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Blade Runner 2049 – Review

Someone, after seeing the cut of Blade Runner 2049 that was released to theaters called it ‘the most expensive art film in history.’

And that’s pretty accurate.

Blade Runner 2049 is beautiful to look at but there’s a languidness, a subtleness about it that doesn’t do the material any favors. Virtually everything about it is idiosyncratic, from the casting of Ryan Gosling–who makes Keanu Reeves seem expressive–to the way the movie was shot, everything feels as if it’s the result of a singular vision (which it isn’t in the sense that NO movie is a singular vision in the sense that hundreds of people are involved though there’s typically one person making the final decision).

And if we were talking about vision of it’s director, Denis Villeneuve, whom no one apparently suggested that maybe the movie would have been better received if it were a half hour shorter (which it could have easily been done with nary a change in any plot details).

That being said, Blade Runner 2049 is what it is, namely the uncompromising vision of a very expressive, passionate director.

Which was oddly enough the problem; sometimes a little compromise can go a long way.

Spider-Man: Homecoming – Trailer 3

Cutting an effective trailer is a strange mix of art and science and too much of either can ruin it.

And they’re more important than you think.

Part of what saved Suicide Squad was the  trailer, which (unfortunatel) made promises the movie itself didn’t quite live up to, was so well-received by movie goers.

By the same token, they can give away plot points that might better be left uNSAIDs (such as when Doomsday was revealed in the Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice trailer).

Though just so no one thinks I am picking on the DCEU, there was a scene from the first Avengers when the Hulk saves Iron Man, who’s falling after having ‘delivered’ a nuclear weapon to the Chtauri.

It wasn’t a spoiler but it did reveal a scene that would have been better served seen first in the context of the movie.

And speaking of ‘scenes that would have been better served seen first in the context of the movie’ the trailers for Marvel Studios/Sony Pictures Spider-Man: Homecoming haven’t crossed the line into spoiler territory, but they have revealed moments that would perhaps be better served by not beight first seen in the trailer.

Such as learning that Spidey’s uniform is filled to the gills with Stark-tech.


It doesn’t break the movie to learn this in advance–besides, hints were laid out in Captain  America: Civil War that this is not your father’s Spider-Man costume, so it wasn’t a huge reach.

THough it would have still been a pleasant surprise NOT to know about it ahead of time.

Chappie – Review

Chappie movie poster

Chappie Is Pretty Good.  It’s Not District 9, But That’s Okay.

If you’ve seen Neill Blomkamp‘s Elysium, you may have given up on him, despite the fact that that can be considered a bit of an overreaction, especially since his first movie, District 9, was pretty good.

That being said, let’s not forget that his second movie wasn’t by any means terrible, though it wasn’t always terribly logical–why would a space station not have any means to defend itself, and have to rely on Earth-bound agents to launch missiles at approaching craft?  Suppose that particular operative were sick?  Or if they happened to be on the other side of the planet–the Earth rotates, which means that Elysium wouldn’t be seen from one part of the world for at least twenty-four hours.

Anyway, Blomkamp is back with Chappie, and it’s pretty good (as in better than Elysium, though not in District 9’s ratified strata).

The movie revolves around a robot that comes to be known as Chappie (voiced by Neill Blomkamp regular Sharlto Copley), and explores what it means to be human.

Blomkamp’s love of South Africa is in full effect–as I understand it, the South African government makes it very cost-efficient to film there, though I get the feeling that he loves the country and finds the stark contrasts between well-to-do and dirt poor fascinating–which is why it’s the go-to destination for all of his movies so far.

Chappie is also looser than anything that Blomkamp has done so far, and while the cutesy robot stuff may go on a bit longer than necessary, it’s a minor point and doesn’t stop one from enjoying a pretty good movie.

The Interview – Review

The Interview movie poster

 “The Producers Of The Interview Should Consider The Sony Hacking Fortuitous Because There’s No Other Way Such An Otherwise Middling Movie Would Receive So Much Attention.”

When I first learned of all the hullabaloo over Sony Pictures’ The Interview, the first thing that came to mind was that if it weren’t for the hack, there’s no way the movie would warrant all the attention its received.

And I was right, though what’s I found more interesting is despite the movie being only intermittently funny it was at its best when it referred, directly or indirectly, to homosexuality (such as the bit about Eminem coming out, “honeydicking,” or using tiger blood as an anal lubricant) which can perhaps be interpreted as how infantile the movie, at heart, is.

And at the same time it’s almost anti-homosexual because there’s no other way to think about a movie that contains moments of Seth Rogen semi-nudity.

James Franco’s buys into the premise wholeheartedly, and his ‘Dave Skylark’ is pretty interesting in a vacant, opportunistic kind of way though I get the feeling that Seth Rogen as a producer aching to be taken seriously is probably the most outlandish thing about the movie.

And while Randall Park, who played Kim Jong-un, is pretty engaging as Kim Jung-un, and considered to be a rising star by some, I am willing to bet The Interview will be the most noteworthy thing on his resume.

Which wouldt be a bit disappointing.

And the movie ending with Winds Of Change, by The Scorpions is a bit…obvious.

The Interview is currently on Netflix

No Crossovers: Why 20th Century Fox & Sony Need To Go It Alone

I understand why some fans of characters like the Fantastic Four, Wolverine, Spider-Man and The Avengers want to see all their favorite heroes on the screen at the same time.  Imagine the Avengers..avenging, when Spider-Man swings by or the X-Men encountering Iron man or Captain America?  It’s not impossible, though it is very unlikely because Iron Man and Captain America are owned by Marvel Studios, while Spider-Man is licensed to Sony/Columbia and the X-Men, which includes Wolverine, are licensed to 20th Century Fox.

As I said, I get it, though unlike some what I also understand is that there are even more reasons why it shouldn’t (any time soon, at any rate).

Let’s look at this on a studio-by-studio basis.

Continue reading

‘Fury’ Trailer

What is it that calls actors to war (in movies that is, because I am reasonably sure few in the cast of David Ayer‘s Fury served in any conflict)?  John Wayne, who’s name was actually Marion, starred in quite a few war films, during World War II no less.

He didn’t serve in the military, though the reasons why are open to discussion or debate.

Fury is the second war film from Brad Pitt, Inglorious Basterds was the first, and I wonder what it is that motivates him, as well as other actors, to choose such roles.

Is it playing with big guns and tanks (the movie revolves around the crew of a tank in World War II)?  Is it the attraction of working with a director/writer who’s known for creating strong, compelling character (Whom are generally men.  Ayer doesn’t seem to invest much in women beyond their capacity to support men) pieces?

I have no idea, though it is interesting speculation.

‘The Equalizer’ Trailer

This movie is going to be huge.  With The Transformers: Age Of Extinction and Guardians Of The Galaxy coming, The Equalizer probably isn’t on too many people’s radar, though it should be.

It’s based upon the 1985 CBS television series that starred the late Edward Woodward.  He played a private detective, and former intelligence agent, that specialized in cases defending people that had no other options, often against criminals that managed to evade the law.

In this current version Denzel Washington plays a former black-ops commando who wants out of that life, but finds himself picking up his guns (or a sledgehammer) to defend a young girl against Russian gangsters.

Despite a plot that sounds somewhat similar to 2004’s Man On Fire (or perhaps 2004’s Deathwish, hopefully minus all the rape). I expect this movie to reflect the action sensibilities of its director, Antoine Fuqua, who also directed Washington in the 2001’s Training Day, which earned Washington the Academy Award for Best Actor.

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