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Blade Runner 2

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NBooth   

A teaser. Not, as of now, embeddable, but I'm sure the YouTube version will be up soonish.

EDIT: Looks like Joel Mayward and I were posting at the same time.

Edited by NBooth

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NBooth   

 

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7 hours ago, Mr. Arkadin said:

Give Deakins an Oscar already. 

Otherwise? Ehhhh.


I love the look.  Some of the moments at Deckard's digs seem to be actually inspired by Philip K. Dick's descriptions in his novel, while also retaining Ridley Scott's vision.

Yeah, I was feeling it with the teaser... not so much with the trailer.  That date on the stone at the 1:31 mark - 6 10 21 - I wonder if this is where Deckard buried Rachel.  The original film doesn't reveal her incept date, but it wouldn't be hard to believe that she was "born" in late 2017.  Or, perhaps she was retired.  Anyway, I kind of thought they would try to make a statement about our current political/corporate climate - I just wish they hadn't used a sledgehammer, which is what this trailer seems to indicate.

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M. Leary   
20 hours ago, Mr. Arkadin said:

Give Deakins an Oscar already. 

Otherwise? Ehhhh.

 

12 hours ago, John Drew said:


I love the look.  Some of the moments at Deckard's digs seem to be actually inspired by Philip K. Dick's descriptions in his novel, while also retaining Ridley Scott's vision.

Yeah, I was feeling it with the teaser... not so much with the trailer.  That date on the stone at the 1:31 mark - 6 10 21 - I wonder if this is where Deckard buried Rachel.  The original film doesn't reveal her incept date, but it wouldn't be hard to believe that she was "born" in late 2017.  Or, perhaps she was retired.  Anyway, I kind of thought they would try to make a statement about our current political/corporate climate - I just wish they hadn't used a sledgehammer, which is what this trailer seems to indicate.

Dick famously hated Fancher's draft of the script (see pg. 19ff for the last interview with Dick on the film, and I think... anything. He died shortly after). And now Fancher has sole credit on this script. Dick's problem with the original was that it looked like a "lurid collision of androids and humans blowing each other up." This trailer looks like... androids and humans blowing each other up.

Dick did like Peoples' rewrite of the script, though, especially the ending. As Dick describes it, Peoples essentially rescued the core themes of the novel by reconfiguring Fancher's script entirely. (Peoples also went on to write Unforgiven and Twelve Monkeys.) In the Starlog interview, he talks about how the idea for Do Androids Dream... came from his research for Man in the High Castle. While trawling libraries for primary material on the Gestapo, he encountered a diary of an S.S. soldier:

"That was in the late forties when I read that diary and I still remember the one line he had in there: 'We are kept awake at night by the cries of starving children.' I still remember that line, and that influenced me. I thought, there is amongst us something that is bipedal humanoid, morphologically identical to the human being but which is not human... And there, in the forties, was born my idea that within our species is a bifurcation between the truly human and that which mimics human, and when I saw those stills of Rutger Hauer I thought Holy Jesus, it's come back!"

Fancher's original script had Deckard trying to talk Rachel into committing suicide for some reason. Per Dick:

"If I want to know if I've died and gone to Hell, that's how I'll know because they'll turn all my books over to Mickey Spillane to rewrite and they'll all come out with 'Two shots rang out because the replicant Rachel has shot herself, which is the least she could do.' But that's not there now. Peoples jettisoned all that crap."

Oddly, Hampton does not see it this way. His account has always been nearly the opposite of Dick's:

"Okay. I saw a script during that…I still hadn’t met David [Peoples], the film wasn’t finished being shot, but somebody sent me a script of David’s that he’d done. And I felt sorry for him, because it was good. It was slash-up—part mine, part his—but there was a lot of him in this script. This one I read, it wasn’t shot. It was, I guess, his first take on the whole thing. And it was really interesting. It was much more populist than mine, more accessible, I thought. But it was exciting, and he had a certain exciting way of writing. Not the way I write, you know, we write very differently. And I thought, They’re not going to do this either; this guy’s worse off than I am!"

--

The problem with Fancher's account is that his original script is out there, and parts of it do read exactly like the end of a 128 page Spillane Hammer novel. Watching the trailer brought all this backstory to mind - as it seems like a trailer for the script Fancher had originally written.

Edited by M. Leary

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These advertisements make this seem such a straight-laced, obvious story (evil genius makes army of robots to "save" humanity, only to be stopped by anti-hero cop and vintage model Harrison Ford).  It can't be this obvious and on the nose, can it?  It's too plain.

Edited by Buckeye Jones

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Joel Mayward wrote:
: The original film length ranges from 113 to 117 minutes according to Wikipedia's page on the various versions.

That didn't sound right to me -- I could have sworn that the VHS version I watched many decades ago had five minutes of extra footage that were missing from the US theatrical cut and all subsequent Ridley Scott-approved versions -- so I went and checked my copy of the five-disc Blu-Ray, and saw that the back cover says every version of the film in there is 117 minutes *except* for the 110-minute workprint. And that didn't sound right to me either!

So I just popped each version in my Blu-Ray player and found that, yes, the runtimes for all four versions of the film fall within a 62-second range: the 1982 US theatrical is 1:57:16, the 1982 international theatrical is 1:57:25 (only nine extra seconds!), the 1992 director's cut is 1:56:34 (the shortest version of them all!), and the 2007 final cut is 1:57:36 (the longest version of them all! -- though how much of that is just extra space in the end credits for the 2007 restoration, I don't know).

I'm... surprised that all of the officially released versions of the film are so close together in length, but there you go.

FWIW, Denis Villeneuve has made only three films so far that went over two hours (based on the runtimes at Wikipedia): Sicario (2015, 121 minutes), Incendies (2010, 130 minutes) and Prisoners (2013, 153 minutes). So Blade Runner 2049 would appear to be his personal longest film, too.

... Was Prisoners really that long? Wow.

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Alien: Covenant spawned something like four short films that filled the film's many gaps. Now Blade Runner 2049 is getting its own short films, the first of which is directed by Sir Ridley's son Luke.

 

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This movie marks the first time ever (that I can recall) that a studio rep told all the critics to stay through the end credits so that he could read us an e-mail from the studio afterwards -- the e-mail in question consisting of a long list of plot points that we are *not* supposed to mention in our reviews (including basic facts about the main characters that are revealed in the first 5-10 minutes of the movie and are not treated like big Mystery Box moments). As one person put it on Twitter, the studio wasn't just asking us to avoid discussing the movie's *spoilers*, it was also asking us to avoid discussing the movie's *premise*. And, as Bilge Ebiri snarked on Twitter, if the studio didn't want us to give away any of the cameos, why is Harrison Ford such a major factor in the film's advertising? (Ford doesn't appear in the movie until after about 1 hour and 45 minutes have gone by... but there's another hour of movie to go after that, so.)

I have to say, a few plot elements in this film were giving me serious Star Trek vibes (and specifically, Star Trek: Voyager vibes). And a central plot premise -- that the second generation of synthetic humans is more obedient than the previous generation -- was very reminiscent of Alien: Covenant (which of course contained multiple homages and callbacks to Blade Runner in and of itself, even though it isn't technically part of that franchise).

One thing's for sure: this film is verrrrrry pretty to look at. And, despite its length, I'm not really sure that I would cut any of the film's individual scenes. Each one serves a thematic or narrative point, as near as I can recollect. I'm actually tempted to say that this is a better film than the original Blade Runner, but that's partly because I have never cared for the original Blade Runner or, indeed, any of the Ridley Scott films from the 1980s that I have seen. I just generally find them all "inert". (Though I have not seen Black Rain yet.) I did not have that problem with Blade Runner 2049.

I will say that it was interesting to see a 2017 sequel to a 1982 film that continues the earlier film's assumption that Pan Am and the Soviet Union (both of which are now kaput) would still be kicking around in the 21st century. Of course, the new film can't quite pretend to be set in the future of *our* world because we don't have replicants, flying cars, regular flights to distant star systems and so on, and all of those things were supposed to be in existence by now according to the 1982 film. So this film, like the previous film, is set in the future of 1982, not in the future of 2017, if I can put it that way -- though it does incorporate drones and other things that have become a familiar part of our world.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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Not that I need anyone to validate my sincerity, but I really did try to give this a chance. 

 FWIW, I remember thinking about halfway through, "The last time I was this wowed by the cinematography in a movie I hated was Sicario." And then during the credits, I was reminded that it, too, was a Villenueve film shot by Roger Deakins.

Not sure if this is one of the plot points that Peter was asked not to discuss, but I also remember thinking at one point, “Are we ever going to get tired of movies where men kill naked women?” I suppose that’s not what the movie is about, but to quote the woman I saw the movie with, that’s never what the movie is about, but that doesn’t keep it from being in there.

Guess I’m just not down with the Villenueve aesthetic. (Was the one nay-sayer on the jury last year about Arrival.) 1,000 pretty framed shots, a long, ponderous, inflated story. The visual splendor is there, but the poetry is missing. I thought this a more artful inheritor of The Matrix than Blade Runner. Mood to burn, but I want a story, dammit. I didn't care about any of these characters...and I used to care about at least one of them. 

Edited by kenmorefield

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This what I posted over at Letteroxd - I see Peter and I had a similar reaction to what, if anything, could be trimmed from BR 2049. And Ken and I shared a MATRIX moment or two. BTW, can someone add "049" to the topic title?
 

Quote

 

Some initial thoughts -

- A very worthy successor to my all time favorite movie. Will I be pouring over this one for decades as I did BLADE RUNNER? Not too sure about that at the moment, but I will definitely see it again.

- Much like MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, this first viewing is overwhelming at times. I saw BR 2049 in IMAX, and I think there were many moments where the IMAX experience tended to be too much, and started taking away from the movie itself.

- Ryan Gosling is marvelous here.  

- Harrison Ford is not what I expected here, in a good way.

- Jared Leto is the weakest part of the film. It's not his fault, it's the fault of the screenplay. His character turns out to be exactly what the trailers depict, which is basically a character that would fit better in the world of THE MATRIX than BLADE RUNNER. While I think more viewings could result in a 1/2 star uptick, Leto's character will prevent this film from ever edging BR 2049 up to 5 stars.

- ^^That being said, I don't know what parts of his story could be trimmed away. At 2hrs 44min, the movie doesn't feel overlong, and there really aren't any scenes that feel out of place.

- I don't know what levels cinematographer Roger Deakins would have to climb in future endeavors if he doesn't finally win the Academy Award for this work.

- This dystopia is much darker than the first film. Rain giving way as much to ash in the Los Angeles sequences. Las Vegas feels as oppressing as the early city scenes in Tarkovsky's STALKER. And I really wouldn't want to be a citizen of San Diego when the shit goes down. But, there are hopeful glimmers.

- Thumbs up to the creator of holographic food, to hide what the real protein consists of. Almost as nauseating as the thought of what's in Soylent Green.

- Like MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, I'll digest this for a few weeks before seeing it again.

 

 

Edited by John Drew

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kenmorefield wrote:
: Not sure if this is one of the plot points that Peter was asked not to discuss, but I also remember thinking at one point, “Are we ever going to get tired of movies where men kill naked women?”

I don't think that scene came up in the studio e-mail, no. They primarily didn't want us revealing who is real and who is artificial (replicant/hologram), even in cases where the nature of those characters is obvious from their very first appearance.

: Mood to burn, but I want a story, dammit.

That's always been my complaint about the original Blade Runner, though. See my comment above about Scott's films -- including that one -- being "inert".

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3 hours ago, Peter T Chattaway said:

kenmorefield wrote:

: Mood to burn, but I want a story, dammit.

That's always been my complaint about the original Blade Runner, though. See my comment above about Scott's films -- including that one -- being "inert".

1

As long as I'm being heretical in this thread, I'll mention that Cindy said her complaint was that the film was too long and really dragged. She then added, that when we recently watched Blade Runner with our nephew she recalled feeling like it was slower than she remembered. I wondered whether we were watching the Director's Cut and possibly she remembered it differently because of the lack of voice-over. 

Which is a round about way of asking...is it Gospel truth that the director's cut really is better? 

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7 minutes ago, kenmorefield said:

As long as I'm being heretical in this thread, I'll mention that Cindy said her complaint was that the film was too long and really dragged. She then added, that when we recently watched Blade Runner with our nephew she recalled feeling like it was slower than she remembered. I wondered whether we were watching the Director's Cut and possibly she remembered it differently because of the lack of voice-over. 

Which is a round about way of asking...is it Gospel truth that the director's cut really is better? 

Flipping around cable yesterday, I stopped on the SYFY Channel when I saw Deckard entering Bryant's office. As soon as Bryant said he had four skinjobs walking the streets, the Deckard voice-over kicked in.  I hadn't seen this version in ages (I assume it was the Criterion Edition international cut, since it feature both the voice-over, and was in widescreen). It was interesting, but the VO really doesn't add anything plot-wise. Then, of course, there was the out of place happy ending, which has always felt wrong.  The Final Cut (2007) really is the best in my book.

Edited by John Drew

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It's interesting that the more I think past the beautiful cinematography and excellent directing and good acting to the story itself, the less I like this movie. I've even knocked down half a star at Letterboxd already.

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