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The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare (2024)
Discover the first special forces mission in history.
Filmmaker(s): Guy Ritchie

During World War II, the British Army assigns a group of competent soldiers to carry out a mission against the Nazi forces behind enemy lines... A true story about a secret British WWII organization – the Special Operations Executive. Founded by Winston Churchill, their irregular warfare against the Germans helped to change the course of the war, and gave birth to modern black operations.

Slap in the Face Richie is not on my list of filmmakers to admire, but he has indeed made some admirable films, with probably the best being ‘Snatch’, a layering of noir and introspective humour, with harpsichord. They are jaunty, unique, personally cinematic. One might say...


Published June 4, 2024
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Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023)
The tide is turning.
Filmmaker(s): James Wan

Black Manta seeks revenge on Aquaman for his father's death. Wielding the Black Trident's power, he becomes a formidable foe. To defend Atlantis, Aquaman forges an alliance with his imprisoned brother. They must protect the kingdom.

A Lost Universe You will read from others the multiple weaknesses in this film from a genre that normally tolerates them. There are few new things you can do with these films, and instead of attempting some, they reverted, seeming to emulate the most popular elements...


Published April 27, 2024
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65 (2023)
65 million years ago, prehistoric Earth had a visitor.
Filmmaker(s): Scott Beck, Bryan Woods

65 million years ago, the only 2 survivors of a spaceship from Somaris that crash-landed on Earth, must fend off dinosaurs to reach the escape vessel in time before an imminent asteroid strike threatens to destroy the planet.

Kylo’s Curse Peril by the numbers. If this were not Adam Driver, it would be even less interesting. We have two people, clearly intended to be as like modern humans as the creaky backstory allows. A man who has lost his daughter, and a newly orphaned...


Published April 20, 2024
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Lost in the Stars (2022)
Filmmaker(s): Rui Cui, Xiang Liu

He Fei's wife, Li Muzi, disappears during their anniversary trip. When she reappears, he insists that she is not his wife. As Chen Mai, a top lawyer gets involved in this bizarre case, more mysteries start to emerge.

Film within I think I have seen this plot twice before, and pretty sure one was a TeeVee movie. In that case, the orchestrator was the local police chief. What we have here is a combination of noir that turns out to be what I call a...


Published April 20, 2024
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Missing (2023)
No one disappears without a trace.

When her mother disappears while on vacation in Colombia with her new boyfriend, June’s search for answers is hindered by international red tape. Stuck thousands of miles away in Los Angeles, June creatively uses all the latest technology at her fingertips to try and find her before it’s too late. But as she digs deeper, her digital sleuthing raises more questions than answers... and when June unravels secrets about her mom, she discovers that she never really knew her at all.

Extra data feeds This is a great idea, presenting an entire long form film through computer/phone screens. There’s a bit of a cheat at the end where we are shifted among surveillance cameras where the focus follows the action. I’ve seen a few experiments along these lines,...


Published April 20, 2024
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Dune: Part Two (2024)
Long live the fighters.
Filmmaker(s): Denis Villeneuve

Follow the mythic journey of Paul Atreides as he unites with Chani and the Fremen while on a path of revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family. Facing a choice between the love of his life and the fate of the known universe, Paul endeavors to prevent a terrible future only he can foresee.

Melange In my comment on Part One, I noted that the complex charm of the books would in this part be flattened to basically two things: vast engagements with the environment, and action scenes: armies and heroes fighting. This is an action movie, alas, though the...


Published April 12, 2024
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Next Goal Wins (2023)
Be happy.
Filmmaker(s): Taika Waititi

Dutch coach Thomas Rongen attempts the nearly impossible task of turning the American Samoa soccer team from perennial losers into winners.

Faʻafafine Oh gosh, such a tired story. A weak sports team, including troubled youngsters in need of a father figure. A talented but haunted coach, reluctantly assigned, comes around to adopt the team. Success! Personal fulfilment. I cannot say how many times this film has...


Published April 10, 2024
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Dune (2021)
It begins.
Filmmaker(s): Denis Villeneuve

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. 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.

Knives, Teeth, Motion I am perhaps not a good demographic for this. I saw ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ when it was new, the same as Herbert. I’m a bit younger, but I went through the same study of religious traditions before Buddhisms of the new age arrived....


Published April 7, 2024
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Wish Dragon (2021)
Three magical wishes. One life changing adventure.
Filmmaker(s): Chris Appelhans

Determined teen Din is longing to reconnect with his childhood best friend when he meets a wish-granting dragon who shows him the magic of possibilities.

Shallow Well This is not just reminiscent of ‘Aladdin’, it is a copy of hundreds of films that have come before, with no notable deviation or identity. It still has value. It is presented exceptionally well. I’ve become more accepting of repetition as I grow...


Published April 6, 2024
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Dream Scenario (2023)
Meet the man of your dreams.
Filmmaker(s): Kristoffer Borgli

Hapless family man Paul Matthews finds his life turned upside down when millions of strangers suddenly start seeing him in their dreams. But when his nighttime appearances take a nightmarish turn, Paul is forced to navigate his newfound stardom.

Films within The core of film structure these days is elaborating on where the viewer is. The two historical devices are films within, and noir, where an unwitting soul is manipulated for our amusement. So it makes sense that we would from time to time have both...


Published April 6, 2024
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