Blade Runner 2049

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by ponkine, Dec 19, 2016.

  1. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    I agree, but I'm not even discussing the movie's appeal - or lack thereof - with "wide audiences".

    Jim B equated people here who don't like "2049" for the lowest common denominator "modern audience" who allegedly only likes action, action and more action.

    I explained that the "SHF crowd" is more likely to be middle-aged and fans of the original, which wasn't "action, action and more action".


    In terms of tone and pace, "2049" is similar to the original - it's just developed/told less well and too long...
     
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  2. marblesmike

    marblesmike Forum Resident

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    I really liked 2049, as did my dad with whom I saw it, but we both agreed it was too long.

    Although I'll add that I respect a director who doesn't cave in to pressure to cut the film down, which I'm guessing the studio wanted him to do.
     
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  3. Jim B.

    Jim B. Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    With all due respect, and not aimed at you, but just because someone is on this forum and in their 40's or 50's doesn't mean they have any taste or know quality when they see it.
     
  4. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    Oh, aim at me if you want - I have no taste and wouldn't know quality if it grabbed my ass! :laugh:

    My point wasn't that all of us middle-aged guys had taste, but I think we do mostly lie outside of the "short attention span" demographic.

    Besides, if you're in this thread, you're likely to be a fan of the original. I don't think many people in this thread saw "2049" because they expected an action-fest...
     
  5. dynamicalories

    dynamicalories Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Brooklyn
    I'm a big fan of the original and I was really happy with 2049. Not without its flaws, but I appreciated the measured pacing—and the cinematography and sound design were both brilliant.
     
  6. SBurke

    SBurke Nostalgia Junkie

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Finally saw this movie last night. I have very mixed feelings about it.

    As I think some critics pointed out, it is hard to pay tribute to the visual style of the original without looking simply derivative, as this film for the most part does. At the same time it is considerably more bleak, and less inviting. The visual world of the original melded SF and noir and came up with a dystopian futuristic Los Angeles that was nevertheless beautiful and alluring in an unsettling way; it was strikingly original. The new film takes that and seems to shrink it down, and then mixes in junk and sand from "Mad Max" -- it is not at all an improvement.

    I was even more disappointed though with the storytelling. The new movie is much more explicitly a mystery, with conventional elements: K. is deployed to find a child; there are several femmes fatales. This is straight out of Chandler. It's fairly dull by now, but I like it anyway, so that's not what I'm going to complain about. It's the message that's so pitifully meager in comparison. The original takes the fundamental idea of the SF materials, the ambiguity of the android, and applies all the resources of cinema to explore not just what constitutes authentic memory and experience, but also the value of life and the balance between intensity and brevity. These are subjects of the most profound significance, and the film's powerful treatment of them is worthy of comparison with the greatest literature. (I'm thinking in particular of the quite moving comparison made to the life of Achilles in Homer's "Iliad" by Harvard Prof. Gregory Nagy, in Hour 1 of his online course "The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours," which you can check out here: Courses see also: Part I. Hour 1. The Homeric Iliad and the glory of the unseasonal hero .) By contrast the new film's message can be distilled down to this: Family is important. You should see them from time to time. Children are a miracle. This is treacle we're treated to interminably on television, greeting cards, and even advertisements. It has about as much meaning as those media typically impart, which is to say, none. You could talk to a new mother or father at random, for 20 seconds, and get more out of it.

    The soundtrack is a microcosm of the film's deficiencies. It is emotionless. (Is it time yet for us to stand up and declare that Hans Zimmer sucks as a composer?) And the movie seemingly knows it, jettisoning, in the second-to-last shot, the granitic drudgery of the Zimmer & co. score for Vangelis (who himself was cloying as well, but when matched with "Blade Runner" managed to make something that still sounds like the future).

    Also, how is it that a film nearly three hours long still suffers from abrupt transitions in the story, particularly near the end? I'll stop here though. I did enjoy it, and there were parts I particularly liked (especially the treatment of the AI companion). But I think it was probably an impossible task, to follow up on the original, and predictably this was a failure.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
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  7. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Better than I thought.
    The holograms were the best thing.
     
  8. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Location:
    Marple, PA, USA
    No offense, SBurke, but anyone who is as fluent with concepts of the Iliad and Harvard Professor's lectures are not what anyone in Hollywood would call a Target audience.
     
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  9. Solaris

    Solaris a bullet in flight

    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    But Villeneuve wants to take on Big Ideas here, so I think he would want to engage people who are familiar with those things you cite. The fact that he was only partially successful is not insignificant.
     
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  10. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Location:
    Marple, PA, USA
    I grant you that, but I have to think his intentions got diluted as this thing staggered through years in studios, where lowest common denominator always attempts to prevail
     
  11. Jim B.

    Jim B. Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    You can't be clever and enjoy a good sci-fi film? Greek mythology was just the story telling of their day.

    I actually think there are some very deep concepts going on here, like in Arrival which was very moving, I just think SBurke didn't like the film for merely subjective reasons, not because of the arguments he gives which don't hold up at all.
     
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  12. SBurke

    SBurke Nostalgia Junkie

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Actually I did enjoy it -- it's just a considerably weaker film than the original. But so is almost everything else, so I'm not trying to condemn it, just compare it. I think its best efforts at probing deep concepts come in the treatment of the AI companion, and how that sort of thing might come to displace "real" companionship, its commercialization, and its consequences for individual privacy and identity. I think there are some moments of real value there, particularly because the strongest emotional connection anywhere in the movie -- indeed maybe the only one, until the very end -- seems to be hers to K. The resolution of the main storyline on the other hand really doesn't deliver anything other than pedestrian sentimentality.

    Precisely, thank you.
     
  13. Jim B.

    Jim B. Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK

    The crux of both films is really the question of the nature of humanity and what it means. I think 2049 for me works better in this respect. In the original the 'romance' between Ford and Young was rushed and not earnt. One minute he is killing them then after about an hour he suddenly falls in love with one. It's the central flaw of the first film. What makes the first film great is not that but the world building, the effects and the whole feel, plus the performances by the replicants.

    SPOILERS

    The 'love' story in 2049 is 100 times more believable and touching. Plus the question of humanity is explored far more intelligently as we are first presented with K as a mere replicant, and we grow to sympathize with him knowing he is just 'made' - then we are led to believe he was actually born, which throws a new slant on it, and then we learn that he isn't, but all the time throughout this he is a character we relate to and is as human as anyone.

    But like I said, films are art and art is subjective so there are no right or wrong opinions it is all subjective.
     
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  14. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    I guess when Do Androids Dream was written in 1968, 80 years in the future technological advances would be more sci fi in expectations.
     
  15. Time Is On My Side

    Time Is On My Side Forum Resident

    Location:
    Madison, WI
    Does anyone know what we're looking at for a Blu-ray release date? Around New Years?
     
  16. Jim B.

    Jim B. Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    April in the UK :(
     
  17. Time Is On My Side

    Time Is On My Side Forum Resident

    Location:
    Madison, WI
    Why so long?
     
  18. Solaris

    Solaris a bullet in flight

    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    Regarding Deckard and Rachael, shared trauma can create powerful bonds between people. I don't think it's that far-fetched, though I concede it felt a little rushed (they did only have two hours to tell the story).

    I agree that the love story in 2049 resonates a bit better, and I liked the way the film played with our expectations and sympathies. Where it becomes bogged down is all the other stuff. There's a LOT of plot in this movie, and the more I think about it, I would remove nearly all of Jared Leto and the arch seriousness he carries with him.
     
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  19. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Jared Leto another missed opportunity, likewise Suicide Squad.
     
  20. Mr. Grieves

    Mr. Grieves Forum Resident

    Disagree. Leto in Blade Runner is way better than Leto in Suicide Squad. Not even close imo
     
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  21. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Reverse : looked great in Suicide Squad. But the film was boring.
     
  22. Neil Anderson

    Neil Anderson Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    yeah, the abrupt transitions, not to mention leaps in story logic, were really weird. and bad.
     
  23. SBurke

    SBurke Nostalgia Junkie

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Right? Here are a few clumsy twists and turns that come to mind:
    • How does K. know where to find Deckard? (I don't mean where on the map -- that comes from the analysis of the wooden horse. I mean at what location in the abandoned city.) It's a needle in a haystack, and it's ridiculous. Although I do like the scene in the lounge with the Elvis recording.
    • After about two minutes of conversation with some android cult leader, his only connection to whom comes from a prostitute he's basically never spoken to before, he trusts them and takes their advice to kill Deckard. Why is that necessary? Why should he believe them? And why is it his job, alone?
    • Most absurdly, where the heck does he get the plane he uses to hunt down the plane Deckard is being taken in?
    Odd that in a film as long as it is there is this very choppy climax to the story.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
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  24. SBurke

    SBurke Nostalgia Junkie

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    It's been some time since I've seen the whole of the original, but I think part of what's going on between Deckard and Rachel is that their attraction is very tentative and uncertain, purposefully. The notion that it was this transcendent or destined thing -- in which case we might expect it to have been less rushed, more earned -- is I think something the sequel is layering onto the original.

    The love story in "2049" is the sharpest edge in the film, no doubt, not merely because of its believability, but because it is believable in spite of what it is. The moment Joi tells K. "I love you" right before her emulator is smashed is the most poignant moment in the movie -- and because of that it is also the most unsettling.
     
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  25. Neil Anderson

    Neil Anderson Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    another thing that bothered me is that I got the impression Deckard and the dog had been living in that Las Vegas suite for a while...what did they do for food? who was maintaining the plumbing, electricity, and so forth?
     

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