Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

Discuss films of the 21st century including current cinema, current filmmakers, and film festivals.
Post Reply
Message
Author
RIP Film
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:53 pm

Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#226 Post by RIP Film » Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:06 am

In regard to the clean ending, ie losing Wallace's surveillance (presumably), I have to wonder what Deckard/K intended to do after finding his daughter? Would they escape or would he leave her in the snow globe, risking Wallace eventually finding out? I think escaping would have been a better ending, albeit risking similarity to the ending of the first film by leaving the question open of whether or not they will make it.

User avatar
zedz
Posts: 10361
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#227 Post by zedz » Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:15 pm

plasticinespeculator wrote:
zedz wrote:
plasticinespeculator wrote:What arc does Joi go through?
SpoilerShow
She becomes "a real girl", just as K believed he has (and ultimately does) become "a real boy". In the meantime, she also, like K, defies her programming in order to help somebody else.
Didn't the movie undercut that when K encounters the giant advertisement Joi and he realizes she was just acting like she was programmed? Subsequently, he spent about ten minutes of screentime moping because the encounter disrupted his view of their relationship. Also, how did her actions show she has an arc? Given her programming, one could easily claim she was doing exactly what she was designed to do.
In a sense (But you could say the same about K, whose programming to obey human orders comes in conflict with his programming to be a good cop), but the film dangles the possibility of betrayal throughout the film by constantly reminding us that she's Wallace property, and yet her final acts are in direct defiance of Wallace and his minions.

I think the point of the giant advertisement is that she's clearly not the Joi K knew (and she doesn't behave anything like her), and that depressing encounter is the catalyst for him to make his own version of Joi's 'real girl' sacrifice, which is pointedly not the action he's just been directed to take by his rescuers but, like Joi, an independent decision based on his own judgement and loyalties.

User avatar
matrixschmatrix
Posts: 5931
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 11:26 pm

Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#228 Post by matrixschmatrix » Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:26 pm

I agree- the Joi he sees at that point is a false Joi, a simulacrum meant to parallel with
SpoilerShow
the not-Rachel Rachel that Deckard encounters
Joi- his Joi- is a product of her experiences and memories, and a blank clone of her is merely a cruel taunt, all the moreso because the false Joi clearly has some of the elements that went into the woman he'd loved (the 'Joe' thing being one of them.)

User avatar
flyonthewall2983
Posts: 8746
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Indiana
Contact:

Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#229 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:12 am

One thing I liked, in relation to the previous film, is that it doesn't contradict the happy ending of the theatrical release. The way it's all set up you can believe that for a little while, Deckard and Rachel were living peacefully, if not watchful of the forces after them. Villeneuve has said that he was as influenced by the original cut as he was the 2007 version since it was the one he was first exposed to, and how he balances those alliegances here as well as keeping the mystery of Deckard's true self is as to be commended as nearly everything else.

User avatar
Brian C
Posts: 3122
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:58 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#230 Post by Brian C » Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:41 am

matrixschmatrix wrote:I agree- the Joi he sees at that point is a false Joi, a simulacrum meant to parallel with
SpoilerShow
the not-Rachel Rachel that Deckard encounters
Joi- his Joi- is a product of her experiences and memories, and a blank clone of her is merely a cruel taunt, all the moreso because the false Joi clearly has some of the elements that went into the woman he'd loved (the 'Joe' thing being one of them.)
Maybe the interesting question then is where her programming stops and the "real girl" begins. Is she programmed to encourage K to think of himself as important and unique? That would be a highly ironic product to sell to a replicant whose sole purpose in being created and allowed to continue existing is that he is incapable of thinking for himself.

For that matter, is she designed to be a companion for replicants or humans?

User avatar
Mr Sausage
Not PETA approved
Posts: 5949
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#231 Post by Mr Sausage » Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:28 am

Brian C wrote:
matrixschmatrix wrote:I agree- the Joi he sees at that point is a false Joi, a simulacrum meant to parallel with
SpoilerShow
the not-Rachel Rachel that Deckard encounters
Joi- his Joi- is a product of her experiences and memories, and a blank clone of her is merely a cruel taunt, all the moreso because the false Joi clearly has some of the elements that went into the woman he'd loved (the 'Joe' thing being one of them.)
Maybe the interesting question then is where her programming stops and the "real girl" begins. Is she programmed to encourage K to think of himself as important and unique? That would be a highly ironic product to sell to a replicant whose sole purpose in being created and allowed to continue existing is that he is incapable of thinking for himself.

For that matter, is she designed to be a companion for replicants or humans?
A kind of cosmetic update to a the fate-or-free-will argument.

User avatar
Brian C
Posts: 3122
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:58 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#232 Post by Brian C » Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:32 am

Mr Sausage wrote:A kind of cosmetic update to a the fate-or-free-will argument.
Yeah, I guess what I'm getting at is that it's a little too cosmetic, perhaps. Underlying the claim that Joi - or K, for that matter - has a character arc is that they're somehow transcending their nature. They're programmed to behave one way but find the will to behave in other ways.

But I think the film's approach to this is pretty superficial. There's a "just so" nature to it; what's really happening here is that the film gives them both a full set of human characteristics but then says, "Oh but you see they're actually computers!" We simply have to take the film's word for it that they're not actually human because there's otherwise no reason that we'd think differently (and I think the film's casting of Gosling really hurts here because he's so sullen, as if his feelings are constantly hurt, which goes against the nature of an unquestioning replicant programmed to just follow orders).

And while I enjoyed the film, I don't think it's very affecting emotionally because I don't think the filmmakers have given the issues it raises very much thought. So that's why I raise the question - what exactly is the nature of Joi's purpose as a computer program? To provide the illusion of human companionship, of course, but in what ways and to whom? I don't raise it as a philosophical question, but as a practical one, that I think is fundamental to exactly how she fits into the film's narrative in the first place.

For another example, there's the subplot about K's memory. How much sense does this really make? We were to understand in the first movie that Rachael had memories implanted in order to hide from her that she's a replicant. But why is K given memories at all? It's never kept from him that he's a replicant, so why give him a sad/fearful childhood memory? In what way is that essential to his programming? It sure seems obviously counterproductive to his purpose, since the whole point of implanting memories in the first place was to provide a sense of individuality. But I didn't feel any indication that this occurred to the filmmakers, who instead choose to treat K's memory as merely a MacGuffin.

User avatar
matrixschmatrix
Posts: 5931
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 11:26 pm

Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#233 Post by matrixschmatrix » Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:44 pm

I do not think, as far as the film is concerned, that there's any real question of fate or free will for the replicants- they are fully human, and insofar as they can be 'programmed', it is through social conditioning and selection of memories, which produce largely the same effects they would have on any non-replicant person. They're not actually computers at all, at any point. K's arc is not from robot to human, but from human who believes himself a robot to human who understands that he has free will- because in effect, if you do nothing you have free will, you do not. The memories selected for the replicants are presumably so selected with the intention of making them fully rounded people- if you recall, Rachel was the only explicit replicant who didn't know she was one in the original, so obviously the memory-crafting process must have had applications for other replicants then, as well- who are capable of doing the work they need to do. Given that they are created by what is essentially an artist, I think the mixture of tones in their memories makes perfect sense, as creating a full palette and thus a more fully human background.

I think it's fair to assume that, by whatever mechanism, Joi is likewise a fully free-willed being; perhaps that is simply the nature of sufficient complexity in this universe. She has a set of starting characteristics, analogous to a background of false memories, but she then becomes an independent creature, with a fully independent life.

User avatar
zedz
Posts: 10361
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#234 Post by zedz » Sat Nov 04, 2017 3:33 pm

Brian wrote: But I think the film's approach to this is pretty superficial. There's a "just so" nature to it; what's really happening here is that the film gives them both a full set of human characteristics but then says, "Oh but you see they're actually computers!" We simply have to take the film's word for it that they're not actually human.
I agree with this, but the original film had exactly the same issue, which is why I always felt the ‘nature of humanity’ philosophising was pretty bogus.


User avatar
Big Ben
Posts: 1111
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:54 pm
Location: Great Falls, Montana

Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#236 Post by Big Ben » Sun Nov 26, 2017 4:02 am

“There’s a sense in American cinema: you want to portray an ideal world. You want to portray a utopia,” Villeneuve explained. “That’s good — dreams for a better world, to advocate for something better, yes. But if you look at my movies, they are exploring today’s shadows. The first Blade Runner is the biggest dystopian statement of the last half century. I did the follow-up to that, so yes, it’s a dystopian vision of today. Which magnifies all the faults. That’s what I’ll say about that.”
While I imagine this won't be enough for some critics it raises a point I don't see raised often enough when countering criticism. Critics often want a very ideal world and that just isn't a realistic possibility in some regards because the word presented is so shitty. The environment is destroyed. The government is likely not as free as a democracy as critics want it to be (Isn't it a sort of corporate dystopia?). Conscious beings are being created as essentially slave labor (Including sexual). In short the world is shit. I cannot fathom how anyone could believe that a society like that that magnifies all the problems of today to the nth degree wouldn't be misogynistic in any sense. I simply cannot believe that if here in the real world that if we had the ability to create replicants they would not eventually be used for sexual purposes and sexual purposes only (A dour outlook but put it past people!).

I do however believe that the women could be portrayed better regardless of their situation. More speaking roles, more agency in situations etc. I still love the film though.

I wonder how much was really cut out now though. The first complete version was over four hours long. I'm unsure what that'd do to the pacing but I can't imagine it makes the film kinder to the women.

User avatar
djproject
Posts: 387
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:41 pm
Location: Framingham, MA
Contact:

Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#237 Post by djproject » Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:54 pm

Villeneuve and Ridley Scott

The actual anecdote amuses me more than anything and it's all parties were able to make it amusing instead of confrontational/acrimonious =]


User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Posts: 29058
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#239 Post by domino harvey » Tue Dec 26, 2017 11:50 am

I can't think of any director I trust less to make a film shorter!

User avatar
flyonthewall2983
Posts: 8746
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Indiana
Contact:

Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#240 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:41 pm

In terms of mass appeal there were bigger problems than it's length. Looking back I'm surprised that Warner Brothers didn't try giving the 2007 version a more wider theatrical release, to gauge whether or not a sequel would gain enough interest from general audiences.

Cde.
Posts: 588
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 6:56 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#241 Post by Cde. » Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:48 pm

Scott isn't wrong. The movie felt indulgently long for what it had to say.


User avatar
Brian C
Posts: 3122
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:58 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#243 Post by Brian C » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:47 pm

I have to confess, I don’t get the whole “it’s too long” thing. History has shown that people will happily go to long movies if it’s something they want to see. Scott is just using the length as a convenient excuse for making an expensive sequel to a film with a very dedicated but not very broad fan base. I’m extremely skeptical that shaving a half hour or whatever from it would have made more than a very marginal difference.

User avatar
Big Ben
Posts: 1111
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:54 pm
Location: Great Falls, Montana

Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#244 Post by Big Ben » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:48 pm

That's really odd because several of Scott's films are improved when footage is either added back in (Kingdom of Heaven) the deleted scenes are shown (Prometheus' actually resolves plotholes) and are some are simply reworked (Blade Runner).

I think it's far more likely folks didn't want to see a sequel to a thirty year old cult film that's quite popular only within it's own circles (Yeah it influenced a ton of stuff but how many rightfully acknowledge that?). People have spent nearly a billion dollars on the new Star Wars and that's about ten minutes shorter than this. I'm not convinced with his length statement.

User avatar
McCrutchy
Posts: 579
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 4:57 am
Location: East Coast, USA

Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#245 Post by McCrutchy » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:50 pm

Brian C wrote:I have to confess, I don’t get the whole “it’s too long” thing. History has shown that people will happily go to long movies if it’s something they want to see. Scott is just using the length as a convenient excuse for making an expensive sequel to a film with a very dedicated but not very broad fan base. I’m extremely skeptical that shaving a half hour or whatever from it would have made more than a very marginal difference.
Well, the next thing Scott says after explaining how most of the script is "his" is: "I shouldn’t talk. I’m being a bitch", which makes it sound like he's not exactly on the best terms with the studio(s) regarding the whole development of the film. My guess is he would have wanted to direct "his" script, but that something was vetoed by Alcon/WB that made Scott uninterested in anything other than making money on the film (i.e. producing it). Scott has also been very clear in recent years that in his view, Deckard was a replicant, which meant it was unlikely that Ford would have been in Scott's ideal version, too. So, at this point, whatever Ridley says is a bit tainted by a studio that gave him money, took his ideas, changed them, and made a different film than what he would have.

As it was, I thought the length was pretty justifiable, and the film certainly doesn't feel overly long, or anything less than satisfying. The idea that a film under three hours gets hurt because of its length isn't really true anyway. Avatar (162 min.), The Dark Knight (153 min.) and The Dark Knight Rises (165 min.) were all relatively the same length as Blade Runner 2049 (163 min.), and they managed to make a ton of money, as did the recent release of The Last Jedi (152 min.). I think length is really only a concern when you have a family film, like Disney or Pixar.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Posts: 29058
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#246 Post by domino harvey » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:57 pm

Well, there's one huge difference between all of those examples and this: an R rating

User avatar
Brian C
Posts: 3122
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:58 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#247 Post by Brian C » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:16 pm

True, but that makes the R rating the problem and not the length right? Either way, though, it’s hard to see families rushing out to see this if it’s PG-13.

The real question to me is how Scott or anyone else really expected a Blade Runner sequel to perform 35 years later. It seems the general expectation was for a Marvel-size blockbuster and that just seems ridiculous to me. The original film has always had a passionate followIng and its influence is immeasurable, but it was never exactly a widely-loved mainstream thing. It wasn’t a huge box office hit either!

User avatar
swo17
Posts: 13644
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
Location: SLC, UT

Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#248 Post by swo17 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:30 pm

This sentiment is strange to me, because I've always thought of Blade Runner as this widely loved thing that I could never fully relate to. Is it not as big as Alien? Is that not so big either?

User avatar
McCrutchy
Posts: 579
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 4:57 am
Location: East Coast, USA

Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#249 Post by McCrutchy » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:31 pm

I don't know, I think it was a combination of things working against the film, including the fact that Ryan Gosling and Denis Villeneuve have an even smaller cult following than Blade Runner. Let's be honest, outside of the two Refn films, Gosling is really not well-known, except maybe as a hearthrob in chick-flicks and comedies. From the outset, his casting seemed odd, and the production made the brave choice to be honest and focus on him and his character in the promotional material, with a sprinkling of Harrison Ford to (again, honestly) indicate he would only have a supporting role in the film. The trailers and promotional materials were pretty esoteric, as well, and my guess is most people automatically said they would wait for video to watch the film, and the brisk sales of the Limited Edition variants pretty much prove that.
swo17 wrote:This sentiment is strange to me, because I've always thought of Blade Runner as this widely loved thing that I could never fully relate to. Is it not as big as Alien? Is that not so big either?
I think the film is bigger than people have recently given it credit for, but only because of the personnel behind it. Everyone knows who Harrison Ford is, most people know who Ridley Scott is, and many people know who Joanna Cassidy, Rutger Hauer and Darryl Hanah are. But sci-fi that doesn't involve aliens, monsters or gun battles is hard to sell to the masses, and the film is really a dirty, futuristic thriller with a love story mixed in.

I don't think it helps that there have been so many "versions", either. Most people can forgive two cuts, but with Blade Runner, there have been as many, if not more versions than Star Wars, and I think that causes some people confusion, and makes them avoid the film.
Last edited by McCrutchy on Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Black Hat
Posts: 1131
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:34 pm
Location: NYC

Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#250 Post by Black Hat » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:42 pm

I read somewhere Villeneuve tossed Scott off the set so I'm sure he's pissed off about that. As for the film itself, I loved this and I say it as someone who has never seen the first one. The pacing of the film allowed you to get inside the emotions of these characters thru the world they inhabited. You can't get a full appreciation of setting with a million cuts, moving to quick scenes of physical action. The character of Luv was the most fascinating movie villain of recent memory because her struggle with identity mirrored the hero's. Neither had control or understanding of their destinies thus making their fates inevitable, they had to end the one way they were born to be. From what I've read about the Blade Runner world it seems to me people don't understand what the film is about which is in many way is an anti-blockbuster movie.

As for Ridley Scott, correct me if I'm wrong, wasn't the original film unsuccessful upon release? It that's true, fuck him.

Post Reply