Trailer: Blade Runner 2029 – The ACTION Picture


 

The latest advert for Denis Villeneuve’s sequel to cult classic science-fiction-noir Blade Runner, is made for television. With that in mind, I never expected the tradition and history of this film to result in a generic shoot-em-up action picture, but hey, that is how one gets butts in seats. Of course, the trailer also gives more glimpses of the wonder post-urban world that cinematographer Roger Deakins and producer Ridley Scott magnificently deliver.

The internet is ‘freaking out’ and telling people not to watch this, as they embed it in the very-same ‘warning article.’ I am less caring about Spoilers, and more curious as to if this film will indeed be an action picture, and not an atmospheric, thoughtful science fiction film. Knowing Villeneuve (who recently made the nearly-gun-and-explosion-free Arrival, which brimmed with thoughtful sci-fi concepts and sophisticated film grammar, I am expecting the latter in spite of this bit of marketing.

 

Second Trailer: Blade Runner 2


 

If you want action and chases and a lot more Jared Leto, well then, this recent trailer for the Blade Runner sequel is probably tailored to your liking. Sure it sells it like a more conventional action-blockbuster, which I am confident it will not be, but there is your marketing department for you.

Also getting a healthy amount of trailer time are Robin Wright and David Bautista, but the real star here is the production design by Dennis Gassner and the cinematography by Roger Deakins.

Trailer: War For The Planet of the Apes

War. What is it good for?

The rebooted Planet of the Apes series keeps on chugging, and keeps on empathizing with the Apes, while making the human villains more vile with each chapter. Here we have a genocidal Colonel played by Woody Harrelson with his military apparatus, juxtaposed against Ur-Ape, Caesar (Andy Serkis returning) taking in a human orphan. As always the motion capture animation of the Apes is astounding.

After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in a battle that will determine the fate of both their species and the future of the planet.

Oh, and writers, please, let us all place a moratorium on “I didn’t start this , but I WILL finish it.” (blech.)

Trailer: Blade Runner 2


 

The full trailer for Denis Villeneuve’s epic-scaled Blade Runner sequel has arrived, and it is glorious. In terms of future hologram bespackled cities, Ghost in the Shell, in hindsight was simply an amuse-bouche to the feast that Roger Deakins has prepared for us. Cold grey-blues, Fury-Road oranges, infinite whites, and twinkling Atari lights.
Oh My.

In terms of new cast members Robin Wright and Jared Leto introduced here, as does Ana de Armas (blink at the right point, and you will miss Dave Bautista).

I hope the story is as beautiful as everything on display here. I expect nothing short than greatness, even as I believe that movie will explicitly, in no uncertain terms, finally INSIST that Deckard is a replicant, and likely all of the police force.

Blown away here at the moment, though. Enjoy.

Review: T2 Trainspotting

Director: Danny Boyle (Steve Jobs, 127 Hours, 28 Days Later, The Beach, Trainspotting)
Novel: Irvine Welsh
Screenplay: John Hodge
Producers: Bernard Bellew, Danny Boyle, Christian Colson, Andrew Macdonald
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle, Steven Robertson, Ewen Bremner, John Kazek, Shirley Henderson
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 117 min.

 

 

My original posting of this review can be found at Afro Film Viewer

 


The 90’s seem so very far away now. Talking to some people I know, it’s ancient history. Time makes fools of us all, and trying to explain dial up internet, Ibiza Uncovered and Gazza’s goal at Euro ’96 to younger generation millennials will no doubt leave some us feeling foolish. The same could almost be said for Trainspotting. When first released in 1996, the film was a cultural phenomenon. For us Brits, it was as iconic to the 90’s as Britpop and bleached blonde hair. If you didn’t know that Irvine Welsh’s series of vignettes was a novel, you certainly knew it was a movie. Shallow Grave (1994) introduced us to Ewan McGregor and Danny Boyle, but it was Trainspotting that truly broke them out. From the thumping drum of Iggy Pop’s Lust for Life which launches the film, it’s uniquely comic yet bleak portrayal of junk addiction, to the simple yet brash mugshot poster, everything about the film screamed iconic.

20 years after Boyle introduced us to “perfect day” overdoses on skag, we are reintroduced to Mark Renton and his so-called friends in a film which isn’t really aiming for the same never say die exuberance that infiltrated our hearts. Why would it? Danny Boyle, one Britain’s more idiosyncratic directorial exports, is quick to let us know that two decades have really slapped these guys in the face. So much so, that even the consideration of playing Lust of Life pains the listener. Of course, this is not about the loudness of the track, but more the memories it digs up. We re-encounter Renton hit with physical health problems, but, like all his mates, he is haunted by his moment of betrayal which in turn left his friends in the gutter.

Instead of revelling in golden-hued nostalgia, T2 works best when its characters are reminded that their past is rife with sin. Trainspotting was drenched in a youthful nihilism which motivated every character, T2 has Renton and co look deep within themselves with a deep sense of regret. The film’s poignancy lies within what the characters have thrown away in the last twenty years. There’s no doe eye back slapping at the heady days of their youth. These people hurt each other and it shows. We like to think that such deep old wounds will heal over fine. They don’t. There’s always scar tissue.
Would you like to know more…?

Trailer: Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.2

A new Guardians of the Galaxy movie, means a new 1970s pop-rock collection of song, and that is led off here with Fleetwood Mac. All of showcased here, including a lot more of the effortlessly effective humour from James Gunn’s direction. Oh, and Kurt Russell. This particular corner of the Marvel universe is the only one I bother with, because it more than the rest of the studio’s franchise building efforts feel beholden to corporate sameness. Guardians of the Galaxy still feels like it has its own personality, and some directorial auteurism, propelling it along.

Trailer: Alien Covenant

Let the franchise pandering continue with the latest trailer for Prometheus Sequel, or just another Alien movie, Alien: Covenant. Clearly the trailer is highlighting a lot of classic tropes of the ever increasing franchise of xenomorph films, but the trailer does highlight an interesting dynamic across all these varied films, that of the community on the ship. The first Alien movie was blue-collar workers in space, and the second film was gung-ho marines, the third movie was uneasy inmates and the fourth one was, ahem, Firefly. Prometheus was an uneasy collection of corporate mercenaries, kind of 2nd and 3rd string of competence (hence all the dumb mistakes they make, which people relentless write off as ‘plot holes’ or ‘bad writing’.)

Covenant has the crew organized as romantic couples, settlers for a new world. Since sex and violence and inter-species rape has always been churning in this franchise, I’m actually quite curious to see how this plays out. But at the moment, yes, all the ‘give them what we think they want’ aspects of the Covenant marketing campaign have been putting up a lot of red flags.

Also, the Australian and New Zealand locations sure look sweet here.

Teaser: Blade Runner 2049

Eschewing the cyberpunk rain and clutter, the first teaser trailer for Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner sequel is all arid and spacious. It gets the job done however, showing Ryan Gosling as the title character leaving the cluttered metropolis, accompanied by a key line of dialogue from the original film, to a desert wasteland, where he encounters a piano, and an aged Harrison Ford; hopefully not a Replicant.

The first key dialogue, “Things were simpler then” — As if the first film was anything but simple. With Villeneuve, the superb above-the-line team including Ridley Scott, Roger Deakins, Hampton Fancher and Jóhann Jóhannsson and the budget of two major studios (Warners and Sony/Columbia), we have a potential FURY ROAD situation. This is a damn fine thing.

Friday One Sheet: Alien Covenant

One simply cannot argue with the simplicity of the teaser poster for the latest (8th?) entry in the Alien franchise.

Lots of negative space, the Alien hiding so close in the dark, this could be an image taken directly from the first, and still classic, film. When Ridley Scott went the prequel route with Prometheus, the marketing was very coy about whether or not the film was connected to the franchise, and in this prequel-sequel (second prequel?) they are being as clear as possible. The Xenomorph outside of perhaps Frankenstein, Dracula, and Godzilla, is the one of the most iconic creatures in popular culture, and it certainly makes a lot of sense to maximize its use at this point.

Also, most succinct tagline ever: “Run.”

Trailer: Skull Island

It appears that Kings of Summer director, Jordan Vogt-Roberts, has crafted a good old-fashioned monster mash with the ongoing effort to establish a US-Kaiju franchise. The film is listed oddly enough as a sequel to Gareth Edwards’ 2014 remake of Godzilla, Not Peter Jackson’s wonderful 2005 version of King Kong. However you wish to parse studio franchise building, here we have Helicopters, dinosaurs, white-painted aborigines, explosions, and the big ape himself, King Kong – although judging from the one-liners, it is John C. Reilly that is going be the most fun. He joins Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, Shea Whigham, and John Ortiz in a pretty solid character-actor kind of cast.

It looks fun and rather inconsequential, what a good summer blockbuster should be.

Friday One Sheet: Trainspotting Then And Now

Thus far the advertising and trailer for the 20 years later follow-up to Danny Boyle’s classic Trainspotting (adapted wonderfully from Irvine Welsh’s novel) have been copying the look and feel of the original film to the point of almost repetition. I know this is how you get butts in seats, but I hope the film is more than just a ‘reunion tour’ of aging Scottish junkies. I like UK Quad posters, a lot, so I’m showing you these.

For comparison sake, here is the iconic poster from the 1996 original.