Posts Tagged ‘Edward James Olmos’

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.

Blowing up Corpus Christi

2 Guns

 two_guns_ver2

Director: Baltasar Kormakur

Cast: Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Edward James Olmos, James Marsden, Fred Ward, Paula Patton, Bill Paxton

Denzel Washington (Flight, Safe House) and Mark Wahlberg (The Fighter, Contraband) star in the Boom studios graphic novels film version 2 Guns, which is a basically a Tex Mex version of 48 Hours with all the classic formulaic traits of a buddy action film, reminiscent of the 1980’s complete with snappy dialogue and explosive action. Oscar winner Denzel Washington plays tough DEA agent Bobby Trench who unwillingly teams up with sexy and smart Michael Stigman played by former Calvin Klein underwear model Mark Wahlberg as they blow up diners with the best donuts in town in a Texas border town as a means of distraction against robbing a nearby bank packed with loads of Mexican drug cartel dollars.

Muchos dineros in Spanish means lots of dollars and Washington and Wahlberg both get more than they bargained for when they discover the amount of loot, which not only belongs to the shady Mexicans across the border but is wanted by Naval Intelligence and a vicious CIA operative which have been keeping the Mexican drug cartels in business.

Three groups of gangs are on their tail from the CIA in the form of Earl superbly played by Bill Paxton (Titanic, Haywire), a rogue Naval intelligence unit headed by Quince, played by James Marsden (a welcome change from his pretty boy image as seen in Hairspray) and a Sonora Mexican drug cartel headed up by the bull loving Papi Greco wonderfully played by Edward James Olmos (recently seen in the TV series Dexter as the Doomsday Killer).

Add in to this crazy mix is Paula Patton (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol) as the voluptuous Deb another DEA agent serving as some eye candy for the clearly male targeted audience and the usual chaos which ensues when Trench and Stigman decide to trust each other enough to team up together, making the convoluted plot twists more plausible by a fantastic onscreen chemistry between the two Hollywood heavy weights.

Denzel Washington as the tough and elusive Bobby Trench, while Oscar Nominee Mark Wahlberg as the eye-winking younger and sharp-mouthed wise guy clearly makes 2 Guns not just worth watching, but highly enjoyable and humorous, filled with car chases, bull-running and an explosive sequence at a naval base in Corpus Christi, Texas. Watch out for a great cameo by Fred Ward as a Naval Commander Admiral Tuwey.

2 Guns, by Icelandic director Baltasar Kormakur who also directed Wahlberg in Contraband unapologetically takes much inspiration from such 1980’s classic action films as Lethal Weapon, 48 Hours and Beverley Hills Cop, and while there is less comedy and more action, it is a thoroughly entertaining way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Lots of violence, swearing and bull running, this machismo action thriller, complete with a Mexican standoff is a wonderful pairing of these two talented Hollywood megastars.

The likeable talented duo of Washington and Wahlberg effortlessly produce that onscreen chemistry which is casual, cool and funny. 2 Guns is recommended for those that enjoy US-Mexican cross border drug running bank robber films without the insane gore and menace of Savages or No Country for Old Men.

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