Monday, October 9, 2017

Some Brief Thoughts on the Movies I've seen Lately

Blade Runner 2049
Directed by: Denis Villeneuve
Runtime: 2hrs, 44mins
Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
R

This is one of those movies that washes over you and completely immerses you in the world it creates. It's true to its 80's vision of the future setup in the original film, but still manages to feel believably futuristic from a 2017 perspective.

Deakins's cinematography here is gorgeous. The soundtrack is wonderfully moody and atmospheric. It's not quite Vangelis, but it's close enough.

I seriously can't believe that it's doing poorly at the box office because it deserves to do well. The story and characters are all solid. The only real problem is that it's long and can feel like it's dragging from time to time. But I was so immersed in the experience that I never really cared.

People will be talking about and analyzing this one for years just like the original. And it will certainly serve as inspiration for future filmmakers, video game makers, and other story tellers just like the original has.

You will absolutely regret not seeing this in the theater. Go see it!






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Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Directed by: Matthew Vaughn
Runtime: 2hrs, 21mins
Action, Adventure, Comedy
R

This is one of those ridiculous, over-the-top, action comedies that's just a lot of good, dumb fun. It's somewhere between James Bond and Austin Powers, but it clearly exists to riff on those sorts of British spy films. 

Matthew Vaughn is a master of the composite shot utilized for action/fight sequences made to look like one long shot that moves smoothly between slow motion and normal speed, with a camera somehow able to capture it from all angles. While he doesn't quite manage to top the two most memorable sequences of the original (the church and the exploding heads), he still manages a wildly entertaining film that's likely to turn off as many people as it wins over.

The way it turns those people off is by a needlessly graphic scene of intimacy clearly meant to make people say, "I can't believe they did that." 

Egerton, Strong and Firth are all great fun, but Julianne Moore's caricature of bond-esque villain seems to be having the most fun. Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges and Channing Tatum are completely wasted in this film, but Pedro Pascal nearly steals it - as does Elton John believe it or not. You probably won't be expecting it, but Elton is hilarious in this film. 

Vaughn had a much longer cut of the film that surely accounts for where this film feels hacked off at parts. It leaves a few strands hanging and rushes through others. All of this is to say Kingsman 2 isn't the most satisfying piece of storytelling ever put on film, but it sure is a lot of fun. 









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The Big Sick
Directed by: Michael Showalter
Runtime: 2hrs
Comedy, Drama, Romance
R

Admittedly, I took way too long to get around to seeing this film. It's funny, charming, romantic, moving, and everything else people have been saying about it all year long.

I love the cultural aspects of the film and it still manages to out-romantic comedy your average romantic comedy.

I've been a fan of Kumail Nanjiani since Silicon Valley began, and the fact that this film is based on his real life only makes the film that much more touching. Also, Holly Hunter is fantastic as the mother of Kumail's sick girlfriend, and believe it or not I even enjoyed Ray Romano as the father. He plays a very subdued version of himself here so even people who don't like him shouldn't be bothered too much. 

It always says a lot for a film's characters when I can honestly say I'd like to have spent more time with them. The film's 2 hour runtime goes pretty fast. I could have sat with these people for at least another half hour. The Big Sick is one of the best romantic comedies I've seen in some time.








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