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Blade Runner 2049 Review (2017) | Denis Villeneuve Pays a Fitting Homage

Blade Runner 2049 is a powerful tribute, a fitting sequel to the 1982 blockbuster Blade Runner. The stakes were already high when there were talks of a sequel to a masterpiece, but when Denis Villeneuve‘s name was tacked to the project the world resounded with a sigh of relief. The good news is that he delivers. What a rad stunner!

To witness an eye-boggling dystopian world which has clearly uplifted Ridley Scott‘s version with everything technology could afford is beyond compare. Visuals are literally and figuratively out of the world as Denis uses his fastidious eye to aggrandize every frame.

The movie is paced really slow like a good and genuine thriller, a fact some might not have liked. I swear I heard a lot of people snoring in the theatres which makes me think, maybe the movie could have been edited or paced up a little bit. On a personal level, I think I liked its gait. The way it moves, letting us get in sync with its story, helping us chug wheels of imagination alongside the protagonist are some of the good virtues make it delectable.

Direction of Blade Runner 2049

Denis Villeneuve’s a true magician. The way he weaves his frames is a lesson for budding directors. Creating scenes that are inimitable from angles that aggrandize a situation. Everything is so tasteful that you realize that his frames are quite simple to helm which many fail terribly at. His brain’s simply peerless. There’s so much beauty lurking there; it’s an honour living in his era.

K played by Ryan Gosling in Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049 is a product of his brain that goes through his gorgeous filters. There’s an arresting aura about all of the characters chosen to star in the flick, and Denis plays with them like a pro he is.

Prolonged shots of the protagonist hovering over the dystopian world, an action sequence played out by silhouettes, or resurrecting the same old hide and seek tension that we had seen in the prequel, using a distorted fragmented piece of music to play in the backdrop or a shot showing a cold-blooded murder by placing the camera outside a window pane for effect are some of the shots that fill you with awe.

The music he chooses to blare is simply powerful. It becomes deafening at times, however never fails to complement his imposing frames. In a way talking about the impending impact just like he used it gorgeously in Arrival.

Writing and Orgasmic Visuals

Hampton Fancher (the guy who wrote the first one) and Michael Green do a fabulous job of creating a winning story. Keeping the memorable character of Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) as the nub of the story, they weave a tale that’s unlike others we have seen. With a revelation that will blow your mind away, not once but twice, the movie persuasively and successfully houses a seriously good thriller in its womb.

Pain reminds you the joy you felt was real.

The screenplay takes you back in time with Fancher bringing most of his lost mojo back on paper. The wisdom that escapes Niander Wallace (Jared Leto) trickles down like honey, and you realize, the guy makes so much sense.

All the courage in the world cannot alter fact.

The Visuals team do a fabulous job of creating something really unworldly. With countless prepossessing panoramic shots to bedazzle us, the movie literally picks us up and puts us in a dystopian future. Deserted lands look unlike anything we have seen so far.

The Theme and Plot of Blade Runner 2049 Movie

The theme of the movie is centered around these very lines spoken by Lt. Joshi (Robin Wright):

The world is built in a wall that separates kind. Tell either side there’s no wall, you have bought a war or a slaughter.

Can a replicant become pregnant? If so there would be no demarking lines to separate humans from replicants. When K (Ryan Gosling) bumps into a case like that he is asked to keep something so colossal under wraps, and to take care of it before it goes out in the open.

The case ends up unwinding into something we don’t expect, and it is a convoluted tale that keeps getting better with every reveal.

Ryan Gosling as K (Spoilers)

The story is run from K’s perspective. Ryan Gosling, who by the way is a “tin job” blade runner, is a guy who accidentally comes across a secret that gnaws at his soul. It is hidden deep down his memory lane.

I have memories, but I can’t tell if they’re real.

He gets on top of the case, the good Nexus-9 officer he is, and visits Wallace Corp. to identify the DNA he had discovered to be that of Rachael. Yes, the replicant from the first part. She was the girl pregnant with the child of Rick Deckard.

Who keeps a dead tree?

You can order Blade Runner 2049 from here:

The Memory Maker

While trying to solve the puzzle of his life, the memory K keeps on witnessing is that of a child trying to hide a sculpted horse in a warehouse as bullies beat him up for the toy. The horse has the same date he saw on Rachael’s grave.

Tagging it as his own memory, and to reconfirm the fact K how much of it is real, K decides to visit a memory maker named Dr. Ana Stelline.

Dr. Ana Stelline Memory Creator in Blade Runner 2049

Ana is the best in the memory business who makes really convincing memories. From her he gathers that the memory he had been witnessing is none other than his own.

Someone lived this, yeah. It happened.

With that, he identifies the child that he was looking for to be none other than him. Whilst it’s a disclosure that feels like something you see coming, it gets answered soon with a final revelation that’s even bigger than the one you were being smug about.

Rick Deckard

With Blade Runner 2049 hitting the theatres, it was crystal clear upfront that Rick was the hero we all wished to see resurrected. Though not the protagonist of this story, the movie manages to preserve the integrity of the cherishable protagonist from the prequel. Harrison Ford reprises his role as Rick Deckard. And it does so really smartly something that doesn’t involve killing his character, unlike what we had to see in Star Wars Force Awakens.

Dick and K fighting in Blade Runner 2049

The force is strong in him as we see him throw the first punch followed by a couple others eyeing K as a threat. Despite the weird dissecting noise there, the scene amplifies automatically owing to the naturalistic vibes that it tags along.

K establishes Rick as his father, as Rick tells him that he had to leave the child for his own good.

Sometimes to love someone, you got to be a stranger.

He was hanging around when a replicant sent by Wallace named as Luv (Sylvia Hoeks) rams in unannounced taking away Rick with him and leaving  K kaput.

You really are the best angel. Aren’t you, Luv?

The Replicant Freedom Movement

When K wakes up Freysa (Hiam Abbass), the leader of the Replicant Freedom Movement asks K to kill Deckard so as to stop Wallace from knowing their whereabouts and saving Deckard’s “daughter”. Mind = Blown!

It’s a huge revelation for K who had been considering himself to be Deckard’s child all this time. But he figures out that it was Selline who was, in fact, Deckard and Rachael’s child that it was her memories that were implanted in him. Ana Selline was really good at her job and hence her memories in his head seemed very real to him.

Dying for the right cause. It’s the most human thing we can do.

With hopes to save Rick from the hands of Wallace who had plans to extract information so that he could progress with his colonization plans, K intercepts his transfer to the off-world. He bumps into Luv again as a fight ensues. Finally, he manages to drown her saving Rick in the process. Staging him as dead, K goes on to do the right thing. He takes Rick Deckard to Stelline for a father-daughter reunion.

It’s very clever to keep yourself empty of information, and all it cost to you was everything.

We see K badly wounded, resting on the stairs slowly succumbing to a probable death. He is feeling the snowflakes on his hand wondering, how for a second he had thought he was real, and what joy it had brought him.

Joi – the Holographic AI

K is in love with his AI holographic girlfriend Joi (Ana De Armas) who is realistic enough to show him a good time. She’s a pleasant companion to have. The technology we see in the movie is simply alluring.

It goes on to capture a transition, an upgrade too, with Joi moving from being trapped in a single room to experiencing the very first thing she wishes to experience – rain. It is then followed by her second most desirable thing – K.

A child. Of woman born. Pushed into the world. Wanted. Loved.

Some of the scenes where we see her network being affected in a crash site with all the lags and glitches are just amazingly done.

Laced in one of the high points of the movie is Joi’s fate. We see her lights being shut down as K burns in disgruntled air helplessly. She had named him Joe when K was busy figuring out his true identity to be akin to humans.

All the best memories are hers.

At a later point, we see K coming to terms with what Joi was all about. At the end of the day, she was nothing but a Wallace advertised product made insanely real.

Blade Runner 2049 movie still of Joi and Joe

Her advertisement calls him Joe venting a series of thoughts inside K’s head. His trance shatters as he accepts her true love to be a sham, another lie Wallace had created to mess with his head.

Luv: I see you are one of our clients. I hope you are satisfied with our product.

K: It’s very….realistic.

Niander Wallace

We see Jared Leto in another convincing performance as Niander Wallace in Blade Runner 2049. The bloke’s blind as a bat but he could see everything using the technology that he has built for himself, and such genius he is.

Every leap of civilization was built on the back of a disposable workforce, but I can only make so many.

He poses as an immensely intellectual villain (I guess we are going to remember him for the rest of our lives). The way he talks and the way he presents the character is simply astounding.

I can see it. As clear as dreaming. He loves her.

There are many other amazing things about the movie as well. About AI we see something very similar to what we had seen in the outstanding 2013 drama Her. One of the most memorable bits in that area is the syncing bit. There’s an apparent lag that we see while AI syncs with human which is a scene that’s beautifully fabricated. It makes you marvel at technology.

Then there was that astonishing scene of the one that literally resurrects Rachael back from the dead. Such beautiful VFX!

Her eyes were green.

The Final Verdict

Blade Runner 2049 movie’s true thrill lies in its proper nerve-racking narration. Even though its pace might not be something today’s fast-moving world is up for, it is a fantastic gem that shouldn’t be missed for the world.

It is a movie that tells you what geniuses are made of. You realize that artistry lies in every aspect of cinema right from the visuals team to the direction, to the cinematography and the writing. It is a combined extraordinary effort of the whole team who make this movie a worthy hoot.

Check out the trailer of Blade Runner 2049 here:

War Dogs Review (2016) | Smart, Witty and Fun | A Tad Unscrupulous

War Dogs is a crime biopic made thoroughly exciting by its cast. I have always enjoyed watching a Todd Phillips movie. It doesn’t rip you apart with humour alone but also thrives on a great theme throughout, primarily with a story that makes every bit delectable. The bottom-line is that there is always something to look up to in his frames, and that makes the imminent, full of promises.

War Dogs is no different. The biopic though fictionalized beyond limit to scooch in theatrics, comes out as an enjoyable piece that shatters doors of gravitas to bring that smile to your face. What work for the movie are hands down mind-boggling performances by its duo, and its uncanny witty theme. Where at one hand, Jonah Hill makes his character one of the most cherishable ones ever, Miles Teller cannot certainly be overlooked either with his riveting gazing mien that brings profundity to the cinema. Both of them, with their dynamic chemistry together, make War Dogs a fun yet intriguing watch.

PLOT OF WAR DOGS

The plot is basically an intensified theatrical look into the lives of Efraim Diveroli and David Packouz. With David joining his high school friend Efraim in his pursuit to supply arms and ammunition to the US army, the movie gets into the fine detailing of how their jobs were pulled off. It is a sheer mockery of the then existent feeble policies of US that saw opportunists getting their hands warm in the Iraq and Afghanistan fire.

War Dogs begins with a brilliant diegetic tone from David’s perspective, and delves into the story of David’s life even before he meets Efraim.

“War is an economy. Anybody who tells you otherwise is either in on it or stupid.”

War Dogs is divided into various chapters with lines of crises from its own screenplay for chapter names. Each section gives away what is about to happen which isn’t actually the best way of storytelling to be honest. It takes out that element of surprise of what’s coming from it. But you have to give it to Todd for his creativity to weave Guy Lawson’s Rolling Stone article “Arms and the Dudes” into something tangible.

At one point when you almost begin to think, if War Dogs is just meant to caper all along on its fun theme, the movie proves you wrong almost instantly. You see it enter deeper waters. Drama becomes impactful and you realize all that hourly fun of awesomeness is heading straight for the deep muck they had signed their checks for. Dramatics come galloping then and it levels the movie with its theatrics giving it a perspective and a direction.

DOWNSIDES OF WAR DOGS (SPOILERS INCLUSIVE)

If you stare hard at the downsides of War Dogs you will see how much of the detailing have actually been overlooked. To show you what you wish to see, a lot of the backdrop is made to disappear in your subconsciousness. A city in despair doesn’t feel like it when you visit it through Todd’s fun frames. There is no real tension you perceive. It wasn’t intended to get serious at any point, I surmise.

Also, you can say the same by looking at the character Iz played by Ana de Armas. Tension is not allowed to transpire at all. She ends up becoming nothing but a nagging wife.

still of ana de armas as Iz in War Dogs movie

War Dogs also elongates the Iraq visit too much, creating dispensable humour for one Dick Cheney’s America scene, which seemed quite unnecessary. It feels like Todd might have had some extra time frames to cover or might have ran out of substance. So, he creates something that actually didn’t happen.

I really wished a profound character came along to show the perpetrators what they were actually dealing with. Why war is not what they think what it is. The gravity of working with elements of chaos as if they were playthings of a child; I think it was important to show them the misery they were offering.

They get a poetic justice in the end, which was nicely wrapped up. A surprise visit by Henry Girard played by Bradley Cooper, who prefers wearing sunglasses, felt justified on the levels of David’s morality. But when the question is posed about Bashkim’s whereabouts, Henry shuts him with money, thus leaving all his threads out in the open.still of bradley cooper as henry girard

CELEBRATING CRIME

At the end of it all, you have to understand, both Efraim Diveroli and David Packouz were really bad men. The way the movie gets manifested is as if what the actors were doing was a good thing. A context that its direction feeds you, and it is sad that something rogue and out of line like that gets celebrated.

You can’t help but notice how the movie only plays out on the vantage of David Packouz’s perspective. It puts him in the spotlight as a person who had a conscience whilst slaying Efraim’s brazen demeanour altogether. At what point in the movie does Efraim ever realize what he did was wrong? Well, never!

OTHER ASPECTS TO NOTICE

War Dogs is thoroughly entertaining. It has plenty of humour all of it coming from Jonah Hill’s natural knack for it. Miles Teller brings percipience to the story. It always gives us pleasure watching people get insanely rich. It brings smile to our faces, and that’s what primarily the movie tries to earn its green on for the better part. In the later part, we see the decline, which is a fit downhill ride anyway.

Oh and whatever happens, don’t ask Efraim the full form of AEY. Watch out for that bit!

SCREENPLAY OF WAR DOGS

The movie’s screenplay is abounding with beautiful lines, at times touching rare levels of contemplation.

“I miss not taking shit from anyone.”

Miles Teller’s diegesis continues throughout the flick dropping brilliant lines that transcends War Dogs altogether. Some lines are subtly put as well, leaving things for viewer’s imagination.

“No questions asked.”

THE FINAL VERDICT

It is hard not to compare War Dogs with the likes of Lord of War. What Andrew Niccol had created was undoubtedly and effortlessly smart, something you see War Dogs struggling with at numerous points. But it still manages to rope you in with Miles Teller’s rapt eyes and Jonah Hill’s engaging performance despite the theme movie tries to cash in on.

Despite, how good the movie turns out to be it still remains unscrupulous nevertheless.

still of jonah hill and miles teller high on weed joint in war dogs

What you would definitely take from this movie would be Jonah’s signature laugh; no doubt about that.

Check out the trailer of War Dogs movie here: