Jimmy Kimmel Posts Pre-Oscars Promo Video Poking Fun at Himself — and Matt Damon

With late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel set to host his fourth Academy Awards ceremony March 10 on ABC from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, the comedian released a humorous five-minute promotional video clip featuring Barbie cast members Kate McKinnon, America Ferrera and Ryan Gosling, and narrated by Helen Mirren.

The video pokes fun at Kimmel, including what type of Ken-doll he might be, and his lack of direction skills navigating a map enroute to “Oscarsland”. With the assistance of McKinnon’s Weird Barbie, the two traverse a circuitous route past the 10 Best Picture nominees — and longtime Kimmel foil Matt Damon.

“It’s a pretty straight shot through ‘The Zone of Interest, past ‘Past Lives,’ over ‘Anatomy of a Fall,’ and all the way to Carnegie Hall,” McKinnon says.

Ferrera and Gosling make comedic appearances, with the former outlining the challenges of hosting the Oscars.

“You have to be extraordinary…you are the center of attention, but almost nobody cares you’re there,” Ferrera quips.

To which Kimmel responds that “hosting the Oscars is even harder than being a woman.”

Lionsgate Re-Releasing Oscar-Winner ‘La La Land’ in Chinese Theaters For Christmas

Lionsgate’s Oscar-winning La La Land, directed by Damien Chazelle and starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, will be re-released in Chinese theaters by movie financier/distributor JL Film on Dec. 22.

Since its first release in 2016, La La Land has become a classic, regarded as one of the best movies of the 21st century, and one of the greatest movie musicals of all time. The six-time Academy Award-winning film was also honored with a clean sweep at the Golden Globes – seven nominations and seven wins.

The movie holds the box office record for original live-action movie musicals with a global box office of $470 million and Chinese box office of $35 million.

The theatrical re-release comes asLa La Land in Concert” marks its sixth year of touring worldwide and Lionsgate continues to expand the intellectual property, with a Broadway musical adaptation in the works from Emmy and Tony Award-winning producer Marc Platt.

For Chinese moviegoers, re-releasing La La Land for its seventh anniversary holds a special significance because seven years symbolizes a lifetime bond. The movie continues JL Film’s track record of investing in overseas theatrical hits. Earlier this year, the company released Lionsgate’s The Expendables 4 in China.

La La Land has so many fans across the world, and that’s especially true of China, where audiences have embraced its timeless love story and song-and-dance magic,” Wendy Reeds, EVP International Sales at Lionsgate, said in a statement.

La La Land is part of the inaugural slate of theatrical re-releases from China Film Group.

“We look forward to bringing La La Land to a large number of Chinese fans,” said Ricky Qi, president of JL Film.

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Barbie

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Warner;
Comedy;
Box Office $635.68 million;
DVD $19.99, Blu-ray $24.99, UHD BD $29.99;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for suggestive references and brief language.
Stars Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, America Ferrera, Ariana Greenblatt, Kate McKinnon, Will Ferrell, Michael Cera, Issa Rae, Alexandra Shipp, Emma Mackey, Simu Liu, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Ncuti Gatwa, Scott Evans,Rhea Perlman, Helen Mirren.

The Barbie doll, when introduced by Mattel in 1959, was initially intended as a platform to sell clothes and accessories for girls to dress it up. Other characters followed, and backstories were created as Barbie’s circle of friends and family grew, but the driving force for their popularity remained the ways the girls playing with them could unlock their own imaginations. This is reflected in many of the “Barbie” animated movies that project the characters into various preexisting fairy tales and other adventure stories.

For a live-action film based on Barbie, director Greta Gerwig could have chosen any number of approaches, not the least of which would have been a conventional narrative depicting the lives of the “Barbie” characters as if they were real people working in the fashion industry or something mundane. But Gerwig has made a career of bucking convention, so her vision of Barbie is something much more complex — a movie about the doll’s relationship with the real world.

Interestingly, her screenplay (co-written with her partner, Noah Baumbach) employs a story structure that pays homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey of all things, and not just with a prologue that directly parodies Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi classic.

As fourth-wall-breaking narrator Helen Mirren explains, the introduction of Barbie shifted the landscape of playing with dolls away from girls practicing for motherhood to fostering ambitions of achieving any goal in life despite background or hardship.

And thus it is that the Barbies seem to exist in their own pocket dimension in which women run society, but all the variants of “Barbie” and “Ken” and other associated characters represent that type of doll in the real world, and some sort of metaphysical psychic link between them can influence what happens in either reality.

Actually, though, any attempt to parse logic from the cause-and-effect of how Gerwig’s Barbie universe works is a futile gesture, as even the characters in the film joke about how warped the story’s reality is. It’s only the genuine emotional connection the characters have with each other that provides structure to the various story arcs and keeps it all from spinning out of control — an impressive achievement of directorial balance on Gerwig’s part.

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In Barbieland, a fantasy realm dominated by plastic and pink, where the backdrops are painted and all the buildings are designed like Barbie playsets, Margot Robbie plays the “stereotypical” Barbie — the Barbie that first comes to mind when one thinks of Barbie. Her life is an idiosyncratic routine of perfect days enjoying visits with the various professional Barbies and hanging out at the beach with Ken (Ryan Gosling). Nights are filled with disco parties.

The various Kens only exist to seek the attention of the Barbies, and seem to have no other purpose. Where they actually live is a question raised but never actually answered, since the Barbies don’t really care.

When Robbie’s Barbie begins to experience anxiety and symptoms of aging imperfectly, she is told she must venture into the real world to confront the girl playing with her in this manner. Gosling’s Ken joins her on this convoluted journey, and while Barbie finds those responsible for her unwanted emotions, Ken discovers a world in which men have purpose and respect.

When Barbie is taken back to Mattel headquarters, because that’s the kind of Meta this movie is, Ken returns to Barbieland with the intention of introducing the patriarchy and improving his and the other Kens’ lot in life.

And thus Barbie and some newfound friends must return home to restore balance to the matriarchy that Barbieland has always known.

In framing Barbie as both an individual living in her own reality and a concept with influence in the real world, Gerwig has crafted a film that tries to meet several conflicting expectations for what a Barbie movie could be.

Gerwig’s Barbie is presented as both iconic and problematic. The behind-the-scenes interviews with Gerwig included with the home video extras show a director who reveres the nostalgia of what Barbie meant to her childhood, while the film’s story seems to lament that the lessons gleaned from Barbie’s worldbuilding didn’t reflect her worldview.

So we get the lavishly designed, fantastic-looking Barbieland sets of life-sized dollhouses that give the film most of its visual flair. We get intricate musical numbers that speak to the stream-of-consciousness fantasy nature of Barbieland’s existence. But we also get a treatise on the relationship between feminism and the patriarchy, using Ken’s journey to satirize a kind of over-the-top interpretation of toxic masculinity. The end result isn’t so much a film about Barbie as it is Metaphor: The Movie.

Regardless of what the filmmakers’ intent was, the exploration of these competing attitudes blended with a storytelling style that borders on expressionism gives the viewer some leeway to imprint whatever message they want to take away from the film, which may account for its massive success despite complains of overt political messaging. Ultimately, the film is as much a comedy poking fun at the Barbie brand’s eccentricities as it is a loving tribute to its legacy.

The aforementioned Barbie home video extras include six bonus featurettes totaling 45 minutes of typical behind-the-scenes material.

The 12-minute “Welcome to Barbie Land” covers the creation of the real-life Barbie Dream Houses, and the seven-and-a-half-minute “Playing Dress-Up” focuses on the costumes. The six-and-a-half-minute “Becoming Barbie” deals with how Robbie and other performers approached playing the legendary doll, while the five-minute “All-Star Barbie Party” marvels at the assembled cast. “Musical Make-Believe” is a nine-minute featurette about the film’s musical sequences. Finally, the five-minute “It’s a Weird World” examines Kate McKinnon’s quirky “Weird Barbie” character.

The extras are offered with both the digital and disc versions of the film. However, the disc versions aren’t offered as multidisc combo packs, with the 4K and regular Blu-ray versions configured separately (though each includes access to a digital copy, while the DVD version does not).

 

‘Barbie’ Due on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD Oct. 17

The top box office film of the year, Barbie, will arrive for purchase on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD on Oct. 17 from Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment.

From Oscar-nominated writer/director Greta Gerwig (Little Women, Lady Bird), Barbie — which has earned more than $1.43 billion at the global box office and is the highest grossing film in Warner Bros.’ history — stars Oscar-nominees Margot Robbie (Bombshell, I, Tonya) and Ryan Gosling (La La Land, Half Nelson) as Barbie and Ken. The film follows the iconic Mattel doll as she experiences an existential crisis.

The film also stars America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, Rhea Perlman and Will Ferrell.

Barbie is also available for digital ownership at home.

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The Barbie 4K UHD and Blu-ray contain the following special features:  

  • “Welcome to Barbie Land” featurette
  • “Becoming Barbie” featurette
  • “Playing Dress-Up” featurette
  • “Musical Make-Believe” featurette
  • “All-Star Barbie Party” featurette
  • “It’s A Weird World” featurette

Netflix Greenlights ‘The Gray Man’ Movie Sequel and Spin-Off Film

Following the successful release of The Gray Man this past weekend, in which the Ryan Gosling actioner debuted as the No. 1 movie in 92 countries, Netflix is cementing plans for the IP to become a major spy franchise. The Gray Man, which is already a favorite with a 91% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, is based on the best-selling book series by Mark Greaney.

A sequel to The Gray Man is now in development with Gosling and directors Joe and Anthony Russo set to return. The Russos and AGBO’s Mike Larocca will produce along with Joe Roth and Jeffrey Kirschenbaum for Roth Kirschenbaum Films, according to Netflix. 

The movie’s co-writer Stephen McFeely (The Electric State, Avengers: Endgame, Captain America: Civil War) is writing the script.

The audience reaction has been nothing short of phenomenal,” directors Joe and Anthony Russo said in a joint statement. “With so many amazing characters in the movie, we had always intended for The Gray Man to be part of an expanded universe, and we are thrilled that Netflix is announcing a sequel, as well as a second script that we’re excited to talk about soon.”

The spin-off film, written by Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese (Deadpool, Zombieland) is set to explore a different element of storyline’s universe. The logline is being kept under wraps.

The Gray Man is the third film from AGBO to premiere on Netflix, and the company’s second consecutive debut at No. 1 worldwide on the streamer. AGBO’s 2020 movie Extraction, starring Chris Hemsworth, is the fifth most-popular film on Netflix, and has a sequel to be released on Netflix in 2023.

“The Russos delivered an edge-of-your-seat spectacle that audiences around the world are loving,” said Scott Stuber, head of global film at Netflix. “We’re excited to continue to partner with the team at AGBO as they build out The Gray Man universe.”

Samba TV: Hollywood ‘A’-Listers, Action Storylines Drive Streaming Viewership

Netflix’s actioner The Gray Man marks the streamer’s latest original movie to dominate viewing on the platform after its debut, and marks a trend among streaming  platforms signing big-name Hollywood stars for original movies.

New data from Samba TV found that 3.5 million U.S. households, 684,000 British homes, 210,000 German homes, and 37,000 Australian households streamed The Gray Man — starring Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans — during the Live+3D window since its July 22 release.

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Netflix’s recent original movie successes featuring well-known Hollywood stars include Extraction (2020), with Chris Hemsworth, and Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds in 2021’s Red Notice. Sandra Bullock has two movies on the streamer’s all-time top 10 list: The Unforgivable (2021) and Bird Box (2018), while Kurt Russell and partner Goldie Hawn had success with the “Christmas Chronicles” franchise.

“Hollywood household names plus big action-oriented features are proving to be a winning strategy not just for the big screen in the theater but also the biggest screen in the home,” Cole Strain, VP of measurement products at Samba TV, said in a statement.

Strain said Gray Man marked Netflix’s top-performing movie premiere of the 2022 summer — a prerequisite if the platform hopes to recoup its $200 million investment.

“Netflix has a battle between the Ryans on its hands for the year’s number one premiere weekend, with Ryan Reynolds’ The Adam Project besting The Gray Man by less than 5,000 households,” Strain said.

FandangoNow Celebrates 15th Anniversary of ‘The Notebook’ With Sale

In honor of this week’s 15th anniversary of the theatrical release of The Notebook, FandangoNow is offering the romance for purchase at $7.99 in SD or HD through July 1.

FandangoNow is movie site Fandango’s transactional VOD service.

Fans of the 2004 love story can also find a collection of other movies featuring the film’s stars, Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling, as part of the FandangoNow Flashback anniversary collection at https://www.fandangonow.com/list/flashbacks.

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Also, as part of the celebration, Rotten Tomatoes’ 21 Most Memorable Movie Moments series is featuring a special video devoted to the iconic “Kiss in the Rain” scene in “The Notebook,” narrated by director Nick Cassavetes.

First Man

(Review) Director Damien Chazelle’s visually impressive biopic about the first man to walk on the surface of the moon challenges viewers’ expectations about what a film about the space program is supposed to be by focusing on the man instead of the mission, presenting an intimate and not always flattering portrait of an American hero that most Americans actually know very little about.

 

 

 

 

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 1/22/19;
Universal;
Drama;
Box Office $44.94 million;
$29.99 DVD, $34.99 Blu-ray, $39.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for some thematic content involving peril, and brief strong language.
Stars Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Corey Stoll, Christopher Abbot, Ciarán Hinds, Lucas Haas, Shea Whigham, Patrick Fugit.

Space program enthusiasts thinking this biopic about Neil Armstrong would be as awe-inspiring treatment as The Right Stuff and Apollo 13 might want to temper their expectations.

Director Damien Chazelle’s First Man is not altogether about the Apollo 11 moon landing. Strictly speaking, it’s not even about the space program. As the title would imply, it’s a film about Neil Armstrong the man, what drove him to join NASA, and what motivated his efforts to become the first man to walk on the moon. Depictions of spaceflight achievements take a backseat to the character study of the most famous of astronauts that, ironically, most of the public really knew nothing about.

Chazelle’s re-creations of various missions are dazzling visually, but his aim is not to celebrate the achievements of the space program the way other portrayals have. That disconnect between filmmaker objective and audience expectation may be the primary reason the film underperformed at the box office despite massive critical buzz (though, really, how much of the acclaim was simply drafting from the aura of Chazelle’s Best Director Oscar for La La Land is anybody’s guess).

First Man is moody. It’s gritty. It’s lyrical and often plays like a dream, a tone set by a haunting musical score from Justin Hurwitz that often shifts between elegant and droning. And sometimes it’s just depressing. The first two-thirds of the movie feels like a 1970s independent film rather than what one might expect from a big-budget outer space blockbuster.

First Man

Ryan Gosling plays Armstrong as a sullen family man who takes on risk as a means of distracting himself from the grief over the death of his young daughter in the early 1960s. This is a portrait of a man constantly confronted with death, with several of his astronaut friends killed training for missions. Yet Armstrong presses on, despite questions about whether going to the moon is even worth it. As an engineer and pilot, Armstrong is absorbed by the challenges of spaceflight to the seeming detriment of his personal life and relationship with his wife (Claire Foy) and two sons. He even conducts a discussion with his children over his chances of surviving the moon mission with the cold stoicism of a press conference.

The depicted missions are presented mostly from the point-of-view of Armstrong, with the final part of the film taken up with Apollo 11. Most of the major events were covered much more comprehensively in HBO’s From the Earth to the Moon, and anyone familiar with that miniseries will be struck by just how much is missing from the depictions here.

That’s not necessarily to the movie’s detriment, since it needs to portray the missions just enough to show how they fit into Armstrong’s story, not America’s. The result of this narrative direction, however, seems to be a choice to portray the missions in a matter-of-fact way more akin to 2001: A Space Odyssey or Interstellar, as opposed to an inspirational achievement the way most audiences would be used to.

The film is less interested in technical details and glosses over several of them, such as an alarm that went off several times during the lunar landing that indicated the navigational computer was being overwhelmed with data (which doesn’t get explained until the bonus materials, for anyone who isn’t otherwise aware of what happened). The film flubs a few details, too, but only the hardcore enthusiasts are likely to notice.

Once viewers can get past such challenges, it’s easy enough to appreciate the film for its technical and artistic merits, which may take several viewings to fully take in.

Notably, First Man was the first big-screen dramatization of an actual Gemini mission, with the depiction of Armstrong and Dave Scott performing the first orbital docking during Gemini VIII. The mission was cut short when a stuck thruster sent the capsule spinning out of control before Armstrong could stabilize the craft. But here’s a prime example of how the decision to stick with Armstrong’s perspective could hamper the audience’s understanding of what was really going on, aside from a colossal malfunction taking place.

Personally, the knowledge I already had of the incident helped me follow what the scene was trying to portray, so I’d recommend checking out the first episode of From the Earth to the Moon for a more omnipresent look at what happened (aside from actual research on it, of course).

Likewise, with the way the film rushes through the lunar landing sequence, the way it’s handled in From the Earth to the Moon’s sixth episode will probably be more to a lot of viewers’ tastes. (HBO would be wise to re-release the From the Earth to the Moon DVD boxed set, assuming they aren’t willing to remaster the visual effects for high-definition to finally release it on Blu-ray).

First Man

Judging by an otherwise excellent audio commentary track of Chazelle, screenwriter Josh Singer and editor Tom Cross, the filmmakers weren’t really interested in how their movie would be compared to previous examples of the genre, other than stylistically. That’s kind of a shame, as the decision to present the Gemini VIII launch from the viewpoint of within the capsule the whole time works well to simulate Armstrong’s experience for viewers, but robs us of what could have been a glorious external view of the rocket launching that hasn’t really been dramatized yet.

Instead, Chazelle saves the inspirational launch for the liftoff of Apollo 11, and while a fully fueled Saturn V rocket is a sight to behold, and First Man manages to craft a solid launch with some good shots of the spacecraft, the filmmakers were going to be hard-pressed to top what we’ve already seen from the Apollo 13 depiction of a Saturn launch, which is the standard-bearer for such sequences.

In addition, the remarkable shot from the trailers of a Saturn launch that’s reflected in a window as Armstrong watches was cut out of the movie. It’s available as one of the two deleted scenes on the Blu-ray, while the film’s trailers haven’t been included with the disc.

The other deleted scene is a sequence of the Armstrong house burning down, which really happened in 1964.

The Blu-ray also includes about 34 minutes of behind-the-scenes featurettes, which in conjunction with the commentary provide a lot of insights into the process of adapting the film from James R. Hansen’s book First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong.

What’s particularly fascinating is the level of practical visual effects employed with models and in-camera opticals rather than an abundance of CGI. In fact, it’s almost as if the filmmakers used technological advancements to improve upon old-school methods, filming models and cockpits in front of a giant LED screen that displays images at a resolution high enough to look like the real deal in the final product (with some digital enhancements).

This results in several visually stunning sequences that look great on the high-definition presentation of the disc. Scenes on Earth were shot with different grain levels to give the film a retro feel that serves its tone well. Of course, Chazelle is saving most of the razzle-dazzle for the final lunar sequence, which was shot with Imax cameras and appropriately shifts aspect ratios to capture the grandeur of it on home video.

To re-create the moon, filmmakers built a giant lunar set at a quarry, filmed at night with an actual full-sized lunar lander mock-up and a giant light in the distance to stimulate the sun (as opposed to the greenscreen and CGI approach most films would likely take today). The results pay off in a visually impressive lunar sequence that provides a real stylistic contrast with how such scenes have been handled before.

First Man

‘First Man’ Lands on Home Video in January

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment will release First Man through digital retailers Jan. 8, and on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Jan. 22.

The drama from director Damien Chazelle focuses on the life of astronaut Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) in the decade leading up to the Apollo 11 mission and his iconic status as the first man to walk on the Moon. The cast includes Claire Foy, Kyle Chandler, Jason Clarke, Corey Stoll, Pablo Schreiber, Christopher Abbot  and Ciarán Hinds.

First Man earned $44.8 million at the domestic box office and has been nominated for two Golden Globes: Best Supporting Actress for Foy as Armstrong’s wife, and Best Original Score by Justin Hurwitz.

Disc and digital extras include deleted scenes; commentary with Chazelle, screenwriter Josh Singer and editor Tom Cross; and several behind-the-scenes featurettes:

  • “Shooting for the Moon,” a look at the production and the collaborative relationship between Chazelle and Gosling;
  • “Preparing to Launch,” about making the first major feature film to focus on Apollo 11;
  • “Giant Leap in One Small Step,” focusing on the hard working individuals that got us to the moon and back;
  • “Mission Gone Wrong,” in which Ryan Gosling reenacts a test piloting sequence gone terribly wrong;
  • “Putting You In the Seat,” a look at the technology used to put audiences in the middle of the action;
  • “Recreating the Moon Landing,” about using Imax cameras to create the legendary moment;
  • “Shooting at NASA,” in which Gosling and Chazelle discuss bringing authenticity to the film;
  • “Astronaut Training,” showcasing a three-day boot camp for the actors before filming.

 

The 4K Ultra HD disc will include the same bonus features as the Blu-ray version, all in 4K resolution.

Blade Runner 2049

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street 1/16/18;
Warner;
Sci-Fi;
Box Office $91.95 million;
$28.98 DVD, $35.99 Blu-ray, $44.95 UHD BD;
Rated ‘R’ for violence, some sexuality, nudity and language.
Stars Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Carla Juri, Lennie James, Dave Bautista, Jared Leto.

What’s remarkable about director Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 is how seamlessly it returns us to the dystopian future established in the original 1982 film. Set 30 years later, 2049 manages to both tell an engaging story in its own right while providing deeper context and reframing the narrative of the first film — no easy feat considering the landmark cult status it has achieved.

Harrison Ford returns as Deckard, the police officer in the first film tasked with hunting down rogue replicants — specially engineered not-quite-humans designed for labor in off-world colonies. While the character doesn’t appear until well into the running time and his role is relatively limited, his presence does provide a nice sense of continuity. And the lingering question of the ages about whether Deckard himself was a replicant is dealt with here in a way that makes sense for the story this film is trying to tell.

Another source of stability between the two films is co-writer Hampton Fancher, who also co-wrote the original film and clearly had more to say about this world, which was originally adapted from Philip K. Dick’s 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

The sequel follows a new cop, Ryan Gosling as K, a replicant Blade Runner tasked with hunting down his own kind. K stumbles upon a 30-year-old mystery that suggests replicants can reproduce biologically, a fact that would have enormous repercussions on society. His discovery triggers a race to find the child, between a police chief (Robin Wright) who wants to eliminate any hint of the replicants’ humanity for fear it may lead to a revolution, and the replicants’ billionaire breeder (Jared Leto), who sees natural biology as the key to growing a replicant population big enough to enable mankind to achieve its true potential.

At the heart of the story is the question of identity and individuality, and whether true personhood can be achieved artificially. Can K truly find meaning in his life, or is he only programmed to think that he can? Contrasting K’s flesh-and-blood interactions is a companion hologram named Joi (Ana de Armas), who always comes across as the perfect girlfriend with just the right words of encouragement to push K forward. Is her sentience real, thus providing some legitimacy for K’s affection for her? Or is she merely a function of very sophisticated algorithms? Does it even matter?

While the film is set in 2049, it is not necessarily a vision of the future based on how things are now, but more of an extrapolation of the vision of the future of the original film from 1982 (where newspapers were still a thing in 2019!), with maybe a few real-world influences from the intervening time period.

Every character has a role to play in this parable, and everything they do has some connection to the film’s larger themes, even if they seem superfluous at the time. Villeneuve with Arrival established that he is a master of visual landscapes, and the settings here really allow him to indulge those instincts, embellishing the style that Ridley Scott established 35 years ago.

If there’s a major drawback to the film, it’s that Villeneuve is quite deliberate in his pacing, and his long establishing shots of the bleak future world are a primary contributor to the 163-minute run time, about 45 minutes longer than its predecessor. But there is splendor in the visual effects, and fans of the original will no doubt appreciate how the follow-up takes the time to breathe. It is certainly a unique feature of the home video formats that viewers who don’t find themselves enthralled by longer films can chart their own course through it.

The Blu-ray includes three short films (originally released online in the lead-up to the new film) that serve as prequels to 2049, filling in parts of the 30-year gap in the timeline. For those who picked up the disc for their first viewing of 2049, I’d recommend a rewatch of the “Final Cut” of the original first, followed by these shorts in chronological order.

The 2022 short is an anime that delves into a massive blackout that will have a profound impact on the events of 2049. This picks up with the 2036 short, which features Leto’s character waxing about why he wants to create a new breed of replicant. Finally, the 2048 short features Dave Bautista as a replicant defending a family from thugs, and leads into the opening scene of 2049.

The rest of the bonus materials offer about 50 minutes of short featurettes about the making of the film and the advancement of the concepts introduced in the original movie.