefully be nipped in the bud in the sequel, and the plot is otherwise excellent: a twisting tapestry of planet-hopping politics, breathtaking sci-fi/action, moody mysticism, and compelling coming-of-age/family drama fare. Strongly acted (Paul and parents in particular), with incredible sound and visuals (lots of big, immersive movie moments–the nighttime assault on Arrakeen being one highlight).
A team of explorers travel through a wormhole in space in an attempt to ensure humanity’s survival. (IMDb)
The years-long save-the-world plot, poignant near-future setting, and infinite themes both heady and heartfelt are all undeniably epic and compelling, and while the exposition weighs quite heavy at times (see the repeat of the ghost revelation), it doesn’t stop the film from reaching many incredible cinematic heights both emotional (see the devastating return from Miller’s planet) and action-oriented (see the spinning dock sequence), helped as it is by stunning visuals, music, and performances.
Jo March reflects back and forth on her life, telling the beloved story of the March sisters – four young women each determined to live life on their own terms. (IMDb)
The timeline hopping is cleverly and masterfully executed (see the warm vs. cold tones, mirrored shots) and adds remarkable emotional depth (see Jo walking down the stairs x2) to what is an already extremely well-written (and acted) web of characters (to the big emotional moments are added many brilliant little overlapping quips and quibbles). Often hilarious (“I’m making a mould of my foot for Laurie to remind him I have nice feet!”) and always heartfelt, with a delightfully cheeky ending.
In 2002, an artistically inclined seventeen-year-old girl comes of age in Sacramento, California. (IMDb)
By and large just a nicely-shot and scored roller-coaster ride of short snippets of authentic, angsty teen life, marvelously written and acted, with as much laugh-out-loud humour (too-cool Kyle is a one-liner gold mine: “I’m trying to live by bartering alone”) as feisty drama (mother-daughter are the headline here; see their opening exchange in the car) and feel-good moments (see the girls at prom). The slower scenes (see post-sex) feel a little awkward in comparison, but maybe that’s the point.