Review: ‘Blade Runner 2049’

Director Denis Villeneuve returns after his recent Oscar nomination to embark on a journey into the wildly complex and dangerously beloved world of Blade Runner, a 1983 sci-fi classic from director Ridley Scott loosely adapted from the book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. Creating a sequel from a classic is always a daunting task, but actually achieving a film worthy of standing next to the original is a feat very few can say they’ve met, but Villeneuve can now stand amongst the great who have come before him and watch as his film, Blade Runner 2049 is cherished for decades to come.

The year is 2049, and the world has been turned on it’s head by advancements in bio-engineering that have created human-like “Replicants” that have integrated into society. A group of trackers called Blade Runners, are tasked with hunting down old Replicants capable of dangerous actions and bringing them to justice. One such Blade Runner, K (Ryan Gosling) has stumbled upon a secret buried deep in the Earth that could trigger the collapse of society. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years, and who could be the key to unlocking the mystery. As Niander Wallace (Jared Leto) continues on in his quest to create the perfect Replicant, destined for planetary expansion, his questionable practices begin to come to life and a dark secret is about to expose the Replicant program.

This bold, beautifully crafted, visually stunning and mind bending sequel is nothing short of sensational with an all star cast lead by Ryan Gosling and Harrison FordGosling calm demeanor and presence are perfect for the Blade Runner world. It is equally as wonderful to see Harrison Ford back in one of his many iconic roles as Deckard. Seeing the character again and finding out what happened to him following the events of the original film was exceptionally satisfying and Ford was up to the task. Jared Leto is haunting in his portrayal of the designer Wallace. Leto leaves nothing to chance, electing to embrace the darkness and bring to life a cerebral villain for a new generation of sci-fi fans. Director Denis Villeneuve vision is suited for this world above all others. Together with Cinematographer Roger Deakins, Villeneuve expands on the epic world created in the original while still keeping the look that makes Blade Runner so iconic to fans worldwide.

Overall, Blade Runner 2049 is a long journey at 164 minutes, but a journey worth taking. A beautifully crafted classic that will stand the test of time and wow fans of science fiction and neo noir for years to come.

Stars: 4 1/2 out of 5

After Credit Scene? NO

Trailer:

Review: Suicide Squad

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Warner Brothers are off to a rough start in creating their DC Cinematic Universe with the overwhelmingly negative reception of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but they’re hedging their bets that David Ayer’s Suicide Squad can right the ship. With movie superstar Will Smith, the live action debut of beloved character Harley Quinn and the return of the Joker, this movie is set up to be a home run, but with early screening responses trending negative and word of back stage issues, could we possibly be seeing strike two for the movie studio or will fans embrace this rouge group of bad guys doing good and usher in a new successful comic book franchise to the ever growing genre.

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It is a world post Superman and Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) is a government official who doesn’t plan on sitting back and waiting for an apocalyptic event to occur. Her plan is to assemble a task force consisting of a group of dangerous criminals with the intent of controlling them to do her bidding if a threat to this nation arises. She receives the approval to move forward and, along with military man Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), and samurai Katana (Karen Fukuhara) she selects her team consisting of Deadshot (Will Smith), the deadliest hitman on Earth, Harley Quinn (Margo Robbie), former psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum and current crazed super-villain who happens to be the love of The Joker’s life, Boomerang (Jai Courtney), a rugged, unpredictable and mouthy criminal who utilizes deadly boomerangs, Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), a super-villain with the features of a crocodile, and El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), a gang member who has powers that allow him to summon flames.

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Together they must take on Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), an ancient evil force that awakens to find a world where she once ruled has adopted new gods to worship. Enchantress beings to assemble a machine that will destroy the city, but it’s the Suicide Squad that is activated to take on the threat, but Enchantress isn’t the only threat to these anti-heroes. Harley Quinn’s boyfriend, The Joker (Jared Leto), the biggest criminal in Gotham is out to get his girl back and he’ll stop at nothing to get her back. Around each corner, a new threat lurks, can this team find a way to coexist or will the deeds from their past hinder their chances of success?

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Director David Ayer creates a chaotic world in which to drop his suicide squad into and sets them off like a time bomb. Much like DC’s animated movie Batman: Assault on Arkham, this is very much a search and destroy film taking from recent video game plots, mixing it all into Ayer’s world and relying on the strength of the actors to make the simplistic plot as intersting as possible for the audience. Viola Davis is amazing and embodies Amanda Waller with the exact amount of venom needed to bring this “take no crap” character to the screen. Will Smith brings his star power to the film and ultimately becomes a focal point of the movie. Deadshot’s back story and character arc embrace the human side of his character while attempting to prove that even bad guys can be good. Margo Robbie’s Harley Quinn is the other focal point and her portrayal of Quinn is perfection. Robbie adds sex appeal to Quinn’s bad ass persona and brings to life one of the most beloved characters with pure class. Jared Leto unearthed the clown prince and brought the the screen a new take on the Joker. Leto’s is a perfect companion to Robbie’s Harley Quinn and one that will be highly anticipated to watch as the character makes his way thru the DCU. My only wish is that the character was given a bit more screen time. The rest of the cast including Cara Delevingne, Joel Kinnaman and Jai Courtney were serviceable at best and really didn’t leave a lasting impression.

Overall, Suicide Squad is a highly enjoyable action film that will surely entertain fans of the comics. Will audiences embrace this movie? That’s a question for another time, but one thing’s for sure, form your own opinion and make sure not to allow the negative critical reaction from allowing yourself to see the film.

Stars:

3 1/2 out of 5

After Credit Scene?

Yes. Mid Credit

Trailer:

Review: Jared Leto executive produced doc ‘HOLY HELL’ leaves a singed psyche.

HOLY HELL

Opening Theatrically May 27th, 2016

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A Film by Will Allen

Executive Produced by Jared Leto

*Sundance Film Festival – Official Selection*

What makes something a cult? According to the dictionary a cult is, “a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.” If that’s so, then by definition aren’t most religions a cult? Can one individual spew crazy ideas and gather a following of people who seem to be functioning human beings despite the intrinsically ridiculous nature of the information they are being fed? Well, of course. Just ask Donald Trump. Executive Produced by Jared Leto, HOLY HELL takes us into a group defined by the outside as a cult. But what did the members believe then and now?

In 1985, Will Allen became a member of The Buddhafield, a Los Angeles area spiritual group. A recent film school graduate, Allen began to chronicle the group’s activities that centered on their leader, a mysterious individual they called The Teacher, or Michel. Over time, the group’s dark side began to surface, until finally, a shocking allegation against The Teacher tore the group apart – all in front of Allen’s camera. This incredible archive of video footage became the basis for HOLY HELL.

holy hellWill Allen‘s 22 years of footage appear, at first, to resemble a long-lost infomercial from the 80’s. It only takes a few minutes to realize that this is not VHS from our youth but the continuous documenting of a group of people seeking something different. What they ultimately find is a mysterious man who is nothing he claims to be. Utilizing intimate, present-day, sit down interviews with members of Buddhafield combined with Allen’s chronological documentation of the group’s daily activities, HOLY HELL is unlike anything we’ve seen before. To have such unguarded footage and insider knowledge is pretty unprecedented, especially for this length of time. From private therapy sessions to retreats, public outings and the eventual breakdown, each year is more shocking than the last. There are moments that will make you cringe, question your judgement, and certainly, times that will turn your stomach. HOLY HELL is as relevant today as it was when it began its seedling production. It will both open your eyes and terrify you.

Opening Theatrically May 27th, 2016

Comic- Con First Look- SUICIDE SQUAD Trailer

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ICYMI- This looks incredible. There’s been a lot of hype surrounding Jared Leto‘s Joker… I don’t know about you, but this quick glimpse of him and the 6 seconds of dialogue just owned me. Enjoy the your first look at Suicide Squad.

Suicide Squad Director David Ayer Tweets Photo of Jared Leto in a Familiar Pose

For those of us who saw the cast photo from the upcoming Suicide Squad film, many wondered why actor Jared Leto  was missing, well, director David Ayer latest tweet may shed some light on his whereabouts. Joker fans will instantly recognize the photo as an homage to the cover of Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s classic story “The Killing Joke.” You can view both the tweet and the cover below.

Released in 1988, Batman: The Killing Joke provided fans with an origin story for the Joker. It depicts the clowned prince as a failed stand-up comedian who agrees to aid a gang of criminals and is thwarted by the superhero Batman before being disfigured; in doing so he is driven insane and attains his supervillain persona.

No word on if this tweet is a foreshadowing as to what we can expect from Leto’s interpretation of the character in the upcoming.

Suicide Squad will hit theaters on August 5, 2016

Our First Look at Jared Leto’s Transformation into The Joker!

Jared Leto has been having a lot of fun the last 24 hours teasing his fans regarding his recent transformation into the role of The Joker for the upcoming Suicide Squad movie. The following pictures have been released by the actor across social media and, as you can see, the singer / actor’s famous long hair is officially gone and so is…well…you can see for yourself!

Suicide Squad begins shooting very soon in Toronto, and is set for release on August 5, 2016. The movie stars Jared Leto, Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney, Viola Davis, Cara Delevingne, and Joel Kinnaman.

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A photo posted by JARED LETO (@jaredleto) on

Look ma! No eyebrow!

A look into tomorrow. #lovelustfaithdreams A photo posted by JARED LETO (@jaredleto) on

Annnnnnnnd now the hair color….

 

What do you think?! Are you excited to see Jared Leto as the Joker?!

Jared Leto Discusses Playing The Joker in the Upcoming ‘Suicide Squad’ Movie

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When the upcoming Suicide Squad cast was announced, one of the most intriguing casting decisions was that of Academy Award winning actor Jared Leto as the Joker. The actor spoke to Billboard this week and opened up about what we can expect from his portrayal.

“The opportunity to take on this nearly Shakespearean character — that’s what graphic novels and comic books are becoming, right?” Leto says.“[He’s] this beautiful disaster of a character — what a big challenge.”

The actor also went on to reveal that he is packing on the pounds for this role, quoted as saying, “I’m trying to gain a lot of weight. It means I have to eat every couple of hours — and I’m terrible at eating a lot.” No word on the direction that Leto will take the character, but the announcement of gaining some weight is an interesting mention. A character most beloved by fans, The Joker will be played by a new actor for the first time since Heath Ledger’s performance in 2008’s The Dark Knight.

The film will shoot from April until September for an August 5, 2016 release.

[UPDATE] Tom Hardy Exits DC’s ‘Suicide Squad’ Movie

<> on July 13, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.

UPDATE: Variety reports that Jake Gyllenhaal has passed on the offer to play Rick Flagg. The search for a Tom Hardy replacement continues.

According to The Wrap actor Tom Hardy has been forced to drop out out of Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Entertainment’s upcoming Suicide Squad movie due to scheduling conflict, but word has it that David Ayer has reached out to his End of Watch star Jake Gyllenhaal to replace him. Hardy was slated to play Rick Flagg in the film. Read More →

DC’s Suicide Squad Movie Announces It’s Cast!

GalleryComics_1920x1080_20141112_NSS4_cover_R1_544ad88bafa086.84446057David Ayer (Fury) must’ve sold his soul to bring DC Comics’ super villain team to the big screen with such an all star cast. Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, Warner Bros. Pictures announced just minutes ago that the cast has been assembled and here it is: Read More →

‘Suicide Squad’ Eyeing Jared Leto as the Joker and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn!

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David Ayer’s DC comics adaptation Suicide Squad has been targeting some high profile talent as of late, now TheWrap is reporting that Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) is being eyed to play The Joker. Previous reports had Leto linked to Marvel’s Doctor Strange but those rumors have all but dried up. If the rumors hold true this would be the Joker’s first appearance of the character since Heath Ledger’s Oscar winning portrayal in 2008’s The Dark Knight.

But that’s not all the Suicide Squad news! Read More →