Wind River (2017): As If You Need More Of A Reason To Love Taylor Sheridan’s Work, Here Comes ‘Wind River’ (Review)

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Wind River tells the story of Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner), a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tracker, and FBI agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) as they attempt to figure out who raped and murdered a young Native woman (Kelsey Chow) on a Native reservation. The film also stars Gil Birmingham and Graham Greene and is directed by Taylor Sheridan (writer for Sicario, Hell Or High Water).

My Thoughts On The Characters And Story

My initial thought immediately after watching this movie: we really need more heavy movies like Wind RiverTaylor Sheridan knocks another brilliant script out of the park with his second foray into directing as it is one of the most engaging films I have seen this year – the dialogue and characters being worthy of the most praise. You are immediately placed into the world of the Wind River reservation from the very getgo, the brutal cold is depicted effectively on screen with the vast snowy landscape being the cherry on top of this tragic mystery.

The murder mystery aspect of the film is intriguing enough, however it’s the connection you feel with the characters that truly makes it as enjoyable as it is… Even though the subject matter and circumstances surrounding it is incredibly heavy.

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‘Back To The Future’ | Universal Pictures

The various relationships Cory (Jeremy Renner) has with the people living on this reservation is showcased efficiently enough to where the audience deduces certain aspects of their relationship without needing the film to hold your hand. I thoroughly enjoyed the actual character of Cory and what he meant to certain individuals and Renner gives a serviceable performance as the tracker-who-sees (and knows)-all. His character does seem to have a cowboy hat in virtually every single subject on Earth –  from his vast knowledge of virtually everything Arapaho to the numerous moments where he’s spewing off inspiring discourse that applies perfectly to whatever situation arises, I understand why Cory is knowledgeable in certain areas, however he became somewhat of a deus ex machina at certain points. I do like Jeremy Renner’s performance, however of all the main players in the film, he is probably toward the bottom of my list in terms of the performances I adored.

The dynamic between he and Elizabeth Olsen‘s Jane was definitely one of my favourite aspects of Wind River; crafting these characters to work with each other is difficult because you always run the risk of potentially bogging down the relationship with overt strictly-professional-relationship tropes. Their flourishing friendship and respect for each other gradually increase as the film progresses was incredibly refreshing to see. Olsen is also unsurprisingly incredible in the film, she’s one of my favourite actresses working today and I truly look forward to seeing her in whatever independent role she excels in and the more mainstream Hollywood pictures a la the various juggernaut installments of Marvel.

We learn as much as we need to learn about Cory and are given insight into what Jane’s position is as an FBI agent (Florida… Las Vegas?) Speaking of the parenthesis, I particularly enjoyed the occasional banter between Jane and Graham Greene‘s Police Chief Ben, the latter knowing all too well how these situations usually end up, falling on deaf ears. 

How Were The Other Aspects Of Wind River

I’m not sure that this is technically a subgenre, but movies that effectively utilize a wintery landscape is one of my favourite subgenres. I can’t praise its utilization enough because with Wind River, you feel the immense cold of Wyoming since everyone is wearing the appropriate clothing to assist one’s bodily temperature when it’s 40 below. Nobody is walking around with a light sweater and shorts saying, “huh, it’s pretty nippy out” because that attitude will give you grade A frostbite in about 15 minutes.

The murder mystery aspect of the film is incredibly compelling and because of the connection you feel with many of the characters, you want to see justice be brought to an area where many are not granted a similar justice. 

If you’re interested in an intriguing murder mystery featuring a talented cast and sensational atmosphere, check out Wind River.

Wind River receives 4/5 Matt Damon heads.


From Dating JFK To Potentially Portraying Peter Pan: Here Are 7 Interesting Facts About The Great Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn has remained an icon for generations due in part to her remarkable on-screen charisma, fashion sense and awe-inspiring philanthropic work. As the embodiment of grace whose image remains a staple on virtually every young woman’s wall in the form of a Breakfast At Tiffany’s poster, Hepburn managed to captivate the movie-going audience in such classics as Roman Holiday, Funny Face and Sabrina, just to name a few.

Her journey to super stardom certainly wasn’t a simple one, as many are aware of the harrowing experiences she suffered through. These included the Nazi occupation during World War II and the subsequent Dutch famine of 1944-1945 which resulted in her developing numerous health ailments.

Her inspirational rise to fame ultimately came to a heartbreaking end in January of 1993 when Hepburn passed away from appendix cancer at the age of 63. She left behind a marveling legacy and for those familiar with Hepburn, here are just a few facts about her life you probably never knew.

1. She Is Part Of The Elite EGOT Club

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Audrey Holding Up Her Oscar At The 26th Academy Awards, 1954

Hepburn is one of 12 people who have earned the rare honor of winning four of the major annual American entertainment awards – an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award. She is also the first to join this elite club posthumously, earning an Emmy for Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn in September 1993 and her Grammy Award in 1994 for Best Spoken Word Album for Children.

She is perhaps best known for earning a Best Actress Academy Award for her first starring role as Princess Ann in 1953’s Roman Holiday, an achievement only a few exceptional talents can say they’ve earned. Hepburn was awarded her Tony Award for Best Actress in a Drama for her performance in Ondine the following year where she worked alongside her future husband, actor Mel Ferrer, on Broadway.

2. Givenchy Created A One-Of-A-Kind Perfume Just For Her


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[Credit: Givenchy]

Hepburn met French designer Hubert de Givenchy during the production of 1954’s fashion-centric Sabrina. Givenchy was reportedly expecting to meet another Academy Award winner, actress Katharine Hepburn (no relation to Audrey) to discuss clothing options for the film. Although he was initially a bit disappointed by the confusion, Givenchy and Hepburn ended up becoming the best of friends for the remainder of her life.

Givenchy created an exclusive perfume for Hepburn in 1957 titled L’Interdit which translates to “the forbidden” in French. She adored the fragrance, wearing it for years and ultimately becoming the face of its advertising campaign when it was finally released to the public in the 1960s.

3. She Dated John F. Kennedy And Informed The Crew On Set Of My Fair Lady Of His Death

My Fair Lady | Warner Bros.

You’re probably familiar with the Breakfast At Tiffany’s tidbit that Marilyn Monroe was original author Truman Capote’s first pick for who should portray Holly Golightly – the role that solidified Hepburn’s place in pop culture and film history. This discord between the film’s casting and Capote is not the only similarity shared between the two actresses. Interestingly enough, the beloved 35th President of the United States is where they both align as well.

Former President John F. Kennedy and Hepburn dated when he was a senator with no love lost between them when they ultimately split, as Kennedy was once quoted saying Roman Holiday was his favorite film. Monroe’s relationship with Kennedy is a bit different as he allegedly had an affair with her while married to Jackie O. Her seductive recitation of “Happy Birthday” remains one of the most talked about events in all of human history. Hepburn actually performed the song in a less scandalized matter the following year, however since it was a private event there is unfortunately no record of it.

When Kennedy was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald in 1963, it was Hepburn who made the distressing announcement to the cast and crew on set of My Fair Lady during production. She reportedly asked everyone to pray for him and when she went into a carriage on-set with co-star Jeremy Brett, she apparently lowered the shades and cried.

4. Disney Threatened Legal Action Against A Live-Action Peter Pan Film Starring Hepburn In The Titular Role

You read that right, we would’ve gotten to see an Audrey Hepburn-starring Peter Pan film if Walt Disney himself hadn’t threatened legal action against the London Hospital for Children.

The Hospital proposed a live-action film adaptation of J.M Barrie’s play in hopes to generate funds to improve patient care facilities. Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan, gifted the rights to the Hospital in 1929. The proposed film was to star Hepburn as the boy who never grew up and Laurence Olivier as Captain Hook. Hepburn’s My Fair Lady director George Cukor would have directed the film, however the project was ultimately scrapped courtesy of the King of the Mouse House.

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[Credit: Warner Bros.]
Disney essentially claimed their studio owned all the cinematic rights to Peter Pan following the release of their classic animated Pan film in 1953. They did pay for the rights to make the animated movie, although it was only a small amount in 1939. When they learned about the Hospital’s plan to develop a live-action Pan adaptation, Disney reportedly threatened legal action against them and that was enough to say goodbye to the idea of a flying Hepburn. If there’s anything we know about Walt Disney, it’s that he could utterly ruthless when anything related to his business arose and this was definitely a taste of just how harsh he could be.

5. Her Salary For Breakfast At Tiffany’s Made Her The Second Highest Paid Actress Of Her Time

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Breakfast At Tiffany’s | Paramount Pictures

While Hepburn portraying Holly Golightly in Blake Edwards’ Breakfast At Tiffany’s may not have been Capote’s first choice, her charismatic magnetism just radiated on screen which led to her earning what she rightly deserved for the role.

She was reportedly paid $750,000 for Tiffany’s, a number that placed her second behind Elizabeth Taylor’s record-setting contract of $1 million for the epic Cleopatra (1963). Actresses earning these numbers were simply unheard of at the time, however these two films ride entirely on the performances of the main lead actresses. Hepburn particularly enchanted critics and audiences alike with her incredible talent which only assisted her for future deals, earning a staggering $1,100,000 for My Fair Lady.

For anyone wondering how monumentally impressive this achievement is, she reportedly earned $12,500 for her starring role in Roman Holiday. Not every famous face who makes the big bucks in future projects are given the same sum during their debuts, no matter how impressive it may be. It goes to show how important those initial starring debuts are since the trajectory of Hepburn’s career managed to skyrocket following that role and subsequent Oscar win.

6. She Didn’t Understand Why People Thought She Was Beautiful

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Sabrina | Paramount Pictures

In one of the more unbelievable things learned about this brilliant woman, she experienced self-esteem and body issues throughout her life. According to her son, Luca Dotti, his mother didn’t know why people thought she was beautiful, revealing in a Vanity Fair interview that she “thought she had a big nose and big feet, and she was too skinny and not enough breast.”

She apparently would “look in the mirror and say, ‘I don’t understand why people see me as beautiful'” to which I say, she was easily one of the most gorgeous-looking human beings to ever grace the Earth. A sentiment I know I’m not the only one to share.

7. Her Debilitating Health Caused Her To Miss The Presidential Medal Of Freedom Ceremony Honoring Her Humanitarian Work

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[Credit: UNICEF]
Hepburn retired from acting in the 1970s, choosing to spend more time with her family and focus on the plight suffered by millions around the world. Hepburn was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador in 1989 and in December of 1992, she was awarded the Presidential Medal Of Freedom.

She frequently visited some of the most impoverished parts of the world in her later life and the honor was to primarily recognize her incredible role as Goodwill Ambassador. Unfortunately, her rapidly declining health rendered her unable to attend the reception honoring her at the White House. Her philanthropic legacy lives on at UNICEF’s New York headquarters where a statue dedicated to her was unveiled in 2002 named “The Spirit of Audrey.”

It’s truly no surprise why Audrey Hepburn is as beloved as she is. An icon in every sense of the word be it through her fashion sense, the way she conducted herself or her emphasis on the struggles experienced by the less fortunate, Hepburn has and will continue to remain an inspiration. While she easily could’ve went down the route of a typical Hollywood starlet, she chose roles that challenged her abilities and didn’t allow her various insecurities to stop her.

Whether you feel a sudden inkling to laugh hysterically, cry uncontrollably or anything in between, there is always an Audrey Hepburn film guaranteed to satisfy whatever film craving you may have.

(Sources: Biography | Everything Audrey | Ranker)

What’s your favorite Audrey Hepburn factoid? Share them in the comments below!

‘IT’ Gets The Anime Treatment As Fan’s Pennywise Artwork Is Transformed Into A Video

No one could have possibly predicted just how successful the recent adaptation of Stephen King’s IT has been. Its continual breaking of box office records doesn’t seem to be slowing down and fans are showing their appreciation for the killer clown by utilizing their talents to freak us all out.

Mike Anderson is one of these talented artists who took his love for Pennywise and created an incredible #anime rendition of one of the film’s most noteworthy scenes.

When Talents Collide

The drawing caught the eye of one creative fan, vocalist KevChelios, who viewed the image and rather than running away in fear, decided the best course of action would be to animate it, of course. The brief clip sees a dubbed Pennywise infamously clutching Georgie’s paper boat and is masterfully executed to resemble a Japanese anime.

It’s truly remarkable how perfect Kev managed to construct the clip using only Mike’s drawing. The flawless edits made and emphatic voice over may cause the viewer to keep rewatching it because it is just that good.

With more than 130,000 retweets, fans clearly want more than the 13 seconds of quality content provided. Hopefully we’ll see a possible collaboration between the two artists in the future or at least another rendition because it is simply too great of a prospect to give up on.

featured image credit: Mike Anderson

What other horror films should be given the anime treatment? Let me know your picks in the comments below!

Blade Runner 2049 (2017): A Masterfully Executed Sequel To One Of The All-Time Greats (Review)

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[Credit: Warner Bros.]

Blade Runner 2049 is the highly anticipated sequel set 30 years following its predecessor, Blade Runner. The film follows Officer K (Ryan Gosling) as he uncovers a hidden away secret related to the Replicants and that’s all I have to say about that. The film also stars Harrison Ford, Robin Wright, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Mackenzie Davis and Jared Leto and is directed by Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Sicario, Prisoners.)

My Thoughts On The Characters And Story

As someone who adores Ridley Scott’s sci-fi masterpiece Blade Runner (final cut), I was obviously ecstatic to learn about the development of this sequel. As more and more information came out as to who will star (“fellow Canadian Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford’s back, that’s cool”), who will work behind-the-scenes/Roger Deakins‘ involvement and the all-to-important question of who will direct (“another fellow Canadian and incredible filmmaker Denis Villeneuve?! Okay now this has my attention”), my intrigue levels shot through the roof and I needed to watch this film immediately. For any fellow original BR fans wondering how this stacks up, 2049 is a remarkably fitting inclusion into the world and I loved virtually every aspect of it. 

The narrative progressed beautifully and I personally had no issues with the pacing as I felt each scene flowed well with one another. The various twists and turns taken definitely kept me intrigued as there were a few moments when I thought I knew where it was headed and.. I was wrong. The film keeps you on your toes and because I was so invested with everything occurring on screen, the run time simply flew by.

“Blade Runner 2049 is the slowest kind of burn you can contain in a movie”

I acknowledge there are going to be many who don’t feel the same way, however that’s simply the beauty of film: shit is all subjective. Blade Runner 2049 is the slowest kind of burn you can contain in a movie and I admire everyone involved who chose to focus more on the slower, investigative-aspect to it rather than molding it to be a bombastic-ridden world with explosions going off every few minutes because certain studio execs believe that’s what the kids want. 

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[Credit: Warner Bros.]

Thankfully, 2049 Is Not ‘Member Berries’ Incarnate 

For those unfamiliar with the concept of Member Berries, they are basically a type of fruit whose sole purpose is to bring up idealized nostalgic feelings from your past (they also hold some sinister views as well but for the sake of this review, we’ll focus on the former.)

Words cannot describe how happy I am that 2049 is not a 3 hour long epic of an older Rick Deckard (and let’s throw in Gaff too!) searching for a new Blade Running partner or anything whose purpose is to sit back and gobble up the Member Berries from Scott’s classic. Without delving too much into spoiler territory, there are definitely callbacks incorporated into 2049 however it’s not a constant reminder every few minutes of “hey… ‘Member the Coca-Cola ad ooooh I member. ‘Member the snake Zhora had from the first one ooooh I member I loved the snake.” It was such an unbelievably enjoyable sequel because it effectively utilized certain aspects of the first one without becoming another version of the first Blade Runner. It is its own movie.

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Harrison Ford as Deckard and Ryan Gosling as K | Warner Bros.

Ryan Gosling portrays a stoic Officer K wonderfully. He portrays an emotionally detached being brilliantly yet as the film progresses, when there are hints of humanity peering out of him or when he must utilize the subtle components of his acting, he manages to execute them effectively. Harrison Ford actually looked like he wanted to be there which was nice. K’s interactions with Robin Wright‘s Lt. Joshi were incredibly entertaining to watch, you could tell whatever you needed to know about their professional relationship simply by paying attention to their glances. 

The one gripe I have is with the antagonistic element of the film. I always strive to set aside preconceived feelings I have about any previous installments of a franchise but hey, I’m only human. While I obviously didn’t expect anything on the level of Rutger Hauer’s phenomenal portrayal of Roy Batty or the complexities surround Eldon Tyrell’s beliefs, I felt that Jared Leto‘s Niander Wallace ultimately fell kind of flat. While I understood his motivations, there wasn’t anything particularly compelling about him and I felt more annoyed when he appeared on screen than anything else. I also really did not like Leto’s take on him, the… slow…. talking in hopes of… seeming menacing… definitely added to the annoyance I felt with him. I did enjoy Sylvia Hoesks’ portrayal of the Replicant With A Name and loved watching her interactions with various characters.

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The one line he had that I loved | Warner Bros.

How Were The Other Aspects Of Blade Runner 2049?

Alright the rest of this review is gushing about the eyegasmic components of everything 🙂

With how divisive Blade Runner is, one thing that is universally agreed upon is that it looks absolutely phenomenal… If it was somehow possible to heighten the appreciation for the aesthetics of the BR universe, Blade Runner 2049 accomplishes it. It truly can’t go unsaid just how incredible every single frame looked, the focus on even the most minute of details is thought of and it is simply marveling to look at. It’s worth checking out for the appreciation of Roger Deakins’ cinematography itself. Deakins is essentially the Amy Adams of the Academy Award Cinematography World only instead of five nominations the Arrival actress has under her belt, the man boasts an impressive 13 nominations for his work and hasn’t won one. 

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[Credit: Warner Bros.]
Known for being the Master of Naturalism, Villeneuve apparently stressed a vital component needed from him and it’s an understatement to say he delivered:

“Right from the get-go, Denis said, ‘I want it cold, wet, and snowing. I want it to really feel atrocious.'”

The film also has an interesting use of effects particularly one involving SPOILERS laying a computer generated effect on a live being END SPOILERS. I didn’t agree with the specific use of CGI during one instance, I thought it would’ve been much more effective had we never seen it and probably added way more money to the budget when it could’ve been avoided. 

The score certainly had some fantastic moments with some subtle hints of the work done by the great Vangelis from the original. Of course it wasn’t on the level of the Vangelis score, however there is no way I will hold that against them since his BR score is simply untouchable. I just wanted to express my love for that original score and how great this new one manages to pay homage yet also create something unique to 2049.

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[Credit: Warner Bros.]

If you’re a fan of the original Blade Runner or if you’re interested in slow burning, amazingly gorgeous sci-fi flick, check out Blade Runner 2049.

Blade Runner 2049 receives 4.5/5 Matt Damon heads.


featured image credit: warner bros.

Were you a fan of Blade Runner 2049? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

These Behind-The-Scenes Images From ‘Stranger Things’ Season 1 Will Get You Ready For Season 2

Caution: This Article Contains Spoilers From Season 1 Of Stranger Things

Can someone just place me in the Upside Down until October?

As we eagerly await the newest season of the hit Netflix series Stranger Things, the good folks behind the official Stranger Things Twitter account have provided us with some behind-the-scenes images from its first season. The pictures feature some of our favorite actors from the series breaking character to pose — and possibly goof-off — for a photo while they let loose.

Nothing is better than seeing the inner workings of popular shows/movies and the talented individuals who grace the screen. This sentiment rings true especially when the series is as much of a phenomenon as Stranger Things is offering us a behind-the-scenes look at what it was like to shoot Season 1. Using the hashtag #StrangerThursdays, the show’s official Twitter unleashed the photos on us all, using some helpful Do’s and Don’t’s tips accompanied by the Stranger Things pictures and GIFs. Here are some of the best that feature bts shots.

Nancy Epitomizes “Words Will Never Break Me”

Natalia Dyer (who portrays Nancy) and crew brush off the horrid words spray painted across the film marquee for All The Right Moves as seen in Episode 6, “The Monster.”

Steve’s Beauty Knows No Boundaries

Even in the aftermath of a bloody fight (in the same episode as above) Joe Keery’s (Steve) hair remains perfectly coiffed. The handsome talent flashes a million dollar smile, prompting this twitter user to accurately express my thoughts during this grueling wait:

Solid Advice For Any Eggos Shoplifters

It’s interesting that this is what is deemed “acting natural” for a potential shop lifter, however Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven) clearly knows more about acting than I will ever know so I trust their judgement. Eleven’s Eggo-and-pink-dress ensemble is certainly one of the more popular icons to come out of the series, garnering Halloween costume acclaim and different iterations of Funko pop figures.

Behold The Glory Of MiLeven

The generous Gods in charge of the twitter account knows what we want to see: adorable behind-the-scenes shots of IT’s Finn Wolfhard (Mike) and Brown. The relationship between their two characters truly was the heart of the #Netflix series, causing fans to creatively invent the ship name, “Mileven.”

This group of blooper shots caused a massive response from fans because they are just so adorable together. Despite how successful the series becomes, the young actors are still kids who occasionally can’t control the need to pull the classic Bunny Ears behind a friend’s head. Many simply couldn’t contain their excitement at seeing the pictures:

Others are wondering when we can expect an actual blooper reel because hysterical bloopers are truly the key to the hearts of legions of fans:

… If you’re curious about the “kissing sucks” reference in the above tweet, make sure you see the the interview from the time the Stranger Things cast visited The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon.

And this final tweet is probably my favorite one because it is the one that speaks for us all:

Season 2 of Stranger Things releases on Netflix on October 27th, 2017. In the meantime, check out its brilliantly atmospheric trailer below:

Which behind-the-scenes image is your favorite? Let me know your pick in the comments below!

Nostalgia’d Review: Blade Runner (1982)

In honour of this week’s release of the highly anticipated Blade Runner 2049, we take a look back at crying in the rain with Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner!

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[Credit: Warner Bros.]

Tyrell: “The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long… And you have burned so very, very brightly, Roy.”

Loosely based on the Philip K. Dick novel, Do Androids Dream Of Electric SheepRidley Scott’s Blade Runner is set in the near dystopian future of 2019 where ex-Blade Runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is reluctantly tasked with hunting down a fugitive group of bio-engineered androids called Replicants, led by Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer), who strives to increase their expected lifespan. Deckard meets and falls for advanced Replicant Rachael (Sean Young) and we’re ultimately left pondering the question, “what does it mean to be human?” The film also stars Darryl Hannah and Brion James as the Replicants who work with Batty in order to secure more life and is directed by one of my favorite directors of all time, Ridley Scott (Alien, Thelma & Louise, Matchstick Men). 

“I’ve Seen Things You People Wouldn’t Believe”: Let’s Discuss Roy Batty’s Exemplary Monologue 

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

… Time to die.”

The cat-and-mouse chase between Batty and Deckard toward the end of Blade Runner is a strange sequence featuring a powerful Replicant wearing bike shorts seemingly toying with a broken-fingered ex-Blade Runner who has spent virtually every other scene downing whatever form of alcohol was around that he could find.

Their struggle comes to a startling halt when Batty saves Deckard from his imminent death and proceeds to recite one of the greatest speeches to ever appear in any entertainment medium, his “Tears In Rain” monologue:

“It’s with the frailty of existence that ultimately makes it worth experiencing.”

It’s a short monologue, lasting only a few sentences. These few sentences stimulate the discussion of what the end of a life means – whether all the emotions felt and experiences endured throughout our lives have any kind of meaning to them since they essentially perish in the end. As Sidney Perkowitz’s Hollywood Science describes, these sentences highlight “the replicant’s humanlike characteristics mixed with its artificial capabilities.” This moment is not only the death of the Replicant, it’s the death of any new moments he could potentially experience… And so, what separates the human from the Replicant in this case? When humans cease to exist, there are no longer any new moments to experience. The amalgamation of all these moments are left behind when one’s inevitable incept date approaches. In my view, it’s with the frailty of existence that ultimately makes it worth experiencing.

In choosing to share these particular moments with Deckard, Batty understands that his mortality is near and there is no possible way to extend the existence he was given. Spending his fleeting moments with Deckard, saving him from falling, is what he wanted to spend his final moments doing. Hauer stated in an interview with Dan Jolin that these final lines showed that Batty wanted to:

“[Make] his mark on existence … [The] replicant in the final scene, by dying, shows Deckard what a real man is made of.” 

When I first watched Blade Runner and this scene came up, tears streamed down my face while I sat in my dry environment. The fleetingness of life, how it can be taken away in an instant and everything you’ve experienced from childhood to the end will all wither away… Like tears… in rain… damn.

Let me take a moment to gush about the aesthetics of this scene because surely there can never be enough jerking going on about the disgustingly gorgeous visuals seen in Blade Runner. The blood strewn across Batty’s face, Hauer’s mesmerizing performance, a beaten up Deckard reflecting on Batty’s words, the pounding of the rain becoming a character itself during the scene, the blue hue featured heavily and the score… that Vangelis score manages to heighten all the emotions felt in an already perfect scene.

For those lucky enough to have never seen the theatrical version, Frank Darabont’s feelings on the clunky voice over added over this scene accurately describes my thoughts on the matter… Hey, speaking of the theatrical version!

Theatrical? International? Final?! The Multiple Versions Of Blade Runner

Answer: The Final Cut (2007)

There have been eight total recut/re-edited versions of Blade Runner throughout the years because nobody had any idea what the fuck was going on. Seven of them include the Workprint prototype version (1982), San Diego Sneak Preview version (1982), US theatrical release (1982), International theatrical release (1982), US broadcast version (1986), The Director’s Cut (1992) and The Final Cut (2007). Director Scott once showed a nearly four-hour-long “early cut” that was shown only to studio personnel so they were certainly a lucky bunch.

The five versions everyone refers to are also included in the 2007 Ultimate Collector’s Edition of the film and these are:

  • Workprint.
  • U.S. Theatrical Cut.
  • International Cut.
  • Director’s Cut.
  • Final Cut.

… And the three most commonly debated ones are the U.S. Theatrical ReleaseDirector’s Cut and Final Cut

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Spaceballs | MGM

While the theatrical version isn’t the worst thing in the world, the inclusion of the drab, over-expository voice over kind of takes me out of the film. I love VO, when it’s executed efficiently. Taking inspiration from other noir classics like Double Indemnity, whose protagonist (Fred MacMurray) is quite literally explaining the events of the murder to Keyes (Edward G. Robinson), provides vital insight into what was occurring in his mind at that moment (“Walk Of A Deadman”) as well as the required exposition for the audience. The VO in the theatrical Blade Runner just explains what you’re literally watching on screen, providing no insight into Deckard except maybe that his ex thought of him as “sushi… cold fish.”

… Not to mention the not so great “happy ending” sequence you’re probably familiar with. With certain shots taken directly from the cutting room floor of Stanley Kubrick‘s The Shining: 

I, like many others, live and die by the Final Cut version of the film and so does Scott, as it is the cut he had complete artistic control over and was the closest to his original vision for the film before all of the butchering perpetrated by the studio execs and confused individuals. Ironically, he had full creative control on the Final Cut and not the Director’s Cut which is just silly when you think about it.

So if you’d like to check out a version of the film prior to 2049, The Final Cut is the way to go. Afterwards, watch the theatrical version and enjoy the riveting experience you can only feel by watching Blade Runner

You may feel confused at times, you may feel conflicted and angry with certain decisions made by Deckard, you may question beliefs about artificial intelligence and what it means to be human, you may remain in a drunk haze of awe for every frame, however there is no doubt that you will feel. Whether you love every single aspect of it or despise it with a brutal passion, this influential tour de force of a picture is a must watch for any film fan. 

Blade Runner receives my favourite Matt Damon gif of all time.

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71st Golden Globe Awards | NBC

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featured image credit: warner bros.

Netflix’s First Trailer For Stephen King’s ‘1922’ Is Complete With Creepy Imagery, Angry Thomas Jane And A Few Connections To Other King Stories

The Stephen King film adaptations of 2017 just keep on coming!

With the disappointing performance of The Dark Tower and the wildly successful run of IT, Netflix’s upcoming King adaptation looks to terrify audiences using the madness of a human being, rather than a supernatural clown who feeds off the fear of children.

Based on the novella published in 2010’s Full Dark, No Stars, the adaptation boasts an impressive cast including The Expanse‘s Thomas Jane and House Of CardsMolly Parker. 1922 marks Jane’s third appearance in a King adaptation, previously starring in 2003’s dreaded Dreamcatcher and 2007’s love-it-or-hate-it The Mist.

The film is set during the 1920s and follows Wilfred James (Jane), a Nebraskan farmer who refuses to entertain the idea of selling his family land and moving to the city despite his wife, Arlette’s (Parker) wishes. Instead, Wilfred decides that brutally murdering her is the only way to secure the life he has planned out and is ultimately plagued by the belief that Arlette is haunting him.

Check out the trailer below:

The film is the monstrous streaming service’s second Stephen King adaptation, with the Mike Flanagan-directed Gerald’s Game released on September 29th. King recently revealed how excited he is for audiences to check out both Netflix adaptations, emphasizing his adoration for what was done with 1922:

“… The one you want to watch for is, Netflix did an adaptation of ‘1922’ from ‘Full Dark, No Stars’… [M]an, I saw a rough cut of that and it won’t leave my mind. That is super creepy!”

While opinions shared by King about his film adaptations may not be the best indicator of its quality (he’s not a fan of The Shining and positively reviewed The Dark Tower), his excitement is seemingly shared by critics who have also had a chance to check the film out. 7/8 critics on Rotten Tomatoes have given it a “fresh” rating so far, praising Jane’s portrayal of the grimness felt by his character and the film’s dark themes.

1922‘s Connection To Other King Properties

The trailer for 1922 is complete with all the gorgeous landscape and creepy rat infestations your heart desires.

Whether these rats are a figment of Wilfred’s imagination is a question that will be answered in October (of course, you could also read the book before viewing), however King is clearly no stranger when it comes to including these rodents in his works. For example, King’s 1970 short story “Graveyard Shift”, which was terribly adapted for the big screen in 1990, contains a rat empire that accumulated after decades of abandonment at a textile mill in Maine.

netflix 1922 rats
My actual worst nightmare | Netflix

The depiction of an angry family member is a character all too familiar with Stephen King, as seen in virtually all of his works including CarrieThinner and perhaps most notably showcased in The Shining. When executed effectively, these characters are fascinating to dissect because of their development and the reasoning behind their motivations. This certainly applies to 1922, as Wilfred’s deep-rooted disdain for those around him and ultimate descent into madness looks like it’s going to be thrilling to watch.

King fans will also be interested to know that 1922 involves two tidbits related to his most popular works. Hemingford Home, Nebraska is the setting of 1922, which is also the home of 106-year-old Mother Abagail in King’s epic novel The Stand. This Nebraskan town is apparently a favorite of King’s as it’s also the town that the grown-up Ben Hanscom moves to in IT after slimming down and becoming an architect. The trailer certainly highlights the picturesque quality of the town, so it’s no surprise how revered it is within the realm of King’s works.

netflix 1922 nebraska

Personally, I’m a huge fan of many original films to come from Netflix and 1922 is officially at the top of my list as one of the most anticipated. If we see more filmmakers tackle King’s works with a similar mindset, hopefully an announcement will be made soon about a potential reboot of Maximum Overdrive.

1922 releases on Netflix on October 20, 2017.

featured image credit: netflix

Are you excited for 1922? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!