Friday, November 15, 2013

Jodorowsky's Dune (AFI Fest 2013)

What if, two years before Star Wars debuted, a different film was released that fundamentally changed the way we look at science fiction movies forever? Would the age of blockbusters have ever happened? What would movies look like now? These are questions posed in Jodorowsky's Dune, a documentary that reveals in exceptional detail the vision of director Alejandro Jodorowsky as he spent years trying to adapt Frank Herbert's seminal sci-fi book "Dune." Jodorowsky's movie holds the distinction of being one of the only cult classic films that no one has ever actually seen, considering it was never made in the first place. But despite that pesky little fact, the failed movie profoundly affected Hollywood in ways that can still be seen on screens today.

Jodorowsky's Dune
Director: Frank Pavich
Starring: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Michel Seydoux

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Lone Survivor (AFI Fest 2013)

Peter Berg's most recent film was last year's board game adaptation Battleship, a bloated, lifeless imitation of a Michael Bay action film with zero heart and a godawful screenplay. Thankfully, Lone Survivor is the complete opposite: it's a small-scale true story with strong performances, clear cut action sequences, a tension-filled script, and a powerful emotional core. This was the film Berg wanted to make a few years ago, but Universal negotiated with him to make Battleship first; now we're seeing what the writer/director can do when he has some real investment in his story, and the result is a thematically rich and complex tale of brotherhood, morality, and, of course, survival.

Lone Survivor
Writer/Director: Peter Berg
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch