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BLADERUNNER 2049 Reviews

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
I am cautiously optimistic about this movie... The first review I have seen looks promising:

Blade Runner 2049 review – a gigantic spectacle of pure hallucinatory craziness

5/5stars

Ryan Gosling plays an LAPD officer heading for an encounter with Harrison Ford’s Deckard in a film whose sheer scale leaves you hyperventilating


An incredible lucid dream ... Blade Runner 2049. Photograph: Allstar/Warner Bros


Friday 29 September 2017 14.00 BSTLast modified on Friday 29 September 2017 22.00 BST

With this visually staggering film, director Denis Villeneuve brings us to a kind of Ozymandias moment. It just has to be experienced on the biggest screen possible. Blade Runner 2049 is a narcotic spectacle of eerie and pitiless vastness, by turns satirical, tragic and romantic.

This is the sequel to the 1982 sci-fi classic, directed by Ridley Scott and based on Philip K Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, starring Harrison Ford as a “blade runner”, a futureworld cop whose job is to track down and kill disobedient almost-human androids known as replicants. The 2017 follow-up simply couldn’t be any more of a triumph: a stunning enlargement and improvement.

Its mind-boggling, cortex-wobbling, craniofacial-splintering images are there to trigger awe or even a kind of ecstatic despair at the idea of a post-human future, and what it means to imagine the wreck of our current form of homo sapiens. Evolution has not finished yet, any more than it was finished 100,000 years ago. As so often in literature and cinema, we are reminded that science fiction is there to tackle big ideas, and makes realist genres look flimsy and parochial. This film delivers pure hallucinatory craziness that leaves you hyperventilating.

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Blade Runner 2049 is co-scripted by the original screenwriter, Hampton Fancher, and riffs on the first film. There are poignant theme-variations on memory and crying in the rain and a cityscape full of signs in different languages (Russian, Japanese, Hindi, Korean), ghostly VR advertising avatars and flashing corporate logos, playfully including the obsolete PanAm.

The Terminator, Spielberg’s AI Artificial Intelligence, Nolan’s The Dark Knight, Andrew Stanton’s WALL-E and Spike Jonze’s Her. The references reach further back also, to the Kubrickian hotel-bar and spaceship, and to the desolate final moments of Planet of the Apes. You could call that ancestor-worship, were it not that the franchise already deserves its own ancestor status. In fact, the sequel slightly de-emphasises the first film’s intimate, downbeat noir qualities in favour of something more gigantic and monolithic, preserving Ridley Scott’s massively controlled andante tempo. Yet there is something so sinuous and manoeuvrable about the drama, and its CGI rendering is like nothing I’ve ever seen.



Dangerous mission … Ryan Gosling as the LAPD officer K. Photograph: Stephen Vaughan/AP
The setting is Los Angeles, 30 years on from the first film’s 2019 setting. The corporation that once manufactured the replicants, whose spartacist uprising was the original theme, has been bought out by an agribusiness empire owned by one Niander Wallace (Jared Leto), a grotesque figure brooding on how to create replicant-workers on a scale sufficient for his imperial plans. Ryan Gosling plays LAPD officer K, a limited-lifespan replicant whose task is to track down and destroy those first-gen models who can live as long as humans, and are still illegally hiding out. K has a gorgeous virtual-reality live-in girlfriend, quibblingly named Joi (Ana De Armas), with whom he believes himself to be in love, though he understands that both she and he are constructed artefacts.

After making a sensational discovery, K embarks on a dangerous mission, and both his LAPD boss Lieutenant Joshi (Robin Wright) and Wallace himself are very interested in what he might discover. Wallace despatches his deadpan assistant, named Luv and superbly played by Sylvia Hoeks, with an utterly unnerving habit of crying when her face appears to show no human emotion at all. It is all leading to a mysterious, Freudian encounter with Rick Deckard himself, the outsider cop from the first film, played with haggard misanthropy by Harrison Ford.


Haggard misanthropy … Harrison Ford returns as Deckard. Photograph: YouTube

The sheer electric strangeness of everything that happens is what registers. Every time K finishes a mission, he is taken to an interrogation module to be … what? Debriefed? Decompressed? Deconstructed? He is subjected to a fierce kind of call-and-response dialogue in which he has to respond to key words such as “cells” to see if his humanoid/android identity balance is out of whack. It is utterly bizarre, and yet entirely compelling, and persuasively normal in this alienated universe. K’s aerial journeys in his battered, government-issue squadcar-miniplane are similarly enthralling, and a scene in which he is brought down over a gigantic rubbish dump in San Diego by a low-tech harpoon gun is one of the most exciting action-movie scenes imaginable.

The production design by Dennis Gasner and cinematography by Roger Deakins are both delectable, and the largely electronic musical score by Benjamin Wallfisch and Hans Zimmer provides a kind of aural neon: gaunt, harsh, angular, like the noise of machinery. It’s an incredible lucid dream. Weirdly, I had forgotten about one of the little-discussed pleasures of the big screen: the simple effect of dialogue, echoing in a movie theatre. This film’s scale is extraordinary. It places the acid tab of cinema-pleasure on your tongue.


from the Guardian
 

rave jedi

TRIBE Member
Already heard reviews include way too many spoilers. Will not read any of the critics reviews until after my opening night (Thursday) IMAX screening.
 

Klubmasta Will

TRIBE Member
I've skipped all trailers and reviews for this, including shutting my eyes and plugging ears during theatre trailers.

We have tickets for Thursday night at Scotiabank IMAX. Can't wait!
 
I've seen the meta critic and rotten tomatoes scores and I'm encouraged, and I'm happy to go in mostly blind.

The mini movies they've shown however, offer some nice little clues and insights on how their world has changed, and offer a turning point in their themes.

Nearly three hours long though, gonna have to skip the Coke Zero concession on this one.
 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
Blade Runner 2049 Is Just As Visually Dazzling and Thematically Vague As the Original
We’re gonna need a bigger “whoa.”

By Dana Stevens
SEPT. 29, 2017, 9:00 AM
Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford in Blade Runner 2049.
Stephen Vaughan/Alcon Entertainment LLC

It’s impossible to start writing about Blade Runner 2049, Denis Villeneuve’s way-later sequel to Ridley Scott’s genre-changing 1982 sci-fi classic Blade Runner, without working through a lifetime of accumulated responses to the original. Is Blade Runner a great movie, or just one that’s penetrated so deeply into the pop-cultural consciousness, its innovative production design imitated by virtually every sci-fi dystopia that’s come since, that we’ve canonized it by default? I remember thinking as a teenage movie snob that, visual and aural spectacle aside (those building-high geisha faces! That moody Vangelis soundtrack!), Scott’s neonoir thriller never quite hung together as a story. In between the high points—a spectacular foot chase through a series of narrow alleys, Rutger Hauer’s parting speech on a rain-pelted roof—there were stretches of tedium or thematic vagueness. (Some of this was addressed in the later release of a director’s cut with a less upbeat ending, though I admit I haven’t been superfan enough to keep up with the several other cuts that have been released over the years.)

Later on, I came to think of Blade Runner the way I thought of 1999’s The Matrix. Both are movies whose cult reputations are richly deserved, whether or not they are as formally accomplished and structurally taut as, say, Scott’s 1979 outer-space horror classic Alien. And both also came along at the right time to tap into contemporary cultural fears about the increasing role of automation and, by the time of The Matrix, digitization in daily life. They asked questions that spoke to their viewers’ sense of existential dislocation and technological anxiety: What’s real and what’s fake? Who’s really in charge? Is this life we’re living truly all there is? These movies didn’t need to be as philosophically deep as they sometimes believed themselves to be or as their fiercest acolytes gave them credit for.
It was enough for them to be breathtaking, to look like nothing else on screen at the time, and to build an imagined future vivid and bold enough to elicit from the viewing audience at large a Keanu Reeves-ian “whoa.”

By those standards Blade Runner 2049, set exactly 30 years after its predecessor, is a solid if not unqualified success.* Denis Villeneuve, who made Arrival, Sicario, and Enemy, is a director who enjoys not-fully-solved enigmas, and 2049’s twisty, misdirection-filled story alternates between suspenseful and tediously murky. But Villeneuve is working with the legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins, whose mobile yet stately camera provides stunning bird’s-eye perspectives on the bleak urban habitat where these humans and replicants live. Dennis Gassner’s phenomenal production design extrapolates Blade Runner’s dystopic hypercapitalism two generations into the future and throws in the implied effects of nuclear holocaust and/or climate disaster. Bad news, Angelenos: 32 years from now your city will be a vast plain of rubble, perpetually shrouded in a dense fog from which chunks of ash rain down. Nearly everyone who can afford to will have already left the planet for the off-world colonies, meaning that the people remaining will be desperately scrabbling for the few resources left on a no-longer-fertile Earth.

2049’s twisty, misdirection-filled story alternates between suspenseful and tediously murky.
One institution that will plod indestructibly on, though, is the Los Angeles Police Department, whose stubbornly un-updated logo becomes one of this sometimes humorless movie’s few running jokes. Ryan Gosling, as a replicant cop with the Kafka-esque name “K,” is forever flashing his LAPD badge, and the four letters appear stenciled on stout concrete bunkers throughout the trackless waste. While the original film leaves it ambiguous whether Harrison Ford’s character is a replicant (your answer may depend on which version you watch), the matter of whether K is a replicant seems to be resolved in this movie’s first few minutes. K belongs to a newer generation of man-made organic beings, we’re told, engineered to be more obedient to their human masters. His job as blade runner, under the command of Lt. Joshi (Robin Wright), involves finding and retiring any first-generation replicants who are still left—a task we see him accomplish with extreme prejudice in the bloody opening scene.

K is as miserable in this line of work as Ford’s Deckard was in the original, and keeps his collar turned up even higher. He’s unsettled, depressed, and lonely, his only company a software-generated holographic girlfriend, Joi (Ana de Armas), who can become anything he wants at any moment: an anime-styled sex kitten, a concerned helpmate, a bookish companion. But in the course of an investigation, K comes across a piece of evidence that suggests one of the memories he’s always assumed was an implant might be a real memory after all. Which would mean he’s “a real boy,” as Joi breathes when she hears the news, in a none-too-subtle echo of Pinocchio.

In an attempt to make sense of his past, K—whom his digital girlfriend insists on humanizing with the name Joe—goes in search of a certain ex–blade runner gone underground, whose identity you can no doubt guess but whose crooked half-smile and distinctive chin scar you’ll have to wait till the last quarter of the movie to lay eyes on. Gosling and Ford do eventually meet up—and unexpectedly, these two very different male movie stars seem to make sense on the same screen, striking a real emotional spark in their few scenes together.

But a large portion of the middle of Blade Runner 2049, which runs a ponderous two-and-a-half hours, is essentially vamping. Visually gorgeous and often awe-inspiring in design and scale, but vamping nonetheless. We visit the shimmering minimalist lair of the reclusive engineer Niander Wallace (Jared Leto), who’s responsible for the latest and most sinister innovations in replicant technology, along with his pitiless henchwoman Luv (Sylvia Hoeks). K flies squat, tanklike hovercrafts over swaths of blasted landscape. The geisha billboards that beckoned passersby in the rain-slick streets of the 1982 film have now become three-dimensional holographic images, giant naked women who walk the streets trying to entice passersby to spend money on their life-size digital avatars. These images, which posit the future of technology as a kind of ever-present sentient pornography, are among the most powerful in the film.

But the grim idea they seem to hint at—that in the not-so-distant future human desire and sexuality will be all but entirely outsourced to digitally created fembots—is one of the many aspects of Blade Runner 2049’s imagined future that remain tantalizingly unexplored. “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe,” boasts Roy Batty, the dying replicant played by Rutger Hauer, in the 1982 movie’s climactic rooftop scene. This new Blade Runner dazzles the audience with plenty of staggering sights but never quite matches the original’s mysterious ability to suggest something even more incredible lying just beyond our ken.

Correction, Sept. 29, 2017: This review originally misstated that Blade Runner 2049 takes place 40 years after the original. It takes place 30 years later.

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Dana Stevens is Slate’s movie critic.

from SLATE
 

lobo

TRIBE Member
I've skipped all trailers and reviews for this, including shutting my eyes and plugging ears during theatre trailers.

We have tickets for Thursday night at Scotiabank IMAX. Can't wait!
There are a few shorts on youtube from the company which gives some background as to what happened after the original ended.
 

basketballjones

TRIBE Member
what is the best version to see before the new movie? i watched it ages ago but there are so many fucking versions now which one is closest to the actual source material without the star wars-ing of it
 
Final Cut. Blade Runner as a whole is a VERY loose adaptation of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, but Philip K. Dick's works are usually more about concepts than anything else (see Total Recall and We Can Remember It For Your Wholesale, Minority Report, Imposter adn others - they're nothing really like the books, but take the ideas and run with them - with varying results).
 

rave jedi

TRIBE Member
Can't wait for my IMAX screening tonight. Been losing sleep with anticipation waiting 35 years for this sequel. LOL Heard the world premiere in LA a couple nights ago was scaled backed and they skipped the red carpet because of the Las Vegas massacre. That's too bad because I really want this sequel to do well at the box office considering the original flopped at the box office and later became a sci-fi cult classic.

Really wish I had time to watch original again before tonight's screening. Anyway, at least I was fortunate enough to see "The Final Cut" on the big screen again earlier this year in February 2017 when Cineplex screened it.
 

rave jedi

TRIBE Member
Loved it and will be seeing it again on Cheap Tuesday. This time in a Dolby Atmos UltraAVX theatre and compare it to my first viewing which was a laser IMAX screening at the Scotiabank Theatre.

BTW, without reading any reviews which had spoilers, I pretty much guessed the entire plot. I was about 95% accurate in my guesses on what would happen in the movie. I must be psychic! LOL
 

Klubmasta Will

TRIBE Member
We ended up skipping last night's show at Scotiabank IMAX (returned our tickets), as the 10:40pm start for a 2hr:43min movie would ruined me this morning. We are instead going on Sunday night.

I am hoping to love this, but I never loved the original Blade Runner as much as others, so we will see. I loved the hell out of Arrival (and also enjoyed Sicario and Prisoners), so I have high hopes!
 
Lol Bestbuy has the Bluray Final Cut on sale for $7.99 for the original.
Considering how practically everyone is streaming movies these days, most of the big box stores are being forced to purge their inventories. The number of titles that Sunrise Records has on sale right now (2 for $20) is really big. And now 4K is starting to pick up steam as a format (though it will not match the sales of DVDs or blu rays, or will have either as long a lifespan as a technology).

I'm picking up all kinds of blu rays I'd never consider picking up before (The Rundown? SURE!)
 

Wiseman

TRIBE Member
Considering how practically everyone is streaming movies these days, most of the big box stores are being forced to purge their inventories. The number of titles that Sunrise Records has on sale right now (2 for $20) is really big. And now 4K is starting to pick up steam as a format (though it will not match the sales of DVDs or blu rays, or will have either as long a lifespan as a technology).

I'm picking up all kinds of blu rays I'd never consider picking up before (The Rundown? SURE!)
The only reason I checked out Bestbuy is because I couldn't find it available on any of the streaming options I subscriber to (and I'm not really torrenting these days, would rather pay to be honest).
 

basketballjones

TRIBE Member
Considering how practically everyone is streaming movies these days, most of the big box stores are being forced to purge their inventories. The number of titles that Sunrise Records has on sale right now (2 for $20) is really big. And now 4K is starting to pick up steam as a format (though it will not match the sales of DVDs or blu rays, or will have either as long a lifespan as a technology).

I'm picking up all kinds of blu rays I'd never consider picking up before (The Rundown? SURE!)
some movies i do like having a copy of. just like original x-static tapes that i have, i could get a digital copy of most but i like actually having the tape. i think i have the only copy of keoki oct 93 around and still listen to it often.
 

Klubmasta Will

TRIBE Member
^ All the IMAX and UltraAVX theatres are showing it in 3D only, unfortunately. It's playing in a lot of non-3D theatres, including at Scotiabank Theatre, but those would be on puny screens.

As much as I hate the 3D glasses, I think for a movie like this it should be tolerated in return for the superior screen/sound.
 
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