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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:

Logan Movie Review (2017) | Perfect Wolverine Homage as Hugh Jackman Rests his Claws

What a way to go! We knew Logan movie was going to be Hugh Jackman’s last as the badass superhero. So finally he rests his claws, and that too with a grandeur and reverence that a guy like him deserves. 17 years! 17 years of service as the guy we can’t imagine Wolverine without.

Even before heading to the cinema hall we knew it was going to be heavy. The trailer had already implied so, and so it was. Logan movie is imaged in a dystopian world wherein there are few mutants left. We are given an inkling that something bad has happened and it is the aftermath of all that emotional trauma where Wolverine is struggling to thrive in.

Logan has a deathwish on his mind. He coughs, bleeds, limps and is affected by his own adamantium which is failing him gradually making him old and vulnerable. It is a gradual decline and we know where we are headed but there is one final mission for him to be useful one more time before succumbing to his grave.

Direction of Logan Movie

James Mangold returns with the final version of The Wolverine franchise, and he simply nails it this time. His direction retains ample focus, provides you perspective around what’s going on and has the right gravitas in it to make you connect instantly with the protagonist. At the same time, you can’t appreciate the makeup artists enough, who projected this shriveled image of Logan who looks old, tattered and yet quite spectacular.

You can’t help but feel sorry for him when you see him gradually withering away, becoming one of time’s many puppets, and headed towards an imminent downfall. The way he coughs, the way he walks, and the way he portrays the quintessential “Old Man Logan”, could easily beat any other dramatic actor of any genre to pulp any day. And James Mangold gives him all the right angles making the movie one helluva visual delight.

Dafne Keen as Laura Kinney

Dafne Keen is hands down amazing in Logan Movie! She acts beautifully steering X-23 to perfection. There’s a fighter in her, there’s defiance in her, and it’s not just in her blades. She dons savagery like a medal. And then you cannot overlook her cuteness either. She is simply brilliant with her fun acts too. Be it be wearing a cool glass, swaying on a mechanical horse or walking into the sea of Reavers casually holding a head in her hand. She perfects every act without saying a word. It, in a way, betrays her meanness.

still of Daphne Keen as X-23 Laura Kinney in Logan Movie

The gore is simply breathtaking and is enjoyable when you see the father-daughter combo go for the kill. You can see those blades light up bald heads, and when they seriously damage a bloke beyond recovering adrenaline doesn’t know how to stop. It’s all in all a visual feast for the eyes.

You can buy Logan from here:

Plot of Logan Movie (Spoilers)

We start off in a dystopian future where Logan has taken refuge in a forlorn land taking care of an old and sick Charles Xavier. Logan’s a chauffeur now driving a Chrysler he cares about, looking for prescription drugs to get by. He has Caliban, a tracker at his aid to take care of Professor X, and they are hiding at a smelting plant in Mexico.

Transigen has somehow managed to wipe out a lot of mutants through a deadly virus, and we are to believe that somehow Charles holds himself responsible for it. Even though we aren’t served the backstory, we are only left to ponder that part.

Logan is contacted by Gabriela who used to work for Transigen. She is keen on sending Laura Kinney, a child mutant to a place called Eden, and needs Logan’s help in order to do that. At about the same time, he is contacted by Donald Pierce played convincingly well by Boyd Holbrook who wants Logan to help him locate Laura. When Logan tries to help Gabriela instead, Donald Pierce comes with Reavers, an army of enforcers, to capture her.

It is there where we discover she is a mutant and is an advanced version of Wolverine in terms of superpowers. A fight ensues and they (Logan, Charles and Laura) manage to escape the onslaught.

The Relationship

Later, Logan discovers Laura to be his daughter through a video that Gabriela had made explaining X-23 origins. He finds out she was made with his own DNA. That there were other children too who had managed to escape.

With Transigen on their toes, the trio are forced to constantly stay on the run. Donald Pierce is holding Caliban captive via which he is able to track Logan’s whereabouts. But Caliban is secretly helping Logan to stay one step ahead.

That’s when we find X-24, a genetically enhanced version of Wolverine, barging in at a house they were staying at. X-24 looks exactly the same as Wolverine only younger, better and faster. He was created for the sheer purpose of hunting mutant children. He comes for Laura, kills Charles in the process and the entire family who had given refuge to them, before being rammed by Will Munson‘s truck.

still of Hugh Jackman as Logan in Logan Movie

With Xavier gone, the man Logan really cared about, we find him feeling shattered and broken. He refuses to help Laura to make it to Eden, which he believed to be a mere made up excerpt from a Comic Book, but when her obstinacy can’t be reasoned with he agrees to help her. They head to Eden, while Laura does most of the driving.

Eden – A Temporary Safe Haven

On reaching there, realizing Eden wasn’t a mere fantasy and that it was a hideout for all those escaped children, he realizes he was wrong about it before passing out. His adamantium and injuries exacerbate beyond limit, and takes a toll on him. He finds out the true plan of the children from Rictor, the leader. They were to cross the Canadian borders to safety. Logan asks Laura to be a part of them.

When the children are making that journey, Donald arrives with his Reavers to hunt them down. He had found a photograph Laura used to keep, behind which the Eden coordinates were written. A very dodgy and vulnerable Logan then finds a Mutant serum. Consuming it expedites his healing quotient temporarily.

We see him one more time in one of his badass previous avatars, where he used to go on a slay-spree. Soon, however, the serum wears off, when he encounters Dr. Zander Rice who reveals himself to be Dale Rice‘s son who was killed by Wolverine while trying to escape the Weapon X program. Logan shoots him before encountering X-24 once again.

Donald Pierce, on the other hand, is subdued by the mutant children. X-24 is eventually killed by Laura with an adamantium bullet that Logan used to keep for himself. Before dying, however, X-24 impales Logan badly injuring him against a tree branch.

With his inability to quickly recuperate like he used to, he ends up dying owing to his unhealed wounds. Laura bids his grave adieu turning the cross sign on his grave to represent the X from X-Men. With that the curtain closes.

The Final Verdict

Logan movie shouldn’t be missed for the world. It pays excellent tribute to a guy we loved and revered over the years. It goes on to show how Marvel is capable of everything. Making even a dark movie with a gloomy theme.

For some, the flick might be a tad slow, when Logan keeps falling to despondency every now and then, and often dozing off owing to fatigue. But I think that’s one of those crucial parts that helps the audience to stay connected with the character and empathize with him fully.

I think ours is one of those golden eras where we got to see Hugh Jackman embellish Wolverine. He is, was and will be, hands down one of the best Wolverines we ever saw on screen. No matter what happens in the future, it would be certainly hard for us to imagine someone else fill Logan’s shoes.

Go on and watch the movie even if you aren’t a Wolverine fan, because this one right here is how superhero movies should be helmed.

You can check out the trailer of Logan movie here: