October 2021 Reviews (Mindhunter S1-2, Dune, Settlers, Kate, The Guilty)

Mindhunter S1-2 (2017)

Medium: TV (Netflix)

Rating: 4.5 / 5 Criminal Minds should take note

Reference(s): IMDB Listing || Trailer || Netflix

I originally avoided this show because it was compared to Criminal Minds, which was a good show to start but went too far into procedural tedium. I’m glad I eventually came around to give it a chance because it is a very compelling show. A tense drama that gets you invested in all of the characters for different reasons. After decades of modern crime investigation and police shows, it is refreshing to see where some of this began. The show is based on the 1995 book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit. Season 1 takes place in the late 70s as the FBI’s behavioral crime is developed through research and field interviews. Season 2 centers around the Atlanta murders of 1979 to 1981 and puts the infant program to the test. Holt McCallany, Jonathan Groff, and Anna Torv all do an exceptional job playing their respective characters.

Dune (2021)

Medium: Movie (HBO Max)

Rating: 1.5 / 5 Nothing spicy about this remake of a remake

Reference(s): IMDB Listing || Trailer

Always be skeptical of remakes, I think, is something we have learned over the years. This is no exception. From 1984 to 2021 means a huge jump in CGI which this type of movie benefits from. However, even with that, this just came up short for so many reasons. The main reason being is that they offer little explanation for many aspects of the story. They throw names and concepts out without backstory or details that help you understand. If you aren’t already familiar with the story (from the prior movies or book), you will likely be lost as to the relevance of some bits. Next, while this movie sticks very close to the original in some ways, it breaks in other ways. We know spice is needed for interstellar travel but don’t get to see that. The actual folding of space got left on the cutting room floor, so a bunch of ships flew out of this big vessel (?) and you don’t know the mechanics of how it worked. An example of a small detail, but important to see I think. Another annoyance was moments of dialogue that were difficult to understand. Between the accent, sounds, and the actor seemingly mumbling, it left important bits to the imagination. Finally, several continuity issues ranging from their weird interpretation of walking in the sand to avoid worms to elaborately crafted halls and chambers by the Fremen. This movie is ‘Part 1’ of the story, with the concluding Part 2 coming in the future and yet throughout the entire movie, the name “Muad’Dib” is barely mentioned (if at all?), nor the meaning of the name. The “desert mouse” that appears in the movie is poorly done CGI and worst of all? It’s a fucking Jerboa, not a mouse. I suspect it is meant to be foreshadowing for Part 2, but really, if they don’t associate the name and destiny of Paul well, it doesn’t work. Find the remastered extended cut of the 1984 version of Dune; it’s better.

Settlers (2021)

Medium: Movie (Multiple)

Rating: 4.5 / 5 Settle in for a good movie

Reference(s): IMDB Listing || Trailer

This was a great watch, a compelling sci-fi movie rooted in simplicity. A simple plot, very small cast (including a pig and a robot), and essentially one shooting location. Yet the characters drive this and every single actor was great. We start in a small settlement on a non-earth world, in fact, not a planet in our solar system. One family who has to deal with outsiders and things get turned upside down fast. We’re not spoonfed much of backstory, just given enough information to let us make some assumptions about how we got here and the dynamics involved. I recommend this for the emotional tension, slow boil, and the acting.

Kate (2021)

Medium: Movie (Netflix)

Rating: 4 / 5 Nobody meets Crank

Reference(s): IMDB Listing || Trailer || Netflix

As far as femme fatale badass flicks go, this one was enjoyable. It’s a sort of “Nobody” meets “Crank” in ways with a few fun fight scenes and great locations. One reason this type of movie is enjoyable is that you know the outcome but the path to get there is still worth it. We get introduced to Kate, an assassin working in Tokyo, and follow her for the last days of her life after being poisoned. With death looming she vows to get revenge on those responsible while coping with guilt over killing a young girl’s father, as the girl becomes her ward. Worth a watch.

The Guilty (2021)

Medium: Movie (Netflix)

Rating: 2 / 5 Every character is guilty of being annoying

Reference(s): IMDB Listing || Trailer || Netflix

First, I like the director, the lead actor, and the premise of this movie. Second, they all came crashing down and I found the movie to be very annoying. This is due to the film being centered around a single character, with minimal other actor involvement other than voices on the phone, and every single character including the ones on the phone being completely irrational, overly emotional, and illogical. Also fairly sure that if you cut out every time a character repeated themselves, the movie would be half as long as it was.

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