What I'm Into: November 2021
Here’s a look at What I’m Into this month in the world of music, movies & television:
No Time To Die: So November is going to pick up right where October left off. I was in the middle of catching up on Daniel Craig's James Bond installments and was singing praises of Spectre. Well, I was able to conclude the saga with No Time to Die this month and it really was a treat. The chronology of Craig's Bond films really sets it apart and elevates things in a way that I feel modern Bond films really need. The continuation and building upon of stories earlier in the franchise not only makes for great tie-ins and more well-developed villains in the latter films, but they feed off of one another. Knowing what I know in seeing the complete story makes me want to revisit Casino Royale with renewed meaning and relevance. I'm sure this conclusion will not satisfy everyone, however it felt very satisfying to me.
Dune: The most important thing to know going into this movie is that you're signing up to see an origin story. You're not going to get the big picture -- that's what the future films are for. That being said, I absolutely loved what Dune gave us. Denis Villenueve (who directed one of my all-time favorites, Arrival) shows off his ability to bring grand, sweeping spacescapes while building story with small-scale character interactions. A testament to his ability to do this well comes with the way that no character seems naive about their fate/destiny. Every performance in Dune is strong. Chalamet and Momoa bring an unexpected chemistry and Zendaya's performance makes her lack of screen time in this installment seem like a travesty. Everything about Dune makes me very excited for its sequel.
Dexter: New Blood: If you're not familiar with Dexter, I'm not sure if I can whole-heartedly recommend the original series. I maintain, the season finale in Season 4 is a Top-10 Television Moment of All-Time. The final season drops the ball worse than the final season of Game of Thrones, and that's a massive feat. So I came into Dexter: New Blood with tempered expectations. That being said, so far so good! We're four episodes into things, and I have a feeling this is not going to be a limited series (perhaps I'm wrong, but it seems like they're building towards an expanded story). In the world of Dexter, you have to suspend your belief of a few things but the ride is almost always worth it. I'm betting on that fact remaining true with this iteration. It's interesting to see a character we've grown to love in a new setting and stage of life. Jack Alcott does a great job matching Michael C. Hall's performance step-for-step but the brightest spot is clearly Jennifer Carpenter's spin on the reprisal of Deb. If you enjoyed the highs of the original Dexter series but the ending left a poor taste in your mouth, New Blood is a nice palette cleanser.
Midnight Mass: A few months ago, Emily and I watched the Haunting of Hill House. The mingling of supernatural with themes of mental illness and addiction created such unique feeling that really drew us into the story. Midnight Mass is from the same creator/writer/director, Mike Flanagan. The special sauce of Midnight Mass is it's ability to blend unique perspectives of spiritual growth and religious journeys to create relatable, dynamic characters. Zach Gilford (best known for his portrayal of Matt Saracen in Friday Night Lights) really steals the show but Hamish Linklater and an impressive amount of scene-stealing supporting actors & actresses really drive this supernatural storyline forward. Midnight Mass grapples with guilt, loss, grieving the loss of your religion, and grappling with faith in a surprisingly respectful manner and the writing really nails the nuance that goes along with all of it.
Playlist of the Post:
1. Trust Me - Sincere Engineer
2. Overbite - Sincere Engineer
3. Dotted Line (Amperland, NY) - Pinegrove
4. Ode to a Conversation Stuck in Your Throat - Del Water Gap
5. That Funny Feeling - Phoebe Bridgers
6. the 1 - Taylor Swift
7. invisible string - Taylor Swift
8. Wide Open Spaces - Soccer Mommy
9. Shut Us Down - Lindsay Buckingham 10. Sugar Blue - Jeff Finlin