Category Archives: 11-20%

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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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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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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Wonder Woman (2017)

“Power. Grace. Wisdom. Wonder.”

Directed by Patty Jenkins
Starring Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen, Elena Anaya and Lucy Davis

On the isolated, paradisaical island of Themyscira, Diana, daughter of Queen Hippolyta of the Amazons (Nielsen) is the only child on an island of women. Trained in combat by her aunt Antiope (Wright), Diana (who grows up into Gadot) is fascinated by the origin story of her people and their prophesied battle to destroy Ares, last of the Olympians and bringer of all wars.

“Yes, because she’s suddenly not the most beautiful woman you’ve ever met.”

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The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

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“Always be yourself… unless you can be Batman.”

Directed by Chris McKay
Starring Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes

In crime-ridden Gotham City, the Joker (Galifianakis) launches a devastating attack in concert with a vast assortment of other villains, only to be soundly (and rhythmically) defeated by Batman (Arnett). When Batman declines to acknowledge his greatest foe (because he doesn’t do ‘ships,) however, Joker concocts a plan of breathtaking audacity to take his nemesis down a peg or two.

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Moana (2016)

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I guess that pig really sells in some market, because he’s way over-represented in the publicity for a character who never leaves the island.

“The Ocean is Calling”

Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker
Starring Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement, Nicole Scherzinger and Alan Tudyk

Moana (Cravalho) is the heir apparent to her father, Chief Tui of Motonui (Morrison). Her people live a life contained on their island, which provides all that they need… until the fish leave the sea around the island and the crops and coconuts begin to die. Always adventurous, Moana suggests fishing in the more dangerous waters beyond the reef, and then follows her grandmother’s (House) stories to take a boat from the long-forgotten voyaging past of the tribe, and seek for the demigod Maui (Johnson).

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Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)

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“If you must blink, do so now…”

“Be bold. Be brave. Be epic.”

Directed by Travis Knight
Starring Charlize Theron, Art Parkinson, Ralph Fiennes, Rooney Mara, George Takei, Matthew McConaughey and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa

Kubo (Parkinson) lives with his mother in a cliff overlooking the sea, using his mystical power over paper to tell stories without endings to the local villagers (including Takei and Tagawa) for an income to support himself and his ailing mother. When his desire for some contact with his late father leads him to stay out late, he draws the attention of his maternal grandfather, the vengeful Moon King (Fiennes), who sends his twin daughters (Mara) to capture Kubo.

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Captain America: Civil War (2016)

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Wait; Chadwick Boseman doesn’t get his name above the title? Damnit, Marvel!

“United We Stand. Divided We Fall.”

Directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo
Starring (deep breath) Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johanssen, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Emily Van Camp, Tom Holland, Daniel Bruhl and William Hurt

After a brief flashback of the Winter Soldier’s (Stan) cold war career, we see the current Avengers taking down former SHIELD/HYDRA agent Brock ‘Crossbones’ Rumlow, in a fight which ends up devastating a Lagos office block. As a result, the UN ratifies the Sokovia Accords, legislation to regulate the Avengers under the control of a UN panel. Tony Stark (Downey Jr.), wracked with guilt over the Ultron affair, is for it, but Steve Rogers (Evans) is agin it, given his experiences operating under oversight.

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Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016)

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“Grab Destiny by the Dumplings”

Directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Alessandro Carloni
Starring Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, JK Simmons and Bryan Cranston

In the Spirit Realm, Master Oogway (Randall Duk Kim) encounters an old enemy named Kai (Simmons), who steals Oogway’s chi and uses it to break back into the mortal realm. Intent on annihilating Oogway’s legacy, Kai sets out to capture the chi of every kung fu master in China. Po learns that only a master of chi can defeat Kai, and fortunately his long lost father Li Shan (Cranston) turns up to teach him the ancient secrets of the panda chi masters.

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Kung Fu Panda (2008)

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“Prepare for Awesomeness”

Directed by John Stevenson and Mark Osborne
Starring Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman and Ian McShane

In the Valley of Peace, the young panda Po (Black) dreams of being a legendary kung fu warrior, instead of a waiter in his father’s (James Hong) restaurant. When word comes down that the great kung fu teacher Master Oogway (Randall Duk Kim) is about to choose who will become the Dragon Warrior, Po just wants to watch the selection; he never expects to be chosen.

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