REVIEW: Underneath the sheen of great visuals, ‘Dune’ is a dull experience

This marks the second time the book “Dune” has been adapted into a feature film, with the first attempt coming out in 1984.

Having never heard of either the book or the 84 movie, I walked into this experience with a fresh perspective.

The film’s main character is Paul (Timothee Chalamet), a young man who’s heir to the throne of House Atreides. The house is one of several noble families who control planets and hold most of the power in the cosmos, second only to an unseen emperor.

The film opens with House Atreides, under the leadership of Duke Leto (Oscar Isaac), preparing to take control of the planet Arrakis, which was previously ruled by the rival House Harkonnen. The planet is one giant desert with dangerous conditions and even more dangerous inhabitants.

It’s not just the Arrakis inhabitants Atreies has to worry about, though, as there are other forces working against the house, too.

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REVIEW: Scott’s ‘Last Duel’ is a dull, callous film

Ridley Scott’s historical epics have been rather disappointing, with 2014’s “Exodus: Gods and Kings” and 2010’s “Robin Hood” missing the mark.

Sadly, Scott’s latest effort, “The Last Duel,” doesn’t get in the win column.

“The Last Duel” is set in France during the 1300s and follows three characters, two of them being the knight Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon) and the squire Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver), who served on the battlefield together. The third lead character is Marguerite de Carrouges (Jodie Comer), Jean’s wife.

As fellow warriors on the battlefield, Jean and Jacques not only have respect between each other, but a friendship as well. The friendship begins to strain, though, as Jacques begins enforcing rules set by the local Count Pierre d’Alencon (Ben Affleck), which Jean finds unfair. The situation reaches a boiling point when Marguerite accuses Jacques of rape. As a result, the two warriors are set on a path toward a deadly showdown.

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REVIEW: ‘Halloween Kills’ crushes momentum from 2018 installment

Lightning struck in 2018, with that year’s “Halloween” feature, as it was a return to form for the long-running franchise.

Unfortunately, it appears to have been just a lightning in a bottle scenario.

The movie picks up just minutes after the end of the 2018 picture. Despite the efforts of Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her family, the killer Michael Myers survived the trap set for him and is back on the loose.

As Myers emerges from the fire started in the first picture, reports of his actions begin spreading throughout the town. Many of those who learn of Michael’s actions had run ins with the killer when he first attacked in 1978. Intending to bring an end to Myers, they decide to take the law into their own hands, causing even more chaos in the city of Haddonfield.

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REVIEW: For a good Bond adventure, find time for ‘No Time to Die’

Daniel Craig’s run as James Bond started way back in 2006, duringĀ  my senior year in high school.

After many years, drawn out by an MGM bankruptcy, directorial changes and the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve finally reached the end of the road.

“No Time to Die” takes place following the events of 2015’s “Spectre.” The evil mastermind Ernst Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) is jailed, while James Bond (Daniel Craig) and his romantic partner Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux) are now enjoying retirement from the spy business.

Bond’s past end up catching up with the couple, though, forcing the two to split up. In the meantime, a new threat emerges and it forces Bond to get back in action for another mission.

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REVIEW: Eastwood’s ‘Cry Macho’ is a misfire

Clint Eastwood is once again sporting a cowboy hat in his latest movie, but this one doesn’t take place in the old west.

In “Cry Macho,” Eastwood portrays Mike Milo, a retired rodeo star and horse breeder who was just cut from his job. His former boss Howard Polk (Dwight Yoakam) hires him for a different job at the movie’s outset, though.

Polk’s son, Rafo (Eduardo Minett) lives in Mexico and is allegedly being abused. Mike’s job is to bring Rafo back to the United States, so the father and son can reunite. While reluctant, Mike takes the job, meets Rafo and the two go on a journey from Mexico City to the U.S. border.

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REVIEW: ‘The Card Counter’ is a terrific slow-burn in a fast setting

Paul Schrader is back with another pessimistic film that earns a positive score.

Oscar Isaac stars as William Tell in “The Card Counter,” a man who after serving a prison sentence, lives on the road traveling from casino to casino. Tell is able to count cards and is strong poker player, but he never tries to make more than he needs to survive. It soon becomes clear that he’s troubled by something in his past.

Tell’s life begins to change, though, when he meets Cirk (Tye Sheridan), the college-age son of a soldier he knew while serving. Around the same time, he meets a woman named La Linda, who convinces him to begin playing professionally under her management.

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REVIEW: Movie about cons has plenty of cons, but still entertains

A bottle film with plenty of bullets is usually good for entertaining audiences, but the quality can really vary.

“Copshop” is a situation where the film does entertain, but the quality is a bit on the lower end.

Alexis Louder stars as Valerie Young in “Copshop,” a rookie officer who works at a rural police station. One night on patrol, Young arrests a man named Teddy Murretto (Frank Grillo), who is placed in a holding cell. Not long after, other officers from the station arrest a drunk driver known as Bob Viddick (Gerard Butler).

It turns out, Teddy and Bob know each other. After working for the mob, Teddy was looking for a way out and went to the authorities. Bob, meanwhile, is a hitman. Now, the two are both at the same station and Young is forced to do some quick thinking as another gunman comes to the station, also looking for the hit on Teddy.

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REVIEW: Pros outweigh cons with 9/11 drama ‘Worth’

For many Americans who lost loved ones on September 11, the impacts were long lasting, partially because of the ensuing financial matters.

In “Worth,” audiences are shown the government program set up to provide monetary support to those families.

In this film based on a true story, Michael Keaton stars as Ken Feinberg. A DC lawyer, Feinberg volunteers to helm a government program designed to provide funding to families who lost loved ones in the attacks, as well as survivors.

As part of the program, Feinberg and his team form an algorithm, determining how many dollars each family is set to receive. However, the algorithm is met with criticism for how it appears to value each life differently based on income.

The main criticism is driven by a widow-turned-activist, Charles (Stanley Tucci), who lost his wife in the attacks. The film follows how the two try to resolve their differences and improve the program.

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REVIEW: Maniacal third act makes ‘Malignant’ worth watching

“Malignant” may not be the scariest movie of the year, or of the past few years, but what it leads up to certainly makes it a memorable horror experience.

The flick follows the story of Madison (Annabelle Walis), a woman with an unclear past who lives in Seattle with her Husband. It’s clear from the get-go that their marriage is strained and the film opens with them having a fight.

That night, Madison’s husband is murdered and she has a vision of it happening. From that day on, more murders begin taking place and each time Madison has horrible visions of it taking place. As this happens, Madison begins to dig more into her past to see what the connection is.

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REVIEW: ‘Shang Chi’ is sufficient, but not sensational

In 2008, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe movie featured the Ten Rings as an antagonistic organization.

More than a decade later, we finally get a look at the group’s true leader, and his family.

Tony Leung stars as Xu Wenwu in “Shang-Chi,” a man who has lived for centuries thanks to his 10 magical rings he wields. For most of his life, Wenwu had been focused on conquest, leading an army known as the Ten Rings. However, this changes when he meets Ying Li, a woman from a mystical land.

Wenwu ends his warrior ways as he gets married to Ying Li and they have two children, one being Shang Chi (Simu Liu). However, following the loss of a family member, Wenwu once again takes his old mantle while also training Shang Chi to be a skilled warrior. But when the time comes for Shang Chi to go out on Ten Rings a mission, he opts instead to leave his family and the Ten Rings organization and start a new life in the United States.

At the movie’s start, though, Shang Chi’s old life comes calling.

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