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Post Re: Recently Seen

me too


Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:23 am
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Blade Runner 2049


Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:30 pm
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Post Blade Runner 2049 (Villeneuve, '17)

Epistemophobia wrote:
me too
Me three :D :

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I know what's real.

Ridley Scott's noir-tinged science fiction classic that I was never a huge fan of.

The year is 2049; 30 years have passed since Blade Runner Rick Deckard "retired" his final skin job, and vanished into the non-existent sunset with the (fellow?) replicant Rachel. A wave of fugitive "reps" arise from the ashes of the Tyrell Corporation, as another generation of replicants is given birth, models that have been engineered to be obedient, even to the point of hunting down and killing their own kind, like Ryan Gosling's K (short for his serial number KD9-3.7, or his "real name"). But, when a routine case leads to the discovery of the remains of a replicant who apparently died giving birth (something believed to be impossible), K will go on a world-shattering journey that will force him to question everything that he believed to be real, alongside a couple of ghosts from the past that haven't been seen in a long, long time.

So that's the basic pitch of Blade Runner 2049 on paper, Denis Villeneuve's unlikely, long-in-in-the-works sequel to Ridley Scott's original 1982 classic, but how does it play out on film? Well, for one thing, Villeneuve & company have more than stayed true to the world that Scott helped create over 3 decades ago, while still finding new, refreshing ways to expand on that vision; the massive cityscape of 2049 Los Angeles still feels just as monolithic and oppressive as it did in 1982, especially when lensed through the eye of modern cinematography icon Roger Deakins' epic, dizzying visuals, as hints of Vangelis's legendary original score wash through the soundtrack, and, while the Tyrell Corporation is no more, many real companies from the original that went bankrupt are still around in 2049, such as Atari and Pan Am (even the Soviet Union still exists in this timeline, to demonstrate the film's fidelity to Scott's canon). Writing-wise, Hampton Fancher and Michael Green find new ways to delve back into the original's signature themes of identity, just exactly what it means to have a soul and to be "human", and the ever-thinning line that supposedly still separates man from his creations, while stylistically, Villeneuve's direction strongly recalls the slow, leisurely pacing, and overall cryptic, alienating tone that keeps Scott's film such a haunting experience all these year later.

...recalls it a bit too much, if you ask me. Don't get me wrong, as 2049 is still a worthwhile film on the whole, and I didn't regret paying extra to see it in theaters at all, but I still couldn't help but feel it would've been better if Villeneuve hadn't tried so hard to exaggerate certain traits from the original as if to try to give us the ultimate Blade Runner experience; 2049's surreally slow pacing is sometimes pushed to the absolute breaking point, and I ended up feeling almost every single minute of the film's 2 & 1/2 hour-plus running time, and the inclusion of certain overly bizarre, dehumanized moments (especially with Jared Leto's reclusive blind industrialist Niander Wallace, who substituted creepy cataracts and pretentious, "poetic" ramblings in place of actual character development) just felt very forced and unnecessary, and was a bit of a cinematic turn off in the end.

Still, 2049 is at its best when Villeneuve allows its sense of humanity to shine through, like with the inner pain and utter confusion that Gosling's K displays as his entire world and very sense of self gets turned completely upside down as his investigation goes deeper and deeper, or with how surprisingly touching his relationship with his holographic "girlfriend" Joi is; the moment where she finally gets to go outside their cramped apartment after K gives her a portable emitter, and she gets to feel rain on her "skin" for the first time was simply beautiful to witness, and a scene where Joi synchronizes her movements with a real woman to give K a sort of one-on-one lovemaking session is one of the coolest sci-fi visuals I've seen in recent years. It even retroactively makes the memories of Deckard & Rachel's relationship more engaging to hear about than it was to witness in the original (classic film or not, that particular aspect of Blade Runner always struck me as rather obligatory and perfunctory), but I'll stop right there, at the risk of spoiling 2049 any further than I already have.

Anyway, like I said before, Blade Runner 2049 isn't a perfect film, and I can't help but feel like it could've been better with a shorter running time and a slightly more accessible tone on the whole, but I also can't help but find it a compelling cinematic experience anyway; the visuals are breathtaking, the concepts and themes are fascinating and genuinely thought-provoking, and it's the rare sequel to an iconic original that (mostly) avoids just coasting on nostalgia audiences may hold for the first film, but rather, actually does something to further develop the world created in the original, making for a "blade" that, flaws and all, I didn't regret running at all.
Final Score: 8
Favorite moment: Joi's "sync"

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Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:48 pm
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Brazil (1985) - 8/10

I found this to be a pretty good film. I liked the world in the film as it was darkly humorous in many ways, such as how, after terrorist bombings, the public would go back to whatever they were doing almost instantly as if nothing had just happened. There were also great comedic set pieces such as how Sam and another character whose name I forget had to share one desk. It was funny to see them constantly pull it to their side and disrupt the other one. On top of this, I liked the absurdity as it seemed like even the most bizarre things could take place in the film. Of course, there are parts to the film which don't make sense, but I think that's intentional to show how disconcerting the city in the film is. There aren't many films like this around. As it stands now, my rating still sits at an 8/10, but I'm up for revisiting it again.

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Top 30 Favorite Films of All Time


Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:31 am
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Howl (2015) - 7/10

I had nothing to do tonight, so I decided to watch this film to pass the time. It's very B movie-ish, but it's actually a pretty good one at that. The special effects looked realistic, the varying personalities of the characters were interesting, and there were a few suspenseful moments. If you liked Dog Soldiers, you'll likely enjoy this one as well.

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Top 30 Favorite Films of All Time


Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:53 am
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Triangle (2009) - 9/10

This movie sure caught me off guard. I saw it for the 2nd time today, and I picked up on many more details. It used the concept of time loops to its full potential as its plot was wholly intriguing. It also contained many surprises throughout it which caught me off guard. Even though it takes awhile for the time loops to come into the film, the film which came before it didn't feel dull as the scenes of the characters navigating through the ship felt atmospheric due to the lighting and the usage of sound. Also, even the opening credits were much more interesting on my 2nd viewing. This is probably a controversial opinion, but I'm now convinced that this film ranks up there with other great slasher films such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Halloween.

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Top 30 Favorite Films of All Time


Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:11 am
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Post Thor: Ragnarok (Waititi, '17)

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I don't hang with the Avengers anymore... it all got too corporate.

Amongst the recurring Marvel franchises to date, the Thor series seems to have gotten a bit of the short end of the stick; the Iron Man movies got to kick off the whole MCU and were quite successful financially, the Captain America movies got a 2nd wind from the directorial duo of the Russo brothers after a bit of a forgettable origin movie, and the Guardians Of The Galaxy continue to delight critics and audiences alike with their signature style of fun, irreverent, 70's-tune fueled space adventures, but the Thor series, due to a combination of shoehorned-in subplots, painfully obnoxious comic "relief", and supporting characters that are either underutilized or just plain useless, never lived up to enough of its overall potential to truly satisfy...that is, until now. Don't get me wrong, as Thor: Ragnarok still isn't a perfect film by any stretch of the imagination, but it's still definitely a step in the right direction for this individual series, and another solid addition to the overall, ever-expanding "Marvel Cinematic Universe".

The primary reason for that is the unexpected addition of New Zealand director Taika Waititi, who, until now, has primarily been known for his comedies, like the small-scale mockumentary What We Do In The Shadows, which was basically like a This Is Spinal Tap for vampires. Such relatively humble work might make Waitit seem like a odd fit for the next Marvel blockbuster, but Waititi immediately proves that he's fit for task right from the opening scene of Ragnarok, as Thor continually mocks and interrupts the demon-god Surtur's generic-ass Villain Monologue about how he's going to destroy Asgaard and everyone and thing Thor knows and loves and yadayadayada, just before he breaks free of his chains as Led Zeppelin's classic "Immigrant Song" hits the soundtrack, just as Thor and Mjolner begin to hit Surtur's legions themselves.

It's an incredibly fun, wonderfully energetic opener to the film, and throughout Thor: Ragnarok, you'll find comparable examples of Waitit's sense of creativity and humor shining through the increasingly-dusty Marvel formula, such as a heroic but cliched proclamation by Thor being interrupted by a giant ball smacking him in the face at an inopportune moment, or the the rich, neon-Skittles colors of "Sakaar", the surreal, metropolis-planet that Thor spends the majority of the film washed up on (as the mostly-useless Earthbound sub-plots from the previous Thor films have finally, mercifully been jettisoned), or the equally colorful motley crew of supporting characters the film boasts, which includes "Scrapper 142", a tough, no-nonsense ex-Valkrie who can down a novelty-sized glass of alien booze before you can finish a sentence, or Korg, a casually silly CGI rock monster voiced by Waititi himself, who lends some down-to-Earth New Zealand flavor to the alien environments, or Jeff Goldblum in full Goldblum mode as the unapologetically hedonistic "Grandmaster", who's relentlessly quirky in that way that only Mr. Goldblum seems able to pull off.

And all of that isn't even mentioning the new-found Odd Couple/buddy comedy dynamic that Thor shares with an exiled Incredible Hulk on Sakaar, or the way the normally demure and reserved Cate Blanchett puts in a refreshingly campy, vampy performance as the sinister, deadly confident "Goddess Of Death" Hela... although, not mentioning her here might be for the best. Don't get me wrong, as Hela definitely is fun performance to watch, but the sub-plot surrounding her takeover of Asgaard generally feels like a perfunctory afterthought here, and often when the film cut back to her various schemings there, I found myself fairly unengaged, and eager to return to Sakaar to see what new sheninagans Thor and his merry band of side-players were getting into now.

That flaw, along with the occasional dramatic moments here lacking weight (Odin's death scene made me feel next to nothing, even with "Sir" Anthony Hopkins' regal performance) ultimately prevent Raganrok from living up to its full potential, and I can't help but find myself wishing that Waititi had tried harder for a more even balance between the light and heavy moments here. However, that being said, I still ultimately didn't regret paying to see this one in theaters, as, flaws and all, Thor: Ragarok is still a fun, creative, unusually colorful time at the movies, and it finally gives us the legitimately good Thor movie we've been waiting for for over half a decade now. Hammer Of The Gods, strike on!
Favorite Moment: the opening "Immigrant Song" fight
Final Score: 8

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Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:02 am
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