Review: Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

10

“All the courage in the world cannot alter fact.”
– Wallace

SYNOPSIS: A young blade runner’s discovery of a long-buried secret leads him to track down former blade runner Rick Deckard, who’s been missing for thirty years. – via IMDB

VISUAL FEST. AUDIO FEST. RYAN GOSLING FEST. Okay, now that that is off my chest, I am going to try to form whole, coherent sentences to express how much I loved this. I expected to like it, Villeneuve is super talented, and figured even if the plot fell a bit flat, visually it would still be gorgeous, right? Right, well, I got a story I enjoyed the heck out of and it was visually arresting to boot and Gosling… yes.

Back to trying for the coherent sentences… I loved the way this movie looked. The perfect dystopian future, and the colours used were awesome. The sound, too, is not to be underappreciated here as it was the perfect fit and just blended with everything and worked to build and maintain that heavy atmosphere. Gosling struts around all gorgeous, and delivers a very Drive-esque performance, and I liked it. He’s good at it. It was great to see Harrison Ford return, as it really ties the two movies together strongly.

I see this movie is getting a lot of praise and a lot of flak. Obviously I fall into the former camp. I was engaged throughout, and thought it was a good bit of writing that even people who have not seen the original movie will be able to follow this. The plot takes time to set up and play out, and while some people gripe that this makes the movie too long, I didn’t feel that. I was hooked throughout, watching both the story unfold as well as taking in that world that had been spun for us, simply amazing.

Blade Runner 2049 is carried by some solid performance. Gosling impressed me, as always, and Ford is Ford, which in my opinion works for this. Leto can’t really be overlooked, either, as his Niander Wallace is a right creep, and Robin Wright was fantastic as the hardened Lieutenant Joshi. I am not going to discuss every single character, just know that everyone contributed something to the story. I really enjoyed the story, too, as it was engaging and interesting. Sure, you can poke holes in the story, but I feel that it was presented quite well regardless and it flowed. It made sense to me, and the pacing was just right, so that works for me, personally.

I can wax lyrical about Blade Runner 2049 for quite some time, but I think I am going to wrap it up now. A delectable visual buffet with sounds that will draw you right in and some great performances, Blade Runner 2049 is a prime example of how to do a successful sequel to a classic movie, and is definitely something I am looking forward to seeing again, and not just for science.

Review: Arrival (2016)

15

“There are days that define your story beyond your life. Like the day they arrived.”
– Dr Louise Banks

SYNOPSIS: When twelve mysterious spacecraft appear around the world, linguistics professor Louise Banks is tasked with interpreting the language of the apparent alien visitors. – via IMDB

I saw a trailer for this a while ago and thought it looked interesting. I was infinitely more curious when I saw Denis Villeneuve’s name attached to the project as I rather like his work. Arrival did not disappoint at all, and was definitely one of the better alien movies I have seen in a while, and I am a sucker for them. It definitely got right what most alien movies don’t – the movie maintained an air of mystery, it was smart, while the aliens were super important, we didn’t get to see too much of them (I mean this visually, not that they were not present), but what we did see of them was icky man.

Despite having Amy Adams helm the film (which for me could potentially have held it back, she is one of those actresses that irrationally annoys the shit out of me), it worked out just fine. In fact, I think Adams did a good job with the material she was given. I also enjoyed Jeremy Renner in this, and liked the interactions between Ian and Louise. I was glad that Villeneuve did not force a love story into the middle of this, as a romance was totally secondary to all that was going on.

I really liked how the film took time to set itself up. It was never rushed, or too slow and dull. The story was also very engaging. It took its time to set up a solid movie, which was also directed perfectly and visually appealing, well acted, and had a brilliant score to accompany it. There was just so much to enjoy here. As I mentioned before, I was pleased that we didn’t see too much of the aliens, as it maintained mystery and kept them super creepy. I appreciate how smart Arrival is, too, because I love a movie that makes me think.

Arrival is an impressive alien/sci-fi film, and definitely impressed me. I can highly recommend it. Sharp, shot beautifully and carried by strong performances, this movie will make you think on things for quite some time, and I like that.

You can totally skip the trailer and just go straight on to the movie.

Rapid Review: Sicario (2015)

12

sicario poster

“Nothing will make sense to your American ears, and you will doubt everything that we do, but in the end you will understand.”
– Alejandro

SYNOPSIS: An idealistic FBI agent is enlisted by a government task force to aid in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico. – via IMDB

sicario

GRADE 7I was so looking forward to this, especially seeing how much love it was getting. Plus I thoroughly enjoyed Denis Villeneuve previous two films. I thought Prisoners to be really dark and messed up but fantastic, and while Enemy won’t be for everyone, I liked that, too. But then there was this one, and while it was good, I think it is awfully overhyped. It is shot beautifully, and features some solid performances, without a doubt, and it is interesting. However, the downfall is that the movie presents itself as though it is far smarter and difficult to understand than it is, so even though you follow the movie the whole way through, by the end you feel as though you have theoretically missed something, but upon reflection and reading, you know you haven’t. It also didn’t help that Emily Blunt’s Kate Macer will work on your last nerve for the duration of the movie. I totally didn’t want to say that cause I really like Emily Blunt, but hell man, what a nuisance she was here, and so whiny! Sicario showcases some impressive violence – not anything I thought to be overkill, but then I have realised over the years that I do not have a very good gauge for that, I am too desensitized. Maybe someone else can comment on that. However, in the movie’s defense, it was never just gratuitous violence, it all served a purpose. I thoroughly enjoyed Benicio del Toro’s turn as Alejandro. His character fascinated and scared me in equal measure, and was shrouded in mystery. He worked incredibly well across Josh Brolin. Del Toro was definitely the big draw for me here, and he did not let me down. I wish I could talk more about the characters and what went down, but there would be spoilers, so I will be quiet instead, cause screw spoilers. All in all it isn’t a bad watch, is put together well, looks fantastic and is interesting, but it falls short of the mark at times, and seems to be striving to be so much more than it actually is.