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Director: Denis Villeneuve Starring: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Robin Wright, Jared Leto, Ana de Armas Running Time: 163 minutes


 

The advanced screening of Blade Runner 2049 and presumably, all advanced screenings of the film, began with a letter from the director, imploring those in attendance to keep tight lipped about the film’s various twists and turns, to “not spoil the magic”. And though there are plenty of spoilers that will, for the purposes of playing ball, be avoided in this review, Blade Runner and its sequel are not films about the plot details, not really. Despite the many story-changing cuts and decades of speculation and misleading trailers and advance screening advanced warnings, these are films whose true value lays not in the story beats but in the ideas and the images and everything else that a rogue tweet or a too-curious eye over a Wikipedia page cannot take away from you. From the outside, Blade Runner 2049 may look like yet another nostalgia cash-in, and an odd choice for one at that, but it’s no mere replicant of the original, providing a beautiful backdrop against which the series’ themes about identity, memory and autonomy are given further thought.

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Director: Patty Jenkins Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, David Thewlis, Danny Huston, Robin Wright, Connie Nielson, Elena Anaya  Running Time: 141 minutes


It seems bizarre that a character with the history and popularity of Wonder Woman would have to wait some 75 years before getting her own feature film. One of the arguments that would come up a lot as to why that is, in some comics circles at least, is that Wonder Woman is a “difficult” character to get right, with her unusual origin, grab-bag elements, lack of memorable villains etc, etc. But the Wonder Woman movie shows that in the right hands, the hands of a woman director with freedom and a vision for what she wants the character to represent, it doesn’t have to be difficult at all. In fact, it finds the DC approach of its characters as mythic icons much easier than previous entries to the stuttering ‘expanded universe’ so far. As it turns out, calling your superheroes gods is much less eyeroll-worthy when they’re literally gods, and what helps Wonder Woman stand out among the legions and legions of superhero properties is that it taps into what makes its character iconic and inspirational.

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