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Blade Runner 2049

(7 posts)

  1. Ron

    Rotton Tomatoes reviews and ratings for Blade Runner 2049:

    My opinion: A thumps up, buy my opinion of the movie is not as high as some critics'.
    The music was bombastic and some scenes were creepy. The movie was visually impressive.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. Steve R.

    Fully agree that the soundtrack was "bombastic". Found all that loud noise to be distracting.

    For me the movie got off to a slow start and was cryptic. Too many unsupported logical jumps.

    The "first" Blade Runner, for me, seemed to present a fuller more detailed realistic version of the world (society). This new version seemed to lack that intimate level of detail. For example (in the new version), the main characters don't seem interact with the common folk or the street scenes.

    Instead of a "thumps-up", I will give it a "thumbs-up".

    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. CWJ

    The first movie asked, What is it to be human? The second movie asks, What will it take to pull in audiences for a movie asking the same damn question, only longer and slower?

    It was beautifully shot (but, yeah, the music was too loud) but having so many beautifully shot set pieces in the end didn't add up to a better movie.

    It wasn't bad, not at all, but it does fall in the shadow of a now-classic movie, without adding anything. (Full disclosure, I didn't like the first one when it came out, mostly because I hated the voiceover. But it's grown on me, and yes, I have since seen other cuts without the voiceover.)

    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. CarlGlover

    Thanks for the comments, folks. It sounds like one of those sequels that tries to conceal its lack of depth and understanding beneath a glitzy, showy exterior, with no reason for having been made except as a calculating money machine. I've been disappointed by too many of those. Doubt if I'll go see this one.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. CarlGlover

    Well, I did go see it, in a mostly empty theater (middle of the day, middle of the week).

    Why? Not really sure, but as it developed, I ended up spending most of the time comparing roles and incidents with the 1982 film. This is not necessarily a legitimate critical approach, I know, but that's what happened.

    Anyway, these are some of the things that, for me, made the original a satisfying experience for which the new one had no satisfactory analogs:

    The endearingly inept performance by Harrison Ford which, paradoxically, humanized him by making him seem indecisive, confused and determined by turns. I put this down to Ford's more-than-marginally incompetent acting ability ( a modern-day John Wayne), but which in this case was exactly what the part needed. The wimpy Ryan Gosling, a better actor, could not compare. And in 2049, Ford just looks grizzled and mostly growls a lot.

    The implacably menacing Rutger Hauer, one of the finest villains in sf film history. He was truly scary and a legitimate threat to Ford's Deckard. There is no one in 2049 who remotely compares. And, yes, I was rooting for him in the famous rooftop fight scene.

    The way Sean Young smoked her cigarette. For me, it's one of the iconic images in all of film. I can't tell you why, but it still lingers in my memory 35 years later. Trivial? Maybe, but there it is.

    The sinuous, otherworldly and bewitching beauty of Daryl Hannah, which generates more than anything else a genuine sympathy for the replicants. She's not human, and you know it, but, heavens above, she should be.

    The slimy, insincere, good-ole-boy sincerity of M. Emmet Walsh, the human McGuffin who sets things in motion that you know at the time will not end well. It's a perfect piece of foreshadowing done with great economy. There is nothing economical in 2049.

    The tragic-but-necessary death of Joanna Cassidy, a sympathetic but ultimately dangerous replicant who seems almost too human (and too beautiful) for termination. I felt the loss, especially given the extended nature of the death scene.

    The psychological testing sequence early in the film, which generates more suspense than the entirety of the new movie. By the time it's over, you're convinced the jerk of an examiner got exactly what he deserved. It also demonstrated at the outset that the replicants were fully capable of concealing their identity and defending themselves by any means necessary. It sets the tone of brooding menace that pervades the film.

    That's by no means all, but it's enough to make my point. The original had a coherent, logical narrative in the service of a legitimate inquiry into the nature of humanness, if you will. The new one is, comparatively, a visually beautiful but empty piece of fluff. For me, it turned out to be worthwhile to see it by reminding me what a classic the original was.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. geoffhart1962

    Just saw the film yesterday. I think that calling the sound track "bombastic" is unnecessarily kind; "amateurish" is closer, but if pressed, I'd finally settle on "incompetent". It actively undermines enjoyment of the film by blasting the ears and distracting from the visuals, which are often very good indeed. Dropping the volume from "ear bleed" to merely "loud" would mitigate the problem; dropping the sound level to "subdued" would be better still for what should be, after all, background music.

    The visuals are more compelling than any other aspect of the film, and particularly the plot, which is a bit of a dog's breakfast. More than a bit, actually. Discussing the film afterwards with my wife, we both agreed that there is no coherent sense that the world is actually lived in or believable -- that is, there's no verisimilitude. The original Blade Runner was much better at creating this sense of a lived world because it was more minimalist and therefore more effective. Cutting 45 minutes from the bloat of the current version and focusing more sharply on the most compelling aspects of the film would greatly help.

    That being said, if you bring earplugs or noise-cancelling earphones to the cinema, there are many things to like about the film. Ryan Gosling does a decent job of acting in the lead role, it's nice to learn that Dave Bautista can act (very well indeed, as it turns out), Robin Wright does a good job, and Ana de Armas does a very good job of a surprisingly important secondary character. There are some very nicely done elements of institutionalized racism against the replicants and about what it means to be human (e.g., Ryan Gosling hunching his shoulders and ducking his head against taunts from his co-workers that land like blows), and there are some intriguing hints about how artificial intelligence might evolve in ways that surprise us (e.g., the love story between Joi and K). I just wish those had formed the core of the film.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. Ron

    I've been thinking about Blade Runner 2049 recently. Blade Runner 2049 is a detective plot with science fiction trappings. Although the first Blade Runner has a detective plot too, it was more than that.

    Posted 1 year ago #

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