Monthly Archives: June 2024

Dune (2021)

A couple of years ago, I watched maybe half of the Dune remake, but it was at night and I fell asleep. And then I never got around to returning. Which, I mean, plenty of time to make up before part two came calling. Which brings me to last weekend, wherein I did in fact watch the movie for real and true. And you know what? Not bad!

See, there’s this noble family, we’ll call them the Starks. And they are asked by the Emperor of All Cosmos to take over production of spice[1] from a different noble family, who we’ll call the Lannisters. The Lannisters are super rich and also not fond of having their golden goose forcibly taken away, so they plan a trap. But that’s not important right now. What’s important is that Paul Stark is possibly the first male Aes Sedai since the end of the Second Age, as evidenced by the fact that he is having prophetic dreams about Mary Jane Aviendha and by the fact that when he sticks his hand inside a ter’angreal that causes pain, he doesn’t pull his hand out. (Although arguably he was coerced by the threat of murder into leaving it there.)

So anyway, Paul goes off to desert world, where… oh, hey, *Dune*! I get it. Nice one.

He goes there, I was saying, with the rest of his family, to start harvesting spice. And they learn about the giant sandworms who leave behind teeth that you can turn into crysknives if you have a scroll of enchant weapon, and they learn about the blue-eyed desert people who are not fans of the Lannisters, and right as it seems like they might be able to get the hang of this whole spice-harvesting gig even though all the equipment keeps breaking down and may have been sabotaged, that turns out not to matter, because Baron Lannister and his nephew Drax “Sting” Lannister launch a surprise attack and kill every single last Stark. Weirdly, nobody got married.

Wait, sorry, I’m being informed that Paul Stark and his mother Moiraine survived, and wandered off into the desert to hook up with Mary Jane and the rest of the desert people so they could lay low until it’s time for their counter-revenge in part two. Which we’ll probably watch tomorrow!

Although I have been glib in the above review, it is worth mentioning that a) the ornithopters are extremely cool, b) I very much want to know what happens next, even though I kind of do know, and c) the entire aesthetic of the first movie is A+. You can really tell the difference between what Lynch was able to accomplish in 1984 and what Villeneuve has been able to now, from a technological stance. From an adaptive stance, well, Lynch definitely adapted a book, while this guy is putting the book on screen.

I guess the important difference is that Lynch makes me giggle continuously, albeit in a good way, while Villeneuve makes me watch.

[1] Spice is what makes warp speed possible. (Also, it improves food I assume.)

Gojira · Ebira · Mosura: Nankai no daikettô

Ebirah, Horror of the Deep, is… on the one hand, it’s a lot less weird than recent Godzilla movies I’ve watched, in that it’s not batshit crazy. But on the other hand, it’s actually weirder in some ways, because it’s heavily James Bond influenced I think? And also, this was probably the moment where Godzilla made the transition from anti-hero to good guy, which… I certainly see how it has affected all the future stories, making this clear delineation that he will never again be an existential threat. But I’m still not convinced in the contexts of these movies that it was a good idea, is all.

So get this. This dude’s brother is lost at sea, so he tries to enter a dance-a-thon to win a yacht, but since it’s already three days in, they won’t let him join. So instead, he and two other failed contestants and a third guy all steal a yacht together, semi-accidentally. Then they see a giant crab thing and shipwreck on an island, which is inhabited by a supervillain lair, except without a specific obvious supervillain. Instead, there’s a scientist (I think?) working on nukes, and an eyepatch guy who leads a group of henchmen with machine guns from place to place all over the island, just randomly firing at our heroes but always missing them. It is also inhabited by slaves from Infant Island (famously the home of Mothra) and by a comatose Godzilla, the latter of which is too coincidental for words, and yet here we are.

So anyway, these guys try to figure out how to escape, and how to free the Infants, and how to deal with the giant crab monster (who I believe is referred to exactly once by name?), and eventually there’s a lot of kaiju-fighting, to dance-a-thon music. Oh, and in case you were wondering, Mothra 2 finally grew up and is no longer a caterpillar.

Little Kitty, Big City

I’ve been playing Jedi Survivor, but then I saw that the game I recommended for my wife looked a little more low key and fun for the week, and thusly I instead invested a few nights into Little Kitty, Big City. See, you’re this cat living a highrise life, when suddenly disaster strikes!, in the form of gravity. Now you’re on the ground, surrounded by people and dogs and birds and, by far worst of all, by puddles of water. How will you get home?!

Well, by completing quests[1], and collecting various bits and bobs, and avoiding all the beings who wish to do you, if not harm, at least a series of unpleasant wettings and/or barkings at and/or chasings away. And by knocking things over, let us not ever forget.

It’s basically Untitled Goose Game, but with more of a plot, and a lot more teleportation and reverse causality. At six or eight hours[2], it does not wear out its welcome, and if the graphics are a little below top of the line, and if the controls for some of the jumps can be a little janky, well, that’s how indie games go, y’know? Nothing that drove me away, although it’s fair to say a little less jank might have resulted in me chasing a few more achievements,

[1] Sample quests including jumping in all five boxes, or sleeping in all five A+ nap spots, or taking the ducklings home
[2] and then only if you’re trying pretty hard to do a lot of the things; I spent hours after I reached the point of “you can go finish now if you like” before I actually proceeded to try to finish.