Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast
New Releases For the Week of 10/06/17
Blade Runner 2049 (PG-13)
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana De Armas, Jared Leto, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Lennie James
Directed by: Denis Villeneuve
In 1983, Ridley Scott’s astoundingly lyrical sci-fi-noir film Blade Runner took audiences to a place they had never been before. Set 30 years late, Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 is set 30 has an even greater “cool factor” than the original. In dystopian Los Angeles, elite teams of “Blade Runners” are assigned to “retire” (kill) any rebellious replicant (bioengineered slave laborers) who get a little too “uppity.” There are two types of replicants (called by their uber-industrialist manufacturer “bad angels” and “good angels”). I have sworn to the powers that be not to give away too many plot secrets, but it is helpful to know that two of the new replicants are named Joi and Luv. One other thing, Harrison Ford returns as Deckard.
4 pieces of you’ll just have to trust me—this is an astounding movie toast
13 Minutes (R)
Starring: Christian Friedel, Katerina Shuttler, Burghart Klaussner, Johan von Buelow
Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel
Starting off with the tic-tic-tic sound familiar to 60-Minutes audiences, this is is another attempt to tell the story of what really happened in the minutes preceding the 1939 bomb explosion that was intended to assassinate Adolph Hitler. The obvious “what if?” factor fuels these films, and this one focuses on the psychology of the men involved in the plot, and in particular, the man who planted the bomb. The fact that the movie holds your interest for 110 minutes is largely based on the excellent performance by Christian Friedel who changes before our eyes from an apolitical musician and carpenter to a single-minded assassin.
2 pieces of Germanic “what if?’ toast
Mountain Between Us (R)
Starring: Idris Elba, Kate Winslet, Beau Bridges, Dermut Mulroney, Linda Sorensen
Directed by: Hany Abu-Assad
Touted as a “survival romance,” the sappiness of the romance defuses the realities of survival. The set-up is that a pair of airport-stranded strangers charter a plane whose pilot has a heart attack and crash lands on a snow-capped mountain. She has a broken leg, but he is a doctor so that little problem is quickly sorted out. What isn’t sorted are the plethora of deadly plot-manipulated situations the damsel in distress is forced into so that the hunky physician can come to her rescue. Problem is, audiences have seen The Revenant, so they understand how many times this woman would be dead, dead, dead if this were real life.
2 pieces of quickly becomes incredulous toast
Victoria and Abdul (R)
Starring: Judi Dench, Ali Fazal, Eddie Izard, Michael Gambon, Tim Pigott-Smith, Olivia Williams, Simon Cowell
Directed by: Stephen Frears
The younger Queen Victoria that Judi Dench portrayed in Mrs. Brown (1997) set tongues wagging with the “much too friendly” relationship she had with her Scottish head of security. In Victoria and Abdul, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Year is taking place, and a handsome Indian clerk is assigned the duty of delivering a commemorative gold coin to her Highness. He breaks with decorum bt smiling at the Queen and looks directly into her eyes. She is intrigued, instructs him to stay around, and they become friends. Director Stephen Frears delights in presenting the court toadies as malicious gossips scoring points against the monarchy, but Judi Dench manages to stay above it all, by once again creating a dazzling, one-of-a-kind Queen Victoria.
3 and 1/2 pieces of Judi Dench deserves to wear the crown toast