Kalbear

Blade Runner 2049 - more human than human [Spoilers!]

181 posts in this topic

50 minutes ago, Talleyrand said:

I thought it was great, easily my favourite film of the year.

I spent most of the film wishing they weren't going to make K be the child but his cresfallen look when the Replicant leader breaks it to him almost had me wishing it was.

My personal take on it was that the immunity bubble was a cover to keep her away from any prying eyes and any Blade Runners who might end up exposing her if she had been a more public memory author until she's ready to come out and lead the rebellion.

My impression too. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

 

Also Edward James Olmos was great. Loved his cameo. This genuinely felt like a totally authentic sequel. It made itself feel needed and a worthy extension of the story that had come before. 

 

Battlestar Galactica is probably the most significant TV show or film since the original Blade Runner to deal with the same questions about humanity, AI, artificial humans etc (and BSG resolutely nodded at Blade Runner several times with its "skinjobs"), so I thought it was great that they brought back the one actor who was in both.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Battlestar Galactica is probably the most significant TV show or film since the original Blade Runner to deal with the same questions about humanity, AI, artificial humans etc (and BSG resolutely nodded at Blade Runner several times with its "skinjobs"), so I thought it was great that they brought back the one actor who was in both.

Definitely. 

I loved how after retiring replicants for so long he was now an old man in what looked like a nursing home still making his little origami animals...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm mostly with Theda on Joi. I thought her proving not to be very deep was what made her tragic- and that's what the last scene with the big porny advert was about. He found that even the name she gave him came from her basic advertising programming, and generally had his views of her crushed and was reminded what she was built for.

Luv was probably my favourite thing about it. Actually, looking at their names, I wonder if there's meant to be some kind of deliberate contrast between Joi and Luv.

 

 

Anyway, while I liked it, I don't think it was as memorable as the first one. I mean, I wasn't one of those who adore the first- though I did like it more on a recent rewatch- but it was very very distinctive and this was a lot more conventional, visually, aurally, and narratively. I do appear to be the minority view, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I liked how there was an advert for Pan Am as per the original.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also:

On 06/10/2017 at 10:20 PM, Kalbear said:

 

So just to establish things - because the Guardian as far as I can tell has a TOTALLY DIFFERENT INTERPRETATION than mine - I want to establish what the hell is going on.

 

 


Now having properly read the article: don't worry, the person writing that misunderstood a lot more than the film. They've also misunderstood Rotten Tomatoes and they seem to think the main characters of Ian M Banks' Culture are androids for some reason.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I enjoyed it but I thought the pacing could have been a little quicker (which is a similar perspective I have on the original movie so it worked a little in that regard). Villanueva knocked it out of the park when it comes to paying homage to the first movie. More than just themes and tone, I really liked how he handled Deckard, the transition in his story and the overall ending. It went from a movie that shared the same universe of the first with some overlap in characters and themes and then became a continuation of the original Bladerunner. Also I pretty much liked all of the characters and how much screen time they were given (Leto in particular) and how that time was used. May watch it again just to soak it in some more on the big screen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, polishgenius said:

I'm mostly with Theda on Joi. I thought her proving not to be very deep was what made her tragic- and that's what the last scene with the big porny advert was about. He found that even the name she gave him came from her basic advertising programming, and generally had his views of her crushed and was reminded what she was built for.

Luv was probably my favourite thing about it. Actually, looking at their names, I wonder if there's meant to be some kind of deliberate contrast between Joi and Luv.

 

 

Anyway, while I liked it, I don't think it was as memorable as the first one. I mean, I wasn't one of those who adore the first- though I did like it more on a recent rewatch- but it was very very distinctive and this was a lot more conventional, visually, aurally, and narratively. I do appear to be the minority view, though.

Joi actually sacrifices herself to protect K by first copying her onto the handheld device and deleting her program from his house files so they couldn't read her memories and find out what he has learned, and then having him break off the antenna so they couldn't find the handheld.    Luv and Wallace have been tracking him through Joi, which was how Luv was able to find them near the orphanage and drive off the scavengers.  After Joi has K break the antenna on her gift, Luv gets upset and is forced to have to go confront Madam to find out K's location. 

 

It was a great moment when K finds out he is not the child,  And liked the comment K makes at the end that all her memories were the best ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought Leto's character could have been played by someone else and better. One of the few things that didn't bother me but I thought could have been different. Would have been a great role for a not well known actor to shine. But then again Joi and Luv fulfilled that. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

27 minutes ago, Leofric said:

Joi actually sacrifices herself to protect K by first copying her onto the handheld device and deleting her program from his house files so they couldn't read her memories and find out what he has learned, and then having him break off the antenna so they couldn't find the handheld.  



Yeah, but she's not necessarily breaking out of any kind of programming there- she's made to be as devoted to him as possible. You could argue that she'd have had company failsafes that she broke through but there isn't any concrete evidence of this and it seems to me there's a minor theme running through her story that is summed up by the prostitute's statement 'I've been inside you, there's not as much as you'd think'.

I can see where more positive takes on her situation would come from, it's not something given any concrete answers (probably the plot strand that hews closest to the original in that regard- the core plot is approached with much more specificity than anything in the original really was).
 

21 minutes ago, Theda Baratheon said:

I thought Leto's character could have been played by someone else and better. One of the few things that didn't bother me but I thought could have been different. Would have been a great role for a not well known actor to shine. But then again Joi and Luv fulfilled that. 

 

I thought Leto was fine but not really in the film enough to make a huge difference if I hadn't thought that. He isn't even that much of a looming presence really, because Luv does all the looming.

On the other hand I thought he fit excellently in the prequel short that they put on youtube.

Edited by polishgenius

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I thought it was a great film. I have a few complaints, and I'll get to those at the end, but first for the positive things.

  • It is better in pretty much every way than the original film; now I've only watched the theatrical cut of the original, but since this, at this point, is also the theatrical cut, I would say they are apt for comparison. The original had good ideas in a great setting, but it has a pretty simplistic story, and not all those ideas get to a satisfying conclusion. It is a good movie, but nothing to fall in lover over. Sorry @Theda Baratheon:D But 2049 manages to expand on everything the original set up in spectacular fashion: the world, the ideas, and it is well executed. 
  • Great characters for the most part, with solid performances all around. The character of Joi stands out for multiple reasons: for one, her existence is another way, and a brilliant way at that, to expand upon the world of Blade Runner; but then the writers go and take the character further, breathing life into her, making you feel sorry for it, and her presence allows for more development for the protagonist. Regarding the question of whether or not she was a bit more sentient, there is enough ambiguity to merit continuous debate - as @polishgenius pointed out, between the big hologram that talks to K, and what Mariette (the prostitute) says about her, there may be that all of it was just programming; but on the other hand, K was supposed to an obedient replicant, but then the events of the story change him, so maybe it could happen to Joi, as well; what it means to be human is a central theme of the movie, and this is touched on with Joi, too.
  • The villains were solid - Luv was a great 'henchman' and it's too bad there wasn't more development for her; there was that moment when Wallace cuts up the new replicant, and she flinches. It's the only time she shows any kind of weakness, but it's never explored further. I liked Leto's performance - he does play crazy well, and Wallace is a mad scientist; I don't think he needed more screen time, than what he got - maybe even less, mainly the part with Deckard; he represents the big evil of the corporations, a modern god; his existence and knowing his motives is sufficient to drive the "small guys" into whatever action they need to take.
  • The world, as I said above, is well developed and expanded from the original film. They did a good job on the part in the San Diego district with the huge dumping ground, the scavengers, and of course, the workshop with kids. Now, I'm not sure, but is the city where Deckard was hiding supposed to be Las Vegas? I've never really played the Fallout games, but that whole set felt like a nod to those games, though I'm sure there were nods to older films/books.
  • While the movie was very long, I thought the pace was well handled, and never felt boring - between world exposition, the characters, and the central mystery of the plot, it all moved together nicely. And the twists and reveals were all good. I greatly appreciate that they were able to keep the nature of K's character a secret during the previews - there is that one shot when he bursts through the wall after Deckard which was in a trailer, but the trailer was so well cut that you couldn't tell who it was. And of course, the later reveals were just brilliant.
  • Loved seeing Edward James Olmos, again, as brief as it was.

Some complaints:

  • While I thought the music was good, I didn't think it was used all that well; some of the booming sounds were a bit too much at times, and that high tension music that played during the Luv-K climactic fight scene really drowned... the scene... :blink: OK, as I composed this sentence, I am thinking that maybe that was the intent of the music, to drown part of the sequence, to really evoke the danger of the water, as the fight scene was taking place. At times, the fight was put into the background of the furious water; hmm, maybe the use of music wasn't that bad; still, the volume - too much; maybe it was just the sound system in the theater :dunno: I suppose you could say I have mixed feelings on the matter.
  • I also have mixed feeling on Robin Wright's character, Lieutenant Joshi - I would say that she is a better character than captain racist douchebag from the original, but maybe she could have been written differently; her character seemed to be a nod to two recent characters that Wright has played - she may be best known for playing Princess Buttercup, but this character was a lot closer to both Claire Underwood and Antiope; so I would say that she is a strong character, but perhaps a little more originality was warranted, hence my mixed feelings
  • The world was truly great, but there was something missing from the LA's super urban environment - air traffic; the only flying cars we see are the ones used by the main characters. Where is the general traffic? Maybe I missed some background info, but are only cops and rich people able to use flying cars? We did see those big vehicles dumping garbage, so where are flying trucks carrying goods, big passenger vehicles etc. 

Other thoughts:

  • Going back to the original, there definitely seemed to be a parallel between K's last scene, as he lay dying, and Roy's last scene with his iconic speech; just as Deckard was perplexed by Roy not killing him, he was again perplexed by K's action to help him.
  • K may not have died, or maybe a part of him can be saved - this comes from Roy's speech, how all his experiences would be lost once he died, "like tears in rain"; but in K's final scene it was snowing, and there is a chance to preserve a frozen tear.
  • My impression, at the end, was that the girl's autoimmunity deficiency thing was fake, something cooked up by whoever integrated her into society, and she was made to believe that. It may be that it is real, on account of her genetics, but I doubt it, since the old replicant lady said that she will reveal her when the time was right. 
Edited by Corvinus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, polishgenius said:



Yeah, but she's not necessarily breaking out of any kind of programming there- she's made to be as devoted to him as possible. You could argue that she'd have had company failsafes that she broke through but there isn't any concrete evidence of this and it seems to me there's a minor theme running through her story that is summed up by the prostitute's statement 'I've been inside you, there's not as much as you'd think'.

I can see where more positive takes on her situation would come from, it's not something given any concrete answers (probably the plot strand that hews closest to the original in that regard- the core plot is approached with much more specificity than anything in the original really was).
 

 

I thought Leto was fine but not really in the film enough to make a huge difference if I hadn't thought that. He isn't even that much of a looming presence really, because Luv does all the looming.

On the other hand I thought he fit excellently in the prequel short that they put on youtube.

Actually yeah - I liked him more in the prequel short. I did love his scene with Ford though with the lighting - very reminiscent of the first movie. And Ford's performance was excellent. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, saw it, thought it was great!
More later.

Note: Saw it in 3D , I did not think 3D for this film added much, it's getting to be that way for even good films these days.
Only films I saw were I thought 3D worked, Avatar and Gravity.
Save you money on the 3D.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Corvinus said:

hmm, maybe the use of music wasn't that bad; still, the volume - too much; maybe it was just the sound system in the theater :dunno:


See, I thought it was just my cinema, but if you had the same complaint, maybe it wasn't- the drums and bassy bits were ridiculously overwhelming at points. Wasn't just the final scene, there were a couple of conversations earlier where I was struggling to hear what people were saying. That may be a sound mixing issue more than a composition issue but I did overall find the soundtrack more intrusive and less iconic than the first. And way too many drums.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought it was a really good film, but not a great one. It looked absolutely fantastic, and the world-building was great, but the plot felt a bit thin. It was certainly epic in scope, and had the underlying bones to be great, but I think a lot (though not all) of the long shots of K brooding would've been served as something else more in service to plot. Or they could've just been cut, movie didn't need to be almost three hours.

Even so, I did quite it.

On 10/6/2017 at 4:20 PM, Kalbear said:

I want to establish what the hell is going on.

  • Deckard had a daughter. No other children.
  • That child grew up in that shitty orphanage, and had the memory of the wooden horse - the only thing Deckard gave her.
  • Presumably because of the weird genetics she grew up with major immunocompromised
  • She became a memory author and inserted her memory of the horse into many of the Nexus 9 series, including K (but not all)
  • All (or at least a good chunk) of the Nexus 9 who were rebelling had this memory, including the prostitute that K sleeps with (who sees the horse and says 'the dream' at his apartment).
  • K is not a clone of the daughter. K was not meant to throw off the scent. K was not meant to even know anything about anything. 

Is that all correct so far? Everyone with me?

  • Agreed.
  • Agreed.
  • Agreed. I don't think her being locked away was a ploy. Also, I took this as confirmation that Deckard was a human, not a replicant; but I liked how the movie never really answered that question. And I liked how the scene he had with Jared Leto played with that question.
  • Not sure about this one. Because of the illegality of using real memories, I'm not sure why she'd take the risk of using one widespread like that. I thought K was a special decoy.
  • See above. Also, I thought the prostitute was a human ally of the rebelling replicants; the way she jokes about looking at her eye and saying that K must not like real girls (which as I recall, she says before she knows about Joi).
  • I just don't know. I don't think he was ever really in the orphanage, his only memory there being the daughter's real one implanted in him. So I don't think he's a clone. But I do think he was special in some way. I need to think about it more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

13 minutes ago, Fez said:
  • Not sure about this one. Because of the illegality of using real memories, I'm not sure why she'd take the risk of using one widespread like that. I thought K was a special decoy.



I think Kalbear's right on this. Firstly because of Marriete's reaction to the horse, secondly because how does giving him her memory make him work as a decoy, and thirdly because of her reaction to him showing her- she was suprised and devastated, realising just what she's done, and if she'd done it on purpose to the one specific replicant, I don't think either reaction would have made sense.

13 minutes ago, Fez said:

It looked absolutely fantastic, and the world-building was great, but the plot felt a bit thin. It was certainly epic in scope, and had the underlying bones to be great, but I think a lot (though not all) of the long shots of K brooding would've been served as something else more in service to plot.

 

I actually thought it could almost have done with less plot. I was talking about this with my brother (who adores the first in a way I don't), and what makes that film special is that it's about the little things, and the main core plot is quite slight and isn't really the main focus. In this one there's so much going on, and also so much more a concrete drive to get from a to b to c, that there's less focus on those little moments, and the film as a whole is afforded less space to be dreamy. It's perhaps why those broody shots that are there felt more out of place than they did in the first,which was comprised of brooding in huge percentages.

Edited by polishgenius

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The interesting little subplot is that none of it would have played out without a human gesture by a replicant- flowers on a grave. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw the film earlier today. I think I'm still trying to process everything that happened in it. My initial reaction is that while I don't think it is quite as good as the original (which is one of my favourite films) I think it is a good film in its own right and a worthy sequel that manages to bring some new ideas to the series.

I think it's a good thing that they didn't go for the plot point of K being the child, it would have seemed too contrived for him to end up being the Blade Runner that first uncovers the conspiracy. I do think him believing that he might be the child does add an extra dimension to the film and it says something about his character how eager he is to believe that it is true. I quite like the idea of the child being hidden to some extent in plain sight, while she may not go out in public at all she isn't exactly in hiding either. I am a bit unclear about how she ends up going from the squalor of the orphanage to her current situation, it seems someone in the conspiracy to protect her must have a lot of resources.

I'm glad they left in the ambiguity about whether Deckard is a replicant or not from the original. Since this story isn't primarily about him, I don't think it necessarily matters to 2049 whether he is or not, it's enough that Rachel is able to give birth for their to be a miracle. In some ways it's a bit of a shame she didn't come back as well, but I suppose it's consistent with Gaff's prophecy at the end of the first film ("it's too bad she won't live, but then again who does?").

It was nice to see Edward James Olmos reprising his role as Gaff, and I liked the nods to the original book with him making an origami sheep and the mentions of the Wallace corporation building fake animals.

I liked the interactions between K and Joi, the actress did a good job so I think it was easy to get fooled into thinking of her as being as much a genuinely conscious being as the replicants, although I think K is deluding himself about that.

Luv was a good antagonist, and I liked the contrast between how ruthlessly she acts and some of the hints of emotions she shows. I found Wallace to be a slightly dull character and less impressive than Tyrrel in the original.

I saw it in IMAX and it was visually spectacular, perhaps the imagery isn't quite as iconic as in the first film but there was still some great cinematography. The soundtrack similar wasn't as memorable as in the first film but I think still reasonably good.

I'm now wondering whether there will be a third film, there's certainly scope for it to focus on the revelation being made public that it is possible for replicants to reproduce.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/8/2017 at 4:04 AM, polishgenius said:

I'm mostly with Theda on Joi. I thought her proving not to be very deep was what made her tragic- and that's what the last scene with the big porny advert was about. He found that even the name she gave him came from her basic advertising programming, and generally had his views of her crushed and was reminded what she was built for.

 

I agree completely. And even more telling, to me, was the line of advertising blurb that floated next to the 50 ft Joi. It was something along the lines of "I'll always tell you exactly what you want to hear". So, when she's telling K she wants to be downloaded into the remote projector thing so she can go with him and when she rushes to him and says "I love you" just before the projector is smashed, are those real thoughts and feelings that show she's grown beyond her original programming, or is her program simply making her say "exactly what he wishes to hear".

I'm not sure if the movie intends us to form the conclusion that she has always simply been acting according to her programming. But it at least makes us question whether or not that's the case.

And when she acts "jealously" towards the prostitute replicant the morning after... is she? Or is she merely being "perfunctory". I'd need to see it again to see if there's more nuance there that I'm forgetting. But her coldness the morning after could simply be that her prostitute has served her purpose and is no longer required, so she is summarily dismissed. I'm not sure if there's any actual jealousy there.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Fez said:

Also, I thought the prostitute was a human ally of the rebelling replicants; the way she jokes about looking at her eye and saying that K must not like real girls (which as I recall, she says before she knows about Joi).

Actually... I think she says it precisely after hearing the distinctive Joi "ring-tone". (The same one that earlier prompted Luv to say to K "ahhh... I see you're a customer of ours, as well".)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now