The Abominible Dr. Phibes

23 11 2017

Pencil Drawing of Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in Star Wars

22 11 2017

LeiaI’ve been on a Star Wars kick lately and I realized, while I’ve drawn Luke and Han a couple times, I’ve never drawn Leia. So this was an attempt to draw Leia but not using one of the typical iconic pictures of her. Empire Strikes Back is still my favorite Star Wars movie, so this picture just seemed the right choice. It’s done completely in graphite pencil on Bristol paper. (January 2014)

Etsy link for prints:

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The Last Jedi Entertainment Weekly Collectors Covers

19 11 2017

Milners Blog

Entertainment Weekly ventures into the galaxy of The Last Jedi with four exclusive collectors covers featuring characters who may or may not be on the same side, but their destinies are entwined, check out the interesting descriptions to the characters that Entertainment Weekly have added for each cover

Star Wars The Last Jedi Entertainment Weekly Collectors Covers 1 - Rey and Kylo Star Wars The Last Jedi Entertainment Weekly Collectors Covers 1 – Rey and Kylo

While that may seem unlikely, the second act of every story is where the heroes (and villains) are tested and tempted. As writer-director Rian Johnson picks up the narrative after 2015’s The Force Awakens, his job is not to protect these characters, but to put them in harm’s way.

“There’s a history in Star Wars of the attraction between the light and the dark, whether it’s the story of Anakin basically turning from this sweet kid and seeing his seduction to the dark side, or even with…

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Me and You and Everyone We Know

7 11 2017

The Last Jedi International Film Posters

2 11 2017

Milners Blog

Star Wars The Last Jedi Japanese Movie Poster in English Star Wars The Last Jedi Japanese Movie Poster in English

The Last Jedi IMAX Dark Side Lobby Poster The Last Jedi IMAX Dark Side Lobby Poster

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Review : BLADE R U N N E R 2 0 4 9

20 10 2017


starring :   Ryan  Gosling ,  Harrison  Ford ,  Jared  Leto ,  Robin  Wright ,  Sylvia  Hoeks ,  Ana  De  Anas ,  Dave  Bautista ,  Mackenzie  Davis ,  Lennie  James     with   Edward  James  Olmos     and   Sean  Young

written  by  Hampton Fancher  and  Michael  Green     based  on  characters ,  situations ,  and  ideas from  the  novel ,  “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” by  Philip K.  Dick   music by  Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch     cinematography  Roger Deakins    production designer  Dennis  Gassner      edited by   Joe Walker   sound  design by  Theo     Green     executive producer  Ridley Scott     directed by  Denis Villeneuve


BLADE RUNNER 2049 is both complex, adult science-fiction and a beautifully made and fully realized motion picture. It takes the central themes and concepts of Ridley Scott’s original masterwork, dealing with the delicacy of identity, the roles memories play in how we engage with the world and what does it mean to be “human,” which are primary concerns in much of the work of the late author, Phillip K. Dick whose novel, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” is the source of the original film’s screenplay and, to an extent this continuation, and 2049 carefully and methodically finds new twists and angles of approach on those themes appropriate for a new time, thirty years within the movie’s reality, thirty-five in terms of the years of each film’s release.




In fact, beyond being an actual piece of serious of science-fiction and, at times if not throughout, a truly astonishing cinematic experience, it’s that third dimension that makes it a real accomplishment; it’s artful relationship to its predecessor and inspiration, 1982’s BLADE RUNNER (dir. Ridley Scott), a film noir set in the near-ish future, starring a thirty-nine year old Harrison Ford as ex-cop and authorized killer Rick Deckard, who’s pulled back into his old department to track down and “retire” four “replicants” (artificial human genetically created as laborers, soldiers, sex objects used off-world) who have illegally returned to Earth searching for their “maker.” Director Denis Villeneuve (ARRIVAL) and hands-on producer Ridley Scott manage to deal beautifully, in the here and now, with all aspects of the original; not only its primary themes but also the remarkable and highly influential look and sound of the film, even as it lays new ground, extending the ideas and narrative from Mr. Scott’s film and exploring previously unseen places and characters relevant to its own confidently unique vision.


Cinematographer Roger Deakins carries forward and remains basically true to the still-amazing work of the late Jordan Cronenweth while creating his own miraculous version of the BLADE RUNNER future, with a carefully subdued color palette and a striking narrative-centric and symbolic use of light, and the score, created largely by Hans Zimmer, pushes farther the complex atmospherics that pervade the original film (and is, in my opinion one of the Ten Best Movie Scores), and largely abandons the thematics and sense of melodies from 1982, fully embracing composer Vangelis’ astonishing mixing of music as sound effects.


But there are other carry-overs from the first film, beyond visionary producer Ridley Scott; Hampden Fancher, who originally – – back in the mid-1970s – – borrowed some money and bought the rights to Phillip K. Dick’s original novel, from the author himself, wrote the storylines and co-wrote the screenplays for both BLADE RUNNERs, and he maintains the tone from one to the other; a sense of the ongoing struggle against despair and even mortality clearly played out in different ways from film to film, and within each itself.

And, of course, there; is the original ex-cop, ex-Blade Runner, ex-killer himself, Rick Deckard, older and even a little wiser, but very much who the Noir-ish cynic of 2019 would age into. Harrison Ford has more of a supporting role of sorts this time, but a vitally important one, and delivers a genuinely great performance (one scene, which I will NOT spoil, literally gave me a cold chill, exactly as Ford was enacting it – – full of longing, regret and denial). As with his wonderful return to STAR WARS in 2015’s THE FORCE AWAKENS, he’s really, as a long-time fan and admirer, a joy to watch, fully engaging in the role with an energy and depth that has sometimes seemed missing in other more recent work.


After disappearing with his lover, the experimental replicant, Rachel (Sean Young), thirty years earlier, he’s searched for and sought out by a young Blade Runner, named simply K. (as in the protagonist of Kafka’s “The Trial”? Or an acknowledgement to the writer of the film’s original source novel?). Portrayed by Ryan Gosling, who makes a truly interesting lead, multi-layered, and very compelling in his character’s ethereal search that is the movie’s basic plot line, K. is working a seemingly ordinary case, retiring a replicant who has been hiding on Earth for many years (he’s a Nexus 8 – – no built-in life span), as a harmless industrial farmer, only the “skin job” utters some words before K.’s kill shot that stick with K. and when he returns some time later to the farm, taking care of some leftover business, he discovers in the replicant farmer’s yard something unusual buried beneath a tree which turns his routine case into a tension-filled mystery. It’s a discovery that affects K. personally and in a way he can’t quite get a lock on.


But K.’s discovery also causes Nicander Wallace concern enough to take up some conspiratorial and violently extreme measures. Wallace (in an arresting performance from Jared Leto; his scene opposite Harrison Ford is a stand-out) is a blind megalomaniacal industrialist and wunderkind genetic scientist who bought out a nearly bankrupt Tyrell Corporation (following shortly after Tyrell’s murder and the various events of the original film) who has turned would-be prophet and has been pushing secret replicant “evolution” for strange and mysterious revolutionary purposes.


Wallace assigns his personal female assistant, a replicant, Luv, to track K. to find what K. is looking for before K. does. Luv is played by a strangely enthralling Dutch actress, Sylvia Hoeks, who makes her role into a cross between a tight-minded, efficient corporate Executrix and an unstoppable killing machine.


The film gets a lot of what made the original unique and carries over a similar, but only similar, sensibility, lingering on strange small details, objects which suggest some hidden meaning….. human-made wood carvings…. a boiling pot of something on a stove….. the holographic array of old-time entertainers – – Elvis, Liberace, Sinatra – – that buzz in and out of existence at a ruined Las Vegas night club in a desert made orange by the effects of a dirty bomb many years earlier. And like BLADE RUNNER, 2049 takes its measured time in scenes either isolating each film’s lead and also, intensely, in confrontations between its players, both human and nearly human. (One such notable confrontation occurs between Luv and Robin Wright’s Lieutenant Joshi, K.’s Unit commander, and it keeps one on edge with a lot of unknowns churning beneath its surface; or, there’s Deckard and K.sitting, drinking at a long abandoned Vegas bar, letting each other in on secrets – – but going only so far that, like many moments throughout almost explain what has happened, almost, in this world over the past thirty years and to its people, Deckard, Rachael, K., Tyrell, Sapper, Nicander Wallace).


Not only is this exposition seamlessly worked into the flow of the story, its also vital to the understanding of that story – – so pay attention when watching; the movie’s mature enough that it lays things out for you to understand what’s going on and what it’s about, just not in the large-scale Marvel-way that young audiences are used to. 2049, to both its credit and as one of its vague problems, places the narrative fully in the foreground. It’s pulpy film noir set in the future only, for all of that, its as similar to CHINATOWN (19 ) in some ways as it is to Ridley Scott’s BLADE RUNNER. It has twists and turns, a reliance on carefully placed details more than outright clues, becoming genuinely and enjoyably, challengingly complex, and, only once and a while, too complicated for its own good. And I must admit, to the film’s many positive attributes, those story twists and turns feature at least two, maybe three, instances that really knocked me out; meaning, there are a couple of story points, revealed quite naturally, that not only I didn’t see coming, even if I’d been hired to write a BLADE RUNNER sequel, would never had occurred to me. And, I think, they’re pretty much perfect, unexpected ideas.



But in a way, the complex “plot” as opposed to the “story,” and as gripping as that plot is, points out why the original is the better movie. Ridley Scott’s original has a very simple plot (futuristic detective has orders to hunt down and shoot to kill four escaped fugitive robots loose in the Big City), skimmed just off the surface of “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” while its story (i.e.. what its about) and execution and unusual structured conceptualization (easily promoted as an action movie, its really made up of around a half dozen longish sequences, in which the film’s sense of design, sound and picture, are just as important to understanding the film’s meaning as are the screenplay and characterizations), reflects an approach to cinema in a way that largely defies comparison or categorization . BLADE RUNNER (1982) is not just ‘the original,” as I have referred to it throughout, it is also the rarest of things you can find in movies (or any other art); it is an original.




That said, BLADE RUNNER 2049 joins a unique, and a rather small club that includes THE GODFATHER PART II, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, STAR TREKs THE WRATH OF KHAN and INTO DARKNESS, and, maybe, ALIENS ; sequels to great films (which exist because their predecessors worked so well on audiences), that are in fact great as well, both as continuations and in and of themselves.
Bravo, Mr. Villaneuve!



Daisy Ridley’s Vogue Cover Shoot

12 10 2017

Milners Blog

All Photographs by Mario Testino

Great interview with Daisy Ridley on Star Wars, Superfans, and Her Lightsaber Workout in the latest issue of Vogue… see below

Daisy Ridley Star Wars Vogue Cover November 2017 HD Hi-Res Daisy Ridley Star Wars Vogue Cover November 2017 HD Hi-Res

“They’re really heavy,” Daisy Ridley says. “Three, four, five kilos? And the weight’s very unevenly distributed.” She’s talking about lightsabers—and explaining that if you’re actually in a Star Wars movie, you can’t just pick one up and wave it around, as children have been doing in their bedrooms for the past 40 years. Not at all. In real life—or rather, for real movies—special conditioning is in order. Before she could film fight scenes for Star Wars: The Last Jedi—the second in the trilogy in which she plays Rey, the heroine—she undertook a kind of neon martial-arts training. “You do, like, eight thwacks one way, eight the other, eight up, eight down,”she says…

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