Blade Runner 2049


*Note, when I am referring to “the original” Blade Runner I am referring to the directors cut, as that is the only version of Blade Runner I have seen*

Blade Runner 2049 was a surprising entity for me. Like the original, it was more story-centric than the marketing department would leave you to believe, which is a good decision from director Dennis Villeneuve and combined with fantastic sets and visuals, it did keep me invested for the 161-minute running time and that is worth a lot of praise.

However, even describing a brief synopsis for Blade Runner 2049 is both complex and constitutes spoiler territory so I will only say two things about it 1. Ryan Gosling is a Blade Runner and 2. Harrison Ford is in it. I would say that watching the original Blade Runner will help the viewer to understand the world it occupies and why you need to be emotionally invested in Harrison Ford’s character because Blade Runner 2049 draw so many parallels to the original that it is not funny.

Literally, from the first shot, Blade Runner 2049 pays homage to the original Blade Runner. There were so many moments and scenes that aim to replicate the original that I can make direct comparisons. I have concluded that the even though the original was a stronger film, it was only stronger by a whisker. That is because Blade Runner 2049 has many twists and turn to not only the story, but to the themes that the original evokes such as what humans perceive as love, identity, and existence.

My favorite scene involves Harrison Ford’s and Jared Leto’s characters meeting the first time and what the scene develops into. That scene does expand the notion of the perception of love itself from the original movie.

There were also many other scenes that differed from the original that worked in their own right but the movie always lost me slightly when they did all the callbacks as I was thinking “The original movie did it slightly better” I don’t want to be reminded of that in any movie I see, I want a movie to earn it’s own stripes or and stand on its own accord. This is especially frustrating when a movie like Blade Runner 2049 was hitting a home run anyway.

The visuals and set pieces were the best things in the movie. In terms of cinematography, a lot of it looks like a digitized version of sepia tone, which gave off a warm absorbing effect, yet gave off the scene of dread. It was unique, simple and effective. It may rival Dunkirk so far for the best cinematography of 2017. For the set designs, it is like going into a candy shop if you have seen the original Blade Runner. That is because you know where the characters are heading and it’s intriguing. The set designs give off the right mindset of understanding of the world geographically.

I cannot deny that Blade Runner 2049 is an absorbing movie that kept my attention for a long period of time. I did not reach the level of emotional brevity that this film tries hard to do (admittedly, that is not even a negative critique as that is a massive undertaking) but I was in it with the story and characters the whole way with plenty of visual delight and ideas that make it a worthy candidate next to the original ⭐⭐⭐⭐1/4

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Retro Review


Image result for Star wars the force awakens

Written by Nelson Cumming

I remember several years ago hearing the news that Disney was going to make another Star Wars film. My reaction was “Dear God no!”. Then I saw the movie and my reaction had changed.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a fun movie. It knows how and when to be serious and fun. Star Wars: The Force Awakens could have fallen into being too dark or atonal like Batman vs Superman but it didn’t.

Instead, Star Wars: The Force Awakens explores what made the franchise popular in the first place. Jar Jar Binks does not play a role, There is no holiday special (Noooooooo) The set up of the lead protagonist is in the middle of a desert, There are battles with flying ships and several key characters returned.

While Star Wars: The Force Awakens retains the acts of nostalgia there are also many elements that distinguish it from the other films in the franchise. The most important of which are several new characters that drive the story.

The two new characters are Finn, a Stormtrooper that has gone AWOL after a battle that changed him, causing him to switch sides to the New Republic (The good guys) and Rey, a scavenger who gets swept up into the adventure. These roles are played by John Boyega and Daisy Ridley respectively



What makes this cast so good is their believably. When the dialogue wanes, their performances are so good that I believed them anyway. Every actor who was in it didn’t overreact to moments where lesser-made movies would have. It made it easier to watch and avoided my eye-rolling.

The other major aspects of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was their set pieces, designs, and special effects. There was a moment in which Kylo Ren, the main antagonist stops a shot from a laser gun in mid air which was awesome. The action set pieces coupled with the large and fast airships was both thrilling and delightful. They helped provide the film with the action and the fun it needed.

I just love it when large, $200 million blockbusters work. I have found that the good blockbusters are inventive with the special effects they put their money on. Not only that, but these movies know how to moderate it bu focusing on keeping the story simple and believable. That is what a blockbuster needs to do to make the movie immersive.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens ticks a lot of boxes. I laughed, I gasped, I got the story, I believed in the actors and the drama combined with the sheer size and scale made the film a great installment to the franchise ****1/4

P.S. I don’t know why but the best part for me was the introduction to C-3PO. He caught me by surprise. It was a nice surprise indeed. A surprise it must.