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Blade Runner 2


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Saw the movie and liked it very much.  I'd like to see it again.  Like others, I had some quibbles with the story.

Variety compares it to Tarkovsky's Stalker and calls it one of the greatest science fiction movies ever.  Not sure I'd go that far yet, but agree that though it has some flaws, overall it's very good.

http://variety.com/2017/film/reviews/blade-runner-2049-review-1202576220/

 

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Yeah, I didn't like it.  I mean, I wanted to like it, and it was really very impressive in many ways, and there were 2-3 really excellent scenes, and a lot of potentially interesting ideas, but ultimately it just doesn't add up to anything particularly coherent or meaningful.  And it takes forever to get there.  The original is a slow movie, but that works to its benefit because the mood is so impeccable you can just slip right into it and float.  The neon blinking and Vangelis's all-time great score carry you along.  This one just dragged every scene out with the assumption that they would be better if they had more room to breathe or something, but without adding atmosphere or advancing the plot or ideas.

There's a dozen different things I could complain about here (from the murkiness of the dramatic throughline to the incoherence of the nature of replicants to the massive potholes to the set design mostly borrowed from a dozen other movies and video games), but I'll just mention two: Everything about Jared Leto's character is awful, from the writing to the design to the acting, and the scene where he murders the naked woman is sickening to no apparent purpose.  He is a cartoonish exaggeration of Tyrell from the first film, transformed from an old-school industrialist into a tech billionaire who (of course) takes sadistic pleasure in torturing with his own hands. Outside of maybe Bond Villains, this trope needs to die.

Second, I found the sex scene disquieting. While it is visually one of the most striking scenes in the movie (primarily from a SFX standpoint rather than old fashioned cinematography), it is also clearly a rip-off of a similar scene in Her. But where that scene turns into a disaster of awkwardness that emphasizes how wrong this whole concept of surrogate sexual partner is, this scene seems to want us to find it beautiful and erotic and even romantic. Considering this is about a man (sort of) having sex with a prostitute while imagining she is his computer hologram girlfriend who probably doesn't qualify as an actual person anyway, I find that hard to do. It seems to reject the whole concept of body & soul humans uniting in a procreative act of carnal love that is so central to a proper understanding of sex.

But anyway. I guess what I'm most disappointed in is the lack of that old Blade Runner poetry. Everything here was so literal--or else clumsily unexplained. The constant pull toward abstraction of the original is abandoned--as is the genuinely strange and primal behavior of Roy Batty and his pals. Nothing here takes tonal risks like that, and nothing here moves me the way that film does.

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I'm sharing this here because it delves into the religious aspects of Blade Runner 2049, something that hasn't been discussed much.

WARNING: SPOILERS!

http://3brothersfilm.com/2017/10/all-the-best-memories-are-hers-the-christ-figure-in-blade-runner-2049/

Also, this analysis of the film figures strongly in why I'll be pushing this for our year end top ten lists.

Edited by Anders

"A director must live with the fact that his work will be called to judgment by someone who has never seen a film of Murnau's." - François Truffaut

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3 hours ago, Anders said:

http://3brothersfilm.com/2017/10/all-the-best-memories-are-hers-the-christ-figure-in-blade-runner-2049/

Also, this analysis of the film figures strongly in why I'll be pushing this for our year end top ten lists.

This is really excellent analysis, and hits on something that feels so obvious when you unpack it here, but I totally missed in my own reviews. It makes me reconsider the entire nature of that particular character you call a "Christ figure."

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19 minutes ago, Joel Mayward said:

This is really excellent analysis, and hits on something that feels so obvious when you unpack it here, but I totally missed in my own reviews. It makes me reconsider the entire nature of that particular character you call a "Christ figure."

Thanks, Joel. To be clear, my younger brother wrote it, not me. But it comes out of conversations we had after the film. I would go so far as to say that the film doesn't just provide a Christ figure, but a Christology for the Replicants.

 

SPOILERS!

Also, I think my favourite scene in the film is related to this whole topic, which is when K/Joe meets with the resistance folks, and Hiam Abbass's character says "Oh, you thought you were the child." It's the key to understanding how the identification with the saviour works in this film.

"A director must live with the fact that his work will be called to judgment by someone who has never seen a film of Murnau's." - François Truffaut

Twitter.
Letterboxd.

Reviews and essays at Three Brothers Film.

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Spoilers!

Rather than commenting on the story, which is ripe for commentary, I'll mention a couple elements of the production design that REALLY BUGGED ME:

1. Harrison Ford's bachelor pad in Vegas... why is it so clean? It's in an abandoned casino, I guess, but despite the fact that everything around it looks terrible, inside there is no dust, everything is shiny and polished like in a Dean Martin movie, and all the equipment functions perfectly. Really?

2. More egregiously, the final fight takes place after the car crashes on a sea wall. But throughout the entire fight, the water is pristine. No debris. No algae. No tiny or big particles floating in the water. It looks like they're fighting in a virgin Icelandic spring. Are we to believe that the entire world has gone to sh*t but somehow mankind has succeeded in cleaning up the oceans off the coast of California?

I wish I hadn't been distracted by these things.

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