Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery Review: Humorously Relevant.

Knives Out was  one of my favourite films of 2019, with director Rian Johnson delivering a smart mystery with an all-star cast.
When I heard news that he would be returning to direct more films revolving around the eccentric detective Benoit Blanc, played magnificently by Daniel Craig, I was all for it.
Well, now the sequel Glass Onion has released widely on Netflix and I can say that it definitely lived up to expectations.
I do prefer the first film but Glass Onion is a more than worthy sequel with plenty of exciting twists and turns, along with great comedy to keep viewers entertained. 

Glass Onion has a great mixture of drama and comedy to its mystery.

The film follows Blanc as he is invited to the private island of tech billionaire Miles Bron  (Edward Norton) for a murder mystery game.
Joining him are all of Bron’s scummy friends, including scientists Lionel Toussaint (Leslie Odom Jr.), governor Claire DeBella (Kathryn Hahn), men’s rights YouTuber Duke Cody (Dave Bautista), and dim-witted fashion designer Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson).
The one invited guest who is not scummy is Cassandra “Andy” Brand, Bron’s former business associate, who had a falling out with Bron and the rest of his so-called Destructor friends.
She is played excellently by Janelle Monáe and ends up being the most interesting character in the film, playing a similar role to that of Ana de Armas’ character in Knives Out.

Monáe does a fantastic job playing Andy, a character whose motives you are interested in from the first moment she appears.

Once all these characters, both scummy and not, arrive at the titular Glass Onion, the murder mystery begins but it is far from a game, delivering a fun, compelling mystery with plenty of interesting twists that make subsequent viewings more fun when you notice all the foreshadowing.
Even the commentary brought about by the story is interesting, given how much Miles Bron’s character resembles real tech billionaires. like Elon Musk with the whole Twitter fiasco (although this happened after the making of the film), making Glass Onion humorously relevant. 

It’s funny how Bron resembles many tech billionares, putting up the persona of a genius while actually being a complete imbecile.

Speaking of the humor, Glass Onion has plenty of hilarious moments that made me have to pause the movie so I did not miss anything because I was laughing so hard.
Another thing that really stuck out to me about this film was the costuming, which says a lot because that is not usually something that catches my eye, yet the outfits were so fantastic in this film that I could not help but notice. 

There are a lot of great costumes in this film.

As for issues, I do think there are some minor plot holes holding the film back when it comes to the backstory of the Destructors.
This is only minor though and it hardly matters when Glass Onion builds to a highly satisfying conclusion.
So, despite not being as good as the original Knives Out, Glass Onion is still a worthy follow up with great twists and turns, plenty of fun comedy, and surprisingly relevant commentary about how we should stop worshipping dumb tech billionaires like Elon Mus-I mean, Miles Bron.
I look forward to seeing more Knives Out films in the detective work of Benoit Blanc. 

 

Dune Review: A Cinematic Epic. One Which Has to be Experienced in Theaters.

For quite a few years, friends were telling me that I should read Frank Herbert’s Dune, calling it one of the best science fiction stories of all time, and one that inspired generations of stories from that genre, like Star Wars, for instance.
However, for whatever reason, I did not take my friends’ advice and read Dune.
Then, I saw the trailers for Denis Villeneuve’s 2021 adaptation of the novel.
These trailers blew me away and Villeneuve is one of my favourite directors working today, so, knowing how dedicated he was to making Dune, I finally sat down and read the book.
I could not put it down.
The novel enthralled me from start to finish and, ever since finishing, it I have been eagerly anticipating the film’s release to theaters, and was finally able to see it yesterday.
Did it disappoint?
Absolutely not.
Dune is not just an incredible adaptation but I already think it’s one of the best movies I have ever seen, even though I only first saw it yesterday.

Dune is a masterful, cinematic experience.

The film tells the story of Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), a young noble born to Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac) and his Bene Gesserit concubine Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson).
Duke Leto is the ruler of the planet Caladan, however, the Pardishah Emperor mysteriously decides to order the Atreides family to take stewardship of the desert planet Arrakis, the only planet in the universe where the substance known as Spice can be found.
Spice not only has various benefits to the user but is also the reason interstellar travel is possible, so it is the most valuable resource in the universe.
You would think this would put the Atreides in an excellent position but, in taking over Spice production on Arrakis, they are taking over the position of the previous rulers of Arrakis, their rival family of the Harkonnens, lead by the cruel Baron Vladamir Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgård).
With the threat of the Harkonnens and even the Emperor’s displeasure hanging over their heads, the Atreides seek an alliance with the native Fremen, among them Stilgar (Javier Bardem).
However, at the same time as this is happening, Paul is having strange dreams, many of which feature a woman named Chani (Zendaya), and these dreams may point to a brutal future for not just Paul’s future but also the future of the entire universe.

Paul’s dreams hold a lot of meaning to them.

Yes, this is the story’s basic opening hook and it is a lot to take in.
Thankfully, Villeneuve presents this information to the viewer perfectly, with only a few things being left out, like the explanation of Mentat powers.
Helping this presentation of information is the incredible acting, cinematography and score.
Speaking of the acting, every single member of the cast brings their A-game, whether their roles in the story are small or major.
I already spoke of most of the characters, but two who I especially enjoyed are Paul’s mentors Gurney Halleck (Josh Brolin) and Duncan Idaho (Jason Momoa).
In fact, I would say that I actually liked the movie’s interpretation of Duncan more than the first novel.
The movie shows the friendship between him and Paul a lot better, making later scenes where the two share screen time a lot more impactful.

Rewatching the trailers after finishing the book got me excited for more Paul and Duncan interactions, and the movie did not disappoint.

As for the cinematography, it is absolutely beautiful and Greg Fraser did an amazing job.
I had a massive grin on my face almost the entire way through the film because of how gorgeous almost every single shot looked.
What made this grin even wider was Han Zimmer’s brilliant score, his best one to date, in my opinion. 

The cinematography and score often combined to create stunning scenes, like this shot of the villanous Baron Harkonnen.

Pair this excellent acting, cinematography and score with Villeneuve’s direction, and you have a masterful adaptation of Frank Herbert’s novel that needs to be seen in theaters. 
Seriously, I am so glad I decided to watch this for the first time at the movies instead of on HBO Max.
It just provides an experience for this film that cannot possibly be matched on the smaller screen.
I just wish that the studios had realised what they had and agreed with Villeneuve’s wish to film the sequel at the same time, so both parts could be released closer together.
Well, at least we are getting a sequel, with hopefully more on the way, since I have also read the sequel novel Dune: Messiah and loved that as well.
I cannot wait to read the rest of Dune novels now that I have finally finished The Wheel of Time books, and it would be great to see those get future adaptations as well, given how excellent Villeneuve’s Dune was.
In regards to the future of Dune as a movie franchise, I only have one thing to say.
Let the sequels flow.