Tag Archives: Ana de Armas

KNIVES OUT (2019) – My rating 8.5/10

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Knives Out is a murder mystery written, produced, and directed by Rian Johnson. Described as a modern take on the whodunit, the film follows a family gathering gone awry, after the family patriarch’s death leads a master detective to investigate. I looked forward to seeing this film and it did not disappoint.

 

Wealthy crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) invites his family to a party at his mansion to celebrate his 85th birthday. The next morning, Harlan’s housekeeper Fran (Edi Patterson) finds him dead, apparently having slit his own throat. An anonymous figure hires private detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) to investigate. Blanc is accompanied by Detective Lieutenant Elliot (Lakeith Stanfield) throughout the investigation.  Blanc learns that Harlan had alienated many of the family: he had threatened to expose his son-in-law Richard Drysdale (Don Johnson) for having an affair; cut off his daughter-in-law Joni’s (Toni Collette) allowance for stealing money meant for Megan (Katherine Langford) his granddaughter’s tuition; fired his youngest son Walt (Michael Shannon) from his publishing company and cut his lazy grandson Ransom (Chris Evans) out of his will. Harlan’s daughter Linda Drysdale (Jamie Lee Curtis), Harlan’s mother Wanetta who is affectionately known as “Great Nana” (K Callan) and Harlan’s nurse Marta Cabrera (Ana de Armas) are all still in Harlan’s favor.

Knives Out is a typical “who done it” film cleverly put together by Rian Johnson for the modern viewer. I thought this ensemble cast was brilliant as was their story. Clear and comprehensible, the pieces were placed coherently and fit like a glove. If you’re looking for a good brain teaser, Knives Out is your cup of tea. Most of the family had a motive to murder Harlan but only one did it.  Find out when you see Knives Out! The film received critical acclaim, particularly for its screenplay, direction, and acting, and has grossed over $132 million worldwide against a $40 million budget. At the 77th Golden Globe Awards, the film received three nominations in the Musical or Comedy categories: Best Motion Picture, Best Actor for Craig, and Best Actress for de Armas. Check It Out!

[KNIVES OUT is Oscar-Nominated for Best Original Screenplay — Totaling 1 Oscar nomination]

 

BLADE RUNNER 2049 (2017) – My rating: 7.5/10

Blade Runner 2049 is an American neo-noir science fiction film directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green. Blade Runner 2049 is a sequel to the 1982 film Blade Runner, which was a big hit receiving 8.2 on IMDB. 2049 is set thirty years after the first film. A blade runner uncovers a secret that threatens to instigate a war between humans and replicants. I didn’t like this sequel as much as the first film but still thought it was good.

The original Blade Runner was set between 1982 and 2019.  The sequel’s timeline is set just 2 years after its release date in 2017.  All the technological advancements of the original were adopted but many of the actual developments of the era were disregarded, for example;  flat-panel displays, the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the collapse of Pan Am.

In 2049, replicants (described as “bioengineered humans”) are slaves. K (Ryan Gosling), is a replicant that works for the LAPD as a “Blade Runner”, an officer who hunts and “retires” (kills) rogue replicants. At a protein farm, K retires Sapper Morton (Dave Bautista) and finds a box buried under a tree. The box contains the remains of a female replicant who died during a caesarean section, demonstrating that replicants can reproduce sexually, previously thought impossible. K’s superior Lieutenant Joshi (Robin Wright) is fearful that this could lead to a war between humans and replicants. She orders K to find and retire the replicant child to hide the truth.

K visits the Wallace Corporation headquarters (the successor-in-interest in the manufacturing of replicants to the Tyrell Corporation, which went out of business) where the deceased female is identified from DNA archives as Rachael, an experimental replicant designed by Dr. Tyrell. K learns of Rachael’s romantic ties with former blade runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford). Wallace CEO Niander Wallace (Jared Leto) wants to discover the secret to replicant reproduction to expand interstellar colonization. He sends his replicant enforcer, Luv (Sylvia Hoeks), to steal Rachael’s remains from LAPD headquarters and follow K to Rachael’s child.

At Morton’s farm, K sees the date 6-10-21 carved into the tree trunk and recognizes it from a childhood memory of a wooden toy horse. Because replicants’ memories are artificial, K’s holographic AI girlfriend Joi (Ana De Armas) believes this is evidence that K was born, not created.

The remainder of Blade Runner 2049 gets interesting.  You must follow it very closely and should know some of the history from it’s first film to keep up.  Blade Runner 2049 is really suspenseful and a good mystery.  I feel the film moves a little slow and relies on too much technical lingo but if you’re attentive you’ll get it.  The acting is brilliant and the plot is amazing.  In my opinion Blade Runner 2049 is not quite as exciting as it’s original film but is still very good and holds it’s own.  Blade Runner is available on DVD and Blu-ray.  Check it out!

NOTE:  Archival footage, audio and stills of Sean Young from the original film are used to represent her character of Rachael. Young’s likeness was digitally superimposed onto Loren Peta, who was coached by Young.  The voice of the replicant was created with the use of a sound-alike actress to Young.

[Blade Runner 2049 is Oscar nominated for BEST:  Visual Effects, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Production Design and Best Cinematography.]