Blade Runner 2049 (Review)

Blade Runner 2049 (Review)

So I noticed that the wikipedia page for this movie doesn’t mention Ana de Armas’ character in the plot summary at all.  Someone should fix that.

If someone asks you what cyberpunk is, you point them to Blade Runner.  It was the film that defined what cyberpunk was, and always made one think about what exactly it means to be human.  And like any true fan, I was wary of any supposed sequel to the classic film.

Well, fear not.  This film is better than the original.  Seriously.  It takes what was so great about the original and expands on it.  The world of Blade Runner feels more real and more fleshed out.  Denis Villeneuve has such an eye for visuals that every shot is beautiful to look at.  Ryan Gosling shines in his subdued acting that he excels at.  The slow pacing is a style of movie that I enjoy greatly.

Which is why it pains me to say it but there are parts of the film that don’t work for me.  For one thing, the film is overtly sexist.  Women pretty much only serve as passengers for the men, to be used or ignored and aren’t really allowed to have their own story.  Ana de Armas’ character Joi is quite literally a hologram that Ryan Gosling’s character has that becomes whoever he wants her to be.

I’m still struggling with this aspect because the sexism blends so neatly into the dystopian world of Blade Runner that its hard to separate the two.  Of course this world is sexist.  The replicants are only considered products to be bought and used as the humans wish.  Property and slaves.

The major problem I have with the film concerns the third act and it’s complete lack of focus.  There are stories that have a neat beginning, middle and end for this movie but for one storyline, they are definitely leaving it up in the air for a potential sequel and it made the ending extremely jarring for me.  Build up with no pay off.  Plus, Jared Leto, for all his part in the film, doesn’t really amount to anything.

Which is not to say I didn’t enjoy the movie immensely.  It is by far one of the greatest films ever made, even with it’s flaws.  It’s beautiful and thought provoking with many hours in the future going to be spent thinking about what exactly was watched.

Advertisements

It (Review)

It (Review)

God, I told myself I wouldn’t watch this film.

I generally don’t do horror movies.  I don’t like feeling startled (not scared, startled), and I find most horror movies today relish in blood and gore instead of trying to make you feel scared.  I typically don’t like jump scares since all they really do is startle you, not scare you.  This in turn actually tends to hurt movies because since your heart is racing ahead of time during a jump scare, the next few parts that are supposed to be more terrifying aren’t that scary because you’re still coming down from the previous scare.

Enter It.  A movie adaptation of a book that gave me nightmares belonging to a genre that I don’t go out of my way to watch.  So, why did I like this It so much?

By all accounts, a great majority of the film is jump scare after jump scare.  We follow a group of kids who are battling a clown-creature known only as Pennywise the Clown, the titular It.  Before they can do battle, however, they each have to experience being terrified and hunted by It in their own way.  What tends to follow is a one kid getting terrified by It, followed immediately by another kid getting terrified by It and then a few minutes of character development and then back to terrifying the next kid in line.  It got to the point where, as I mentioned before, I was starting to feel numb to the scares.  Don’t get me wrong, they are absolutely terrifying, but as I got used to the movie, I got used to the scares and they stopped scaring me so much.

Perhaps this was intentional in order for we the audience can follow the growth of the kids who learn to master their own fears.  Ultimately, the main reason I liked this movie so much was the bond these kids have with each other.  They are each played wonderfully and play off each other realistically.  Each have their own story arc that the movie spends equal amounts of time with so that we know and care about these characters.

It is absolutely a horror movie; but, it’s a horror movie with a heart, something at it’s core that it’s actually about.  And I think that is why I liked It so much.

Kong: Skull Island (Review)

Kong: Skull Island (Review)

Kong: Skull Island is the second movie of planned Monsterverse franchise because every movie has to be a franchise now.  Unlike other would be movie franchises, this one isn’t half bad.

I love Godzilla, both the American reboot and the monster.  It was because of that love that I saw Kong: Skull Island, since at some point in the future, they’re supposed to duke it out in a glorious fight for the ages.  I probably shouldn’t have gone in with that mindset because these two movies couldn’t be more different.

Whereas Godzilla was a dark and gritty monster movie set in the modern day, Kong: Skull Island is a movie set in the 70s or at least, a version of the 70s that’s been greatly exaggerated to the point of near parody.  This film is more of an adventure film right down to a handsome, rugged man who must save their lives while trapped on the island.  I say man because I honestly don’t know any of their names.

There are multiple characters throughout this film but they’re all very shallow characters.  What you see is what you get from these people.  You never learn anything deeper about them because you’re not really supposed to.  There’s just a group of people trapped on an island with a giant ape.  And I was perfectly okay with that.

This movie does not take itself seriously at all, it is simply a movie meant to entertain the audience, which is exactly what monster movies were supposed to do.  Sure, there is always room to tell a deep and meaningful movie, but I’m not gonna fault a monster movie for being stupid.  This film is stupid but in the fun perfect way.  It’s a film that knows what it’s trying to do and it does it very well.  And I had a good time with it.