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joberg
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wilbur Mercer (thinking about your blurb below your handle/a.k.a. it seems like you're Sisyphus pushing his rock over that cliff for Eternity Wink )

Since BR placed the bar so high, it's really difficult to be equal to it or better...you know what they say: when you've reached the summit, the only way is down!

How to begin? I loved the movie, the story, the sets, the props, the photography, the music, etc...I saw the original movie when I was 24 and it surely moved me visually but also story-wise (I'm passionate about BR, but not obsessed).

I think that a lot of factors can influence your viewing experience: age, things that were happening in your life at that moment, how you saw the World in general and your existence, etc, etc...

Maybe, they should've made BR 2020, then the visual shock would've been better absorbed. But with this movie you're jumping so far into time that you're getting a nose bleed !

How could it be "the same as 2019?" Who's to say that people are still collecting, hoarding stuff like the original showed us? Are we sure that everybody in the original BR can do that? Or the collectors/hoarders are the ones with good paid job (J.F. Sebastian works for Tyrell, no less and Deckard for the BR Unit...so one can imagine that they're making enough money to do so). SRS never showed/explained that line of thought.

It's true that the streets could've been dirtier, and more like the gutter- like feel of the first film (then again, that short, on YouTube, with Sapper shows the same kind of set).

Too clean, to minimalist in look...sure, but again why not? Is K "needs" to be surrounded by stuff? Maybe that's his way to relax after roaming the busy/layered streets. Removing visual "noise" is a way to live a "Zen Life".

As for the costumes, the overall look is based on many style. As we know, in Fashion, everything comes back, everything is copied to death (nothing new under the Sun) and it seems, to me, that they succeeded with the clothes and the different textures that one could expect: i.e : nothing flashy (but for the prostitutes), practical coats against the rain/elements/pollution, grey/greenish tones are everywhere in the 2049.

All of the "fur/leather" are all fake (like the animals) and while Luv's costumes are very "découpés" ( à la Zack Posen) it seems that they tried to emulate Rachael's look (very Art Deco) with those same elements of some sort of an ensemble that passes as a corset/carcan and even going as far as styling he hair like Rachael's.

As for the existential question...it's still there: how can one continue to live while knowing you're a finite product? Is the knowledge of Death makes us human? Fodder for another discussion, of course.
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Artificial Owl
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wilbur Mercer wrote:

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.

The "musical score" is easily the film's biggest failure, IMO. It's as though they knew they couldn't live up to the first film, so they decided to not even try. Most of the time it's barely even music, just atmospheric noise.

Frankly, I'd have been happier if they'd just licensed some appropriate jazz pieces. In a film where characters are frequently moved to tears, the soundtrack does nothing to nudge the audience along with them, at least not until the end, which is of course thanks to Vangelis.

When I got the art book I was surprised to find that they used models for as much as they did. While I appreciate the effort as a matter of principal, things like the LAPD building may as well have been CGI, as they just look like a giant block of concrete.

I don't know about the Vegas set, but it was so obscured in dust, that it's kind of pointless that they did any model work with that, too.

Speaking of obscurity, the film is often just too dark. I think some if it had to do with settings in the cinemas I was at, but still. It wasn't until my 3rd viewing that I actually saw K had shrapnel sticking out of his abdomen after he and Deckard are attacked in the Casino. There wasn't enough contrast between K's black, blood soaked shirt, and the dark piece of shrapnel sticking out of it.
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Staar
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The interesting thing about reading all these comments is that this reaction is a complete duplicate of what happened when the first movie came out. As Rutger more or less said in Dangerous Minds, some people liked it and some people didn't. As interesting to me is that the current debate (as it was in the circles I moved in back then) is just as vigorous and the plot points just as analysed - with the overall message of 2019 either dismissed back then as too simple or chided for being too complicated or high-brow.

This is precisely for me what makes this movie remarkable. We will never all agree on what worked for us and what didn't in the same way, as the issue of Deckard, the unicorn or the meaning of the flickering light from 2019 are still debated vigorously today.

Personally I don't not agree with Wilbur Mercer that the movie will date but I respect why he says that for him, it probably would.

I have had the opportunity to see the movie twice now and I can't wait to see it in theatres again (and this is saying something for a guy who has worked for Lucasfilm for over a quarter of a century because, its been decades since I went to see a movie twice - even those I have been involved with) and I had to eat my well documented words of cynicism.

There are a few things that I wasn't wild about, some of the dialog and some of the design work was horrible and the LA city design (not the neon though) was not IMO a step forward but a step backward. Syd Mead exploited circular/soft shapes and crowded, top-heavy skyscrapers in the original which were conveniently forgotten in this one also, in most of the street scenes, the reengineered buildings and subtlety of Meads designs and Scott's vision were absent which I thought was a huge pity. The Vegas scenes were for me perfect and it was easy to see Mead's influence on that sequence

These are small quibbles because for the rest I thought it was amazing. I am still wrestling with whether its a real sequel to the original (I still need to digest this and see it again) but whatever it ultimately turns out to be for me, there is no question that it ticked most of the boxes and that I will always enjoy it.

I was worried about Gosling - not a favourite of mine - but he for me, hit it out the park. I was also worried the Noir of the original would be thrown out the window and sacrificed for commercial gain by Alcon but it was not IMO. While not strictly Noir, it became for me a perfect hybrid of Noir and Sci-Fi.

Certainly one of the most original and refreshing movie I have seen in years. Not simply a re-run like all the current Star Wars or Marvel movies but a ballsy, new vision that while not better then the original IMO, it easily rises way above all modern Sci-Fi and fantasy movies for me....
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joberg
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that the music reflects that 'Brutalism" ambiance permeating throughout the movie. The subleties of Vangelis were spot-on for the first BR; not this one though!

You never know if the score is part of the sound-effects or it's really the music playing. And I like that; it makes you see the scene differently, makes you ask questions. There's still an aura of mystery about the story and many will ask questions for a long time.

As the first one, it will never seem dated.
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Artificial Owl
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Staar wrote:

Certainly one of the most original and refreshing movie I have seen in years. Not simply a re-run like all the current Star Wars or Marvel movies but a ballsy, new vision that while not better then the original IMO, it easily rises way above all modern Sci-Fi and fantasy movies for me....


Ultimately, whatever criticism I may have of some of its elements, that's why I like it. Sadly, the fact that it didn't do as well financially as they hoped will only reaffirm the current mentality in Hollywood: more superheroes and Star Wars! Crying or Very sad
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Wilbur Mercer
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Artificial Owl
Artificial Owl wrote:

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.


Although I am inclined to agree, I am going to hold on to the hope that we will move back into an era where creative original thinking will be sought out over totally commercial recycling/appropriating.
There is only so far it can go. (at least I hope so)
As an aside, I think it is interesting that the Situationists pushed for detournement to subvert cultural productions for their own ideological aims, yet we live in a culture that has made reappropriation the primary tool for stripping everything of its context to the point where it references even its own initial superficial misappropriation.
The internet meme culture is the case in point.

I definitely support the creation of BR2049 and I intend to go see it again, not only to take in all of the points made here but to support its creation financially.

Quote:
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.


I agree that the themes and possible lines of continuation were all explored as nauseum by so many things that were influenced and inspired by BR, limiting what a sequel could have striven for.
However, I still feel that DADOES has elements that still remain fresh and interesting.

Quote:
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.


This is an excellent point and one that gives me pause for thought.
It is interesting to note that Deckard's life has been saved on three occasions by replicants. Quite profound for a 'man' that has made his living by 'retiring' them.

Quote:
When I got the art book I was surprised to find that they used models for as much as they did. While I appreciate the effort as a matter of principal, things like the LAPD building may as well have been CGI, as they just look like a giant block of concrete.


That was my first reaction too.
I was very surprised to see how much had actually been built.
Truth be told, I honestly thought many of those building shots were CGI!

It was also fun to learn that some of the snow scenes utilized completely artificial snow on outdoor streets.

I really wish they would have included more documentation of the spinner and blaster designs. After watching this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqdsYn9TdWQ

of Adam Savage examining the blasters, it sounds like there were several iterations of the design before they settled on the final one.
It is definitely interesting to learn more about the whys involved... although some of the decisions here still strike me as strange.

@djblingbling1
djblingbling1 wrote:
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.


Very insightful to hear this perspective.
I recall when the Star Wars Special Editions came out and how happy I was to finally see them on the big screen.
As a Star Wars fan living in that weird vaccuum time when there was very little Star Wars in the general culture, I was willing to forgive even the additions I disliked simply because of the opportunity it gave me. (Lucky for me I still had VHS copies of all three films before they replaced them with those special editions!)
It was a strange time, difficult to even find other people who liked it. In fact, I was teased and bullied for liking it by my peers!
Unimaginable in today's climate where Disney has completely oversaturated the market with every possible iteration of Star Wars product.
Full disclosure, I didn't see any of the new Star Wars.
After being miserably disappointed by JJ Abrams Star Trek reboot I decided to do myself a favour and steer clear.
Since I haven't seen any of the new films I can't comment on them and am okay not knowing at all.

That all being said, it delights me that Blade Runner is now something I can discuss and share with my colleagues and contemporaries and I will tell you, waiting to see BR2049 for the first time I felt like a kid on Christmas day.
It made me realize I hadn't been that excited about seeing a current movie in the cinema since 1997! (David Lynch's Lost Highway).
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Wilbur Mercer
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@joberg
joberg wrote:

Since BR placed the bar so high, it's really difficult to be equal to it or better...you know what they say: when you've reached the summit, the only way is down!

How to begin? I loved the movie, the story, the sets, the props, the photography, the music, etc...I saw the original movie when I was 24 and it surely moved me visually but also story-wise (I'm passionate about BR, but not obsessed).

I think that a lot of factors can influence your viewing experience: age, things that were happening in your life at that moment, how you saw the World in general and your existence, etc, etc...


Those personal factors definitely colour one's initial experience.
That is for sure.
I know it is true for myself as someone who constantly moved that memories are especially precious to me and could go a long way to explaining why this element of the story resonates strongly with me.

I remember revisiting a favourite childhood spot as an adult only to discover that they had completely chopped down a beautiful grove of trees and were preparing to turn it into something else. I remember how personally I took it and was surprised at how ir-rational a reaction I had.

This surely is an element that plays into my experience of watching BR2049, there is no denying or getting around that.

Quote:
Maybe, they should've made BR 2020, then the visual shock would've been better absorbed. But with this movie you're jumping so far into time that you're getting a nose bleed !


This is very true and I definitely understand that the elapsing of time would change the world.
I am okay with the freakier weather, the food crisis and even somewhat with the blackout.

Quote:
How could it be "the same as 2019?" Who's to say that people are still collecting, hoarding stuff like the original showed us? Are we sure that everybody in the original BR can do that? Or the collectors/hoarders are the ones with good paid job (J.F. Sebastian works for Tyrell, no less and Deckard for the BR Unit...so one can imagine that they're making enough money to do so). SRS never showed/explained that line of thought.


This is a very interesting point.
Thinking back on Leon's hotel room, it was quite bare for the most part.
However, it did still retain the overall feel of an old building in a state of disrepair and neglect.

K's apartment looks well maintained and quite new. It also has very strong lighting!

Quote:
It's true that the streets could've been dirtier, and more like the gutter- like feel of the first film (then again, that short, on YouTube, with Sapper shows the same kind of set).

Too clean, to minimalist in look...sure, but again why not? Is K "needs" to be surrounded by stuff? Maybe that's his way to relax after roaming the busy/layered streets. Removing visual "noise" is a way to live a "Zen Life".


Maybe Wallace's sensibility for less has spread to the surrounding environment. Trying to "spark Joi" (heh)
Maybe so.

I looked for insight on this matter and found this-
"Leather would have become wet and very heavy in that environment, and his character is poor, he has a miserable existence in that basic apartment. "
http://www.vogue.co.uk/gallery/blade-runner-2049-costumes-renee-april

Since K is 'poor' it is more likely that he would live in a spare apartment.
However-
I just don't understand why the city has been so rebuilt.
All of the effort and infrastructural support was very lacking in 2019, which made perfect sense since the Earth had been abandoned for the off world colonies.
I can't reconcile massive rehousing projects, especially in contrast to the financial drain the Sepulveda seawall would have cost the city.

The look and the sensibility was good for a sci-fi film, absolutely.
I just found it inappropriate to what we know about the city previously.

Quote:
As for the costumes, the overall look is based on many style. As we know, in Fashion, everything comes back, everything is copied to death (nothing new under the Sun) and it seems, to me, that they succeeded with the clothes and the different textures that one could expect: i.e : nothing flashy (but for the prostitutes), practical coats against the rain/elements/pollution, grey/greenish tones are everywhere in the 2049.


This is also a very fair point.
The style also fits the brutalist aesthetic of the reimagined city and is in line with Villeneuve's penchanct for 'brutality'.
I just miss how the costumes of BR reflected LA-
e.g. Deckard's Western/Art Deco shirts, Gaff's Chicano zoot-suit look, etc.
and how Tyrell and Batty echoed Nazism.

I didn't feel the same attention to cultural signifiers that in my opinion were more successfully incorporated in the original.
In going for the brutalist/minimal aesthetic (did it remind you at all of the original Total Recall if perhaps it had been made now instead of the 1990s?) it still could have played with some of those reference points in a new or different way.

Quote:
All of the "fur/leather" are all fake (like the animals) and while Luv's costumes are very "découpés" ( à la Zack Posen) it seems that they tried to emulate Rachael's look (very Art Deco) with those same elements of some sort of an ensemble that passes as a corset/carcan and even going as far as styling he hair like Rachael's.


It would make certain sense that something that is rare would be copied to signify wealth or status (e.g. Burberry print on Chavs) but would it be the same as someone in our age wearing ivory?

Also of interest:
"Everyone thinks his military coat is made of shearling, but it’s laminated cotton that we painted and then attached cheap, ugly faux fur to the collar "
"http://www.vogue.co.uk/gallery/blade-runner-2049-costumes-renee-april

Personally, I don't find Gosling's coat too problematic, aside from my inital skepticism about the leather which I was totally incorrect on.

As for Luv-
"Once you see Wallace’s base you understand that Sylvia Hoeks’s costume had to be very clean and fuss-free. Wallace calls her his angel, so I got the high collar and clean lines from that reference even though it seemed clichéd. I drew Luv’s harsh fringe in my first sketch when Sylvia hadn’t been cast yet. Once she was a part of the team we dyed her blonde hair dark to make her look stronger."

I still don't think Luv's looks translate well.
They make sense for the brutalist-minimalist aesthetics of BR2049 but again don't seem to reference an appropriate starting point, in my opinion.
I'm still puzzled by her stern-horse-rider-wealthy-dominatrix look.
Quote:

As for the existential question...it's still there: how can one continue to live while knowing you're a finite product? Is the knowledge of Death makes us human? Fodder for another discussion, of course.


K's journey in this film is probably it's best aspect.
Thank you for your perspectives, joberg, lots for me to rethink here.

@Staar
Quote:
There are a few things that I wasn't wild about, some of the dialog and some of the design work was horrible and the LA city design (not the neon though) was not IMO a step forward but a step backward. Syd Mead exploited circular/soft shapes and crowded, top-heavy skyscrapers in the original which were conveniently forgotten in this one also, in most of the street scenes, the reengineered buildings and subtlety of Meads designs and Scott's vision were absent which I thought was a huge pity. The Vegas scenes were for me perfect and it was easy to see Mead's influence on that sequence


I agree with you on this 100%.

Quote:
Certainly one of the most original and refreshing movie I have seen in years. Not simply a re-run like all the current Star Wars or Marvel movies but a ballsy, new vision that while not better then the original IMO, it easily rises way above all modern Sci-Fi and fantasy movies for me....


It is definitely original and refreshing in today's climate and I absolutely welcome and celebrate the fact that it was made.
I think everybody involved made sure it was a labour of love and at a higher standard.
Maybe that is why I am disappointed as well-
because of the amount of care, effort and attention.
Maybe I am just too biased and too under the spell of the original but I'm just going to put it out there-
This is just my opinion, but there are a few of you on this forum that I'm convinced that if you had been involved in this film some of the results would have been better.
No disrespect meant to anybody who worked on BR2049.
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Dascoyne
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's no way this should have worked for me but it did.

I always felt Blade Runner 2049 was a bad idea. It was a "no win" proposition in my heart and mind with countless potential pitfalls:
- if it expanded on the film's world-building it would easily violate the claustrophobic tonality of the original
- if it tried to preserve the feel of BR it might just become derivative and unnecessary
- if it continued the story it could have become laden with needless exposition where BR was refreshingly sparse
- I was worried it might have been too rapidly paced and edited as so many modern films are
- I was concerned this would be another chase film dressed as hard sci-fi which simply applies a known property for a backdrop - c.f. Total Recall
- I was afraid it might become too ambitious in scaling up the film that it loses the characteristic intimate scale of BR
- I was sure that if, by chance, they nailed the visuals they would half-ass the sound design
- I was afraid because I was one of the few people who thought Arrival was overrated

I hold Blade Runner in such reverence there was no way this could have been good enough for me.

.... but it was. It wasn’t perfect but better than I dared to hope for.

I feel Dennis gets it. He gets it hard. He made a film that Ridley himself is incapable of making. He made a film that straddles the line between being an entirely original treatment of Blade Runner and a film that wallows in its shadow. I’m honestly starting to love this movie.

I love how Blade Runner 2049 creates its own detailed and cacophonous tapestry of ambient (and often inexplicable) city noises blended with the soundtrack just as Blade Runner did.

The characteristic BR pathos is infused in this film as well.

For me Carla Juri as Dr. Stelline was the standout among the entire cast of outstanding performances. It's her performance that still haunts me most.

Ryan Gosling as "K" was wonderful. Before the film I was afraid of "Gosling fatigue" but he was legitimately engaging and tragic. What an engrossing personal arc.

I haven't changed my mind about Leto but he was, thankfully, not at the core but resigned to a small corner of the film to chew. (and he didn't "chew" as badly as I thought he would) I am very, very grateful for that.

Though it touched upon a replicant uprising I'm grateful it didn't go all Matrix Revolutions. I also like how it didn't go Off-World.

I thought the Blackout was a great way to explain any subtle incongruences in setting and design between the films.

And then there are the countless bits that only a solid BR fan could appreciate. But they weren't just fan service - they were enhancements. e.g. the sex-worker attire ("fur" bolero) that called back to Pris - which also confirms that Pris was likely a sex-worker on Earth in BR as she was Off-World. Or the almost faceless folks of the shanty towns who spoke German like the little vandals who jumped on Deckard's car in BR. etc.

Blade Runner 2049 didn't explode in the box office but I have absolutely no doubt it will stand by Blade Runner as an enduring classic. It's a much better film than I deserved to expect.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did wish they used more obscure retro music. While it makes sense that a holo jukebox would have “greatest hits” they could have conjured that Blade Runner melancholy with lesser known songs. Hearing “One For My Baby” took me out of the film a bit.
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