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Sunday, October 8, 2017

Cindy Prascik's Reviews of Blade Runner 2049 & The Mountain Between Us

Dearest Blog, yesterday it was off to Marquee Cinemas to see the highly-touted Blade Runner 2049 and not-at-all-touted The Mountain Between Us.
Spoiler level here will be mild for 2049, somewhat elevated (see what I did there?) for Mountain, but nothing really plot-related.
First on my agenda: Blade Runner 2049.
A young Blade Runner unearths a secret that sends him on a dangerous quest.
Ohhhhh...Ryan owe me. La La Land. Lars and the Real Girl. The Place Beyond the Pines. Only God Forgives. (Worst. Movie. Ever.) At this point, *I* could be forgiven for thinking this guy willfully takes only projects he hopes will bore me to death. Slowly.
In the interest of full and fair disclosure, here I'll confess that I haven't seen the original Blade Runner in about a hundred years and thus I remember very little (read: nothing) about it. I had good intentions of revisiting it before the new one hit cinemas, but never got around to it, so I know there were certain "recognition" moments that were lost on me. I should also note that I was in no way predisposed to dislike this, so the degree to which I did came as something of a surprise.
Blade Runner 2049 actually does have a fair few things going for it. The principal roles are carried by well-known and well-decorated actors who do as much as they can with wooden characters. Gosling is never less than watchable, and Robin Wright is the same. Harrison Ford takes his sweet time showing up, but when he does it's welcome, even if it seems a rehash of pretty much everything Harrison Ford does these days. The picture boasts astonishing, Oscar-worthy visuals and an ominous score that I can't wait to torture my coworkers with. For at least the first half of the movie, all of that was enough that I didn't hate it, but the longer it dragged on, the less interested I became in finding that silver lining, and there you'll find the movie's chief handicap: it is just too long to be as slow as it is (or too slow to be as long as it is). Yes, it's pretentious at times (lots of times). Yes, Jared Leto is ridiculous. Yes, it's often too dark to see anything at all, and yes, the 3D is utterly pointless.
BUT...2049 likely could have gotten away with most of that if only it weren't So. Damn. Long. I saw a few social media posts yesterday saying that the film leaves many questions to be answered by a potential "next installment," but the only question Blade Runner 2049 left me was: "Can Robin Wright take a drink without slamming it like a belligerent pirate?" The world may never know.
Blade Runner 2049 clocks in at a painful 163 minutes and is rated R for "violence, some sexuality, nudity, and language."
Blade Runner 2049 is a flaming bag of poo left on my cinematic doorstep, but it sure looks and sounds pretty! Of a possible nine Weasleys, Blade Runner 2049 gets four.
Next up: The Mountain Between Us.
Two professionals who HAVE TO BE SOMEWHERE charter a small plane and end up not getting anywhere.
The Mountain Between Us is nothing more than badly-done fanfiction, Twilight for grownups, minus the sparkling. How on Earth anyone got one--nevermind TWO--actors the caliber of Kate Winslet and Idris Elba to sign on for this drivel is beyond me. The most entertaining thing about the whole mess was the two older folks in my screening who loudly admonished the screen: "You should have waited for the other plane!" "You should have brought warmer clothes!" (It's a testament to just how bored I was that I found that amusing instead of infuriating.) The picture plods on for nearly two snowy hours, hitting every tired AO3 tag you can think of, and often turning very specifically reminiscent of 1993's Alive. (Spoiler alert: Except they never ended up having to eat each other. At least not literally.) By the time the movie reminds you for the last time that this horrible experience has made someone FEEL ALIVE, you'll be wishing you weren't.
The Mountain Between Us runs 103 minutes and is rated PG13 for "a scene of sexuality, peril, injury images, and brief strong language."
If ever I am stranded somewhere with Idris Elba and you send someone to "rescue" me, I will end you. 
Of a possible nine Weasleys, The Mountain Between Us gets three.
Until next time...

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