Review: Bladerunner 2049

I remember watching the original Bladerunner in one of the Century theaters in the 1980’s. A masterpiece of visual delight, it riffed off of the current hyper-popular branding and visual stimulation to weave a fantastic tale that succeeded, even with its overbearing narrative (the editors seemed to think us yanks needed to be hit over the head with the main plot lines.)

So, when I heard that they were making a sequel, I was delighted.

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Faulty Memory – Star Wars

A fond memory of my youth was watching Star Wars in the theater. 1977, and I thought that was the best-est movie EVAR!!!!1!!! Action, great special effects, space scenes, aliens, and the voice of James Earl Jones as Darth Vader. What was not to love about it.

I watched it a few times afterwards, but unlike some people I know, I moved on, and into other pursuits. I probably hadn’t seen the film since the early 1980’s. Continue reading →

Valerian movie review

Last year, one movie that I really wanted to see was Valerian (full title: “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”), a film by Luc Besson, who made one of my go-to SciFi movies, “The Fifth Element”. Known for making movies that are visually stunning, blending humor and action, and a penchant for strong female characters, I thought this couldn’t go wrong.

Alas, I didn’t make it to the theaters to see it, and I kept checking for it on Netflix and Hulu, without any satisfaction. Then when I got a spot bonus at work with Amazon gift cards, I went to it on their site, and instead of dropping it into my shopping cart, I noticed that it was available as part of my Prime membership. Cool. Continue reading →

Guilty Pleasure – the Resident Evil Franchise

I have a confession to make. I enjoy the Resident Evil movies. An adaptation of a 1990’s vintage video game, and an early vehicle for Milla Jovovich (who plays the key protagonist, “Alice”), the first episode in this series was released in 2002.

Having never played the game, it was a new concept to me, and for some unexplainable reason, I just enjoy the movie. Having watched the entire series, through the middle movies that were less enjoyable, I still can circle back and watch them over and over.

Set in an underground fictional city, “Raccoon City” the bio weapons lab is working on viruses that can animate the dead, and augment other living organisms. While the original video game was a first person shooter, in the “Doom” genre, where the creepy/crawlies are out to get you, the adaptation is not directly tied to the video game, and the script is surprisingly good.

That said, I can’t explain why I like this series of films, but I do. Part of it is Milla Jovovich, whose other efforts are greatly enjoyable (Fifth Element, Ultraviolet, etc) and turns into a consistent character during this series (how does she look the same over 2 decades?)

Or perhaps it is the action. Lots of violence, zombie apocalypse, and human interest themes. Not sure why, but it hangs together, and the sequels aren’t as sucky as they often are (Matrix Reloaded anyone?)

The real bummer is that none of the common video streaming services have these movies. That means I must rent or buy them. Or wait until my Tivo captures them from a broadcast. Still, that is a small price to pay for my enjoyment.

My guilty pleasures…