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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:

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 Review (2017) | Yet Another Gem of Marvel

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 is as fun as its previous installment was, or maybe a tad less. But it remains entertaining nevertheless. It tries to answer the speculations we had about who is Peter Quill’s Dad. The flick also forms the basis of the entire story of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. It seems to be drifting away from the absolute rampaging hoot the first part was, yes, but when you have a story to tell, it’s a price one is willing to pay.

The movie drives its crosshairs to all its character giving them proper screen time to prove their mettle on numerous occasions. But the ultimate hero remains none other than the antihero Yondu Udonta, the whistling blue alien, with a badass flying arrow. It is him, his one Godly fight of reprisal, his acceptance, and his sacrifice that serve as the cardinal crux of the flick. Then it was also a great allusion to tell everyone about what a Celestial is, and what is it capable of.

Plot of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (Spoilers Ahead)

Guardians of the Galaxy sequel returns with a whole set of new forgotten songs never forgetting the real importance of music in the life of Quill. More importantly it does not forget its humour as it starts off with Baby Groot dancing off to a song unfazed by what’s going on while in the backdrop remaining Guardians are trying hard to defeat an inter-dimensional monster.

Baby Groot is akin to a baby whom they are supposed to look after until and unless he grows up, of course, to do some actual damage. So he remains his own dumbed down version for the better part of the flick, cracking us up good with his childlike understanding.

image of baby groot in guardians of the galaxy vol 2

Rocket is just trying to be well, himself, when he steals some important batteries right under the nose of Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki), who had hired them to kill the monster in exchange for Nebula. Ayesha the leader of the Sovereign Race then sends thousands of drones to kill them. But the Guardians are saved a mysterious figurine riding a spaceship.

Gamora: A little one inch man saved us?

Rocket: Well, if he got closer I’m sure he’d be much larger.

Peter: That’s how eyesight works, you stupid raccoon.

On the crash site they encounter Ego played by Kurt Russell, who introduces himself to be Peter’s dad. He has a pet called Mantis (Pom Klementieff) who is later revealed to have powers of an empath and is kept around to soothe Ego to sleep.

Yondu and Rocket’s Escape

Meanwhile, Ayesha hires Yondu Udonta who has been exiled from his greater Ravagers community and is desperate to earn his name and get back on the saddle. He, along with a bunch of Ravagers find the stranded ship and capture Rocket. A mutiny breaks and Nebula steps in to decapitate Yondu by shooting the fin on his head. One of the ravagers called Taserface (Chris Sullivan) begins to lead the team of Ravagers by capturing Yondu’s ship and imprisoning both Rocket and Yondu, leaving Baby Groot to stray around.

I am so sorry. I just keep imagining you waking up in the morning, start looking in the mirror and all seriously say to yourself. You know what would be a really kick-ass name, Taserface!

Nebula leaves the ship to avenge the misdeeds carried out on her by her father Thanos owing to Gamora’s self-seeking glory.

With the help of Baby Groot and Yondu’s loyalist Kraglin, Yondu and Rocket manage to kill everyone aboard (watch out for that deadly arrow!) and escape. It is hands down one of those rare moments to remember in the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 movie.

Ego the Planet

The secondary parallel running story is about Ego, Peter Quill’s dad, who explains what he is all about. He expounds that he is a God-like entity Celestial who is nothing but an immortal and who has manipulated matter around himself to create a breathing planet with his brain at its core.

Taking a human shape Ego had travelled across the universe to beat his loneliness and discover his purpose. That’s when he had come across Peter Quill’s mother Meredith on Earth. Peter was consummated then however he was forced to leave her to pursue his purpose. He had asked Yondu to deliver Peter to him, but Yondu had kept him to himself. Ever since that he had been constantly looking for Peter. Ego teaches him little tricks to channel and manipulate Celestial power since he was Ego’s true lineage.

On the same planet Gamora is attacked by Nebula and a fight ensues. In an awkward twist of fate they both end up rekindling their lost sisterhood. They find skeletal remains in the caverns of the planet smelling something fishy going on.

You can order Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 movie here:

The Ugly Plan

Ego one way or the other proves himself to be exactly what its moniker insinuates it to be. In an attempt to bring Peter to his side, he tells him about how he had planted countless seedlings across different worlds and that it would take him another celestial to activate them. Activating them would create extensions of Ego in different worlds through terraforming. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 depicts a blob like thing consuming planets when Ego forcefully activates the seedlings using Peter as a source.

It is revealed that Ego was responsible for conceiving countless women all across the galaxy just to create extensions of himself, and he sent Yondu to retrieve the children to activate his seedlings, later killing them owing to them turning out to be failures. On realizing that it was Ego who had put a tumour in his mother’s head just because love was distracting him from his purpose, Peter Quill attacks Ego.

Meanwhile Mantis spills out Ego’s plans to Drax, Nebula and Gamora, who then join the alliance to help Peter Quill.

When you’re ugly and someone loves you, it means they love you for who you are.

The Final Showdown

Rocket, Yondu and Baby Groot arrive just in time to abate the punishing onslaught of Ego as they search for his brain inside the planet’s core. Ayesha’s army of droids arrive too causing a minor discomfort in their plans to kill Ego. Rocket creates a bomb with Ayesha’s batteries and has a hard time coaxing Groot to push the right button when it’s planted near Ego’s brain.

Peter uses his Celestial powers to save the remaining team by fighting Ego with all his might, as Kraglin approaches with Yondu’s ship for extraction. The bomb goes off killing Ego and disintegrating the planet in the process. Yondu sacrifices himself for Peter Quill. Peter realizes Yondu was simply trying to save him from being delivered to Ego and that’s why keeping him away from his true parentage, saving him from getting killed.

I told Gamora how when I was a kid I used to pretend David Hasselhoff was my dad. He’s a singer and actor from earth, really famous guy. Yondu didn’t have a talking car, but he did have a flying arrow. He didn’t have a beautiful voice of an angel, but he did have the whistle of one. Both Yondu and David Hasselhoff went on kick-ass adventures and hooked up with hot women, and fought robots. I guess David Hasselhoff did kinda end up being my dad after all, only it was you, Yondu.

When Guardians hold a funeral for Yondu, The Ravagers from all across the Universe come to pay tribute. The sacrifice Yondu was so huge that they revere him for that by showing up.

Post-Credit Scenes

In a post credit scene we see Stakar Ogord (Sylvester Stallone) reuniting with his ex-team inspired by Yondu. It appears we have another group in the making.

Kraglin picks up Yondu’s fin and arrow, clearly stating that the badass power is going to be his in the future sequels.

image of yondu with kraglin in Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2We find Ayesha looking for a proper revenge by creating something mysterious in a huge box. On being asked what it is she has to say:

That, my child, is the next step in our evolution. More powerful, more beautiful – more capable of destroying the Guardians of the Galaxy. I think I shall call him… Adam.

It is an allusion at Adam Warlock, another amazing Marvel character, who we might have the good hap of seeing in the long run. In one of the fun scenes of the movie Howard the Duck is shown once again. I think he is being toyed with for cameos so far. Stan Lee shows up once again with his cameo with The Watchers this time. It seems to make a curt remark as if it is Stan Lee filling them with the knowledge about his MCU. Some consider him to be a Watcher himself? Whaaaa….?

The Final Verdict

After watching Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 you realize the real hero of this movie was none other than Yondu. With an apt way to depart him from the future stories, which I think wasn’t at all necessary, (Why so soon?) the movie tries to draw out its emotional factor. But since its drama is always interposed by someone’s witty remark, a jest, or Baby Groot cuteness, it fails to charge up the melodramatic enclave it wished to go on, and eventually things kind of seem like a stretch.

Nevertheless Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 turns out to be simply amazing owing to the fun factor it trundles on, the choice of music it picks every now and then, the proper screen time it lets each of the superheroes have, and its brilliant direction.

Check out the trailer of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 here:

Spectre Review (2015) | Sam Mendes Embellishes James Bond Yet Again

Spectre is yet another exquisite icing to the renowned double agent’s tale. The grandeur of James Bond returns with Sam Mendes’s enthralling direction.

“To liars and killers. To liars and killers everywhere.”

SAM MENDES AND BOND CONNECTION

It’s official. Sam Mendes is the only person who does immaculate refined justice to Bond. It is so great to see him handle such colossal projects. Three years ago, he had done a similar job of primping and preening the Bond who was jackhammered into the debris of Solace. With the right kind of posture, demeanour and mien, he had in his mind for a Bond of our dreams, Mendes’ protagonist soared to an unimaginable level. So he created Bond, a man with the right words, the right class and the right air.

still of james bond wearing spectre mask

The depth in his eyes when he seeks love, the fearless fluent proclamations he bears on his lips when he faces his enemies, his unique flamboyant flair, and the way he walks adjusting his cuffs. Ooh! So filled with pizzazz! Daniel Craig hits a home run with every minute detail that’s asked of him to master a Bond of style. He will stand tall as one of the best Bonds to have ever walked on the big screen.

BLAST FROM THE PAST

Writers of Spectre do a fair job of revisiting the forgotten by punching in faces from the past to shake up an already stirred Bond. However, it is hard to shake him up. This is Bond we are talking about. Craig looks more focused, fearless and more relentless than ever in Spectre movie.

Spectre is one of the most realistic movies to have ever been made in the Bond saga. Even whilst Bond shoots pawns of Blofeld, he does so by sitting, crouching and aiming before taking the shot. He takes into account the distance factor, which seems quite plausible when you compare it to past Bond movies. He has a story to unfurl which moves at quite an interesting pace. (I don’t know why some found it lengthy!)

still of spectre movie daniel craig and lea seydoux

Christoph Waltz is brilliant as Blofeld too. His villainy is soothing, calm never leaving its walls of perversion. He has a badass voice that he carries superbly throughout his ephemeral act.

We have a side plot led by Andrew Scott which runs parallel to the story. Sam Mendes tries really hard to juggle both stories and endeavours to hold them in the same basket, but barely manages to succeed at that. Somehow I feel, the director could have done a better job weaving it more brilliantly.

BEAUTIFUL SCENES (SPOILERS AHEAD):

There are extremely beautiful bits in the movie that come to my mind when I think of it. Like the one where Bond wakes up to the silencing commotion of a mouse. He points the gun at it and says,

“Who are you working for?”

I think watching Bond sandwiched between M and Swann was brilliantly shot. It was quite poetic if you really look at it. At one side, there were “saving-the-world-shoes” to fill, whilst at the other end there was freedom and the love of his life gawking at him with hopeful eyes. Right at the middle, the author of his pain asked him to shoot him. As Swann had said before life gives you choices. Bond was faced with a choice to kill and not to kill, and of course, to choose a side. To Blofeld’s beseeching command to kill him, he empties his barrel and says,

“I would if I had bullets.”

and starts walking towards Swann. He chooses “to stop.” What a beautiful way to go!

One of the most daring acts of Bond in the flick is when he rams and tries to scooch a plane amidst a narrow path surrounded by trees. He stops at nothing whilst chasing. So he has proven in the beginning chase scene of Casino Royale. Another one of course, walking into the lion’s den eventually, which was both bold and stupid at the same time. But hey, we are talking Bond here!

still of Dave Bautista in Spectre movie by Sam Mendes

The beginning of the flick is outrageously rad too. The cameras that walk alongside Bond as he strolls through Mexican streets, to a hotel room, then scales beside him till he reaches his target, every bit of it has been gorgeously captured. Action is top-notch as well. Watch out for the Bautista train duel. Perfetto!

Grab a Blu-Ray DVD of Spectre here:

SCORE OF THE JAMES BOND MOVIE

Another thing that you would notice is its score. So bloody brilliant! Thomas Newman makes the music so beautiful and badass that it’s hard not to notice it. Before deciding to watch Spectre, mark this on your checklist: Choose a theatre you love for its sound. Right from the Mexican beats, to Sam Smith’s marvelous song, to soothing violins, everything downright impeccable!

Sam Mendes frames exceptional panorama as he ranges down beautiful landscapes all across the globe. The photography and the cinematography can’t be overlooked here. Simply outstanding!

This movie is a perfect Craig-Bond tribute. Go bid your adieus! (Only if this is Daniel Craig’s last movie)

You can check out the trailer of Spectre movie here: