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Blade Runner 2049
Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Tivoli Cinema October 2017
Sci-Fi, Thriller, 15. 2h 43m
Blade Runner 2049 is the long awaited sequel to the Blade runner from 1982. I am old enough to remember the original which was based on a novel by Philip K. Dick and adapted by director Ridley Scott and developed a cult status for its portrayal of a dystopian future where life like robots (replicants) go stir crazy and are hunted down; spin through 30 years to this film which concurs well with the original in terms of pace, atmosphere and storyline and the hunt is still going on albeit with some residing difficulty as there was a blackout of all information held over a 10 day period.The film is set in a sprawling, miserable LA and the police department's building dominates the brooding skyline filled with flying vehicles and sinister drones.
In the first film we have the cool enigmatic Harrison Ford playing a replicant hunter Rick Deckard who falls for an elusive replicant Rachel. Questions are asked then, is Deckard a replicant? Is the new guy in this film Ryan Gosling who hunts down replicants a replicant? Is it pure coincidence that he has a similarity to Ford? Where his memories real or manufactured? There are many questions in this film which makes it a psychological sci fi film. It is slow, it is not a shoot them up film where camera angles spin wildly. The cinematography is stunning and expansive with Roger Deakins at the helm. The soundtrack deserves gongs with Benjamin Wallfisch and Hans Zimmer picking up the mantle from Vangelis in the original film, this soundtrack has heavy, menacing drones and Buddhist elements. There is hidden meaning in every scene it is full of symbolism and allegory. For most part there is rain, there is an ochre hue hanging about as if a storm is about to erupt and the skies are full of Saharan sand, blown in but never leaving; does this signify unfinished business? Does the veil get lifted? In some part, yes for we find Ryan Gosling as ‘Joe’ has never seen a miracle. But, suddenly information is slowly recovered and he is moved as it appears a baby has been born to a replicant 30 years ago. The story unfurls and a state request to find this ‘baby’ ensues but ultimately it turns into Joe’s personal quest. The end scene there is snow, a revelation of sorts and the film is finally allowed to move on and have a kind of resolution.
What is gripping in this film is the reduction in dialogue; it is sparse as the actors talk with their faces. Joe’s detachment turns to realisation, even his ‘Joi’ his holographic girlfriend communicates with expressions and the eyes of a doe deer. The real powerhouse here is Sylvia Hoeks playing the sidekick Luv to her very disturbed boss played by Jared Leto who manufactures replicants for he is obsessed with upping his game, Luv sheds tears that are terrifying as she coolly dispatches anyone in her way. Harrison Ford adds humanity with his fondness for keeping bees and a dog ‘Is he real?’ asks Joe when the two finally settle down and talk. Ford takes his time to appear in this sequel and it fits well and does not detract from Gosling, something is eluded too, but I will leave that to you to find out.
This film is an understated classic and an art movie where it leaves you with a sense of melancholy and a few unanswered questions. It is a film suited to the big screen for both immersion in sound and stunning visuals.
Harrison Ford in “Blade Runner 2049
Sylvia Hoeks as the character Luv.
DIRECTOR CHRISTOPHER NOLAN
CAST TOM HARDY, HARRY STYLES, KENNETH BRANAGH, MARK RYLANCE
RELEASE YEAR 2017
Dunkirk : code name Dynamo was a real event a catalyst to take World War 2 to a different level. 400,000 troops British, French , Polish, Canadian had been spearheaded out of the mainland in France with invading German bombardments and were sitting ducks on the beach waiting to get out, all they can do is fall flat on the sand or gaze out at the relentless sea just 20 miles away was England and freedom.
The scene opens with a young soldier played by Fionn Whitehead. running fast alone on empty streets of Dunkirk, France in 1940. Gunshots relentless as he gets to the beach the sight of another desperate 399,000 souls greet him all waiting to get out of this hell hole. Most are just 18 and never even left home before. The whole film is immersive and that is what director Christopher Nolan does well. You are on the beach and drowning in the cold sea. The clever use of camera angles and the authenticity of the sounds these are real, this is what happened and in our generation there has never been anything that cuts home as much as this War. We all have grandparents, great grandparents that were all affected or lost their lives fighting for freedom and that is what resonates so strongly.
The whole film could be said to be in 3 acts like a classic play ; we have the battles on land, in the sea and in the air with Tom Hardy doing a sterling job as a spitfire fighter pilot. It has you on tenterhooks, my 13 year old son was blown away and riveted he has been studying this war at High school but it takes a film like this to sink home about how so much suffering and needless death too place and he has a strong interest; especially as his great uncle took part in the D day landings towards the end of the war and survived.
This film is important on so many levels including telling younger generations the horrors of war and to prevent any more from happening.
The young actors said more than a thousand thoughts with their eyes alone, including new comer Harry Styles who after his One Direction band could certainly entertain a future acting career.
Nolan recalls the Dunkirk evacuation, code-named Operation Dynamo. It’s one of the great, under-told war stories of the 21st century, and has rarely appeared on film (the 1958 film Dunkirk,the stirring single-take journey in the film Atonement). The English were in retreat after the Battle of Dunkirk, and in trying to leave the beaches, the overcrowded sand and sea made the Allied forces sitting ducks for the Germans. But the subsequent events, including a flotilla of civilian ships coming to the rescue, is nothing short of heart warming including a performance by nonchalantly strong great actor -Mark Rylance a part time sailor in the flotilla 'with a job to do' that helped rescue these stranded teenagers for the most part. These civilians are courage personified.
The Air strikes take a huge chunk of film over one hour and revolves around two Spitfire pilots, Collins (Jack Lowden) and Farrier (Tom Hardy). It’s a stunning series of aerial ballets, as the pair swoop and pirouette through the sky to shoot down planes and get away from the enemy. Fuel is running out how will this end? They must stop the Germans from obliterating the allied destroyers and boats and stranded soldiers. During this scene as with others it is the eyes doing the narrative, it is a film that requires little small talk.
Review by Tiverton Community Radio on behalf of Tivoli Cinema your local community cinema.
Beauty and the Beast was a delight to watch and my 9 year old daughter was entranced. Emma Watson she of Harry Potter fame played a feisty Belle refusing to give in to the manly chauvinistic Gaston who is desperate to have her, simply because she is the prettiest in the village and resistant to his ahem 'charms'. The film is true to the Disney film in look, feel and sound. The old favourite songs are all there including 'Be our guest' which was fantastic and the special effects of talking Mrs Potts (Emma Thompson) Lumiere and co were commendable all voiced by incredible talent such as Sir Ian Mckellen, and Ewan McGregor. The highlight was at the end and the spell was lifted as the last petal dropped from the cursed rose, and these voice characters suddenly became real again. Unfortunately Cogsworth (McKellen) was not to happy to be reunited with his hag of a wife from the village, muttering 'turn to be back into a clock' under his breath. The story is a moralistic one to 'never judge a book from its cover' and Belle eventually falls in love with the 'beast' and he is released from the spell as are all the people in the enchanted castle. The film captivated my daughter from start to finish and we sang as we walked home!
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Patrick Ness is an acclaimed author and has the magic knack of writing really good Young Adult books of which this film is one. I am mentioning this as to get the handle on this film you need to transport yourself into a 12 year old Connor (Lewis MacDougall)on which this intriguing tale is revolving around. Once done sit back and go to that place. A place of transition and anger and hope. These three things are what binds the film together. Connor‘s mum (Felicity Jones) is dying of cancer an all too familiar shadowy presence in everyday life nowadays. Connor’s dad is a fleeting figure, his Grandmother played by Sigourney Weaver is a revelation, at first standoffish then finally accepting her Grandson and it is the hard to come by bond between them which is the crux of this story. The monster is purely the facilitator played perfectly by Liam Neeson and his gravelly wise words of wisdom; for he visits Connor at 12.07pm consecutively to tell him 3 tales. The 4th tale Connor must be prepared to tell him. That is the confession of his acceptance to let his Mother go; she does not have ‘a hundred years to give him’. The drugs are not working. The monster is an amalgamation of Connor’s Grandad, his worst nightmares and the wisdom of time and nature. There are lessons to be learnt here and the film is sensitive and heart wrenching at the same time, as you witness Connor coming to terms with his helplessness and then his strength to ask for help and to let his Mother go. This is a film for all ages and the effects especially the creaking, moving monster tree limbs are worthy of recognition and make sure you pack some tissues, it’s a weeper. Patrick Ness is a sensitive, concise, contemporary story teller and the artist he has collaborated with on this film and books ;Jim Kay and his amazing artwork has been carefully interwoven here with great effect.
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