I’ve been seeing lots of films in the cinema recently, and some I’ve disliked and regretted – however some I have absolutely loved and have ranted about to anyone who will listen. mother! and Blade Runner 2049 are two films I loved seeing in the cinema recently, but for quite different reasons. Whilst mother! was a treat for the brain and a complete assault on the senses, Blade Runner 2049 was a nostalgic and action-packed trip from the past into the future. Here are two quick reviews below.
A couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.
I honestly think mother! was one of the most intense and amazing cinema experiences I’ve ever had. It was me and two friends in an empty cinema at 9:30 in the morning on a Saturday and I was a tired mess. What I experienced in terms of a response to the film’s content was so potent, such a concentrated feeling of tension and anxiety that I couldn’t help but exclaim out loud somewhere towards the end (given that there was no one else in the cinema) – “Holy fuck, I LOVE this film!”. I’m not going to spoil the plot, even though I’m sure you have some idea of what happens, given the rigmarole around its release. Director Darren Aronofsky went around telling people how they should interpret the story (not a fan of that), however, I feel that this is one of those films where the plot is so obtuse and symbolic that you can make anything you want out of it. Jennifer Lawrence’s performance is sublime, Javier Bardem is running around Javier Bardem-ing all over the place, Michelle Pfeiffer is overall a surprise highlight – the performances are great. The film is so artfully made, with a minimalistic score and masterful and meaningful direction by Aronofsky, despite his wishing to over-explain everything post-release. The cinematography by Matthew Libatique is also excellent. mother! is one of those films that I’ll tell everyone I loved, but I wouldn’t recommend it to film viewers who are sensitive to tension and anxiety. The strength of this film lies in how it makes you feel. It’s an intense experience, one that you won’t get over quickly.
Is it worth paying for a ticket?: Yes, absolutely.
Watch the trailer here.
Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
A young blade runner’s discovery of a long-buried secret leads him to track down former blade runner Rick Deckard, who’s been missing for thirty years.
I have to admit that I haven’t seen Blade Runner (1982) for ages, but I do have fond memories of enjoying it. This new Blade Runner 2049 was an interesting cinema-going experience – I went into it not having any idea that it was close to three hours long. Which leads me to my first point: this film needed a good edit. The first half was utterly slow and self-indulgent, and it surprised me, since editor Joe Walker also edited superb films such as Shame (2011) and Arrival (2016), both of which didn’t waste any time at all. However, the second half of this film is by far its best, with some excellent action and interesting plot developments. Direction by Denis Villeneuve and cinematography by Roger Deakins were both amazing – these two together are my ultimate film-making combination, both having a keen eye for visuals. As a result, Blade Runner 2049 was absolutely gorgeous and a treat for the eyes. I most enjoyed Ryan Gosling’s performance as replicant K. We know Gosling can play a solemn, quiet, and dangerous killing machine (we’ve all seen Drive and Only God Forgives), but he lends something special to this role in particular. Watching Harrison Ford reprise his role as Deckard was a whole lot of fun and surprisingly emotional to watch. There were quite a number of plot-points which seemed packed in at the last minute to this one, which makes me think we’ll be seeing at least one more film in the Blade Runner universe. Which I wouldn’t mind. The universe itself is so intriguing, and I really enjoyed this film.
Is it worth paying for a ticket?: Yes – but it’s three hours long, so bring some snacks.
Watch the trailer here.