Blade Runner 2049 - A Great Too-Late Sequel?

Blade Runner 2049 - A Great Too-Late Sequel?

Sorry, I skipped 2047 of the previous Blade Runners.

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I liked Blade Runner 2049.

Marter:
Sorry, I skipped 2047 of the previous Blade Runners.

Say it with me, everyone! "Shame! Shame! Shame!" :^)

I haven't seen the original Blade Runner in like a decade, back when I was a young teen. Didn't really "get" it back then. That said, I am very glad to hear that the sequel is great, because I've been meaning to rewatch Blade Runner anyway.

I have seen Blade Runner about three times in the past. Each time, I was hoping I understood why everybody loved it so much. I couldn't. The original looked good, but the story wasn't all that engaging. I have read other reviews that described this sequel as being the same way. So, maybe I will appreciate this movie better. When I don't have my expectations so high. I am going to see it in a few days during a discount matinee showing.

I reckon one of the reasons 2049 is so long is because Villeneuve loves his long, lingering shots, of which there were many here. If Villeneuve would stick to movie conventions more it'd be a regular-length movie, probably.

Do I want him to do that though? Nope. It gave the actors chances to shine, which they did constantly, and the world design to rock my socks off. I never felt like it overstayed its welcome.

Cowabungaa:
I reckon one of the reasons 2049 is so long is because Villeneuve loves his long, lingering shots, of which there were many here. If Villeneuve would stick to movie conventions more it'd be a regular-length movie, probably.

Do I want him to do that though? Nope. It gave the actors chances to shine, which they did constantly, and the world design to rock my socks off. I never felt like it overstayed its welcome.

Villeneuve is really good at using long periods of inaction to build atmosphere and tension, and he knows how to deviate from the rhythm of normal film making just enough to make you feel uncomfortable while making sure the film still works.

linkblade91:
I haven't seen the original Blade Runner in like a decade, back when I was a young teen. Didn't really "get" it back then. That said, I am very glad to hear that the sequel is great, because I've been meaning to rewatch Blade Runner anyway.

Blade Runner is weird one, the theatrical and TV versions aren't up to much, but the Director's cut and Final Cut versions are much better, mainly because they cut out a lot of the studio mandated 'stuff' and re-insert actualy plot points, so they tell the story better.

Somewhat predicatably 2049 looks like being a box office dud, because it's a good movie so of course it is.

I cannot wait to get out and see this. The more I read, the more excited I get.

bjj hero:
I cannot wait to get out and see this. The more I read, the more excited I get.

same here. i usually try not to watch movies now in cinemas since they are pretty expensive but i think as a fan of the original and hearing and reading how good it is to the first title, i feel obliged its a must watch.

Metalrocks:

bjj hero:
I cannot wait to get out and see this. The more I read, the more excited I get.

same here. i usually try not to watch movies now in cinemas since they are pretty expensive but i think as a fan of the original and hearing and reading how good it is to the first title, i feel obliged its a must watch.

Absolutely. Booked to see it Wednesday.

Metalrocks:

bjj hero:
I cannot wait to get out and see this. The more I read, the more excited I get.

same here. i usually try not to watch movies now in cinemas since they are pretty expensive but i think as a fan of the original and hearing and reading how good it is to the first title, i feel obliged its a must watch.

I recommend checking to see what kind of discount tickets are available. I know one theater chain that usually offers discount tickets to the first showing of the day, if it's before noon. They also do discount tickets all day Tuesdays. Of course, this is for non-3d, basic theater showings. And matinee prices do still exist some places. I don't think I've paid more than $5 for a movie all year, and seen a fair number of them.

I largely agree with Marter here. I have never seen the original all the way through but am familiar with it and its influence. Saw this yesterday and I generally enjoyed it but don't have any compulsion to watch it again any time soon. The atmosphere is heavy and oppressive in the best way and it truly is a beautiful movie to look at. The effects, lighting, and cinematography are all top notch.

I knew going in to expect a lot of long shots full of people wrestling with their own sense of purpose and their place in the world; and Villeneuve certainly delivered on that front. He holds shots for a very long time to build tension and articulate his points, and the actors are given plenty of time to really sell themselves as characters in this world. That being said, the plot definitely plods along at a deliberate and slow pace and is in no rush to get to the end. Maybe this is sacrilege, but if the film had one or two more good action sequences and about 20 minutes less run time I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more. As it is, I thought Bladerunner was a quiet and introspective philosophical film that is just a hair shy of how smart it wants to be. I wouldn't exactly call it exciting or even entirely engaging throughout, but I liked it and appreciate a hard sci-fi movie like this totally going for it in this modern movie climate. More of a 3.5/5 for me.

KissingSunlight:
I have seen Blade Runner about three times in the past. Each time, I was hoping I understood why everybody loved it so much. I couldn't. The original looked good, but the story wasn't all that engaging. I have read other reviews that described this sequel as being the same way. So, maybe I will appreciate this movie better. When I don't have my expectations so high. I am going to see it in a few days during a discount matinee showing.

There's a few different versions of Blade Runner around (not counting the book its based on "Do Androids dream of Electric Sheep"). Its definitely one thats had some issues adapting solidly without going over or underboard on itself.

The other thing is of course, order of experience. There's probably a good few dozen movies influenced by Blade Runner that could be seen before it. And in contrast, Blade Runner itself feels like a derivative or proto-form to them. Its a particular peril of being influential "classic" sci fi, something like Blade Runner, Children of Men, I Robot, Battle Royale, Enders Game, or I Am Legend has trouble seeming like a unique narrative or style when the concepts and twists have been baked into many things since.

I enjoyed the movie a lot. It's beautiful, it's detailed, it doesn't think its audience consists of idiots, performances are solid throughout, it works in tribute to its predecessor without being slavish or fanservice-y about it.

Part of the last ten-to-fifteen minutes falls prey to at least a couple of action movie cliches I could have done without, which is unfortunate. But it's not movie-ruining, just distracting. Also a bit of "fridge logic" there (loosely defined as "that thing you are fine with while you're watching the thing, but later when you get up to get a snack, you go, 'hey, what about...?'")

I will also note that I saw it in 3D, and it does some interesting things with depth and transparency that might actually benefit from a 3D viewing, without any "knife jabbing at the screen" nonsense.

Definitely worth watching.

I hated the new Blade Runner, which I wasn't really expecting going in. It was amusing though cause I went with the same bunch of friends who I saw Alien: Covenant with and it was a full repeat. They all liked both movies and I hated them both when I thought I'd love them.

The movie is gorgeous and the world design is incredible but for me that's where the positives start. The music this time round was ranging from uninspired to painful and irritating. I didn't enjoy the way they turned the volume to 11 to climax on the slow establishing shots and whoever decided to keep that amount of reverb on the actors voices has a personal vendetta against me.

My major issue with the movie though is the plot is dull, simplistic to the point of non-existent and surprisingly cliche. Events happen with no real tension and I feel this has a lot to do with Villeneuve holding the shots for way to long in places that need to be quick. That would be it, what kills the pacing isn't necessarily the slow takes but the lack of quick action where the story climaxes should be.

Anyway I really didn't like the villain and how he launched straight into waffling biblical references and "crazy" in the kind of way that come across as someone really over acting crazy.

I was just really disappointed cause I want more high budget Sci-fi and I love blade runner but it was so painfully bad that I feel satisfied that it's bombing at the box office.

Great film. The length wasn't the issue so much as the set-up for following films / the open-endedness was. The slow, cinematic shots were well worth the extra time.

I came to the movie with low expectations. It managed to go below those. It is easily the worst movie I have seen this year. I average one new movie a week at the theaters.

The very few things I did like was the visual design and the special effects. Including the most bizarre menage a trois I have ever seen. The worst was the music. Seriously, it was like hearing the Inception "BWANG!" over and over again for more than two and a half hours. It even overwhelmed the dialogue. Which wasn't a big loss. Since the screenplay was a boring mess.

The biggest thing that annoyed me was the lack of explanation of what a replicant was. Aren't these things suppose to be robots? How come Ryan Gosling kept bleeding throughout the movie? Apparently, you can drown them. Even though they don't need oxygen to breathe. They really needed to throw the audience a bone to explain what the hell these creatures are. The plot hinges on a biological anomaly with the replicants.

fix-the-spade:

linkblade91:
I haven't seen the original Blade Runner in like a decade, back when I was a young teen. Didn't really "get" it back then. That said, I am very glad to hear that the sequel is great, because I've been meaning to rewatch Blade Runner anyway.

Blade Runner is weird one, the theatrical and TV versions aren't up to much, but the Director's cut and Final Cut versions are much better, mainly because they cut out a lot of the studio mandated 'stuff' and re-insert actualy plot points, so they tell the story better.

Somewhat predicatably 2049 looks like being a box office dud, because it's a good movie so of course it is.

Deckard narrating himself like in a detective noir movie didn't really work for me though.

KissingSunlight:
I came to the movie with low expectations. It managed to go below those. It is easily the worst movie I have seen this year. I average one new movie a week at the theaters.

The very few things I did like was the visual design and the special effects. Including the most bizarre menage a trois I have ever seen. The worst was the music. Seriously, it was like hearing the Inception "BWANG!" over and over again for more than two and a half hours. It even overwhelmed the dialogue. Which wasn't a big loss. Since the screenplay was a boring mess.

The biggest thing that annoyed me was the lack of explanation of what a replicant was. Aren't these things suppose to be robots? How come Ryan Gosling kept bleeding throughout the movie? Apparently, you can drown them. Even though they don't need oxygen to breathe. They really needed to throw the audience a bone to explain what the hell these creatures are. The plot hinges on a biological anomaly with the replicants.

Well they didn't chew it out, but it was clear enough that they were clones of a sort.
Not a host from Westworld.

I know art's subjective, and all, but I really struggle to understand how anyone can not be blown away by 2049. If only with regards to sheer craftsmanship, it's staggeringly accomplished, so any lover of cinema should find much to enjoy simply experiencing the film from moment to moment.

I grew up with the original, and with a handful of other films it helped define the entire medium for me. In many ways I feel 2049 improves on it, in almost every way. It can never have its impact or legacy, of course, so in the grand scheme of things it's a historically 'lesser' film. But Blade Runner took decades and several versions to find its way to the Final Cut, and there isn't a single version which I can say is 'my' Blade Runner given the changes[1].

And so, 2049 out of the gate is more focused in every possible way. It knew what it wanted to be before a shot was filmed, which cannot be said of the messily tampered with original.

It cannot ever mean more to me than the original, but I do think it's better, and me saying that about a sequel to a beloved film I never wanted made is--- well, maybe one of the biggest surprises I've ever had where film's concerned. Though when I heard Villeneuve would be behind it, along with Roger Deakins, I at least trusted they'd try to do the original justice.

In a way, the most powerful thing about seeing it for the first time was a sense that this really was a work of art with a big budget being shown in mainstream cinemas. Sure, it didn't do well... but frankly that says a lot about mass market punters as opposed to the film itself. The aesthetic, the pacing, the ideas - to me it represents the very best elements of the medium. I'm not a fan of Chris Stuckman, but he echoed my reaction in that it was a reminder of why I love cinema itself, and just how powerful and engaging/transportive an experience it can be.

Maybe it's not accurate to say Villeneuve is the true mainstream brainbox, given how few - relatively speaking - people see his films. Chris Nolan just about takes that title (despite almost all of his films actually containing incredibly patronising moments). But across Sicario, Arrival, and 2049, he really is in a class of his own right now. No one is doing what he's doing, on such a scale, and to such a high degree of craftsmanship.

He's an incredibly articulate, engaging speaker, too, so his interviews are always good value. I hope the Blu-ray comes packed with behind the scene's content.

[1] I suppose it has to be the Director's Cut. I dislike some of the digital fiddling and extra audio done on Final Cut A perfect version would probably be a remastered Director's Cut, minus the unicorn insert.

 

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