Sunday, October 08, 2017

blade runner 2049

it's not for nothing that filmmaker denis villeneuve, director of photography roger deakins et al. have created an epic of such vast scale that watching this flick in IMAX still did little justice to the details of a dying mid-21st century l.a.

working from a script by original BR screenwriter hampton fancher director villeneuve's vision of a noirish dessicated cityscape is, well, quite literally mind blowing.  for this flick is set 30 years after the action of ridley scott's brilliant first film and it sure looks like things have gotten worse, pollution, overpopulation, lawlessness, and an overall arching entropy as the world is dying.

ryan gosling plays officer k, a replicant [that's not giving away any secrets for that knowledge is in the press releases] blade runner who is tasked to 'retire' older generation replicants whose reliability in society is untrustworthy.  k uncovers a long buried secret that sets him in motion to find rick deckard.

gosling is an interesting actor.  i've not been a fan of his style.  his range is limited.  his smiles appear forced.  but that style of stiff acting is appropriate in the role of k.  emotions for k are small things of limited use for him and his work.  k is like an automoton.  he gets the job done and that is all.

and yet, k begins to find his soul -- if a soul humans have -- as he learns more about himself.  even more, k has a live-in girlfriend, joi, played by ana de armas.  however, joi is an AI hologram.  she feels love for k.  does she have a soul too?  that would be something to explore for another story.  but i found the character joi utterly fascinating.  and i think as AI becomes stronger in our world we might find programs like joi in the near to middle future.

another thing i admire about filmmaker denis villeneuve is his lack of hurry when telling a story.  this is a movie that moves on its own pace.  it is not a fast rollercoaster, it is a sleek roadster much like ridley scott's first iteration on this story based on the novel, do androids dream of electric sheep? by philip k. dick.  and this movie is sumptuous.

but like the original film i think this new iteration requires a couple more viewings in order to let the narrative to sink in.  i saw this flick with my brother.  he loved the film.  i admired it.  he said that this is newest movie is worthy of the first BR.  i don't mean to sound coy but before i make that pronouncement i need to see it again.  but i do greatly admire deakins' photography and villeneuve's epic sweep.  this is not a blockbuster action film.  this is a movie of david lean style proportions.  i don't say that lightly.  for this is a film for a generation that is growing up with nearly unfathomable technical leaps as well as a destabilized climate that will soon make living on earth much harder for humankind.  this is a movie with vision even if i find, for right now, the story a bit less about metaphysics than the first film.  

still, i need to see this movie a second time to properly write about it.  i can only record my first impressions.  and i need to declare my love of denis villeneuve who i think is one of the finest filmmakers of his generation.

as for dystopian visions might i make a suggestion, hollywood?  how about a 21st century revision of soylent green [1973].  that flick scared the shit out of me when i was a wee lad.  remember, it's people!, and tell me if that doesn't pucker your sphincter.  you wanna movie that can scare people regarding climate change?  soylent green is the film to do it. 


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