This could make me visit the cinema
I haven't bothered for years, nothing has seemed worth it.
Of course if I do and the film is bad I may have to track you down and kill you.
Stepping into the cinema to watch Blade Runner 2049 was a nervous moment; after The Phantom Menace and Prometheus, was another studio about to take a steaming dump on a pivotal film of my youth? The omens were good. Director Denis Villeneuve gave us probably the best sci-fi film of last year in Arrival and his previous film, …
Oh bugger - nearly didn't read this in case it was bad. I have yet to read a vaguely critical review. Been trying to manage my expectations, but now El Vulture likes it thats completely out the window.
Anyway - lets just hope the iMax in Manchester doesn't burn down before Sunday afternoon . . .
Hasn't Atari been through a bit of a rebirth?
I would not be at all surprised if the Pan Am logo becomes a bit of a meme in further Sci-Fi films, in part because of the films that have already featured it but also because the company is now long-defunct, which probably makes its use easier.
I would also not be at all surprised if this does not happen.
IIRC at the moment the Pan Am logo is owned by a railway logistics outfit.
"It formerly held a now-defunct airline division." - gotta love the revisionism there. No mention of the original which collapsed in 1991 and got hoovered up.
@Grunty - and Johnny Walker have actually released a limited edition bottle as seen in BR2049. Yours for £100 on Amazon (as usual, $100 in US I believe). I did consider it for a while and then worked out how much other whiskey I could buy for £100. Very cool thing to have though.
In today's world of old logos and brands being bought and revivified, it could happen. The original Pan Am was a much more entrepreneurial company than I ever realized. Pan Am was very much a startup when it talked Boeing into building the original 314 Clippers, promising to buy them if built. (They actually only bought six of the original and six more of the 314A. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_314_Clipper)
I don't know who owns the trademark today, but I could see Jeff Bezos buying the brand for a hypothetical service using Blue Origin launch vehicles for its competitor to Musk's SpaceX suborbital flight service, or even an orbital shuttle service to space stations and such.
"Pan Am was very much a startup when it talked Boeing into building the original 314 Clippers,"
It was a different era then, particularly in regard to attitudes to market dominance.
Pan Am might never have existed if the Boeing group wasn't forcibly broken up under antitrust laws some years earlier (It became Boeing Airplane company, United Airlines and United Aircraft Corporation) in the wake of the Air Mail scandal: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Mail_scandal
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Aircraft_and_Transport_Corporation makes interesting reading and shows that Boeing's current antics(*) aren't anything new.
At some point the pendulum is going to swing back and perhaps another Pan Am will spring up.
(*) managing to get a 220% import duty applied to aircraft in a market segment it doesn't even manufacture for.
..another atrocious movie by Ridley Scott like the awful Prometheus and Alien Covenant weren't enough already.
Now they released an atrocious Blade Runner sequel reboot so pretentious forced and hollow trying to mimic the original in a silly way and with a too long runtime for a very slow boring pacing.
Long gone are the times in which Ridley Scott could direct top-notch sci-fi movies Alien and Blade Runner. Now anything directed or produced by him is an absolute mess and a silly pathetic joke.
This film was directed by Denis Villeneuve, not Ridley Scott. It is a sequel not a reboot. You don't seem to be very well informed for someone with feelings so strong; one wonders why you went to see 2049 in the first place. If you haven't seen it then shut up.
The whole Xenomorph race being the product of a demented robot? Engineers who might have perhaps travelled the galaxy seeding and destroying life being reduced to a bunch of villagers getting wiped out by a demented robot? It's bollocks and it ruins both films.
Have you seen it?
It's definitely not a reboot (which I have as little love for as you, by the way - BSG excepted). And the story is definitely not the same as the original. I kept trying to predict the twists, based on movies in general and the original in particular, and failed almost every time.
I suppose you could say the pace is slow - at least for the first half. I very much liked it, and thought it worked well, but that's a matter of preference.
Bear in mind also that if you don't like the direction (I did), Ridley Scott was little more than an executive producer.
Still, in the interests of balance, it's interesting to see my first poor review of 2049.
I thought it was fantastic, a bit like the original Alien, all suspense, but not much action....different tastes.
Alien was a horror movie disguised as sci-fi. Same with Prometheus (except the Final Girl escapes with half of another character). Haven't seen Covenant yet.
Alien was a horror film in space (though it had quite a bit of critique of corporate machinations). Aliens was a miltiary action film in space (with overt critique or corporate machinations. [Two of my favourite films btw - I love pure Space Opera as well - Star Wars, 5th Element], The only moral / ethical dimension in Alien(s) was the actions of 'The Corporation'.
Blade Runner was different. It was a detective thriller but it asked deeper moral / ethical questions about the nature of humanity and human society. Thats what the best SciFi does uses dystopian futures, or alien interactions, or reflections on the past, or the challenges of technological advances to reflect on our belief systems. The genius of Blade Runner was it built that moral/ethical narrative around a brilliant detective film noir.
Can't wait to see the new one.
"Thats what the best SciFi does"
Indeed. Good science fiction uses technology not as an end in itself but to raise "what if?" questions about the societies that result as well as even deeper questions about human nature.
I've referred to it as "speculative fiction" on more than one occasion.
I just saw Covenant the other day.
Really not sure wether to like it or hate it, suprisingly. I think Michael Fassbender does a fantastic job in both Prometheus and Covenant (doubly so in the latter - watch it to see what I mean about that). Don't rate many of the other characters though in either movie, apart from Charlise Theron.
The plotlines are properly silly in Prometheus and Covenant had me almost yelling at the TV when the few characters involved seem to completely forget about the welfare of the 2,000 colonists who they're transporting in cryosleep in order to save a couple of their colleagues...
"Geiger, apparently, hated the poor quality 'Alien' they created for the first couple of movies. Little more that a guy in a rubber suit"
That's why I like the UK cut of Alien - you barely see the creature, while the US version I watched had, yes, a guy in a rubber suit running around.
How did you manage to see through your hands?
I remember watching the face hugger attack on frame-advance on my super-duper VHS player of the time and being mightily impressed that it still looked real and, if anything, scarier. If you've never done that, I highly recommend it. There's so much in that split second you don't actually see in real-time.
In the theatrical release you hardly see the alien and it's much better for it. In the Director's cut it is much more apparent that's it's a slow moving prop/ guy in a rubber suit. The DC also has that weird scene with 2 of the crew turning into eggs which throws the pacing off near the end (it was left out of the theatrical cut for good reason).
"Arrival" is one of the very few science fiction films that takes seriously the problems we really might face with communicating with extra-terrestrials. One could compare it to "Solaris" (the Tarkovsky version), although it is mercifully not as slow. In most other films, the aliens come speaking perfect English, or there is a magical translation computer (or babelfish).
"...the problems of communicating with extra terrestrials..."
Well let's face it, when 'leaders' are reduced to feeling that using twatter to talk to each other is a route to clear communication then what chance do the rest of us have?
I'm reminded of how a simple phrase three word phrase can be misconstrued with catastrophic consequences.
Pan Am, Bell and IBM are featured in Kubrick's 2001. The original Blade Runner featured Pan Am, Coca Cola, Cuisinart, Bulova, Dentyne, Jovan and Budweiser.
The above link is fun.... For example, it has a close-up of the prop newspaper taken from an onset photograph. The Headline reads: FARMING THE OCEANS, THE MOON AND ANTARCTICA. WORLDWIDE COMPUTER LINKUP PLANNED
As a massive fan of the original, I was both excited and terrified by the prospect of the sequel when it was first seriously mooted some years ago. When Villeneuve became attached as directer, with Hampton Fancher on (co-)script writing duties I became more hopeful. With both Gosling and Ford on board too, it promised even more.
I went to see it last night, and left very happy and will be seeing it again on Sunday. It lives up to the original in tone and pace, has an intriguing plot that kept me interested, and the performances are all top notch. The score is very good (if not a patch on the Vangelis original, but with nice nods and winks), and the cinematography is frankly stunning.
I too will venture back to a cinema to watch this Villeneuve sequel.
The original film, I believe, is a miracle. But a miracle that even Scott would admit he unsympathetically watched built, and was unhappy with. Unhappy, not because it was artistically imperfect but because he thought that every aspect of it was flawed, right down to the novel, screenplay and in fact the entire sci-fi genre. I've watched about 30 hours of early interviews with him on Alien and Bladerunner and he (once) despised having to work on Sci-fi, thinking himself above "all that rubbish". I'm petty, and still hold that against him.
The review is not spoiler free, name checking both Edward James Olmos and much more specifically Sean Young's cameos are spoilers.
Pan Am and Atari's inclusions are because they were in the original Blade Runner so they've kept the film world's version of the world intact by including them again and it's a nice little nod to the original film.
Apparently Scott was an absolute bastard to work for, but to his eternal credit he did manage to make Blade Runner with considerable creative vision, despite the studio's repeated attempts to stop him because of budget (and probably other) issues. It's that creative vision we still value in the original film despite its many glaring flaws.
I loved my 306, the 1.9 Diesel was as reliable as hell... the electrics were a bit more entertaining though. Still, a torquey motor, nippy up hills and through traffic. My mechanic still runs a 406 as his personal motor, mainly because he considers all cars nothing but potential scrap metal... with one exception: a 1930s Bentley Blue Train Racer Replica. Built with three seats, driver, navigator and butler. Butler sat sideways on rear seat (to allow for aerodynamic sloping roof) with a cocktail cabinet. Class.
WRC and Le Mans winning cars? Paris Dakar? And perhaps the Editor would like to explain why BMW, Toyota, Land Rover, Jaguar and Ford have all used PSA engines to power their "premium" cars? The 205 was an epic drive in period and still is, the T16 is a legend.
Regurgitating what you heard on Top Gear marks you out as a pedestrian old boy. :-)
Not a hard one. Doesn't mean Prometheus / Covenant couldn't have been bet. You set a low bar. I enjoyed all those films. All could have benefited from slowing down a bit and just gettin g the pacing right. Build some tension. Stop trying to cram too much in.
The Alien films did that much better but could have been immense if handled right. I think the problem is people get the go ahead (and a launch date) before they have a script.
I think it was Orson Wells who said (paraphrased) "...the script is normally finalised 10 minutes after the Premiere screening...."
The nonsense that Prometheus ended up being has to sit with Scott for me, when Shaw (Rapace) was literaaly running around only about a minute after getting stapled back together from the surgery the movie went well beyond 'suspension of belief' into 'just fu**ing stupid' mode for me. Don't even get me started on the two scaredy cat boys trying to make friends with the alien snakesque creature, too too too fu**ing dumb and a good director on form wouldn't allow such scenes to ruin the rest of the movie.
While Covenant was competent and visually gorgeous it didn't move the story forward much in my honest opinion. The whole Fassbinder created the aliens didn't work for me as they already had a hugely efficient propagation method as spores.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to BR2049, going to see it on Monday at the BFI IMAX.
"So the Blade Runner sequel is, by all accounts, pretty good. This goes against all known natural laws."
There are always the exceptions that prove the rule. T2 anyone?
The Thing prequel in 2011 was also (mostly) really good.
And Wrath of Khan was much better than the tedious Motion Picture...
".....The Thing prequel in 2011 was also (mostly) really good....."
Sorry I can't even begin to agree with this.
The 2011 version was all CGI.
The original version was IMHO fracking brilliant animatronics without a CGI computer in sight. I still marvel at the genius of the production team to come up with the idea of a detaching head becoming a spider head, then make it work, then making it work and look good, all the time using just bladders, air feeds and blood bottles.
The last and technically the best of the animatronic movies without a doubt.
"Sorry I can't even begin to agree with this. The 2011 version was all CGI."
Yes, it was all CGI, but the F/X were made very much in the same vein as in the 1982 version, and were deliciously odd and repulsive: the merging of two people, the Thing in helicopter and so on.
"The last and technically the best of the animatronic movies without a doubt."
I can't disagree about the quality although animatronics have been used plentifully after 1982. Lifelike CGI started to gain widespread use with Jurassic Park 10 years later - which still had several animatronic dinos.
Remember: CGI and animatronics are just tools.
While 2001, Star Wars, Blade Runner and many other space films had really great model props, animations and so on, they were technically really hard and required lots of work to construct. Star Wreck showed how you can pull pretty fantastic effects on shoe string budget and rendering the CGI with home computers, and that was 12 years ago already.
"...Remember: CGI and animatronics are just tools...."
However the level of technical competence for animatronics is much higher.
If it doesn't look good on CGI just do a bit of recoding and re render it, this can all be done pretty much in pre or post production.
Using animatronics you have to get it right for the actual shot, not only hoping your Heath Robinson contraption actually works in real time, but also that it looks good on the camera. The amount of technical skillset on the animatronics side deserves a much higher level of respect IMHO.
Prometheus depends on where I stand to watch it. The first time around, I was hoping for some good sense related to the Alien history. Bitterly disappointed... story twists and flails to accomodate contrived events and Deus Ex Machina over and over (the video flashbacks). Argh!
Well, I own the disk so once more into the breach. This time I merely went along for the ride, admiring the settings and atmosphere and badass visuals. And that was pretty enjoyable! It's not the first sub-par film I've enjoyed anyway for the eye candy. Shame about that WTF plot though. Finding all the logical holes could be a fun party game.
With the Prometheus DVD I found I was simply fascinated with the Making Of... bits (all seven hours of it).
The film may be flawed but watching how it was made really impressed me and after watching the Making Of I finally forgive all the flaws and went back and said Wow!
So it looks like I need to make a trek to my local(ish) IMAX. But, in preparation, what should I watch beforehand?
I have the 5-disc blu-ray Complete Collector's Edition with - supposedly - all 4 official versions + "the rarely seen Workprint". Which one is the most official?
That's exactly what I experienced yesterday - when the bass line got too heavy the screen vibrated, making a horrible wood on wood impact sound.
Were you in Dudley by any chance, or is this just all cinemas having the same problem?
As for the film - overall it was good, though the pace is a bit slow at times, and it felt like it was maybe 20-30 minutes too long.
Otherwise, pretty impressive visuals, decent score, definitely worth a watch - Huge Blade Runner fans are likely to be happy with it - people who aren't that fussed with the original, or who haven't seen it, i think are likely to be a little bored at times.
"viewing at a cinema where the audio was so pumped up"
I've walked out of several screenings because of this and demanded a refund.
The culprit is invariably multiplex managers who fuck with the audio settings(*) after the engineers have perfectly set it up, thinking that more bass sounds great (yeah, up to the point that the speakers lose cohesion)
(*) Usually by pushing everything to 11
This is one of the reasons(**) I don't bother with movie screenings much.
(**) One of the others is people who won't stop jabbering on their phone throughout the movie. I fully support any designer who proposes turning theatres into a faraday cage AND running a jammer inside it.
Watched it last night with my two eldest kids; even though they've been brought up with the modern blockbuster style of fast cuts and breakneck storytelling speed, they weren't turned off by the languid pacing of the spectacle. They were completely enthralled by the whole experience and didn't find the 2 hour 43 minute running time a chore at all.
As someone who adored the original film, I came out of the cinema totally awestruck - I haven't been this impressed by a film in a very, very long time. It's fantastic to see a film like this that doesn't automatically assume its audience has the attention span of a gadfly, and is prepared to ask awkward questions about the nature of humanity.
Did it ask anything awkward though? It didn't ask enough in my opinion.
I think this will be another one of those badly written films that masks itself and covers it's obvious flaws and shortcomings by saying "Oh well you aren't clever enough to understand all the subtle contextual questions it poses!"
No it's just shitty writing.
I really enjoyed it. My friend didn't. My friend idolizes Donald Trump. I'm not saying he was too thick to get it, but he didn't get it.
There are lots of fairly philosophical concepts dealt with but they're not shoved down your throat.
Anon because I'm mean to my friend.
I saw the original in the theater in 1982, and the "official" director's cut in the theater in 1992. Looking at wikipedia I find that I missed a chance to see the 70mm working print "director's cut" in 1990. Or not, maybe I just don't remember passing on it (had babies and didn't get out much.) I liked the 1982 version. In 1992 I thought the 1992 version was better.
I liked 2049. The plot hangs together better than the original and there are some interesting twists that keep you guessing. The visuals are stunning. It dragged a bit toward the end.
Overall thought, definitely worth seeing IMO.
It looks good, and the plot is OK. It needs recutting to be an hour shorter. The music is overpowering as it working every hard to fill the long pauses. People speak in bay watch time. Keep the dialogue, but cut the unnatural gaps between speakers. Looks like a 1 hour 40 film with an hour of filler.
Saw it in IMAX last night. Stunning.
Blade Runner is by far my favourite movie and I was prepared for a modicum of disappointment, despite the largely very positive reviews of 2049. I was not in the least bit disappointed. I thought the movie was incredibly good, the visuals staggering, the plot excellent and well developed - but not the in-yer-face-here's-all-the-answers-in-a-neat package demanded of some. Like the 1982 movie it explores the moral dilemmas of the human condition, and also like the first film, it does so subtly and without proselytising.
For me, it was quite an emotional experience. I shall be seeing it again soon, possibly multiple times.
Of course we will compare the two films. Can’t be helped. But for me 2049, for all the stunning sets, rich CGI, some inventive ideas (hologram people old and new etc), there was no Blade Runner magic. No spoilers, but the plot was a bit vague, the dialogue average, and the logic was illogical in places. For instance, wood (i.e. trees), is said to be worth a fortune, yet we open with a huge dead tree that hasn’t been cut down and sold for millions. Duh? The equivalent of the believable sinister Tyrell character in BR I was a dreadful scruffy bearded guy with no charisma. I couldn’t even engage with Gosling. But Ford was his usual magnificent self and was worth all the pain until he appeared. I cannot believe it was directed by the same fella that directed the brilliant Arrival.
Saw it on the weekend and was generally impressed. I disagree with some of the comments about the length and general slowness - I thought it was the length it needed to be, and I did appreciate the deliberate pacing.
I thought it was a good successor to the original. However, it lost on a couple of fronts:
- Jared Leto's character just came across as a tosser. I think he was going for "sinister evil genius" but missed by a mile.
- there were a couple of weird plot moments. At one point, you wonder why K was left alive.
- as Mrs Fink pointed out, Gosling was such an unengaging character that we didn't care what happened to him. At the end, we just shrugged. Meh.
So, all in all, a very good film IMO. I'd be surprised if it doesn't sweep the Oscars this year - except for the acting ones! It would've been six stars with a couple of casting changes.
Having had a chance to see it twice and ponder over the weekend these are my thoughts.
In my opinion the film was true to the original and took the story in a slightly different way, a number of reviews I've read say they couldn't 'connect' with the character K, I honestly think on the second viewing this was deliberate, the K character KNOWS he's a skinjob and doesn't have the same emotional issues with it, of course in the original Deckard didn't know and the movie was a journey of discovery and self questioning.
I disagree that the pacing was too slow, I thought the whole point of the pacing was to develop a storyline that included some specific and thoughtful moments for people to reflect on. The philosophical questions asked in the original are expanded on here, that takes time to develop and requires a period of reflection, I must admit I got much more from the second showing.
Visually it's perfect and a worthy follow up to the original vision.
There are some clever and subtle nods to the original, the bicycles scene, the snow falling and melting on his hand was a direct reference to 'tears in the rain' including the same music at that point. I thought that Mariette (McKenzie Davis) was excellently cast as a nod to Pris without being a straight copy.
I'm sure that I'll go and see it again within a week or so, I really got that much out of it and it deserves multiple viewings.
I would have to comment that I don't think many of the SNAPFACETXTTERGRAMOJI generation will get it, the themes in the movie require attention and reflection, not something many of this social network media obsessed generation seem to exhibit in their eternal search for instant gratification without effort.
The movie did not in any way leave me disappointed, and I think there's even the enigmatic possibility now of further follow ups, just don't let Scott direct them.
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