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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.

2017 Super Bowl Trailers I Genuinely Care About

Because let’s be honest, I have no one intention of seeing movies like Transformers:  The Last Knight because ‘Fool me twice, shame on you.  Fool me three times, shame on me.’

I also don’t particularly care about the Pirates of the Carribean movies either, because…pirates. 


Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 2 Super Bowl Trailer

What amazes me most about the trailers released thus far for James Gunn’s Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 2 is how Drax (Dave Bautista) manages to steal the show. This is all the more interesting when you take into account Rocket and Groot (a fifth of him, anyway) are back as well.


John Wick, Chapter 2

The original John Wick flew under my radar so efficiently you’d think the reels were smuggled to theaters via Stealth aircraft.  

Though clearly not everyone had the same issues because it marked a comeback of Shyamalan-ian proportions for Keanu Reeves, though my problem is always the same, namely I am fine with most of his performances, till he opens his mouth and whatever believability (and more important, credibility) he’s managed to build up to that point just dissipates. 


Ghost In The Shell Super Bowl Trailer

Looking at the last trailer for Ghost In The Shell I suspect my greatest problem with the movie will not be whitewashing but that I have seen the anime that the movies is based upon, and can already tell they’re going to frak things up (for instance, the trailer stresses the Major (Scarlett Johansson) searching for her identity, while I barely recall that being central to the plots of any of the episodes I have seen.


Logan Super Bowl Trailer

I haven’t seen it but I am already irritated withLogan. Reason being, you mean to tell me that it took Deadpooldoing really, really well with an R rating for some genius at Fox to figure out that a character who’s calling cards are razor-sharp Adamantium claws and a very short fuse perhaps isn’t well-suited for the under-17 set?

Silence – Official Trailer 1

Silence, the latest movie from Martin Scorsese, looks absolutely gorgeous, as the two images I have included from the trailer will attest to. 


My problem with the movie–sight unseen–are less with the auteur behind the camera than the subject matter, which revolves around two Catholiic missionaries, played by Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield, who head to Japan in search of one of their number who apparently vanished. 

Being Catholic missionaries, there is literally no way that they aren’t going to try to impose their beliefs on people that aren’t, shall we say, terribly receptive to them (at least initially). 

It’s likely where the central conflict of the movie stems, but the notion of having one’s beliefs forced upon others has always been a very touchy issue for me. 

Another sticking point is Adam Driver, who if he were anymore wooden, you could replace with Keanu Reeves and barely notice the difference 

Preacher – Teaser Trailer

Vertigo’s Hellraiser was a groundbreaker of sorts for DC Comics, which despite being adapted as a movie starring Keanu Reeves in 2005 and a television show in 2014 was never quite as successful as fans of the character would have wanted it to be.

Garth Ennis’–who also wrote Hellraiser for eight years–created Preacher, which was published in 1995.   Perhaps not surprisingly, it was of a similar vein to Hellraiser in many ways and also dealt with demons, angels and what it meant to be human.

And while it never quite–in comic form, at any rate–had the success of John Constantine, AMC apparently has enough faith in it that they’re willing to build a series around it.

It’s worth mentioning that there’s some validity to the perspective that, while cable series also have to deal with ratings, the threshold for success or failure isn’t quite the same as it is for network television.

Luckily for AMC they also have The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead, which are two of the most successful series on television on either regular television or cable, so even if Preacher isn’t all that they want it to be, they may have a bigger window for it to build an audience, unlike Constantine (which for some reason I refer to as Hellraiser, which is a Clive Barker-directed movie, as opposed to Hellblazer) which lasted only one year.

I actually have the first few issues of Preacher, but truth be told it was never one of my favorites (that honor goes to Shade: The Changing Man and Hellraiser, so I can’t tell how faithful the trailer is to the comic off the top of my head.

What Makes Sense8 Work

Sun

I’m on an email list from Deadline: Hollywood, so when I learned that Dominic Patton had reviewed the upcoming Netflix series, Sense8, from Larry and Lana Wachowski, I was immediatedly curious how he felt about it (especially coming off Jupiter Ascending).

Wolfgang

Patton really enjoyed it, which I have to admit surprised me; though what I found more interesting was the positive tone of the review, as well as his speculations about the weakness of their more recent output.

Then he stumbled upon the Answer:  J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5, Crusade, Thor, World War Z), created Sense8 with the Warchowskis.

Lito

He’s a writer that created shows like Babylon 5, Crusade, and many others, and I suspect was able to restrain the siblings tendencies toward psychobabble (try listening to the scene in The Matrix Revolutions when Neo (Keanu Reeves) is talking to the family in the subway station without wincing) and CGI excesses (Speed Racer would have probably been a much better movie with half the budget, forcing the filmmakers to make use of more actual sets and vehicles).

Riley

I won’t know for certain till the series premieres in two days, though I am really jazzed to find out what the Warchowskis and J. Michael Straczynski have wrought.

Capheus

Nomi

Will

Point Break (2015) – Trailer

The trailer for the upcoming Point Break. like Poltergeist, illustrates the problem with seemingly pointless remakes.  It actually looks pretty interesting, but as someone who’s seen the original, on some level I will always be comparing it, as opposed to just enjoying it for what it is.

And i don’t want that to be interpreted in ay way as saying that the original movie was such a cinema landmark, because it wasn’t; which reinforces why copying it is such a dubious exercise.

And while I have no idea who Luke Bracey is, he comes off–in this trailer, at any rate–as charisma-bereft as Keanu Reeves, so there’s at least that.

Knock, Knock – Trailer 1

Knock, Knock is the latest from Eli Roth and Keanu Reeves, and while I haven’t the movie, I already have a few misgivings.  The first being that Reeves doesn’t tend to do well in roles that call for any sort of romantic/emotional involvement with another human being, which might be at the core of this movie.

What immediately comes to mind is A Walk In The Clouds, the 1995 movie by Alfonso Arau which was almost painful to watch at times, particularly when Reeves, as Sgt. Paul Sutton, moved about so awkwardly in a scene when he was waving some fans about in a field (it was awhile ago, and all I recall were the romantic overtones of the scene, who fell very flat).

Or in The Devil’s Advocate, where Reeves was involved in a pretty unconvincing sex scene.

As long as he’s doing things that don’t require him to emote too much, he tends to be pretty reliable; though if the role does, then all bets are off.

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