Blade Runner 2049 – Review

The Beginning

As I sat in the movie theatre at 9pm, I realised I am one of the 8 people that decided to see this movie on a Wednesday night. The ambience of the theatre felt like my living room except with a cinema sound experience, I will never forget. And here we were sitting in the back row, all to our selves.

The movie starts and the theatre is so quiet you could hear the chewing of popcorn and slurping of raspberry Fanta. The music is loud and orchestral synths fill the room, complimenting the futuristic ambience of a post-industrial Los Angeles setting. And so the story begins…

First Impressions 

I will say now that Blade Runner isn’t your usual action sci-fi film with metallic guns shooting, random humour and degrading of women. This is also a sequel film that doesn’t necessarily require you to have watched its 1982 predecessor: Blade Runner, starring Harrison Ford.

My first impression of this film was that the narrative itself was moved slowly, it wasn’t the classic sci-fi or action film that I was expecting and it questioned really abstract but heavy issues that are reciprocated throughout the films camera work and style.

The Storyline

We are met with Agent K (Ryan Gosling) who is hunting down Replicants (clones of humans, that are treated more like biological computer software and as slaves rather than being recognised as their own entity), in which he encounters Sapper Morton (Dave Bautista) who is an older model Replicant; who managed to escape his slavery after the mysterious “Black Out” that happened 30 years ago. We are then met with Agent K finding a clue underneath the tree of Sapper Morton’s yard, and this unearthing begins to propel the story.

Agent K  then gets a new mission: find where the clues lead to and destroy all evidence; due to the impending threat of an all-out war between Replicants and humans. While we follow K on his hunt to stop war breaking out, we experience the life of a Replicant throughout the movie. We feel the exile, loneliness and depressing existence that comes with being Replicant. This bleeds into the setting and cultural context of the film; almost all plants and animals are dead, crime is high, and the dystopian society is corporately ruled by service provider Wallace Industries (creator of AI Joi and all Replicants on earth).

The film in its two-hour entirety; explores K’s conscience and the consequences of his actions after finding where exactly the clues lead him. But not before raising the suspicion of Neander Wallace (Jared Leto), the creator of all Replicants who soon figures out that K has found the very piece of the puzzle he needs, and sends Luv (Sylvia Hoeks), a psychopathic and loyal to-the-bone Replicant to kill K and recover all evidence he has found.

Harrison Ford makes his debut as Rick Deckard in the second half of the film and from there the story starts to take a darker tone. One their characters meet, it is action from that point forward; and the narrative consequently also begins to move rapidly. Forcing us to question what makes us human, creating a morbid moral conflict within the characters themselves and you.

Cinematic Review

It’s a neo-noir genre of film and if you don’t know what that is, literally google it. It is a film style with dark shadows, moving light and awkward angles to give a feeling of tension, paranoia and hopelessness. All of which are feelings that are deeply embedded within the storyline of BR2049 and the characters themselves.

The cinematography in this film, however, gives opposite feelings! Its beauty is found within the seamless transfer between distant scenic shots, to up close, personal takes; thank you Roger Deakin (director of photography).

Props to Denis Villeneuve (director of ‘Sicario’ and ‘Arrival’) for doing such an amazing job with this film, when I heard he was directing this I kind of got butterflies in my stomach knowing that 2049 was in very capable, delicate hands. His direction with this film was spot on in capturing the dystopian and desperate society of blade runner.  All I can say is he did a brilliant job picking up the pieces from the original Blade Runner and weaving the same motifs of humanity within the film.

Also, Hans Zimmer who created the score for this film, did an incredible job to create a musical score that was so cumbersome that it was frustrating. The orchestral synths really push the audience to the edge. The music was one of the very first things that I noticed about the film. It amplifies the kind of paranoia and unsettling feeling that is embedded within Blade Runner 2049.

Should you watch it?

The film itself is an acquired taste as the genre and the style is not for everyone. It is also two-hours long with the storyline itself starting off slow. However, if you are one to try new experiences then definitely give this movie a chance! If you fully immerse yourself in the film while watching you will find that once you leave that movie theatre, you are questioning the very fabric that makes us human. Which is always fun!

Trailer

source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCcx85zbxz4

Top 10: Horror Movies of all time

Horror Genre:

The Horror film genre aims to create a sense of fear, panic, alarm and dread for the audience. It relies on scaring the audience through a realisation of their own worst fears and nightmares.

SO… for those who know me best, I LOVE horror movies.

Not like the kind of love you have for your favourite toy or flavour of ice-cream. It is more like the dark and twisted mother’s love, akin to Norma Bates or Jason’s Mum. That is how much I love horror movies.

WARNING!!!

This list is not for the faint of heart. This doesn’t consist of mediocre horror movies like Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1992) or Childs Play series (Chucky).  This is a list of all time horror movies that managed to really redefine the genre of horror altogether.

As the Spirit of Halloween and October 31st draws closer, here is a list of the top 10 horror movies (in my opinion) that will be guaranteed to keep you awake all night long… so watch with a friend or by yourself, if you’re brave enough! 

The Conjuring series: 1 (2013) and 2 (2016)

The Conjuring Series blessed our local movie theatres back in 2013 with such controversy, that people who went to watch it reported getting possessed or haunted afterwards. That is a good sign to point to the fact that this movie will be something quite unforgettable. The sequel was just as good if not, in terms of storyline, better than the first. Truly embodying the fear that is associated with the supernatural genre.

Arny’s Scare Factor
Storyline: 9/10

Suspense/Mystery: 9/10
Gore: 7/10
Jump Scares: 8/10 (the first one had a lot!)

Insidious (2010)

Insidious

The first Insidious instalment was the best one out of the series, boasting an original script and storyline that is full of opportunities for tension, paranoia and jumpscares. The acting in this movie is sort-of a turn-off, as they don’t do enough to sell the supernatural theme of the movie, but lack of convincing is made up for the super creepy astrowalk scene midway and a great ending.

Arny’s Scare Factor
Storyline: 7/10
Suspense/Mystery: 7/10
Gore: 4/10
Jump Scares: 9/10

The Exorcist (1973)

exorcist poster

Although an old horror movie, it was the movie the paved the way for the overused possession scenes and features that are found in most supernatural/paranormal genres of horror films. This classic is a must see and should definitely be on the list of all top 10 horrors of all time. And if that doesn’t make you want to watch it then here is a fun fact: the scary girl meme is from this film… remember this one?

excorcist
Arny’s Scare Factor
Storyline: 8/10
Suspense/Mystery: 7/10
Gore: 8/10
Jump Scares: 8/10

 

The Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

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This one literally makes you contemplate the importance of sleep. Is it really worth it if in your dreams you get murdered, only to consequentially die in real life too? I don’t think so. This one is both gory and psychologically thrilling; not to mention better than the remake from 2016. Another “oldie but goodie”, as my grandma says. Also, who doesn’t think Freddy Krueger is a charm? I mean just look at him…

freddy

Arny’s Scare Factor
Storyline: 7/10
Suspense/Mystery: 8/10
Gore: 8/10
Jump Scares: 7/10

 

Get Out (2017)

get ou

Not only was Get Out directed by my all time favourite actor and comedian Jordan Peele, it is a very twisted and psychologically dark comment on the racism that is embedded in American culture. But political reasons aside, there is no doubt that this thriller is messed up and has a plot twist that you will never see coming. It has a few of its own sneaky jump scares, but the main source of horror is derived from the creepy and eerily squeaky clean suburban town.

Arny’s Scare Factor
Storyline: 9/10
Suspense/Mystery: 8/10
Gore: 7/10
Jump Scares: 6/10

 

Saw 1 (2004)

saw poster

If we’re honest the Saw series was mediocrity at it’s finest and just got worse every year they released a new one. But let’s forget about all the crappy sequels and focus on the rare gem that was Saw 1. The original, the predecessor, the best Saw (ironically). The story was original that took creepy voyeurism to the extreme, and a dash of psychopathic violence. The gore factor on this one is off the charts, so this is not one for the squeamish. Purely putting this one in because of its gore.

Arny’s Scare Factor
Storyline: 7/10
Suspense/Mystery: 7/10
Gore: 9/10
Jump Scares: 5/10

Life (2017)

life

I remember watching this in the cinemas and immediately thinking; “I am pretty sure the premise of this story has the potential of coming true”. A group of scientists in space, testing the theory that there are other life forms in space, only for it to go so badly wrong; sounds like breaking news in 2025. The suspense, gore and storyline of this movie are brilliant. It is a depressingly, scary film that does an excellent job of falling nothing short of an alien thriller film.

Arny’s Scare Factor
Storyline: 7/10
Suspense/Mystery: 7/10
Gore: 9/10
Jump Scares: 5/10

 

Annabelle 2 (2017)

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I grew up watching Chucky on my tv screens since I was 3, so I never really liked being given dolls for my birthday and Christmas. Not only is the movie/prop doll scary as hell, but the story behind it in this sequel makes the doll even creepier. Rare that you see the sequel outshines the first one when it comes to horror movies, but Annabelle 2 had a much better storyline with an ending that really tied together the entire series (you’ll know what I mean when you watch it).

Arny’s Scare Factor
Storyline: 7/10
Suspense/Mystery: 7/10
Gore: 8/10
Jump Scares: 7/10

 

The Ring…(Japanese original)

ringu

The English remake of the ring was just as good, but I think that the Japanese version captured the fear of the those who watched it much better. The actors in the Japanese version sold the movie more than their American counterparts. If you have not yet watched the original Ring then I guess this weekend is a good time to catch up with an old friend. Remember… don’t watch the video.

Arny’s Scare Factor
Storyline: 7/10
Suspense/Mystery: 7/10
Gore: 8/10
Jump Scares: 7/10

 

 

 The Fourth Kind (2009)

The_Fourth_Kind

This is another alien horror film but not the kind that Life, Alien, and Prometheus all have in common. The Fourth Kind explores Alien abductions and the deterioration of the human psyche. It makes you question whether there really are other life forms in space or perhaps they are already here. The film style is set out like a documentary where in real videos are shown side by side with re-enactments. The most surprising feature about this film is that it starts Mila Jovovich, known for her role as the protagonist in Resident Evil. Other less surprising but disturbing things about this film, it is “based on a true story”.

Arny’s Scare Factor
Storyline: 7/10
Suspense/Mystery: 8/10
Gore: 6/10
Jump Scares: 7/10

Let me know if you have seen any of these in the comments below, or if you think I have overlooked a certain movie!