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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.

Blade Runner 2049 – Trailer 2

The latest trailer for Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049–a pretty terrible title, by the way–a few hours ago and so far reminds me less of Ridley Scott’s original and more than Peter Hyams’ 2010 in that it appears to take the most important elements of the original (Harrison Ford, replicants, a neon-bright skyscraper, a whiff of conspiracy) and makes them more palatable for general audiences.

That was what 2010 did as well, namely taking Stanley Kubrick’s cold and analytical 2001: A Space Odyssey and preserving its themes and ideas, while recasting them in a way that–while still challenging–was more narratively traditional and just easier to like.

Blade Runner 2049 – Teaser Trailer

A teaser trailer was released for Denis Villeneuve‘s Blade Runner 2049, the sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 original.

Looking at the trailer, it–at least on the surface–seems to hold a lot in common with the original.

Which is problematic in some ways because the first movie was very much lots of style with relatively little in the way of substance.

Though at least it continues Scott’s fixation with Easter Island-sized heads.

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Arrival – Trailer into Reaction

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Here’s my reaction trailer to Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival. It looks pretty interesting, and I like the seemingly more cerebral approach to the material.

In other words, it reminds me of Independence Day, but a little more thoughtful and nuanced.

And I’ll try harder not to call it The Arrival, which was a Charlie Sheen movie from 1986 though–as you can tell from my video–I wasn’t terribly successful.

‘Enemy’ and ‘The Double’ Trailers

I don’t usually reserve one parking space for two vehicles in this ‘Trailer Park,’ though when two movies, on a superficial level, cover similar ground, Why not?

Is there something going on, or is it just coincidence that two movies are coming out that involve people who happen to have doubles.

First is Denis Villeneuve‘s “Enemy,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal, where Adam Bell (Gyllenhaal) gets caught up in the life of Anthony St. Claire (Gyllenhaal) who happens to look exactly like him.

There’s also Richard Ayoade‘s “The Double,” which stars Jesse Eisenberg, whom plays Simon.  The problems appear to start when he discovers that he has a double, James, who’s presence is driving him insane.

Ayoade’s film is based upon Fyodor Dostoevsky‘s novella of the same name–which I haven’t read, though I am willing to bet money at some point in both films a double tries to replace the other person.

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