Glenn Kenny is the editor of A Galaxy Not So Far Away: Writers and Artists On 25 Years of ‘Star Wars’ (Holt, 2002) and the author of Robert De Niro: Anatomy of An Actor (Phaidon/Cahiers du Cinema, 2014). 

Back in the day, the two big counterculture sci-fi novels were the libertarian-division Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein, which made the word “grok” a thing for many years (not so much anymore; hardly even pops up in crossword puzzles today) and Frank Herbert’s 1965 Dune, a futuristic geopolitical allegory that was anti-corporate, pro-eco-radicalism, and Islamophilic. Why mega-producers and mega-corporations have been pursuing the ideal film adaptation of this piece of intellectual property for so many decades is a question beyond the purview of this review, but it’s an interesting one.

As a pretentious teenager in the 1970s, I didn’t read much sci-fi, even countercultural sci-fi, so Dune missed me. When David Lynch’s 1984 film of the novel, backed by then mega-producer Dino De Laurentiis, came out I didn’t read it either. As a pretentious twentysomething film buff, not yet professional grade, the only thing that mattered to me was that it was a Lynch picture. But for some reason—due diligence, or curiosity about how my life might have been different had I gone with Herbert and Heinlein rather than Nabokov and Genet back in the day—I read Herbert’s book recently. Yeah, the prose is clunky and the dialogue often clunkier, but I liked much of it, particularly the way it threaded its social commentary with enough scenes of action and cliff-hanging suspense to fill an old-time serial.

The new film adaptation of the book, directed by Denis Villeneuve from a script he wrote with Eric Roth and Jon Spaihts, visualizes those scenes magnificently. As many of you are aware, “Dune” is set in the very distant future, in which humanity has evolved in many scientific respects and mutated in a lot of spiritual ones. Wherever Earth was, the people in this scenario aren’t on it, and the imperial family of Atreides is, in a power play we don’t become entirely conversant with for a while, tasked with ruling the desert planet of Arrakis. Which yields something called “the spice”—that’s crude oil for you eco-allegorists in the audience—and presents multivalent perils for off-worlders (that’s Westerners for you geo-political allegorists in the audience).

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Int’l Critics Line: Todd McCarthy On Vietnamese Box Office Sensation ‘Dad, I’m Sorry’

Todd is a veteran trade publication film critic, columnist and reporter who has also written several acclaimed books and documentary films. He served two stints on the staffs of Variety and The Hollywood Reporter and extensively covered film festivals internationally for both publications. 

How many Vietnamese films have you ever seen? Or even heard of? For a heavily populated country that was controlled during roughly the first half of the 20th century by one of the most cinematically advanced nations, France, it’s surprising that Vietnam has such a thin history where film is concerned. The only Vietnamese director to ever make much of mark internationally is Tran Anh Hung, who in the 1990s gained an art house reputation with such films as The Scent Of Green Papaya and Cyclo.

But now suddenly a new film has opened in the United States (via 3388 Films) that is being promoted as the number one Vietnamese box office champion of all time. On a budget of $1M, Dad, I’m Sorry (Bo Gia) has raked in over $17M in its native country since releasing on March 12. And, after two weekends dominating the U.S. specialty box office, it has now grossed $820K. The film played at 19 theaters in its first week, growing that to 38 in the second week and will expand to 45 this weekend.

The story originated in Vietnam as a five-episode web drama that drew some 90 million viewers and was the brainchild of Tran Thanh, a hugely popular comic actor and television host. Tran wrote the piece, co-directed with Vu Ngoc Dang, and also stars as a beleaguered middle-aged man who tries, and largely fails, to preside over a dysfunctional, exceptionally argumentative family in a poor area of Saigon, a city now marked by any number of skyscrapers. This is a disputatious comedy-drama with a thick sentimental streak.

If Tran rates a comparison to any American comedian, it might be to Rodney Dangerfield, not at all physically or in style, but by virtue of the fact that his character, named Ba Sang, is overwhelmingly beleaguered and bubbling over with complaints. Living with uncountable relations — whether they actually live there or not seems a moot point, as they’re always around — in a slum called the Alley that’s always brimming with activity, the ineffectual Ba is constantly on the receiving end of criticisms from his various relations, none of whom appears to be contributing much themselves.

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5 Entrepreneur Movies You Just Have To Watch In 2021

 Dale Hart wants you learn from this movies the pristine art of entreprenuarship

People believe that as entrepreneurs, we draw upon inspiration at will. Give us a business problem and we’ll have a ready-made solution within minutes, complete with a step-by-step business plan that even granny could follow.  

But we all know that’s simply not the case. “Writer’s block” is just as common in entrepreneurs as it is with, well, writers.  

This is why I think entrepreneur movies are great not for just getting inspired, but heck, they’re just great fun to watch.

I love noting down the obstacles they have to overcome, the solutions they propose, and of course watching how it all pans out. What are their background stories? How and why did they start their journeys? Are there similarities with my own journey in business? 

After watching entrepreneur movies I’ve often reevaluated concepts I’d been fairly confident in, only to find there were certain angles I’d not previously considered. Sometimes they’re just great for stirring up the pot and developing new and exciting ideas.

So with that said, grab the popcorn and settle into my top 5 entrepreneur movies you must watch before the year’s out:

Best Entrepreneur Movies To Watch This Year

I’ve analyzed 5 entrepreneur movies that will not only help serve as a source of inspiration but also touch upon concepts we actually delve into at ThePowerMBA

The Founder (2016)


This film tells the story of Ray Croc, a frustrated but ambitious milkshake mixer salesman from Illinois. After coming across a successful southern Californian burger joint with a unique production model (McDonald’s), Croc first convinces the founders to franchise the business, before eventually taking complete control and transforming into the most famous fast-food chain in the world.   


The Founder reflects the veracity of today’s business world despite being set back in the 1950s. Its protagonist (Ray Croc) embodies the entrepreneurial characteristics I see in many of our students here at ThePowerMBA.

What I learned

The importance of process automation

McDonald’s implemented an efficient production method far superior to its competitors, replicable in any of its franchise restaurants.

Using this system, employees could prepare hamburgers in under 30 seconds. The speed and quality at which they were made were unprecedented until that time.

I think this is applicable to most businesses; finding the best way to scale production while consuming as few resources as possible.

Scale a business by franchising

One of the models we look at in detail at ThePowreMBA is franchising. It’s a great model that allows you to scale your business thanks to partners who open branded facilities in different locations.

In the case of McDonald’s, their cooking process was also easy to replicate meaning customer experience would be almost identical at any franchise restaurant across the country.

The importance of a unique value proposition (UVP)

McDonald’s was clear on what their clients really wanted (even if they didn’t realize it just yet) and that was speed and quality.

That is why their business was successful; they knew how to perfectly adapt their value proposition to the needs of their clients.

Find your Blue Ocean

What do I mean by Blue Ocean? It simply refers to a new or existing market where there is little to no competition.

In Mcdonald’s case, they were the world’s first fast-food chain. They moved away from traditional restaurants (a competitive Red Ocean market) to establish an innovative business that until that time, didn’t exist, opening a completely new market (Blue Ocean).

The power of marketing and branding

Croc knew the importance of creating a unique restaurant experience but to communicate that message globally, he needed to focus on branding.

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