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Andrew Reid

Blade Runner 2049 review (2D and 3D versions)

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1 minute ago, Justin Bacle said:

I went to see the movie on a small local theatre, which I know doesn't put the sound levels too high. And I didn't find it that loud and enjoyed it.
That said, I do not want to endure these kinds of sound levels you only get in big theaters/Cineplexes.

I really don't get why they have to put the sound output that loud :s

It's because they do audience surveys and they have found at at higher volumes the audience is likley to like a film more than if the same film was played at lower volumes. Same reason they put a pointless fight scene in at the end as the producers know it will increase their revenue. Films are first and foremost commercial investments and the producers know what ingredients in a film will give investors the best return on their money. Once you get this concept it's pretty easy to dissect the average 'blockbuster' down into it's constituent revenue earning parts. With all due respect to the director he probably had very limited control over the final edit.

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I saw this yesterday & yes, the sound was way too loud - so loud it felt that my eardrums were about to burst. I think the problem is definitely with modern sound mixing - there is too much contrast between the quiet & loud sequences. But in modern cineplexes, they have to raise the volume to drown out the air con, which i could still hear, and the other films, which i could also hear at times - real shame.

The film itself was great Sci-Fi & my reasoning is that 24hrs later i'm still thinking about it - something i can't say about most Hollywood films ATM. There is so much detail in this film that most of the comments concerning this film have missed or ignored. I do believe that the original has been put on so high a pedestal that most people have overlooked the fact that it is a deeply flawed, imperfect film - it looks great & the story is ok. But.....it's very simplistic considering the original source material, which is rich with ideas & provokes so many interesting concepts - what great Sci-Fi should do since its a comment on our present society. But what really bugs me about the original is which version is everyone putting on a pedestal? There are how many versions? Personally, the Original version & the Final Cut are both great, but have slightly different ideas running through them & I have always regarded them in equal admiration - 2 for the price of 1.

SPOILERS, BIG ONES!

There's so much in this film, it's difficult to know how to unpack it all - the end seems as good a place as any to start. The fact that the daughter (the best freelance memory creator) has manipulated replicants in order to facilitate her search for her father is absolute genius. The falling snow on K's hand & then the cut to her creating the snow memory live, makes you realise that K really is her Pinocchio. He's her puppet that she's been manipulating, through her implanted memory of the horse story, along with the other rebel replicants who all think they are the miracle baby (or should that be Messiah - a common Sci-Fi concept) at some point in their journey towards manipulated enlightenment.

The similiarites between the 2 films is also interesting: in the first, the replicants are striving for immortality & the meaning of mortality, which is a common human trait & Sci-Fi concept (the first reconisable Sci-Fi story, The Modern Prometheus aka Frankenstein dealt with issues of immortality/mortality & replacing God with science etc.); in the second, they can live as long as the buyer likes, but have been altered to become selfless to the requirements of humans (Asimov's laws of robotics), thus eradicating selfishness - a very human flaw. The replicants aren't "More Human, Than Human", that is just pure advertising - they are flawed precisely because their makers are flawed.

I thought the best concept in the film was the interaction between the K & Joi - 2 AI's trying to communicate/interact with one another. Again the Pinocchio theme, when Joi supplants herself onto the body of the prostitute & it appears like she is a puppeteer, placing her hands on K. But what is most interesting about this relationship is that Joi is the one that feels & craves to be closer to K - she rents the prostitute, she feels the rain & most importantly, she says "I love you". K is not fully formed (his programming prohibits him because he is physically present), he's not a real boy & it is Joi that is trying to teach him because she hasn't had those emotional traits surpressed (she's a hologram designed to alleviate loneliness). Again, there is also the question of whether Joi is just a construct being used by someone else (the daughter or Wallace Corp) to manipulate K. Finally, this interaction reminds me of that recent discovery when programmers let 2 AI's talk to each other & found that they created a new language in order to communicate with each other more easily/effectively - begging the question of what would happen if they hadn't stopped the experiment.

I could write about this film for hours, it really is such a rich film with so many interesting concepts that have been presented from differing points of view.

Predictions for the future - if the film does well enough, they have left the door open for another film (probably a big action blockbuster), but as it is this film will only get more interesting with more viewings.

 

 

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8 hours ago, Justin Bacle said:

I went to see the movie on a small local theatre, which I know doesn't put the sound levels too high. And I didn't find it that loud and enjoyed it.
That said, I do not want to endure these kinds of sound levels you only get in big theaters/Cineplexes.

I really don't get why they have to put the sound output that loud :s

I have two theaters, both local ones,

my favorite:

VistaTheater_MichaelLocke_0.JPG.f2ccf19157c705e88a108948353dc39c.JPG

(great little doc on it here, albeit missing Victor the Super Manager...):

https://la.curbed.com/2015/5/26/9956894/watch-a-brief-history-of-the-1923-vista-theatre-in-los-feliz

and since I moved:

HP.jpg.db1ab7e753418cc696c56ca7df5a6245.jpg

I love both venues, but even they've been increasing the decibel levels of their exhibitions like inflation. I guess I just find it hard to believe that my ears are actually getting more sensitive in my 40's. One of my first sh*t jobs was in a theater, and never once had I heard anyone complain that the volume was too low. Anyway, Blade Runner I saw at the Vista and now my wife will never come with me again. :(

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I agree with most of what's been said here... bad script, some shit acting, but the sound mix is really, really bad. Blade Runner and IT had really bad mixes. With IT, the mix actually stepped on some of the performances and I think really messed with some of the character building. In both movies, the mixes took me out of the movie which is just really bad film making. Are all the mixers going deaf? Are they not leaving enough production time for the mix? What's up?

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21 hours ago, Bioskop.Inc said:

SPOILERS, BIG ONES!

There's so much in this film, it's difficult to know how to unpack it all - the end seems as good a place as any to start. The fact that the daughter (the best freelance memory creator) has manipulated replicants in order to facilitate her search for her father is absolute genius.

Very good summary Bioskop

This bit in particular

If they had played on this a bit more and made it emotionally impacting, I think it could have helped the story no end. Instead it was so obtuse and unaffecting, I doubt half the audience even knew about her ulterior plot.

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I went to it at a good local theater chain and found the audio presentation to be fine.

Has anyone caught it in an Atmos theater? I've seen a few reviews mention that it's a great mix in Atmos and to skip out of 3D and opt for Atmos instead. 

Perhaps the Atmos mix got tons of attention and the regular mix got thrown together? 

Its no revolution in motion picture sound, but I didn't find it getting in the way of anything. The score had some good moments, but overall was adequately unremarkable. Although it's stacked up against the score from the original which is an all-time great.

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5 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

Very good summary Bioskop

This bit in particular

If they had played on this a bit more and made it emotionally impacting, I think it could have helped the story no end. Instead it was so obtuse and unaffecting, I doubt half the audience even knew about her ulterior plot.

Crap, I know this is an odd choice of forum for this nerd-level of dissection, but this thread may just turn out to have life-altering consequences... :D

I'm a little confused, and maybe that's the genius--or simply a plot hole, depending--of the 1st's ground rules. My impression was that "Rachel is an experiment" and that the memories implanted in her were at least claimed as a one-off (besides her life-span--won't even get into Deckard's), a confession only motivated by Tyrell himself after the VK test.

In 2049, what I was able to discern was that the daughter was basically a contractor paid for unique memories. Not sure if she did all replicants' memories or just the higher-end stuff, but the point is when she looked into K's, she acted as if this was something she hadn't seen in years, literally. Obviously we understand where it comes from, but two opposing theories arise:

1. Implanted memories wouldn't go far if there were a high propagation of commonalities amongst replicants. One wrong conversation with a fellow skin-job and God knows how much therapy your android will need before punching back in. I think the writers were trying to address the issue that the original never had to by creating a super character that solved that problem, but ended up raising more questions, like "Wait a minute, does she literally do every replicant's memories?" Wow, full-time gig, eh? No, seriously, all replicants? Again, maybe I missed that part in all the mumbling.

2. If this were a unique memory for just K (as her reaction suggested), well, that's one hell of a shot in the dark. Unless she somehow manipulated K's visit to Bautista, thus setting off the entire plot, it's a little too unlikely to happen out of pure chance and coincidence. And if you subscribe to the theory that she had something to do with the initiation of K's investigation, then the question of "why" comes up? Just so she can meet her father? After all he did to keep some distance between them, in retrospect it seems a little selfish. Personally, I'd sleep better at night believing she was just having an crappy day when she was working on K's memories, maybe dipped her beak in a little too much red before wrapping up and just phoned it in with some of her own memories before clicking the Send button. Years later she finds K with that memory and almost loses her sh*t, thinking, "Damn, I feel a Nolan Brothers kind of plot twist in the making..."

All too often movies have little or no plot to motivate action sequences and set pieces. Conversely, others have plots that feel reverse engineered to answer questions we never really needed answering, e.g. the original BR. This movie feels like the latter, but I give it credit for at least not being the former.

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On 10/22/2017 at 2:03 AM, jahwah said:

I agree with most of what's been said here... bad script, some shit acting, but the sound mix is really, really bad. Blade Runner and IT had really bad mixes. With IT, the mix actually stepped on some of the performances and I think really messed with some of the character building. In both movies, the mixes took me out of the movie which is just really bad film making. Are all the mixers going deaf? Are they not leaving enough production time for the mix? What's up?

Sounded beautiful in the Atmos theatre I went to, maybe they just aren't mixing with older systems in mind?

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I almost wonder if Dolby has some sort of automated way to downconvert an Atmos mix and export it for standard theater presentation. It would be a hassle to essentially mix a film twice, so they might just do it that way. Stuff that stands out clear and distinct due to the Atmos systems extra speakers might muddy in that type of conversion process, or loudness of certain things might shift. 

I have only been to one Atmos film (Beauty and the Beast), but it thoroughly blew my mind from an audio perspective. It's loud, sure, but the system is tuned excellently so that it isn't harsh. 

If I closed my eyes, there was a live orchestra in a pit down below the screen. Seriously. It was epic. Who the heck would care about sound at a Disney princess movie? This guy. This guy cares now. The music was incredible.

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On ‎10‎/‎21‎/‎2017 at 3:13 PM, PepperJay said:

I have two theaters, both local ones,

my favorite:

VistaTheater_MichaelLocke_0.JPG.f2ccf19157c705e88a108948353dc39c.JPG

(great little doc on it here, albeit missing Victor the Super Manager...):

https://la.curbed.com/2015/5/26/9956894/watch-a-brief-history-of-the-1923-vista-theatre-in-los-feliz

 

 

Off topic, but I'm 99% certain that that is the theatre where I saw The Good Thief with a post-screening Q&A with Nick Nolte the first time I visited LA. That was awesome. Ah, memories.

On ‎10‎/‎21‎/‎2017 at 9:07 AM, Bioskop.Inc said:

I thought the best concept in the film was the interaction between the K & Joi - 2 AI's trying to communicate/interact with one another.

This, absolutely.

 

 

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Saw Blade Runner 2049 yesterday (no plot spoilers in my observations). This is a generally well-realized near-future sci-fi film, as many of the modern fully-funded Hollywood blockbusters are (this one is estimated as costing between $150-185 million depending on what you read). But it does seem somewhat formulaic, lacking any special distinction or energy. It pays homage to the advertising nightmare rainy city as before, and in the breakers yard wasteland goes for a more Mad Max vibe. But non of it has a truly unique knock-out experience as the earlier film managed with less advanced effects. Seeing Blade Runner in 1982 was nothing short of a cinematic revelation about what was possible, given the commitment of various art departments through sheer force of personality and vision. And since things have moved on so much now (the artistry of the CGI people is incredible), it does not give anything like a new version of that sense of wonder which jolted me in the eighties.

The sound design follows the trend of many modern action films in being set at a painfully high level - the sort of film in which just putting a drink down on a table sounds like a firecracker going off, and drawing on a cigarette briefly sounds like a bush fire. On this film, a gun shot was as loud as an huge explosion, taking me out of the story every time because of the discomfort. And this was more easy than it should have been, because the story itself felt confused to me and several times I found myself wondering how much longer the film was going on (never a good sign). Although the trailer gives the impression of a sophisticated fast-paced action thriller, in fact everything takes a long time, and is not particularly worth waiting for. Unfortunately it's not very sophisticated either, with uninspired dialogue. I did actually feel mildly bored, which surprised me - I didn't think they would make that mistake - because the overall drama remained cold and uninvolving. Non of the characters turned out to be anyone I could care for, compared to key scenes in the original, such as when Rachel starts playing a piano (and says: "I didn't know I could play."). With the original the audience felt like crying, in this new one some of the characters cry, but it doesn't ring true. It's a bit like watching a full-on romance movie in which it is obvious there is no chemistry between the two lead actors - all of the humans watching such a movie know it immediately: that these two people are only together because they have been badly cast in a movie. In the same way the new Blade Runner story continues with the theme of what it means to be human in a difficult future world of synthetic people, yet tells it with little show of the humanity which is supposed to be so important.

Seeing the original movie in the cinema was a life-changing experience, and I eagerly bought the VHS, then later many versions on DVD, etc-etc. It was a way of keeping in touch with a dream, but I have no interest in watching this one again - in any formats that may exist in the future. I opted to see the 2D version of the film because the movie was shot in 2D - ironically, the 3D version has been synthetically processed to give a 3D effect. It's not that I dislike this movie because I liked the original so much, my reaction would be the same if the original never existed. Because it's a disappointing movie in its own right, though obviously without knowing that I had to see it out of a slight hope there was something of the mesmerizing quality of Rachel's self-realization. But of course there is only one Sean Young.

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Two weeks or so passed by since viewing 2049. Watched the original Blade Runner right before that for the first time. The original still sticks with me, whereas 2049 I remember was just worth the ride, but the original left the impression on me: striking faces, colors, sights, mood, change in pace, wonder of whats happening next, getting sucked into the scenes.

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I saw it several days ago, italian dubbed, 2D, in a nice theater choosed by the sound system. The film was too loud because several people complained about it. I think that's what marketing departments are good at, fuck things up. The louder the audio, the happier the people?? Make their ears bleed!!! In Italy most theaters project films in two parts, to sell pop-corn during the break. So I had a 10 minute break in the middle to complain about this really absurd costume!!!

But in any case I loved the film, even if there were a couple of moments where I didn't understand very well. (Spoiler) I could have lived without the Elvis parts!

Making a Bladerunner second part was not an easy proposition. And the fact they didn't do Bladerunner II, copying everything, was a brave step. I think it's one of those films that the more you watch, the more you like! 

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When all is said and done - and just a memory - then the original I think of a simple plot with big metaphysical questions that echo with me today - where as 2049 is a dense chunks of AV experience. The plot and subtleties lost on me - the experiential poetry though getting through. Me I'm going to make simple films that hint and much bigger questions delivered in a poetic way. Like the bald fat guy from India - he made his philosophy simple enough for all of humanity to take on board releasing people potentially from their caste and the bhramens to determining their own spiritual awakenings.... time do die !

 

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I totally agree with you. Blade Runner 2 is a technical achievement and that's it. Really sad that the sci-fi stapple of anamorphic shooting has been swept aside. And furthermore, the whole picture is way too dead/cold for a new world depicted with an overpopulation of humans and furthermore this new population of uberhumans. Stats says there will be about 10Billions of people in 2050 without taking in considerations the replicant/android cause :)   that's a lot compared to the few amount of people only present in the shots.

There's something crazy to me, and I already felt this in "the arrival" and even more in "Blade Runner 2": the fact that even if futuristic cities like LA are overcrowded, the movie is not showing anything about that. Like a low budget movie without any money left for the walk-ons. In blade runner, the streets were jamming full of lively people, but in the 2nd episode, there's about 1 or 2 flying cars in the air, 3 prosti-bots soliciting in the streets, the marketplace is nearly empty, that's nonsense. And it goes in the way that Vileneuve got his inspriation from Tarkovski's movies and photography, the difference that is not making any sens is that Tarkovski depicted a "post apocalyptic" world running out of humans which is the contrary in Blade Runner 2.

Nice Tarkovski-like photography but totally Off-Topic in the actual Philip K. Dick vision.

This reflects a problem in the director's way to feel the world, his direct surroundings.  To sum up, in Vileneuve's eyes, the world is about max 10 critical people (the main characters) and nothing more. In the picture I felt super weird that it's all about 1 man in the frame, sometime 2 or 3 and in public places let's say 5 people, not more, there's even this ridiculously weak rebel army of max 20 people in the shot. wow an army of 20 soldier, that's impressive! The factory with hundreds of kids was okay.

The "inhumanity" and coldness of Vileneuve's movie comes from that, TMHO,  it's about a big dystopic world of only 10 people (the main characters) and that's it, a selfish shallow egoistic world of coldness and inhumanity, while Blade runner 1 was about 2 androids feelings and falling in love of each other. It was just about the real nature of humanity and what is "being alive" and "being a human" related to memories and feelings. Warm vs cold. life vs lifeless. Love and romance vs apathy.

In the "Arrival" I felt actually the same dilemma: few critical leaders of the new world trying to save a planet of nearly 0 represented people.  Vileneuve's depicted world is just empty and humanless. That's sad for him, he must be alone in a way :)

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