Posts Tagged Denis Villeneuve

Blade Runner 2049

bladerunner2049Directed By: Denis Villeneuve
Written By: Michael Green, Hampton Fancher
In Theatres: Oct 6, 2017 Wide
Runtime: 164 minutes
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures

Blade Runner 2049 is certainly a worthy sequel to the original for many reasons, including it’s stunning visuals and cinematography.

CGI is used only when really needed and it’s convincing even to the well trained eye.

The lighting used in the film was absolutely superb and in places it all felt very real an atmospheric but yet still different, showing a dystopian world.

There are a number of moral issues with Artificial Intelligence that the film touches upon and it left me asking myself what humanity actually is and how humans have an ability to completely and knowingly discard their humanity. This even when furnished with the knowledge that an artificial intelligence would highly likely seek/cherish humanity in it’s quest to be more human.

I could not help but notice that there was a critical message about the human pests ruining the environment with their throwaway culture. This manifested itself in the plot in a subliminal way.

Another re-occuring theme in Blade Runner 2049, is a retreat from the outdoors to inside, possibly setup as a pointer to humanity’s lack of respect for the outdoors.

I didn’t tire of the pace in this 2h 43m film and slowing things down really did seem to demand more attention from the viewer.

All of the actors and characters played out perfectly, with a good script.

The only criticism I could possibly make about this masterpiece, is that it would have been nice to have seen more of the residents that inhabit this dystopian world.

It certainly is a film that I would love to see again, just to make sure there wasn’t anything I missed, especially on the philosophical front, though not at the Reel cinema in Burnley, as the experience was marred by a broken bass speaker!

Reviewed by Chris Barnett

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Film review: Sicario (2015)

15 | 121 min
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Writer: Taylor Sheridan
Stars: Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro

“Sicario” follows an idealistic (or naive!) FBI agent, Kate Macer (Blunt), recruited to a government task force to aid in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico.

The secrtive and brutal methods of a mysterious and sinister agent Alejandro (Del Toro) and her superior Matt (Brolin) owe more to CIA black ops than police work. Sicario starts from the premise that normal, lawful methods have failed to win the ‘war on drugs’. No one in the film challenges that assumption. Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic (also starring Benicio Del Toro), showed how the drug trade influenced so many areas of life and how difficult it was to deal with. Now Sicario starts from the point that the war on drugs is lost and that the rulebook has to be thrown out of the window even to manage the trade.

Emily Blunt is convincing in her understated performance of a conflicted agent who is way out of her depth. Critics have said that Kate Macer is strong. That’s not my view. Macer compromises and shows weakness throughout. Whenever faced with a difficult moral choice she goes against her beliefs. She always submits to Alejandro and Matt eventually. I think she does that because, despite her moral qualms, she understands that they have the only practical solutions. That’s a dark message but perhaps a true one.

Sicario is a fascinating film with a thought-provoking theme. The set-piece action sequences (the opening raid, The Border crossing, the night- vision/tunnel sequence and the dinner scene) are nail-biting and intense.So it’s no wonder that the film has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 95%, based on 175 reviews, with an average rating of 8.1/10. Small wonder that Lionsgate has already commissioned a sequel, centering on del Toro’s character. The project is being overseen by writer Taylor Sheridan with Villeneuve also involved.

Reviewed by Pat Harrington

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