driftingarrow's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Blade Runner 2049
3 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Blade Runner 2049: well-shot, overhyped. It started out promising, had some moving scenes, and tried to be thought-provoking. Ultimately though, it was too long and indulgent, lacking the thrill and cohesiveness of the original Blade Runner.

Ryan Gosling's lead performance as Agent K alternates between despondency and frustrated intensity. Gosling does remarkably well with the material, while Harrison Ford comes back as Deckard grown crotchety and old, adding little to the film besides his familiar face. Agent K's nemesis, the efficient and brutal Luv (Sylvia Hoeks), makes little sense other than as a working woman to contrast against the soft and giving housewife found in Joi (Ana de Armas). Meanwhile, Jared Leto successfully embodies the visionary detached from human reality and intoxicated with the power to create, exploit, and destroy life as the ultimate distillation of capitalistic patriarchy. His Niander Wallace is discomforting and unrelatable compared to his predecessor, the original's Tyrell. (Although Wallace rates high on the creep-factor, his time on screen is plodding.)

While the movie traffics in a future awash in whiteness with a few token black actors and nods to the original Blade Runner's multi-ethnic metropolis, the role of women in the film is more complex. There is woman as boss and preserver of the status quo, woman as destructive business underling, woman as idealized domestic companion, woman as sex object, woman as rebel leader, and---most importantly---woman as the true creator of life, freedom, and meaning.

The sequel is ambitious, visually stunning, and expands on Blade Runner's examination of what defines humanity and makes life meaningful in a world where technology creates beings as disposable commodities. Unfortunately, the movie also feels like too many visual fragments strung together in a world of hollow characters. Perhaps its failure is rooted in the attempt to be epic and personal at once, sweeping and intimate, slick and gritty. In the end, it will be called a masterpiece for some and for others, like me, beautiful but flawed.

GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling
6 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

After enjoying the premiere season of Netflix's Glow, I watched the 2012 documentary on the original all-female wrestling show (also available on Netflix). It was interesting and surprisingly moving. Personal, at times raw, interviews are woven with archived media to create a rich tapestry of storytelling. The documentary is less about the popular wrestling show and more about the women's experiences before, during, and after that seminal and surreal time in their lives. Glow: The Story of The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling is a great example of what a documentary is supposed to be like.

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil
3 years ago via Flixster

Horror satire done right.

Oldboy (2013)
3 years ago via Flixster

Remake. Two and a half stars for the movie on its own. It's so-so, though like the original, it's not for the squeamish. Two stars compared to Park Chan-wook's version. I hate to say it, but the American version of the story blunted the tragedy and made it not nearly as artistic. Also, the annoying, effeminate, European villain is a tired convention that made the story feel cheap.