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Joe Zhang
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Posted: 07 October 2017 at 6:46am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

The sequel evoked the same emotions I felt watching the original, and more. A sublime movie experience, well worth the almost three hour runtime. 
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Shane Matlock
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Posted: 07 October 2017 at 2:37pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Joe, I believe that was one of the few times I've sat in a movie that long in a theater and not gotten a bit worn out from the experience. Some of those shots are etched into my brain now. Also I want K's coat. That is a sweet coat.
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Shane Matlock
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Posted: 08 October 2017 at 1:25pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Kind of sad to see this film hasn't performed well from a box office standpoint, though of course than has little to do with the greatness of a movie as evidenced by how bad movies with terrible reviews like the Transfomers films still do make a ton of money. Then again, the original Blade Runner was a box office failure too. I do believe that positive word of mouth and repeat viewings will eventually make it at least break even and I believe it's done better internationally than in the US. And then of course there's the bluray/DVD aftermarket where it will definitely recoup its 150 million dollar cost and likely then some.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 08 October 2017 at 6:13pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I'm chomping at the bit to check it out, but it's gonna be awhile before I'll get a chance.

I suppose it's a good omen that the film isn't doing great, since that's exactly what happened with the original.
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 09 October 2017 at 4:48pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply


I wonder how much of a factor (of the sequel kinda tanking at the box office) was:  Fans of the original who just didn't want to see this.

I'm someone who doesn't think the original is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but I like it enough to realize a sequel was unnecessary.




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Conrad Teves
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Posted: 10 October 2017 at 1:23am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Shaun, I'm pretty sure its pretty much just fans of the original who are seeing this.
Adjusting for inflation, it seems like it will top out around the same, assuming 2049 has normal legs. Its $150 million budget in retrospect was awfully optimistic.

One thing about fans of the original, is they often don't realize it wasn't particularly popular.


And by the way, I very much enjoyed 2049.  Denis Villeneuve is on my must-watch list now.
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Eric Ladd
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Posted: 10 October 2017 at 9:44am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I think Blade Runner 2049 requires a bit of familiarity with the source material and the first movie to completely understand. It expands on the idea of challenging what constitutes life and goes a bit deeper by introducing the concept that we change in some way when we become parents.I thoroughly enjoyed it as a story and as a film. I will also be looking for Villeneuve's next picture.
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 10 October 2017 at 6:17pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

What a film!  Joe nailed it with his "sublime" comment.

A sequel that matches both the tone and tenor and doesn't cheapen the original in any way is a remarkable achievement.   Many layers to this film and there are multiple ways to interpret it (including the Deckard is/isn't a replicant conundrum).

I wouldn't worry about it's underperformance at the box office.

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Patrick Mallon
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Posted: 10 October 2017 at 6:18pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Keeping it spoiler free:

 I've been looking forward to the film...the early positive buzz was heartening...other than the trailers, I didn't look for any pre-release info...

I caught a showing on Saturday night (no 3D/Imax for me!)...about half the theater was filled, which surprised me...I thought it would be more filled. 

In a nutshell, I enjoyed the film...was it great? Not sure yet...it definitely needs several viewings to really sink in (no so unlike the original!).

I thought there were a few too many homages to the original, enough to pull you out for a moment...your opinion may be different...

Will it be a blockbuster? No. 

Should there be a second sequel? I would say no...


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Shane Matlock
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Posted: 10 October 2017 at 11:45pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I don't think they made it for it to be a blockbuster that would spawn yet more sequels at least from what I've read. This was intended to be a one off sequel and done. Granted, I'm sure they'd love to see it at least make some money, which I believe it eventually will. I think if they really wanted a blockbuster they'd have dumbed it down and included a lot more action and made it way shorter. This is very much like the first one, an arthouse film in the guise of a Hollywood big budget blockbuster. 
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David Miller
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Posted: 11 October 2017 at 10:00am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Wow, I really fucking hated this movie. At first it was amusing, and then tedious, then agonizing. This was the movie anyone who'd go see it deserved.

To be vague, since we're still respecting spoilers: 
  • The "miracle" wasn't so much miraculous as preposterous. 
  • Without the resonance phoned in from Blade Runner, Harrison Ford's role was just some old guy with a past composed of functional details, hacked into place as plot contrivance and incomprehensible on its own merit within the movie itself. 
  • Robots can drown? 
  • What's the point of the police chief chewing out a robot? She may as well typed really hard on a keyboard. 
  • An AI resistance/revolution is about the stupidest direction one can take from the original film. The filmmakers treated Blade Runner as a generic cool cool sci fi setting and pasted in their Matrix fanfic. 
  • I frickin loath Jared Leto's Frankenhooker schtick, and I hope someday he gets murdered by an equally in-character Daniel Day-Lewis
  • Leto's weirdo robot factory was composed of 75% marble steps, 15% marble pyramids, and 10% tedious dramatic pauses. 
  • Edward James Olmos's performance in the original was memorable and interesting; updating the character left Gaff's stature pointlessly reduced
  • I was pretty disturbed by how young the actress playing Joi looked, but I googled and she's nearly thirty. 
  • Amazing sound design and if Roger Deakins doesn't finally win the Nobel Prize for Cinematography there is no justice. 
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Shane Matlock
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Posted: 11 October 2017 at 6:41pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

David, replicants aren't robots. They are bio-engineered androids that are basically copies of humans down to the cellular level, albeit ones with superior strength, speed, resilience, and intelligence depending on what model they are or what they were designed for. The Nexus 6 models of Blade Runner had four year lifespans built into their genetic code, but some of the replicants were built with open-ended lifespans, which, from what I've read, is something Tyrell did with his last models basically out of spite. So of course they can drown and the miracle isn't that far fetched when you're dealing with something that is basically a copy of human genetic code, nor is the idea that they can eventually develop things like genuine emotions (and empathy to beat the test done in the original film). At its core the original Blade Runner, like a great deal of Philip K. Dick's material, explored the question, "What does it mean to be human?" I don't think the sequel veered too far adrift from that as it essentially asked the same questions. I did think the Edward James Olmos cameo was a bit lacking, but I thought Ford did a great job with what screen time he had to work with.

I didn't have a problem with Leto's character, but I probably would have if he'd had much more screen time.

You're not the only one who's hated it though by any means. In the discussion about it on Stephen Bissette's Facebook page there was a guy who absolutely loathed it too (though he was the only one out of like forty or so people). Also 12 percent of the critics didn't like it either. And I think some of the criticisms I've read are valid, but considering the huge pressure on the film makers to live up to one of the greatest science fiction films of all time, they did a great job.

Even if you hate the story, it's worth seeing for the exquisite, artful CGI, lush cinematography, and brilliant score and sound design. 



Edited by Shane Matlock on 11 October 2017 at 6:54pm
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Don Zomberg
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Posted: 12 October 2017 at 6:29am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

If Deckard's a replicant, why doesn't he have the same strength as the others? He spends much of the first film getting his ass handed to him by those he's hunting.
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David Miller
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Posted: 12 October 2017 at 9:55am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Shane: I'm ashamed to say Phil Dick didn't even cross my mind until you mentioned him*. 

Maybe I missed the fine robot/replicant distinction out of audience wish fulfillment. I think the "what is human?" question is very compelling when asked through a robot developing passion, curiosity and fear of death. It's far less compelling and unanswerable when dealing with human clones. 

Also, in the original, the human characters were sour, exhausted husks, while the replicants were in contrast truly alive, which deepened the themes. In 2049, with the protagonist a replicant, there really wasn't much of a question. Also, because I'm a scifi cartoon bigot, I found it alienating that the lead was a replicant; it was like there wasn't a central character.

Was Deckard a replicant in 2049, then? Did I miss a confirmation? 

*Side note: While I love the Blade Runner production design, I still prefer the cheap, slummy crapholes and bizarrely functional clunk-tech Dick wrote about to the shimmering dynamism of most movie adaptations.
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Shane Matlock
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Posted: 12 October 2017 at 11:20am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

2049 leaves it just as ambiguous as the original Blade Runner, which is one of the things I liked too. It's hinted that he could be and then just as quickly hinted that he isn't. I didn't want the Deckard is a replicant question to be answered, because it would ruin one of the neat things about the original. Another reason why I'm glad that Scott didn't direct 2049 because I'm sure he would have answered it because everyone knows exactly where he stands on the issue (much to Harrison Ford's chagrin). As to Don's question, one I had as well, my belief is while the Nexus Six had superior abilities to regular men, it's never established that all the earlier models had the same thing. Their lifespan and abilities were programmed into their genetic code based on what job they were designed for. The Six models were designed for rigorous physical labor in the off world colonies. I personally prefer to think that Deckard is human, but if he were a replicant, one would assume he was either an earlier model or designed specifically by Tyrell to be more human with his physical attributes and human lifespan so that he doesn't know he's a replicant. Much like Rachel was different than the other models in the original. 

I didn't mind that K was a replicant though  it reminded me of AI with its Pinocchio theme of him wanting to be a real boy, in K's case, him believing he might have a soul. I still found it quite poignant (even though as an atheist I don't really believe in souls) having a replicant be the lead character and establishing the "skin job" was just as human as the ones that were born and not made, with the same desires like a need for companionship, in this case an actual AI in that character of Joi. 

You won't find a bigger Dick fan than me ( and saying that reminds me that I once jokingly sent a girl a picture of my bookshelf filled with almost every Dick book as a "Dick pic").  I love the look of Blade Runner and its sequel. And Dick did too.  This is from a letter that he wrote based on what he'd seen of the original: 

"This is not escapism; it is super realism, so gritty and detailed and authentic and goddamn convincing that, well, after the segment I found my normal present-day 'reality' pallid by comparison. What I am saying is that all of you collectively may have created a unique new form of graphic, artistic expression, never before seen. And, I think, BLADE RUNNER is going to revolutionize our conceptions of what science fiction is and, more, can be."

Here's an article I enjoyed quite a bit about how Blade Runner remains the most faithful Dick adaptation despite being very little like the story it's based on: 

https://www.theringer.com/movies/2017/10/5/16428092/blade-ru nner-philip-k-dick-adaptation
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David Miller
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Posted: 12 October 2017 at 2:46pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Good article. I appreciated how the author focused on the real and fake animals. The way pet ownership had turned into potentially ruinous luxury was one of the most interesting and relatable aspects of Dick's book.  

I go back and forth on whether Blade Runner is better than its source as the author alleges. Philip Dick was a visionary -- an American Borges, as Ursula Le Guin called him -- and the movie stripped away some of the most fascinating and baffling aspects. But at the same time, Dick was a crazy person and the novel is a bit of a mess, so stripping it down to essential elements relating to replicants makes for a tighter and more powerful narrative. 
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 12 October 2017 at 3:48pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Just back from seeing this in (L)IMAX 3D.

Wow. Just wow. A worthy sequel that I will not go into the plot of, although I do think they could have said a bit more than they did of the general parts of the plot and that may have helped the box office.

One of the few films where the 3D actually works. I hate 3D but here, for the most part, it is subtle.

This is, however, the loudest film I have ever seen. My word that bass is loud!
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 12 October 2017 at 4:15pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Probably not gonna be able to see this 'till next week. ARGH!
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Shane Matlock
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Posted: 12 October 2017 at 6:20pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

I may need to go see this in 3D. It wasn't even an option on premiere night, though I wonder if it was originally filmed in 3D or if it was just converted to 3D. 

David, he was indeed a bit of a crazy person. Years of amphetamine abuse probably didn't help, but he made so little per word that in one of his biographies it talks about how he was buying horse meat from a pet shop in order to get by, so he needed all the help he could get to crank out more novels. He wrote one novel in a 48 hour period without sleep. He's a bit of a hack when it comes to things like style and fully dimensional characters, particularly women who all seem to be the same woman, but the breadth and visionary scale of his ideas is unreal and why he's my favorite author. I really love his later, even crazier books like Valis. I think Ubik remains my favorite Dick novel, and I believe it was later in his career as well, though prior to Valis. His output really slowed at the end but in the 50's and 60's few science fiction writers were as prolific as Dick was. 

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Shane Matlock
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Posted: 12 October 2017 at 6:31pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

This photo cracks me up. It's a still of the moment when Harrison Ford had just accidentally punched Ryan Gosling in the face during the filming of 2049. 

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James Woodcock
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Posted: 12 October 2017 at 10:26pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Shane, from the credits I would say this is a 3D conversion. Which I was very surprised about.
Before the film, there was the Thor trailer in 3D and that was pretty much unwatchable.

This, however, was sublime. There were points I took my glasses off just to see, and the picture was pretty much 2D with subtle hints here and there. A lot of people could learn from this conversion.

The brightness and colours were good as well so it wasnít the murky mess a lot of dark films are where you just canít see a thing. Everything, including the dark scenes was perfectly watchable.
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Matthew Chartrand
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Posted: 15 October 2017 at 6:19pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply



 I watched The Final Cut of the original last night (still amazing) and went to see 2049 today. This was one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. Did not feel at all like 2 hours and 43 minutes. Loved everything about it.
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Shane Matlock
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Posted: 16 October 2017 at 6:26pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

I'm going to see it for a second time tomorrow night. I'm betting this will be the last week it's playing here at the theater sadly, since it hasn't really burned up the box office. Though who really expected it to other than the studio that made it? 
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 18 October 2017 at 6:34pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Finally saw it. In 3-D. One of the best sci-fi movies I've seen in a long time, and a surprisingly worthy sequel to the original. The visuals are spectacular, and make the world look even bleaker than in the original, which is quite an accomplishment. Is it as good or as stunning as the original? Perhaps not. But, it's very intelligent, engaging, and doesn't ruin the original, by and large. 

While I still feel that BR works best as a one-off, this film did an excellent job of continuing to explore the themes and tone of the original without turning into a nostalgia-fest. Indeed, the first two-thirds of the film are very engaging, and paint a fascinating picture of K and his world. By the time Harrison Ford shows up, you've already had a whole feast of interesting ideas and characters. Ryan Gosling is quite wonderful in this film, and K sort of echoes Deckard's arc in the original while also completely inverting it at the same time.

The film is encoded with visual, aural and thematic callbacks to the original BR, but not in a blatant, pandering, nostalgia-milking way (*koff*STAR WARS*koff*). More like a brand-new film which incorporates BR into its DNA, rather than feeling like a rip-off made with modern technology. The only nostalgia-bit that really put me off was the obvious publicity photo of Sean Young as Rachael, which K finds at the casino. I loved the "her eyes were green" bit, because it's an in-joke inversion of the famous blooper in the original (Sean Young's eyes are brown, but the closeup of her eye during the Voight-Kampff test--seen again in 2049--was green).

There are a few other clever references and in-jokes, too, like the origami sheep, the Pan Am neon signage (as well as Coca-Cola, Atari, etc.), and Hampton Fancher finally--FINALLY--getting to use the opening scene from his early drafts of BR (where Deckard landed at a farm to kill a Replicant) as the opening scene of this film. 

I also watched the three short prequel films, prior to seeing 2049, which were helpful in filling in a few background details.


All in all, I enjoyed it quite a bit. It doesn't need to exist, but I'm not upset that it does. A breath of fresh air to see an intelligent science-fiction film in the theater, these days.


Edited by Greg Kirkman on 18 October 2017 at 6:35pm
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Shane Matlock
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Posted: 19 October 2017 at 6:24am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Glad you liked it, Greg. It actually held up really well on my second viewing of it. Never got bored for a second of its nigh three hour run time. I liked being able just to sit and take in all the visuals this time without trying to figure out where the story was going.
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