Friday, November 24, 2017

The Hiatus Post: Blade Runner 2049

I am taking a break from the web. Not being on the web, but contributing. I have been posting something to something blog related since 1999. I have had unintended extended breaks, but I always felt the pressure to do something. This time, I am under far too many other pressures and I just need one fewer thing that I feel compelled to do. The photoblog is paused, this blog will be paused. On my side, at least; Kent will do as Kent's life allows him to do.

2017, Denis Villeneuve (Sicario) -- cinema

Disclosure. I haven't felt compelled to watch Blade Runner in quite sometime. Disclosure. I actually enjoy the original version, with it's noir over-dub. Disclosure. I never really liked the idea of Deckard possibly being a replicant himself. Disclosure. While I never avoided spoilers, apparently I did because I never caught the first one, till the opening footage.

So, thirty years since the last movie took place, 35 years since the last movie came out. And Villeneuve still wonders why this movie didn't do better. To me its obvious; the original's fanbase was not only late in coming (the original didn't do well either) but they are now old & jaded. Sure, the younger fanbase of all things scifi and retro is there, but again... jaded. As for the rest of the world, the world that makes up the population that determines a movie being a success or not? Despite "hey girl" Ryan Gosling being the lead, its slow paced, atmospheric scifi. And it cost a fortune to make. So, really, not so much of a mystery Denis.

But still dude, I loved it. Fucking loved it. But get it, this is not big grins and rush-right-out-to-see-it-again loving it. This is knowing my expectations and having them met, if not exceeded. It is a lush, colourful (no, really it is) homage to the original while being a powerful, standalone movie. I just wish the plot had been tighter, as in the end, after all the exposition about the powerful central theme I still couldn't really tell you anyone's motivations beyond Joe's. Why exactly did the Bad Guy need Deckard? The replicant underground? Hell, other than the option of tossing the old pigskin back n forth, why did Joe need Deckard? But meh, who cares, I just watched the fuck out of this movie.

The visuals, the aging anachronistic world (remember, now was The Future of the original) where the decay of mother earth is apparent. Is that snow? Ash? Ashen snow? Isn't this LA ? No plants, no real animals no nothing but industrial decay and bodies everywhere. One can assume that the humans left on earth exist for no other reason than to fuel the off-world colonies exodus, through labour and spending. At some point that spending will be done, and ... abandonment.

Speaking of the visuals, I must admit, I am in the camp of being disappointed about the female centric sex machine of the movie. C'mon, I get it, you think the girls get Gosling so we get Joi, the Not Real Girl. But, what about the background? Wouldn't the Joi advertising try and appeal to all ? Unless they didn't want to interfer with the whole Joe-Joi unreal couple thing. The how about the pleasure droid brothel? There wasn't a single sexual exploitative male image, and that just seems ... unrealistic.

In the end, after two-plus hours, I was left satisfied. And more than eager for another part of the story, even moreso than after the dozen plus times I have seen the original. I want to see where the offworld colonies go, what is left with Earth, and now that Replicants know they can procreate, what is next for them?