Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Denis Villeneuve’s “Blade Runner 2049” is already gaining the reputation of being a film which breaks new grounds in terms of creating visual splendour on screen, and its plot is a mix of cerebral reflections, unexpected turns of events and low-key, but effective action. While faithful to the world of the original film of 1982, “Blade Runner 2049” is really a film which is one of a kind, and in almost every respect. Here, it has been thirty years since Deckard’s adventures in “Blade Runner” (1982), and now planet Earth is even more depleted of its natural resources. The use of replicants on Earth increased, and now K (Gosling), a replicant police officer, is on the hunt “to retire” the older versions of replicants. However, one of his routine calls “to retire” has yielded important clues which may endanger the calm societal state whereby replicants and humans coexist relatively orderly. His adventure then becomes the one which involves the search for truth, and, like the original film, the preoccupation here is the issue of identity and the correct identification of false and true memories.
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This film from Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival” (2016)) looks promising: visually stunning and well-acted. But, I still have mixed emotions about it all. Will all the action and style here actually take precedence over depth and meaning? We will see.
La La Land (2016)
Universally acclaimed, “La La Land” is the kind of a film which could melt the most cynical and toughest of critics. As romantic as it is visually stunning, the main charm of the film lies in its simplicity: a guy, Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), and a girl, Mia (Emma Stone) both dream of professional success in Hollywood, and first find true happiness in each others’ arms before the practical realities of their chosen star professions separate them. With an uncomplicated plot and an absolutely stunning soundtrack, “La La Land” has all the appeal of an old musical, while keeping things interesting and original with notes of modern music, the showcasing of modern technologies and with the demonstrations of a competitive side of today’s Hollywood business. In “La La Land”, Damien Chazelle (director) shows that, in the 21st century, it is still possible not only to make a financially successful old-school musical-comedy, but also to produce a real gem of a movie capable of leaving the audience breathless with its heart strings’ pulling and sheer inventiveness.
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All Good Things (2010)
Some say that if you have not heard of a film before and that film has been around for awhile, it cannot possibly be good. Sometimes this is true, but there are exceptions. Directed by Andrew Jarecki and starring Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst, ‘All Good Things’ is a mystery crime drama which has been notoriously criticised fiercely by critics, and which currently holds a 32% rating on the Rotten Tomatoes website, but, probably, quite unjustly. The film begins as it is so ‘in fashion’ nowadays – the main character, David Marks (Ryan Gosling), the heir to a grand real estate business, tells his tale of woe. Beginning with his traumatic childhood and then the conflict with his father and ending with the loss of a girl (Kirsten Dunst) he so dearly loved, the audience is taken through an emotionally intense account of his life events. The main appeal of ‘All Good Things’ is that it is based on a real story, which, on the face of it, is really fascinating. The eerie disappearance of young and beautiful Kathleen Durst in 1982 shook local community, and her husband Robert Durst’s statements to the police were sometimes very contradictory.
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Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and starring Ryan Gosling, ‘Drive’ may give the impression of being yet another crime thriller filled with pointless action scenes and meaningless dialogue sequences. However, this first impression is false. Compared to other action movies, ‘Drive’ is like gold itself found on top of some pile of garbage. With an amazing soundtrack, cast, performances, script and, above all, that nostalgic and unforgettable 1980s feel to it, ‘Drive’ is an impressive film, giving off brilliance of some kind of a cult movie, which maybe only be comparable to ‘Taxi Driver’ (1976).
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