Taking up where I left off regarding writing opportunities, I’m still looking for the right place to call home. My partner seems to have a lot more faith than I do but I don’t want to go just anywhere. I don’t care about money not at this stage. I just want to write again.
I’ll be writing everything here, movie reviews or discussions, anything relating to popular culture. This is where I want it all to live and it’s also a good thing to be able to point people to your writing if you need to.
In a recent interview with Playlist dot net, actor Stellan Skarsgård who plays the villain Baron Harkonnen in the upcoming Dune remake revealed that Denis Villeneuve has “grand ideas for his version of Dune”. And we positively cannot wait for this with production on the film ending in July of this year.
Could Villeneuve’s Dune become the “Star Wars for Adults” as Villeneuve himself has said? Anything is possible, and Villeneuve is no stranger to reworking older original movie content to produce something bold and unique. I am, of course, referring to Blade Runner 2049.
Villeneuve’s Impressive Track Record
Blade Runner 2049 still holds a decent ranking on all of the most popular movie ranking websites with 81 per cent on Metacritic (taken from 54 critics), listing it as having “universal acclaim”. And if the accolades didn’t stop there, Villeneuve’s foray into the universe of extraterrestrial life in his 2017 hit movie Arrival earned him an Oscar win as well as 65 wins for other awards and a further 254 nominations. It’s safe to say that Frank Herbert’s legacy is going to be well looked after.
The Connection Between Star Wars and Dune
The similarities between Dune and Star Wars aren’t just imagined. Various references to similarities between Dune and Star Wars are listed all over the Internet. Frank Herbert himself has listed similarities between the two films. However, it could also be said that Star Wars has dozens of similarities with other films, books and even mythological characters such as King Arther from the Arthurian legends. None of that stopped George Lucas from amassing billions of dollars for his movie franchise. We know there is a connection, we’re okay with it, let’s move on.
What Could Star Wars For Adults Look Like?
What would an “adult” version of Star Wars even look like and do we need one? Personally, I’d like to see a little more violence and death (within the scope of the story obviously), a little more skin (not necessarily full-on sex scenes but maybe a little more than two kiddies touching hands across the universe) and perhaps the bad guys prevailing every now and then wouldn’t go awry. Yes, George Lucas did this with Revenge of the Sith, but I’m referring to the very last movie in the trilogy. Instead of “our protagonists walking off hand-in-hand into the sunset”, could we perhaps see the villain get his moment in the darkness, pretty please?
Until we’ve seen a trailer (which we haven’t as yet), there’s really only room for speculation at this stage. As an audience, we’ve been given mere morsels to look at, and not even an official poster has been released. In my research of online assets for this article, I came across this poster which is very pretty with Timothy Chalamet’s Paul Atreides revealed but it’s still not an official poster:
One thing I will say is that if Villeneuve’s version of Dune is even half as good as Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope, I doubt he’ll have anything to worry about come release. I for one will be attentively keeping track of any news and publicity for this film going forward.
Production and filming ended in July 2019 for Dune so we should be expecting something official fairly soon, fingers crossed. In the meantime, you can whet your appetite on the details of an upcoming spin-off from Villeneuve’s Dune featuring the Bene Gesserit witches called Dune: The Sisterhood which has been given the green light. There will also be a hard-cover edition release of the original 1965 novel written by Frank Herbert on October 1.
Dune is set for release on December 18, 2020
“The Answers We Seek Are Just Outside Our Reach”
Ad Astra (2019)
Image Credits: IMDb
I toiled with the idea of writing this review for more than a day. I decided I had to see it more than once to fully understand the magnitude of the message that this film delivered. I am not sure that I’ve fully grasped all of the concepts explored in the movie, but there is one that seemed to hit home a lot harder than expected, and that is the almost claustrophobic feeling of abandonment. I’ll work my way back around to this a little later on.
In a nutshell, James Gray has produced a seriously heavy hitter with Ad Astra, and he has none other than Brad Pitt hitting the ball right on out of the ballpark for him. Not only is this one of the best films I’ve seen this year, but Brad Pitt’s portrayal of Astronaut Roy McBride is out of this world (no pun intended). If this film doesn’t get an Oscar nod for at least best picture, I’ll be disappointed.
Ad Astra is a touching, moving and at some moments uncomfortable film to watch. It’s both exhilarating and melancholy all at once with some scenes interlocking with each other in a beautiful synergy. I was actually surprised to find that this film wasn’t based on a book because the story is just wonderful.
Brad Pitt is both narrator and guide as Roy McBride who finds himself having to face the painful abandonment of his past by his father, esteemed Doctor and Astronaut Clifford McBride played by Tommy Lee Jones. When he is tasked with the almost impossible feat of searching for a father he thought was long gone, the journey he undertakes is one that wreaks havoc on him physically, mentally and emotionally. Not only has Roy dedicated his life to the exploration of space, just like his father did before him, but Roy also finds himself sharing a lot of the less desirable character traits of his father. Part of his journey into space to find a father he thought was dead is also a journey inward into the painful memories of an absent father. Roy McBride, now an adult, still doesn’t know who his father is or who he has become.
The cinematography of this film will leave you with your mouth on the floor. James Gray went all in to try and deliver a movie that not only explored the darkest reaches of space and all its beauty, but he wanted the imagery to be as realistic as possible. In that respect, I put this film right up there with Gravity and Interstellar. Ad Astra is that remarkable.
There is something to be said about the recurring theme in the film that looks at the vastness of space, and the unknown and how it can pull people into it like a venus fly trap does its prey. The idea that a person can be alone for vast periods and not feel lost entirely is carefully examined mostly with the sad yet hopeful eyes of Roy who unlike his father, changes the course of his life after realizing what his father for all those years, could not. Like all good films that make you feel something, Ad Astra is a movie you should go into entirely open. It honestly took me by surprise in the best way possible.
See it if you love space films and emotional journeys as Ad Astra beautifully intertwines both of these themes throughout the film.
The Broken Quill Rating – 4.5/5
Off and on over the past year, I’ve been involved in more work-related drama than I care to think about. I’ve gone from being the happiest employee you could ever meet to depressed, annoyed, frustrated and anti-establishment.
The song by Rage Against The Machine called “Wake Up” became my theme song and I’m not even joking…
I had anger issues in the past when I was much younger and not very wise, but then I met my partner and all of that changed. I became a better person for having met him. I also became happier about who I had become.
I’m still living an exceptionally happy home life, in fact, my home has become my shelter from the storm. But every morning I wake up to a work day I’d do anything to avoid.
Today I realised how unhappy other people in my team are. I looked outside myself and helped a work mate out who has similar struggles to my own.
Today I really did wake up a little but not in the way I would have expected. I realised just how easy it is to get caught up in yourself. While paying attention to your own journey in life is essential, I think it’s good to remember that everyone else is on their own personal journey too and some of them may be struggling just as you are. Some of them maybe even much worse off than you.
It’s good to get outside of your own head and look around and take a breath. Helping someone else other than yourself is a great way to take stock of things and appreciate others and my workmate was most grateful for my support.
I’ve been thinking about doing this for some time. I created a separate blog a few months back, where I could rant and rave about the less exciting aspects of my life, such as work and my emotional state. But something just didn’t feel write when I created it, so I deleted it and found myself back at square one.
I think that the writer in me needs space from everything else. I don’t quite know why I feel this way, but I do. So creating this space purely just for writing and anything relating to the craft of writing is, hopefully, the right step. I may find that I don’t want to nurture this any longer in a week, maybe even in a few days. But right now, I feel like I need this space away from my main blog, which I want to dedicate solely to my pursuit of art and Graphic Design and Star Wars. Those things go hand in hand and are perfect for each other. But the writer in me feels like I’m letting myself down by not dedicating my time to the one thing I know deserves it.
I sometimes feel shattered into a million pieces, and I’m forever trying to put myself back together. I feel so frustrated with life lately, angry at myself and just aimless. I’ve all but given up my career pursuits, and I can’t even tell you why. The only thing I feel anything positive about is creating art and edits in Adobe software and even those things don’t keep me from feeling lost within myself.
I don’t expect anyone to understand, I write this mostly for myself because I need to. I need to air my grievances with myself, with life with everything. I have so much frustration building up inside, I feel like I really need to punch something hard! Not that I want to be violent, but that I feel like that might actually make me feel anything close to okay about my life right now.