It’s taken 35 years for the often talked
about sequel to one of sci-fi cinema’s finest moments- Blade Runner- to actually appear in the form of Blade Runner 2049. Most
fans were against the idea of a sequel, pondering how you could improve on
perfection. Well, like the Replicants of the first film, although perfect in many
eyes, the original version underwent its own various modifications to improve
significant flaws over the years. We had the original “noir” version, the “director’s”
and the “final” cut before director Ridley Scott and most fans were happy. This
final cut also seemed to answer the conundrum relating to Deckard (Harrison Ford)
being a Replicant himself. Or so we thought. If, as I and many thought pre-screening,
Deckard was indeed a Replicant, how has he lived so long and aged? Did this
mean that the Replicants were given skin that would age, yet their strength
would remain? If so, then Harrison Ford
is still the perfect choice but I’m afraid I can’t tell you anything as director
Denis Villeneuve asked for reviewers to refrain from giving away any key
aspects from this special preview in London on Oct 2nd. Not only that,
I’m still not sure of the answer after
seeing this incredible continuation of the Blade Runner mythos. What I am sure
about is that this is, along with The Godfather Part II, one of the greatest sequels
in movie history.
The premise is thus: LAPD Officer K (Ryan
Gosling) is a Blade Runner in 2049. During an investigation, he unearths a long
hidden secret that, if true, would lead society into chaos. Once begun, his
quest leads to him tracking down the long missing Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford)
to find out the truth; but will he and, indeed, Deckard, like what they find?
Everything about Blade Runner 2049 works.
From the perfect casting to the sets which rise from the dust bowls of a
radioactive Vegas and the sodden Los Angeles like glistening tiers in the rain.
The cinematography by Roger Deakins is stunning while the screenplay by Hampton
Fancher and Michael Green is as subtle as the music by Hans Zimmer and Benjamin
Wallfisch in complementing, yet adding to, the mythos of the original. As a viewer,
you are like a feather on the breeze and have no choice but to be blown
in whichever direction Villeneuve and producer Scott decide to take you.
The film is like a spiral interior of a sea shell; whether it’s leading you out
or into its centre is the question you have to try and work out for yourself.
With a running time just short of three hours,
this film, like the beloved “spinners” which have replaced cars, simply flies
by and the fact that this screening took place on the eve of director
Villeneuve’s 50th birthday led me to think that this is a movie will
still be talked about 50 years from now. We may not have flying cars by then but I’m
sure we’ll still have neon advertising dominating our cities and climate change
affecting our lives.
This is a modern masterpiece that you really need to
see on the big screen, although I left there thinking I’d love to
see it in the “Elvis” room Deckard has. See it and you’ll know what I mean.
To commemorate the 35th anniversary of Steven Spielberg's masterful "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial", Universal has released a highly impressive edition comprising of Blu-ray, DVD and digital HD versions. The film has lost none of its wonder and timeless appeal and this gorgeous home video release makes it possible to re-live those great memories in appropriate style. (Some of us are old enough to remember being excited about the movie being released on VHS!) This limited edition is out of this world.
Here is a description of the contents:
Combo Pack Includes Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD* Over 3
Hours of Bonus Features! The E.T. Journals: Featuring behind the scenes footage
from the filming of the movie, this featurette gives viewers a unique feeling
of being on-set and living the excitement of what it was like to make E.T. (Blu-ray
Exclusive) Steven Spielberg & E.T.: The director reflects back on the film
and discusses his experience working with children as well as his overall and
current perspective on E.T. Deleted Scenes A Look Back: A special insider’s
look into the making of E.T. featuring interviews with Steven Spielberg, the
cast, and others intimately involved with the film. The Evolution and Creation
of E.T.: From idea to screenplay, through casting and making the film. The E.T.
Reunion: The cast and filmmaker reunite to discuss their thoughts on the impact
of the film. The Music of E.T. A Discussion with John Williams: Interviews and
footage of the long-standing relationship between John Williams and Steven
Spielberg. The 20th Anniversary Premiere: Composer John Williams played the
score of E.T. live at the Shrine Auditorium for the re-release premier of E.T.
This featurette gives us a behind the scenes look at this presentation.