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technocoy
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeez. The hateraid is strong up in here.

I saw it. Still unpacking it. Overall it at least deserves an oscar for art drection and cinematography. It was pure art as a visual piece.

I loved the subtle themes with K, Joi, the Niander bounty hunter, etc.

Some nice stuff here... the almost love and odd interactions with the "Pris" character + Joi, etc.

Just a lot more here that I'm sure will keep coming on multiple viewings. The score and visuals though were awesome.

I didn't believe there was any way possible they'd pull of anything remotely decent to BR fans, but this really did play well for me.
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Art Deckard
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aw, c'mon fellas. Keep it civil and grown-up.
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hirohawa
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nexus7 wrote:
hirohawa wrote:
Nexus7 wrote:
hirohawa wrote:
Nexus7 wrote:
hirohawa wrote:
Disaster at US box office for opening weekend. Not only where the numbers low but attendance fell off precipitously From Friday to Sunday. Not off to a good start.


It did almost exactly what they were expecting in Europe. It hasn't opened yet in Japan, China, or South Korea.


Overseas take is much smaller slice of the pie than in US. Plus there are three production entities that financed and distributed this making the take even smaller for Alcon that did all the heavy lifting. No silver lining here.


For you, there never is. Laughing


Actually there is a silver lining for me. A boring, lackluster movie with a weak villain is not getting rewarded at the Box office.


Really??? You didn't like the film? We had no idea.


Will make it clearer for you next time.

So no more defending the bad box office though right? You're not going to pretend that it is doing well again are you in a few posts? Because that has nothing to do with anyone's opinion of the film. Claiming overseas numbers will soften the financial blow and then getting snarky when it is brought to light that it is incorrect is pretty lame.
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joberg
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, civil I respect your opinion, we agree to disagree and that's the end of that. Now, if others want to take it to another level, there's the Pit for you Rolling Eyes
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Silverside
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I may be in the minority but I could care less about a film's critical acclaim or financial success. Those things are for other people. It's made, done and out. The only thing that's important to me is whether I liked it or not.

And I did.
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Noeland
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Been avoiding posting my thoughts for a while. Needed to consider the film a bit before posting.

Didn't hate it. Didn't love it. Didn't care for how they resolved Deckard and Rachel's story from the first film at all.

I have a lot of issues with the story, the ideas, and some of the characters. My biggest issue is with the way they forced Deckard, his daughter, and Rachel's death into a storyline about an oddball replicant cop in love with a hologram.

I like the idea that Deckard and Rachel are Tyrell's adam & eve. That was never explicitely stated, but that is clearly what the writers were after.

I don't like the idea that Deckard would give up his kid for any reason, let alone to some shifty replicant underground, and then just disappear into an abandoned Vegas for 30 years. It doesn't sit right for me.

My favorite sequence was the drone footage of the desolate Syd Mead designed Vegas. I could sit and watch a few hours of this landscape. It was amazing.

I was hesitant about a snowy LA, but ultimately I liked those sequences in the film. I don't like Gosling as an actor, but I liked K as a character. Part of me wishes a different actor has been cast though.

Sapper Morton was great. Who knew Bautista could play quiet. Not every actor can do that, but man, I thought we lost one of the best replicant character ever way too soon.

The entire replicant underground narrative, was IMHO a big fail. They just used that as a plot device to explain away things that happened with Deckard, Rachel, and thier child. I didn't care for it.

The props. Still don't love the guns. I don't think any of the props in this film will be sought after 35 years from now. And I know that's not something tangible. Nobody could have predicted that 35 years after Blade Runner people would be plunking down over a grand for Deckard's pistol. So hey, who knows.
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Talyn
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would think longtime fans would at least appreciate the opening farm scene, taken directly from the first draft of Dangerous Days with the kitchen fight, boiling pot and all.
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hirohawa
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Noeland- Love what you wrote. Agree on most points and have been left with the same feeling.

Especially these two points:

Noeland wrote:

Didn't hate it. Didn't love it. Didn't care for how they resolved Deckard and Rachel's story from the first film at all.

I don't like the idea that Deckard would give up his kid for any reason, let alone to some shifty replicant underground, and then just disappear into an abandoned Vegas for 30 years. It doesn't sit right for me.



Doing a sequel decades after original always creates this dilemma - unimaginative solutions and clunky exposition as to what the character has been up to is almost never satisfying. To me Ford is 0-3 in his senior re-boot tour. I dread the upcoming Indiana Jones, Witness 2, and Still Regarding Henry sequels.
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joberg
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that to understand fully the movie, you should see those 3 shorts that were made for YouTube. They explain some of the reasoning behind some decisions/events that took place before 2049.

I think Deckard left his child for the reason that him, attached and seen with her would be too risky (for him and her) to be caught by either Tyrell or Wallace. To leave her with the "underground Reps" was the only "logical" solution for him. Maybe not the best strategy for others here on the board (understandably, it would be very difficult to leave/abandon your child).
But people make decisions that are not always logical...that's what makes us...human Wink

At least, at the end, there's the reunion between Father and child...I can see a sequel to that, or the contrary: a film explaining the events of 2020.
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Noeland
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen all the short films. I enjoyed them quite a bit, especially the anime. I'd love to see a feature length version of that anime.

They didn't help explain how the two leads from the first film got involved with this underground, or why Deckard would give up his child to them. I get the whole "we were being hunted" thing, but they are ALL being hunted. How does leaving the child with them so that Ana can be placed in rusty tetanusville equal a grand plan? That joint was hardly safe.

It's thin.
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Nexus7
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Noeland wrote:
I've seen all the short films. I enjoyed them quite a bit, especially the anime. I'd love to see a feature length version of that anime.

They didn't help explain how the two leads from the first film got involved with this underground, or why Deckard would give up his child to them. I get the whole "we were being hunted" thing, but they are ALL being hunted. How does leaving the child with them so that Ana can be placed in rusty tetanusville equal a grand plan? That joint was hardly safe.

It's thin.


The 3rd one was easily the best.
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andy
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kind of like the first film, 2049 was a relatively small story on an epic set. I think it is part of the film noir narrative that there are tons of small stories, small people in the big city, each with stories that make up a bigger picture. I liked this film for that, it makes me want more. Film noir comes from the pulp serial tradition. After Blade Runner came out so many directors were not only influenced by it, but they obviously wanted to add to that story. We all craved more BR back then. Only the more recent sequel let downs from Lucas primarily, did we begin to fear the idea of sequels. I remember being a planet of the apes fan, and still loving many of the lesser sequels back in the day. Of course I was a kid, but they never ruined the original film for me. Personally I could go for an anthology type series on BR, and maybe that is what we will be getting with the Electric Dreams series. I love this universe, and I am willing to accept 2049 as part of it, I just miss the texture and layers and lighting from the first. I also miss Rutger Hauer. The new film is modernized and minimalistic, but it works as just another piece to the puzzle for me.

Andy
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joberg
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree Andy; in terms of looks, it's very minimalistic and brutal. The environment doesn't help either. The grey palette is omnipresent (even in K.'s apt.)
We're far from the gold/bluish glows of Deck's apt. and his hoarding kind of eclectic collection of objects and things he has accumulated along the years.
Even J.F.Sebastian is also, to a certain extend, a hoarder (automatons of course, but also other things).

So going from a very layered look to a minimalistic one has shocked many!
Going from everything to almost nothing can be hard to accept...and I get it, you always wish that you'll see the same kind of images/sets/looks in the 2049 but it's not the same year and many things have changed in the mean time.

The first movie has many holes (story wise), but that was due to many re-write and versions and...now, to try to explain everything in a logical manner is very difficult. For some, putting Deck's/Rachael's daughter with this band of misfits in that kind of environment doesn't make sense; while others are o.k. with it.

Depends on your view of being a parent and your responsibilities toward your child (in those exact circumstances!). What would you have done?
You can only imagine, that's all. You'll have to accept the story as it's lay down for us to see...not to judge starting from your own context/position and life in general Wink
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rickhoward
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoyed it for what it was - with no spoilage of the original for me - and thought it was well put together. Sadly, there is no going back back to the 1980s version of LA in 2049. I chalk the lighter texture to someone finding a solution to the kipple problem...

andy wrote:
Kind of like the first film, 2049 was a relatively small story on an epic set. I think it is part of the film noir narrative that there are tons of small stories, small people in the big city, each with stories that make up a bigger picture. I liked this film for that, it makes me want more. Film noir comes from the pulp serial tradition. After Blade Runner came out so many directors were not only influenced by it, but they obviously wanted to add to that story. We all craved more BR back then. Only the more recent sequel let downs from Lucas primarily, did we begin to fear the idea of sequels. I remember being a planet of the apes fan, and still loving many of the lesser sequels back in the day. Of course I was a kid, but they never ruined the original film for me. Personally I could go for an anthology type series on BR, and maybe that is what we will be getting with the Electric Dreams series. I love this universe, and I am willing to accept 2049 as part of it, I just miss the texture and layers and lighting from the first. I also miss Rutger Hauer. The new film is modernized and minimalistic, but it works as just another piece to the puzzle for me.

Andy
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Bwood
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Rotten Tomatoes is an aggregator. They don't do their own reviews.

Alright, but who decides which reviews get published? Confused
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Wilbur Mercer



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greetings to all, please excuse me for entering this discussion as one so new to the forum but unfortunately I do not have an avenue for discussing my thoughts and feelings in my normal life about BR2049 with individuals with the same level of investment.
For the most part, all of these thoughts have just been bouncing around in my head so I am very curious to hear your insights and perspectives and how they can broaden my understanding.

Firstly, although I did enjoy the film as a stand alone work and went in with an open mind and tempered expectations I decided to watch the film a second time to ensure that my thoughts were not solely reactionary but a fair overall assessment.
I have nothing but respect for the individuals involved in creating BR2049 and can appreciate how much of a labour of love it was for all involved.
It is a celebration in itself that a film like this was even made in today’s Hollywood climate.
I also fully understand the desire to take things in a different direction.
It isn’t this in itself that bothers me, it is perhaps the reasoning why and how appropriate/inappropriately that ties into what had already been established.

After all is said and considered very carefully though, I am left with an overarching feeling of disappointment.

Disappointment.

Whereas I feel the original BR is and will continue to be timeless, BR2049 feels very much overly informed and concerned with issues of our time and I suspect that it will feel dated in 35 years.

In this post I will focus on the story elements, in my next, on the production side of things.
I just want to preface here by saying what follows are solely my personal opinions and that I mean no disrespect to anyone involved.
I think it is very endearing that there has been so much positivity and interest in BR2049 so far.

What bothered me first and foremost was that this film had nothing new to say.
I understand that this was a tall order due to some specific limitations imposed from the start (working within existing confines of the original story in terms of characters, ‘history’, etc.) but what bothers me most is that it missed the opportunity to revisit some of the elements from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep that were not included in Blade Runner.
I will let it be known now that as much as I love BR, the book is in my personal opinion superior in terms of plot.
I would embrace fully a completely faithful adaptation of the book, even more so than this sequel.
That being said, as far as BR2049 is involved, instead of mystical child/origin story/building armies cliches we could have had more of what makes DADOES relevant and timeless; is belief stronger than fact, fiction and the physical? Just because something is artificial does that inform its value against or in comparison to what is real?

Up until K meets Deckard I was very enthusiastic about what I was seeing.
Admittedly, I did enjoy the idea of K discovering that he might be ‘real’ but the pay-offs and the quickly escalating Hollywood cliches that followed the meeting in Las Vegas somewhat defused this enthusiasm.

Although I did enjoy the inclusion of Joi’s holographic character (perfect name there, joy/jerk-off-instruction) and the added dynamic of AI heirarchies, there were films/tv series that already dealt with this subject matter more thoroughly.
I did find K and Joi’s relationship (patterned gestures and programmed displays of emotion?) to be touching and the ‘threesome’ scene (shades of that scene in ‘Ghost’) quite breath-taking.
What could have been explored more with Joi and with the racism against K is how much people inherently want to subvert artificial intelligence by making it spew nonsense and become anti-social rather than actually engaging and helping it learn.
The apartment interface for Joi was vaguely reminiscent of the mood organ from DADOES, also in the 'costume-changes' to match her mood.

Furthermore, as Noeland has already said, there were too many Hollywood cliches involved in this film that were actually quite unnecessary to the story.
The ‘mystical child’/‘origin story’ and ‘building an army’ are all very weak plot devices that are not only ‘played out’ as the youth say, but also epic in the wrong ways.

For me personally the reason so many sci-fi films/series fail is because they have been reduced to ‘pre-teen’ rebellion stories, uniting the oppressed masses to overthrow the oppressors, heroic narratives of chosen ones and personality-cult stories.
I always much preferred something along the lines of Blake’s 7.

So much of why DADOES works for me is because amongst its larger scale themes it captures and plays off our inherently pathetic desires; Deckard longing for a real animal as one might yearn for a commodity, thinking about it amongst his internal struggles, being a motivation for his duty to retire andys/replicants and the emotional struggle that this paradox contains.
All of the concerns with origins, memories, reality and what makes one human, what is real/artificial, etc. are already epic enough and yet the original BR managed to deal with these themes on a very small human scale. A scale that was relatable and powerful.
When BR2049 deals in an epic scale it too often falls flat.

The replicant birth/death scene felt trite and un-neccessary to me.
It doesn’t help to demystify how replicants are ’made’, ‘built’ etc. and then for Wallace to destroy one of his own products so nonchalantly - it just contrasts and makes more powerful how Joe Turkel (despite reading off cue cards!) played Tyrell, who felt like a cunning, detached businessman rather than a brooding Bond villain.

To return to scale, I found the plot element of the blackout a weak plot device.
I’m not sure if overtly stated anywhere as to why there were no cell phones, etc. (in BR there weren’t either, WWT may have to do with that. Either way it doesn’t need to be answered) and even further still weak as to why in a city with ‘plenty of room for everyone’ as J.F. Sebastian says, K’s building is jam-packed with people and yet the streets are very sparse.
People are huddled only where there is power? I will get into this further in my next post but is the street culture of the first film replaced by everyone now wanting to be inside? Where is all the trash, the fires, the over-flowing trash cans (covered in graffiti)… where is all the ‘kipple’?
In BR I liked how those who had been left behind accumulated objects and reminders of better times, of an era in which the Earth and its populace still mattered.

One of the scenes I thought was most effective was when Rachael walks in.
Not only clever in how it deals with Deckard and entering his memories but also ours, the way we share the disbelief at how ‘real’ she looks.
How did he/they do that? This scene was very clever in many ways and I for one felt its impact.
“Her eyes were green”
Were they?
Everyone here knows the answer (despite the VK screen) but that moment of doubt?
A very strong f-you to Wallace.

I must say that I really enjoyed watching Luv.
A great performance and a fun character to watch. The lack of emotion and empathy and the sudden inappropriate display of it was well acted by Sylvia Hoeks, who in my opinion steals every scene she is in.
I found the performances good overall, with the exception of Jared Leto and Robin Wright.
Leto was too overtly villainous, lacking nuance and unbelievable for a man who ended the food crisis and developed the next level of Nexus. Compare and contrast Tyrell in bed, trading, in his candlelit bedroom.
Also, I know Tyrell’s eye designer, Chew, met an untimely death but was there no sufficient replacement?
I also have to say that I found Robin Wright somewhat ineffective and lacking depth. Her portrayal of Joshi and her portrayal of Claire Underwood in House of Cards felt pretty identical to me. Typecasting? Compare and contrast M.Emmet Walsh as Bryant…

The soundtrack leaves me yearning for a more diplomatic vocabulary.
For those of you who liked the soundtrack of BR2049, you may want to skip the next three paragraphs.

Vangelis is a master. An absolute master of conveying complex emotional resonances in his music. He also understood the 1940s-filtered-through-the-1980s futureretro sensibility perfectly.
That moody synth-sax nails that 40s-into-the-80s sound and sensibility sonically whilst also evoking emotion. Not an easy task. To then also incorporate ‘Eastern’ melodies and textures into that as well, doubly impressive.
Even when being atonal, Vangelis succeeds. I ask you to listen to what is called “I am the business” from the Esper edition to support what I will say-
The way Vangelis builds layers here; from dark sweeps that evoke the passing of spinners, the atonal computer squiggles to evoke the tech and humming of machines, which all leads to an emotional combination of music box/synth pads… it just melds an appropriate ambience for Deckard’s apartment with the musical score necessary for the scene.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWnkfmk9wK8

What Zimmer and Wallfisch fall into is what I feel is the overall mistake that has been made with the entire envisioning of BR2049.
It falls into misappropriating the surface elements, the style without the content.
Yes, they use that iconic slow attack, sweeping, square-wave polysynth brass with some detuning but that is where it ends…
Yes, they use the same sound but Vangelis is not just about what sound he uses but also
the complex layering that he creates with.
There was very little harmony, layering or movement in the score of BR2049.
I’m not against such an approach. I love dearly the ANS sound clusters Eduard Artemyev used for Solaris (Tarkovsky, 1972).
But here we just have a smattering of sounds in the equivalent of a ‘Vangelis preset’ but none of the scoring to go with it.
This bothered me to no end. I also very strongly disliked that over used, post dubstep ripping sound when the spinners were taking Deckard to the ‘airport’.
I’d be very curious to hear what Johansson did for the film in contrast.

Anyways, I don’t mean to be overly negative.
If this film was unrelated to Blade Runner I would like it more.
I do appreciate it in a different way and absolutely enjoyed its pacing and cinematography. I love Villeneuve’s prior films and feel he is the master of the sustained build and dreaded an alternative choice of director.
I suppose it’s just that I feel that there were missed opportunities and mis-steps and that is why my overall feeling is one of disappointment.
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Wilbur Mercer



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is going to be a long post…

I hope I can clearly articulate what bothered me about the production design and how, in my opinion, it failed to fully embrace what preceded it.
In the words of Tyrell, if you could, ‘indulge me’-

I would like to preface that I understand that this was a totally new work and had new aims, ideas and wanted to expand and update things.
Although this was done, I felt that there was a failure in understanding some of the elements that informed the look and feel of the original Blade Runner and that by working without this background information in mind they created a look and feel that is to me, at best, just a superficial surface informed solely by how the original looked without the understanding why.
I know that this is a bold criticism and I don’t mean to offend or belittle the enormous amount of work, effort and passion that went into the making of BR2049.
I would also like to clarify that I do not feel that BR2049 cheapens or ruins the original BR in the way too many reboots and sequels have so carelessly done of late.
I feel that where the original was indeed original despite Sir Ridley’s insistence on ‘commercial’ aims, BR2049 does not achieve the same.

From here on out I am speaking only about my personal opinion, informed by a lifelong obsession with the world of Blade Runner and my own directly-lived experiences as a resident of Asian megacities.
I don’t only base my criticisms on the film but also on the book (The Art and Soul of BR2049) which to me feels more like a ‘making of’ book.

First and foremost-
BR had the fortunate timing of being made when the 1940s were coming back into fashion, filtered through the 1980s. (1940s fabrics, shapes and ‘looks’ with 80s details.)
This 1940s-filtered-through-the-1980s is the perfect aesthetic for what is in its very essence a film-noir using 1940s tropes and settings projected into the future.
This familiar film-noir world ‘retro-fitted’ with 1980s projections of future tech with the additional assemblages of eclectic elements from different time periods and cultures works to create what I will refer to as futureretro.
I’m sure you all know what I mean here.
That specific bricolage and mixing of different time periods and elements to arrive at its futuristically nostalgic world.
It perfectly captures a world that has progressed to a certain point and then left behind to rot as the creme-de-la-creme abandon it for new worlds, leaving it to retrofit, reuse, recycle and wallow in the discarded clutter of better times and eras.

Unfortunately, I am of the opinion that this sensibility has been either misunderstood or replaced as we now have moved into a time of misremembering and misappropriating past decades as informed by instant access to everything via the internet which is a distinctly different sensibility to me than the futureretro created in BR.
Many interviews with Syd Mead and Sir Ridley Scott expound upon the reasons why specific decisions were made. (I think strongly of the article that was in the 1982 Heavy Metal magazine).
None of the design decisions were arbitrary, all had specific reasoning.

BR2049 suffers from our contemporary misremembering/misappropriating process which overly concerns itself with style, visuals and surfaces stripped completely of their context, function, etc. resulting in the style being the content. (A case in point for me is Stranger Things, which epitomizes a self-indulgent appropriation retrogasm state like no other).
My biggest fear for BR2049 was that it would succumb to this.
Although it doesn’t to the extent that most Hollywood films of this time have, it doesn’t actually succeed in operating outside of it.
What disappointed me about BR2049 is that it doesn’t succeed at allusion and fails to recreate that 40s-through-80s pastiche that worked in BR and made decisions that go against the reasoning as to why these decisions were made when creating the world of the original BR.

If this makes sense-
BR feels like bricolage, BR2049 feels like mis-appropriation.

Maybe the book Art and Soul of BR2049 simply does not include these, and maybe this is reflective of my own biases due to my pre-internet experiences, but the production design itself is hugely disappointing to me.

On the one hand, I’m very certain that you can all relate to how wonderful all of the sketches, drawings, designs, plans, etc. created for BR are and how integral they are to enjoying that world.
I keep thinking of the amazing thread in which Tom Southwell answered questions and shared his work on the film (that thread is the epitome to me of why propsummit is next level amazing for so many reasons, not only because of how and what was shared but because one also arrives at considering how language evolved from cave paintings and how cave fires inform and predate the lucigraph!!!!)
It appears that to what I have seen for BR2049, the vast majority of the design work is digital pre-visualizations.
No concept sketches or drawings of blasters or spinners, nothing like that.
Mostly photos of the finished objects or one or two digital renderings. Hugely disappointing.
I can not tell you how many hours I spent simply staring at Syd Mead’s concept drawing for the blaster that appears in the Souvenir Magazine and am deeply disillusioned by this simple difference in process.
Maybe I am too precious about that hand-made, mind-to-hand translation process but I also felt that this forced BR’s production design to be eclectic and unique where BR2049 felt much more contemporary and unified.
I think it was SRS who stressed the eclectic nature of the design to mirror the complex, varying, multifaceted mishmash of elements.

Anyways, the blasters have been already been discussed here but for me they just look like something that was whipped up in a computer program based on visual considerations alone.
I don’t see a process of thinking through function and form and for this reason it looks like something that was designed based on some visual information and so misses the mark.
I do not follow some of the decisions on the designs.
It is very difficult for me to explain exactly, I hope some of you can understand what I am trying to get at. Again it seems to be informed by superficial qualities alone…
The spinners also feel very different to me- it does make sense to make K’s spinner smaller and therefore somewhat sleeker but I miss that heavy aerodyne limited by its bulk and heavier-than-air characteristics from BR.
The spinners in BR2049 seem very fast and zippy and maneuverable in a way that I felt the original spinners were not. For how much of the decision making in BR2049 were explained away with pursuing realism this seemed to me less realistic.
I also miss the cooler Syd Mead concepts such as twist-grip steering, ‘pilot’ helmets- how it was more like flying a helicopter.
The lines were also much harsher somehow. I am not sure why Peugeot and not Spinner…

I trust you all will relate more than anyone else; but how many countless hours have been spent looking at, re-looking at, investigating, researching, obsessing over details, props, costumes, sets, objects etc. in BR?
I feel that I haven’t inherited the same drive or motivation from BR2049 and even in a second viewing I was struck by how different the experience of watching the film is to how I have watched and rewatched BR.
Just one very easy example, compare and contrast the eclectic range of bottles in BR to the ones seen in BR2049.

What happened to the highly visible retrofitting aesthetic and the city level as sewer idea? A lot of the city felt newly built and not the decaying remains of buildings that have been repurposed.
BR’s world felt very much in continuation of the environment of DADOES, whereas BR2049 feels like a city that not only has the budget but also the means to pursue enormous feats of engineering (the Sepulveda seawall) and even new buildings.
This goes against the idea that there are plenty of abandoned buildings for who has been left on Earth. Maybe this decision would be appropriate in a stand-alone work or even in a rebooted Soylent Green, but for BR it felt inappropriate.

That being said, where is everybody?
The active street culture that the original so impressively captured (and as a former resident of Asian megacities I can tell you that they absolutely mirror that experience accurately) seems to have disappeared. The streets felt sparse and empty and furthermore, too clean!
What happened?
Has LA gone the way of Singapore all of a sudden?
What happened to all the litter, overflowing graffitied trash cans, strange fires (see burning trash outside the Bradbury).
Does LA suddenly have better sanitation employees?

K’s building is crowded on the inside with people clogging up the lobby and the stairwells (very reminiscent of Soylent Green!)
Has the street culture now become a culture of people hanging out inside?
This is quite far removed from the ‘plenty of room for everybody’ of J.F. Sebastian living alone in an empty Bradbury and the enormous, empty buildings of DADOES- the inheritance of a populace left behind because they aren’t ‘good enough’ to go offworld.
They have been left behind. They are trapped there.
Being left behind on Earth is not a privilege and this seems to me to have been misunderstood in favor of creating a ‘Hong Kong’ experience.
I keep seeing references to HK in the Art and Soul book, but as a former resident I feel that this was not explored in any kind of depth or understanding other than a superficial one.

What works about the original is that it is claustrophobic.
These people are trapped and despite there being a matte painting showing the city from outside, Sir Ridley correctly decided to keep things as claustrophobic as possible- with the exception of the HADES landscape there are no horizons, no vistas, no sweeping aerial shots that aren’t completely enclosed by towering buildings. (let’s forget the tacked-on ending of the theatrical cut)
As an aside, THX1138 (dir.George Lucas, 1971) works so well too because it is claustrophobic. The update with all those giant Star Wars CGI vistas and expanded digital matte sets ruined this completely. Boy I am glad I have that on VHS still!

BR2049 had the ‘budget’ to expand the world but this shouldn’t be an excuse to misunderstand scale or disregard some of the criteria that informed the original.
In looking at the book it was apparent to me how much of the detail and effort that went into certain things get completely lost in the ‘epic’ scales that are at home in a Star Wars film but not in a Blade Runner.
That being said, the street people in BR look very convincing and are a great mix of elements. They feel like street people left behind to decaying, rotting city that has had to be repurposed so that things will run.
The umbrella handles had practical reasons, as did the ‘BR blue’ makeup, etc.
The extras in BR2049 look like extras in a sci fi movie with dayglo gas masks and candy-raver aesthetics more at home in the Total Recall remake (don’t get me started on that film).
I feel that Sir Ridley and the individuals he gathered together were stronger visualists. The street scene outside Bibi’s bar looks like a set, the objects and aesthetic of what we see there also felt cleaner, newer, more mass-produced and plastic.
Overall those lived-in details that SRS was so obsessive about felt lacking.

Where is all the ‘kipple’?
The minimalism in BR2049 is a sci fi trope too but what worked in BR was that the ‘strange obssession’ with memory, etc. resulted in the accumulating of objects and signifying them with meaning.
Even Leon Kowalski had his ‘precious photos’.
I found K’s apartment lacking in so many ways and his being a replicant is no excuse for this as we have seen what other replicants gravitate towards.
The original Total Recall (dir.Paul Verhoeven, 1990) also had more of that brutalist style and the aesthetic of BR2049 actually reminded me of that look in more ways.
Was K’s apartment building (Moebius 21, fyi) newly built?
Not only the brightness but the overall look would suggest this to be so.
I think it is important to mention that SRS’s research into Los Angeles was the reason for the look of Deckard’s apartment, it was not arbitrary. There was a why that informed those decisions.
That mirroring of Mayan influence into the LA influence of Deckard's apartment that also found expression in the Tyrell building felt consistent but still appropriately different to each building.

In ‘updating’ the experience of the world, I feel that they miss most of the marks on what worked in the original and made it so special.
It is pure speculation on my part, but is it possible that having an enormous budget and being able to build all these amazing and expansive sets maybe worked against the film in this regard? In building so many different environments was everything spread thinner across the board?
The original may have made this mis-step too if they hadn’t gone over budget early resulting in the cutting of replicant Mary’s scenes, furnace asteroid escape, gymnasium fight, etc.

The costumes also look very contemporary and very minimal.
I can live with Deckard as dressed down as he is since he is hiding out alone and wasn’t expecting company (Who cuts his hair and does he do his own laundry?) what bothers me is the contemporary, minimal, stripped down aesthetics of the others.
(as an aside, did you all catch that sound we hear in Deckard's apartment and in the Nostromo when Joi is looking at Deckard's food making machines?)
K is wearing what looks like a leather jacket. I could understand pleather but dressing in a material that evokes disgust is not the best move if people already harbor racist feelings for you.
Luv’s stern riding ensemble feels like a not-very-subtle wealthy dominatrix… not sure if horse riding still exists on android horses… and again she has what looks like a leather jacket.
Joi’s ‘50s house-wife look’, although appropriate to a hologram informed by internet sensibilities I still feel could have benefitted from a retrofuturistic workover.

BR reflects the dedication to translating LA and Noir tropes through the filter of 1940s-through-1980s. It makes sense that Deckard would wear a Western style shirt or something with Native American influenced patterns contrasted against a colour-blockdesign, knit ties but squared, etc.
The costumes of the original very thoughtfully reflected appropriate designs, eras and details that played off of each other in a very strong way.
I found the costumes of BR2049 lacking in this regard.
What were the decisions that informed them?

The actual look of the cinematography also strikes me as somewhat off.
(Deakins is a master and I don’t criticize him, my criticism concerns how appropriate this style is to BR)
Compare how dark the original is and note the subdued and zonal interior lights, deep shadows, the constantly passing lights from outside, patterns interrupted by moving shapes, accented by myriads of neon, etc. All of which is visually exciting and interesting and entrenched and expansive on noir.
I missed this in the brightly lit, fluorescent interiors of BR2049.
That film-noir look didn’t successfully cross over, in my opinion.
I think that Manhunter (dir.Michael Mann, 1986) is a good example of how to do noir with brightness and lots of colour, using it for a stark, alienating effect.
Again, I also felt that it goes against the rotting, crumbling city left behind for those who don’t ‘deserve’ to leave.

The original also benefits from having a lot of grain in the shots. I know it is an easy criticism but Deakins made everything too clear, too clean, too beautiful.
Sir Ridley and Cronenworth nailed the oppressiveness of the atmosphere and it feels that in updating the look of BR2049 this was missing.
It should also be noted that the constant rain and haze also served to obscure the fact that they were shooting on a backlot as much as possible. I feel that they succeeded in doing so.

The Wallace building is beautiful in so many ways but also drives home how much they misunderstood how Tyrell corporation echoed very specific styles and influences, e.g. European neoclassical, art deco/moderne (in the vein of Leopold II’s architects, Albert Speer, etc.) the way that PKD echoed Nazism in DADOES.
Also note that the office where Holden interviews Leon is different.
That monumental room is Tyrell’s office.
Going more vast and monumental and turning away from the neoclassical to make Wallace HQ more temple-like but keeping the reflections off water felt like a mis-step to me.
As awe-inspiring and beautiful as it was it just again felt like a stylistic mis-appropriation more interested in style than function.
Making a vaster, more monumental version of Tyrell’s building is just that… making something bigger and ‘more impressive’. What goals do this achieve?
Wallace is blind and spends a deal of time without ‘artifically seeing’. They could have played with this to design interior spaces that felt appropriate to his blindness. I’m sure it must be difficult to navigate in such monumental but open spaces. One could possibly ‘echo-locate’ somewhat to walls, but what of the broken footpath over water.
Imagine a design that revolved around Wallace’s navigation as a blind individual. What a missed opportunity!

Mis-appropriation.
Even the way that BR2049 misunderstood how the retro elements were used in the original becomes painfully glaring sometimes. I think for example of the holographic Sinatra singing in the shiny SONY jukebox.
In my estimation, this is not in continuation of the futureretro sensibility of BR, this is the misappropriation of style over content.

I don’t want to come across as overly negative but after two viewings in IMAX and a long look at the book, the Art and soul of BR2049, these things bothered me.
I know so much of what I have said is about comparison and BR2049 does have its merits as a stand alone film but it all boils down to this for me-

BR is endlessly re-watchable. Not only due to its visual element but also because of the very carefully considered reasons that informed the design, the look and the texture.

For me, BR2049 is not.

For me personally, this is deeply disappointing.
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Artificial Owl
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to reply to a few things, but these are just my thoughts, I'm not trying to prove or disprove your points. Mostly I'm just a big nerd who loves talking movies, and I'm happy when I find other people that want to as well! I should note that I've seen the film 4 times now, and while I enjoy it overall, the criticism I've read here from some fans is completely reasonable. In many cases I agree.

Wilbur Mercer wrote:

Whereas I feel the original BR is and will continue to be timeless, BR2049 feels very much overly informed and concerned with issues of our time and I suspect that it will feel dated in 35 years.

I agree, but I think that's the inescapable reality of both the film industry and our overall culture. Everything is disposable now. I don't think there will ever be another film that has a long term cultural impact or even a true cult following.

Quote:

What bothered me first and foremost was that this film had nothing new to say.

That's also fair, but at this point what is left to do? These themes have been picked up on and explored for the last 30 years. I'm not sure we can go into a Blade Runner sequel and really expect our minds to be blown.

Quote:

For me personally the reason so many sci-fi films/series fail is because they have been reduced to ‘pre-teen’ rebellion stories, uniting the oppressed masses to overthrow the oppressors, heroic narratives of chosen ones and personality-cult stories.


That's one of the things I liked about 2049, though, because K flat out rejects that. He decides the human thing to do is make a real difference in Deckard's life, not to be a revolutionary.

Quote:

The replicant birth/death scene felt trite and un-neccessary to me.
It doesn’t help to demystify how replicants are ’made’, ‘built’ etc. and then for Wallace to destroy one of his own products so nonchalantly - it just contrasts and makes more powerful how Joe Turkel (despite reading off cue cards!) played Tyrell, who felt like a cunning, detached businessman rather than a brooding Bond villain.

Agreed 100%. I didn't get that, he makes this big speech about needing more replicants, and then kills one just because what? His scanners revealed she couldn't bear children? And how is it that the cops didn't go knocking on his door as soon as Luv stole the bones and killed Coco? That made zero sense.

Quote:

I must say that I really enjoyed watching Luv.

Probably my favourite character in the film. I enjoyed her scenes with K in the archives immensely. They set up the character nicely, I thought.
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djblingbling1



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Location: Salem, OR

PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe its my demographic, but as someone too young to have been around for the first film, and only having been introduced to it in the last few years, I loved the new film.

I feel like in a group like this a film like 2049 could never be "accepted"...its like that with anything, that's kind of how I feel about the new Star Wars. I grew up in the 90s and there was a huge Star Wars revival due to the special editions, so for me the originals are just ingrained in my mind.

Seeing 2049 only a year or so after first seeing the original I think they compliment each other well, which is impressive for films so spread apart.
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Nexus7
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bwood wrote:
Quote:
Rotten Tomatoes is an aggregator. They don't do their own reviews.

Alright, but who decides which reviews get published? Confused


https://www.rottentomatoes.com/help_desk/critics/
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