Blade Runner 2049

..and why not?
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PENK
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Re: Blade Runner 2049

Postby PENK » 07 Oct 2017, 06:01

Goat Boy wrote:It's a 5 star experience. I'm not sure if it's a 5 star movie but I might have to watch it again just to see.


Saw it last night and feel the same way. Perhaps a four-star movie. Lots of things that impressed me, plenty to think about, but some glaring flaws.

I'm still thinking about it and realising things this morning thiugh, which is a good sign.
Copehead wrote:I have met Gruff Rhys - although he claimed he wasn't and that he couldn't speak Welsh, as I spoke to him in Welsh, but it was him lying bastard.

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Re: Blade Runner 2049

Postby PENK » 07 Oct 2017, 16:30

So I wrote a long post about this only have the spam filter delete it thanks to its reference to a certain type of leisure establishment common in Las Vegas where you can indulge in activities that may cost or reward you with money.

Teach me not to copy my posts before hitting submit!
Copehead wrote:I have met Gruff Rhys - although he claimed he wasn't and that he couldn't speak Welsh, as I spoke to him in Welsh, but it was him lying bastard.

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Re: Blade Runner 2049

Postby PENK » 07 Oct 2017, 20:02

So I'll try again:

Like Dougie says, it's an amazing cinematic event. It's big. Huge vistas, images to die for. Crackling sound.

Whatever you make of the rest of it, those are the film's strengths - though as I also thought, one of its weaknesses too, if that makes sense. The cinematography is simply astounding, with every scene and every picture full of poisoned, diseased wonder and beauty. The world is detailed and lovingly put together.

And yet it doesn't feel as real as the original (for we have to compare this to the original, it's the only way to view a film like this). Whereas that film, 35 years ago, had a grimy, seedy, bustling vividness that really brought you into that hellish LA, this one is presented with dreamlike detachment. We don't see the life of LA, and the scenery isn't allowed to get in the way in the manner of scenes like Deckard's retirement of Zhora. Instead, there is a lot of emptiness, and the worldbuilding sometimes gets neglected in favour of the plot: for instance, when Ryan Gosling's agent K returns home to his poky flat, he first has to trudge through his building, clambering over sleeping bodies and ducking past abusive yells and staring gangs of thugs; yet shortly afterwards, he is perfectly able to enjoy a quiet, romantic moment on the rooftop terrace with his hologram companion.

The sound is immense too, filling every second and making you sit up and take notice when it is gone. The iconic soundtrack of the original provides inspiration and some cues, but there is nothing as strictly memorable musically here; instead, it is more an ambient experience and there are certain parts of the sound design which are very powerful. The buzzing of computers in the police HQ; the discovery of - and the sudden cut away from - a swarm of bees; the burst of classical music that accompanies the turning on and off of hologram Joi. Snippets and recordings from the original film are used beautifully.

I still maintain that a good part of the cinema's power is in its spectacle and few films I've seen have been as astounding as this one in that way. There are sights that are still playing in my mind 24 hours later. But what of the meat of the film?

Getting through the acting, that ranges from solid (Gosling, Robin Wright) to affecting (Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas) to just-about-right (Jared Leto, who might have been too over the top had he had more screentime, but is used well to be otherworldly and sinister). The plot is a bit turgid, especially in the first half, which mainly involves Gosling going to some places and talking to some people and nobody really telling anybody anything apart from one or two overly obvious expositional conversations.

But tight plotting wasn't a strength of the original, and the film rewards patience. It wants you to think about who is doing what and why, and when things do kick into motion and Gosling's emotional journey gets underway, it goes deep. There are layers, strata of ambiguity here. One of my favourite things about the film was the way we could never really be sure who was in the right, the way characters' motivations and feelings flickered, unfurled and unravelled. The heightened focus on the replicants instead of the humans, and the addition of another level of AI in the form of de Armas' holgrammatic Joi, built on the original film's questions about humanity and identity very effectively. And - here comes a spoiler:

The handling of the question of whether Gosling was the son was superb, I thought. Instead of cornily having it as a final revelation,
we got different suggestions and Gosling's own eventual conviction leading up to the final revelation coming as something of a relief rather than a showy "twist".


The film is teeming with ideas and suggestions. Does it have any of its own? Maybe not; I felt most of the time that it was taking things the original did and running with them, exploring them further. Most of the time this was fine. I appreciated its determination to keep the focus on these philosophical and technological issues: while the plot was a tad simple and the dialogue could get a little basic, there were no easy answers provided, and the examination of corporate dominance, wildly international cultures and the definition of the self felt very consistent with the original, although the early scenes of anti-replicant prejudice, with Gosling getting hassled at work and at home, were swiftly forgotten and that avenue was unexplored.

The film does make mistakes. Aside from lacking the realistic feel of the original and not really getting to grips with all of its ideas, we also get the silly replicant character Luv, who spends most of the time going round killing people, blowing shit up and offering rubbish one-liners. There are a few half-hearted lines that try to tie her character in to the themes - of the replicants having different understandings and systems - but mostly she comes across as a corny Hollywood fantasy robot assassin, a foolish attempt to keep the dumbed-down action crowd watching.
There were a few plot points that remained unclear, such as the precise nature and identity of Mackenzie Davis' prostitute, or how Gosling found Luv and Deckard at the end.

So it is an intelligent, beautifully-directed and -photographed film. I'm frankly astonished that something like this would get made in Hollywood these days. It isn't up to the standard of the original, but it's a gorgeous, artistic film that treats its audience - occasional missteps, studio pandering perhaps, notwithstanding - with intelligence and curiosity.

Some scenes that really did stand out and which I think will become the signature moments:
- the strange, haunting and freakish love scene when Joi "syncs" with a prostitute
- Leto and his little floating eyes
- a bereft K on the bridge, with a giant, purple hologram Joi trying to sell herself to him
- most of the Vegas sequence, especially Gosling and Ford facing off in front of flickering Elvis and Marilyn holograms
- Gosling and Ford dragging themselves out of the waves onto the dam
Copehead wrote:I have met Gruff Rhys - although he claimed he wasn't and that he couldn't speak Welsh, as I spoke to him in Welsh, but it was him lying bastard.

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Re: Blade Runner 2049

Postby Toby » 09 Oct 2017, 10:03

I thought it was a solid 6 or 7 out of 10. It is visually stunning, but doesn't really offer anything profound in the same way that the original did. It's satisfying to fans because you can get little serotonin hits of nostalgia throughout the film, but that's not enough for me at least.

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Re: Blade Runner 2049

Postby Goat Boy » 09 Oct 2017, 10:11

PENK wrote:So I'll try again:

Like Dougie says, it's an amazing cinematic event. It's big. Huge vistas, images to die for. Crackling sound.

Whatever you make of the rest of it, those are the film's strengths - though as I also thought, one of its weaknesses too, if that makes sense. The cinematography is simply astounding, with every scene and every picture full of poisoned, diseased wonder and beauty. The world is detailed and lovingly put together.

And yet it doesn't feel as real as the original (for we have to compare this to the original, it's the only way to view a film like this). Whereas that film, 35 years ago, had a grimy, seedy, bustling vividness that really brought you into that hellish LA, this one is presented with dreamlike detachment. We don't see the life of LA, and the scenery isn't allowed to get in the way in the manner of scenes like Deckard's retirement of Zhora. Instead, there is a lot of emptiness, and the worldbuilding sometimes gets neglected in favour of the plot: for instance, when Ryan Gosling's agent K returns home to his poky flat, he first has to trudge through his building, clambering over sleeping bodies and ducking past abusive yells and staring gangs of thugs; yet shortly afterwards, he is perfectly able to enjoy a quiet, romantic moment on the rooftop terrace with his hologram companion.



I thought that was deliberate though. With the first one you still have this feeling of a living, breathing city under the neon and the rain , the old world and the new side by side but here it’s the new world that dominates, a vast empty place increasingly devoid of human emotion and contact. I liked that. I thought it made sense narratively and it made this one different.

It’s interesting that the soundtrack didn’t go for a big main theme. It was far more abstract than that and whilst impressive I did kind of want some great, sweeping theme to envelop me. That’s one thing I missed but maybe they did this deliberately to separate this from the first movie because they were wary of being too redolent. It was nice when that theme appeared at the end but it felt slightly incongruous and contrived I thought.

Visually it is jaw droppingly stunning. The CGI is seamless and I thought it had an impressive physicality to it. To me this seemed like the Next level. Even Sean Youngs appearance wasn’t far from being photo realistic (better than Cushing in Rogue One).

Plot wise it was pretty slow but then I liked that too although I did get a bit fidgety towards the end. I liked Gosling and I think it has persona suited the role. Ford was good too. I was a bit worried after seeing The Force Awakens where he’s a bit phoned in but here I thought he reminded us that he can actually act.

A couple of problems: the brilliance of Rutger Hauer is missed. It was always going to be hard to replace him as the Bad replicant but Luv was too one dimensional. The themes are explored pretty superficially but then they were in the original too so it’s not a critical flaw or anything but maybe a bit more meat and bones would have been nice. Some of the plot seemed a bit too convenient.

I don’t want to be too critical. I think this one might approve on repeated viewings. It’s certainly a hugely impressive movie with lots to recommend it and you should make the effort to see it on the biggest screen possible.

I just feel right now that it’s close to being great but it’s not quite there.
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Re: Blade Runner 2049

Postby PENK » 09 Oct 2017, 10:28

Goat Boy wrote:I thought that was deliberate though. With the first one you still have this feeling of a living, breathing city under the neon and the rain , the old world and the new side by side but here it’s the new world that dominates, a vast empty place increasingly devoid of human emotion and contact. I liked that. I thought it made sense narratively and it made this one different.


Yeah, I think it was a deliberate thing, showing that all life was now in the megacities (they played up the "now leaving Greater Los Angeles" thing) but the result was that the world didn't feel quite as tangible and well-developed. Parts of it were a little bit too standard for dystopian sci-fi (the bombed-out orphanage for example, though the protein farm at the start was presented phenomenally well).
Copehead wrote:I have met Gruff Rhys - although he claimed he wasn't and that he couldn't speak Welsh, as I spoke to him in Welsh, but it was him lying bastard.

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Re: Blade Runner 2049

Postby echolalia » 03 Nov 2017, 00:55

I saw it on Monday and liked it but want to see it again.

It was visually great. The indoor water with spangled reflections on sloping ceilings etc. And the bit Penk mentions, with the two holograms shuffling themselves together. That’s a deeply fucked-up scene – life imitating art (moving pictures in this case). That Oscar Wilde idea that if you see certain clouds in a painting, you’ll then see them in the sky. I know I’m going off on a tangent here but this film is a great piece of mysterianism, which is the most rock n roll of philosophical positions because it’s named after ? and the Mysterians.