BLADE RUNNER 2049 - Official Thread

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AndyDursin
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Re: BLADE RUNNER 2049 - Official Thread

#91 Post by AndyDursin » Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:37 am

Shades of THE TWO JAKES really more than anything. A way late sequel to a noir classic that's also totally dependant on knowledge of the earlier movie to work. Younger viewers who didn't know a thing about it will be totally clueless, which is why having such a direct line plot wise to the first film may not have been the wisest idea.

But the first movie was always a cult thing. Some of the fanboy projections were just way too optimistic for this, and word of mouth will be toxic amongst casual viewers who were never going to "get it" to begin with.

This is going to struggle to beat Alien Covenant donestically.

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Paul MacLean
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Re: BLADE RUNNER 2049 - Official Thread

#92 Post by Paul MacLean » Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:30 pm

AndyDursin wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:37 am
This is going to struggle to beat Alien Covenant donestically.
Perhaps Scott made the right decision after all!

I want to say that I do greatly appreciate that 2049 was not a "requel" (like The Force Awakens), and took the story in an interesting, new direction. I just disliked Denis Villeneuve's handling of the material.

I'm not sure the two films will ever comfortably sit side-by-side. The original is a film noir / character study, in which a cold, nihilistic man learns what it means to be human (from interacting with artificial humans), and also boasts incredible "world building" and propulsive direction which keeps the narrative moving. The sequel is a more straightforward thriller / actioner, but helmed by a pretentious director who appears to see himself as a kind of Ingmar Bergman (and appears to think pokey pacing somehow equals "deep" and "meaningful"), and thus drains the script of its potential energy, and appeal.

And further on the score -- it amazes me how Zimmer's and Benjamin Wallfisch's music contributes absolutely nothing to the film. Other than the somewhat effective cue for the climactic fight scene (and Vangelis' "Tears in Rain") the music is all white sound, which neither uplifts, enhances, or much less expresses any emotional subtext within the picture. There are moments where I wonder if these "Remote Control" employees of Hans Zimmer are precisely that -- remote controlled robots who do Hans Zimmer's bidding without question. Some of these people (like Wallfisch) are classically-trained musicians...yet they seem happy to reproduce the simplistic power chords, the thick, multi-layered "orchestrations" and non-melodic ambiences which have become Zimmer's trademark.

The filmmakers would have done better to have simply re-used some of Vangelis' cues from the original BR, and licensed some tracks from some of his albums ("Direct" and "The City" are full of music that would have suited this movie perfectly).

Monterey Jack wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:39 am
Shades of the Thing prequel from 2011...no matter how many ardent fans the original 1982 film has now, it doesn't change the fact that it was a HUGE bomb back in the day that critics and audiences hated with a passion...
Yeah, I can think of no positive reviews which greeted the original's release. Even Roger Ebert (who would later champion Blade Runner) found it visually striking, but otherwise unremarkable.

I personally felt somewhat ambivalent towards BR when I first saw it (though I suppose my impression wasn't helped by the theater's bad sound system, which reproduced the entire film in muffled, muddled audio). I was also enormously disappointed that Scott didn't re-team with Jerry Goldsmith for his next picture.

But when I saw it again two years later (again on the big screen) I was completely knocked over -- not only by the visuals (and Vangelis' score), but by the characters, who were fascinating and highly sympathetic (and the performances, which were surpassingly great). I also found the film very emotionally intense, and the themes it explored very resonant.

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Re: BLADE RUNNER 2049 - Official Thread

#93 Post by AndyDursin » Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:18 pm

I've always LOVED Blade Runner, going all the way back to the first time I saw it on the CBS Saturday Night Movie in '86. Can't think of one singular, other film made in my lifetime that has had such an impact on modern filmmaking in terms of its look, style, and art design. Does it have warm and fuzzy characters? No. But how many film noir thrillers do, dating back to the '40s? 2001 doesn't have appealing characters -- does it need them to be a film classic?

I think there is a big fan base for BLADE RUNNER -- the issue is how many of them WANTED a sequel? Hollywood seems to think if they make one of these, immediately the fanboys and girls will show up in droves. The mistake they made here is that BLADE RUNNER isn't some stupid Marvel property where T-shirt wearing drones appear to wait in line for hours ahead of the first showing...I'm guessing a wide swath of BR fans really didn't NEED this movie to start with. A lot of those fans likely think the original film was perfect as is and did not need another installment...and it is also HARD-CORE sci-fi, that never appeals to the mainstream to begin with.

That said, I share most of Paul's reservations though I did on balance like it a bit more. Watching Gosling un-emote for 2.5 hours was tedious -- I think another actor with more range, even if their emotions were being held in check, would've instantly made the role more compelling. At least it wasn't some brainless assault on the senses like most of Hollywood's output in 2017 -- and that includes over-rated dreck like DUNKIRK. It's just too bad there isn't a balance between the idiotic crap we saw all summer and Villeneuve's overly pretentious filmmaking style, which really does feel flabby and unnecessarily "arty" in the opposite direction.

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Re: BLADE RUNNER 2049 - Official Thread

#94 Post by mkaroly » Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:48 pm

BLADE RUNNER is a profound film to me - makes me cry. I really love every aspect of it and will always hold it in the highest regards. I am encouraged by these Aisle Seat reviews even with the legitimate complaints; I despise Hans Zimmer's music and will do my best to ignore it...lol...the bar I have for the new BR movie is set very low though as I know it could never match BR. As a long time fan of the original film, I would have been happy if there was never a sequel made (to be honest, the five versions of the movie is enough to satisfy me). There doesn't NEED to be a sequel as the original film is complete in and of itself...IMO. Hoping to see the new BR on Sunday or Wednesday!

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Re: BLADE RUNNER 2049 - Official Thread

#95 Post by AndyDursin » Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:00 pm

Enjoy it Michael and will be interesting to read your take.

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Re: BLADE RUNNER 2049 - Official Thread

#96 Post by Monterey Jack » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:10 am

Owen Gleiberman's take on the original film pretty much encapsulates my opinion of it, in that's somehow mesmerizing and plodding at the same time.

http://variety.com/2017/film/columns/ho ... 202583468/

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Re: BLADE RUNNER 2049 - Official Thread

#97 Post by KevinEK » Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:12 pm

I've been a fan of Blade Runner since I saw it on the Z Channel in 1983. When I first saw it, I thought it was visually and aurally stunning but initially cold - until that ending, at which point I realized the story that Ridley Scott had been trying to tell in a fairly clumsy manner. (The movie's genesis comes both from Hampton Fancher's initial adaptation of the Dick novel and from one of Ridley Scott's brothers dying of cancer, as I understand it.) There's a simple throughline about how all living things want to live in the most basic sense. And what, in the end, is truly considered "living"? I never cared for the narration, as it sounded totally flat and it usually added information I didn't need or want. (Although the workprint has a single very nice piece of narration at the end that works quite well) I never was much of a fan of Harrison Ford's performance - but the supporting players around him were brilliant - particularly Rutger Hauer. It's a movie I return to every few years, and I'm delighted that they gave us that Blu-ray set with all the versions included, along with pretty much every single bonus feature I could have wanted to see. (Including the long-talked about Holden hospital scenes)

I agree that a sequel was never particularly wanted by the fans of the movie, but I'm sure that focus group polling indicated that there has been interest in where the story could go. In a similar way, John Carpenter and Kurt Russell thought they could get a big hit out of Escape From L.A. since their focus groups showed that people were interested in Snake Plissken's next adventure.

I saw the new movie last weekend in 3D and I think XD, whatever that means. The film is beautiful to see and hear. And it's both empty and unnecessary. I agree with Andy that both Ford and Olmos are essentially just playing themselves at this point. The movie is at least 45 minutes too long, most of the time being taken up with extensive quiet moments that don't really add up to much in the end. Unlike the depth charge at the end of the original film (where we see Deckard recognize the humanity in Batty in his final moments), this one just presents a series of odd story threads that don't connect. I saw no real reason for the conclusion of the movie, other than that Fancher wanted the film to have that ending. The characters played by Jared Leto and Robin Wright make little sense other than to be single-note villains. I did like the idea of a replicant getting companionship from an AI device, but much of this material was lifted from 2013's Her, where it was handled a lot better. The most central idea for the movie is an interesting one, but Ronald Moore's BSG reboot already explored this territory in a much more thorough fashion ten years ago.

In the end, the new movie is forgettable for me. Nice to look at, but not much more. I'm happy to just stay with the movie I've already enjoyed for 34 years - the new story was an interesting thought, but nothing that changes what I enjoyed from the original.

It's not a surprise to see that the movie is floundering here in the States. I expect it will do much better in Asia, but I strongly doubt they'll want to make any further movies. I hope they'll refrain from them.

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Re: BLADE RUNNER 2049 - Official Thread

#98 Post by Paul MacLean » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:46 pm

Double post.
Last edited by Paul MacLean on Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: BLADE RUNNER 2049 - Official Thread

#99 Post by Paul MacLean » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:49 pm

KevinEK wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:12 pm
I expect it will do much better in Asia, but I strongly doubt they'll want to make any further movies.
Your mention of Asia made me think of something that hadn't dawned on me until now -- maybe I missed it, but it seems to me there were scarcely any non-Europeans in this new film. Even Gaff, who in the original appeared to be a mix of Latino, Asian (and "what have ya") has an American accent in the new film, and comes across as an old white guy.

This is in stark contrast to the original Blade Runner, which depicted a culture which was ethnically very diverse -- the characters of Chew and the Arabic snake maker, adverts featuring Geishas, a cinema exhibiting a film with an Aztec title, Deckard eating sushi, etc. etc.

Very odd, seeing as the increase of people of non-European descent in our contemporary society was one of the many things which Blade Runner accurately predicted. I wonder, does Denis Villeneuve have a more white supremacist view of the future? :roll:

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Re: BLADE RUNNER 2049 - Official Thread

#100 Post by AndyDursin » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:26 pm

I think the fact the movie was made in Hungary had something to do with the casting. All the secondary actors looked like weird European character actors from an early David Lynch work. I agree with Paul the diversity of the future certainly wasn't present in this film!

In commercial terms, I doubt the Chinese market will do anything for this movie. It's slow, talky, long and has almost no action set pieces to break up the pace. Though this is mostly an Alcon movie, Sony was much more financially invested in this film than Warner Bros. so I'd expect the Japanese release to be heavily promoted...we will see if there are more takers there but I don't think it's going to be enough to make this movie anywhere near profitable.

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Re: BLADE RUNNER 2049 - Official Thread

#101 Post by AndyDursin » Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:06 pm

Found out that even though Sean Young is credited, she actually wasn't involved in filming -- so that "CGI Rachel" really was a stand-in digitally animated.

I have to say the FX were phenomenal. Unlike the lame CGI of Peter Cushing and Carrie Fisher in STAR WARS ROGUE ONE, I thought they had actually gotten Sean Young and then digitally airbrushed/enhanced her appearance to approximate the '82 movie. Very, very convincingly done.

http://www.vulture.com/2017/10/blade-ru ... g-why.html

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Re: BLADE RUNNER 2049 - Official Thread

#102 Post by KevinEK » Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:48 pm

The opening scene of the movie is actually a lift from one of Hampton Fancher's early drafts with Ridley Scott for the 1982 movie. Fancher describes this scene in detail in the Dangerous Days documentary.

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Re: BLADE RUNNER 2049 - Official Thread

#103 Post by mkaroly » Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:37 am

BLADE RUNNER 2049 - 5/10. Before I saw the film I did read the reviews of it in this thread, though I have not gone back to read them. So if I repeat anything I am just agreeing with what has already been said. I set the bar very low (ground level) going into it.

Visually the movie is stunning; although I do not think there was anything groundbreaking about the visuals, I appreciated what the filmmakers did to keep us in that world while modernizing it a bit. The visuals were so good that I found myself paying less attention to the characters at times in an effort to soak in everything that was on the screen - great depth of field. I was also somewhat moved at the end of the film, though certainly not in the same way as I am with BLADE RUNNER; most of that I credit to how iconic the characters of Deckard and Rachel are. I did like the "twist" in the ending as well.

The biggest minus in the film is the "music" (I use that term very loosely); I imagine Zimmer came in and added the Vangelis-like sounds to the score, but honestly the score as a whole had the subtlety of a sledgehammer; it sounded to me like a flatulent whale. The score does not have to be turned up to 20 in the mix; there is hardly a theme to be heard, and the typical Zimmer percussion with reverb and whatnot got very old very fast. And just because one uses the same keyboard sounds (or tries to) as Vangelis, it is clear that Zimmer and the other dude have no clue when it comes to nuance and scoring a film. What a freaking waste of an opportunity to make the music as much a character of the environment as any building or visual setting in the film. The "music" is a failure to the extreme, and I blame Zimmer for it. Garbage. I also thought the movie has too much nudity in it - I am kind of prudish when it comes to nudity in films; I am okay with tasteful nudity in very small bits but the amount in this film seemed unnecessary.

As to the story and the characters, I don't see what this film accomplishes. If there had never been a BLADE RUNNER to begin with, this film could still have been made based on the works of Phillip K. Dick and that would have been that. Granted, the last third of the film would have made no sense since one does not have the backstory of Rachel and Deckard, but even without it I think the filmmakers could have told their story. I was satisfied with the versions of BLADE RUNNER that are available and never felt that I needed to have a continuation of that story. I was happy to leave it where it was. Harrison Ford is solid in the film; Ryan Gosling is okay. Robin Wright seemed out of place; Jared Leto was okay. I guess I was neither here nor there with the performances. It isn't a bad film, but it isn't really a good film to me. It is worth watching for the visuals (though for the DVD release they should give purchasers the opportunity to dial down the idiotic "music" in it), but to me this film comes across more as a retelling of the BLADE RUNNER story with an attempt to link it to the earlier (and far better) film.

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