Rebourne: Blade Runner 2049

Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Starring Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Carla Juri, Lennie James, Dave Bautista, Jared Leto

The Original

1984’s Blade Runner was and is one of the seminal works of cinematic science fiction. It secured the place of Ridley Scott in the roster of great directors, whatever missteps he might take in the future, and alongside fellow class of 84 alumnus Neuromancer it shaped the genre that became known as cyberpunk.

The Late Sequel

Driving with a thousand-yard stare on his face is kind of Gosling’s jam.

In 2049, Replicants are made by a new company in an even larger and more opulent pyramidal HQ than that of the Tyrell Corporation. Under the guidance of Niander Wallace (Leto), a new line of obedient Replicants has been produced, including K (Gosling), who works under LAPD Lieutenant Joshi (Wright) as a Blade Runner, retiring the remaining Nexus 8 Replicants who survived an unsuccessful rebellion in 2020.

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Cars 3 (2017)

“From this moment, everything will change.”

Directed by Brian Fee
Starring Owen Wilson, Cristela Alonzo, Chris Cooper, Armie Hammer, Larry the Cable Guy, Bonnie Hunt, Nathan Fillion, Lea DeLaria, Kerry Washington

Long-time Piston Cup champion Lightning McQueen (Wilson) is shocked out of his complacent rivalry with his contemporaries by the emergence of a ‘new breed of high-tech racer,’ spearheaded by the gifted, yet arrogant Jackson Storm (Hammer). Pushing his own performance past his limits, he has a serious accident and finds himself out of the rest of the season. Aiming for one last high season and backed by hubcap magnate Sterling (Fillion), he goes to work with hot shot trainer Cruz Ramirez (Alonzo) looking to exceed his previous limits.

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Blast from the Past: Blade Runner (1982)

This review is, most immediately, informed by the 2007 ‘Final Cut’

“Man Has Made His Match… Now It’s His Problem”

Directed by Ridley Scott
Starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, Daryl Hannah and William Sanderson

In 2019 the world is largely abandoned, an industrial slum inhabited primarily by those who for reasons of genetic health can not emigrate to the offworld colonies, where humans live at ease while their needs are met by sophisticated androids known as ‘Replicants.’ Stronger, faster and tougher than humans, Replicants are banned on Earth, and those seeking to return are hunted down by specialist police officers, Blade Runners, who use an emotional response test called Voight-Kampf to identify Replicants, and then ‘retire’ them.

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Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)

“Suited vs. Booted”

Directed by Matthew Vaughn
Starring Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Halle Berry, Elton John, Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges

Flush with recent successes, the Kingsman private intelligence service comes under fire from treacherous former recruit Charlie (Edward Holcroft) and his boss, Poppy Adams (Moore). Intent on expanding the power of her drugs empire, the Golden Circle, Adams launches a pre-emptive strike on Kingsman, killing all of its agents except for Eggsy (Egerton) and Merlin (Strong), the head of strategic services.

Continue reading Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)

Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)

“Drac’s pack is back.”

Directed by Genddy Tartakovsky
Starring Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key, Mel Brooks

Dracula (Sandler) oversees the marriage of his daughter Mavis (Gomez) and her human boyfriend Johnny (Samberg), opening the Hotel Transylvania to non-monsters with the aid of buddies Frank (James), Wayne (Buscemi), Griffin (Spade) and Murray (Key) (Frankenstein’s monster, a werewolf, the Invisible Man and a mummy.) Not long after, Mavis announces her pregnancy, and soon the family is joined by Dennis (Asher Blinkoff).

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The Dark Tower (2017)

“There are other worlds than these.”

Directed by Nikolaj Arcel
Starring Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Taylor, Claudia Kim, Fran Kranz, Abbey Lee, Jackie Earle Haley

Troubled New York teen, Jake Chambers (Taylor), dreams of a strange pyramid, where teenagers from a weird little model suburbia deal are used to power Starkiller Base and attack the colossal Dark Tower. Convinced that his dreams are true, Jake flees from representatives of a sleep clinic and finds his way to an abandoned house with an interdimensional portal in the basement. This catapults him from Keystone Earth to Mid-World, and into the conflict between Jerkass-Good last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain (Elba), and the Affable-Evil immortal devil sorcerer Walter Padick (McConaughey), aka the Man in Black.

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Must See Movies Before You Grow Up

Must See Movies Before You Grow Up is a list compiled by Into Film, a charity devoted to the use of film in children’s education. The list is as follows:

  • 101 Dalmatians (1961)
  • A Little Princess (1995)
  • Annie (1982)*
  • Babe (1995)
  • Beauty and the Beast (1991)*
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009)*
  • Coraline (2009)
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)
  • Dumbo (1941)
  • ET: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)*
  • Fantastic Mr Fox (2009)
  • Free Willy (1993)
  • Frozen (2013)*
  • Home (2015)*
  • Hook (1991)*
  • Hotel Transylvania (2012)*
  • How to Train Your Dragon (2010)*
  • Jumanji (1995)*
  • Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)*
  • Mary Poppins (1964)*
  • Matilda (1996)*
  • Nanny McPhee (2005)*
  • Night at the Museum (2006)
  • Oliver! (1968)*
  • Paddington (2014)
  • Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015)*
  • Shrek (2001)*
  • Space Jam (1996)
  • Spirited Away (2001)
  • Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)*
  • Swallows and Amazons (2016)
  • The Adventures of Tintin (2011)*
  • The BFG (2016)
  • The Gruffalo (2009)*
  • The Iron Giant (1999)*
  • The Jungle Book (1967)*
  • The LEGO Movie (2014)*
  • The Lion King (1994)*
  • The Lorax (2012)
  • The Never-Ending Story (1984)*
  • The Princess Bride (1987)*
  • The Secret Garden (1993)
  • The Secret Life of Pets (2016)
  • The Witches (1990)*
  • Toy Story (1995)*
  • Trolls (2016)
  • Up (2009)*
  • Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)*
  • Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971)*
  • Zootropolis (2016)*

But is this really the ultimate list of childhood movies?

Disclaimer: This is my own take on the matter and I make no pretense to some superior status of judgement. Full disclosure, those films marked with an asterisk are the ones that I have seen an which I will be discussing most closely.

Continue reading Must See Movies Before You Grow Up

War For the Planet of the Apes (2017)

“For freedom. For family. For the planet.”

Directed by Matt Reeves
Starring Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Karin Konoval, Terry Notary and Amiah Miller

Two years after the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, a military force led by a ruthless special forces Colonel (Harrelson) are hunting for the tribe of intelligent apes led by Caesar (Serkis). With the aid of their ‘Donkeys’ – apes formerly loyal to Koba (Toby Kebbell) and now working as weapon carriers and scouts for the humans – a unit of this force attacks an Ape outpost, but is defested. Wanting to avoid all-out war, Caesar spares a number of human captives and determines to set out for a new home scouted by his son, Blue-Eyes (Max Lloyd-Jones), and trusted aide Rocket (Notary). Unfortunately, he is betrayed, and his wife Cornelia (Judy Greer) and Blue-Eyes are killed.

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Sing (2016)

“Auditions begin 2016”

Directed by Garth Jennings
Starring Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton, Tori Kelly

Theatrical impresario Buster Moon (McConaughey) attempts to revitalise his failing theatre with a singing competition, accidentally offering a $100,000 prize. While Rosita (Witherspoon), Mike (MacFarlane), Ash (Johanssen), Meena (Kelly) and Johnny (Egerton) are all drawn to the competition for their own reasons, Buster’s best friend Eddie (Reilly) tries to persuade him that perhaps he needs to give up the theatre before it breaks him.

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Baby Driver (2017)

“All you need is one killer track.”

Directed by Edgar Wright
Starring Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Eiza Gonzalez, Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx

Baby (Elgort) is a crack getaway driver, working for a fixer known as Doc (Spacey), after stealing Doc’s car as a tearway youth. With his debt almost paid up, he is looking forward to hitting the straight and narrow, especially when he meets waitress Debora (James), who shares his love of music and driving.

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