Blade Runner 2049 is the worthy sequel to the gritty 1982 science-fiction film starring Harrison Ford. Placed 30 years further in the future, it stars Ryan Gosling as a Los Angeles cop who hunts and kills rebellious replicantsartificial, genetically enhanced humanoids. His routine mission gains importance when he suspects they have found a way to reproduce. Ford reprises his original role, 30 years older, but Gosling dominates the picture with a stoic performance. Cameo appearances and allusions to the 1982 film will please its cult following. The climax satisfies while leaving room for additional sequels, although they will struggle to top the existing works.
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Dunkirk dramatizes Operation Dynamo, which rescued more than 400,000 British and French troops from the beaches of Dunkirk, France, in early World War II. Surrounded by German forces, harassed by bombers, the Allied troops were trapped with their backs to the English Channel. To evacuate them, the British desperately mobilized hundreds of fishing boats and pleasure craft. Study this history before seeing the movie, because writer and director Christopher Nolan (Interstellar, The Dark Knight, Batman Begins, Memento) offers no help. Unsatisfied with history's gift of a strong story, he resorts to scrambled editing and deliberate discontinuity to bring confusion to the screen. Is it day or night? Is it today or tomorrow? Is it England or France? Nolan works hard to undermine his fine actors and special-effects wizards. With more respect for the story, this could have been a great film.
Baby Driver is one of the best car-chase movies on film. Little-known Ansel Elgort (The Fault in Our Stars and Divergent, 2014) stars as Baby, a young man who ceaselessly listens to music on his Apple iPod to drown out his chronic tinnitus. When he accidentally becomes indebted to a master criminal, he's forced to become a getaway driver for a series of daring robberies. Luckily, he's a wizard behind the wheel, but his skills only get him ensnared more deeply. The getaway chases are the highlights of this thrill ride, always synchronized to Baby's iPod soundtrack. Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, and Jamie Foxx deliver great performances as creepy criminals.
Wonder Woman tries to rise above the usual summer blockbusters by adding dashes of feminism and moral ambiguity. It doesn't go far, however. Although Israeli actress Gal Gadot delivers a credible performance as an incredible character, the plot settles into a comfortable good-versus-evil fable with few shades of gray. German viewers will probably dislike their portrayal as the bad guysin particular, a bizarre reimagining of Erich Ludendorff, a real World War I generalbut they must be used to the Hollywood treatment by now. The movie's high point is the midpoint, when Wonder Woman departs her secluded island of Amazons and enters the gritty London of 1918. The culture clash is at once amusing and disquieting. Her puzzlement over women's fashion soon turns to confusion over the fetish for war.
>> See more mini-reviews, including Alien: Covenant ... The Circle ... Moonlight ... Hidden Figures ... Manchester by the Sea ... La La Land ... Collateral Beauty ... Hacksaw Ridge ... Loving ... Arrival ... Snowden ... Sully ... Star Trek Beyond ... Finding Dory ... The Jungle Book ... Eye in the Sky ... Hello, My Name is Doris ... Whiskey Tango Foxtrot ... and many more!
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Here is an index to more than 180 of Tom's computer articles from BYTE Magazine published from 1992 to 1998. (BYTE ceased publication in June 1998.) Most articles are still available online and include the original photographs, figures, and screen shots.
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- The Death of BYTE Magazine. In 1998, after 23 years of operation, BYTE Magazine was shut down by its new owner, CMP Media. A year later, CMP launched BYTE.com as a very different web-only publication. To learn the inside story about what happened to the world's second personal computer magazine, see Tom's Unofficial BYTE FAQ: The Death of BYTE Magazine.
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