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Does ‘Blade Runner 2049’ live up to the original? The critics weigh in

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Don’t look so skeptical, Ryan. Your new movie’s great!

Image: Warner Bros.

Believe the buzz: Blade Runner 2049 really is that good.

Mashable‘s own Josh Dickey was over the moon about it, gushing that it’s “as good as sci-fi gets in this world.”

And he wasn’t the only one bowled over by the Denis Villeneuve-directed sci-fi sequel. Often, early hype for a movie turns out not to be much more than that – hype. But in the case of Blade Runner 2049, critics can’t seem to stop falling all over themselves to sing its praises. Well, most of them, anyway.

No one’s serving up spoilers

Brian Raftery, Wired:

Before a recent press screening of Blade Runner 2049, a representative from Warner Bros. read a note from Denis Villeneuve, in which the director politely asked those assembled to preserve the film’s many secrets. It’s a reasonable request, but a difficult one, as any discussion of 2049 is bound to involve spoiler-spilling queries, many of them existential.

Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly:

Three-plus decades later, its sequel arrives in a cone of secrecy so fiercely guarded that unwise reviewers could meet a bottle of chloroform in a dark alley just for disclosing what happens in the first five minutes.

Matt Singer, ScreenCrush:

… I’m not supposed to talk about the film’s actual story yet. My screening of Blade Runner 2049 began with a publicist reading a statement from Villeneuve imploring the critics in attendance to “preserve the magic” of the film by not spoiling any of its twists. I’m going to do my best to honor his request, mostly because Blade Runner 2049’s plot does have a little magic in it, and it is fun to discover things at the same time as its hero, an LAPD detective named K, played by Ryan Gosling.

Look at how pretty that is.

Image: Warner Bros.

It’s bloody beautiful

Matt Singer, ScreenCrush:

My God, what a beautiful movie this is. Blade Runner 2049 looks like someone dared director Denis Villeneuve and cinematographer Roger Deakins to make the most visually spectacular science-fiction film of the century — and then they actually did it.

Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly:

… nearly every impeccably composed shot — a surreal six-handed love scene; a shimmering hologram of Elvis, hip-swiveling into eternity; a “newborn” replicant, slick with amniotic goo — feels like such a ravishing visual feast

Rodrigo Perez, The Playlist:

One should give venerable cinematographer Roger Deakins all the awards, as his work supports the existential anxiety seething through the film. His atmospheric gaze is breathtaking, and in fairness to his competitors, the category of best DP at the Oscars might as well be closed.

Harrison Ford, though

New Movie Reviews

What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali review – from prodigy to legend

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Part one of Antoine Fuqua’s film shows the transformation within a decade from 12-year-old boxing novice Cassius Clay into the heavyweight champion of the world

“I asked my mother when I went to church on Sunday: ‘Why is everything white? What happened to all the black angels?’”

So Muhammad Ali told an interviewer, before giving a knowing look and – boom! – the punchline. “Black angels are in the kitchen preparing milk and honey.”

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Saving Private Ryan review war epic still hits with sledgehammer force

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The trauma of war is made viscerally clear in Steven Spielbergs dazzling fusion of audacity, action and poignant human drama

“A present participle in the title usually promises a film with light, ironical flavour: Driving Miss Daisy, Being John Malkovich, Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo. Not here. Screenwriter Robert Rodat imagined this colossal second world war blockbuster with absolute seriousness, loosely inspired by the real-life case of Sgt Frederick Niland, recalled to the US from the Normandy campaign on emergency compassionate grounds because all his brothers were believed (wrongly, as it turned out) to have been killed in action.

With this movie, re-released 21 years on, Steven Spielberg created one of his greatest films, an old-fashioned war picture to rule them all gripping, utterly uncynical, with viscerally convincing and audacious battle sequences. It was a staggeringly effective action film with a potent orchestral score by John Williams, candidly inspired by Elgars Nimrod. And it was based on a redemptive, quietist premise: the point of the mission is not to engage the enemy but to rescue an American soldier and spirit him away out of danger. Yet when the time of great trial comes, of course, no one is ducking the fight……………………………………….”

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/jun/06/saving-private-ryan-review-spielberg

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Brightburn review effectively nasty horror subverts Superman narrative

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A superheros origin tale gets a gory upgrade in this snappy, and mostly entertaining, antidote to superhero fatigue

Long before he became the alt-superhero auteur of choice, for both Marvel and DC, James Gunn was a proud peddler of niftily produced schlock. He started out at Troma writing their deranged midnight movie take on Shakespeares most tragic romance, before working with Zack Snyder on his ferociously satisfying remake of Dawn of the Dead. For his directorial debut, Slither, Gunn paid tribute to 50s B-movies with a gloopy small-town horror about evil alien worms and while he has risen the ranks since, smoothing out his edges to take charge of the Guardians of the Galaxy and Suicide Squad franchises, he remains an unabashed genre fan at heart. He recently wrote 2017s The Belko Experiment, a brutal workplace horror, and now he has produced Brightburn, an effectively nasty shocker that also acts as an antidote to the deluge of superhero films hes partly responsible for.

Written by his brother, Brian Gunn, and cousin Mark Gunn, the film flips the Superman narrative on its head, setting us up with an almost identical scenario before taking us in a far darker direction. In the small town of Brightburn, Tori (Elizabeth Banks) and Kyle (David Denman) are struggling to conceive, and after a meteor falls from the sky with a baby inside, they think their luck has changed. But as their adopted child Brandon (Jackson A Dunn) grows up, they realise that something is horribly wrong………………………………………….”

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/may/22/brightburn-review-james-gunn-superhero-origin-story

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