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Payne’s Picks

By Sarah Payne

Movies coming out

Blade Runner 2049 – October 6th – Back in college, one of the more interesting English classes I took was about film, and one of the first essays I wrote for the class was a critical analysis of the original Blade Runner. Nothing quite makes you appreciate a film more than re-watching scene after scene to dig for symbolism and deeper meaning. That’s just one of the reasons I am excited about the sequel to the film, set 30 years after the original. Director Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Sicaro) told the LA Times that he wanted to build on the aesthetic of the original, which was directed by Ridley Scott. He says, “The movie we did is deeply inspired by the first movie, but we tried not to become a pastiche or parody. We used elements form the first movie with humility and tried to find strength in them.” One constant you’ll notice is Harrison Ford returns as police officer Rick Deckard, opposite Ryan Gosling as an LAPD officer. I’m interested to see the dynamic between the actors on screen, especially after reading a recent interview with Ford in GQ, where he revealed he accidentally punched Gosling on set.

Movie review

IT – I wasn’t too surprised that IT broke records last month for largest ever opening for a horror movie and the largest September opening of all time. After all, I was right in line with everyone else on opening night, waiting for the 9:15 showing because the first two showings were sold out. And for the most part, IT met my expectations. Let me preface this by saying I am not a diehard fan of the original movie or book. I went into the movie simply looking to be genuinely terrified. And the first time Pennywise the clown arrives on screen is truly horrifying. But after the first hour or so, the surprise starts to wear off. I think the film could be about 45 minutes shorter. However, I really enjoyed the dynamic between the group of outcast kids (“Losers’ Club”) who band together to fight Pennywise. Similar to his character in Netflix’s Stranger Things Finn Wolfhard has a lot of funny quips and one-liners. And Sophia Lillis, who is relatively unknown, reminds me of a young Molly Ringwald or Amy Adams.

TV review

Baroness von Sketch Show – In planning my column this month, I debated whether I should write about Baroness Von Sketch Show because it’s not technically a new show – at least not for Canadians. It debuted in June 2016 on CBC Television, but only recently started airing for an American audience on IFC. Aside from the fact that it’s Canadian, it’s also unique in that it features an all-female cast over the age of 40 – Carolyn Taylor, Meredith MacNeil, Aurora Browne, and Jennifer Whalen. If you like sketch comedy along the lines of Saturday Night Live and Portlandia, you’ll be an instant fan of Baroness Von Sketch Show. While it makes light of a lot of stereotypical issues women face – like watching your weight, keeping a neat house, and nude locker rooms – it appeals to both sexes (my boyfriend was actually the one who introduced me to the show). And the good news is there are only 13 episodes to catch up on before the next season premieres.

Concert review

The Weeknd – I’ve written about The Weeknd’s last two albums over the last few years, and had the opportunity to see his show live at TD Garden in Boston last month. What surprised me most about the show was the sheer lack of talent in his opening acts – Gucci Mane and Nav. Both rappers lacked energy and stage presence. And from the crowds of people who waited to find their seats until after the rappers finished their acts, I’m assuming I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. Luckily, The Weeknd made up for their lackluster performances by playing nearly every hit he’s had on the radio these past few years – from “Starboy,” to “Party Monster,” and “Can’t Feel My Face.” He really does sounds just as good live as he does on his studio albums. I also liked that he also picked a few obscure, slower songs like “Angel,” that show off his vocals. I only wish he could have brought his friend Drake along for a guest appearance!