Maestro’s Picks – Blade Runner Week

It’s time for a special Maestro’s Picks this weekend, as Blade Runner 2049 is finally out and in the world. In honor of the sequel that I’m sure nobody ever thought would happen way back in 1982, I’ve decided to share with you all my favorite links and videos from the world of Los Angeles, 2019.

I’m sure most fans will recognize this one immediately, but if you’ve never checked it out, BladeZone, the “Online Blade Runner Fan Site and Museum,” is still the cream of the crop when it comes to Blade Runner tributes online. Some of the articles may be just a bit dated, but still incredibly fascinating, ranging from all different topics on the film and its production, music, visual effects, and different versions, as well as other subjects related to the film, such as the computer game and homages.

Another great fan site, one I used to visit a lot myself, is BRmovie.com, a similar site to BladeZone. It hasn’t been updated since 2011 (it is quite amusing to see that their last news item is Ridley Scott suggesting a sequel may be in the works), but much of the material on the site is still deserving of consumption, mainly based more around essays and analysis of the film and its themes. A very expansive FAQ page is also housed on the site.

And finally, the videos. Lately a few great pieces of analysis have sprung up, no doubt in anticipation of 2049. We start with a new episode of Cinefix’s What’s the Difference? series, in which the hosts compare Blade Runner against its source novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Another swell analysis of the original Blade Runner comes from Michael of Lessons from the Screenplay, who deconstructs the main pieces of film noir and looks at how Blade Runner plays with these pieces to reinvigorate and change that genre for a sci-fi setting.

Also of worthwhile watch is NerdWriter’s analysis of the film, with emphasis on its arthouse asthetic.

And finally, because I can’t get enough of his fun and wildly informative series, here’s Oliver Harper’s Review & Retrospective of Blade Runner:

Before I take my leave of you, I would like to share below three final videos. These are special, however, because they are the official prequels to Denis Villeneuve’s sequel, the first two directed by Luke Scott, and the third, a mind-blowing anime sequel to the original film, directed by Cowboy Bebop‘s Shinichiro Watanabe. Enjoy, and don’t forget to go see Blade Runner 2049, in theaters now!

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Maestro’s Picks – August 25, 2017

It’s Friday, and that means it’s time for Maestro’s Picks!

Because this is the glorious(?) return of my first on-going series, I’ve decided to go with two picks this time around. Also, because I just couldn’t pick one of them. This time, both are from the illustrious and bottomless world of Tumblr!

First, as you may or may not know, I am working on my first full-length fan edit, and a major factor in this finally happening is the excellent editor Red Menace, of RedMenaceOfficial on Tumblr. Specializing in HD reconstructions, Red Menace has delivered the kaiju goods on multiple occasions, bringing back to life such lost American versions of Godzilla films as Godzilla 1985, Destroy All Monsters, and Monster Zero, in addition to a fan edit series of Neon Genesis Evangelion. He is currently working on several projects including a hotly-anticipated Godzilla vs. The Thing reconstruction, and of course, makes tons of shitposts. Check him out!

Second is the interesting newcomer Alien Covenant: A Gothic Fiction in Space. My recent rewatch of Covenant has convinced me of its merits as a great science fiction and horror story, and this Tumblr came along at the right time to help form words to my exploding thoughts regarding Ridley Scott’s newest piece. Prerusing the table of contents post reveals an expansive attention to the details of Covenant, analyzing everything from character motivations to specific, indelible images that link Scott’s film with the greatest gothic fiction of the past, including, yes, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Give this one a serious read, even if you weren’t a fan of Covenant. You just might change your mind.

And now, here comes the second half of Maestro’s Picks: where I share one video and one image which I found myself drawn to this week: Presenting:

The new poster for Blade Runner 2049, opening October 17 of this year and starring Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, and Jared Leto:

Image result for blade runner 2049 poster

Medley Weaver‘s mashup trailer for Godzilla (1954), featuring the music and editing of the 2014 film’s famous trailer:

Well, that’s all for today! Stay true, believers!

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Stay tuned, believers!

 

Maestro’s Picks -March 9, 2017

Time for a little variety here at The Movie Maestro! This is the first of what I call Maestro’s Picks: a sampling of different articles, videos, and other little tidbits of cinema and pop culture that I found entertaining, and would love to share with all of you! Without further ado, let’s jump in!

Do you love Don Bluth animated features? Ever wonder why his films can leave you a blubbering mess on your living room floor, wondering what kind of child-hating sicko would make a kid’s movie so depressing? Check out this article by Meg Shields of The Film School Rejects, “The Melancholy of Don Bluth,” for your answer. And now I need to watch The Land Before Time again.

As I posted yesterday, the next week will have a Kong theme running through to commemorate the release of Kong: Skull Island, so bone up on your Kong knowledge with a trio of articles: check out Turner Classic Movies’ page on the original Kong, which lists everything from trivia to a brief overview on the big ape’s impact on pop culture. Then swing by an archived Jump Cut article by David Rosen, an analysis of the racial and political attitudes of the time which probably contributed to the film’s wild success. Finally, prepare for the eventual clash that Skull Island will be setting up with this article from Birth, Movies, Death, taking a brief look back at the 1962 Japanese blockbuster King Kong vs Godzilla, a film which will be seeing a rebirth in Warner Brothers’ new “Monsterverse” in 2020.

Speaking of Godzilla, there’s a burgeoning YouTube account, barely a year old, known as “The Long Take.” Run by a user known as Rafa, The Long Take ventures to provide a series of video essays on cinema, focusing on critical and interpretive analysis. In this insightful video, his first, Rafa offers a comparative look at the original kaiju classic Gojira, and Gareth Edwards’ successful American reboot, 2014’s Godzilla. A great essay, A+ worthy, and I don’t just say that because I’m a biased tokusatsu-fanatic.

Another great YouTube series is the ever entertaining brain-food Cody’s Alternate History Hub. An entire channel dedicated to the ‘What If?”, the Alternate History Hub uses knowledge of geography, population and other historical facts to predict alternate outcomes that could have happened had things gone differently in history. Every once in a while, Cody will turn his analytical eye to the realm of pop culture, imagining the histories that gave rise to the worlds of, say, The Man in the High Castle or Red Dawn. In this newest video, Cody dips his hand into the current tumultuous political waters to serve up the dystopian world of 1984:

That’s all for today folks!