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Not Your Daddy’s Blade Runner



Apart from a few visual cues and references, the first half of Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 seems tonally unrelated to the classic from 1982 – and that’s a good thing. Any sequel worth its salt better push its own envelopes.

Sure it would be easier to “Force Awakens” the material and appeal to a lower common denominator, but that would disrespect the ingenuity of the original, and alienate that key demographic of obsessed middle aged fanboys in the process. Villeneuve’s vision may owe something to original director Ridley Scott, but he brings a very specific set of skills to the table that are entirely his own.

So… all of the trailers thus far have avoided key details from the film, and some have blamed the spoiler-free ad campaign for poor box office – if 196 million dollars internationally in a few weeks can be considered poor box office. Me? I’m gonna spoil some things for sure, so if that’s not your speed, stop reading now.

Still reading? Good. So, first things first; Ryan Gosling plays K, a Blade Runner whose job is to “retire” older model replicants not programmed to blindly obey. Those older models, like in the original film, tend to get a little stabby. We learn in the first frickin’ scene that K is himself a replicant, and he knows it, unlike, say, Rachel in the original, who had no idea she wasn’t human.

Speaking of Rachel, K finds her interred remains which reveal she died during an emergency c-section. That’s right, Rachel was preggers – a total game changer.  If replicants can have children, then maybe they should be masters of their own destiny, instead of forced labor and sex slaves. And from a manufacturing perspective, replicants that can reproduce would sure make it easier for the Wallace Corporation to pump out more replicants.

And so the search for Rachel’s offspring begins. The Blade Runners want that child retired to keep the status quo. The Wallace Corporation wants to reverse engineer this pregnancy phenomenon. The child is about thirty years old by now, the same age as, oh, Ryan Gosling’s K – programmed to obey but suspiciously conflicted about killing something born instead of built.

Any sequel worth its salt better push its own envelopes.

But it’s not as simple as all that, and I’m not going to divulge more. Suffice to say that K’s detective work leads him to the child’s father, former Blade Runner Deckard (Harrison Ford reprising his role) who has been hiding in radioactive Las Vegas for thirty years. The story truly picks up once Deckard is introduced, and the confrontation between he and K in an abandoned casino – in front of a glitchy Elvis Presley hologram – is exactly what a Blade Runner sequel could hope to be. Add an amazing CGI rendered clone of Rachel, and some truly tense action scenes, and any fan of the original will certainly have their pleasure centers caressed.

Edward James Olmos reprises his role as Gaff, albeit briefly, and Ana de Armas plays Joi, the hottest virtual reality assistant/lover you could feast your eyes upon – due in no small part to the best cinematographer in the world, Roger Deakins.

From a musical perspective, Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch ensure the score is appropriately reminiscent of the Vangelis original, It will give you goosebumps, I promise.

Rumor has it they may rush Blade Runner 2049 to home video sooner than usual, but if you can see it on the big screen, you really should. And while you’re at it, check out these three shorts released online to bridge the gap between the two films.

Brooklyn's own MC Krispy E has an opinion about most things you can put in your ear, eye, and mouth holes.

Brooklyn's own MC Krispy E has an opinion about most things you can put in your ear, eye, and mouth holes.

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Halloween: The Classic Slasher Film Gets a Proper Sequel



“Laurie Strode comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.”

1539919451162Michael Meyers is considered one of the elder slashers that helped catapult the sub-genre in the late 70’s and opened the door for such favorites as Jason Voorhees and Freddy Kreuger.

Much like its influences, the Halloween films have churned out eleven sequels, prequels, and I guess spin-offs, that tend to be cheap thrills on a boring night. These production companies try their best to produce cash grab after cash grab that tend to water down the legacies of the original films for the sake of forced jokes and cheap jump scares. Does this sequel, that for some reason names itself after the original movie, have anything to bring to the table?

Yes, I would say so. It feels like this movie attributes itself as a direct sequel to the first film, and totally ignores every other film in the franchise. This was a good move because this film does feel like a direct sequel – almost like it was an old movie from the 80’s recently unearthed with an aged washed-out color scheme and familiar score. It wasn’t as polished as the H20 series, but it wasn’t as grungy and delusional as the Rob Zombie films, either

The plot managed to remain simple which often is the Kryptonite for sequels and does a few callbacks to the first film without being heavy-handed about it.

Michael Meyers felt like an old man with the Director David Gordon Green giving us glimpses of his age, however he’s still very broad and menacing with little need to run after his victims. He tends to be great at sneaking and trapping his victims in inescapable corners.

“Feels like an old movie from the 80’s that was recently unearthed…”

The acting was decent, led by the talented Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her role as Laurie Strode. The characters felt real and not too far-fetched for some B-movie style decision making.

Even the story was engaging, but be prepared to question how some people are oblivious when they should be on high alert that a psycho murderer is on the loose in their town. Either way, you might want to lock your doors.

Overall Grade: B

It definitely was better that the last few Halloween films and manages to provide a couple of scares and jumps.

The director made a good decision of going with a John Carpenter-style Halloween film that delivers on good old slasher film exploitation without feeling the pressures of some big-time studio exec telling him to tone it down.

* * *

Halloween (2018)
Horror, Thriller
October 2018
Director: David Gordon Green
1 hour 46 minutes
IMDB reference click here

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The Predator



When a young boy accidentally triggers the universe’s most lethal hunters’ return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race.”

The movies that made my childhood great continue to get tarnished for a profit. First Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, now this. When they announced that another Predator movie was coming out this year, I let out my first exhausted sigh since I saw a Predator running side by side with Sanaa Lathan. The only thing that piqued my interest is that the prestigious Hollywood writer and original Predator alum, Shane Black was writing and directing this film. Lo and behold, not even Mr. Black could save this movie.

Before I get into my dislikes in this film, lets talk about the state of monsters in movies. Making a bigger hybrid of the original does not officially make a better movie. Typically these hybrids tend to stifle themselves by having all these new superpowers they can’t even use to dominate the unevolved human species, and find a way to self-implode, thus making them useless as a threat or even close to an iconic character.

Subtly is what made the first one great.

Now, in regards to the Predator series…it’s over. I know this film tried to open itself up to a sequel, but no. Leave it alone. We’ve watered it down way too much. What made the first film amazing was the ambiguity of the Predator. We didn’t know what it was or why it was killing people. In essence, we were drawn closer to the movie because we didn’t  see the monster until the 3rd act. After we saw its face and knew its intentions, the magic was gone. That’s why every other Predator movie paled in comparison.

Now this film in particular, it overcompensated by trying to be the biggest Predator movie without realizing that subtly is what made the first one great. It told you the Predator’s intentions way before we needed to know, and even tried to turn it into a social commentary. Listen, I’m here to see a Predator movie, not get beat over the head with the state of our planet…again.

What I found annoying is that everyone was so amazing at deciphering the Predators intentions, physical makeup, language, purpose, and weaponry with the smallest clues and all of a sudden they knew everything there was to know about these creatures. The speed and precision that these areas were identified were just way too convenient.

Okay, the little kid, Jacob Tremblay. I’ve done reviews of his movies before and I think he’s a great actor, but why the hell do we have a kid in a Predator movie??? You know he’s safe, and it changes the whole dynamic because now you know the adults are going to appease to the kid and turn this movie into something more friendlier than what we were expecting.

Overall Grade: D

As the movie went on, my grade got worse. The original Predator in this film was bad-ass enough, but introducing the hybrid Predator actually worsened the value of the movie. With that, the acting got worse and the plot conveniences got better and turned this movie into a big pile of Predator dung. They tried to resort to comedy and forgot that this film was originally a testosterone-filled horror/action thriller that was unforgiving to human sympathies and catered to the realities of brutal warfare. Also, another Predator film that failed to have a Schwarzenegger cameo. Remember, Dutch NEVER DIED!!!

Bonus Feature: Best Predator movies in order.

6. Predator 2
5. Predator vs. Alien
4. The Predator
3. Predator vs. Alien 2
2. Predators (go see this one instead. It’s a lot better)
1. Predator (the best one, period)

The Predator
Action, Adventure, (Horror)
September 2018
Director: Shane Black
20th Century Fox
1 hour 47 minutes
IMDB reference click here

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Ralph Breaks the Internet | Official Trailer



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