Tag: Ryan Gosling

Blade Runner 2049

br2049It can’t be an easy task following up one of the most iconic films of all time.  Despite many millennials who decry the slow pace of Ridley Scott’s original Blade Runner, there is no denying its place in cinema’s pantheon.  It is a film that almost single-handedly brought about the modern sci-fi noir genre with a stunning rendition of Phillip K Dick’s dystopian novel. Its sequel, Blade Runner 2049, does not break from Dick’s existential treatise on what it means to be human and explores his pessimistic world further with a new set of characters.

As the title suggests, the film is set in 2049, thirty years on from its predecessor and focusses on Ryan Gosling’s character, a replicant (biologically artificial human) known only as “K”.  Working for the LAPD to hunt down illegal replicants, he stumbles upon a case that contains evidence that is oddly connected to his own artificial past.  It prompts K to investigate his own background; Are his artificial memories actually real? Is he in-fact human? The search for answers leads him down dark alleys filled with shady characters, wrong turns and misinformation—arriving eventually at the original Blade Runner’s protagonist, Deckard, played by Harrison Ford who turns in a surprisingly nuanced performance.

At one point K’s senior, Lieutenant Joshi (Robin Wright) comments “We’re all trying to find something real.”  It’s a seemingly throw-away comment, but nails Blade Runner 2049’s central thesis—at what point do we become a real human?  However, unlike Scott’s first Blade Runner, which critiques this subject matter through a haze of provocative ambiguities, Villeneuve’s film is, unfortunately, a little too obvious in its exposition.  Despite this, there is plenty to love about Blade Runner 2049’s style which allows ample opportunity to sit back and soak in the film’s visual and audible splendour care of music by Hans Zimmer and cinematography by the great Roger Deakins. Deakins, who is probably the greatest cinematographer working today, could frame a polar bear in a snowstorm and still deliver colour and depth. Here, he has done a wonderful job working around what must be the constant bugbear of cinematographers today; digital effects.  With 2049, he has worked his camera among the digital fakery with aplomb. It doesn’t have the heft of Scott’s pre-digital original, but it’s the next best thing.

Blade Runner 2049 falls short of the masterpiece that was envisaged. It is a very clever film but doesn’t capture the mystery and ambiguous wonderment of its predecessor.  And although it’s difficult not to make comparisons, 2049 feels like a replicant of its original … which perhaps is quite appropriate given the subject matter.
 

You can see my published reviews here.

Camping, Drive, and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly – reviews

One weeks camping and two films the richer. While I was away I watched two films, Drive and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. While the former is a current and oft talked about film that I was eager to see, the latter is a film that I have been struggling to motivate myself to watch since its release five years ago. Both films I found very rewarding to watch in their own different ways. One an exhilarating sensory ride, and the other an insightful film that says a lot more about the human condition. You can see my review of Drive here, and my mini-review of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly here.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly – 2007
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Drive – 2011

Crazy, Stupid, Love

Saw Crazy, Stupid, Love last night. Hmmm … not a very good film. But then again I didn’t really expect it to be. So why did I watch it? Well it was a “couch night” with Seema (my wife) and I. She wanted to watch something “nice”, which usually means a romcom (or chick flick). Every now and then you’ll strike good one. Not on this occasion. I thought with Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling starring, this film might’ve climbed out of my pit of pessimistic expectations. Sure we had the odd giggle, but on the whole it was your usual corny romcom pap that in a years time will be lost in the oblivion of similar films. Not without regrets though as a film like this does wonders to my appreciation for good cinema, and of course a night in, watching any film with Seema, is time well spent!