Posts Tagged ‘Barkhad Abdi’

Replicants Rising

Blade Runner 2049

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Cast: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Robin Wright, Jared Leto, Dave Bautista, Ana de Armas, David Dastmalchian, Edward James Olmos, Barkhad Abdi, Sylvia Hoeks, Tomas Lemarquis, Mackenzie Davis, Sean Young

When Ridley Scott’s original Blade Runner appeared on cinema screens in 1982 it was hailed as a visionary science fiction film about replicants in Los Angeles in 2019.

The film developed an instant cult following and become a prime example of Post Modern Film Noir, with its blend of 1940’s costumes coupled with a dystopian future of a vast city laid bare by global warming and sinister corporations filled with surreal images of a multi-national world overtaken by replicant animals and a rapidly depleting human population most of whom had gone off world to the colonies in outer space.

Thirty five years later, there is finally a sequel, the highly anticipated Blade Runner 2049 featuring Ryan Gosling as K and veteran actor Harrison Ford reprising his role as Deckard.

Directed by French Canadian Denis Villeneuve, who brought cinema lovers his excellent impressionistic films Arrival and Sicario, this is by far his best and most ambitious film yet.

With Blade Runner 2049 he had a lot of visionary expectations to live up to and with the able assistance of Oscar nominee cinematographer Roger Deakins, Blade Runner 2049 is a visual feast, a mind blowing and sophisticated contemplation on the nature of what humanity is, of what fabricated genealogy is and more significantly where our species are heading in a future increasingly popularized with invasive technology. Artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented operating systems to name a few.

If contemporary audiences are expecting a straight forward sci-fi sequel then don’t watch Blade Runner 2049. It’s advisable to watch the first film so that you as a viewer can understand all the cinematic references to the original that Villeneuve densely packs into this version along with some stand out performances particularly by Harrison Ford as the older Deckard as he appears exiled in an abandoned casino in a vacated Las Vegas to Dutch actress Sylvia Hoeks as the uber-cool yet vicious replicant Luv along with Robin Wright as K’s LAPD hard-drinking superior Lieutenant Joshi. Cuban actress Ana de Armas (War Dogs) also stars as a virtual projection of K’s love interest Joi to compensate for his increasing alienation in this post-apocalyptic landscape.

What is most captivating about Blade Runner 2049 is the subliminal images and the dexterous use of colour filters particularly in the chic scenes with new arch villain Niander Wallace played with a psychopathic God complex by Oscar winner Jared Leto (Dallas Buyer’s Club).

The ratcheting up of the pace in Blade Runner 2049 is remarkable especially in the film’s second half elegantly assisted by a phenomenal original score by Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch.

To tell audiences anything else about Blade Runner 2049, would be to reveal vital spoiler alerts and sinister plot twists.

Blade Runner 2049 is fantastic cinema on an epic, visionary scale and its magnitude would be lost if viewers saw the film on anything smaller than a massive screen complete with surround sound.

Blade Runner 2049 is superb viewing and gets a film rating of 9 out of 10.

A ravishing tour-de-force in post-modern semiotic brilliance, this film is not to be missed by those that loved the original Blade Runner.

67th BAFTA Awards

THE  67th BAFTA AWARDS /

THE BRITISH ACADEMY FILM AWARDS

Took place on Sunday 16th February 2014 in London

BAFTA WINNERS IN THE FILM CATEGORY:

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Best Film: 12 Years a Slave

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Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón – Gravity

Best Actor: Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years a Slave

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Best Actress: Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine

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Best Supporting Actor: Barkhad Abdi – Captain Phillips

american_hustle

Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Lawrence – American Hustle

Best British Film: Gravity

Best Original Screenplay: Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell – American Hustle

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Best Adapted Screenplay: Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope – Philomena

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Best Costume Design: The Great Gatsby

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Best Foreign Language Film: The Great Beauty directed by Paolo Sorrento (Italy)

Source: 67th BAFTA AWARDS

 

 

Navigating Hostile Waters

Captain Phillips

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Director: Paul Greengrass

Starring: Tom Hanks, Catherine Keener, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman, Michael Cernus, Max Martini

From the acclaimed director of United 93, Green Zone and The Bourne Supremacy, Paul Greengrass delivers another phenomenally brilliant docu-style thriller about modern day piracy in the harrowing film Captain Phillips. Two time Oscar Winner for Forrest Gump and Philadelphia; Tom Hanks delivers a sterling performance as the main character and proves his worth as a critically acclaimed superstar.

Captain Phillips tells the incredible true story of the 2009 hijacking of the US flag Maersk container ship MV Maersk Alabama off the Somali coast enroute from the Gulf to Kenya. Maersk – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maersk, a Danish based container shipping company is noticeable in any major port in the world from Durban to Rotterdam, from Dubai to Singapore and has offices in over 135 countries.

 Captain Phillips begins in the safety of Vermont, North Eastern America as the conventional Richard Phillips leaves home with his wife Andrea (a very brief scene by Oscar nominee, Catherine Keener) and flies off to the Middle East to captain a massive container ship travelling from the Port of Salalah in Oman to Mombasa in Kenya. Meanwhile back on the wild Somalian coastline, warlords are hustling up heavily armed potential pirates to go and capture one of these mammoth vessels using manoeuvrable skiffs to board these huge vessels so that the shipping company can pay a massive ransom for its valuable cargo.

What elevates Captain Philips from just another sea drama story is the superb direction of Paul Greengrass coupled with two equally dazzling and terrific performances by Hanks and the main Hostage taker, Abduwali Muse, a desperate Pirate Leader, wonderfully played by Barkhad Abdi, whose breakout performance has already garnered critical attention by the Hollywood Foreign Press and has been nominated for a Golden Globe Award for best supporting actor.

For Tom Hanks, who let’s be honest has really wowed viewers on the Big Screen recently from Larry Crowne to Cloud Atlas until this film. Hank’s Captain Phillips is terrifyingly accurate of a normal sensible man who is caught in an utterly extraordinarily dangerous situation which rapidly spirals out of control in hostile waters. Captain Phillips’s absolute fear and complete shock at dealing with a situation which soon becomes so traumatic that it’s impossible to imagine is completely believable and palpable.

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Captain Phillips with a screenplay by Billy Ray based upon a book A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea (2010), by Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty is a must see true life thriller and if viewers loved United 93 then Captain Phillips will keep audiences absolutely riveted.

This is top-notch entertainment from a director who really deserves more Oscar recognition. Captain Phillips is not to be missed and will retain its critical acclaim for years to come.

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