Blade Runner 2049 (2017) Film Review

K (Ryan Gosling) is a Blade Runner – tracking down the old robot-types who need to be destroyed as they went a bit feral and did some killing of people once. When he comes across a situation that no-one believed was possible, he needs to delve deep to find the truth. Helped by his holographic girlfriend Joi (Ana de Armas), his boss Lieutenant Joshi (Robin Wright) and various others, he needs to track down Deckard (Harrison Ford) and find out what is what.

I saw this at Imax, and it was so totally worth it. The soundtrack is amazing (although there were a few times where I was confused about what was diegetic and what was non-diegetic) and it is stunning beautiful. It is also three hours long, which is a really, really long time. I also found that the various twists and turns of the film where extremely obvious and nothing surprised me, yet that didn’t bother me. I enjoyed it for exactly what it was.

The Princess Bride (1987) Film Review


If you have never seen this film, well, that sucks for you. Because I think that if you come to this film too late in life, you just may not get it. See, it is daggy as anything, with cheesy special effects, and over-the-top, magnificently melodramatic acting. And it is totally wonderful.

Story? Well, Buttercup (Robin Wright) is a girl who is love with a farmboy, Westley (Cary Elwes). But when his boat is taken by Dread Pirate Roberts, a pirate known to leave no survivors, Buttercup is bereft. So when evil Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon) chooses her as his bride, she doesn’t care. Love is dead for her. Then she is kidnapped by a mysterious party of three – Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin), a man gunning for the revenge over the death of his father, Vizzini (Wallace Shawn) a Sicilian who thinks he can outsmart anyone and Fezzik (the late, great Andre the Giant) who loves to rhyme but is not too smart. And things get exciting!

So wonderful, so fantastic. And then add in a legendary performance by Peter Cook, along with Christopher Guest, Fred Savage, Peter Falk, Mel Smith, Billy Crystal… too wonderful.


White Oleander (2002) Film Review


Astrid (Alison Lohman) is left to a series of foster homes after her mother, Ingrid (Michelle Pfeiffer), a passionate and crazy artist, is incarcerated for murder. Her young mind is moulded by a series of women who enter her life, non of whom have her best interests in mind.

It’s a very good film, depicting the way a teenager can be influenced and torn apart by a personality, and it is a tough and unfair journey. In many ways, it felt that it had a heightened sense of reality that jarred, but overall I liked it. Although it is one of those films that I think saying that I ‘liked’ it is not the best word. Appreciated is perhaps better.

What Just Happened (2008) Film Review


Ben (Robert De Niro) is a film producer whose latest film, staring Sean Penn (playing himself) tests poorly – especially the killing of a dog at the end. He needs to fix it, which takes all kinds of maneuvering. On top of this, he is dealing with the end of his marriage with Kelly (Robin Wright), his teenage daughter Zoe (Kristen Stewart). Plus, the star of his next film, Bruce Willis (also playing himself) has grown an ugly beard and will not listen to pleas to sort himself out before shooting. Even his manager, Dick Bell (John Turturro) cannot sort it out (in-between his serious stomach issues).

It’s a film that is full of stars and Hollywood inside stuff, and I reckon that it is entirely possible that people within the industry would relate to it a lot, even if they may not like it. Me? I found it a bit interesting, and somewhat entertaining, but it didn’t totally grab me.


Unbreakable (2000) Film Review


M. Night Shyamalan gained a reputation after the huge success of The Sixth Sense for being the master of the sudden and unexpected twist. I remember seeing Unbreakable after absolutely loving and being blown away by The Sixth Sense. It seemed so contrived and over-the-top, and I felt annoyed with it. But, teaching Media Studies many years later, I was looking for something to pair with The Dark Knight, and decided to give Unbreakable a go. There were some similarities; connections with comic book heroes and the struggle of a man with the challenges of his life.

Unbreakable follows David Dunn (Bruce Willis), a man who is the only survivor of train collision. In the days after he leaves the hospital, he is contacted several times by Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), a man who was born with Type 1 osteogenesis imperfecta, an extremely rare disease that causes his bones to break very easily. Elijah believes that Dunn is the opposite of him, a man who is unbreakable. A man who is destined to be a real life superhero.

Watching it again, I found that is an extremely well-crafted film. Somehow, despite being a very strange and unbelievable premise, it felt very real. Still, there was absolutely something that I did not like about it. I think it is that the way the film is put together it is very obvious that the director wanted me to experience certain emotions at certain times. I expect that this is the case of most films, or at least most dramas. Yet, if it is so obvious that I am expected to feel this way, I feel like I have been tricked. I do like the film, however I do feel that I was being tricked into responses that, in turn, I rejected.

Moneyball (2011) Film Review


Before I watched this, I was told that it was all about baseball, money and statistics, but that it doesn’t matter if you don’t know about the sport because it’s a good story. That’s a load of baloney. There are some things that you need to know about. Like, for example, in baseball players can be traded or dropped anytime during the season. That’s pretty crucial. Plus, there’s a whole of technical sport talk that I don’t know about, and really don’t care about. All of this made for a pretty boring film for me.

Brad Pitt plays Billy Beane, who organizes the buying and selling of players for Oakland A. He encounters Peter Brand(Seth Rogan) who is a new, young guy working for a rival team. Beane can see the value of the thinking of Brand, and so buys out his contract and between them they try to change the way people think about baseball.

Sound interesting? Perhaps it might be to you. I can’t fault the performances at all, but as far as subject matter and scripting is concerned, I was just totally lost.

Moneyball was nominated for Oscars for Best Acheivement in Film Editing, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Brad Pitt), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Jonah Hill), Best Sound Mixing and Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay.