Blade runner 2049 (2017)

Blade runner 2049: Director of Arrival, Denis Villeneuve brings us the sequel of Blade runner, 35 years later. I have a vague memory of the first one but seeing this was a wonderfully reflective experience.

Set in 2049, the film continues its basic premise from the previous one. Almost allegorical, it weaves in a modern version of an age old theory in the world of replicants. The background score is haunting, the lack of emotions is stifling and the art direction is mind blowing.

A true science fiction film, the perfect symmetry and minimalism is unique. No unnecessary blinking lights and technical jargon, here life in the future spells out where the human race is headed, albeit not in the next 32 years perhaps. Technology and it’s advances are so poetically placed, that you feel sad, rather than enthused.

Ryan Gosling’s dead pan expression is perfect for his role. Ana de Armas is enchanting, Jared Leto is quietly menacing and Sylvia Hoeks leaves a lasting impact. Harrison Ford is still rocking at age 75, a true legend.

There are many sequences which leave you dumbfounded. How history, artificial intelligence and the modern ruin of society are woven to paint a morbid and dark picture of the future is fascinating. Long at 163 minutes, it’s worth it!

3.5/5

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Ender’s Game (2013)

It took some convincing to watch this film, which appeared another ‘save the world’ genre, using the talents of young children’s gaming skills no less! Keeping the alien threat aside, this film used combat strategy and teenage psychology to come up with the most effective battle plan to save Earth.

The pressure the kids are put under seems downright unethical, because they are strategically being used for their ‘fearless, risk taking, abandoning feasibility’ type qualities. The training they go through, and how Ender is identified and rises up the ranks, balances the action/special effects quotient with decent drama.

We have stalwarts like Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley supported by the talented Viola Davis, but the film belongs to the ensemble of young adults in it. Asa Butterfield as Ender, Hailee Steinfeld as Petra and Abigail Breslin as Valentine are memorable, whilst their peers that surround them are sincere to their roles.

An engaging watch.

3.5/5