Review: Blade Runner 2049

Blade-Runner-2049
This vision of the future remains as bleakly beautiful as ever

So much has already been said about Blade Runner 2049 – director Denis Villeneuve’s follow up to Ridley Scott’s 1982 cult sci-fi classic – that it’s hard to know where to begin.

The film – which, like its predecessor, draws upon Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep – has received near universal acclaim from critics, which is nothing short of remarkable for a sequel weighed down by 35 years worth of expectations!

But amid reports of underwhelming box office returns, casual moviegoers might be left wondering if Blade Runner 2049 lives up the massive amount of hype cinema buffs have built up around it.

The honest answer is no, probably not. However if Villeneuve’s film isn’t quite the masterpiece it’s being hailed as, it’s always good and often brilliant, and most importantly, serves as a worthy continuation of the Blade Runner story.

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Review: Blade Runner 2049

Crystal Ball: The Future Is Now – Five Minority Report Technologies That Came True

Minority-Report_Interface
Many readers will have used this exact same technology before – and without the goofy gloves, either!

With all the hoopla surrounding Blade Runner 2049, the upcoming sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 cult classic, it’s easy to overlook another Philip K. Dick adaptation celebrating its anniversary this month. That’s right: Minority Report recently clocked up 15 years since its theatrical release.

The first collaboration between Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise, Minority Report is as good as you’d expect from a pair of cinema legends. It offers up a smart, heartfelt and scarily prescient commentary on where humankind might be headed – all wrapped up in a gripping, visually stunning action-thriller detective story!

One of the things the really sets Minority Report apart from other sci-fi movies is just how plausible its fictional world feels. This is largely thanks to the think tank of actual futurists that Spielberg assembled to help him realise his vision of 2054.

It should come as no surprise, then, that so much of the futuristic hardware we see in the film is now very much a reality in our world. Whilst long-range personal jet packs unfortunately remain a mere pipedream (for now…), here are five Minority Report technologies that came true!

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Crystal Ball: The Future Is Now – Five Minority Report Technologies That Came True

Soapbox: What’s in a name? 10 big screen adaptations that changed the original title

DieHard
How exactly does one “die hard”, anyway?

Whenever a novel, comic book, video game or even theme park ride is made into a movie, invariably, changes are made in an effort to make it work better for cinema-going audiences.

Whilst most critics and fans tend to focus on the alterations made to plot, characters and themes when a pre-existing work is reimagined for the movies, it’s worth noting that the original titles of these stories also tend to fall by the wayside during this process too.

Titles might not seem important in the grand scheme of things, but they really are.

Not only do they pique our initial interest in a story and help form our decision whether or not to check it out, but they can also provide additional commentary around the work and its themes, creating a complete storytelling package.

Sometimes, titles are changed for the better – either because the original handle would be a hard sell, or was even just plain awful – but other times, the results are less successful.

Here, I’ve rounded up 10 examples of big screen adaptations that ditched the title of their source material, giving my verdict on which of these rechristenings work (and which most definitely don’t)!

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Soapbox: What’s in a name? 10 big screen adaptations that changed the original title

Review: Gladiator

Gladiator
The infamous “musical number” deleted scene

It’s hard to imagine, but director Ridley Scott’s sword and sandal epic Gladiator is celebrating its 15th anniversary this month.

The film was incredibly popular upon its release, making over $450 million at the box office, garnering mostly positive reviews, and racking up several Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor for star Russell Crowe.

But a decade and a half on, how well does this story of a general who became a slave, a slave who became a gladiator, a gladiator who defied an empire hold up to repeat viewings?

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Review: Gladiator