“Blade Runner” Review

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Blade Runner (1982)

“A humanoid robot is like any other machine; it can fluctuate between being a benefit and a hazard very rapidly. As a benefit, it’s not our problem” (Rick Deckard in “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”).

Since its release in 1982, Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner” has achieved a classic cult status, and is deemed by many to be the most influential science-fiction film ever made, just behind2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968). It is loosely based on a book by Philip K. Dick and stars Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young and Edward James Olmos. In the film, set in a distant future, Rick Deckard (Ford), an officer at the special police “Blade-Runner” unit is on the mission to hunt down and “retire” (kill) a number of replicas (or androids) who escaped newly-colonised Mars and now wreak havoc on Earth. The film’s superior attention to detail is undeniable; its visuals are original and mind-blowing; and its “minimalist”, “slow-burning” narrative is also admirable, with Ford and Hauer commanding the screen. However, when it comes to comparing the film to the book by Philip K. Dick, “Blade Runner” falls short of being a philosophical, character-focused and narratively-engaging film it aspires to be.

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“The Discovery” Review

The Discovery Poster

The Discovery (2017)

The Discovery” is a film which had its first premiere at the Sundance Film Festival 2017, but, arguably, it deserves more attention than it eventually got. Here, Will (Jason Segel) and Isla (Rooney Mara) meet in the strangest of times. It has been scientifically proven that the afterlife does exist, and this fact alone spiralled millions of suicides around the world, with people almost desperate to “get to the other side”. The scientist Thomas Harbor (Robert Redford) is behind the new discovery, and he has another trick up his sleeve: he thinks he can also show what the afterlife looks like before people take their lives. After all, who would not want to look at a holiday brochure before committing to their holiday destination? Although the film’s narrative slops and the chemistry between Segel and Mara is lukewarm, the film is atmospheric, raises some fascinating issues, and has a strong ending.

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“Blade Runner 2049” Trailer

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.

“The Discovery” Trailer

Synopsis: One year after the existence of the afterlife is scientifically verified, millions around the world have ended their own lives in order to “get there”. A man and woman fall in love while coming to terms with their own tragic pasts and the true nature of the afterlife.

“Upstream Color” Mini-Review

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Upstream Color (2013)

Most critics couldn’t stop talking about it.’ (Keith Kimbell, Metacritic)

The now Sundance Festival’s favourite, Shane Carruth, came in 2013 with his second major film titled ‘Upstream Color’, a film to rival his brain-wrecking ‘masterpiece’ – ‘Primer’ (2004). Revered by critics worldwide, Upstream Color’ starts off with a thief who kidnaps a woman and drugs her into a game of manipulation to relieve her of her possessions. From then on we see the unfolding of probably some of the most confusing and perplexing events on screen in years. The audience is confronted with such deep philosophical/psychological, biologically-themed topics as the essence of nature, cycle of life, free will/determinism, etc. This existential feel is present throughout the film’s 96 minutes’ duration.

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“Gravity” Review

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Gravity (2013)

‘Tell you one thing—can’t beat the view’ (Matt Kowalski in ‘Gravity’).

This latest critically-acclaimed film from Alfonso Cuarón comes as the culmination of a four years’ wait for technology to catch up with the director’s ideas, similarly to Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ (2009). In ‘Gravity’, we see mind-blowing visuals of the outer-space, beautiful shots of the planet Earth and exhilarating special effects. The film itself depicts two astronauts, Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) who are left stranded in the open space trying to get back to Earth while their supply of oxygen is running out. Meteors and flying debris are just examples of the dangers they have to face on their journey back.

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“K-PAX” Mini-Review

K-PAX (2001)

Based on a novel by Gene Brewer, ‘K-PAX’ tells the story of Prot (Kevin Spacey) – a being who claims he came to planet Earth from a mysterious planet ‘K-PAX’ in another galaxy. As a result of his unbelievable statements, Prot is ushered to a mental institution, where he becomes the subject of fascination for numerous patients and for his psychiatrist, Dr. Mark Powell (Jeff Bridges). As time passes and Dr. Powell tries to cure his mysterious patient, he soon realises that he is losing his own sense of what is logical and true.

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