Movie of the Week: ‘Frankenstein’

“Frankenstein” (1931) – Even 90 years after its initial release, this monster movie classic holds up. Although not particularly frightening, director James Whale’s picture hits an 11 on the disturbing scale and is essential for anyone who has never seen it (or hasn’t seen it in a long time). Sure, we’ve all been dumbed down by experiencing Frankenstein’s Monster in seemingly hundreds of incarnations and, especially, spoofs (“The Munsters”, “Young Frankenstein” and even “Weird Science” immediately come to mind), but after viewing “Frankenstein”, you’ll be easily reminded why the story remains…

‘Dune is a spectacular, procedural exercise

“Dune” (2021) – “My desert.  My Arrakis.  My Dune.” – Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgard) The 2021 film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal 1965 science-fiction novel is Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune”.    The man proudly sports a resume bursting with provocative titles, including “Polytechnique” (2009), “Incendies” (2010), “Prisoners” (2013), “Enemy” (2013), “Sicario” (2015), and “Arrival” (2016).  He also bravely helmed the unthinkable, a “Blade Runner” sequel with “Blade Runner 2049” (2017).  Ridley Scott (who directed the original “Blade Runner”) and Villeneuve were probably the most trusted directors to oversee such an…

‘Ron’s Gone Wrong’ serves up laughs and social media warnings

“Ron’s Gone Wrong” (2021) – “I was watching ‘Her’ by Spike Jonze, and I thought, ‘I need to make a version of this movie for my 3-year-old who’s getting lost in the iPad,’” co-director/co-writer Sarah Smith says in an Oct. 15, 2021 interview with Cinemark. Smith, along with co-directors Jean-Philippe Vine and Octavio E. Rodriguez, made a film, and thankfully, they did not feature toddlers as their lead and supporting characters. Whew!  Instead, their movie is a middle-school animated adventure, and our hero is Barney Pudowski (Jack Dylan Grazer). He’s…