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Archive for November 14th, 2021

A little (two weeks) late, its time for my movie of the month. I only watched five movies at the cinema in October, but it was a great month.  Venom was a little better than I expected, the other four were all excellent:

The Last Duel – Ridley Scott is a little hit and miss as a director, he has made some of my all time favourite movies, he has also made some really bad ones, and lots of average ones.  As he doesn’t write his own scripts, he is very much limited by the material he has to work with.   Happily, he is well served by screenwriters Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Nicole Holofcener.  Its the first time Affleck and Damon have worked on a script since their Oscar winning debut.  Based on the true story of the last legal Trial by Combat in Medieval France.  Told in a Rashomon style with three chapters, each reflecting the perspectives of the three main characters.  The whole cast is excellent, but Jodie Comer really holds the story together. 

Dune – Denis Villeneuve ‘s adaptation of (half of) Frank Herbert’s seminal sci-fi novel is finally with us.  I first watched David Lynch’s adaptation of Dune when I was around ten years old.  I loved it and have watched it numerous times since.  A couple of years later I read the book, it was even better.  Villeneuve’s film looks amazing, the cast is fantastic and the storytelling is sublime.  It hits all the same beats of the Lynch movie but is a true adaptation to a movie as it relies on show don’t tell where the earlier version uses a lot of voiceover to speed the story along and vocalise the inner monologue of the characters.  The great news is that part 2 has been green-lit.

The French Dispatch – Wes Anderson is back with an anthology film that is just about the most Wes Anderson movie ever.   The ensemble cast is filled with all the Anderson regulars and a few faces to his repertory company.  Wonderfully quirky, I have heard mixed reviews, personally I loved it. 

Venom: Let There Be Carnage – The first Venom movie had some fun moments thanks to Tom Hardy, ultimately it wasn’t very good, it did however take over $850million at the world boxoffice.  This time they have hired performance/motion capture expert Andy Serkis, but the CGI isn’t the noticeable difference; the story is smaller, simpler and more contained, this is a good thing.  While still flawed, it’s still fun, and better than the first film. 

Last Night in Soho – Edgar Wright’s much anticipated movie is very different to his previous work.  Flipping between drama and thriller it is essentially  a psychological horror that owes a debt to giallo.  Thomasin McKenzie and Anya Taylor-Joy are both sensational; it is also a fitting final performance for the great Diana Rigg.  If I am hyper critical, it loses its way a little in the final act, but it still works.

If I am objective, Dune is a better movie and will probably be higher on my end of year list, but for now, my movie of the month is the film that haunted me for days after watching it: Last Night in Soho.

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