Tag: Sci-fi

‘Stranger Things 2’ Review

‘Stranger Things 2’ Review

IT’S HERE. IT’S FINALLY HERE!!!! Short review: Dear Duffer Brothers, I LOVE YOU. The end.

No, but seriously, I was salivating at the thought of a season two of this show. Like most people, I fell in love with ‘Stranger Things’. Mostly because it caught me completely off guard. I knew nothing about this show when season one came out and I got recommended it from just the buzz off the internet. Then I watched it all in like two days and I fell in love with the kids and just the feel of the show. It literally captured some of my favorite stories and films from the 80s all in one show. Spielberg films, Stephen King stories, and coming of age films from the decade are just some of the obvious influences of the show. All the characters I was in love with and I felt like I was playing Dungeons and Dragons with Mike, Dustin, Will, and Lucas. And plus this show was just so damn fun. Now, when I originally heard that there was going to be a season 2, I hesitated. Because I loved season one so much and I really did not want the ‘sequel’ to tarnish the original. SPOILER: It does not. This season is better than season one. ‘Stranger Things 2’ does everything a season two of ‘Stranger Things’ should have done. Dial the 80s nostalgia up to 11, check, introduce more awesome and fascinating characters into the mix, check, more back story for “Eleven”, check, ghostbuster costumes, check, and finally develop the existing characters with an even more emotional weight to them, check. I was blown away of how this surpassed the first season in every way.

This season picks up a year after the events of the first season. And I swear to you it’s like the Duffers didn’t miss a beat. It’s so obvious that they have the style of the show down pact. I obviously don’t want to spoil anything about the show, but in order to talk about season two’s plot, I have to SPOIL something for season one so just a warning here. So as you know they got Will out of the upside down and Eleven is stuck in the upside down in the end of season one. We meet Will and the gang during Halloween, but things are happening to Will….strange things. Like I said the direction in this show is fan-freaking-tastic. The Duffer Brothers, Shawn Levy, and now a newcomer to the series Andrew Stanton all do an incredible job. I was SO happy to see Stanton involved with this show. If you don’t know Stanton is a regular at the animation studio Pixar and has directed some of my favorite films of theirs like “Wall-E’ and ‘Finding Nemo’. The performances are just as good here as they are in season one. All the kids are just so great. I want to hang out with them all so bad. But obviously, Millie Bobbie Brown who plays ‘Eleven’ steals the show again. She is truly a special talent. When she matures and becomes an even better actress, she is going to be HUGE. Winona Ryder is back as Joyce and she’s even better in this season. You can tell that she learned a lot from the first season of playing this character and she knocks it out of the park again. David Harbour as Hopper again is another standout. The thing about this show is there is no weak link. Everyone is great. The new characters are great as well. I love Max who is a new girl in town who gets involved with the gang and she is great. But I was so excited that I heard Sean Astin was going to be part of this season. I’m a huge fan and I loved him as Bob in this season. Another major pro of this season is the pace of it. With the exception of one episode, (that I will talk about later), this show didn’t really have a “filler” episode. Each one of the nine episodes propelled the story along with interesting and super fun plot elements. I was so surprised that I liked mostly EVERY turn and risk that the plot took in this season. My favorite episodes by far were MADMAX, The Spy, and The Mind Flayer. As for negatives, I think most people who have seen the season know what I’m going to say. Episode 7: The Lost Sister was a weak point for ‘Stranger Things’. In my opinion, it is the worst episode that ‘Stranger Things’ has done so far. The execution of that episode was very weak. And I wasn’t a huge of the style that the director chose to do in the episode. While I liked the concept of the episode, I just think they failed at executing it to their fullest.  But other than that I FREAKING LOVED THIS SEASON! Bring on season three!!!

9.5/10

‘Blade Runner 2049’ Review

‘Blade Runner 2049’ Review

‘Blade Runner 2049’ is the sequel to the cult classic science fiction film ‘Blade Runner’ from 1982. But more importantly, this film is directed by Denis Villeneuve. He has been behind some of my favorite films of the last 5 years. Those films being Arrival, Enemy, Prisoners, and Sicario. And it stars Ryan Gosling. A tour de force in acting right now and probably the best actor of his generation right now. Also, Harrison Ford. Who doesn’t like Harrison Ford? If you don’t….what? So this film had all the ingredients to be incredible. And I just saw it and OH MY GOODNESS. Denis KNOCKED IT OUT OF THE FREAKING PARK AGAIN!! This film is a film geek’s dream. This film is thought-provoking, absolutely  GORGEOUS, and emotional. The performances in this film are incredible. Ryan Gosling as ‘K’ is…..well great. At this point, I don’t expect anything else than greatness from him. Jared Leto as ‘Wallace’, Harrison Ford returning as Deckard, and Ana de Armas as ‘Joi’ are all great as well. But a standout is Sylvia Hoeks as ‘Luv’. I’ve never seen her in anything else but this is a breakout performance for her. She was awesome. While the performances were great, it’s the characters that writer Hampton Fancher and Michael Green create which makes it compelling to watch. I don’t want to go into the plot at all of this film because I think it’s best for you to go in completely blind and experience this eye-gasmic 2 hour and 45 min experience. This is why we go to movies. To see movies like this. To emerge in a new world and to be invested in a great story and get lost in it. This is truly the true embodiment of cinema. With that being said, this is a deliberately paced science fiction film. Do not expect a lot of action scenes or anything like that. This is a film about humanity….and what makes us human. Please go watch this movie. This is going to spark conversation with the party that you see this without a doubt. I would recommend seeing the first Blade Runner from 1982 before seeing his film. This film does stand on its own, but it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the world of Blade Runner and certain characters. This is one of my favorite films of the year and I hope you go see it and enjoy it as much as I did. Lastly, if cinematographer Roger Deakins doesn’t WIN the academy award for cinematography…..the oscars will become dead to me.

9.75/10