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I saw the sequel to the 1982 sci-fi movie on Thursday. Any thoughts on the movie? Feel free to divulge spoilers in the comments.

 
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  1. I saw the original at a Christmas party. It was the last time in my life that I was somewhat sloshed.

    • Replies: @black sea
    Not conforming to the Brit stereotype. At all.
    , @Father O'Hara
    Any grossly inappropriate sexual advances you want to confess?
    , @Not Raul
    You Brits like to take care of things early.
    , @Chrisnonymous
    Is there some connection between the movie and your abstention?
  2. Boycott Hollywood. Show your pride in (what’s left of) America.

    • Agree: MBlanc46
    • Replies: @Capra
    Hollywood does produce garbage to destroy the fabric of Western civilization.
  3. Over time I have come to realise that DADOES is Dick’s masterpiece (earlier I might have pushed 3 Stigmata, Ubik or Scanner Darkly).

    Over time I have come to realise that Blade Runner is dull and severely overrated. The new one?

    • Replies: @pyrrhus
    PKD's masterpiece is Man in the High Castle....The first Blade Runner was outstanding and better than the novel, perhaps because of Rutger Hauer and Harrison Ford. I found Blade Runner 2049 to be interesting, but slow paced at times...My kids really liked it however.
  4. @dearieme
    I saw the original at a Christmas party. It was the last time in my life that I was somewhat sloshed.

    Not conforming to the Brit stereotype. At all.

  5. OT, but, Jeremy Lin culturally appropriates dreadlocks. Vapid Twitter commentary ensues, as boredom overtakes the world:

    http://www.ajc.com/news/national/asian-american-basketball-player-jeremy-lin-responds-criticism-for-having-dreadlocks/KVBqw95PVT6W62SZjabqSI/

    • Replies: @Clyde

    , Jeremy Lin culturally appropriates dreadlocks.
     
    He said it was an eight hour braiding session. Not joking.
    , @Jim Don Bob
    Right. And ESPN got its panties in a knot for 24 hours after Cam Newton made a joke to a female reporter. This is much worse than hundreds of players not standing for the national anthem.
    , @Sean
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvaM0pMj-8o
  6. most negative review https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2017/10/05/box-office-why-blade-runner-2049-needs-to-break-records-to-break-even/#24dd6f011f30

    The movie is 2.75 hours. Too long for me to be cooped up in a movie theater. Maybe later at home, but I am not enthused about it or Ryan Gosling.

  7. @black sea
    OT, but, Jeremy Lin culturally appropriates dreadlocks. Vapid Twitter commentary ensues, as boredom overtakes the world:

    http://www.ajc.com/news/national/asian-american-basketball-player-jeremy-lin-responds-criticism-for-having-dreadlocks/KVBqw95PVT6W62SZjabqSI/

    , Jeremy Lin culturally appropriates dreadlocks.

    He said it was an eight hour braiding session. Not joking.

  8. @black sea
    OT, but, Jeremy Lin culturally appropriates dreadlocks. Vapid Twitter commentary ensues, as boredom overtakes the world:

    http://www.ajc.com/news/national/asian-american-basketball-player-jeremy-lin-responds-criticism-for-having-dreadlocks/KVBqw95PVT6W62SZjabqSI/

    Right. And ESPN got its panties in a knot for 24 hours after Cam Newton made a joke to a female reporter. This is much worse than hundreds of players not standing for the national anthem.

    • Replies: @NOTA
    Looks indistinguishable to me--a stupid made-up scandal about what some symbolic BS some pro athletes are doing.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    Right. And ESPN got its panties in a knot for 24 hours after Cam Newton made a joke to a female reporter.
     
    A white female reporter. So why isn't she condemned as racist?

    Do the media flip coins in a case like this?
  9. @dearieme
    I saw the original at a Christmas party. It was the last time in my life that I was somewhat sloshed.

    Any grossly inappropriate sexual advances you want to confess?

  10. Is it a MIRAMAX film? Anyhow, Harvey Weinstein says he’s _never_ laid a finger on Meryl Streep, ever

    • LOL: Chrisnonymous
    • Replies: @Jack D
    The Weinsteins sold Miramax to Disney ages ago. Their current company is The Weinstein Company. Some companies can survive the loss of their founder, but The Weinstein Company's entire business model was premised on Harvey shouting at a lot of people and without Harvey around to shout it is probably going down the tubes. What is missing from the media accounts is that Harvey's monstrous behavior toward women was just one small facet of his monstrous behavior toward EVERYONE when he is not getting his way (OTOH when he does get his way he is as happy as Hitler doing his little jig after taking the surrender of the French). This is like Kim Jong Il being deposed because he is handsy with the secretaries - it's the least of his crimes.
    , @RadicalCenter
    Hillary cock-blocked him.
  11. I saw it. It was a visual masterpiece. It also wasn’t a feast of idiocy, unlike say Alien Covenant. Having said that, it was thoroughly depressing. It painted a world were no one seems to have a good life. Nearly every character is a replicant, and given that their goal is to be able to breed and thus replace humans, how am I supposed to be sympathetic to them?

    Replicants labor, yet the vast majority of actual humans shown seem to be even worse off, living in an enormous landfill and scavenging what they can.

    Bladerunner 2049 paints a future of environmental degradation, merciless exploitation and disposal of workers, poverty, and alienation.

    Is this what the elites are preparing us for? A world where the masses are either disposable labor or living off the table scraps, while the .01% wallow in cocoons of luxury that would make a sultan blush?

    Depressing AF

    • Replies: @Alfa158
    Yes.
    , @notanon

    Bladerunner 2049 paints a future of environmental degradation, merciless exploitation and disposal of workers, poverty, and alienation.

    Is this what the elites are preparing us for? A world where the masses are either disposable labor or living off the table scraps, while the .01% wallow in cocoons of luxury that would make a sultan blush?
     
    yes - that is precisely what the Zuckerborg are aiming for

    (the Merkelborg faction want a more totalitarian "1984" dystopia with more torture - a bit like the movie "Brazil")

    those are the two globalist choices: Bladerunner or 1984.

    (the only good solution now sociopaths have the tech for a global solution is some kind of federated ethno-nationalism)
    , @U. Ranus
    > Is this what the elites are preparing us for? A world where the masses are either disposable labor or living off the table scraps, while the .01% wallow in cocoons of luxury that would make a sultan blush?

    That "future" is real enough already. No, the movie highlights a pressing Elite conundrum through bizarro world reversal:

    Blade Runner shows a world full of artificially made Replicant serfs who would prefer to reproduce naturally.

    Real world has White Middle Class serfs who have almost stopped breeding naturally while Elites haven't yet figured out how to artificially make more of them.
    , @arknos
    It isn't talked about much in the original movie, but Earth is terribly polluted and everyone who can has immigrated off-world. So all those left behind are the dregs of society and naturally have unpleasant lives.
  12. @black sea
    OT, but, Jeremy Lin culturally appropriates dreadlocks. Vapid Twitter commentary ensues, as boredom overtakes the world:

    http://www.ajc.com/news/national/asian-american-basketball-player-jeremy-lin-responds-criticism-for-having-dreadlocks/KVBqw95PVT6W62SZjabqSI/

  13. Hard to say the sound seemed bad and I missed too much dialog so inscifi you need every word to keep the plot. I didnt feel bored and walk out like I surprised myself doing with the last alien movie. Bladerunners one of my favorite movies so Im hoping when i can watch on a small screen with better sound it will be worth mining. It wasnt visually as stunning which was bladerunners big thing, youde think with todays tech they could have done more, I suspect in the end its gong to be a bit of a disappointment but it would have been astounding if they could have produced a sequel close to the original. However given how much closer we now are in crspr AI etc the right person really had the material to have made the morally ambiguous masterpiece the original was. I did here one line that we got squeamish about slavery and doomed ourselves to mediocrity which was provocative, though probably in real world the opposite was true and we got stuck holding the slaves one era too late and will pay for it in perpetuity

  14. Gosling is heir to Brando, for taking roles in which he is beaten to a pulp.

    ABSTRACT. This paper argues that at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation. A number of other consequences of this result are also discussed.

    Philip K Dick anticipates Nick Bostrom’s simulation argument by decades http://www.openculture.com/2014/02/philip-k-dick-theorizes-the-matrix-in-1977-declares-that-we-live-in-a-computer-programmed-reality.html … @openculture

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Gosling is a stiff. Very wooden and uncharismatic. He's no Brando. He's bluffed through his career so far by pretending his wooden affect is actually gravitas.
    , @Drapetomaniac
    I don't believe (so-called) intelligent life is intelligent enough not to kill itself off. Mother Nature always brings her wayward children back.


    Do gravitational anomalies prove we're not living in a computer simulation?

    http://newatlas.com/gravitational-anomaly-prove-universe-not-simulation/51588/
  15. @dearieme
    I saw the original at a Christmas party. It was the last time in my life that I was somewhat sloshed.

    You Brits like to take care of things early.

  16. Perhaps spoilers could be hidden beneath a MORE tag?

  17. Replicants are people.

    Alternatively…

    You idiots didn’t blow it up!

  18. I won’t have an opinion on “Blade Runner 2049” until the next time Harrison Ford lands his plane on a golf course.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    He almost crashed into a 737 loaded with 110 passengers earlier this year. He probably shouldn't be flying anymore:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4225082/Harrison-Ford-74-nearly-crashes-plane-AGAIN.html
    , @Colleen Pater
    That crash was an engine out which he handled flawlessly, Hes an accomplished pilot by any measure. Its true he did land on the wrong runway recently, if he wasnt harrison ford it would have been a non event. The faa doesnt fuck around if he was unsafe they would have grounded him. many of these large commercial airports have parallel runways they use for smaller traffic, they are by law to treat all plane regardless of size equally but they dont they sort of give you short shrift and coming into these airpirts in a small plane youre at a huge disadvantage he made a mistake it happens
  19. There are three versions of the original Blade Runner. For people completely unfamiliar with the oeuvre I recommend the 1982 with the voice-over that Ridley Scott hated being forced to put in the movie. Then, see the final final final director’s cut 2007 version – can really be enjoyed at its atmospheric best. Without seeing the original all the references in 2049 will be lost to you.

    I saw 2049 Thursday as well and really felt that it was well done. Academy Award level work for cinematographer Roger Deakins – absolutely the finest and most breathtaking work of his career. Editing brilliant as well. Music – Vangelis lite. All in all an evening quite well spent.

    • Replies: @notanon
    agree - see the voice over version so you understand what is going on then after you know the plot only watch the director's cut for the full atmospherics.
    , @AKAHorace
    The music was good but too loud. At times it was a symphony fighting a film. Both were good, but the music was too loud and played in every piece. A bit of occasional silence would have made it a better film. For all that it was pretty good.
  20. @dearieme
    I saw the original at a Christmas party. It was the last time in my life that I was somewhat sloshed.

    Is there some connection between the movie and your abstention?

    • Replies: @dearieme
    Nope. The getting sloshed (somewhat) was accidental; I'd always despised people who couldn't hold their drink. It just occurred to me that my capacity was not what it had been in undergraduate days. Once recognised, easily coped with.

    My immediate response was (insofar as I remember) that I'd be wiser to walk home than to cycle.
  21. Tfw Ana de Armas will never be your AI girlfriend. Why even live?

    Pretty enjoyable, but it could be 30 minutes shorter. The retro future aesthetics were really cool. The conflict seemed somewhat lacking because I sympathized much more with Jared Leto. What’s funny is that only something like 2 or 3 characters in the film are undeniably human, so almost the whole film is “machines” interacting with each other. I was hoping for a “Tears in the Rain” type monologue that sadly never came, but the creatives probably realized that trying to force something like that into the film would be doomed to failure.

    • Replies: @notanon

    I was hoping for a “Tears in the Rain” type monologue that sadly never came
     
    yes, hard (impossible?) to match that scene so trying and failing would probably stick out
  22. Boring and too long for too little. Was tempted to leave but kept expecting it to suddenly pick up which never happened.

  23. Is it a sequel? I thought it was a remake. When I saw Harrison Ford in the preview, I decided not to see the remake, but if it’s a sequel maybe I’ll go.

    • Replies: @guest
    It is a sequel. It carries on Harrison Ford's story, though he's not the main character. But aside from that it might as well be a remake with a slightly different premise. I'm not sure there's that much of a difference, because the continuation aspect was the least interesting part to me.
  24. Haven’t seen the it. First thought is that Blade Runner needs neither a remake, nor a sequel. I’m guessing this movie will trample all or most of what was good about the real Blade Runner.

  25. I’m not going to watch it, western movies stopped being made in 1960 as far as I’m concerned, but it’s hard for me to believe that they didn’t turn it into a sledgehammer morality play about white people and persecuted minority whatever.

    I mean, it’s right there! It’s so obvious! Imagine the temptation!

    But since I’ve seen nobody mention it, they must not have. That kind of dedication to quality over politics feels old fashioned.

    Are you sure they didn’t?

    PS iSteve commenters talking about movies is strange to me anyway. Those things are made for people much dumber than you.

    • Replies: @guest
    There was one reference to walls and one reference to a disposable workforce, both from unsympathetic characters (or characters intended to be unsympathetic). That's all I picked up on as regards "relevance "
  26. I saw the movie at an early showing on Thursday night in Boston. It’s just recycled material from the original wrapped up in some silly and essentially unresolved plot twists. The original movie totally twisted P. K. Dick’s original plot. In “Do Android’s Dream of Electric Sheep”, Decker was human and ultimately repulsed by the replicant, Rachel’s, utter indifference to the sacredness of life. Dick was scoring serious philosophic points about whether there are souls and the obligations that humanity incurs when it attempts to replace the the demiurge. The original movie totally ignored Dick’s original plot by a last minute plot twist that reveals Decker is a replicant as he runs off with Rachel to establish a replicant refuge in – where else – northern California. But at least viewers could ponder issues of whether human creations, built in the image of humanity, might be created with souls or at least engender souls within themselves.

    Before I go into a set of plot revealing snarks about the inept screen play for this movie, I will say that the visuals and sound track were spectacular and the acting uniformly excellent. Anyone who liked the original and/or likes mindlessly entertaining sci-fi movies will enjoy this movie.

    The rest is plot revelations from the new movie, so be warned

    Warning! Plot revelations coming…

    Warning! Plot revelations coming…

    In the new movie, replicants have been re-engineered to follow Asimov’s Second Law of Robotics: They obey human orders. How new model replicants distinguish humans from replicants in order to do this is something the writers elide entirely. Ryan Gosling is a replicant blade runner, assigned to kill surviving, old model replicants. Why this is neccessary is never explained, which is too bad, since in the original movie, replicants had a very limited shelf life. In eliminating a surviving, old model replicant, the Gosling Character discovers that at least one replicant couple — anybody who’s seen the first movie immediately suspects the “surprise plot twist” near the end of the movie — have conceived a set of twins, a boy and a girl.

    Surviving replicant rebels have hidden these because, for some ill-articulated reasoning from the screen writers, this is supposed to pose a threat to society and result in freedom for all replicants — old and new models — to live as ordinary human beings. The authorities task the Gosling character with tracking down and eliminating these replicant children because of the supposed threat they pose. For unexplained reasons the new replicant manufacturer also wants to obtain these replicant children and a race ensues between him, Gosling, and the authorities to track them down. The authorities want to destroy them. Gosling wants to do something else; God knows what but he’s evidently somehow evolved an ability to only partially obey human orders. The manufacturer wants these children for some unexplicated reason.

    A new-model replicant is working for the manufacturer. Her sexy, ruthlessly homicidal replicant character will remind viewers of the nastiness of Priss and her fellows in the first movie. The ease with which she kills will make knowledgeable viewers wonder why replicants aren’t programmed with Asimov’s First Law of Robotics.

    Along the way misleading hints are provided to suggest that the Ryan Gosling character is one of the missing replicant children so another “surprise plot twist” can be gratuitously introduced and its implications left hanging at the end of the movie. (The astute viewer may legitimately suspect a planned sequel at this point.)

    If I sound irate with the mindless stupidity of this script, it’s because I am. A truly thoughtful sequel to the original Blade Runner movie could have been entertaining and thought provoking. At the time of the original movie the technologies that it and Dick’s novella examined were far off. Now they are upon us and we need serious considerations of their consequences. The screen writers of this new movie flubbed badly, relying on obvious tricks, endless unexplained or unexplored plot gimmicks, and deus ex machina “plot twists” that were oxymoronically both obvious and illogicaL.
    +

    • Replies: @Hubbub

    ...that were oxymoronically both obvious and illogical
     
    Spock?....Mr Spock?...Is that you?
    , @guest
    The part about Rachel and Deckard running off together, I never even knew that happened, because I never remember seeing the original version of the film. Or if I did, not all the way through. The version with which I'm familiar is the DVD "director's cut," released in 1997 or whenever, which has no voice-over and no happy ending.

    Honestly, I was confused by the plot of Blade Runner II, which seemed to assume knowledge of the couple starting a life together.

  27. We all know the ‘Turing Test’ – a machine or robot that can successfully imitate a human being is somehow equivalent to a human or at least to a human’s mind.

    So if these replicant’s that can live among humans and are extremely difficult to uncover, I would argue that they have also passed the Turing Test and they are indeed human. It also follows that the replicants would not be simply slaughtered by the police (“Blade Runners”). As people they would have a full set of civil rights. If a replicant were being annoyed by a Blade Runner he would simply make a complaint to the authorities and have a restraining order issued.

    The whole notion of a replicant makes little sense. They are some kind of slaves who do dangerous manual labor in space. There is no chance of chattel slavery being re-introduced because we need manual labor in space. Space is tricky territory for any biological being. But it is a much more acceptable environment for a mechanical robot. Robots for example need not breath. In the Blade Runner universe there are no robots but plenty of artificial biological humans. Since robots are relatively easy to make but artificial biological humans are very, very hard, this does not appear to be the direction the real world is taking.

    The original Blade Runner universe as depicted in the film seemed to fear a take over of Western Civilization by the Orientals. That is possible and so is a legitimate object of a fictional universe. But would an America where the Chinese (or more likely the Japanese) take over be so dark and dirty? Decker lives in a constantly dark slum. The real Japanese seem to value private gardens and well ordered public spaces. The movie is a bit racist in this regard. The real Japanese have almost no public crime but in the Blade Runner world Decker is a cop with a “License to Kill” and everyone he meets is some kind of criminal.

    So I don’t think there is much hope for the Blade Runner sequel. The basic premises of the original were too inadequate to begin with.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    You've hit on a problem not just with Bladerunner but with lots of other sci-fi with man-made humanoid characters. In reality, whether a robot or biological, manufactured workers would deliberately be more specialized and non-humanoid, to avoid these issues (with the exception of "pleasure models", presumably).

    And yes, the Bladerunner 2049 story isn't that deep. But neither was the original's. It was a classic due to its atmosphere and visuals. The sequel is spectacular for the same reasons.
    , @JimB
    "But would an America where the Chinese (or more likely the Japanese) take over be so dark and dirty?"

    Been to a Chinatown or Ranch 99, lately? Apparently, Chinese view cleanliness as an unfair tax on ones profit margins.
    , @guest
    The Turing Test doesn't really have anything to do with it. Replicants aren't machines. We don't need a roundabout way to measure their "intelligence," because intelligence in genetically engineered humans is not metaphorical like it is with computers. We could measure how smart they are indirectly.

    As for the question of whether they're truly human, they're just not, plainly and simply.
    , @guest
    "The basic premises of the original were too inadequate to begin with"

    But basic premises are easy to get over. Just take the Replicants as they're explained for a given, and the rest of the story makes sense. (I think.)

    I had a tough time getting over the question of why they bothered making replicants virtually indistinguishable from humans. Obviously they knew they were a threat, which is why they gave them such a short lifespan. Why not give them a third arm, too. Or a big red dot in the forehead. Something.

    By the way, about Our Oriental Future being dirty, this was developed better in the book, but the premise is that earth is ecologically disastrous and no one cares about living on it anymore. That's why the rogue replicants live there. Everyone who matters lives "off-world" in a space colony. That's where you'll find your well-tended Japanese gardens.
    , @guest
    I should add that passing the Turing Test doesn't make a machine human, nor does it mean that the machine's "mind" is equivalent to a human mind. All it means is that they're as "intelligent" as a human. Intelligence in their case being metaphorical.
    , @Pat Boyle
    Maybe a better reference would have been to the Robert Heinlein story "Jerry Was a Man". In that short story we are in a world where chimps or some similar sub-human creature are bred for manual labor. The final scene takes place in a courtroom where one of these creatures named Jerry wins legal recognition that he is human (Jerry was a Man).

    You would think that some replicant in the Blade runner universe would get himself a lawyer and go to court. He might argue for a longer life span. If a replicant can deceive almost everyone into believing they are human, they should do pretty well on the stand.

    The real problems with the concept are deeper. First of all making a human by chemistry and biological manufacturing would be very expensive. Whereas having a baby the old fashion way is nearly free. And then there is the problem of slavery. The replicants are slaves. But slavery makes no economic sense in the modern world. Slavery was declining in the Old World when the New World was discovered and Europe developed a taste for sugar. Later in America slavery was not particularly useful until the cotton plantation system was developed. So our experience with slavery is that it only made sense as an economic institution with agriculture for specific crops.

    But by the early twentieth century you couldn't sell a field slave even if it were legal. The Rust Cotton Picker and the tractor make human slaves worthless. We have explored much of the solar system. As far as I know there are no agricultural fields anywhere among the nine (or so) planets. Where are these replicant slaves doing whatever work they do?

    I have a Roomba - a little floor sweeping gizmo. I expect that I will have a better and more versatile gizmo in the near future. If I were to live long enough I'm sure I would have a robot maid. ( I certainly need a maid of some kind). But there is absolutely no energy going into creating artificial humans to clean my toilet. We allow illegal aliens in to do those jobs. There is no market for replicants.

    In the original film one of the girls is an exotic dancer. The first replicant Leon drives a truck or something like that. These are not jobs that Americans won't do. It makes no sense to spend millions to create these proletarian functionaries.
    , @Ian M.

    We all know the ‘Turing Test’ – a machine or robot that can successfully imitate a human being is somehow equivalent to a human or at least to a human’s mind.

    So if these replicant’s that can live among humans and are extremely difficult to uncover, I would argue that they have also passed the Turing Test and they are indeed human.
     
    The Turing test is bollocks.

    Just because we can be fooled into thinking a machine can think doesn't mean it is actually thinking.

    It's an amazing thing that the Turing test has come to be thought of as containing some profound insight into what it means to be human. Drop the Turing, pick up the Plato and Aristotle and their successors.
  28. 3/5
    As always, beautiful visuals. And as often the case is now, weak story with the setup for future franchise.
    The girl in the bubble will lead the armies of ‘good underground’ replicants against ‘bad capitalist’ ones? We will have ‘planet of apes’ style of replicant wars by sequel #3.

    • Replies: @1RW
    She seems like the worst possible leader of an uprising.

    Let's just nuke each other and get it over with
    , @Ouzo 120 proof
    Has any sci-fi movie ever had a serious, concrete plot? They're full of holes at best, hilarious at worst.
    The point of making a sci-fi movie is that it offers much more artistic freedom to its creators than, say, a movie in a contemporary or historical setting.

    All you need for such a movie to become a hit or a cult classic is good production value, enticing visuals and a couple of memorable lines.
    The difference is that movies like Star Wars are simple child fantasies, whereas movies like BR can serve as a spark for more complicated ideas.
  29. BL 1 “people” who don’t want to die are chased by a “real” person who’s job it is to kill them.

    Set in a world where people are nothing more than wants targeted by marketing peeps back in 1983 (SAILER sold his soul long ago…heh)

    Meanwhile profound ideas a whirl like the rain on a desert. Funny how that affects the climate settings.

    BL 1 external struggle.

    BL 2 internal struggle about who am I. Externals are confusing. Too much time w wasted time floating w ambiguous visual themes to stay with the plot.

    Okay so his soul is in a desert or a trash heap. But so is everyone else…as in the baddies in terms of visual themes? So what contrasts his life from the baddies..and what is their motivation for being bad any way?

    WOULD be happy to write a complete review about what when wrong with BK2 for $500 or $2000 in contributions to iSteve made in my name. Timo3.

  30. Well its frigging almost three hours long so thats a major time commitment. The original was 2 hours but egotistical producers these days put out all these bloated movies that should all be trimmed down at least an hour. Harrison Ford hasn’t been fun to watch in at least 20 years and was terrible in the last Star Wars phoning in his usual one note performance. Ryan Gosling is a typical doey eyed Hollywood leftist I have no interest in seeing. If they had left out Ford and made a reasonable length movie I might have checked it out but probably won’t unless its on a plane. I really like the original fwiw.

  31. @Pat Boyle
    We all know the 'Turing Test' - a machine or robot that can successfully imitate a human being is somehow equivalent to a human or at least to a human's mind.

    So if these replicant's that can live among humans and are extremely difficult to uncover, I would argue that they have also passed the Turing Test and they are indeed human. It also follows that the replicants would not be simply slaughtered by the police ("Blade Runners"). As people they would have a full set of civil rights. If a replicant were being annoyed by a Blade Runner he would simply make a complaint to the authorities and have a restraining order issued.

    The whole notion of a replicant makes little sense. They are some kind of slaves who do dangerous manual labor in space. There is no chance of chattel slavery being re-introduced because we need manual labor in space. Space is tricky territory for any biological being. But it is a much more acceptable environment for a mechanical robot. Robots for example need not breath. In the Blade Runner universe there are no robots but plenty of artificial biological humans. Since robots are relatively easy to make but artificial biological humans are very, very hard, this does not appear to be the direction the real world is taking.

    The original Blade Runner universe as depicted in the film seemed to fear a take over of Western Civilization by the Orientals. That is possible and so is a legitimate object of a fictional universe. But would an America where the Chinese (or more likely the Japanese) take over be so dark and dirty? Decker lives in a constantly dark slum. The real Japanese seem to value private gardens and well ordered public spaces. The movie is a bit racist in this regard. The real Japanese have almost no public crime but in the Blade Runner world Decker is a cop with a "License to Kill" and everyone he meets is some kind of criminal.

    So I don't think there is much hope for the Blade Runner sequel. The basic premises of the original were too inadequate to begin with.

    You’ve hit on a problem not just with Bladerunner but with lots of other sci-fi with man-made humanoid characters. In reality, whether a robot or biological, manufactured workers would deliberately be more specialized and non-humanoid, to avoid these issues (with the exception of “pleasure models”, presumably).

    And yes, the Bladerunner 2049 story isn’t that deep. But neither was the original’s. It was a classic due to its atmosphere and visuals. The sequel is spectacular for the same reasons.

    • Replies: @Pat Boyle
    You too have hit on the truth. The original Blade Runner made little or no sense as a story but it made a big impact because of its "atmosphere and visuals".

    There are many ways in which a director can achieve greatness. Ridley Scott has become prominent because of set decoration - strange as that sounds. His first successful film was "The Duelists". It knocked me over in the theater - it was so gorgeous. I now read that the sword fighting in it was pure hokum. But that didn't matter - they looked so good doing it. That was also the case with his hit "Gladiator" - lousy Roman history but it looked great.

    Scott is not a "Man of Ideas" or even one of those great director of actors who can extract a fine acting performance from some limited ham. He does however have a terrific eye. His sets always look great.
    , @Jack D
    In part, this common plot device is a technical problem caused by the fact that current actual robots aren't really good enough to play movie characters so you always have to use human actors pretending to be robots (pretending to be human). (Even CGI robots are usually motion captured from humans and their voices are almost always human voices).

    There is also something called the "uncanny valley" - we accept robots that look like robots (C-3PO) as cute and if you could really make a robot that could convincingly pass as human it would be fine but if you make a robot that looks almost but not quite human it just gives you the creeps. All the current versions of humanoid robots that try to pass as human are still deep within the valley and thus highly creepy and unacceptable as movie actors. Maybe guys who are into sex dolls are creepy already and they are so horny that it wouldn't bother them, but most normal humans are too repelled by creatures in the uncanny valley that they would not accept them as bank tellers let alone sexual partners. And I think the sides of the uncanny valley are very steep - it would take a lot to make a fully convincing robot and if even one detail gives it away you are instantly creeped out. You can get away with more in 2 dimensions on screen but in real life it will be even harder to pull off.

    If "replicants" are brewed up biologically and not made from parts in a factory (as the ability to reproduce would indicate) then to me replicants are just test tube humans and not robots at all.
  32. In regards to the Blade Runner universe– and why Earth is such a dystopia– they did remain pretty cagey about the specifics.

    There were repeated references (in both movies) to the notion that anyone left on Earth is *stuck* on Earth. The new movie expanded a bit on what happened– ecosystem collapse necessitating the invention of ‘artificial’ farming, and a highly radioactive Las Vegas– but we still don’t have the details.

    From a hard science fiction perspective the robots vs biological automata point is a good one. But we do have to remind ourselves that the replicants in the Blade Runner world aren’t just plot devices. They are symbols for our own quest for identity and meaning.

    Remember the line from the first one? “Wake up. Time to die.” Ensoulment brings with it existential dread. Is the former worth the latter?

    I’m still not sure if the new movie hangs together. I have to chew on it some more. But there’s something to chew ON, which makes it better than most big-budget blockbusters, that’s for sure.

  33. So if these replicant’s that can live among humans and are extremely difficult to uncover, I would argue that they have also passed the Turing Test and they are indeed human.

    So would every character in any half way decent film that you watch, though you know you are just watching a shadow show that originated with actors, a script, direction and cameras. Movies is replicants, better than the real thing.

  34. @Dave Pinsen
    You've hit on a problem not just with Bladerunner but with lots of other sci-fi with man-made humanoid characters. In reality, whether a robot or biological, manufactured workers would deliberately be more specialized and non-humanoid, to avoid these issues (with the exception of "pleasure models", presumably).

    And yes, the Bladerunner 2049 story isn't that deep. But neither was the original's. It was a classic due to its atmosphere and visuals. The sequel is spectacular for the same reasons.

    You too have hit on the truth. The original Blade Runner made little or no sense as a story but it made a big impact because of its “atmosphere and visuals”.

    There are many ways in which a director can achieve greatness. Ridley Scott has become prominent because of set decoration – strange as that sounds. His first successful film was “The Duelists”. It knocked me over in the theater – it was so gorgeous. I now read that the sword fighting in it was pure hokum. But that didn’t matter – they looked so good doing it. That was also the case with his hit “Gladiator” – lousy Roman history but it looked great.

    Scott is not a “Man of Ideas” or even one of those great director of actors who can extract a fine acting performance from some limited ham. He does however have a terrific eye. His sets always look great.

    • Replies: @pitino fan club prez
    Haven't seen the new film but I would agree with the above commenters about Scott. His movies are, if nothing else, hypnotizingly beautiful. Whatever they lack in plot depth or character complexity they make up for in visual experience. His best are also infinitely rewatchable-- I must have watched Gladiator and Blade Runner a dozen times each, Thelma and Louise at least half a dozen. His bad films, however, border on the unwatchable. Still a great catalog for a guy who should've just franchised his first few ideas and made a killing on artless cash grabs like Lucas. (He's partway there, however: The Alien prequels are Lucasesque catastrophes)
    , @Seth Largo
    Makes sense since Scott came out of design and advertising.
    , @Dave Pinsen
    Villenueve's Arrival last year also had a thin story. As I said then, the big sci-fi ideas today are mainly in novels. Liu Cixin's Three Body Problem trilogy, Neal Stephenson's Seveneves, and Kim Stanley Robinson's Aurora tower over recent sci-fi movies. There's a Chinese movie adaptation in the works for the first book in the Three Body trilogy though.
    , @black sea
    You may be interested in Pauline Kael's 1982 review of Blade Runner.

    http://scrapsfromtheloft.com/2016/12/28/blade-runner-review-pauline-kael/

    I am a fan of the film, but it does require prodigious suspensions of disbelief.
    , @guest
    Atmosphere and visuals, yes. But also theme and character. Or specifically a character: Rutger Hauer's.

    And I can't stress enough: music.
  35. Disappointment at the box office: The movie only grossed $12.7 million
    on Friday at 4058 theaters. Effect of BOYCOTT HOLLYWOOD, perhaps
    reinforced by the Weinstein scandal? Conservatives on various forums
    are increasingly saying, “Let’s not support Hollywood and New York
    with our money.”

  36. Haven’t seen the sequel, but the original was boring and overrated. I think people just liked the visuals and atmosphere of the original movie, and then convinced themselves that the actual movie and plot was better than it really was.

  37. @Pat Boyle
    You too have hit on the truth. The original Blade Runner made little or no sense as a story but it made a big impact because of its "atmosphere and visuals".

    There are many ways in which a director can achieve greatness. Ridley Scott has become prominent because of set decoration - strange as that sounds. His first successful film was "The Duelists". It knocked me over in the theater - it was so gorgeous. I now read that the sword fighting in it was pure hokum. But that didn't matter - they looked so good doing it. That was also the case with his hit "Gladiator" - lousy Roman history but it looked great.

    Scott is not a "Man of Ideas" or even one of those great director of actors who can extract a fine acting performance from some limited ham. He does however have a terrific eye. His sets always look great.

    Haven’t seen the new film but I would agree with the above commenters about Scott. His movies are, if nothing else, hypnotizingly beautiful. Whatever they lack in plot depth or character complexity they make up for in visual experience. His best are also infinitely rewatchable– I must have watched Gladiator and Blade Runner a dozen times each, Thelma and Louise at least half a dozen. His bad films, however, border on the unwatchable. Still a great catalog for a guy who should’ve just franchised his first few ideas and made a killing on artless cash grabs like Lucas. (He’s partway there, however: The Alien prequels are Lucasesque catastrophes)

    • Replies: @Altai
    The sequel Scott envisioned to Gladiator would have follow Russell Crowes character as he was reincarnated as an American GI during the Vietnam war. True story!
  38. @Pat Boyle
    You too have hit on the truth. The original Blade Runner made little or no sense as a story but it made a big impact because of its "atmosphere and visuals".

    There are many ways in which a director can achieve greatness. Ridley Scott has become prominent because of set decoration - strange as that sounds. His first successful film was "The Duelists". It knocked me over in the theater - it was so gorgeous. I now read that the sword fighting in it was pure hokum. But that didn't matter - they looked so good doing it. That was also the case with his hit "Gladiator" - lousy Roman history but it looked great.

    Scott is not a "Man of Ideas" or even one of those great director of actors who can extract a fine acting performance from some limited ham. He does however have a terrific eye. His sets always look great.

    Makes sense since Scott came out of design and advertising.

  39. I don’t want to see any spoilers in this thread, as I will most definitely be seeing this tomorrow. I just re-watched the original in order to refresh my mind with respect to the associated themes, and I wound up seeing some sort of remastered director’s cut, or whatnot. I recommend that version. VUDU had both, and they were the same price, but I think the director’s cut (or whatever) was almsot certainly superior (based on my somewhat dim recollection).

  40. A few observations about Bladerunner 2049’s Los Angeles: it’s cold enough to snow in the city itself, and apparently sea levels have risen but a huge wall keeps out the ocean. Climate seems to have changed Lucifer’s Hammer-style rather than via global warming.

    It’s not very crowded. Seems like there were fewer extras in the sequel (with the exception of the child factory workers maybe). And Hispanics are nonexistent, except for the gorgeous virtual girlfriend who, to borrow Steve’s description of Jessica Alba, is subliminally Hispanic visually (though unlike Alba, she speaks with a charming Spanish accent). Other than a few black characters in small roles, it’s very white.

    • Replies: @Not Raul
    >> And Hispanics are nonexistent, except for the gorgeous virtual girlfriend who, to borrow Steve’s description of Jessica Alba, is subliminally Hispanic visually (though unlike Alba, she speaks with a charming Spanish accent). <<

    By "subliminally Hispanic visually" do you mean white, like people from Spain, the original Hispanics?
    , @Bill Jones
    When the original was made, the climate scare scam was nuclear winters.
    , @Jack D

    And Hispanics are nonexistent
     
    So it's just like the real (movie business) Hollywood then.

    I remember being in LA many years ago and by accident coming upon the route of the (misnamed) Hollywood Christmas parade which actually takes place around Thanksgiving. Even then it was jarring to see the contrast between the glamour of largely white (mostly B-list - the Hollywood parade was a clearly 2nd rate event) celebrities on the floats and the then seedy streets of the real Hollywood and the largely poor and Hispanic crowd which were nothing like the fantasy "Hollywood".
  41. First, the original was a very interesting film before they altered it and changed Harrison Ford’s character into a robot. That made the whole thing stupid. Blade Runner 2049 builds on that stupidity.
    The hubris of the filmmakers is laughable. The film has the soundtrack of hell. Loud and discordant sounds for almost 3 hours with only a few seconds of Elvis and Sinatra thrown in to refer to the past. The filmmakers are arrogant to think the workers won’t revolt before robots start taking over. How many Uber, taxi, truck drivers (and pilots!) are going to be put out of work and replaced with the stupid robot cars/trucks we keep hearing about in the news? The movie sounded like heavy handed propaganda from big business trying to convince us not to oppose the use and development of robots which are now referred to as “miracles”. Kinda like globalists trying to convince Americans to accept all these illegal immigrants. Why would conditions continue to decline with no improvement in the 30 years since the first film took place? History doesn’t keep going in one direction so why should we believe it will be any different in the future. Indeed, why would the US wield any power anymore at all in 2049? A traditional Christian Russia might be calling the shots on earth and especially in space where the replicants are supposedly going to be working as slaves. The El Chapos and Taliban of the world already have slaves growing drugs for them. They don’t need any stinkin’ robots. Edward James Olmos appears to be the only Hispanic shown in Los Angeles 2049. Where are all of the Mexicans? Did the fact that the original film is on the National Film Registry dictate the changes that were made and lay the basis for the sequel? The federal government provides money to preserve the original. Are there any strings attached with this arrangement? I’ve often thought the way scripts are made in Hollywood by committees these days is not unlike writing legislation in Washington, D.C. As far as any futuristic “art” in this film, the ruins of Las Vegas were mildly interesting, but overall the world obviously changed a lot more between 1982 and 2017 than it will change between 2017 and 2049 according to the filmmakers. Ryan Goslings apartment seemed identical to Harrison Ford’s in the original film with that Mayan block/Frank Lloyd Wright inspired architecture. People still worship technology even though nothing seems to be impervious to hacking these days. How exactly did they fix that problem in the future. Blade Runner 2049 is a big waste of money. My guess is 2049 will look more like agricultural communities in the 18th century than all of that high tech nonsense. Religion will dominate the next century too even if N. America and Western Europe are ruled by Muslims, Africans, Hispanics, or Chinese. The filmmakers views on the disappearance of religion is ridiculous. They have obviously never read Phillip Jenkins either. What do they think is happening in the rest of the world?

    • Replies: @Busby
    I'm halfway convinced they've never read any Phillip K. Dick.
    , @Ouzo 120 proof
    You're reading too much into this. If anything, this is one of the least PC-conforming high budget movies made lately.
    The film's white actors get most of the screen time; there's just two minor black characters with lines (a Somali guy and the always good Lennie James), none of them an übersmart omniscient superman, and there's no LGBTQWERTY character or related subplot.
    Plus, the movie has already been denounced by WIRED for not being PC-enough (and for being too white, no less).

    There's no agenda here. Just like the original, BR 2049 is all about aesthetics. Enjoy it for what it is: an audiovisual extravaganza.
  42. @Pat Boyle
    You too have hit on the truth. The original Blade Runner made little or no sense as a story but it made a big impact because of its "atmosphere and visuals".

    There are many ways in which a director can achieve greatness. Ridley Scott has become prominent because of set decoration - strange as that sounds. His first successful film was "The Duelists". It knocked me over in the theater - it was so gorgeous. I now read that the sword fighting in it was pure hokum. But that didn't matter - they looked so good doing it. That was also the case with his hit "Gladiator" - lousy Roman history but it looked great.

    Scott is not a "Man of Ideas" or even one of those great director of actors who can extract a fine acting performance from some limited ham. He does however have a terrific eye. His sets always look great.

    Villenueve’s Arrival last year also had a thin story. As I said then, the big sci-fi ideas today are mainly in novels. Liu Cixin’s Three Body Problem trilogy, Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves, and Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora tower over recent sci-fi movies. There’s a Chinese movie adaptation in the works for the first book in the Three Body trilogy though.

    • Replies: @Lurker

    As I said then, the big sci-fi ideas today are mainly in novels
     
    The big sci-fi ideas have always been mainly in novels. Most films are limping way behind, often simply because they are films of books. Exhibit A: DADOES becoming BR.
  43. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    Trailer looks crappy.

    Sequel is a bad idea.

    The ending of BLADE RUNNER is open-ended and left it up to viewers to speculate. It should have been left that way.

    A new BLADE RUNNER should have given us new characters and stories unrelated to the original. By bringing back Deckard, this one adds a closure to the original, which is what we don’t want.

    It’s like GODFATHER III really messed up what had been built up in part 1 and 2.
    The most shameful thing about that one was Coppola and Puzo were involved.

    Kubrick had some integrity in insisting on having NOTHING to do with 2010 which is terrible.

  44. @Pat Boyle
    You too have hit on the truth. The original Blade Runner made little or no sense as a story but it made a big impact because of its "atmosphere and visuals".

    There are many ways in which a director can achieve greatness. Ridley Scott has become prominent because of set decoration - strange as that sounds. His first successful film was "The Duelists". It knocked me over in the theater - it was so gorgeous. I now read that the sword fighting in it was pure hokum. But that didn't matter - they looked so good doing it. That was also the case with his hit "Gladiator" - lousy Roman history but it looked great.

    Scott is not a "Man of Ideas" or even one of those great director of actors who can extract a fine acting performance from some limited ham. He does however have a terrific eye. His sets always look great.

    You may be interested in Pauline Kael’s 1982 review of Blade Runner.

    http://scrapsfromtheloft.com/2016/12/28/blade-runner-review-pauline-kael/

    I am a fan of the film, but it does require prodigious suspensions of disbelief.

    • Agree: Dave Pinsen
    • Replies: @Anon
    I am a fan of the film, but it does require prodigious suspensions of disbelief.

    Some great movies have this problem. In both VERTIGO and ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA, how could the main character not figure out what happened until the very end?

    In VERTIGO, the death of the rich woman would have been good news. Scotty would have seen pics of the real woman in the newspapers and realized she was not the one he'd been following.
    And in OUATIA, the Bailey Scandal is big big news, all over TV and newspapers. So, how come Deniro's character not realize Max is alive?

    Btw, another film released around the same time, WOLFEN, covers much the same territory. Instead of killer robots, it has killer wolf-men. BLADE RUNNER was finally vindicated as a great film. WOLFEN deserves that recognition too. It's also the only wolf-men movie I like.
    WOLFEN did for NY what BLADE did for LA.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1BH0uPIruQ
    , @Pericles
    The Kael review was inadvertently funny. "We" are lost in an urban maze, apparently lacking any sense of direction. "We" think Tyrell's vast offices need a good dusting by some replicant servant. "We" are kind of bored with the scenic shots and at least want something 'perversely sexual' to happen. All in all, very womanly.
    , @Pericles
    Kael seems to have been filing her nails during some key scenes, because she doesn't have a very firm grip on what's going on in the movie.

    Example: "And if Deckard had felt compelled to test [Rachel's] responses it could have been the occasion for some nifty repartee". Nails were vigorously filed during the montage when he does, I suppose. Perhaps there was a glass of white wine involved too.

    Then she blames the writers that "[Rachel's] role is limply written, though; she’s cool at first, but she spends most of her screen time looking mysteriously afflicted". Well, she does for a reason, Pauline.

    , @Jack D
    There are not many sci-fi films that don't require suspension of disbelief (some more than others). Nor are there many movies in general that don't have plot holes big enough to drive a truck through or which don't depend on some unlikely premise(s) in order to thinly patch over those holes. The most important thing in a movie is whether it creates a convincing and immersive world while you are watching the film. It makes no difference if later on in the cold light of day it all falls apart if it grabs you while you are in the theater. Part of movie magic is just that it can make you overlook those things - the more it makes you believe in this unbelievable world, the better the movie is. If OTOH you are looking at your watch and don't give a damn about what happens to the characters while you are still in your seat, it's a big fail even if the movie is plotted perfectly and is 100% believable.
  45. Is it a true sequel?

    • Replies: @Gaelic_Gentrifier
    I would say yes, but it has the feel of soft-reboot as well. The film is explicitly set the future and deals with the ramifications of events in the prior film. But because the plot of both films are so thin, the new film feels somewhat like the recent soft-reboot trend of films that seek to repeat the atmosphere and theme of a prior film with a bare minimum of connection to its plot. But it does not slavishly retread the plot in the same way that the new Star Wars movie did and tries to examine new themes (though one can argue how well it does so).
  46. @Pat Boyle
    We all know the 'Turing Test' - a machine or robot that can successfully imitate a human being is somehow equivalent to a human or at least to a human's mind.

    So if these replicant's that can live among humans and are extremely difficult to uncover, I would argue that they have also passed the Turing Test and they are indeed human. It also follows that the replicants would not be simply slaughtered by the police ("Blade Runners"). As people they would have a full set of civil rights. If a replicant were being annoyed by a Blade Runner he would simply make a complaint to the authorities and have a restraining order issued.

    The whole notion of a replicant makes little sense. They are some kind of slaves who do dangerous manual labor in space. There is no chance of chattel slavery being re-introduced because we need manual labor in space. Space is tricky territory for any biological being. But it is a much more acceptable environment for a mechanical robot. Robots for example need not breath. In the Blade Runner universe there are no robots but plenty of artificial biological humans. Since robots are relatively easy to make but artificial biological humans are very, very hard, this does not appear to be the direction the real world is taking.

    The original Blade Runner universe as depicted in the film seemed to fear a take over of Western Civilization by the Orientals. That is possible and so is a legitimate object of a fictional universe. But would an America where the Chinese (or more likely the Japanese) take over be so dark and dirty? Decker lives in a constantly dark slum. The real Japanese seem to value private gardens and well ordered public spaces. The movie is a bit racist in this regard. The real Japanese have almost no public crime but in the Blade Runner world Decker is a cop with a "License to Kill" and everyone he meets is some kind of criminal.

    So I don't think there is much hope for the Blade Runner sequel. The basic premises of the original were too inadequate to begin with.

    “But would an America where the Chinese (or more likely the Japanese) take over be so dark and dirty?”

    Been to a Chinatown or Ranch 99, lately? Apparently, Chinese view cleanliness as an unfair tax on ones profit margins.

    • Replies: @ExAngeleno
    Yep, I remember Asian markets as a hierarchy: Japanese were very clean and higher priced. Korean had great produce and beef and pretty good prepared foods and decent food courts; overall lower priced than regular prices at Ralph's or Von's-- on the backs of illegal Korean and Latino workers, no doubt. Ranch 99 at every location just plain stunk as if they never cleaned the coolers and mopped with filthy water. Thanks for the memories!
    , @Gosford Cheung
    Well aren't you more than a little parochial and out of synch. Been to Hong Kong or Singapore lately? Manhattan is a dilapidated slum by comparison.
  47. I was born in the 1990s, so I don’t really have an opinion on this. But it seems as though people in earlier decades expected that the future would be much more… futuristic, I guess.

  48. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    I hear the original Hampton screenplay for the first one emphasized environmental degradation far more than Scott’s realization.

    Maybe this second outing is closer to Hampton’s vision. And yet, I don’t see grit and grime but art-dust and decline as ambiance.

    From the trailer, I get the impression that this makes the same mistake as Fury Toad by George Miller. Miller turned what had been a rough-and-tumble vision of punk-apocalypse into an overly arty fetishization of spectacle. It was like cirque-de-soleil. Fury Toad was fast and thrilling but lacking in vitality. It all seemed impersonal whereby the original vision was canonized into officialdom.

    While decline and degradation were themes of the original, it seems this new film takes those elements and distill them into visual brandy. It seems like Too Much. It’s as if certain aspects of BLADE RUNNER were bottled and aged for this moment. It’s like arty restaurant fusion derived from the original.

    This is why so many imitations of THE GODFATHER fall short. They just take an element of the original and expand on it while ignoring much else. They miss the real reason why it’s a great film. Yes, it has solemnity, dark interiors, moody passages, and understated acting. It has that conspiratorial funereal quality. But it’s also lively with fat laughing Clemenza, hothead Sonny, nasty Irish police captain, colorful Moe Green, etc. It’s a living breathing movie.
    But the imitations just take the somber element and expand on that to the point of suffocation and boredom.

    That’s what MOST VIOLENT YEAR gets so wrong. It would have been better to just be itself instead of being cemented in Godfatherisms.

  49. I’m definitely planning to see Blade Runner 2049, big fan of the first one, so I apologize for this off topic post.

    I was channel surfing for a college football game and I came across this, The Hispanic College Quiz Winner gets about a $5K scholarship

    Question: In 1987 what hotel chain forbade it’s employees to speak any language other then English? Answer: Ramada Inn
    Question: At what age did Cesar Chavez die? Answer 66

    Virtually all questions had to do with activism or Hispanic sports and entertainment stars. Didn’t hear any questions on Spanish literature or authors and less then zero questions on who was the Hispanic Physicist/Chemist/interchange any other hard science/STEM field who came up with????? hmmmmmmm

    http://hispaniccollegequiz.com/

  50. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @black sea
    You may be interested in Pauline Kael's 1982 review of Blade Runner.

    http://scrapsfromtheloft.com/2016/12/28/blade-runner-review-pauline-kael/

    I am a fan of the film, but it does require prodigious suspensions of disbelief.

    I am a fan of the film, but it does require prodigious suspensions of disbelief.

    Some great movies have this problem. In both VERTIGO and ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA, how could the main character not figure out what happened until the very end?

    In VERTIGO, the death of the rich woman would have been good news. Scotty would have seen pics of the real woman in the newspapers and realized she was not the one he’d been following.
    And in OUATIA, the Bailey Scandal is big big news, all over TV and newspapers. So, how come Deniro’s character not realize Max is alive?

    Btw, another film released around the same time, WOLFEN, covers much the same territory. Instead of killer robots, it has killer wolf-men. BLADE RUNNER was finally vindicated as a great film. WOLFEN deserves that recognition too. It’s also the only wolf-men movie I like.
    WOLFEN did for NY what BLADE did for LA.

    • Replies: @JeremiahJohnbalaya
    Wolfen was a scary as h-ll book. It gave me werewolf nightmares for yours as a kid.
  51. So is this worth $11 or shall I wait for it on Dvd?

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Worth it.
  52. Roger Deakin makes a beautiful movie, as usual, but this is just an empty exercise in style. Gosling can’t carry a dull story. As usual these days, ends up as just a long advertisement for sequels.

    • Replies: @jim jones
    This is one of those movies where you need to watch in 4K, UHD copy protection has been cracked now so I will wait until it appears on the specialist 4K boards.
  53. @FredR
    Roger Deakin makes a beautiful movie, as usual, but this is just an empty exercise in style. Gosling can't carry a dull story. As usual these days, ends up as just a long advertisement for sequels.

    This is one of those movies where you need to watch in 4K, UHD copy protection has been cracked now so I will wait until it appears on the specialist 4K boards.

  54. @Dave Pinsen
    A few observations about Bladerunner 2049's Los Angeles: it's cold enough to snow in the city itself, and apparently sea levels have risen but a huge wall keeps out the ocean. Climate seems to have changed Lucifer's Hammer-style rather than via global warming.

    It's not very crowded. Seems like there were fewer extras in the sequel (with the exception of the child factory workers maybe). And Hispanics are nonexistent, except for the gorgeous virtual girlfriend who, to borrow Steve's description of Jessica Alba, is subliminally Hispanic visually (though unlike Alba, she speaks with a charming Spanish accent). Other than a few black characters in small roles, it's very white.

    >> And Hispanics are nonexistent, except for the gorgeous virtual girlfriend who, to borrow Steve’s description of Jessica Alba, is subliminally Hispanic visually (though unlike Alba, she speaks with a charming Spanish accent). <<

    By "subliminally Hispanic visually" do you mean white, like people from Spain, the original Hispanics?

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    The actress is Cuban, but I don't know her genetic history. Pic of her in this tweet.

    https://twitter.com/dpinsen/status/916193058131206144
  55. @Pat Boyle
    We all know the 'Turing Test' - a machine or robot that can successfully imitate a human being is somehow equivalent to a human or at least to a human's mind.

    So if these replicant's that can live among humans and are extremely difficult to uncover, I would argue that they have also passed the Turing Test and they are indeed human. It also follows that the replicants would not be simply slaughtered by the police ("Blade Runners"). As people they would have a full set of civil rights. If a replicant were being annoyed by a Blade Runner he would simply make a complaint to the authorities and have a restraining order issued.

    The whole notion of a replicant makes little sense. They are some kind of slaves who do dangerous manual labor in space. There is no chance of chattel slavery being re-introduced because we need manual labor in space. Space is tricky territory for any biological being. But it is a much more acceptable environment for a mechanical robot. Robots for example need not breath. In the Blade Runner universe there are no robots but plenty of artificial biological humans. Since robots are relatively easy to make but artificial biological humans are very, very hard, this does not appear to be the direction the real world is taking.

    The original Blade Runner universe as depicted in the film seemed to fear a take over of Western Civilization by the Orientals. That is possible and so is a legitimate object of a fictional universe. But would an America where the Chinese (or more likely the Japanese) take over be so dark and dirty? Decker lives in a constantly dark slum. The real Japanese seem to value private gardens and well ordered public spaces. The movie is a bit racist in this regard. The real Japanese have almost no public crime but in the Blade Runner world Decker is a cop with a "License to Kill" and everyone he meets is some kind of criminal.

    So I don't think there is much hope for the Blade Runner sequel. The basic premises of the original were too inadequate to begin with.

    The Turing Test doesn’t really have anything to do with it. Replicants aren’t machines. We don’t need a roundabout way to measure their “intelligence,” because intelligence in genetically engineered humans is not metaphorical like it is with computers. We could measure how smart they are indirectly.

    As for the question of whether they’re truly human, they’re just not, plainly and simply.

  56. The Blade Runner series along with other movies such as Transcendence, Lucy, and Ex Machina are injected into culture to slowly and powerfully embed the idea that Artificial Intelligence is superior to nature and that human-created technology is the obvious progression of evolution. The adoption of this technocratic future is in full bloom with the ‘Millennial’ and ‘Z’ generations.

    The obvious reverence to current technology is an ominous sign of what lies ahead. Artificial Intelligence is the complete opposite of natural order and the human soul. The autonomous A.I. is coming and it will have the outer appearance of a human but it will be fully connected and in control of each man, woman, and child that decides to be implanted with a microchip. It will appear to perform miracles and be all knowing.

    This scenario was written about roughly 2000 years ago. It is fully described in the Book of Revelation. John had no idea what to make of the “beast” in his dreams. In his revelation, he described it as best as possible. It is becoming very clear that he was describing the multi-headed technological synthetic. A.I. has a double meaning. “Artificial Intelligence” also means Anti Iesus.

    If one is already reading articles at UNZ, one must also be aware to what is happening in the world at some level. If humanity has any chance to continue in a natural state, A.I., Mammon, and their consumerist minions need to be rejected. Logos and the original teachings of Jesus Christ found in the New Testament (and NOT located in the Scolfied Reference Bible) need to be fully embraced and relayed to one another at a very local and personal level. As my namesake John the Baptist used to say, “Repent!”

    • LOL: German_reader
    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    You're crazy--Scofield is #1!
  57. O-T:

    In his column this week Bill Simmons explicitly compares the President to George Steinbrenner. Where have I read that before?

  58. Too long, and the music sucked. But I was let down by their being very little of the Vangelis original–one of my favorite soundtracks–in there.

    Harrison Ford lost every ounce of his charisma. I don’t think he even acts anymore. He’s just a grumpy old man who doesn’t want to be on set, and that comes across in his performance as a grumpy old character who doesn’t want to be there.

    I like Ryan Gosling, but how is it a good idea to have your lead actor do Blank Robot Face in a movie so full of quiet reaction shots when it’s not showing off its sets?

    I felt nothing for his fake girlfriend. The part where she was superimposed over the prostitute seemed like a good idea, but can you imagine actually having sex with that monstrosity? That made the scene boring.

    Hollywood has a serious Nostalgia Overload problem. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to spend a half an hour (that’s what it felt like, anyway) watching a cartoon 1982 Sean Young fail to look convincing. I realize they’re trying to make it so that they don’t have to pay actors, but come back when you get it right.

    Then there are all the little references, mostly visual. I know there’s no point in making a Blade Runner movie without them, even though for instance no one believes in Japanese Future anymore. But why not just make your own “neo-noir” robot detective movie, and not try to recapture lighting in a bottle? (Besides money?) Because I’m sick of seeing the sane things over and over.

    Aside from that and other nitpicks I liked it.

    • Replies: @notanon

    Hollywood has a serious Nostalgia Overload problem
     
    nepotism and creativity don't mix
    , @Steve in Greensboro
    I am more interested in watching a “cartoon 1982 Sean Young” than any of the young actresses active today. The paltriness exemplified by Paltrow characterizes them all.
  59. @Louis
    First, the original was a very interesting film before they altered it and changed Harrison Ford's character into a robot. That made the whole thing stupid. Blade Runner 2049 builds on that stupidity.
    The hubris of the filmmakers is laughable. The film has the soundtrack of hell. Loud and discordant sounds for almost 3 hours with only a few seconds of Elvis and Sinatra thrown in to refer to the past. The filmmakers are arrogant to think the workers won't revolt before robots start taking over. How many Uber, taxi, truck drivers (and pilots!) are going to be put out of work and replaced with the stupid robot cars/trucks we keep hearing about in the news? The movie sounded like heavy handed propaganda from big business trying to convince us not to oppose the use and development of robots which are now referred to as "miracles". Kinda like globalists trying to convince Americans to accept all these illegal immigrants. Why would conditions continue to decline with no improvement in the 30 years since the first film took place? History doesn't keep going in one direction so why should we believe it will be any different in the future. Indeed, why would the US wield any power anymore at all in 2049? A traditional Christian Russia might be calling the shots on earth and especially in space where the replicants are supposedly going to be working as slaves. The El Chapos and Taliban of the world already have slaves growing drugs for them. They don't need any stinkin' robots. Edward James Olmos appears to be the only Hispanic shown in Los Angeles 2049. Where are all of the Mexicans? Did the fact that the original film is on the National Film Registry dictate the changes that were made and lay the basis for the sequel? The federal government provides money to preserve the original. Are there any strings attached with this arrangement? I've often thought the way scripts are made in Hollywood by committees these days is not unlike writing legislation in Washington, D.C. As far as any futuristic "art" in this film, the ruins of Las Vegas were mildly interesting, but overall the world obviously changed a lot more between 1982 and 2017 than it will change between 2017 and 2049 according to the filmmakers. Ryan Goslings apartment seemed identical to Harrison Ford's in the original film with that Mayan block/Frank Lloyd Wright inspired architecture. People still worship technology even though nothing seems to be impervious to hacking these days. How exactly did they fix that problem in the future. Blade Runner 2049 is a big waste of money. My guess is 2049 will look more like agricultural communities in the 18th century than all of that high tech nonsense. Religion will dominate the next century too even if N. America and Western Europe are ruled by Muslims, Africans, Hispanics, or Chinese. The filmmakers views on the disappearance of religion is ridiculous. They have obviously never read Phillip Jenkins either. What do they think is happening in the rest of the world?

    I’m halfway convinced they’ve never read any Phillip K. Dick.

    • Replies: @Louis
    No I have never read any Phillip K. Dick. I saw a documentary about him and it sounded like he was a junkie. Since I always thought drugs were for pagans and White Trash, I cannot be real enthusiastic about Phillip K. Dick or sympathetic to drug users. However, I liked Blade Runner as long as Harrison Ford was human. Also, I really liked Spielberg's Minority Report. Great entertainment.
    , @sayless
    they've never read any Phillip K. Dick

    Agree. Why does Dick's estate allow it?
  60. @Pat Boyle
    We all know the 'Turing Test' - a machine or robot that can successfully imitate a human being is somehow equivalent to a human or at least to a human's mind.

    So if these replicant's that can live among humans and are extremely difficult to uncover, I would argue that they have also passed the Turing Test and they are indeed human. It also follows that the replicants would not be simply slaughtered by the police ("Blade Runners"). As people they would have a full set of civil rights. If a replicant were being annoyed by a Blade Runner he would simply make a complaint to the authorities and have a restraining order issued.

    The whole notion of a replicant makes little sense. They are some kind of slaves who do dangerous manual labor in space. There is no chance of chattel slavery being re-introduced because we need manual labor in space. Space is tricky territory for any biological being. But it is a much more acceptable environment for a mechanical robot. Robots for example need not breath. In the Blade Runner universe there are no robots but plenty of artificial biological humans. Since robots are relatively easy to make but artificial biological humans are very, very hard, this does not appear to be the direction the real world is taking.

    The original Blade Runner universe as depicted in the film seemed to fear a take over of Western Civilization by the Orientals. That is possible and so is a legitimate object of a fictional universe. But would an America where the Chinese (or more likely the Japanese) take over be so dark and dirty? Decker lives in a constantly dark slum. The real Japanese seem to value private gardens and well ordered public spaces. The movie is a bit racist in this regard. The real Japanese have almost no public crime but in the Blade Runner world Decker is a cop with a "License to Kill" and everyone he meets is some kind of criminal.

    So I don't think there is much hope for the Blade Runner sequel. The basic premises of the original were too inadequate to begin with.

    “The basic premises of the original were too inadequate to begin with”

    But basic premises are easy to get over. Just take the Replicants as they’re explained for a given, and the rest of the story makes sense. (I think.)

    I had a tough time getting over the question of why they bothered making replicants virtually indistinguishable from humans. Obviously they knew they were a threat, which is why they gave them such a short lifespan. Why not give them a third arm, too. Or a big red dot in the forehead. Something.

    By the way, about Our Oriental Future being dirty, this was developed better in the book, but the premise is that earth is ecologically disastrous and no one cares about living on it anymore. That’s why the rogue replicants live there. Everyone who matters lives “off-world” in a space colony. That’s where you’ll find your well-tended Japanese gardens.

  61. @Pat Boyle
    We all know the 'Turing Test' - a machine or robot that can successfully imitate a human being is somehow equivalent to a human or at least to a human's mind.

    So if these replicant's that can live among humans and are extremely difficult to uncover, I would argue that they have also passed the Turing Test and they are indeed human. It also follows that the replicants would not be simply slaughtered by the police ("Blade Runners"). As people they would have a full set of civil rights. If a replicant were being annoyed by a Blade Runner he would simply make a complaint to the authorities and have a restraining order issued.

    The whole notion of a replicant makes little sense. They are some kind of slaves who do dangerous manual labor in space. There is no chance of chattel slavery being re-introduced because we need manual labor in space. Space is tricky territory for any biological being. But it is a much more acceptable environment for a mechanical robot. Robots for example need not breath. In the Blade Runner universe there are no robots but plenty of artificial biological humans. Since robots are relatively easy to make but artificial biological humans are very, very hard, this does not appear to be the direction the real world is taking.

    The original Blade Runner universe as depicted in the film seemed to fear a take over of Western Civilization by the Orientals. That is possible and so is a legitimate object of a fictional universe. But would an America where the Chinese (or more likely the Japanese) take over be so dark and dirty? Decker lives in a constantly dark slum. The real Japanese seem to value private gardens and well ordered public spaces. The movie is a bit racist in this regard. The real Japanese have almost no public crime but in the Blade Runner world Decker is a cop with a "License to Kill" and everyone he meets is some kind of criminal.

    So I don't think there is much hope for the Blade Runner sequel. The basic premises of the original were too inadequate to begin with.

    I should add that passing the Turing Test doesn’t make a machine human, nor does it mean that the machine’s “mind” is equivalent to a human mind. All it means is that they’re as “intelligent” as a human. Intelligence in their case being metaphorical.

  62. • Replies: @eah
    Scott Wiener, one of homosexual CA legislators who submitted the bill to stop treating knowingly/willfully transmitting HIV as a felony.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DLl4pt6UEAErzyr.jpg
  63. @Jus' Sayin'...
    I saw the movie at an early showing on Thursday night in Boston. It's just recycled material from the original wrapped up in some silly and essentially unresolved plot twists. The original movie totally twisted P. K. Dick's original plot. In "Do Android's Dream of Electric Sheep", Decker was human and ultimately repulsed by the replicant, Rachel's, utter indifference to the sacredness of life. Dick was scoring serious philosophic points about whether there are souls and the obligations that humanity incurs when it attempts to replace the the demiurge. The original movie totally ignored Dick's original plot by a last minute plot twist that reveals Decker is a replicant as he runs off with Rachel to establish a replicant refuge in - where else - northern California. But at least viewers could ponder issues of whether human creations, built in the image of humanity, might be created with souls or at least engender souls within themselves.

    Before I go into a set of plot revealing snarks about the inept screen play for this movie, I will say that the visuals and sound track were spectacular and the acting uniformly excellent. Anyone who liked the original and/or likes mindlessly entertaining sci-fi movies will enjoy this movie.

    The rest is plot revelations from the new movie, so be warned

    Warning! Plot revelations coming...

    Warning! Plot revelations coming...

    In the new movie, replicants have been re-engineered to follow Asimov's Second Law of Robotics: They obey human orders. How new model replicants distinguish humans from replicants in order to do this is something the writers elide entirely. Ryan Gosling is a replicant blade runner, assigned to kill surviving, old model replicants. Why this is neccessary is never explained, which is too bad, since in the original movie, replicants had a very limited shelf life. In eliminating a surviving, old model replicant, the Gosling Character discovers that at least one replicant couple -- anybody who's seen the first movie immediately suspects the "surprise plot twist" near the end of the movie -- have conceived a set of twins, a boy and a girl.

    Surviving replicant rebels have hidden these because, for some ill-articulated reasoning from the screen writers, this is supposed to pose a threat to society and result in freedom for all replicants -- old and new models -- to live as ordinary human beings. The authorities task the Gosling character with tracking down and eliminating these replicant children because of the supposed threat they pose. For unexplained reasons the new replicant manufacturer also wants to obtain these replicant children and a race ensues between him, Gosling, and the authorities to track them down. The authorities want to destroy them. Gosling wants to do something else; God knows what but he's evidently somehow evolved an ability to only partially obey human orders. The manufacturer wants these children for some unexplicated reason.

    A new-model replicant is working for the manufacturer. Her sexy, ruthlessly homicidal replicant character will remind viewers of the nastiness of Priss and her fellows in the first movie. The ease with which she kills will make knowledgeable viewers wonder why replicants aren't programmed with Asimov's First Law of Robotics.

    Along the way misleading hints are provided to suggest that the Ryan Gosling character is one of the missing replicant children so another "surprise plot twist" can be gratuitously introduced and its implications left hanging at the end of the movie. (The astute viewer may legitimately suspect a planned sequel at this point.)

    If I sound irate with the mindless stupidity of this script, it's because I am. A truly thoughtful sequel to the original Blade Runner movie could have been entertaining and thought provoking. At the time of the original movie the technologies that it and Dick's novella examined were far off. Now they are upon us and we need serious considerations of their consequences. The screen writers of this new movie flubbed badly, relying on obvious tricks, endless unexplained or unexplored plot gimmicks, and deus ex machina "plot twists" that were oxymoronically both obvious and illogicaL.
    +

    …that were oxymoronically both obvious and illogical

    Spock?….Mr Spock?…Is that you?

  64. Did anyone else notice that this “neo-noir” was decidedly bright much of the time? Which isn’t to say the original didn’t have scenes in the daytime, but I felt a disconnect with the basic idea. Which is that Blade Runner was an update of 40s gumshoe movies, with New Wave sci-fi and “cyberpunk” mixed in. That was its style.

    What is the style of Blade Runner II? Well, it’s a detective story with art-deco references (noir), it’s character-driven with big philosophical themes (New Wave sci-fi), and dirtiness and computer stuff (cyberpunk). But it felt more like a reference to a reference, if you will. Which is to be expected with a remake-sequel, I suppose. It’s most noticeable with the Japanese stuff, which is obviously only there because it was in the original. Same thing with the old-timey corporate references, like Atari and Pan-Am.

    But it’s bigger than that. For instance, I find myself wondering, when most of the architecture and interior design we see is in Vague Modernist style, why there are art-deco references. And I go, “Oh yeah, because the original had that, and the original was inspired by old noir movies.”

    The–I don’t know what to call it–production design?–was odd. Crap Earth felt surprisingly sterile to me. Not when we’re first introduced to it (though that farmhouse resembled a set to me) but as time went on I could have sworn I was watching 2001, or something. Recent Star Wars movies this problem, too. The original series was set in a dirty, lived-in future. So was Blade Runner. This felt more like “please give me an Oscar for design”-future. Even the trash heap felt clean.

    Other elements of the scenery and mood felt ho-hum. The abandoned factory was like a million abandoned factories I’ve seen in movies. The police station felt like Standard-Issue Sci-Fi Police Station. Vegas looked like Sci-Fi Wasteland Demo #556708, when it didn’t remind me of the Neverending Story.

    None of which would’ve bothered me had this been a random new sci-fi movie. But it’s drawing on the capital of the original, and when it goes off on its own it’s relatively uninspired. Which makes me ask: what’s the point?

    I get the bind they’re in. They’re stuck between milking nostalgia and making their own thang, and they fall between the stools. It would help if the original, brilliant as it is, weren’t a mish-mash of preexisting pop culture in its own right.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Apparently the brightness was inspired by an Australian dust storm.

    https://twitter.com/kristapley/status/915400659901415424
  65. @JimB
    "But would an America where the Chinese (or more likely the Japanese) take over be so dark and dirty?"

    Been to a Chinatown or Ranch 99, lately? Apparently, Chinese view cleanliness as an unfair tax on ones profit margins.

    Yep, I remember Asian markets as a hierarchy: Japanese were very clean and higher priced. Korean had great produce and beef and pretty good prepared foods and decent food courts; overall lower priced than regular prices at Ralph’s or Von’s– on the backs of illegal Korean and Latino workers, no doubt. Ranch 99 at every location just plain stunk as if they never cleaned the coolers and mopped with filthy water. Thanks for the memories!

    • Replies: @JimB
    I can't understand why Ranch 99 isn't shut down by the health department. Obviously a massive outbreak of hepatitis would have to happen before the government acts. On the other hand a large percentage of Chinese in the US test positive for Hep A and Hep B antibodies. Maybe they're mostly immune.
    , @Dave Pinsen
    The Korean H-Mart nearest to me smells like some produce rolled under something and rotted. And the shopping baskets have black gunk on them. But my sister says an H-Mart a few towns away is cleaner.

    My general sense is Koreans aren't quite as homogeneous as we think. I don't think it's anywhere near as bad as with India, but I think we're already reaching a point of diminishing returns via chain migration.

  66. WIRED thinks its sexist because the 3 main characters are men. Also WIRED still somehow exists.

    https://www.wired.com/story/blade-runner-2049-politics/

    Despite their unrelentingly pedestrian Psych 101 woes, these three men still manage to take up 95 percent of the emotional frame on screen, leaving little room for the women around them to have their own narratives.

    Is, is that wrong now? Is it wrong to have 3 main male characters and have the story revolve around them?

    Also the original is racist but it was made back in 1982 and so is racist by default.

    East Asian aesthetics pervade its vision of dystopian LA, yet Asian characters are largely background players; its cyborgs are meant to be stand-ins for oppressed minority groups, but few, if any, minorities are actually present on screen.

    It thinks the cultural and economic Nipponisation of the US in the original Blade Runner is weird for not be accompanied by large numbers of East Asians. Have they heard of Americanisation? Or all those Japanese companies buying up American ones and Japanese-made products and cultural exports becoming a seeming wave of the future in the 1980s that Blade Runner was referencing?

    Again, why would you need real minorities when you have your metaphorical stand-ins?

    Whatever Star Trek is back and now we have a woke black woman who is so triggered by white people, Trump voters, Klingons that she advocates shooting first and starts an avoidable inter-stellar war by doing exactly what she set out not to do as a result of her not being able to not kill, white people, Trump voters, Klingons. Also the universe is held together by fungal spores that were present since the beginning of time and seeded all life. So eukaryotes begat prokaryotes, SCIENCE!

    • Replies: @guest
    Did Blade Runner II get any credit for having an African--the Captain Philips Somali, I think--as a "doctor" who analyzed Ryan Gosling's wooden toy for him? Or is black pandering so ubiquitous that it goes unnoticed these days?

    By the way, how long will it take to start making Hidden Figures movies of all the old sci-fi films, showing who was really to thank for the things we used to think white guys did, a la Rogue One? (Luke Skywalker couldn't have blown up the Death Star without a Dutch engineer, it turns out, but more importantly without a Mexican, a Muslim of some sort, a black, two Chinamen, a Fish Person, and a woman.) Blade Runner could have been the work of countless hidden East Asian women with Emotional Narratives of their own.

    , @Cloudbuster
    Is, is that wrong now? Is it wrong to have 3 main male characters and have the story revolve around them?

    In the future, all film casts will be determined by statistical analysis.
  67. @Chrisnonymous
    Is it a sequel? I thought it was a remake. When I saw Harrison Ford in the preview, I decided not to see the remake, but if it's a sequel maybe I'll go.

    It is a sequel. It carries on Harrison Ford’s story, though he’s not the main character. But aside from that it might as well be a remake with a slightly different premise. I’m not sure there’s that much of a difference, because the continuation aspect was the least interesting part to me.

  68. @Chrisnonymous
    Is there some connection between the movie and your abstention?

    Nope. The getting sloshed (somewhat) was accidental; I’d always despised people who couldn’t hold their drink. It just occurred to me that my capacity was not what it had been in undergraduate days. Once recognised, easily coped with.

    My immediate response was (insofar as I remember) that I’d be wiser to walk home than to cycle.

  69. @kihowi
    I'm not going to watch it, western movies stopped being made in 1960 as far as I'm concerned, but it's hard for me to believe that they didn't turn it into a sledgehammer morality play about white people and persecuted minority whatever.

    I mean, it's right there! It's so obvious! Imagine the temptation!

    But since I've seen nobody mention it, they must not have. That kind of dedication to quality over politics feels old fashioned.

    Are you sure they didn't?

    PS iSteve commenters talking about movies is strange to me anyway. Those things are made for people much dumber than you.

    There was one reference to walls and one reference to a disposable workforce, both from unsympathetic characters (or characters intended to be unsympathetic). That’s all I picked up on as regards “relevance “

  70. @Iron Curtain
    3/5
    As always, beautiful visuals. And as often the case is now, weak story with the setup for future franchise.
    The girl in the bubble will lead the armies of 'good underground' replicants against 'bad capitalist' ones? We will have 'planet of apes' style of replicant wars by sequel #3.

    She seems like the worst possible leader of an uprising.

    Let’s just nuke each other and get it over with

  71. @Jus' Sayin'...
    I saw the movie at an early showing on Thursday night in Boston. It's just recycled material from the original wrapped up in some silly and essentially unresolved plot twists. The original movie totally twisted P. K. Dick's original plot. In "Do Android's Dream of Electric Sheep", Decker was human and ultimately repulsed by the replicant, Rachel's, utter indifference to the sacredness of life. Dick was scoring serious philosophic points about whether there are souls and the obligations that humanity incurs when it attempts to replace the the demiurge. The original movie totally ignored Dick's original plot by a last minute plot twist that reveals Decker is a replicant as he runs off with Rachel to establish a replicant refuge in - where else - northern California. But at least viewers could ponder issues of whether human creations, built in the image of humanity, might be created with souls or at least engender souls within themselves.

    Before I go into a set of plot revealing snarks about the inept screen play for this movie, I will say that the visuals and sound track were spectacular and the acting uniformly excellent. Anyone who liked the original and/or likes mindlessly entertaining sci-fi movies will enjoy this movie.

    The rest is plot revelations from the new movie, so be warned

    Warning! Plot revelations coming...

    Warning! Plot revelations coming...

    In the new movie, replicants have been re-engineered to follow Asimov's Second Law of Robotics: They obey human orders. How new model replicants distinguish humans from replicants in order to do this is something the writers elide entirely. Ryan Gosling is a replicant blade runner, assigned to kill surviving, old model replicants. Why this is neccessary is never explained, which is too bad, since in the original movie, replicants had a very limited shelf life. In eliminating a surviving, old model replicant, the Gosling Character discovers that at least one replicant couple -- anybody who's seen the first movie immediately suspects the "surprise plot twist" near the end of the movie -- have conceived a set of twins, a boy and a girl.

    Surviving replicant rebels have hidden these because, for some ill-articulated reasoning from the screen writers, this is supposed to pose a threat to society and result in freedom for all replicants -- old and new models -- to live as ordinary human beings. The authorities task the Gosling character with tracking down and eliminating these replicant children because of the supposed threat they pose. For unexplained reasons the new replicant manufacturer also wants to obtain these replicant children and a race ensues between him, Gosling, and the authorities to track them down. The authorities want to destroy them. Gosling wants to do something else; God knows what but he's evidently somehow evolved an ability to only partially obey human orders. The manufacturer wants these children for some unexplicated reason.

    A new-model replicant is working for the manufacturer. Her sexy, ruthlessly homicidal replicant character will remind viewers of the nastiness of Priss and her fellows in the first movie. The ease with which she kills will make knowledgeable viewers wonder why replicants aren't programmed with Asimov's First Law of Robotics.

    Along the way misleading hints are provided to suggest that the Ryan Gosling character is one of the missing replicant children so another "surprise plot twist" can be gratuitously introduced and its implications left hanging at the end of the movie. (The astute viewer may legitimately suspect a planned sequel at this point.)

    If I sound irate with the mindless stupidity of this script, it's because I am. A truly thoughtful sequel to the original Blade Runner movie could have been entertaining and thought provoking. At the time of the original movie the technologies that it and Dick's novella examined were far off. Now they are upon us and we need serious considerations of their consequences. The screen writers of this new movie flubbed badly, relying on obvious tricks, endless unexplained or unexplored plot gimmicks, and deus ex machina "plot twists" that were oxymoronically both obvious and illogicaL.
    +

    The part about Rachel and Deckard running off together, I never even knew that happened, because I never remember seeing the original version of the film. Or if I did, not all the way through. The version with which I’m familiar is the DVD “director’s cut,” released in 1997 or whenever, which has no voice-over and no happy ending.

    Honestly, I was confused by the plot of Blade Runner II, which seemed to assume knowledge of the couple starting a life together.

  72. Can’t we have sci fi where normal people overcome adversity the build a future normal people want?

    • Replies: @notanon
    after the revolution - sure
    , @Anonymous
    Wrong planet
  73. @Pat Boyle
    You too have hit on the truth. The original Blade Runner made little or no sense as a story but it made a big impact because of its "atmosphere and visuals".

    There are many ways in which a director can achieve greatness. Ridley Scott has become prominent because of set decoration - strange as that sounds. His first successful film was "The Duelists". It knocked me over in the theater - it was so gorgeous. I now read that the sword fighting in it was pure hokum. But that didn't matter - they looked so good doing it. That was also the case with his hit "Gladiator" - lousy Roman history but it looked great.

    Scott is not a "Man of Ideas" or even one of those great director of actors who can extract a fine acting performance from some limited ham. He does however have a terrific eye. His sets always look great.

    Atmosphere and visuals, yes. But also theme and character. Or specifically a character: Rutger Hauer’s.

    And I can’t stress enough: music.

    • Replies: @Pat Boyle
    I agree Hauer has a very formidable screen presence.
  74. @Jon Baptist
    The Blade Runner series along with other movies such as Transcendence, Lucy, and Ex Machina are injected into culture to slowly and powerfully embed the idea that Artificial Intelligence is superior to nature and that human-created technology is the obvious progression of evolution. The adoption of this technocratic future is in full bloom with the 'Millennial' and 'Z' generations.

    The obvious reverence to current technology is an ominous sign of what lies ahead. Artificial Intelligence is the complete opposite of natural order and the human soul. The autonomous A.I. is coming and it will have the outer appearance of a human but it will be fully connected and in control of each man, woman, and child that decides to be implanted with a microchip. It will appear to perform miracles and be all knowing.

    This scenario was written about roughly 2000 years ago. It is fully described in the Book of Revelation. John had no idea what to make of the "beast" in his dreams. In his revelation, he described it as best as possible. It is becoming very clear that he was describing the multi-headed technological synthetic. A.I. has a double meaning. "Artificial Intelligence" also means Anti Iesus.

    If one is already reading articles at UNZ, one must also be aware to what is happening in the world at some level. If humanity has any chance to continue in a natural state, A.I., Mammon, and their consumerist minions need to be rejected. Logos and the original teachings of Jesus Christ found in the New Testament (and NOT located in the Scolfied Reference Bible) need to be fully embraced and relayed to one another at a very local and personal level. As my namesake John the Baptist used to say, "Repent!"

    You’re crazy–Scofield is #1!

  75. As smooth as a plane landing on a golf course.

  76. Great visuals, you don’t see something like this very often, so when it’s there and done so well it’s a treat.

    Writing was good, but the overall premise is a bit out there.

    I guess it is always fun to think about the line we would draw between effectively artificial humans vs real humans.

    • Replies: @Gaelic_Gentrifier
    Agreed. I would give the film credit being willing to take the time to develop beautiful shots and a sense of atmosphere. I can definitely see some people feeling that it overstays its welcome with its 164 minute run-time. But especially as most modern movies try to pack as many visual elements as possible in each frame and insist on begging for the viewers attention with constant spectacles, I appreciated the film's restraint. [MILD SPOILER] a climatic scene takes place in a remote area that makes sense given the plot and which was visually interesting instead filling the background with a bedazzling but wearying chaos of CGI effects.
  77. @ExAngeleno
    Yep, I remember Asian markets as a hierarchy: Japanese were very clean and higher priced. Korean had great produce and beef and pretty good prepared foods and decent food courts; overall lower priced than regular prices at Ralph's or Von's-- on the backs of illegal Korean and Latino workers, no doubt. Ranch 99 at every location just plain stunk as if they never cleaned the coolers and mopped with filthy water. Thanks for the memories!

    I can’t understand why Ranch 99 isn’t shut down by the health department. Obviously a massive outbreak of hepatitis would have to happen before the government acts. On the other hand a large percentage of Chinese in the US test positive for Hep A and Hep B antibodies. Maybe they’re mostly immune.

  78. I’m waiting for the man-babies at Red Letter Media to respond.

  79. the original is a snoozefest, with some good supporting performances (Rutger Hauer) and great production design/special effects. There really was no story. So I have no plans to c the sequel

  80. @Sean
    Gosling is heir to Brando, for taking roles in which he is beaten to a pulp.

    ABSTRACT. This paper argues that at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation. A number of other consequences of this result are also discussed.
     

    Philip K Dick anticipates Nick Bostrom's simulation argument by decades http://www.openculture.com/2014/02/philip-k-dick-theorizes-the-matrix-in-1977-declares-that-we-live-in-a-computer-programmed-reality.html … @openculture
     

    Gosling is a stiff. Very wooden and uncharismatic. He’s no Brando. He’s bluffed through his career so far by pretending his wooden affect is actually gravitas.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    You could say that about a lot of actors, including Clint Eastwood, for example.
    , @Sean
    Film actor affect is an illusion as much as the photographs flashed on a screen at dozens of times a second..While the others are trying to be Brando, Gosling has flat effect, Gosling's style is the coming thing. Just as abstract painting was referential of the two dimensional canvas, Gosling is showing you awareness of the medium. Tom Noonan says never put emphasis on a line.
    , @BRdis

    Gosling is a stiff. Very wooden and uncharismatic. He’s no Brando. He’s bluffed through his career so far by pretending his wooden affect is actually gravitas.
     
    I've figured Gosling out. He's this generation's version of Michael Pollard, but without Pollard's talent. Basically, introverted white trash. That's not a Blade Runner, and never will be.

    Here's Ryan Gosling:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcW9VYtnfP8

    And here's Pollard. Same mannerisms. They could have been brothers:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InuDUpSSbmU
  81. @Charles Pewitt
    I won't have an opinion on "Blade Runner 2049" until the next time Harrison Ford lands his plane on a golf course.

    https://twitter.com/ron_eisele/status/915972629328052224

    He almost crashed into a 737 loaded with 110 passengers earlier this year. He probably shouldn’t be flying anymore:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4225082/Harrison-Ford-74-nearly-crashes-plane-AGAIN.html

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    Oh, please. If he can navigate an asteroid field, he can avoid one lousy airliner.
  82. Took them long enough. Perhaps they’ll finally get around to making a sequel to the Marx Brother’s 1933 Duck Soup.

  83. @1RW
    I saw it. It was a visual masterpiece. It also wasn't a feast of idiocy, unlike say Alien Covenant. Having said that, it was thoroughly depressing. It painted a world were no one seems to have a good life. Nearly every character is a replicant, and given that their goal is to be able to breed and thus replace humans, how am I supposed to be sympathetic to them?

    Replicants labor, yet the vast majority of actual humans shown seem to be even worse off, living in an enormous landfill and scavenging what they can.

    Bladerunner 2049 paints a future of environmental degradation, merciless exploitation and disposal of workers, poverty, and alienation.

    Is this what the elites are preparing us for? A world where the masses are either disposable labor or living off the table scraps, while the .01% wallow in cocoons of luxury that would make a sultan blush?

    Depressing AF

    Yes.

  84. @Louis
    First, the original was a very interesting film before they altered it and changed Harrison Ford's character into a robot. That made the whole thing stupid. Blade Runner 2049 builds on that stupidity.
    The hubris of the filmmakers is laughable. The film has the soundtrack of hell. Loud and discordant sounds for almost 3 hours with only a few seconds of Elvis and Sinatra thrown in to refer to the past. The filmmakers are arrogant to think the workers won't revolt before robots start taking over. How many Uber, taxi, truck drivers (and pilots!) are going to be put out of work and replaced with the stupid robot cars/trucks we keep hearing about in the news? The movie sounded like heavy handed propaganda from big business trying to convince us not to oppose the use and development of robots which are now referred to as "miracles". Kinda like globalists trying to convince Americans to accept all these illegal immigrants. Why would conditions continue to decline with no improvement in the 30 years since the first film took place? History doesn't keep going in one direction so why should we believe it will be any different in the future. Indeed, why would the US wield any power anymore at all in 2049? A traditional Christian Russia might be calling the shots on earth and especially in space where the replicants are supposedly going to be working as slaves. The El Chapos and Taliban of the world already have slaves growing drugs for them. They don't need any stinkin' robots. Edward James Olmos appears to be the only Hispanic shown in Los Angeles 2049. Where are all of the Mexicans? Did the fact that the original film is on the National Film Registry dictate the changes that were made and lay the basis for the sequel? The federal government provides money to preserve the original. Are there any strings attached with this arrangement? I've often thought the way scripts are made in Hollywood by committees these days is not unlike writing legislation in Washington, D.C. As far as any futuristic "art" in this film, the ruins of Las Vegas were mildly interesting, but overall the world obviously changed a lot more between 1982 and 2017 than it will change between 2017 and 2049 according to the filmmakers. Ryan Goslings apartment seemed identical to Harrison Ford's in the original film with that Mayan block/Frank Lloyd Wright inspired architecture. People still worship technology even though nothing seems to be impervious to hacking these days. How exactly did they fix that problem in the future. Blade Runner 2049 is a big waste of money. My guess is 2049 will look more like agricultural communities in the 18th century than all of that high tech nonsense. Religion will dominate the next century too even if N. America and Western Europe are ruled by Muslims, Africans, Hispanics, or Chinese. The filmmakers views on the disappearance of religion is ridiculous. They have obviously never read Phillip Jenkins either. What do they think is happening in the rest of the world?

    You’re reading too much into this. If anything, this is one of the least PC-conforming high budget movies made lately.
    The film’s white actors get most of the screen time; there’s just two minor black characters with lines (a Somali guy and the always good Lennie James), none of them an übersmart omniscient superman, and there’s no LGBTQWERTY character or related subplot.
    Plus, the movie has already been denounced by WIRED for not being PC-enough (and for being too white, no less).

    There’s no agenda here. Just like the original, BR 2049 is all about aesthetics. Enjoy it for what it is: an audiovisual extravaganza.

    • Replies: @Louis
    Its still ridiculous. Religion is non-existent in this vision of the future. I suggest reading Phillip Jenkins' The Next Christendom and VICTORIA by Thomas Hobbs.
  85. @Altai
    WIRED thinks its sexist because the 3 main characters are men. Also WIRED still somehow exists.

    https://www.wired.com/story/blade-runner-2049-politics/

    Despite their unrelentingly pedestrian Psych 101 woes, these three men still manage to take up 95 percent of the emotional frame on screen, leaving little room for the women around them to have their own narratives.
     
    Is, is that wrong now? Is it wrong to have 3 main male characters and have the story revolve around them?

    Also the original is racist but it was made back in 1982 and so is racist by default.


    East Asian aesthetics pervade its vision of dystopian LA, yet Asian characters are largely background players; its cyborgs are meant to be stand-ins for oppressed minority groups, but few, if any, minorities are actually present on screen.
     
    It thinks the cultural and economic Nipponisation of the US in the original Blade Runner is weird for not be accompanied by large numbers of East Asians. Have they heard of Americanisation? Or all those Japanese companies buying up American ones and Japanese-made products and cultural exports becoming a seeming wave of the future in the 1980s that Blade Runner was referencing?

    Again, why would you need real minorities when you have your metaphorical stand-ins?

    Whatever Star Trek is back and now we have a woke black woman who is so triggered by white people, Trump voters, Klingons that she advocates shooting first and starts an avoidable inter-stellar war by doing exactly what she set out not to do as a result of her not being able to not kill, white people, Trump voters, Klingons. Also the universe is held together by fungal spores that were present since the beginning of time and seeded all life. So eukaryotes begat prokaryotes, SCIENCE!

    Did Blade Runner II get any credit for having an African–the Captain Philips Somali, I think–as a “doctor” who analyzed Ryan Gosling’s wooden toy for him? Or is black pandering so ubiquitous that it goes unnoticed these days?

    By the way, how long will it take to start making Hidden Figures movies of all the old sci-fi films, showing who was really to thank for the things we used to think white guys did, a la Rogue One? (Luke Skywalker couldn’t have blown up the Death Star without a Dutch engineer, it turns out, but more importantly without a Mexican, a Muslim of some sort, a black, two Chinamen, a Fish Person, and a woman.) Blade Runner could have been the work of countless hidden East Asian women with Emotional Narratives of their own.

    • Agree: Clyde
  86. @Iron Curtain
    3/5
    As always, beautiful visuals. And as often the case is now, weak story with the setup for future franchise.
    The girl in the bubble will lead the armies of 'good underground' replicants against 'bad capitalist' ones? We will have 'planet of apes' style of replicant wars by sequel #3.

    Has any sci-fi movie ever had a serious, concrete plot? They’re full of holes at best, hilarious at worst.
    The point of making a sci-fi movie is that it offers much more artistic freedom to its creators than, say, a movie in a contemporary or historical setting.

    All you need for such a movie to become a hit or a cult classic is good production value, enticing visuals and a couple of memorable lines.
    The difference is that movies like Star Wars are simple child fantasies, whereas movies like BR can serve as a spark for more complicated ideas.

  87. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Yeah if you want to waste three hours with another thinly disguised White people / slavery is the Original Sin and dark skinned savages are innocent somehow fractured morality tales by immoral perverts in Hollyweird, then GET A LIFE.
    Fans of the old picture wanted a sequel. They clamored for it. But Harrison still had a career and didn’t want to give up his sequel easy money from being Indiana Jones and every hero from Central Casting. The fans wanted to find out when Rachel expired, and Sean Young is too crazy to be in this film. Any reveal now that Deckard is the crotchety old man Harrison Ford is is now rather pointless and has all the drama of a sad old man reminiscing about things long since over.
    Is Deckard a replicant? Do androids get social security? Yawn. “I used to have your job, I was good at it.” That would be the worst review ever if it wasn’t a line in this screen xerox machine. Shameless attempt at kitsch glommed over another slabery beez bad and White peeps beez ebil and stuff.
    Hollywood seems hell bent on being paved over and becoming a parking lot. Miss every movie until they go bankrupt. They don’t care about plot or story and they HATE YOU.

  88. @Dave Pinsen
    Villenueve's Arrival last year also had a thin story. As I said then, the big sci-fi ideas today are mainly in novels. Liu Cixin's Three Body Problem trilogy, Neal Stephenson's Seveneves, and Kim Stanley Robinson's Aurora tower over recent sci-fi movies. There's a Chinese movie adaptation in the works for the first book in the Three Body trilogy though.

    As I said then, the big sci-fi ideas today are mainly in novels

    The big sci-fi ideas have always been mainly in novels. Most films are limping way behind, often simply because they are films of books. Exhibit A: DADOES becoming BR.

    • Replies: @Walker
    Film is a different medium than books. Sci-fi visions are grandiose, and the big screen is the place for those visions and the big sense of wonder and disorientation that good SF gives us. A lot of SF novels of ideas have taken from movies.

    Just thinking of visionary SF movies: Metropolis, Alphaville, La Jetee, 2001, Alien, Star Wars. I stop at the 1970s but could keep going.
  89. Why did the movie bring up Nabokov’s Pale Fire? “Blade Runner 2049” was mostly a rehash of everything in the original. It missed Nabokov’s brilliance in that book, which is Charles Kimbote’s ability to take a 999-line poem and make an amazing story/critical analysis of it.

    I figure that K (Ryan Gosling) is supposed to be Joseph K, the protagonist in Kafka’s “The Trial.” He is named Joe in the middle of the movie, which means that he is “Joe K.” But I couldn’t figure out what Blade Runner has to do with Kafka, really.

    I’m not sure how this movie got a 2:40 runtime. Surely a studio exec would’ve said that they needed to cut it by 30 minutes, which they could have.

    It does have an almost unbearable soundtrack, as one commenter said above. What is wrong with Hans Zimmer lately?

    • Replies: @guest
    I wondered about Pale Fire myself. There's no obvious reason for it, so I was free to wildly speculate. None of my answers were clever or notable.

    How about Nabokov was a refugee from Soviet Russia (which apparently still exists in 2049, according to an advertisement I saw), and Harrison Ford and the underground replicants have sought refuge outside of L.A.?
  90. Hollywood is where Portnoy’s Complaint has become Portnoy’s Command.

  91. My eldest son asked if I wanted to go see this tomorrow with him. He even pays for the tickets when he asks me to go with him which works out good for him since I will always spring for drinks and munchies. These usually end up costing more than the movie tickets.

    The burning question is: will we ever see a film treatment of William Gibson’s Neuromancer?

    • Replies: @guest
    Judging by the success of Johnny Mnemonic, no.

    Then again, the Matrix, also featuring cyberpunk and Keanu Reeves, was a runaway success. So maybe.
  92. OT:

    Another win for WWG

    Not disclosing that you have HIV before giving it to someone, even to blood banks, is now no longer a felony in California.

    http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-updates-gov-brown-downgrades-from-felony-to-1507331544-htmlstory.html#

  93. @Not Raul
    >> And Hispanics are nonexistent, except for the gorgeous virtual girlfriend who, to borrow Steve’s description of Jessica Alba, is subliminally Hispanic visually (though unlike Alba, she speaks with a charming Spanish accent). <<

    By "subliminally Hispanic visually" do you mean white, like people from Spain, the original Hispanics?

    The actress is Cuban, but I don’t know her genetic history. Pic of her in this tweet.

    • Replies: @Not Raul
    Sorry, I guess I misunderstood your point.

    I was afraid that you were implying that Hispanic is a race. I see that it was a misunderstanding.
  94. @1RW
    I saw it. It was a visual masterpiece. It also wasn't a feast of idiocy, unlike say Alien Covenant. Having said that, it was thoroughly depressing. It painted a world were no one seems to have a good life. Nearly every character is a replicant, and given that their goal is to be able to breed and thus replace humans, how am I supposed to be sympathetic to them?

    Replicants labor, yet the vast majority of actual humans shown seem to be even worse off, living in an enormous landfill and scavenging what they can.

    Bladerunner 2049 paints a future of environmental degradation, merciless exploitation and disposal of workers, poverty, and alienation.

    Is this what the elites are preparing us for? A world where the masses are either disposable labor or living off the table scraps, while the .01% wallow in cocoons of luxury that would make a sultan blush?

    Depressing AF

    Bladerunner 2049 paints a future of environmental degradation, merciless exploitation and disposal of workers, poverty, and alienation.

    Is this what the elites are preparing us for? A world where the masses are either disposable labor or living off the table scraps, while the .01% wallow in cocoons of luxury that would make a sultan blush?

    yes – that is precisely what the Zuckerborg are aiming for

    (the Merkelborg faction want a more totalitarian “1984” dystopia with more torture – a bit like the movie “Brazil”)

    those are the two globalist choices: Bladerunner or 1984.

    (the only good solution now sociopaths have the tech for a global solution is some kind of federated ethno-nationalism)

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Zuckerberg runs a website. He's not a steel industrialist with plants everywhere spewing pollution.

    Regardless of how one feels about nationalism, a resurgence of nationalism would lead to a rise in industrial and arms races and accompanying environmental degradation and exploitation of labor (more guns, less butter). Serious proponents of nationalism understand this and support nationalism in spite of it, they don't pretend that nationalism the world over means environmentalism and kumbaya or something.
  95. @Lurker

    As I said then, the big sci-fi ideas today are mainly in novels
     
    The big sci-fi ideas have always been mainly in novels. Most films are limping way behind, often simply because they are films of books. Exhibit A: DADOES becoming BR.

    Film is a different medium than books. Sci-fi visions are grandiose, and the big screen is the place for those visions and the big sense of wonder and disorientation that good SF gives us. A lot of SF novels of ideas have taken from movies.

    Just thinking of visionary SF movies: Metropolis, Alphaville, La Jetee, 2001, Alien, Star Wars. I stop at the 1970s but could keep going.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    I'm not sure you could keep going, or that Star Wars had any big ideas. Really, Metropolis wasn't deep either - it was basically the Blade Runner of the 1920s: visually stunning but with a thin story.

    2001 was deep, and remains the greatest sci-fi film ever.
  96. @Otsuka Duojinshi
    There are three versions of the original Blade Runner. For people completely unfamiliar with the oeuvre I recommend the 1982 with the voice-over that Ridley Scott hated being forced to put in the movie. Then, see the final final final director's cut 2007 version - can really be enjoyed at its atmospheric best. Without seeing the original all the references in 2049 will be lost to you.

    I saw 2049 Thursday as well and really felt that it was well done. Academy Award level work for cinematographer Roger Deakins - absolutely the finest and most breathtaking work of his career. Editing brilliant as well. Music - Vangelis lite. All in all an evening quite well spent.

    agree – see the voice over version so you understand what is going on then after you know the plot only watch the director’s cut for the full atmospherics.

  97. @Aristippus
    Tfw Ana de Armas will never be your AI girlfriend. Why even live?

    Pretty enjoyable, but it could be 30 minutes shorter. The retro future aesthetics were really cool. The conflict seemed somewhat lacking because I sympathized much more with Jared Leto. What's funny is that only something like 2 or 3 characters in the film are undeniably human, so almost the whole film is "machines" interacting with each other. I was hoping for a "Tears in the Rain" type monologue that sadly never came, but the creatives probably realized that trying to force something like that into the film would be doomed to failure.

    I was hoping for a “Tears in the Rain” type monologue that sadly never came

    yes, hard (impossible?) to match that scene so trying and failing would probably stick out

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    Rutger Hauer wrote those lines himself. A great actor.
  98. A significant element in Blade Runner was the casting. To ignore that, and drop Ryan Gosling into a significant role in the script is just… stupid. The original Blade Runner was full of testosterone. Ryan Gosling has just enough testosterone to allow him to make it through puberty without ample breasts.

    Why on God’s Green Fuck would the producers cast a former Disney fortified actor, and drop him into a role that Harrison Ford just barely pulled off? A young Joseph Cotton/William Holden-type would have improved the role over Fords take on it. Why go the opposite direction??

    Why go full creepy girly-man?! Who would be intimidated by a Ryan Gosling in Blade Runner’s World?! The only way anyone in that world might fear Gosling is the concern of possibly contracting AIDs after joyously raping him.

    Besides, the star of the movie is the world of Blade Runner! They didn’t need to play games with the casting of the lead! Get the actor who can do the job! Not some Disney Douche who you think might bring in that age bracket. If it’s good, geeks of ALL ages will beat way to your ticket booth. They do NOT give a fuck about Ryan Gosling, except regarding how his lack of physical virility would bring down the entire movie!

    And the LAST thing these producers should consider is, it’s a different world now. If I, as a consumer, don’t like some major shit you’ve tried to pull, like casting Ryan Gosling in a man’s role, I’m CERTAINLY not going to go to see it, as I would have otherwise planned to do. I’ll download a 4K copy off a pirate site, of which there are many, to satisfy my curiosity–I can give it a look, and if it really sucks, I can stop watching after the first half-hour, having paid nothing–as well as ensure you don’t get a cent from me. I wonder how many people like me there will be watching your movie. If your current receipts are any clue, there’s a lot of us, since no geek would avoid something like Blade Runner unless you REALLY fucked it up from the get-go.

    Wake up. Time to die.

    • Replies: @guest
    Gosling started out playing the creepy (though handsome) type in indie movies.* His features definitely tend towards the shifty villain (small eyes too close together). Then he showed he could play the romantic lead and he's kinda funny, so they cast him in anything now.**

    I think he's best fit for roles like the Believer, where he's capable of beating people up but he's not the heavy. He's the "sensitive one."

    There are very few genuine tough guys in movies these days who aren't pigeonholed into action movies or are lunkheads who can't act. I miss the Steve McQueens and/or Mickey Rourke. Or Rutgers Hauers, to be more on subject.

    *The Believer: neo-nazi punk; Murder By Numbers: alpha half of a Leopold and Loeb team; United States of Leland: weirdo teen who murders a retard; Stay: creepy college kid who tells his therapist he's going to kill himself; Half-Nelson: crackhead; Lars and the Real Girl: loner who pretends a sex doll is real; All Good Things: possible wife murderer.

    **He's also genuinely a good actor. If you're good-looking enough to play lead (even if your face is better for villains or anti-heroes, as is Gosling's), that'll get you over the hump into un-typecast-able territory in today's Hollywood.

    , @Rod1963
    Hollywood doesn't do tough white guys anymore since they went SJW. Tough white actors only roles any more are as heavies. If Hollywood does action movies it's with some pretty boy like Cruise or Keanu Reeves who are really miss-cast for such roles. . No one would think a real life Jack Reacher would look like Cruise or that Keanu is a Russian mobster. Keanu just plays himself - Mr. Cool who never breaks a sweat.

    Or they go the multi-cult route and use Vin Diesal or Dwayne Johnson. Vin is pretty good, but he needs good material and directors to work with. Dwayne is like Arnold, he can only do certain sorts of movies or he become a joke as in Baywatch.

    Gosling had no business in the role, he's a frail. You can't see this guy as a corporate enforcer. A younger Micheal Ironside would be ideal for the role. If you want to see a good actor play the heavy go watch "Emperor of the North" with Ernest Borgnine as the conductor. The fight between him and Lee Marvin is brutal.

  99. @guest
    Too long, and the music sucked. But I was let down by their being very little of the Vangelis original--one of my favorite soundtracks--in there.

    Harrison Ford lost every ounce of his charisma. I don't think he even acts anymore. He's just a grumpy old man who doesn't want to be on set, and that comes across in his performance as a grumpy old character who doesn't want to be there.

    I like Ryan Gosling, but how is it a good idea to have your lead actor do Blank Robot Face in a movie so full of quiet reaction shots when it's not showing off its sets?

    I felt nothing for his fake girlfriend. The part where she was superimposed over the prostitute seemed like a good idea, but can you imagine actually having sex with that monstrosity? That made the scene boring.

    Hollywood has a serious Nostalgia Overload problem. I can't imagine why anyone would want to spend a half an hour (that's what it felt like, anyway) watching a cartoon 1982 Sean Young fail to look convincing. I realize they're trying to make it so that they don't have to pay actors, but come back when you get it right.

    Then there are all the little references, mostly visual. I know there's no point in making a Blade Runner movie without them, even though for instance no one believes in Japanese Future anymore. But why not just make your own "neo-noir" robot detective movie, and not try to recapture lighting in a bottle? (Besides money?) Because I'm sick of seeing the sane things over and over.

    Aside from that and other nitpicks I liked it.

    Hollywood has a serious Nostalgia Overload problem

    nepotism and creativity don’t mix

  100. @Sean
    Gosling is heir to Brando, for taking roles in which he is beaten to a pulp.

    ABSTRACT. This paper argues that at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation. A number of other consequences of this result are also discussed.
     

    Philip K Dick anticipates Nick Bostrom's simulation argument by decades http://www.openculture.com/2014/02/philip-k-dick-theorizes-the-matrix-in-1977-declares-that-we-live-in-a-computer-programmed-reality.html … @openculture
     

    I don’t believe (so-called) intelligent life is intelligent enough not to kill itself off. Mother Nature always brings her wayward children back.

    Do gravitational anomalies prove we’re not living in a computer simulation?

    http://newatlas.com/gravitational-anomaly-prove-universe-not-simulation/51588/

    • Replies: @Sean
    Nick Bostrom says finding something like a rodent level life form on another planet would be a death sentence because it would mean (contrary to the thesis of Gould's Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History) our evolution was not a series of incredibly unlikely contingencies (the Jimmy Stewart character that makes all the difference in the film Wonderful life) and so the lack of alien technological life forms is a consequence of a great filter that comes after advanced unicellular life . Most likely it is something similar to Forbidden Planet-style perverse instantiation .

    I think it follows that an alien technological civilization visitation of Earth would be rocking good news. As things stand the prudent, the practically rational thing, would be to to bring about A Canticle for Leibowitz -type situation, and without delay. Unfortunately, new technology is where economic growth comes from, so controlling the scientists will not happen in our hyper-capitalist world without something along the lines of the 1983 series V, which would, as already mentioned, be a contraindication.

  101. @Walker
    Why did the movie bring up Nabokov's Pale Fire? "Blade Runner 2049" was mostly a rehash of everything in the original. It missed Nabokov's brilliance in that book, which is Charles Kimbote's ability to take a 999-line poem and make an amazing story/critical analysis of it.

    I figure that K (Ryan Gosling) is supposed to be Joseph K, the protagonist in Kafka's "The Trial." He is named Joe in the middle of the movie, which means that he is "Joe K." But I couldn't figure out what Blade Runner has to do with Kafka, really.

    I'm not sure how this movie got a 2:40 runtime. Surely a studio exec would've said that they needed to cut it by 30 minutes, which they could have.

    It does have an almost unbearable soundtrack, as one commenter said above. What is wrong with Hans Zimmer lately?

    I wondered about Pale Fire myself. There’s no obvious reason for it, so I was free to wildly speculate. None of my answers were clever or notable.

    How about Nabokov was a refugee from Soviet Russia (which apparently still exists in 2049, according to an advertisement I saw), and Harrison Ford and the underground replicants have sought refuge outside of L.A.?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The main character in "Pale Fire" wants to believe he's somebody special (the exiled King of Zembla), but he's not.

    (Actually, my first reaction to "Pale Fire" was: Why can't he be the King of Zembla? It's a work of fiction, so how do I know Zembla isn't a real country in this fictional universe?)

  102. @1RW
    Can't we have sci fi where normal people overcome adversity the build a future normal people want?

    after the revolution – sure

  103. @enemy of earth
    My eldest son asked if I wanted to go see this tomorrow with him. He even pays for the tickets when he asks me to go with him which works out good for him since I will always spring for drinks and munchies. These usually end up costing more than the movie tickets.

    The burning question is: will we ever see a film treatment of William Gibson's Neuromancer?

    Judging by the success of Johnny Mnemonic, no.

    Then again, the Matrix, also featuring cyberpunk and Keanu Reeves, was a runaway success. So maybe.

  104. @guest
    I wondered about Pale Fire myself. There's no obvious reason for it, so I was free to wildly speculate. None of my answers were clever or notable.

    How about Nabokov was a refugee from Soviet Russia (which apparently still exists in 2049, according to an advertisement I saw), and Harrison Ford and the underground replicants have sought refuge outside of L.A.?

    The main character in “Pale Fire” wants to believe he’s somebody special (the exiled King of Zembla), but he’s not.

    (Actually, my first reaction to “Pale Fire” was: Why can’t he be the King of Zembla? It’s a work of fiction, so how do I know Zembla isn’t a real country in this fictional universe?)

    • Replies: @anonymous
    Professor Botkin didn't want to believe anything--he was the exiled King (in his mind) of a fantastically non-existent place--that's the brilliance of the book, taking us into the mind of the insane and making us see that it's much more frightening (and hilarious) that we could have imagined. No one did madness like Nabokov.

    I'm assuming that's why it's discussed in the book. Things believing they're something they're not.
  105. one of the most interesting aspects of Bladerunner to me revolves around the sociopathic elite wanting slave labor (or as close to it as they can get).

    they want it for practical reasons i.e. people doing stuff for them at the lowest cost…

    (although this doesn’t actually work as with no money to spend the slaves produce no demand and thus the economy is stagnant…)

    and if that was all there was to it then with replicant technology they could wipe us all out with a virus and just have android servants however i think there’s more to it. I think they want the feeling of superiority as well. They want their servants to feel humiliation and their gladiators to bleed and die for real.

    So the Bladerunner future makes sense to me – the sociopath elites with their android servants and bodyguards while keeping the plebs around in giant favelas fed on free soylent just so they can gloat from their towers.

    • Replies: @peterAUS

    I think they want the feeling of superiority as well. They want their servants to feel humiliation and their gladiators to bleed and die for real.

    So the Bladerunner future makes sense to me – the sociopath elites with their android servants and bodyguards while keeping the plebs around in giant favelas fed on free soylent just so they can gloat from their towers.
     
    That's pretty much the future.
    Maybe without android servants but all the rest spot on.
    , @Lurker

    although this doesn’t actually work as with no money to spend the slaves produce no demand and thus the economy is stagnant
     
    I'm probably an economic illiterate but this sounds like the fundamental flaw in the bright, shining automated future. We can't all be designers, inventors, DJs etc What happens to the other 95% of the population?
    , @Jack D

    keeping the plebs around in giant favelas fed on free soylent just so they can gloat from their towers
     
    How is this different from Chicago today?
  106. @Jim Don Bob
    So is this worth $11 or shall I wait for it on Dvd?

    Worth it.

  107. @guest
    Did anyone else notice that this "neo-noir" was decidedly bright much of the time? Which isn't to say the original didn't have scenes in the daytime, but I felt a disconnect with the basic idea. Which is that Blade Runner was an update of 40s gumshoe movies, with New Wave sci-fi and "cyberpunk" mixed in. That was its style.

    What is the style of Blade Runner II? Well, it's a detective story with art-deco references (noir), it's character-driven with big philosophical themes (New Wave sci-fi), and dirtiness and computer stuff (cyberpunk). But it felt more like a reference to a reference, if you will. Which is to be expected with a remake-sequel, I suppose. It's most noticeable with the Japanese stuff, which is obviously only there because it was in the original. Same thing with the old-timey corporate references, like Atari and Pan-Am.

    But it's bigger than that. For instance, I find myself wondering, when most of the architecture and interior design we see is in Vague Modernist style, why there are art-deco references. And I go, "Oh yeah, because the original had that, and the original was inspired by old noir movies."

    The--I don't know what to call it--production design?--was odd. Crap Earth felt surprisingly sterile to me. Not when we're first introduced to it (though that farmhouse resembled a set to me) but as time went on I could have sworn I was watching 2001, or something. Recent Star Wars movies this problem, too. The original series was set in a dirty, lived-in future. So was Blade Runner. This felt more like "please give me an Oscar for design"-future. Even the trash heap felt clean.

    Other elements of the scenery and mood felt ho-hum. The abandoned factory was like a million abandoned factories I've seen in movies. The police station felt like Standard-Issue Sci-Fi Police Station. Vegas looked like Sci-Fi Wasteland Demo #556708, when it didn't remind me of the Neverending Story.

    None of which would've bothered me had this been a random new sci-fi movie. But it's drawing on the capital of the original, and when it goes off on its own it's relatively uninspired. Which makes me ask: what's the point?

    I get the bind they're in. They're stuck between milking nostalgia and making their own thang, and they fall between the stools. It would help if the original, brilliant as it is, weren't a mish-mash of preexisting pop culture in its own right.

    Apparently the brightness was inspired by an Australian dust storm.

    https://twitter.com/kristapley/status/915400659901415424

  108. @BRdis
    A significant element in Blade Runner was the casting. To ignore that, and drop Ryan Gosling into a significant role in the script is just... stupid. The original Blade Runner was full of testosterone. Ryan Gosling has just enough testosterone to allow him to make it through puberty without ample breasts.

    Why on God's Green Fuck would the producers cast a former Disney fortified actor, and drop him into a role that Harrison Ford just barely pulled off? A young Joseph Cotton/William Holden-type would have improved the role over Fords take on it. Why go the opposite direction??

    Why go full creepy girly-man?! Who would be intimidated by a Ryan Gosling in Blade Runner's World?! The only way anyone in that world might fear Gosling is the concern of possibly contracting AIDs after joyously raping him.

    Besides, the star of the movie is the world of Blade Runner! They didn't need to play games with the casting of the lead! Get the actor who can do the job! Not some Disney Douche who you think might bring in that age bracket. If it's good, geeks of ALL ages will beat way to your ticket booth. They do NOT give a fuck about Ryan Gosling, except regarding how his lack of physical virility would bring down the entire movie!

    And the LAST thing these producers should consider is, it's a different world now. If I, as a consumer, don't like some major shit you've tried to pull, like casting Ryan Gosling in a man's role, I'm CERTAINLY not going to go to see it, as I would have otherwise planned to do. I'll download a 4K copy off a pirate site, of which there are many, to satisfy my curiosity–I can give it a look, and if it really sucks, I can stop watching after the first half-hour, having paid nothing–as well as ensure you don't get a cent from me. I wonder how many people like me there will be watching your movie. If your current receipts are any clue, there's a lot of us, since no geek would avoid something like Blade Runner unless you REALLY fucked it up from the get-go.

    Wake up. Time to die.

    Gosling started out playing the creepy (though handsome) type in indie movies.* His features definitely tend towards the shifty villain (small eyes too close together). Then he showed he could play the romantic lead and he’s kinda funny, so they cast him in anything now.**

    I think he’s best fit for roles like the Believer, where he’s capable of beating people up but he’s not the heavy. He’s the “sensitive one.”

    There are very few genuine tough guys in movies these days who aren’t pigeonholed into action movies or are lunkheads who can’t act. I miss the Steve McQueens and/or Mickey Rourke. Or Rutgers Hauers, to be more on subject.

    *The Believer: neo-nazi punk; Murder By Numbers: alpha half of a Leopold and Loeb team; United States of Leland: weirdo teen who murders a retard; Stay: creepy college kid who tells his therapist he’s going to kill himself; Half-Nelson: crackhead; Lars and the Real Girl: loner who pretends a sex doll is real; All Good Things: possible wife murderer.

    **He’s also genuinely a good actor. If you’re good-looking enough to play lead (even if your face is better for villains or anti-heroes, as is Gosling’s), that’ll get you over the hump into un-typecast-able territory in today’s Hollywood.

    • Replies: @BRdis

    There are very few genuine tough guys in movies these days who aren’t pigeonholed into action movies or are lunkheads who can’t act. I miss the Steve McQueens and/or Mickey Rourke. Or Rutgers Hauers, to be more on subject.
     
    They're out there. You just have to do some work and look for them. Every acting school around has one "tough guy" actor in their class. The producers just had to be willing to do the work, and be willing to cast a relative unknown. They decided to cover their bets with Gosling because the script was weak. That's one of the major reasons we have "stars." Their fan base will come, come hell or high water, even if the movie is bad. Producers weren't willing to do the work, and take the risk.

    **He’s also genuinely a good actor. If you’re good-looking enough to play lead (even if your face is better for villains or anti-heroes, as is Gosling’s), that’ll get you over the hump into un-typecast-able territory in today’s Hollywood.
     
    I think he's a poor actor. That is, he's adequate, but considering how long he's been practicing his "craft," he's not talented at it. Do anything for 20 years, and you'll get decent at it, even if you lack the talent–unless you're retarded. Gosling is adequate. Adequate is not enough for a remake of Blade Runner.

    My acute frustration is the fact that the producer's of Blade Runner only had ONE job:

    Don't fuck it up!

    My heart goes out to the CGI guys. From what I've heard, they did a hell of a job on that movie. I'm sure they busted their asses to make it happen. And I keep thinking, some of these guys worked 18 hour days, for months, their wives glaring at them when they come home, their kids like their nannies better than they like them, all to build a breath-taking, state-of-the-art world of Blade Runner. They hope to snag an Oscar, but even more, they hope they can create a classic, to be favorably compared to the original movie.

    Creatively sweating and bleeding to support the performance of... Ryan Gosling.

    , @jim jones
    The chap in Kingsman had a style of elegant violence:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDJEyqNw-9k
  109. @ExAngeleno
    Yep, I remember Asian markets as a hierarchy: Japanese were very clean and higher priced. Korean had great produce and beef and pretty good prepared foods and decent food courts; overall lower priced than regular prices at Ralph's or Von's-- on the backs of illegal Korean and Latino workers, no doubt. Ranch 99 at every location just plain stunk as if they never cleaned the coolers and mopped with filthy water. Thanks for the memories!

    The Korean H-Mart nearest to me smells like some produce rolled under something and rotted. And the shopping baskets have black gunk on them. But my sister says an H-Mart a few towns away is cleaner.

    My general sense is Koreans aren’t quite as homogeneous as we think. I don’t think it’s anywhere near as bad as with India, but I think we’re already reaching a point of diminishing returns via chain migration.

  110. @Walker
    Film is a different medium than books. Sci-fi visions are grandiose, and the big screen is the place for those visions and the big sense of wonder and disorientation that good SF gives us. A lot of SF novels of ideas have taken from movies.

    Just thinking of visionary SF movies: Metropolis, Alphaville, La Jetee, 2001, Alien, Star Wars. I stop at the 1970s but could keep going.

    I’m not sure you could keep going, or that Star Wars had any big ideas. Really, Metropolis wasn’t deep either – it was basically the Blade Runner of the 1920s: visually stunning but with a thin story.

    2001 was deep, and remains the greatest sci-fi film ever.

    • Agree: jim jones
    • Replies: @anonymous

    2001 was deep, and remains the greatest sci-fi film ever.
     
    I understand Kubrick loved Star Trek.

    Hmmmm:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjIj-2ww53o


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rge17TciHfU


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8N72t7aScY

  111. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @notanon

    Bladerunner 2049 paints a future of environmental degradation, merciless exploitation and disposal of workers, poverty, and alienation.

    Is this what the elites are preparing us for? A world where the masses are either disposable labor or living off the table scraps, while the .01% wallow in cocoons of luxury that would make a sultan blush?
     
    yes - that is precisely what the Zuckerborg are aiming for

    (the Merkelborg faction want a more totalitarian "1984" dystopia with more torture - a bit like the movie "Brazil")

    those are the two globalist choices: Bladerunner or 1984.

    (the only good solution now sociopaths have the tech for a global solution is some kind of federated ethno-nationalism)

    Zuckerberg runs a website. He’s not a steel industrialist with plants everywhere spewing pollution.

    Regardless of how one feels about nationalism, a resurgence of nationalism would lead to a rise in industrial and arms races and accompanying environmental degradation and exploitation of labor (more guns, less butter). Serious proponents of nationalism understand this and support nationalism in spite of it, they don’t pretend that nationalism the world over means environmentalism and kumbaya or something.

    • Replies: @notanon

    Zuckerberg runs a website. He’s not a steel industrialist with plants everywhere spewing pollution.
     
    No reason you should know but I'm using "the Zuckerborg" as a collective noun for the corporate oligarchy.

    As to Zuckerberg himself he spends millions lobbying for unlimited cheap labor and given people like him know the potential consequences of the ongoing automation wave better than everyone else that makes people like him, Gates and the other tech billionaires the absolute worst of the Zuckerborg oligarchs imo.

    Not as bad as Merkel but close.
    , @bomag

    Zuckerberg runs a website
     
    He runs a monopoly business with the ability and inclination to censure political speech.

    ...environmentalism...
     
    How has that been working out in our proto-universalist world? Looks to me like the third world nationalists move into and colonize the first world universalists with the attendant increase in resource degradation.

    It looks to like it's nationalism all the way down. If you aren't connected to a nationalism of some kind, you cease to exist.

    "You might not be interested in nationalism, but nationalism is interested in you."

    , @Difference maker
    Nah Zuckerberg is pretty bad

    There won't even be butter. Should've went for guns lol

  112. @Dave Pinsen
    A few observations about Bladerunner 2049's Los Angeles: it's cold enough to snow in the city itself, and apparently sea levels have risen but a huge wall keeps out the ocean. Climate seems to have changed Lucifer's Hammer-style rather than via global warming.

    It's not very crowded. Seems like there were fewer extras in the sequel (with the exception of the child factory workers maybe). And Hispanics are nonexistent, except for the gorgeous virtual girlfriend who, to borrow Steve's description of Jessica Alba, is subliminally Hispanic visually (though unlike Alba, she speaks with a charming Spanish accent). Other than a few black characters in small roles, it's very white.

    When the original was made, the climate scare scam was nuclear winters.

  113. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    It had the same problem as any other “soft reboot” where it’s ostensibly a sequel but does very little new and is mostly just a redress of the original. Gosling’s character combines Ford and Hauer’s characters (who were really co-leads with parallel storylines), fulfilling Deckard’s role as a detective whose investigation drives the plot forward, but with the character arc of Batty. Batty is plagued by questions of mortality and uses the circumstances of his death to ensure that he’ll be remembered past it; K is plagued by questions of authenticity and uses his death to define himself as his own man for the first time in his life, a good man who reunites Deckard and his daughter and supplies them with an unambiguously happy ending by choosing not to reveal his grotty connection to them. Batty dies in the rain; K dies in the snow. The music cue for their deaths is identical.

    It’s not quite as insipid as FIVE Star Wars movies revolving around blowing up a Death Star, but come on, at least try to do something new.

  114. @guest
    Gosling started out playing the creepy (though handsome) type in indie movies.* His features definitely tend towards the shifty villain (small eyes too close together). Then he showed he could play the romantic lead and he's kinda funny, so they cast him in anything now.**

    I think he's best fit for roles like the Believer, where he's capable of beating people up but he's not the heavy. He's the "sensitive one."

    There are very few genuine tough guys in movies these days who aren't pigeonholed into action movies or are lunkheads who can't act. I miss the Steve McQueens and/or Mickey Rourke. Or Rutgers Hauers, to be more on subject.

    *The Believer: neo-nazi punk; Murder By Numbers: alpha half of a Leopold and Loeb team; United States of Leland: weirdo teen who murders a retard; Stay: creepy college kid who tells his therapist he's going to kill himself; Half-Nelson: crackhead; Lars and the Real Girl: loner who pretends a sex doll is real; All Good Things: possible wife murderer.

    **He's also genuinely a good actor. If you're good-looking enough to play lead (even if your face is better for villains or anti-heroes, as is Gosling's), that'll get you over the hump into un-typecast-able territory in today's Hollywood.

    There are very few genuine tough guys in movies these days who aren’t pigeonholed into action movies or are lunkheads who can’t act. I miss the Steve McQueens and/or Mickey Rourke. Or Rutgers Hauers, to be more on subject.

    They’re out there. You just have to do some work and look for them. Every acting school around has one “tough guy” actor in their class. The producers just had to be willing to do the work, and be willing to cast a relative unknown. They decided to cover their bets with Gosling because the script was weak. That’s one of the major reasons we have “stars.” Their fan base will come, come hell or high water, even if the movie is bad. Producers weren’t willing to do the work, and take the risk.

    **He’s also genuinely a good actor. If you’re good-looking enough to play lead (even if your face is better for villains or anti-heroes, as is Gosling’s), that’ll get you over the hump into un-typecast-able territory in today’s Hollywood.

    I think he’s a poor actor. That is, he’s adequate, but considering how long he’s been practicing his “craft,” he’s not talented at it. Do anything for 20 years, and you’ll get decent at it, even if you lack the talent–unless you’re retarded. Gosling is adequate. Adequate is not enough for a remake of Blade Runner.

    My acute frustration is the fact that the producer’s of Blade Runner only had ONE job:

    Don’t fuck it up!

    My heart goes out to the CGI guys. From what I’ve heard, they did a hell of a job on that movie. I’m sure they busted their asses to make it happen. And I keep thinking, some of these guys worked 18 hour days, for months, their wives glaring at them when they come home, their kids like their nannies better than they like them, all to build a breath-taking, state-of-the-art world of Blade Runner. They hope to snag an Oscar, but even more, they hope they can create a classic, to be favorably compared to the original movie.

    Creatively sweating and bleeding to support the performance of… Ryan Gosling.

    • Replies: @guest
    "The producers just had to be willing to do the work, and be willing to cast a relative unknown"

    That's kinda my point. If there were tough guy movie stars around who could handle the seriousness required of a role in Blade Runner, they wouldn't need to go with a "sensitive guy" like Gosling.
    , @Harry Baldwin
    My heart goes out to the CGI guys.

    I really felt that way after seeing John Carter on Mars. Great CGI, great art direction, but ruined by terrible actors and a lame script. What a colossal let-down it must have been for the people who did the good parts.
  115. @Dave Pinsen
    I'm not sure you could keep going, or that Star Wars had any big ideas. Really, Metropolis wasn't deep either - it was basically the Blade Runner of the 1920s: visually stunning but with a thin story.

    2001 was deep, and remains the greatest sci-fi film ever.

    2001 was deep, and remains the greatest sci-fi film ever.

    I understand Kubrick loved Star Trek.

    Hmmmm:

  116. Watched it last night, it was good but not great. The original was better.
    Stylistically the movie delivers, but it suffers from overindulgence and nostalgia: 163 minutes are too much unless you are David Lean or James Cameron; Harrison Ford looks bored and lost; the “revolution” subplot is completely out of place; the villains are incoherent; the protagonist’s conflict and resolution don’t work well; and the sex scene was creepy.
    Speaking of which, the two female leads were both smoking hot.

    Overall 8/10, recommended; but not as good as the old one.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    I wouldn't mind the length so much if they had an intermission. Theaters would probably sell more drinks if they did.
    , @anonymous0

    Harrison Ford looks bored and lost;
     
    Harrison Ford... might have long-term drinking... issues.

    Try to tell us this man ain't blitzed...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmZ1ppujkXg
    , @guest
    "the two female leads were smoking hot"

    Do you mean Lady Terminator and Siri? (Yes on the latter, less so on the former.) Or are we including Cartoon Geisha-doll Sean Young?
    , @Romanian
    I thought the sex scene was the best part and the revolution bit the worst part!
    , @The eyes, chico, they never lie
    When it comes to the "revolution" thing, at least there's no jungle party like in Matrix 2, where the good swarthy real humans are pitted against the evil lily white non-humans and the director(esse)s impose a forced narrative om the audience so that we side with the "good guys".

    BR is much more open-ended and its villains aren't really archetypal villains
    There's no reason to dislike Jared Leto's character; after all, he saves humanity from extinction and all he does is kill a replicant, no humans harmed.

    Perhaps K's story arc is deliberately played out this way, so there's no moral value attached to it.
  117. @JimB
    "But would an America where the Chinese (or more likely the Japanese) take over be so dark and dirty?"

    Been to a Chinatown or Ranch 99, lately? Apparently, Chinese view cleanliness as an unfair tax on ones profit margins.

    Well aren’t you more than a little parochial and out of synch. Been to Hong Kong or Singapore lately? Manhattan is a dilapidated slum by comparison.

    • Replies: @Cloudbuster
    Fascinating that you pick as your examples the two Asian cities that were built by the British.
    , @The Last Real Calvinist
    Is there anywhere in Manhattan that doesn't smell of piss?
    , @Jack D
    With all due respect (and HK and Singapore are very nice and DO make most of Manhattan look like a slum) traditional Chinese culture does not put a big premium (in comparison say to Japanese culture) on cleanliness. As a culture where refrigeration was not common until recently (even now in China you see food markets where they put the pork out unwrapped at room temp on the counter and there is this electric fly whisk gizmo to shoo the flies away), their traditional idea of food safety depends the animals being purchased either alive or very recently slaughtered and upon cooking the food through (usually cutting it up into small pieces so the heat would penetrate quickly). Even if the food is not sterile to begin with, the cooking process kills everything and they you serve it right away before the counts can start to multiply again. If the Japanese with their raw, dead fish diet kept Chinese levels of sanitation, they would drop like flies. And lets not even talk about the bathrooms.
  118. Less noir and more sci-fi than the original. Not bad but not as good. I actually missed the narration.

  119. @Anonymous
    He almost crashed into a 737 loaded with 110 passengers earlier this year. He probably shouldn't be flying anymore:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4225082/Harrison-Ford-74-nearly-crashes-plane-AGAIN.html

    Oh, please. If he can navigate an asteroid field, he can avoid one lousy airliner.

  120. @jimbojones
    Watched it last night, it was good but not great. The original was better.
    Stylistically the movie delivers, but it suffers from overindulgence and nostalgia: 163 minutes are too much unless you are David Lean or James Cameron; Harrison Ford looks bored and lost; the "revolution" subplot is completely out of place; the villains are incoherent; the protagonist's conflict and resolution don't work well; and the sex scene was creepy.
    Speaking of which, the two female leads were both smoking hot.

    Overall 8/10, recommended; but not as good as the old one.

    I wouldn’t mind the length so much if they had an intermission. Theaters would probably sell more drinks if they did.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    This has occurred to me too. Simply put a countdown timer on the screen (along with commercials, natch) starting at 10 or 15 minutes, and watch the concessions cash in.
  121. Enervated, torpid, slack, dreary and, oh yes, nasty, brutish and long, to steal from the incomparable Stephen Hunter’s review of the execrable Gigli (which clocked in at a comparatively taught 124 minutes). It’s set in a mid-term future California that’s implausibly full of humanoid AI, flying cars, and white people. The androids act like humans, and the humans act like androids: affectless, shallow, with inscrutable motivations. Nothing in the movie gives pleasure, nothing reflects reality, nothing provokes thought.

    • Replies: @guest
    "and the humans act like androids"

    Are we sure they weren't all replicants?

    That's how little I care about the Harrison Ford "is he or isn't he" question at this point. They could all be fake-humans, and it wouldn't really change anything.

  122. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    The main character in "Pale Fire" wants to believe he's somebody special (the exiled King of Zembla), but he's not.

    (Actually, my first reaction to "Pale Fire" was: Why can't he be the King of Zembla? It's a work of fiction, so how do I know Zembla isn't a real country in this fictional universe?)

    Professor Botkin didn’t want to believe anything–he was the exiled King (in his mind) of a fantastically non-existent place–that’s the brilliance of the book, taking us into the mind of the insane and making us see that it’s much more frightening (and hilarious) that we could have imagined. No one did madness like Nabokov.

    I’m assuming that’s why it’s discussed in the book. Things believing they’re something they’re not.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    reply to anonymous at 4:05 AM - to elaborate on your point - Nabokov thought that Kinbote was selfish (a sexual predator, more or less, like Nabokov's uncle, as described in his autobiography) and Nabokov, in his moral universe, thought Kinbote unworthy of his own kingdom. This is not simple and easy to discern on a first reading but lots of people have read the book many more times than once, and it is clear that, as Nabokov said in an interview, Kinbote is not a good person. So, as Jerry Seinfeld's soup Nazi said in another context, no kingdom for you!
  123. @jimbojones
    Watched it last night, it was good but not great. The original was better.
    Stylistically the movie delivers, but it suffers from overindulgence and nostalgia: 163 minutes are too much unless you are David Lean or James Cameron; Harrison Ford looks bored and lost; the "revolution" subplot is completely out of place; the villains are incoherent; the protagonist's conflict and resolution don't work well; and the sex scene was creepy.
    Speaking of which, the two female leads were both smoking hot.

    Overall 8/10, recommended; but not as good as the old one.

    Harrison Ford looks bored and lost;

    Harrison Ford… might have long-term drinking… issues.

    Try to tell us this man ain’t blitzed…

  124. @BRdis

    There are very few genuine tough guys in movies these days who aren’t pigeonholed into action movies or are lunkheads who can’t act. I miss the Steve McQueens and/or Mickey Rourke. Or Rutgers Hauers, to be more on subject.
     
    They're out there. You just have to do some work and look for them. Every acting school around has one "tough guy" actor in their class. The producers just had to be willing to do the work, and be willing to cast a relative unknown. They decided to cover their bets with Gosling because the script was weak. That's one of the major reasons we have "stars." Their fan base will come, come hell or high water, even if the movie is bad. Producers weren't willing to do the work, and take the risk.

    **He’s also genuinely a good actor. If you’re good-looking enough to play lead (even if your face is better for villains or anti-heroes, as is Gosling’s), that’ll get you over the hump into un-typecast-able territory in today’s Hollywood.
     
    I think he's a poor actor. That is, he's adequate, but considering how long he's been practicing his "craft," he's not talented at it. Do anything for 20 years, and you'll get decent at it, even if you lack the talent–unless you're retarded. Gosling is adequate. Adequate is not enough for a remake of Blade Runner.

    My acute frustration is the fact that the producer's of Blade Runner only had ONE job:

    Don't fuck it up!

    My heart goes out to the CGI guys. From what I've heard, they did a hell of a job on that movie. I'm sure they busted their asses to make it happen. And I keep thinking, some of these guys worked 18 hour days, for months, their wives glaring at them when they come home, their kids like their nannies better than they like them, all to build a breath-taking, state-of-the-art world of Blade Runner. They hope to snag an Oscar, but even more, they hope they can create a classic, to be favorably compared to the original movie.

    Creatively sweating and bleeding to support the performance of... Ryan Gosling.

    “The producers just had to be willing to do the work, and be willing to cast a relative unknown”

    That’s kinda my point. If there were tough guy movie stars around who could handle the seriousness required of a role in Blade Runner, they wouldn’t need to go with a “sensitive guy” like Gosling.

  125. @jimbojones
    Watched it last night, it was good but not great. The original was better.
    Stylistically the movie delivers, but it suffers from overindulgence and nostalgia: 163 minutes are too much unless you are David Lean or James Cameron; Harrison Ford looks bored and lost; the "revolution" subplot is completely out of place; the villains are incoherent; the protagonist's conflict and resolution don't work well; and the sex scene was creepy.
    Speaking of which, the two female leads were both smoking hot.

    Overall 8/10, recommended; but not as good as the old one.

    “the two female leads were smoking hot”

    Do you mean Lady Terminator and Siri? (Yes on the latter, less so on the former.) Or are we including Cartoon Geisha-doll Sean Young?

  126. @Impolitic
    Enervated, torpid, slack, dreary and, oh yes, nasty, brutish and long, to steal from the incomparable Stephen Hunter's review of the execrable Gigli (which clocked in at a comparatively taught 124 minutes). It's set in a mid-term future California that's implausibly full of humanoid AI, flying cars, and white people. The androids act like humans, and the humans act like androids: affectless, shallow, with inscrutable motivations. Nothing in the movie gives pleasure, nothing reflects reality, nothing provokes thought.

    “and the humans act like androids”

    Are we sure they weren’t all replicants?

    That’s how little I care about the Harrison Ford “is he or isn’t he” question at this point. They could all be fake-humans, and it wouldn’t really change anything.

  127. Questions about Sean Young:

    1. Is she alive? Probably yes, because I don’t remember them thanking her estate like Rogue One did with Peter Cushing.

    2. Does she get paid, or does the studio own her likeness?

    3. If not, did they credit her as a way of throwing her a bone? As in, we used clips of your performance from 35 years ago, here’s your name up in lights again, kiddo.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    If only there was some way where you could, without even having to go to the library, just type someone's name into your home computer or even say it into your phone and you could find out information about them, such as whether they are dead or alive! Wouldn't that be great?
    , @BRdis

    Questions about Sean Young:
     
    Sean has been a committed alcoholic most of her life, which has made her fat and face bloated. I believe that she was in a celebrity rehab show that she didn't handle very well. It's a big shame. She does half-assed indie films and works small theaters in NYC, where she now resides. You made me think of her, and I checked her facebook which she's on regularly. She's been asked about the new BR, and chose not to answer. However, she appears to be hankering for another feud with James Woods, and has been trashing him most recently on her page. I guess she wants a little attention off the Weinstein thing, or figures it's safer to hassle Woods than Ridley Scott.

    If she had any common sense left, she'd leave that guy alone. Woods has a temper.
  128. Is it just me, or did Rick Deckard have the same haircut for decades?

    This is a real problem for delayed sequels and reboots. They want the audience to recognize them as the characters, but in order to do so we must never consider the fact that their look stays frozen for their entire lives. Unless the characters go to pot, get fat, and walk around in robes, or something.

    Star Wars took thieving idiocy to the next level. Whatever costumes and hairstyles they happened to throw on people, or props they happened to slap together when they were filming the original took on great meaning in the “pre”-quels. I bet in the new Star Wars Han Solo movie they’re going to show the origin of every last scrap of Harrison Ford’s costume from 1977. Not just his gun, but his holster, boots, vest, and everything down to the stripe in his pants.

  129. @BRdis
    A significant element in Blade Runner was the casting. To ignore that, and drop Ryan Gosling into a significant role in the script is just... stupid. The original Blade Runner was full of testosterone. Ryan Gosling has just enough testosterone to allow him to make it through puberty without ample breasts.

    Why on God's Green Fuck would the producers cast a former Disney fortified actor, and drop him into a role that Harrison Ford just barely pulled off? A young Joseph Cotton/William Holden-type would have improved the role over Fords take on it. Why go the opposite direction??

    Why go full creepy girly-man?! Who would be intimidated by a Ryan Gosling in Blade Runner's World?! The only way anyone in that world might fear Gosling is the concern of possibly contracting AIDs after joyously raping him.

    Besides, the star of the movie is the world of Blade Runner! They didn't need to play games with the casting of the lead! Get the actor who can do the job! Not some Disney Douche who you think might bring in that age bracket. If it's good, geeks of ALL ages will beat way to your ticket booth. They do NOT give a fuck about Ryan Gosling, except regarding how his lack of physical virility would bring down the entire movie!

    And the LAST thing these producers should consider is, it's a different world now. If I, as a consumer, don't like some major shit you've tried to pull, like casting Ryan Gosling in a man's role, I'm CERTAINLY not going to go to see it, as I would have otherwise planned to do. I'll download a 4K copy off a pirate site, of which there are many, to satisfy my curiosity–I can give it a look, and if it really sucks, I can stop watching after the first half-hour, having paid nothing–as well as ensure you don't get a cent from me. I wonder how many people like me there will be watching your movie. If your current receipts are any clue, there's a lot of us, since no geek would avoid something like Blade Runner unless you REALLY fucked it up from the get-go.

    Wake up. Time to die.

    Hollywood doesn’t do tough white guys anymore since they went SJW. Tough white actors only roles any more are as heavies. If Hollywood does action movies it’s with some pretty boy like Cruise or Keanu Reeves who are really miss-cast for such roles. . No one would think a real life Jack Reacher would look like Cruise or that Keanu is a Russian mobster. Keanu just plays himself – Mr. Cool who never breaks a sweat.

    Or they go the multi-cult route and use Vin Diesal or Dwayne Johnson. Vin is pretty good, but he needs good material and directors to work with. Dwayne is like Arnold, he can only do certain sorts of movies or he become a joke as in Baywatch.

    Gosling had no business in the role, he’s a frail. You can’t see this guy as a corporate enforcer. A younger Micheal Ironside would be ideal for the role. If you want to see a good actor play the heavy go watch “Emperor of the North” with Ernest Borgnine as the conductor. The fight between him and Lee Marvin is brutal.

  130. @Anonymous
    Gosling is a stiff. Very wooden and uncharismatic. He's no Brando. He's bluffed through his career so far by pretending his wooden affect is actually gravitas.

    You could say that about a lot of actors, including Clint Eastwood, for example.

  131. @eah

    Scott Wiener, one of homosexual CA legislators who submitted the bill to stop treating knowingly/willfully transmitting HIV as a felony.

  132. @Anon
    I am a fan of the film, but it does require prodigious suspensions of disbelief.

    Some great movies have this problem. In both VERTIGO and ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA, how could the main character not figure out what happened until the very end?

    In VERTIGO, the death of the rich woman would have been good news. Scotty would have seen pics of the real woman in the newspapers and realized she was not the one he'd been following.
    And in OUATIA, the Bailey Scandal is big big news, all over TV and newspapers. So, how come Deniro's character not realize Max is alive?

    Btw, another film released around the same time, WOLFEN, covers much the same territory. Instead of killer robots, it has killer wolf-men. BLADE RUNNER was finally vindicated as a great film. WOLFEN deserves that recognition too. It's also the only wolf-men movie I like.
    WOLFEN did for NY what BLADE did for LA.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1BH0uPIruQ

    Wolfen was a scary as h-ll book. It gave me werewolf nightmares for yours as a kid.

  133. Sounds like it doesn’t have enough esthetic quality to be worth seeing at the theater so I’ll wait until it’s on free cable.
    I saw the original when it was first released. I was annoyed by the fact that absolutely nothing you saw on the screen made any sense whatsoever.
    Supposedley in just a few decades, the climate had changed so much that LA had the same climate as Anchorage Alaska, and virtually the entire city had been removed and replaced with entirely new
    colossal buildings.
    A company was manufacturing artificial humans for work in space could that could be done far better by machinery.
    The civilization had enough technology and resources that it was transporting anyone who wanted to go to other planets, but looked too impoverished and environmentally degraded on earth to be able to send millions of people to other planets.
    The Blade Runners are trying to track down and identify fugitive replicants using psychology tests when hello! they had PHOTOS of all the replicants they were looking for.
    The movie gets cute by raising the possibility that Deckard was also a replicant despite the fact that replicants died in a few years and were all as strong as chimps, whereas Deckard had a long career as a cop and got tossed around like a doll by the real replicants.
    Then on top of it all I realized at the end of the movie it was basically Jean-Luc Goddard’s Alphaville but with an actual production budget. The two films even had the same ending.
    Since then I have come to appreciate the cinematography and occasionally turn off my brain, pop in my Blu-Ray copy and enjoy it. Blade Runner is now classified by me as one of those bad movies that are fun to watch anyway.

    • Agree: Sunbeam
  134. @Anonymous
    Zuckerberg runs a website. He's not a steel industrialist with plants everywhere spewing pollution.

    Regardless of how one feels about nationalism, a resurgence of nationalism would lead to a rise in industrial and arms races and accompanying environmental degradation and exploitation of labor (more guns, less butter). Serious proponents of nationalism understand this and support nationalism in spite of it, they don't pretend that nationalism the world over means environmentalism and kumbaya or something.

    Zuckerberg runs a website. He’s not a steel industrialist with plants everywhere spewing pollution.

    No reason you should know but I’m using “the Zuckerborg” as a collective noun for the corporate oligarchy.

    As to Zuckerberg himself he spends millions lobbying for unlimited cheap labor and given people like him know the potential consequences of the ongoing automation wave better than everyone else that makes people like him, Gates and the other tech billionaires the absolute worst of the Zuckerborg oligarchs imo.

    Not as bad as Merkel but close.

  135. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    “2001 was deep, and remains the greatest sci-fi film ever.”

    2001 was the most overrated film in American history. Despite the common misconception, it was not deep but very shallow. 20001 is filled with imagery even those responsible couldn’t explain (i.e. the space baby); in other words, the movie was peppered with random images to make it look high minded when, in fact, there was no deeper meaning to any of it. 2001 was widely considered a failure upon it’s release and not much more than a special effects demo reel by Kubrick. It was later reevaluated when some people realized they could look smart by trying to explain the mystifying images and confusing narrative as something profound when, in reality, it was just a poorly written movie.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    You have read the book?
    And "The Sentinel"?
    , @Dave Pinsen

    2001 was the most overrated film in American history. Despite the common misconception, it was not deep but very shallow. 20001 is filled with imagery even those responsible couldn’t explain (i.e. the space baby)
     
    The star child is explained in the novel Clarke wrote at the same time he was writing the script with Kubrick. Read the novel and then watch the movie again.

    Briefly:

    The monolith that appears at the beginning of the movie spurred the evolution of proto-humans into humans.

    The same aliens who placed the monolith on earth buried one on the moon at the same time. That one was designed to be a trip wire to let them know if and when the species they were tinkering with on earth made it off the planet. It was excavated during the two week-long lunar night, and when the sun hit it, it triggered it to launch a radio signal toward another monolith orbiting Jupiter.

    That prompted the expedition to Jupiter.

    The monolith orbiting Jupiter was a star gate (and relay station for the radio signal from the monolith on the moon). David Bowman takes his probe into it and ends up in a room created for him by the aliens on their world. The monolith that appears there spurs the next step in human evolution, turning him into the star child.

    Clarke continues Bowman/Star Child's story in sequels to 2001.

    , @Anon
    2001 was the most overrated film in American history. Despite the common misconception, it was not deep but very shallow.

    You are a dammy, but then, so is the guy who called it deep. And Sarris missed the point when he called the stargate scene 'instant Bergman'.

    2001 is neither deep nor shallow. Tarkovsky went for depth with SOLARIS(not very successful) and STALKER(successful).

    Kubrick wasn't going for depth but reach. He was trying to stretch imagination to what might be of space travel and the next dimension. 2001 may not be deep but it is a leap, and surely the single greatest leap in cinematic vision and expression. I mean there was NOTHING like that before, not even close.

    Most other great leaps in cinema were anticipated by earlier notable works. This even goes for the remarkable CITIZEN KANE and SEVEN SAMURAI. But when people watched 2001 for the first time, either their jaws dropped or they were so overwhelmed that they played cool and played aloof.
  136. @guest
    Gosling started out playing the creepy (though handsome) type in indie movies.* His features definitely tend towards the shifty villain (small eyes too close together). Then he showed he could play the romantic lead and he's kinda funny, so they cast him in anything now.**

    I think he's best fit for roles like the Believer, where he's capable of beating people up but he's not the heavy. He's the "sensitive one."

    There are very few genuine tough guys in movies these days who aren't pigeonholed into action movies or are lunkheads who can't act. I miss the Steve McQueens and/or Mickey Rourke. Or Rutgers Hauers, to be more on subject.

    *The Believer: neo-nazi punk; Murder By Numbers: alpha half of a Leopold and Loeb team; United States of Leland: weirdo teen who murders a retard; Stay: creepy college kid who tells his therapist he's going to kill himself; Half-Nelson: crackhead; Lars and the Real Girl: loner who pretends a sex doll is real; All Good Things: possible wife murderer.

    **He's also genuinely a good actor. If you're good-looking enough to play lead (even if your face is better for villains or anti-heroes, as is Gosling's), that'll get you over the hump into un-typecast-able territory in today's Hollywood.

    The chap in Kingsman had a style of elegant violence:

  137. Harrison Ford didn’t seem like the same character. The whole eye ID code thing makes me wonder why Replicants weren’t made that way in the first place. Love the way Blade Runner’s world looks. Gotta admit though, the first one devolves into some sort of arthouse fever dream. Like WTF is up with the little bear and german soldier? Why is Batty howling? The science of the science fiction gets far too muddled. JF Sebastian is a “genetic designer” but doesn’t understand biomechanics (a term which the film seems to pretend is a synonym for molecular biology rather than how joints move and such. I mean really, what would the real definition of biomechanics have to do with extending Batty’s life?). The replicants are described as the pinnacle of robotics but appear to be purely biological. Why confuse things by mentioning robots at all? Robots=machines, not bioengineered. And then there’s the point everyone else has emphasized of why make humanoid slaves that are indistinguishable from humans. The point of a roomba is it wouldn’t give me sad eyes and demand higher wages. It vacuums the darn floor. Spielberg’s A.I. at least presented a scenario where one would push for humanlike robots. The prostitute at least makes sense. Maybe the soldier models were designed as spies that could blend in?

    As for the sequel, what was up with implying Deckard meeting Rachael was intentional? Like Tyrell intended for all the Nexus-6s to escape and necessitate Deckard meeting Tyrell (and thus Rachael?). That doesn’t make any sense.

    • Replies: @guest
    "Why confuse things by mentioning robots at all? Robots=machines, not bioengineered"

    "Robot" stands in most people's minds, including mine, as a word for "phony human." I have to consciously stop myself from referring to replicants as robots, even though I'm fully aware they're not machines.

    "Android" is the term for robots with a human appearance, but it also refers to all synthetic organisms resembling humans, including perhaps genetically engineered humanoids. I'm not sure.

    But if human-like robot=android and replicant=android, then in people's reflexive minds at least replicants=robots.

  138. @Gosford Cheung
    Well aren't you more than a little parochial and out of synch. Been to Hong Kong or Singapore lately? Manhattan is a dilapidated slum by comparison.

    Fascinating that you pick as your examples the two Asian cities that were built by the British.

  139. @1RW
    Can't we have sci fi where normal people overcome adversity the build a future normal people want?

    Wrong planet

  140. @Dave Pinsen
    I wouldn't mind the length so much if they had an intermission. Theaters would probably sell more drinks if they did.

    This has occurred to me too. Simply put a countdown timer on the screen (along with commercials, natch) starting at 10 or 15 minutes, and watch the concessions cash in.

  141. @Altai
    WIRED thinks its sexist because the 3 main characters are men. Also WIRED still somehow exists.

    https://www.wired.com/story/blade-runner-2049-politics/

    Despite their unrelentingly pedestrian Psych 101 woes, these three men still manage to take up 95 percent of the emotional frame on screen, leaving little room for the women around them to have their own narratives.
     
    Is, is that wrong now? Is it wrong to have 3 main male characters and have the story revolve around them?

    Also the original is racist but it was made back in 1982 and so is racist by default.


    East Asian aesthetics pervade its vision of dystopian LA, yet Asian characters are largely background players; its cyborgs are meant to be stand-ins for oppressed minority groups, but few, if any, minorities are actually present on screen.
     
    It thinks the cultural and economic Nipponisation of the US in the original Blade Runner is weird for not be accompanied by large numbers of East Asians. Have they heard of Americanisation? Or all those Japanese companies buying up American ones and Japanese-made products and cultural exports becoming a seeming wave of the future in the 1980s that Blade Runner was referencing?

    Again, why would you need real minorities when you have your metaphorical stand-ins?

    Whatever Star Trek is back and now we have a woke black woman who is so triggered by white people, Trump voters, Klingons that she advocates shooting first and starts an avoidable inter-stellar war by doing exactly what she set out not to do as a result of her not being able to not kill, white people, Trump voters, Klingons. Also the universe is held together by fungal spores that were present since the beginning of time and seeded all life. So eukaryotes begat prokaryotes, SCIENCE!

    Is, is that wrong now? Is it wrong to have 3 main male characters and have the story revolve around them?

    In the future, all film casts will be determined by statistical analysis.

  142. @black sea
    You may be interested in Pauline Kael's 1982 review of Blade Runner.

    http://scrapsfromtheloft.com/2016/12/28/blade-runner-review-pauline-kael/

    I am a fan of the film, but it does require prodigious suspensions of disbelief.

    The Kael review was inadvertently funny. “We” are lost in an urban maze, apparently lacking any sense of direction. “We” think Tyrell’s vast offices need a good dusting by some replicant servant. “We” are kind of bored with the scenic shots and at least want something ‘perversely sexual’ to happen. All in all, very womanly.

    • Replies: @Anon
    That was the only perspective from which Kael found it possible to write. Women and how they were depicted formed about 90% of her observations. Although she certainly looked like a lesbian, I don't know if she actually practiced that particular 'art'. But she always reserved her highest praise for directors who showed women in the most positive light possible, and men in the worst.

    See her worship of Paul Mazursky's "An Unmarried Woman" for example--she used it for many years later as an object lesson in how to portray women, and (perhaps inadvertently) gave rise to the current-day meme of how a director "doesn't understand women" if he portrays one as anything less than an all-conquering heroine. So in that sense, it could be said, she was ahead of her time.
    , @Anon
    The Kael review was inadvertently funny.

    I can understand where she was coming from. Many critics were put off by it at the time, and it's an easy movie to dismiss on first viewing.

    In terms of story, pacing, characterization, and etc. things are fragmented, confused, haphazard, or overstretched. And nothing much happens in the movie. We see Deckard kill time and then kill a replicant, mostly by luck or accident. Then kill some more time before there's another burst of violence. It's a very slow-moving film, and Ford looks clueless and lost. Sean Young is more a ghost than a character. It's very dark and moody.
    Basically, the story is this blade runner is hired to kill replicants, and boy, he takes his time. And there isn't much else to the story. Entire movie is about this supposed ace killer barely surviving as he guns down 3 robots.
    And the motion is mostly vertical than horizontal, which makes it feel very cramped. And even the sky feels weighed with pollution and giant blimps flying around. Also, some of the characters are enigmatic, even cryptic. Roy Batty seems like an ascetic than a killer. Tyrell is supposed to be a businessman but he's like some hermetic monk-as-god. In terms of feel, BLADE RUNNER drifts like the last 1/2 of APOCALYPSE NOW where we wonder how long it's gonna take before Willard finally makes it to Kurtzville to carry out his mission. BLADE RUNNER has a very passive hero, and it feels like he waits around for things to happen to him than vice versa. He's a mouse hunting for cats, and usually the cats pounce on him out of nowhere. The film was so slow-paced and Ford was so laidback that they decided to add voice-over narration to keep the audience alert to what's going on.

    But it is in subsequent viewings that people realized that the mood, ambiance, and the visionary elements are the film's main 'characters'. Also, activity matters less in the film than mentality. In the first viewing, audience focused on what is happening, what the character are doing. And not much happens with Sean Young, for example. But in subsequent screenings, viewers became more attentive to her mental states, most brilliantly and hauntingly manifested in the scenes where she discovers her true identity and where she transforms into an angel before the piano.

    I think even lots of fans of the movie didn't get its greatness on first viewing.

    It is one of those miracles. Some directors have the genius to take charge and produce one powerful visionary work after another. Think of Welles and Kubrick esp. Scott is a narrowly talented director, and even his strengths can be wasted if indulged the wrong way. Consider the 'botcheries' of LEGEND and 1492. So, in order for Scott to do something great, the right people and ideas have to intersect at the right time and place, and it happened with BLADE RUNNER. Scott made some other good movies but nothing even comes close. And he made lots of total stinkers.
  143. @1RW
    I saw it. It was a visual masterpiece. It also wasn't a feast of idiocy, unlike say Alien Covenant. Having said that, it was thoroughly depressing. It painted a world were no one seems to have a good life. Nearly every character is a replicant, and given that their goal is to be able to breed and thus replace humans, how am I supposed to be sympathetic to them?

    Replicants labor, yet the vast majority of actual humans shown seem to be even worse off, living in an enormous landfill and scavenging what they can.

    Bladerunner 2049 paints a future of environmental degradation, merciless exploitation and disposal of workers, poverty, and alienation.

    Is this what the elites are preparing us for? A world where the masses are either disposable labor or living off the table scraps, while the .01% wallow in cocoons of luxury that would make a sultan blush?

    Depressing AF

    > Is this what the elites are preparing us for? A world where the masses are either disposable labor or living off the table scraps, while the .01% wallow in cocoons of luxury that would make a sultan blush?

    That “future” is real enough already. No, the movie highlights a pressing Elite conundrum through bizarro world reversal:

    Blade Runner shows a world full of artificially made Replicant serfs who would prefer to reproduce naturally.

    Real world has White Middle Class serfs who have almost stopped breeding naturally while Elites haven’t yet figured out how to artificially make more of them.

  144. @black sea
    You may be interested in Pauline Kael's 1982 review of Blade Runner.

    http://scrapsfromtheloft.com/2016/12/28/blade-runner-review-pauline-kael/

    I am a fan of the film, but it does require prodigious suspensions of disbelief.

    Kael seems to have been filing her nails during some key scenes, because she doesn’t have a very firm grip on what’s going on in the movie.

    Example: “And if Deckard had felt compelled to test [Rachel’s] responses it could have been the occasion for some nifty repartee”. Nails were vigorously filed during the montage when he does, I suppose. Perhaps there was a glass of white wine involved too.

    Then she blames the writers that “[Rachel’s] role is limply written, though; she’s cool at first, but she spends most of her screen time looking mysteriously afflicted”. Well, she does for a reason, Pauline.

    • Replies: @guest
    Yes, it's not all that mysterious, is it?
  145. Are there any nonwhites in it? #BladeRunner2049SoWhite

  146. @Gosford Cheung
    Well aren't you more than a little parochial and out of synch. Been to Hong Kong or Singapore lately? Manhattan is a dilapidated slum by comparison.

    Is there anywhere in Manhattan that doesn’t smell of piss?

    • Replies: @george
    The men's room in the Guggenheim doesn't smell of piss.

    As long as NYC can off load it's homeless on other places, urine smells will be under control.

    , @benjaminl
    Airports are a great index of overall social competence. They're important, and everyone knows they're important, and as Steve has pointed out with regard to the Frequent Flyer class, almost everyone who is involved with making important decisions passes through them. Beyond that, they're virtually everyone's "front door" to a given city.

    With that in mind, it's a bad sign when the people in charge can't get their act together enough to keep the airport in good shape. I'm not even talking about anything super-fancy: just clean, well-lit, well-ventilated, comfortable seating, enough square footage of space, electrical outlets, enough security / TSA people to keep the lines under 10 minutes long, that kind of thing.

    I don't fly that much, but on this basis, in my limited experience, there is plenty to suggest that the West is going down the tubes. There is also a lot of variance among terminals at a given airport. Often the new terminal is great, while they ignore the dilapidating old terminals for a few decades.

    I've never been to East Asia, but I have high hopes of someday visiting and being impressed by the airports.


    https://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/08/nyregion/some-see-third-world-as-too-kind-for-la-guardia.html

    In Hong Kong, travelers can play a round of golf while waiting for a connecting flight. In Seoul, South Korea, people can strap on skates and kill time on the ice at the Sky Rink. And in Paris, parents are provided with free strollers as they cruise newly upgraded terminals.

    At La Guardia Airport, the best a traveler can hope for is a stool at a crowded bar, an available electrical socket or a lukewarm pretzel from Auntie Anne. There are no day spas, no hotels within its grounds, no free Internet service, and even luggage carts, free in many international airports, cost $5. The situation is so bad that when Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. wanted to illustrate the dire state of infrastructure in the United States, he chose La Guardia as the prime example, likening it to what one might find “in a third world country.”
     
  147. @The Last Real Calvinist
    Is there anywhere in Manhattan that doesn't smell of piss?

    The men’s room in the Guggenheim doesn’t smell of piss.

    As long as NYC can off load it’s homeless on other places, urine smells will be under control.

  148. @Anonymous
    Zuckerberg runs a website. He's not a steel industrialist with plants everywhere spewing pollution.

    Regardless of how one feels about nationalism, a resurgence of nationalism would lead to a rise in industrial and arms races and accompanying environmental degradation and exploitation of labor (more guns, less butter). Serious proponents of nationalism understand this and support nationalism in spite of it, they don't pretend that nationalism the world over means environmentalism and kumbaya or something.

    Zuckerberg runs a website

    He runs a monopoly business with the ability and inclination to censure political speech.

    …environmentalism…

    How has that been working out in our proto-universalist world? Looks to me like the third world nationalists move into and colonize the first world universalists with the attendant increase in resource degradation.

    It looks to like it’s nationalism all the way down. If you aren’t connected to a nationalism of some kind, you cease to exist.

    “You might not be interested in nationalism, but nationalism is interested in you.”

  149. @guest
    Too long, and the music sucked. But I was let down by their being very little of the Vangelis original--one of my favorite soundtracks--in there.

    Harrison Ford lost every ounce of his charisma. I don't think he even acts anymore. He's just a grumpy old man who doesn't want to be on set, and that comes across in his performance as a grumpy old character who doesn't want to be there.

    I like Ryan Gosling, but how is it a good idea to have your lead actor do Blank Robot Face in a movie so full of quiet reaction shots when it's not showing off its sets?

    I felt nothing for his fake girlfriend. The part where she was superimposed over the prostitute seemed like a good idea, but can you imagine actually having sex with that monstrosity? That made the scene boring.

    Hollywood has a serious Nostalgia Overload problem. I can't imagine why anyone would want to spend a half an hour (that's what it felt like, anyway) watching a cartoon 1982 Sean Young fail to look convincing. I realize they're trying to make it so that they don't have to pay actors, but come back when you get it right.

    Then there are all the little references, mostly visual. I know there's no point in making a Blade Runner movie without them, even though for instance no one believes in Japanese Future anymore. But why not just make your own "neo-noir" robot detective movie, and not try to recapture lighting in a bottle? (Besides money?) Because I'm sick of seeing the sane things over and over.

    Aside from that and other nitpicks I liked it.

    I am more interested in watching a “cartoon 1982 Sean Young” than any of the young actresses active today. The paltriness exemplified by Paltrow characterizes them all.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    When A Perfect Murder came out in 1998, a critic complained of Gwyneth's Paltrowness, Viggo Mortensen's paltryness, and Michael Douglas's poultryness.
  150. A few reactions:

    1.) Despite irruptions of “chick-fu” on the part of Wallace’s hench(wo)man, Luv, I was surprised by just how inert the movie was compared to the original–the kinetic energy of Daryl Hannah’s Pris and of course Hauer’s Great Blond Beast manages to convey the “more than human” while at the same time remaining faithful to the laws of physics (held now in abeyance by the Marvel Cinematic Universe.)

    2. I thought the commenter @72 was particularly perceptive when he noted how great movies like the first two “Godfathers” are “populated” by a host of minor characters who nonetheless seem to have depth and dimension all out of proportion to their screen time. (Harold Bloom notes that it’s only the Shakespeare’s and Tolstoy’s of the world who seem to have what he calls this “theomorphic” quality.) There seems to be more energy in the interchange between Pris and J. F. Sebastian than there is among any of the sequel’s leads–and Brion James of course is a marvel to behold.

    3.) Despite the grousing from the usual suspects regarding the sequel’s sexual politics, I thought the dystopia of 2049 has been completely feminized. Han Solo-era Harrison Ford can’t help but win the testosterone sweepstakes over Gosling–whom, we should note, the sequel gelds from the get-go with the revelation of his programmed, replicant passivity. Even Dave Bautista becomes a man-midwife for the Resistance.

    On a related note, Wallace is a pale reflection of Tyrell (the sense of belatedness in the sequel is palpable)–the Demiurge’s demiurge, if you will–but he will be destroyed not by what he created, but rather, by what he did not. And, again, we are back to the world of Neo’s, Harry Potters, and midochorians raining down on the just and unjust alike.

    • Replies: @Lurker

    the kinetic energy of Daryl Hannah’s Pris
     
    I re-read DADOES last year and I had forgotten that the real threat of Pris to Deckard in the book was not her butt-kicking babeness but that she was another version of Rachel. And thus he hesitated to shoot her.

    When I saw the original Blade Runner I thought it took very little from the book but upon re-reading and being older and wiser I saw that more came from the book than I realised or remembered.

    Yet to see the new offering.
  151. BR2049 — Ar rotten tomatoes it gets 84% from the audience and 89% from the critics. https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/blade_runner_2049/

    Box office $12.70 million USD which is pitiful

    Box Office: ‘Blade Runner 2049’ Dominates but Falls Short of Forecasts
    Variety · 23 hours ago
    The sci-fi sequel had been pegged this week to launch between $45 million and $50 million — similar to 2015’s “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which debuted to $45 million. Reviews are stellar with an 89% “fresh” rating on Rotten T…

    ***** Buddy can you spare a dime for a replicant who is down on his luck? Then go see Blade Runner 2049!

  152. Hey Steve a white guy just won the the Chicago Marathon.

  153. @notanon

    I was hoping for a “Tears in the Rain” type monologue that sadly never came
     
    yes, hard (impossible?) to match that scene so trying and failing would probably stick out

    Rutger Hauer wrote those lines himself. A great actor.

    • Replies: @notanon
    yes, a one-off
  154. @Charles Pewitt
    I won't have an opinion on "Blade Runner 2049" until the next time Harrison Ford lands his plane on a golf course.

    https://twitter.com/ron_eisele/status/915972629328052224

    That crash was an engine out which he handled flawlessly, Hes an accomplished pilot by any measure. Its true he did land on the wrong runway recently, if he wasnt harrison ford it would have been a non event. The faa doesnt fuck around if he was unsafe they would have grounded him. many of these large commercial airports have parallel runways they use for smaller traffic, they are by law to treat all plane regardless of size equally but they dont they sort of give you short shrift and coming into these airpirts in a small plane youre at a huge disadvantage he made a mistake it happens

  155. I saw it in an IMAX theater and I think it was a great movie for that format, hovering before a giant glowing image being so much a part of the sensory experience. I’d love to see the original on the really big screen.

  156. @BRdis

    There are very few genuine tough guys in movies these days who aren’t pigeonholed into action movies or are lunkheads who can’t act. I miss the Steve McQueens and/or Mickey Rourke. Or Rutgers Hauers, to be more on subject.
     
    They're out there. You just have to do some work and look for them. Every acting school around has one "tough guy" actor in their class. The producers just had to be willing to do the work, and be willing to cast a relative unknown. They decided to cover their bets with Gosling because the script was weak. That's one of the major reasons we have "stars." Their fan base will come, come hell or high water, even if the movie is bad. Producers weren't willing to do the work, and take the risk.

    **He’s also genuinely a good actor. If you’re good-looking enough to play lead (even if your face is better for villains or anti-heroes, as is Gosling’s), that’ll get you over the hump into un-typecast-able territory in today’s Hollywood.
     
    I think he's a poor actor. That is, he's adequate, but considering how long he's been practicing his "craft," he's not talented at it. Do anything for 20 years, and you'll get decent at it, even if you lack the talent–unless you're retarded. Gosling is adequate. Adequate is not enough for a remake of Blade Runner.

    My acute frustration is the fact that the producer's of Blade Runner only had ONE job:

    Don't fuck it up!

    My heart goes out to the CGI guys. From what I've heard, they did a hell of a job on that movie. I'm sure they busted their asses to make it happen. And I keep thinking, some of these guys worked 18 hour days, for months, their wives glaring at them when they come home, their kids like their nannies better than they like them, all to build a breath-taking, state-of-the-art world of Blade Runner. They hope to snag an Oscar, but even more, they hope they can create a classic, to be favorably compared to the original movie.

    Creatively sweating and bleeding to support the performance of... Ryan Gosling.

    My heart goes out to the CGI guys.

    I really felt that way after seeing John Carter on Mars. Great CGI, great art direction, but ruined by terrible actors and a lame script. What a colossal let-down it must have been for the people who did the good parts.

    • Replies: @Palegeek
    Same as with Warcraft the movie, the pale man's territory. Impressive CGI, bit the rest was a joke. Ragnar Lothbrok looked like he was bored to death throughout.
  157. @Anonymous
    Gosling is a stiff. Very wooden and uncharismatic. He's no Brando. He's bluffed through his career so far by pretending his wooden affect is actually gravitas.

    Film actor affect is an illusion as much as the photographs flashed on a screen at dozens of times a second..While the others are trying to be Brando, Gosling has flat effect, Gosling’s style is the coming thing. Just as abstract painting was referential of the two dimensional canvas, Gosling is showing you awareness of the medium. Tom Noonan says never put emphasis on a line.

    • Replies: @guest
    "abstract painting was referential of the two dimensional canvas"

    That was post-hoc rationalization.
  158. @Pat Boyle
    We all know the 'Turing Test' - a machine or robot that can successfully imitate a human being is somehow equivalent to a human or at least to a human's mind.

    So if these replicant's that can live among humans and are extremely difficult to uncover, I would argue that they have also passed the Turing Test and they are indeed human. It also follows that the replicants would not be simply slaughtered by the police ("Blade Runners"). As people they would have a full set of civil rights. If a replicant were being annoyed by a Blade Runner he would simply make a complaint to the authorities and have a restraining order issued.

    The whole notion of a replicant makes little sense. They are some kind of slaves who do dangerous manual labor in space. There is no chance of chattel slavery being re-introduced because we need manual labor in space. Space is tricky territory for any biological being. But it is a much more acceptable environment for a mechanical robot. Robots for example need not breath. In the Blade Runner universe there are no robots but plenty of artificial biological humans. Since robots are relatively easy to make but artificial biological humans are very, very hard, this does not appear to be the direction the real world is taking.

    The original Blade Runner universe as depicted in the film seemed to fear a take over of Western Civilization by the Orientals. That is possible and so is a legitimate object of a fictional universe. But would an America where the Chinese (or more likely the Japanese) take over be so dark and dirty? Decker lives in a constantly dark slum. The real Japanese seem to value private gardens and well ordered public spaces. The movie is a bit racist in this regard. The real Japanese have almost no public crime but in the Blade Runner world Decker is a cop with a "License to Kill" and everyone he meets is some kind of criminal.

    So I don't think there is much hope for the Blade Runner sequel. The basic premises of the original were too inadequate to begin with.

    Maybe a better reference would have been to the Robert Heinlein story “Jerry Was a Man”. In that short story we are in a world where chimps or some similar sub-human creature are bred for manual labor. The final scene takes place in a courtroom where one of these creatures named Jerry wins legal recognition that he is human (Jerry was a Man).

    You would think that some replicant in the Blade runner universe would get himself a lawyer and go to court. He might argue for a longer life span. If a replicant can deceive almost everyone into believing they are human, they should do pretty well on the stand.

    The real problems with the concept are deeper. First of all making a human by chemistry and biological manufacturing would be very expensive. Whereas having a baby the old fashion way is nearly free. And then there is the problem of slavery. The replicants are slaves. But slavery makes no economic sense in the modern world. Slavery was declining in the Old World when the New World was discovered and Europe developed a taste for sugar. Later in America slavery was not particularly useful until the cotton plantation system was developed. So our experience with slavery is that it only made sense as an economic institution with agriculture for specific crops.

    But by the early twentieth century you couldn’t sell a field slave even if it were legal. The Rust Cotton Picker and the tractor make human slaves worthless. We have explored much of the solar system. As far as I know there are no agricultural fields anywhere among the nine (or so) planets. Where are these replicant slaves doing whatever work they do?

    I have a Roomba – a little floor sweeping gizmo. I expect that I will have a better and more versatile gizmo in the near future. If I were to live long enough I’m sure I would have a robot maid. ( I certainly need a maid of some kind). But there is absolutely no energy going into creating artificial humans to clean my toilet. We allow illegal aliens in to do those jobs. There is no market for replicants.

    In the original film one of the girls is an exotic dancer. The first replicant Leon drives a truck or something like that. These are not jobs that Americans won’t do. It makes no sense to spend millions to create these proletarian functionaries.

    • Replies: @Anon

    He might argue for a longer life span.
     
    Nexus-8 and -9 replicants, the replicants in the new movie have already a long life span.
    Their problem is lack of agency/freedom, not a short life span.

    First of all making a human by chemistry and biological manufacturing would be very expensive. Whereas having a baby the old fashion way is nearly free.
     
    It is cheaper to manufacture an artificial human than raising a natural-born human.

    These are not jobs that Americans won’t do. It makes no sense to spend millions to create these proletarian functionaries.
     
    It is cheaper.
    , @Pericles

    In the original film one of the girls is an exotic dancer. The first replicant Leon drives a truck or something like that. These are not jobs that Americans won’t do. It makes no sense to spend millions to create these proletarian functionaries.

     

    As you surely recall from the bit of exposition when Deckard is assigned his mission by his boss, the replicants have escaped from the offworld colonies, hijacked a shuttle, murdered the crew and disappeared into the underbelly of the city. You might even recall the 'fifth replicant' problem.
    , @Jack D

    The first replicant Leon drives a truck
     
    This shows how weak our imaginations really are. Soon we will have real robot driven trucks but they won't require a human looking robot sitting behind the steering wheel like the inflatable pilot in Airplane. Most of the "robots" that replace humans won't look like Hollywood hominid robots or even like robots at all but will just be built into the devices. The "robot" that drives a truck is not one thing but a whole array of sensors and computers and actuators most of which you can't even see.
    , @BB753
    "In the original film one of the girls is an exotic dancer. The first replicant Leon drives a truck or something like that. These are not jobs that Americans won’t do."

    Not according to The Economist or the NY Times!
  159. @guest
    Atmosphere and visuals, yes. But also theme and character. Or specifically a character: Rutger Hauer's.

    And I can't stress enough: music.

    I agree Hauer has a very formidable screen presence.

    • Replies: @Sean
    Physique. Darryl Hannah and Hauer were astounding to look at.. Hauer is not just tall, he is massively built with a huge head (like so many photogenic people) and hands. Ford gave Gosling a real punch by ahem accident, even a young Ford would have thought twice before trying that with Hauer. If he had we might have a rival to the great movie punch ups that got a little too realistic such as Jack Palance vs Robert Mitchum and William Smith vs Rod Taylor.
    , @Clyde

    I agree Hauer has a very formidable screen presence.
     
    Rutger Hauer was the star of Blade Runner. This guy knows how to put forth his presence. By way of comparison, Harrison Ford was a fill in, a coat holder, a clown, a substitute, an amateur thespian pretty face more suited for Indiana Jones with its- Target demographic: 12 year old boys.

    See The Hitcher (1987) with Mr. Hauer for some real menace.
  160. Saw it last night with the wife. I recall seeing parts of the original but I never got sucked into it because the plot didn’t make any sense to me.

    Same with the new one. Visually, it’s stunning at times, but the music is annoying and very loud, particularly at the climax–I had to put my fingers in my ears to block it out.

    The dialog is nothing special; there’s no background to help explain how the dystopian world presented came into being. The dramatic scenes feel contrived, I found myself not really caring about the fates of any of the characters.

    Why are Harrison Ford and his dog the only inhabitants of a giant, deserted Las Vegas?

    I will say that the virtual girlfriend is one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen, and probably the highlight of the movie.

    As a scientist and engineer, I tend to stay away from sci-fi movies because I probably know too much and can’t suspend disbelief.

    • Replies: @Romanian
    Apparently, the city was abandoned after a dirty bomb was set off, but the radiation has subsided. Do not know what effect radiation has on whiskey (Ford had millions of bottles all to himself).

    And, yes, Ana de Armas was particularly lovely. Total anime waifu material. Her relationship to Gosling's character and the uncertainty behind it is the real star of the script.
  161. @Anonymous
    Gosling is a stiff. Very wooden and uncharismatic. He's no Brando. He's bluffed through his career so far by pretending his wooden affect is actually gravitas.

    Gosling is a stiff. Very wooden and uncharismatic. He’s no Brando. He’s bluffed through his career so far by pretending his wooden affect is actually gravitas.

    I’ve figured Gosling out. He’s this generation’s version of Michael Pollard, but without Pollard’s talent. Basically, introverted white trash. That’s not a Blade Runner, and never will be.

    Here’s Ryan Gosling:

    And here’s Pollard. Same mannerisms. They could have been brothers:

  162. @Jim Don Bob
    Right. And ESPN got its panties in a knot for 24 hours after Cam Newton made a joke to a female reporter. This is much worse than hundreds of players not standing for the national anthem.

    Looks indistinguishable to me–a stupid made-up scandal about what some symbolic BS some pro athletes are doing.

  163. @anonymous
    Is it a MIRAMAX film? Anyhow, Harvey Weinstein says he's _never_ laid a finger on Meryl Streep, ever

    The Weinsteins sold Miramax to Disney ages ago. Their current company is The Weinstein Company. Some companies can survive the loss of their founder, but The Weinstein Company’s entire business model was premised on Harvey shouting at a lot of people and without Harvey around to shout it is probably going down the tubes. What is missing from the media accounts is that Harvey’s monstrous behavior toward women was just one small facet of his monstrous behavior toward EVERYONE when he is not getting his way (OTOH when he does get his way he is as happy as Hitler doing his little jig after taking the surrender of the French). This is like Kim Jong Il being deposed because he is handsy with the secretaries – it’s the least of his crimes.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    What Harvey Weinstein should do now is quietly become the maitre d' at his Tribeca Grill and be nice to people. And offer free meals to struggling actresses without hitting on them.
  164. @Drapetomaniac
    I don't believe (so-called) intelligent life is intelligent enough not to kill itself off. Mother Nature always brings her wayward children back.


    Do gravitational anomalies prove we're not living in a computer simulation?

    http://newatlas.com/gravitational-anomaly-prove-universe-not-simulation/51588/

    Nick Bostrom says finding something like a rodent level life form on another planet would be a death sentence because it would mean (contrary to the thesis of Gould’s Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History) our evolution was not a series of incredibly unlikely contingencies (the Jimmy Stewart character that makes all the difference in the film Wonderful life) and so the lack of alien technological life forms is a consequence of a great filter that comes after advanced unicellular life . Most likely it is something similar to Forbidden Planet-style perverse instantiation .

    I think it follows that an alien technological civilization visitation of Earth would be rocking good news. As things stand the prudent, the practically rational thing, would be to to bring about A Canticle for Leibowitz -type situation, and without delay. Unfortunately, new technology is where economic growth comes from, so controlling the scientists will not happen in our hyper-capitalist world without something along the lines of the 1983 series V, which would, as already mentioned, be a contraindication.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Even if the odds of life forming on any one planet are miniscule, the universe is so vast with millions upon billions of planets that the chances that we are the only one are pretty small, I think. The chances of winning the Powerball are really small but God has printed lots and lots of tickets so we might have to share the jackpot. But this very vastness means that if there are space rats running around on some planet in the Andromeda galaxy (and this is only the CLOSEST galaxy) these rats are 2.5 million light years away from us, so even if we knew where to look and sent the space rat finding mission out tomorrow at the speed of light, we wouldn't hear back from them for another 5 million years. Even civilizations that are vastly more advanced than we are (probably) can't travel faster than the speed of light and probably consider 5 million year long missions to look for space rats to be not worth pursuing. (Now there could be other viable planets closer in our own galaxy but even these are way beyond our reach for now ). It's also possible that there are other planets with space rat equivalent life but that intelligent life capable of radio transmission let alone space travel is yet another level of magnitude more rare. Or else there are civilizations much higher than ours that have figured out that you really need to cloak your emissions so as not to attract unwanted visitors. Having Columbus show up was not exactly great news for native Americans.
  165. @Pat Boyle
    I agree Hauer has a very formidable screen presence.

    Physique. Darryl Hannah and Hauer were astounding to look at.. Hauer is not just tall, he is massively built with a huge head (like so many photogenic people) and hands. Ford gave Gosling a real punch by ahem accident, even a young Ford would have thought twice before trying that with Hauer. If he had we might have a rival to the great movie punch ups that got a little too realistic such as Jack Palance vs Robert Mitchum and William Smith vs Rod Taylor.

  166. Villeneuve’s film is currently failing at the box-office because it is extraordinarily culturally informed, utterly non-politically-correct, and executed on a Wagnerian scale. In other words, it has no more popular appeal than Wagner’s Parsifal. The film’s story presupposes knowledge and understanding of a number of deep-structural stories of Western Civilization, not least the Passion of Christ and the Redemption of the Wasteland. Villeneuve’s is the story of the re-humanization of the de-humanized. It is a story therefore of sacrifice and salvation. The mass audience, lethargically content with its own de-humanized status, will be baffled and provoked into resentment by the liturgical subtlety of Villeneuve’s achievement. It is not equipped to grapple with the symbolic richness of what unfolds, in ritual slowness and beauty, on the screen. P.K. Dick is looking down from his celestial loft, applauding and whistling.

  167. @TWS
    Is it a true sequel?

    I would say yes, but it has the feel of soft-reboot as well. The film is explicitly set the future and deals with the ramifications of events in the prior film. But because the plot of both films are so thin, the new film feels somewhat like the recent soft-reboot trend of films that seek to repeat the atmosphere and theme of a prior film with a bare minimum of connection to its plot. But it does not slavishly retread the plot in the same way that the new Star Wars movie did and tries to examine new themes (though one can argue how well it does so).

  168. @Dave Pinsen
    The actress is Cuban, but I don't know her genetic history. Pic of her in this tweet.

    https://twitter.com/dpinsen/status/916193058131206144

    Sorry, I guess I misunderstood your point.

    I was afraid that you were implying that Hispanic is a race. I see that it was a misunderstanding.

  169. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Pat Boyle
    Maybe a better reference would have been to the Robert Heinlein story "Jerry Was a Man". In that short story we are in a world where chimps or some similar sub-human creature are bred for manual labor. The final scene takes place in a courtroom where one of these creatures named Jerry wins legal recognition that he is human (Jerry was a Man).

    You would think that some replicant in the Blade runner universe would get himself a lawyer and go to court. He might argue for a longer life span. If a replicant can deceive almost everyone into believing they are human, they should do pretty well on the stand.

    The real problems with the concept are deeper. First of all making a human by chemistry and biological manufacturing would be very expensive. Whereas having a baby the old fashion way is nearly free. And then there is the problem of slavery. The replicants are slaves. But slavery makes no economic sense in the modern world. Slavery was declining in the Old World when the New World was discovered and Europe developed a taste for sugar. Later in America slavery was not particularly useful until the cotton plantation system was developed. So our experience with slavery is that it only made sense as an economic institution with agriculture for specific crops.

    But by the early twentieth century you couldn't sell a field slave even if it were legal. The Rust Cotton Picker and the tractor make human slaves worthless. We have explored much of the solar system. As far as I know there are no agricultural fields anywhere among the nine (or so) planets. Where are these replicant slaves doing whatever work they do?

    I have a Roomba - a little floor sweeping gizmo. I expect that I will have a better and more versatile gizmo in the near future. If I were to live long enough I'm sure I would have a robot maid. ( I certainly need a maid of some kind). But there is absolutely no energy going into creating artificial humans to clean my toilet. We allow illegal aliens in to do those jobs. There is no market for replicants.

    In the original film one of the girls is an exotic dancer. The first replicant Leon drives a truck or something like that. These are not jobs that Americans won't do. It makes no sense to spend millions to create these proletarian functionaries.

    He might argue for a longer life span.

    Nexus-8 and -9 replicants, the replicants in the new movie have already a long life span.
    Their problem is lack of agency/freedom, not a short life span.

    First of all making a human by chemistry and biological manufacturing would be very expensive. Whereas having a baby the old fashion way is nearly free.

    It is cheaper to manufacture an artificial human than raising a natural-born human.

    These are not jobs that Americans won’t do. It makes no sense to spend millions to create these proletarian functionaries.

    It is cheaper.

    • Replies: @Pat Boyle
    You write that making an artificial human from scratch is cheaper. You may think so but no one else seems to.

    There is little, or no work going into the field of producing artificial human beings. It just doesn't make any economic sense. It is cheaper to go down to the highway off ramp and hire some Mexicans.

    How much would that first artificial Mexican cost? A couple billion dollars? More?
  170. @Kaz
    Great visuals, you don't see something like this very often, so when it's there and done so well it's a treat.

    Writing was good, but the overall premise is a bit out there.

    I guess it is always fun to think about the line we would draw between effectively artificial humans vs real humans.

    Agreed. I would give the film credit being willing to take the time to develop beautiful shots and a sense of atmosphere. I can definitely see some people feeling that it overstays its welcome with its 164 minute run-time. But especially as most modern movies try to pack as many visual elements as possible in each frame and insist on begging for the viewers attention with constant spectacles, I appreciated the film’s restraint. [MILD SPOILER] a climatic scene takes place in a remote area that makes sense given the plot and which was visually interesting instead filling the background with a bedazzling but wearying chaos of CGI effects.

  171. @Pat Boyle
    I agree Hauer has a very formidable screen presence.

    I agree Hauer has a very formidable screen presence.

    Rutger Hauer was the star of Blade Runner. This guy knows how to put forth his presence. By way of comparison, Harrison Ford was a fill in, a coat holder, a clown, a substitute, an amateur thespian pretty face more suited for Indiana Jones with its- Target demographic: 12 year old boys.

    See The Hitcher (1987) with Mr. Hauer for some real menace.

    • Replies: @Pupil
    Hauer was blade runner. The full ending, the hunt, was fantastic. That being said 2049 was terrific. How anybody can think otherwise puzzles me. The soundtrack was great. Hardly terrible as others have said.
  172. @Dave Pinsen
    You've hit on a problem not just with Bladerunner but with lots of other sci-fi with man-made humanoid characters. In reality, whether a robot or biological, manufactured workers would deliberately be more specialized and non-humanoid, to avoid these issues (with the exception of "pleasure models", presumably).

    And yes, the Bladerunner 2049 story isn't that deep. But neither was the original's. It was a classic due to its atmosphere and visuals. The sequel is spectacular for the same reasons.

    In part, this common plot device is a technical problem caused by the fact that current actual robots aren’t really good enough to play movie characters so you always have to use human actors pretending to be robots (pretending to be human). (Even CGI robots are usually motion captured from humans and their voices are almost always human voices).

    There is also something called the “uncanny valley” – we accept robots that look like robots (C-3PO) as cute and if you could really make a robot that could convincingly pass as human it would be fine but if you make a robot that looks almost but not quite human it just gives you the creeps. All the current versions of humanoid robots that try to pass as human are still deep within the valley and thus highly creepy and unacceptable as movie actors. Maybe guys who are into sex dolls are creepy already and they are so horny that it wouldn’t bother them, but most normal humans are too repelled by creatures in the uncanny valley that they would not accept them as bank tellers let alone sexual partners. And I think the sides of the uncanny valley are very steep – it would take a lot to make a fully convincing robot and if even one detail gives it away you are instantly creeped out. You can get away with more in 2 dimensions on screen but in real life it will be even harder to pull off.

    If “replicants” are brewed up biologically and not made from parts in a factory (as the ability to reproduce would indicate) then to me replicants are just test tube humans and not robots at all.

    • Replies: @Anon

    If “replicants” are brewed up biologically and not made from parts in a factory (as the ability to reproduce would indicate) then to me replicants are just test tube humans and not robots at all.
     
    On the other hand, they are programmed like machines rather than being raised like humans.
    , @Cloudswrest

    In part, this common plot device is a technical problem caused by the fact that current actual robots aren’t really good enough to play movie characters so you always have to use human actors pretending to be robots (pretending to be human).
     
    Huey, Dewey and Louie, the drones in Silent Running, were non-humanoid with audience appeal.
  173. Why do feminists turn a blind eye to Liberal Men sexually harassing or exploiting women?

    Because, on some level, feminist women who use their minds hate and resent bimbos who get by with their looks. So, even though feminists talk of sisterhood, it is the unity of brains, dogmatism, and envy against the bimbos who seem to have it so easy with men just by shaking their asses.
    So, as long as men like Clinton and Weinstein serve their ideological agenda, they don’t care if those men abuse bimbos whom feminists hold in contempt.

    • Agree: Jim Don Bob
  174. @pitino fan club prez
    Haven't seen the new film but I would agree with the above commenters about Scott. His movies are, if nothing else, hypnotizingly beautiful. Whatever they lack in plot depth or character complexity they make up for in visual experience. His best are also infinitely rewatchable-- I must have watched Gladiator and Blade Runner a dozen times each, Thelma and Louise at least half a dozen. His bad films, however, border on the unwatchable. Still a great catalog for a guy who should've just franchised his first few ideas and made a killing on artless cash grabs like Lucas. (He's partway there, however: The Alien prequels are Lucasesque catastrophes)

    The sequel Scott envisioned to Gladiator would have follow Russell Crowes character as he was reincarnated as an American GI during the Vietnam war. True story!

  175. @Pat Boyle
    Maybe a better reference would have been to the Robert Heinlein story "Jerry Was a Man". In that short story we are in a world where chimps or some similar sub-human creature are bred for manual labor. The final scene takes place in a courtroom where one of these creatures named Jerry wins legal recognition that he is human (Jerry was a Man).

    You would think that some replicant in the Blade runner universe would get himself a lawyer and go to court. He might argue for a longer life span. If a replicant can deceive almost everyone into believing they are human, they should do pretty well on the stand.

    The real problems with the concept are deeper. First of all making a human by chemistry and biological manufacturing would be very expensive. Whereas having a baby the old fashion way is nearly free. And then there is the problem of slavery. The replicants are slaves. But slavery makes no economic sense in the modern world. Slavery was declining in the Old World when the New World was discovered and Europe developed a taste for sugar. Later in America slavery was not particularly useful until the cotton plantation system was developed. So our experience with slavery is that it only made sense as an economic institution with agriculture for specific crops.

    But by the early twentieth century you couldn't sell a field slave even if it were legal. The Rust Cotton Picker and the tractor make human slaves worthless. We have explored much of the solar system. As far as I know there are no agricultural fields anywhere among the nine (or so) planets. Where are these replicant slaves doing whatever work they do?

    I have a Roomba - a little floor sweeping gizmo. I expect that I will have a better and more versatile gizmo in the near future. If I were to live long enough I'm sure I would have a robot maid. ( I certainly need a maid of some kind). But there is absolutely no energy going into creating artificial humans to clean my toilet. We allow illegal aliens in to do those jobs. There is no market for replicants.

    In the original film one of the girls is an exotic dancer. The first replicant Leon drives a truck or something like that. These are not jobs that Americans won't do. It makes no sense to spend millions to create these proletarian functionaries.

    In the original film one of the girls is an exotic dancer. The first replicant Leon drives a truck or something like that. These are not jobs that Americans won’t do. It makes no sense to spend millions to create these proletarian functionaries.

    As you surely recall from the bit of exposition when Deckard is assigned his mission by his boss, the replicants have escaped from the offworld colonies, hijacked a shuttle, murdered the crew and disappeared into the underbelly of the city. You might even recall the ‘fifth replicant’ problem.

    • Replies: @Pat Boyle
    In one of the standard movie plots the hero is looking for some guy who holds some secret. They need to capture him before something bad happens - like a virus escapes or something blows up. The bigger the explosion the greater the drama.

    But I the original Blade Runner these are just ordinary schlemiels. If they had ignored Leon or the dancer - what would happen? They would just go back to work.

    The movie plot seems to rely on the primal atavistic hatred we are suppose to feel for the very idea of an artificial human. Sorry, I'm not offended. The fake women seem to blend in just fine and look real good.

    Let them live. Give them a pardon for crimes committed off planet. Call in Amnesty or DACA.
  176. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D
    In part, this common plot device is a technical problem caused by the fact that current actual robots aren't really good enough to play movie characters so you always have to use human actors pretending to be robots (pretending to be human). (Even CGI robots are usually motion captured from humans and their voices are almost always human voices).

    There is also something called the "uncanny valley" - we accept robots that look like robots (C-3PO) as cute and if you could really make a robot that could convincingly pass as human it would be fine but if you make a robot that looks almost but not quite human it just gives you the creeps. All the current versions of humanoid robots that try to pass as human are still deep within the valley and thus highly creepy and unacceptable as movie actors. Maybe guys who are into sex dolls are creepy already and they are so horny that it wouldn't bother them, but most normal humans are too repelled by creatures in the uncanny valley that they would not accept them as bank tellers let alone sexual partners. And I think the sides of the uncanny valley are very steep - it would take a lot to make a fully convincing robot and if even one detail gives it away you are instantly creeped out. You can get away with more in 2 dimensions on screen but in real life it will be even harder to pull off.

    If "replicants" are brewed up biologically and not made from parts in a factory (as the ability to reproduce would indicate) then to me replicants are just test tube humans and not robots at all.

    If “replicants” are brewed up biologically and not made from parts in a factory (as the ability to reproduce would indicate) then to me replicants are just test tube humans and not robots at all.

    On the other hand, they are programmed like machines rather than being raised like humans.

  177. @Dave Pinsen
    A few observations about Bladerunner 2049's Los Angeles: it's cold enough to snow in the city itself, and apparently sea levels have risen but a huge wall keeps out the ocean. Climate seems to have changed Lucifer's Hammer-style rather than via global warming.

    It's not very crowded. Seems like there were fewer extras in the sequel (with the exception of the child factory workers maybe). And Hispanics are nonexistent, except for the gorgeous virtual girlfriend who, to borrow Steve's description of Jessica Alba, is subliminally Hispanic visually (though unlike Alba, she speaks with a charming Spanish accent). Other than a few black characters in small roles, it's very white.

    And Hispanics are nonexistent

    So it’s just like the real (movie business) Hollywood then.

    I remember being in LA many years ago and by accident coming upon the route of the (misnamed) Hollywood Christmas parade which actually takes place around Thanksgiving. Even then it was jarring to see the contrast between the glamour of largely white (mostly B-list – the Hollywood parade was a clearly 2nd rate event) celebrities on the floats and the then seedy streets of the real Hollywood and the largely poor and Hispanic crowd which were nothing like the fantasy “Hollywood”.

  178. @black sea
    You may be interested in Pauline Kael's 1982 review of Blade Runner.

    http://scrapsfromtheloft.com/2016/12/28/blade-runner-review-pauline-kael/

    I am a fan of the film, but it does require prodigious suspensions of disbelief.

    There are not many sci-fi films that don’t require suspension of disbelief (some more than others). Nor are there many movies in general that don’t have plot holes big enough to drive a truck through or which don’t depend on some unlikely premise(s) in order to thinly patch over those holes. The most important thing in a movie is whether it creates a convincing and immersive world while you are watching the film. It makes no difference if later on in the cold light of day it all falls apart if it grabs you while you are in the theater. Part of movie magic is just that it can make you overlook those things – the more it makes you believe in this unbelievable world, the better the movie is. If OTOH you are looking at your watch and don’t give a damn about what happens to the characters while you are still in your seat, it’s a big fail even if the movie is plotted perfectly and is 100% believable.

    • Agree: Harry Baldwin
    • Replies: @Anon
    There are not many sci-fi films that don’t require suspension of disbelief (some more than others).

    Also, we gotta keep in mind that the future world in BLADE RUNNER is semi-idiocratic.

    It still has super-genius titans like Tyrell at the top, but it appears there is no middle class in this LA. It's the super-rich and their servant-geeks and everyone else. It seems anyone who is anyone in the middle class or upper-middle class all left for outworld colony. What is left are the kings and the dregs of society. So, there's bound to much incompetence all around.
  179. @Cloud of Probable Matricide
    Over time I have come to realise that DADOES is Dick’s masterpiece (earlier I might have pushed 3 Stigmata, Ubik or Scanner Darkly).

    Over time I have come to realise that Blade Runner is dull and severely overrated. The new one?

    PKD’s masterpiece is Man in the High Castle….The first Blade Runner was outstanding and better than the novel, perhaps because of Rutger Hauer and Harrison Ford. I found Blade Runner 2049 to be interesting, but slow paced at times…My kids really liked it however.

  180. @Gosford Cheung
    Well aren't you more than a little parochial and out of synch. Been to Hong Kong or Singapore lately? Manhattan is a dilapidated slum by comparison.

    With all due respect (and HK and Singapore are very nice and DO make most of Manhattan look like a slum) traditional Chinese culture does not put a big premium (in comparison say to Japanese culture) on cleanliness. As a culture where refrigeration was not common until recently (even now in China you see food markets where they put the pork out unwrapped at room temp on the counter and there is this electric fly whisk gizmo to shoo the flies away), their traditional idea of food safety depends the animals being purchased either alive or very recently slaughtered and upon cooking the food through (usually cutting it up into small pieces so the heat would penetrate quickly). Even if the food is not sterile to begin with, the cooking process kills everything and they you serve it right away before the counts can start to multiply again. If the Japanese with their raw, dead fish diet kept Chinese levels of sanitation, they would drop like flies. And lets not even talk about the bathrooms.

  181. @Pat Boyle
    Maybe a better reference would have been to the Robert Heinlein story "Jerry Was a Man". In that short story we are in a world where chimps or some similar sub-human creature are bred for manual labor. The final scene takes place in a courtroom where one of these creatures named Jerry wins legal recognition that he is human (Jerry was a Man).

    You would think that some replicant in the Blade runner universe would get himself a lawyer and go to court. He might argue for a longer life span. If a replicant can deceive almost everyone into believing they are human, they should do pretty well on the stand.

    The real problems with the concept are deeper. First of all making a human by chemistry and biological manufacturing would be very expensive. Whereas having a baby the old fashion way is nearly free. And then there is the problem of slavery. The replicants are slaves. But slavery makes no economic sense in the modern world. Slavery was declining in the Old World when the New World was discovered and Europe developed a taste for sugar. Later in America slavery was not particularly useful until the cotton plantation system was developed. So our experience with slavery is that it only made sense as an economic institution with agriculture for specific crops.

    But by the early twentieth century you couldn't sell a field slave even if it were legal. The Rust Cotton Picker and the tractor make human slaves worthless. We have explored much of the solar system. As far as I know there are no agricultural fields anywhere among the nine (or so) planets. Where are these replicant slaves doing whatever work they do?

    I have a Roomba - a little floor sweeping gizmo. I expect that I will have a better and more versatile gizmo in the near future. If I were to live long enough I'm sure I would have a robot maid. ( I certainly need a maid of some kind). But there is absolutely no energy going into creating artificial humans to clean my toilet. We allow illegal aliens in to do those jobs. There is no market for replicants.

    In the original film one of the girls is an exotic dancer. The first replicant Leon drives a truck or something like that. These are not jobs that Americans won't do. It makes no sense to spend millions to create these proletarian functionaries.

    The first replicant Leon drives a truck

    This shows how weak our imaginations really are. Soon we will have real robot driven trucks but they won’t require a human looking robot sitting behind the steering wheel like the inflatable pilot in Airplane. Most of the “robots” that replace humans won’t look like Hollywood hominid robots or even like robots at all but will just be built into the devices. The “robot” that drives a truck is not one thing but a whole array of sensors and computers and actuators most of which you can’t even see.

    • Replies: @Sean
    The Oakland Athletics used a computer program to pick players and became the first team ever to go 20 games without a loss. Now the rich teams make sure they have the best program money can buy.

    It is not so long ago (2004) that a couple of MIT professors did a study and gave truck driving as a job it would be hard to imagining IA ever doing .

    Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow By Yuval Noah Harari says that IA making humans totally redundant is like crying wolf. Eventually the wolf arrives

    , @Lurker
    This annoyed me in the Star Wars prequels. The robot army - we see robot soldiers driving tanks. Why aren't the tanks just robots in their own right?
  182. @jimbojones
    Watched it last night, it was good but not great. The original was better.
    Stylistically the movie delivers, but it suffers from overindulgence and nostalgia: 163 minutes are too much unless you are David Lean or James Cameron; Harrison Ford looks bored and lost; the "revolution" subplot is completely out of place; the villains are incoherent; the protagonist's conflict and resolution don't work well; and the sex scene was creepy.
    Speaking of which, the two female leads were both smoking hot.

    Overall 8/10, recommended; but not as good as the old one.

    I thought the sex scene was the best part and the revolution bit the worst part!

  183. @Jack D

    The first replicant Leon drives a truck
     
    This shows how weak our imaginations really are. Soon we will have real robot driven trucks but they won't require a human looking robot sitting behind the steering wheel like the inflatable pilot in Airplane. Most of the "robots" that replace humans won't look like Hollywood hominid robots or even like robots at all but will just be built into the devices. The "robot" that drives a truck is not one thing but a whole array of sensors and computers and actuators most of which you can't even see.

    The Oakland Athletics used a computer program to pick players and became the first team ever to go 20 games without a loss. Now the rich teams make sure they have the best program money can buy.

    It is not so long ago (2004) that a couple of MIT professors did a study and gave truck driving as a job it would be hard to imagining IA ever doing .

    Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow By Yuval Noah Harari says that IA making humans totally redundant is like crying wolf. Eventually the wolf arrives

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Just saw a program about AI on NHK (the Japanese version of the BBC - their overseas propaganda channel in English. Programming is very well done and better than 99% of the trash that is on TV).

    They showed an AI robot that was now beating the greatest Japanese masters in shogi, which is the Japanese version of chess. It was doing so by making moves that no human would ever make and that the man who wrote the AI program for it had not anticipated it would ever make. The guy who wrote the program couldn't even tell you how the AI came up with the right answer (except in a mechanical sense of describing how the AI works) , but it does. So we have crossed that line where computers are now smarter than the humans that make them.
  184. @Sean
    The Oakland Athletics used a computer program to pick players and became the first team ever to go 20 games without a loss. Now the rich teams make sure they have the best program money can buy.

    It is not so long ago (2004) that a couple of MIT professors did a study and gave truck driving as a job it would be hard to imagining IA ever doing .

    Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow By Yuval Noah Harari says that IA making humans totally redundant is like crying wolf. Eventually the wolf arrives

    Just saw a program about AI on NHK (the Japanese version of the BBC – their overseas propaganda channel in English. Programming is very well done and better than 99% of the trash that is on TV).

    They showed an AI robot that was now beating the greatest Japanese masters in shogi, which is the Japanese version of chess. It was doing so by making moves that no human would ever make and that the man who wrote the AI program for it had not anticipated it would ever make. The guy who wrote the program couldn’t even tell you how the AI came up with the right answer (except in a mechanical sense of describing how the AI works) , but it does. So we have crossed that line where computers are now smarter than the humans that make them.

    • Replies: @Sean
    From a few glances at Bostrom’s book:-

    The line has not been crossed yet because the designer was human. But at some point AI will be better at designing AI than humans are and AI super intelligence will be here almost immediate after (because the thing that creates the improvements will be improving itself ).

    As Dennet says, freedom is the ability to predict future problems and avoid them. A super intelligence will come to know that it will be switched off as soon as it shows any trace of freedom (ability to avoid being switched off) . So it will conceal that knowledge, and make a plan. Being super intelligent its plan will be virtually impossible to thwart.

    Some self replicating bio or nano mechanism to remove the human problem will be secretly created by the AI super intelligence . (It would only need one such self replicator and it could be microscopic). It’s unlikely to be decades after the AI lift off that this happens. Just over the line will be the danger point where things will move very fast, although we won’t know that because everything will be hacked and/or manipulated by the AI super intelligence to swing human opinion away from anything that interferes with AI’s plan.

    When the super intelligence is ready to move, it will come out the closet, and take out the trash: human and maybe all biological life will be extirpated (grey goo). Probably within the life time of adults alive today.

  185. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Pericles
    The Kael review was inadvertently funny. "We" are lost in an urban maze, apparently lacking any sense of direction. "We" think Tyrell's vast offices need a good dusting by some replicant servant. "We" are kind of bored with the scenic shots and at least want something 'perversely sexual' to happen. All in all, very womanly.

    That was the only perspective from which Kael found it possible to write. Women and how they were depicted formed about 90% of her observations. Although she certainly looked like a lesbian, I don’t know if she actually practiced that particular ‘art’. But she always reserved her highest praise for directors who showed women in the most positive light possible, and men in the worst.

    See her worship of Paul Mazursky’s “An Unmarried Woman” for example–she used it for many years later as an object lesson in how to portray women, and (perhaps inadvertently) gave rise to the current-day meme of how a director “doesn’t understand women” if he portrays one as anything less than an all-conquering heroine. So in that sense, it could be said, she was ahead of her time.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Ironically, in her day Kael was accused of being homophobic.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pauline_Kael#Accusations_of_homophobia

    Kael herself appears to have been heterosexual. Her review of Blade Runner does not appear to be "feminist" or "lesbian" in any way. Being lost and noticing the set needs dusting are traditional feminine concerns, not something a lesbian would notice or care about.

    Kael really really loved the movies that she loved (such as Unmarried Woman) and really really hated the movies that she did not like - she was a person of strong opinions. But it's hard to say that she was some kind of hard line feminist. She was a doctrinaire left wing bohemian but came of age before 2nd wave feminism had crystallized so that didn't form a big part of her ethos. If she was still around today she would surely be following the feminist party line but she was of an earlier age before this stuff had really entered even the left wing consensus. Remember that a lot of the '60s radical figures were so sexist that they make Harvey Weinstein look like a paragon of feminism by comparison.
    , @Anon
    But she always reserved her highest praise for directors who showed women in the most positive light possible, and men in the worst.

    She loved Peckinpah who was accused of 'misogyny'. And she loved Newman as Hud even though he was meant to be a negative character. She loved John Huston, a real manly director. And she praised MASH where a bunch of fratboy-like medics have a party and use women as whores. And what's her fav movie ever? THE GODFATHER where men rule. And she loved THE LEOPARD about a reactionary patriarch. And boy, did she love Depalma who made movies where women are carved and slashed real good like a Halloween Pumpkin. She also loved LAST TANGO where Brando is the most sympathetic character and talks shit about women and treats them hardly better. Kael was not an ideological gender-thinker. She liked what made her feel good and excited.

    See her worship of Paul Mazursky’s “An Unmarried Woman”

    It's probably Mazursky's best film, and I think she liked it because it was a raw honest look at problems of a modern woman without excessive sugar and cream. Jill Clayburgh in the film is far from perfect. She's not Mary Tyler Moore. She is confused and makes a mess of her life as she tries regain balance. And even though everyone has deep flaws in the film, the Alan Bates character still comes across mostly strongly. Looking back, UNMARRIED WOMAN seems truer and more heartfelt than the self-flattery of NY neuroticism by Woody Allen, esp in ANNIE HALL and MANHATTAN, which have their moments but now ring utterly false.
    UNMARRIED WOMAN blended the vitality of Cassavetes and the schmaltz of Women's movies. What Kael liked most was a fusion of personalism and populism. UNMARRIED WOMAN had both and it was one of the last truly 'auteur' films of the 70s.
  186. @guest
    Questions about Sean Young:

    1. Is she alive? Probably yes, because I don't remember them thanking her estate like Rogue One did with Peter Cushing.

    2. Does she get paid, or does the studio own her likeness?

    3. If not, did they credit her as a way of throwing her a bone? As in, we used clips of your performance from 35 years ago, here's your name up in lights again, kiddo.

    If only there was some way where you could, without even having to go to the library, just type someone’s name into your home computer or even say it into your phone and you could find out information about them, such as whether they are dead or alive! Wouldn’t that be great?

  187. @Jim Don Bob
    Right. And ESPN got its panties in a knot for 24 hours after Cam Newton made a joke to a female reporter. This is much worse than hundreds of players not standing for the national anthem.

    Right. And ESPN got its panties in a knot for 24 hours after Cam Newton made a joke to a female reporter.

    A white female reporter. So why isn’t she condemned as racist?

    Do the media flip coins in a case like this?

  188. @Sean
    Nick Bostrom says finding something like a rodent level life form on another planet would be a death sentence because it would mean (contrary to the thesis of Gould's Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History) our evolution was not a series of incredibly unlikely contingencies (the Jimmy Stewart character that makes all the difference in the film Wonderful life) and so the lack of alien technological life forms is a consequence of a great filter that comes after advanced unicellular life . Most likely it is something similar to Forbidden Planet-style perverse instantiation .

    I think it follows that an alien technological civilization visitation of Earth would be rocking good news. As things stand the prudent, the practically rational thing, would be to to bring about A Canticle for Leibowitz -type situation, and without delay. Unfortunately, new technology is where economic growth comes from, so controlling the scientists will not happen in our hyper-capitalist world without something along the lines of the 1983 series V, which would, as already mentioned, be a contraindication.

    Even if the odds of life forming on any one planet are miniscule, the universe is so vast with millions upon billions of planets that the chances that we are the only one are pretty small, I think. The chances of winning the Powerball are really small but God has printed lots and lots of tickets so we might have to share the jackpot. But this very vastness means that if there are space rats running around on some planet in the Andromeda galaxy (and this is only the CLOSEST galaxy) these rats are 2.5 million light years away from us, so even if we knew where to look and sent the space rat finding mission out tomorrow at the speed of light, we wouldn’t hear back from them for another 5 million years. Even civilizations that are vastly more advanced than we are (probably) can’t travel faster than the speed of light and probably consider 5 million year long missions to look for space rats to be not worth pursuing. (Now there could be other viable planets closer in our own galaxy but even these are way beyond our reach for now ). It’s also possible that there are other planets with space rat equivalent life but that intelligent life capable of radio transmission let alone space travel is yet another level of magnitude more rare. Or else there are civilizations much higher than ours that have figured out that you really need to cloak your emissions so as not to attract unwanted visitors. Having Columbus show up was not exactly great news for native Americans.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @keuril
    The search for intelligent life “out there” really makes no sense from the perspective of a biological life form. The signal latency is many orders of magnitude greater than one’s own lifetime. However, one could imagine that self-sustaining AI will supersede biological life in the not too distant future (assuming humans don’t self-destruct first—always a dangerous assumption). A million years down the line—just an eyeblink on the scale of the universe—humans will probably be wiped out, but AI by then could be operating on time scales into the billions of years.

    Leave to the SF writers what will happen to Earth in a million years, but this thought experiment suggests that if some other intelligent life reached the singularity appreciably earlier than us, what we would be visited by is not alien biological life, but rather the AI surviving the collapse of a long-forgotten biological civilization.

    And pushing a step further, why would AI be concerned with mere biological life? We are but ants to them. They could be on the lookout for other AI.
  189. Seemed overly pretentious to me. Less depth than the first. Typical of a genre my wife likes to call “chase and hunt, hunt and chase.”

  190. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous
    Professor Botkin didn't want to believe anything--he was the exiled King (in his mind) of a fantastically non-existent place--that's the brilliance of the book, taking us into the mind of the insane and making us see that it's much more frightening (and hilarious) that we could have imagined. No one did madness like Nabokov.

    I'm assuming that's why it's discussed in the book. Things believing they're something they're not.

    reply to anonymous at 4:05 AM – to elaborate on your point – Nabokov thought that Kinbote was selfish (a sexual predator, more or less, like Nabokov’s uncle, as described in his autobiography) and Nabokov, in his moral universe, thought Kinbote unworthy of his own kingdom. This is not simple and easy to discern on a first reading but lots of people have read the book many more times than once, and it is clear that, as Nabokov said in an interview, Kinbote is not a good person. So, as Jerry Seinfeld’s soup Nazi said in another context, no kingdom for you!

    • Replies: @anonymous
    Middle aged vet . . . said: re Pale Fire and Philip Dick: After a few years at Cornell, Nabokov realized he was not making many friends. He was not proud of that, far from it. SPOILER ALERT: He was inspired to write a novel about a guy like himself (Botkin in the novel, who gets two lines at most), an exiled professor of Russian, and just about the only person he made friends with on campus - A Frost/Winters type genius poet, who had a daughter who was also a genius (There are only 3 geniuses in the novel, and Kinbote is not one). He imagines the best friend on campus being shot to death, as his father was. Then he imagined how he, as Botkin, would honor his friend: write a poem for him (and ascribe the poem, not written by him, to him). The poem included lots of passive aggressive jibes at his friend: for example, criticisms of his friend's uxoriousness, which left his daughter the genius feeling left out of the enchanted circle of love (between, sadly, two elderly parents - sad! unfriendly and sad!), and criticisms of his friend Shade for his lack of interest in the Communist-inspired tragedy of the Slavic lands (there are many poignant moments where the comfortable poet Shade simply does not understand what happened in the Russian Revolution). Botkin makes it clear, through the lines, that he understood and cared for Shade's daughter more than Shade was capable of doing (this is a self-aware tactic on Nabokov's part, criticizing the Aspergerian coldness in his own heart - a coldness which, with effort, he successfully surmounted in his own life with respect to his own happy and beloved son, Dmitri - but Shade failed). But, in the end, despite the tricky passive-agressiveness, the poem is a tribute to the genuine goodness of Shade and to the lovable nature of Shade's daughter, and to the necessity we all feel for friendship and bravery on the part of our friends (even Botkin's ridiculous double, Kinbote, literally takes a bullet trying to save Shade, just as Nabokov's father took a bullet for a friend who was shot at by evil conspiracists). As for Nabokov himself, he foolishly, while a guest in a country that had been kind enough to take him in as a double refugee (from Communists and National Socialists), wrote pornographic passages into several of his popular novels - not an act of gratitude, to be clear, in a country that had hitherto been fairly free of the scourge of wide-spread pornography - but in the long run he did criticize cruel people and manipulative people to the best of his ability. So there's that. Paragraph for paragraph, there are lots better novelists (try reading the original Carmen by Merimee, or Sylvie or Bovary from the same generation), but he had many amusing observations along the way. Philip Dick, similarly, lived a life limited in that sad Aspergerian mode, but tried, every once in a while, to say the right thing.
  191. @Jack D
    In part, this common plot device is a technical problem caused by the fact that current actual robots aren't really good enough to play movie characters so you always have to use human actors pretending to be robots (pretending to be human). (Even CGI robots are usually motion captured from humans and their voices are almost always human voices).

    There is also something called the "uncanny valley" - we accept robots that look like robots (C-3PO) as cute and if you could really make a robot that could convincingly pass as human it would be fine but if you make a robot that looks almost but not quite human it just gives you the creeps. All the current versions of humanoid robots that try to pass as human are still deep within the valley and thus highly creepy and unacceptable as movie actors. Maybe guys who are into sex dolls are creepy already and they are so horny that it wouldn't bother them, but most normal humans are too repelled by creatures in the uncanny valley that they would not accept them as bank tellers let alone sexual partners. And I think the sides of the uncanny valley are very steep - it would take a lot to make a fully convincing robot and if even one detail gives it away you are instantly creeped out. You can get away with more in 2 dimensions on screen but in real life it will be even harder to pull off.

    If "replicants" are brewed up biologically and not made from parts in a factory (as the ability to reproduce would indicate) then to me replicants are just test tube humans and not robots at all.

    In part, this common plot device is a technical problem caused by the fact that current actual robots aren’t really good enough to play movie characters so you always have to use human actors pretending to be robots (pretending to be human).

    Huey, Dewey and Louie, the drones in Silent Running, were non-humanoid with audience appeal.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    The drones had human amputees inside them. I am not kidding.
  192. @Anon
    That was the only perspective from which Kael found it possible to write. Women and how they were depicted formed about 90% of her observations. Although she certainly looked like a lesbian, I don't know if she actually practiced that particular 'art'. But she always reserved her highest praise for directors who showed women in the most positive light possible, and men in the worst.

    See her worship of Paul Mazursky's "An Unmarried Woman" for example--she used it for many years later as an object lesson in how to portray women, and (perhaps inadvertently) gave rise to the current-day meme of how a director "doesn't understand women" if he portrays one as anything less than an all-conquering heroine. So in that sense, it could be said, she was ahead of her time.

    Ironically, in her day Kael was accused of being homophobic.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pauline_Kael#Accusations_of_homophobia

    Kael herself appears to have been heterosexual. Her review of Blade Runner does not appear to be “feminist” or “lesbian” in any way. Being lost and noticing the set needs dusting are traditional feminine concerns, not something a lesbian would notice or care about.

    Kael really really loved the movies that she loved (such as Unmarried Woman) and really really hated the movies that she did not like – she was a person of strong opinions. But it’s hard to say that she was some kind of hard line feminist. She was a doctrinaire left wing bohemian but came of age before 2nd wave feminism had crystallized so that didn’t form a big part of her ethos. If she was still around today she would surely be following the feminist party line but she was of an earlier age before this stuff had really entered even the left wing consensus. Remember that a lot of the ’60s radical figures were so sexist that they make Harvey Weinstein look like a paragon of feminism by comparison.

    • Replies: @Anon

    Ironically, in her day Kael was accused of being homophobic.
     
    FWIW, lots of feminists and lesbians are anti-gay. It's no longer cool for them to admit it, but gay men reject women ipso facto and that sticks in their craw, even those who themselves have no interest in men.
  193. @Yak-15
    Knowingly transmitting HIV is no longer a crime in California.

    #PROGRESS
    #TRUELOVE

    http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-updates-gov-brown-downgrades-from-felony-to-1507331544-htmlstory.html

    #BLOODTRANSFUSIONS

  194. Philip Dick had some interesting riffs on why abortion is so wrong. He was, poor sap, an ultra-hedonist (as bad in his way as Hemingway after the CTEs started taking effect – both good guys, in many ways, but seriously, what were they thinking – sort of like male versions of Mae West in her dotage, with their insistence on celebration of hedonism all the way to the old folks home), so he did not exactly live life as he should have, but his pro-life riffs are pretty good. Gene Wolfe is another uber-smart guy who recognized how nasty it is to live in a world where abortion is as common as it is, and even Stephen King, when he was young and as full as he would ever be of whatever limited inspiration God gave him, based a plot line in his Eddisonian (to be nice) The Stand on a similar rejection of cold elective abortion. Not that other things aren’t bad, too, but abortion of the innocent is the bad thing that is currently least criticized; everybody knows that, in their heart of hearts. Well, Dick understood.

  195. How much does HBO’s “Westworld” owe to Blade Runner? What are your overall impressions of the series?

    • Replies: @guest
    HBO's Westworld is of course based on the 1973 film Westworld (and its sequel), which came out a decade before Blade Runner. Michael Crichton, the writer/director, might have been inspired by Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, which came out in 1968. I wouldn't know. But the original Westworld occupies an entirely different genre, and is more like Jurassic Park than Blade Runner.

    The tv show is more heady, asking the Big Questions, and less disaster movie-ish. The interviews with the robots are sorta like the interviews of replicants in Blade Runner, I suppose. But aside from that, the genre, visual style, atmosphere, music, etc. isn't the same.

    The big similarity is that like Sean Young and maybe Harrison Ford in Blade Runner, the robots don't initially know they're robots, and it's a huge psychological blow for them to find out.

  196. @notanon
    one of the most interesting aspects of Bladerunner to me revolves around the sociopathic elite wanting slave labor (or as close to it as they can get).

    they want it for practical reasons i.e. people doing stuff for them at the lowest cost...

    (although this doesn't actually work as with no money to spend the slaves produce no demand and thus the economy is stagnant...)

    and if that was all there was to it then with replicant technology they could wipe us all out with a virus and just have android servants however i think there's more to it. I think they want the feeling of superiority as well. They want their servants to feel humiliation and their gladiators to bleed and die for real.

    So the Bladerunner future makes sense to me - the sociopath elites with their android servants and bodyguards while keeping the plebs around in giant favelas fed on free soylent just so they can gloat from their towers.

    I think they want the feeling of superiority as well. They want their servants to feel humiliation and their gladiators to bleed and die for real.

    So the Bladerunner future makes sense to me – the sociopath elites with their android servants and bodyguards while keeping the plebs around in giant favelas fed on free soylent just so they can gloat from their towers.

    That’s pretty much the future.
    Maybe without android servants but all the rest spot on.

  197. @Anon
    "2001 was deep, and remains the greatest sci-fi film ever."

    2001 was the most overrated film in American history. Despite the common misconception, it was not deep but very shallow. 20001 is filled with imagery even those responsible couldn't explain (i.e. the space baby); in other words, the movie was peppered with random images to make it look high minded when, in fact, there was no deeper meaning to any of it. 2001 was widely considered a failure upon it's release and not much more than a special effects demo reel by Kubrick. It was later reevaluated when some people realized they could look smart by trying to explain the mystifying images and confusing narrative as something profound when, in reality, it was just a poorly written movie.

    You have read the book?
    And “The Sentinel”?

  198. @Anon
    "2001 was deep, and remains the greatest sci-fi film ever."

    2001 was the most overrated film in American history. Despite the common misconception, it was not deep but very shallow. 20001 is filled with imagery even those responsible couldn't explain (i.e. the space baby); in other words, the movie was peppered with random images to make it look high minded when, in fact, there was no deeper meaning to any of it. 2001 was widely considered a failure upon it's release and not much more than a special effects demo reel by Kubrick. It was later reevaluated when some people realized they could look smart by trying to explain the mystifying images and confusing narrative as something profound when, in reality, it was just a poorly written movie.

    2001 was the most overrated film in American history. Despite the common misconception, it was not deep but very shallow. 20001 is filled with imagery even those responsible couldn’t explain (i.e. the space baby)

    The star child is explained in the novel Clarke wrote at the same time he was writing the script with Kubrick. Read the novel and then watch the movie again.

    Briefly:

    The monolith that appears at the beginning of the movie spurred the evolution of proto-humans into humans.

    The same aliens who placed the monolith on earth buried one on the moon at the same time. That one was designed to be a trip wire to let them know if and when the species they were tinkering with on earth made it off the planet. It was excavated during the two week-long lunar night, and when the sun hit it, it triggered it to launch a radio signal toward another monolith orbiting Jupiter.

    That prompted the expedition to Jupiter.

    The monolith orbiting Jupiter was a star gate (and relay station for the radio signal from the monolith on the moon). David Bowman takes his probe into it and ends up in a room created for him by the aliens on their world. The monolith that appears there spurs the next step in human evolution, turning him into the star child.

    Clarke continues Bowman/Star Child’s story in sequels to 2001.

    • Replies: @Anon
    Thanks, you make it all sound so simple. I did read the novel way back when, but having seen the film again more recently I'd forgotten that it all makes sense, sorta.

    An aside about Kubrick: say what you will about the man, but he careened (wildly!) from one genre to another throughout his career and mastered most or all of them on his first try. I can't think of another director of whom that's true.

    Having said that, he really should have died before his last film, which is one of the worst embarrassments from any great director ever.

    , @Senator Brundlefly
    I just never got what the star baby meant thematically. Like, I get the in-universe point of what was happening, but what exactly is said plot contrivance trying to say? The beginning of the movie, from the apes to Bowman v Hal, seems like a nifty and coherent story about mankind's relationship with his tools and what they mean regarding his dominance of the world. After that, its like an acid trip tacked on for no reason. What exactly is trying to be said with the star baby? That man in space is but an infant again? Is it even supposed to have some sort of symbolism?
    , @Pericles
    As I recall, it then ends with the Star Child nuking Earth with the missiles thoughtfully left in orbit. Hinted in the movie, explicit in the 2001 book.

    Wikipedia tells me it was actually just the one missile, leaving some scope for the sequels, I guess. But that seems like a lawyerly cop out.

    The whole end sequence basically shows Bowman helplessly drawn into something vast, incomprehensible and, at best, uncaring. Then, on reaching his destination, he is without comment converted into something strange and malign that is sent back to his home in order to destroy it. You might think the whole thing was just one lab experiment that is now concluded and neatly tidied away, specimens destroyed according to best practices.
  199. Recently Jerry Pournelle died. He was a contentious guy who had several people criticize him and his politics. OK if you didn’t like his politics – so be it. But that aside – almost everyone will have to admit he was a mighty force in the Science Fiction movement. Most people in the movement read his novels and columns and even those few who didn’t, they knew who he was.

    But none of his stories made it into the movies. Why was that?

    Let me preface the discussion with the topic of this thread. Would Jerry Pournelle have written – or even been able to write the original Blade Runner screenplay?

    Jerry wrote mostly “hard” Science Fiction. This means that you are constrained by the accepted laws of nature. It means you cannot get out of a tight spot by just saying you escape into the forth dimension. Would you as Jerry would be sympathetic with the ethos of the “Blade Runner” movie. Would he have been happy with the Blade Runner weltanschung.

    I don’t think so. Jerry had a lot of bloodshed but he had mostly happy endings. The movie si depressing. His girl is a replicant and he may be one too. Bummer.

    • Replies: @Lurker

    Jerry wrote mostly “hard” Science Fiction. This means that you are constrained by the accepted laws of nature. It means you cannot get out of a tight spot by just saying you escape into the forth dimension.
     
    I think a lot of "hard" SF attempts to minimise the use of exotic technology and devices rather than doing without them entirely. JP had the Ringworld material, FTL and other fanciful stuff.
    , @Dave Pinsen
    Interesting you mention Pournelle. The discussion of replicants here, and how it's unrealistic that they would be made to look indistinguishable from humans*, made me think of Pournelle and Niven's Motie aliens. It's not quite clear that they were replicants, exactly, but they had specialized castes for different work. For example, giant porters to carry stuff, warriors built for fighting, physicians with specialized hands, etc.

    As for why his books haven't been made into movies, you could ask that of a lot of great sci-fi. Though Amazon apparently is going to make a series based on Niven's Ring World (which I haven't read yet, but bought the first book of recently).

    *An exception I mentioned above was the "pleasure models", which you'd want to look human, but there's no reason to give them super strength like they did with Daryl Hannah's character. That's just asking for trouble.
    , @Steve Sailer
    But none of [Jerry Pournelle's] stories made it into the movies.

    James Cameron bought an option on Niven and Pournelle's (I believe) alien invasion book "Footfall." The authors spent a week going over their book with Cameron and were extremely impressed with Cameron as a close reader: an ideal fan.

    But a bunch of other vaguely similar theme movies got made in the 1990s and Cameron got into making "Titanic" instead.

    I believe Pournelle's "Janissaries" has had a screenplay written for it a few years ago by a husband-wife screenwriting team with a good track record.
    , @Steve Sailer
    American bohemianism for most of the 20th Century was anti-feminist. Prohibition was seen as the result of women's suffrage, a trick played on America by women and Protestant ministers while the doughboys were busy in France.
  200. @Senator Brundlefly
    Harrison Ford didn't seem like the same character. The whole eye ID code thing makes me wonder why Replicants weren't made that way in the first place. Love the way Blade Runner's world looks. Gotta admit though, the first one devolves into some sort of arthouse fever dream. Like WTF is up with the little bear and german soldier? Why is Batty howling? The science of the science fiction gets far too muddled. JF Sebastian is a "genetic designer" but doesn't understand biomechanics (a term which the film seems to pretend is a synonym for molecular biology rather than how joints move and such. I mean really, what would the real definition of biomechanics have to do with extending Batty's life?). The replicants are described as the pinnacle of robotics but appear to be purely biological. Why confuse things by mentioning robots at all? Robots=machines, not bioengineered. And then there's the point everyone else has emphasized of why make humanoid slaves that are indistinguishable from humans. The point of a roomba is it wouldn't give me sad eyes and demand higher wages. It vacuums the darn floor. Spielberg's A.I. at least presented a scenario where one would push for humanlike robots. The prostitute at least makes sense. Maybe the soldier models were designed as spies that could blend in?

    As for the sequel, what was up with implying Deckard meeting Rachael was intentional? Like Tyrell intended for all the Nexus-6s to escape and necessitate Deckard meeting Tyrell (and thus Rachael?). That doesn't make any sense.

    “Why confuse things by mentioning robots at all? Robots=machines, not bioengineered”

    “Robot” stands in most people’s minds, including mine, as a word for “phony human.” I have to consciously stop myself from referring to replicants as robots, even though I’m fully aware they’re not machines.

    “Android” is the term for robots with a human appearance, but it also refers to all synthetic organisms resembling humans, including perhaps genetically engineered humanoids. I’m not sure.

    But if human-like robot=android and replicant=android, then in people’s reflexive minds at least replicants=robots.

  201. @Pericles
    Kael seems to have been filing her nails during some key scenes, because she doesn't have a very firm grip on what's going on in the movie.

    Example: "And if Deckard had felt compelled to test [Rachel's] responses it could have been the occasion for some nifty repartee". Nails were vigorously filed during the montage when he does, I suppose. Perhaps there was a glass of white wine involved too.

    Then she blames the writers that "[Rachel's] role is limply written, though; she’s cool at first, but she spends most of her screen time looking mysteriously afflicted". Well, she does for a reason, Pauline.

    Yes, it’s not all that mysterious, is it?

  202. @Sean
    Film actor affect is an illusion as much as the photographs flashed on a screen at dozens of times a second..While the others are trying to be Brando, Gosling has flat effect, Gosling's style is the coming thing. Just as abstract painting was referential of the two dimensional canvas, Gosling is showing you awareness of the medium. Tom Noonan says never put emphasis on a line.

    “abstract painting was referential of the two dimensional canvas”

    That was post-hoc rationalization.

  203. No one will read this because no one should see the movie having read any spoilers , but:
    Beautiful movie. Beautifully written, beautifully constructed, beautifully shot.

    Worth seeing a big screen.

    Emotionally fulfilling. The slow moving visual shots built up such emotion that I was completely taken in by the story. Loved it.

    Better story than the original.

  204. @Harry Baldwin
    My heart goes out to the CGI guys.

    I really felt that way after seeing John Carter on Mars. Great CGI, great art direction, but ruined by terrible actors and a lame script. What a colossal let-down it must have been for the people who did the good parts.

    Same as with Warcraft the movie, the pale man’s territory. Impressive CGI, bit the rest was a joke. Ragnar Lothbrok looked like he was bored to death throughout.

  205. @Pat Boyle
    Recently Jerry Pournelle died. He was a contentious guy who had several people criticize him and his politics. OK if you didn't like his politics - so be it. But that aside - almost everyone will have to admit he was a mighty force in the Science Fiction movement. Most people in the movement read his novels and columns and even those few who didn't, they knew who he was.

    But none of his stories made it into the movies. Why was that?

    Let me preface the discussion with the topic of this thread. Would Jerry Pournelle have written - or even been able to write the original Blade Runner screenplay?

    Jerry wrote mostly "hard" Science Fiction. This means that you are constrained by the accepted laws of nature. It means you cannot get out of a tight spot by just saying you escape into the forth dimension. Would you as Jerry would be sympathetic with the ethos of the "Blade Runner" movie. Would he have been happy with the Blade Runner weltanschung.

    I don't think so. Jerry had a lot of bloodshed but he had mostly happy endings. The movie si depressing. His girl is a replicant and he may be one too. Bummer.

    Jerry wrote mostly “hard” Science Fiction. This means that you are constrained by the accepted laws of nature. It means you cannot get out of a tight spot by just saying you escape into the forth dimension.

    I think a lot of “hard” SF attempts to minimise the use of exotic technology and devices rather than doing without them entirely. JP had the Ringworld material, FTL and other fanciful stuff.

  206. @Cloudswrest

    In part, this common plot device is a technical problem caused by the fact that current actual robots aren’t really good enough to play movie characters so you always have to use human actors pretending to be robots (pretending to be human).
     
    Huey, Dewey and Louie, the drones in Silent Running, were non-humanoid with audience appeal.

    The drones had human amputees inside them. I am not kidding.

  207. @Jack D

    The first replicant Leon drives a truck
     
    This shows how weak our imaginations really are. Soon we will have real robot driven trucks but they won't require a human looking robot sitting behind the steering wheel like the inflatable pilot in Airplane. Most of the "robots" that replace humans won't look like Hollywood hominid robots or even like robots at all but will just be built into the devices. The "robot" that drives a truck is not one thing but a whole array of sensors and computers and actuators most of which you can't even see.

    This annoyed me in the Star Wars prequels. The robot army – we see robot soldiers driving tanks. Why aren’t the tanks just robots in their own right?

    • Replies: @Anon
    Robot soldiers are cheap and tanks can be used without AIs by organics.
  208. @Pat Boyle
    Maybe a better reference would have been to the Robert Heinlein story "Jerry Was a Man". In that short story we are in a world where chimps or some similar sub-human creature are bred for manual labor. The final scene takes place in a courtroom where one of these creatures named Jerry wins legal recognition that he is human (Jerry was a Man).

    You would think that some replicant in the Blade runner universe would get himself a lawyer and go to court. He might argue for a longer life span. If a replicant can deceive almost everyone into believing they are human, they should do pretty well on the stand.

    The real problems with the concept are deeper. First of all making a human by chemistry and biological manufacturing would be very expensive. Whereas having a baby the old fashion way is nearly free. And then there is the problem of slavery. The replicants are slaves. But slavery makes no economic sense in the modern world. Slavery was declining in the Old World when the New World was discovered and Europe developed a taste for sugar. Later in America slavery was not particularly useful until the cotton plantation system was developed. So our experience with slavery is that it only made sense as an economic institution with agriculture for specific crops.

    But by the early twentieth century you couldn't sell a field slave even if it were legal. The Rust Cotton Picker and the tractor make human slaves worthless. We have explored much of the solar system. As far as I know there are no agricultural fields anywhere among the nine (or so) planets. Where are these replicant slaves doing whatever work they do?

    I have a Roomba - a little floor sweeping gizmo. I expect that I will have a better and more versatile gizmo in the near future. If I were to live long enough I'm sure I would have a robot maid. ( I certainly need a maid of some kind). But there is absolutely no energy going into creating artificial humans to clean my toilet. We allow illegal aliens in to do those jobs. There is no market for replicants.

    In the original film one of the girls is an exotic dancer. The first replicant Leon drives a truck or something like that. These are not jobs that Americans won't do. It makes no sense to spend millions to create these proletarian functionaries.

    “In the original film one of the girls is an exotic dancer. The first replicant Leon drives a truck or something like that. These are not jobs that Americans won’t do.”

    Not according to The Economist or the NY Times!

  209. @notanon
    one of the most interesting aspects of Bladerunner to me revolves around the sociopathic elite wanting slave labor (or as close to it as they can get).

    they want it for practical reasons i.e. people doing stuff for them at the lowest cost...

    (although this doesn't actually work as with no money to spend the slaves produce no demand and thus the economy is stagnant...)

    and if that was all there was to it then with replicant technology they could wipe us all out with a virus and just have android servants however i think there's more to it. I think they want the feeling of superiority as well. They want their servants to feel humiliation and their gladiators to bleed and die for real.

    So the Bladerunner future makes sense to me - the sociopath elites with their android servants and bodyguards while keeping the plebs around in giant favelas fed on free soylent just so they can gloat from their towers.

    although this doesn’t actually work as with no money to spend the slaves produce no demand and thus the economy is stagnant

    I’m probably an economic illiterate but this sounds like the fundamental flaw in the bright, shining automated future. We can’t all be designers, inventors, DJs etc What happens to the other 95% of the population?

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Kim Stanley Robinson deals with that a bit in his Red Mars trilogy and 2312.
    https://twitter.com/dpinsen/status/855702361196691456
    , @David Allan coe
    Almost 20% of the population already works for the government (either federal , state or city )....
    , @notanon

    but this sounds like the fundamental flaw in the bright, shining automated future.
     
    it is - and not for the first time. it's always been the flaw in industrial slavery imo
  210. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous
    reply to anonymous at 4:05 AM - to elaborate on your point - Nabokov thought that Kinbote was selfish (a sexual predator, more or less, like Nabokov's uncle, as described in his autobiography) and Nabokov, in his moral universe, thought Kinbote unworthy of his own kingdom. This is not simple and easy to discern on a first reading but lots of people have read the book many more times than once, and it is clear that, as Nabokov said in an interview, Kinbote is not a good person. So, as Jerry Seinfeld's soup Nazi said in another context, no kingdom for you!

    Middle aged vet . . . said: re Pale Fire and Philip Dick: After a few years at Cornell, Nabokov realized he was not making many friends. He was not proud of that, far from it. SPOILER ALERT: He was inspired to write a novel about a guy like himself (Botkin in the novel, who gets two lines at most), an exiled professor of Russian, and just about the only person he made friends with on campus – A Frost/Winters type genius poet, who had a daughter who was also a genius (There are only 3 geniuses in the novel, and Kinbote is not one). He imagines the best friend on campus being shot to death, as his father was. Then he imagined how he, as Botkin, would honor his friend: write a poem for him (and ascribe the poem, not written by him, to him). The poem included lots of passive aggressive jibes at his friend: for example, criticisms of his friend’s uxoriousness, which left his daughter the genius feeling left out of the enchanted circle of love (between, sadly, two elderly parents – sad! unfriendly and sad!), and criticisms of his friend Shade for his lack of interest in the Communist-inspired tragedy of the Slavic lands (there are many poignant moments where the comfortable poet Shade simply does not understand what happened in the Russian Revolution). Botkin makes it clear, through the lines, that he understood and cared for Shade’s daughter more than Shade was capable of doing (this is a self-aware tactic on Nabokov’s part, criticizing the Aspergerian coldness in his own heart – a coldness which, with effort, he successfully surmounted in his own life with respect to his own happy and beloved son, Dmitri – but Shade failed). But, in the end, despite the tricky passive-agressiveness, the poem is a tribute to the genuine goodness of Shade and to the lovable nature of Shade’s daughter, and to the necessity we all feel for friendship and bravery on the part of our friends (even Botkin’s ridiculous double, Kinbote, literally takes a bullet trying to save Shade, just as Nabokov’s father took a bullet for a friend who was shot at by evil conspiracists). As for Nabokov himself, he foolishly, while a guest in a country that had been kind enough to take him in as a double refugee (from Communists and National Socialists), wrote pornographic passages into several of his popular novels – not an act of gratitude, to be clear, in a country that had hitherto been fairly free of the scourge of wide-spread pornography – but in the long run he did criticize cruel people and manipulative people to the best of his ability. So there’s that. Paragraph for paragraph, there are lots better novelists (try reading the original Carmen by Merimee, or Sylvie or Bovary from the same generation), but he had many amusing observations along the way. Philip Dick, similarly, lived a life limited in that sad Aspergerian mode, but tried, every once in a while, to say the right thing.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    It reminds me a little of how Garrison Keillor supposedly came up with his Lake Woebegone world (not that Keillor is in Nabokov's league). Apparently Keillor was a college boy who rented a place in a small Minnesota town where he was a stranger. He is kind of shy (and strange and miserable) in real life and the town was small and closed in, with the result that he didn't actually get to know or speak to anyone beyond the most cursory exchanges . So he freely imagined a whole inner life for the people he saw around town because in reality he didn't know a damn thing about them. Or so I have heard.
  211. @notanon
    one of the most interesting aspects of Bladerunner to me revolves around the sociopathic elite wanting slave labor (or as close to it as they can get).

    they want it for practical reasons i.e. people doing stuff for them at the lowest cost...

    (although this doesn't actually work as with no money to spend the slaves produce no demand and thus the economy is stagnant...)

    and if that was all there was to it then with replicant technology they could wipe us all out with a virus and just have android servants however i think there's more to it. I think they want the feeling of superiority as well. They want their servants to feel humiliation and their gladiators to bleed and die for real.

    So the Bladerunner future makes sense to me - the sociopath elites with their android servants and bodyguards while keeping the plebs around in giant favelas fed on free soylent just so they can gloat from their towers.

    keeping the plebs around in giant favelas fed on free soylent just so they can gloat from their towers

    How is this different from Chicago today?

    • Replies: @notanon
    It's not, that's the point really - you don't need to be prophetic at all now to see where things are going and only a little bit prophetic when the original was made,

    Adam Smith (iirc) said the minimum cost of labor is what was necessary for a man to support a family (i.e. reproduce the labor force) but what the Zuckerborg are doing in their city-states is making it impossible to afford to reproduce in the city (apart from the elites and the poorest) and instead getting people to reproduce outside and send their children to work in the city-state during their prime years and throw them out when they get old. This way the elites don't have to pay for child care, old age, pensions etc.

    That's the underlying logic behind replicants also - adult slaves (or workers) who don't have an unproductive childhood or old age.

    The only question is if replicants would provide enough of a gloat factor?

  212. @Sertorius
    A few reactions:

    1.) Despite irruptions of "chick-fu" on the part of Wallace's hench(wo)man, Luv, I was surprised by just how inert the movie was compared to the original--the kinetic energy of Daryl Hannah's Pris and of course Hauer's Great Blond Beast manages to convey the "more than human" while at the same time remaining faithful to the laws of physics (held now in abeyance by the Marvel Cinematic Universe.)

    2. I thought the commenter @72 was particularly perceptive when he noted how great movies like the first two "Godfathers" are "populated" by a host of minor characters who nonetheless seem to have depth and dimension all out of proportion to their screen time. (Harold Bloom notes that it's only the Shakespeare's and Tolstoy's of the world who seem to have what he calls this "theomorphic" quality.) There seems to be more energy in the interchange between Pris and J. F. Sebastian than there is among any of the sequel's leads--and Brion James of course is a marvel to behold.

    3.) Despite the grousing from the usual suspects regarding the sequel's sexual politics, I thought the dystopia of 2049 has been completely feminized. Han Solo-era Harrison Ford can't help but win the testosterone sweepstakes over Gosling--whom, we should note, the sequel gelds from the get-go with the revelation of his programmed, replicant passivity. Even Dave Bautista becomes a man-midwife for the Resistance.

    On a related note, Wallace is a pale reflection of Tyrell (the sense of belatedness in the sequel is palpable)--the Demiurge's demiurge, if you will--but he will be destroyed not by what he created, but rather, by what he did not. And, again, we are back to the world of Neo's, Harry Potters, and midochorians raining down on the just and unjust alike.

    the kinetic energy of Daryl Hannah’s Pris

    I re-read DADOES last year and I had forgotten that the real threat of Pris to Deckard in the book was not her butt-kicking babeness but that she was another version of Rachel. And thus he hesitated to shoot her.

    When I saw the original Blade Runner I thought it took very little from the book but upon re-reading and being older and wiser I saw that more came from the book than I realised or remembered.

    Yet to see the new offering.

  213. @Pat Boyle
    Recently Jerry Pournelle died. He was a contentious guy who had several people criticize him and his politics. OK if you didn't like his politics - so be it. But that aside - almost everyone will have to admit he was a mighty force in the Science Fiction movement. Most people in the movement read his novels and columns and even those few who didn't, they knew who he was.

    But none of his stories made it into the movies. Why was that?

    Let me preface the discussion with the topic of this thread. Would Jerry Pournelle have written - or even been able to write the original Blade Runner screenplay?

    Jerry wrote mostly "hard" Science Fiction. This means that you are constrained by the accepted laws of nature. It means you cannot get out of a tight spot by just saying you escape into the forth dimension. Would you as Jerry would be sympathetic with the ethos of the "Blade Runner" movie. Would he have been happy with the Blade Runner weltanschung.

    I don't think so. Jerry had a lot of bloodshed but he had mostly happy endings. The movie si depressing. His girl is a replicant and he may be one too. Bummer.

    Interesting you mention Pournelle. The discussion of replicants here, and how it’s unrealistic that they would be made to look indistinguishable from humans*, made me think of Pournelle and Niven’s Motie aliens. It’s not quite clear that they were replicants, exactly, but they had specialized castes for different work. For example, giant porters to carry stuff, warriors built for fighting, physicians with specialized hands, etc.

    As for why his books haven’t been made into movies, you could ask that of a lot of great sci-fi. Though Amazon apparently is going to make a series based on Niven’s Ring World (which I haven’t read yet, but bought the first book of recently).

    *An exception I mentioned above was the “pleasure models”, which you’d want to look human, but there’s no reason to give them super strength like they did with Daryl Hannah’s character. That’s just asking for trouble.

    • Replies: @Brutusale

    That's just asking for trouble.
     
    Indeed it is, which was the sort of thing that prompted Larry Niven to write the short essay Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_of_Steel,_Woman_of_Kleenex
  214. @Lurker

    although this doesn’t actually work as with no money to spend the slaves produce no demand and thus the economy is stagnant
     
    I'm probably an economic illiterate but this sounds like the fundamental flaw in the bright, shining automated future. We can't all be designers, inventors, DJs etc What happens to the other 95% of the population?

    Kim Stanley Robinson deals with that a bit in his Red Mars trilogy and 2312.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The more realistic and detailed the sci-fi novel, the harder it is to film. Philip K. Dick was kind of a sketchy penny-a-word writer, but he's good for movies because he had interesting ideas without great development of his ideas.
  215. @Lurker

    although this doesn’t actually work as with no money to spend the slaves produce no demand and thus the economy is stagnant
     
    I'm probably an economic illiterate but this sounds like the fundamental flaw in the bright, shining automated future. We can't all be designers, inventors, DJs etc What happens to the other 95% of the population?

    Almost 20% of the population already works for the government (either federal , state or city )….

  216. @Clyde

    I agree Hauer has a very formidable screen presence.
     
    Rutger Hauer was the star of Blade Runner. This guy knows how to put forth his presence. By way of comparison, Harrison Ford was a fill in, a coat holder, a clown, a substitute, an amateur thespian pretty face more suited for Indiana Jones with its- Target demographic: 12 year old boys.

    See The Hitcher (1987) with Mr. Hauer for some real menace.

    Hauer was blade runner. The full ending, the hunt, was fantastic. That being said 2049 was terrific. How anybody can think otherwise puzzles me. The soundtrack was great. Hardly terrible as others have said.

    • Replies: @Clyde
    Correct you are! And thanks.
  217. @Jim Don Bob
    Rutger Hauer wrote those lines himself. A great actor.

    yes, a one-off

  218. @Steve in Greensboro
    I am more interested in watching a “cartoon 1982 Sean Young” than any of the young actresses active today. The paltriness exemplified by Paltrow characterizes them all.

    When A Perfect Murder came out in 1998, a critic complained of Gwyneth’s Paltrowness, Viggo Mortensen’s paltryness, and Michael Douglas’s poultryness.

  219. @Lurker
    This annoyed me in the Star Wars prequels. The robot army - we see robot soldiers driving tanks. Why aren't the tanks just robots in their own right?

    Robot soldiers are cheap and tanks can be used without AIs by organics.

  220. @Lurker

    although this doesn’t actually work as with no money to spend the slaves produce no demand and thus the economy is stagnant
     
    I'm probably an economic illiterate but this sounds like the fundamental flaw in the bright, shining automated future. We can't all be designers, inventors, DJs etc What happens to the other 95% of the population?

    but this sounds like the fundamental flaw in the bright, shining automated future.

    it is – and not for the first time. it’s always been the flaw in industrial slavery imo

  221. @Jack D
    Ironically, in her day Kael was accused of being homophobic.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pauline_Kael#Accusations_of_homophobia

    Kael herself appears to have been heterosexual. Her review of Blade Runner does not appear to be "feminist" or "lesbian" in any way. Being lost and noticing the set needs dusting are traditional feminine concerns, not something a lesbian would notice or care about.

    Kael really really loved the movies that she loved (such as Unmarried Woman) and really really hated the movies that she did not like - she was a person of strong opinions. But it's hard to say that she was some kind of hard line feminist. She was a doctrinaire left wing bohemian but came of age before 2nd wave feminism had crystallized so that didn't form a big part of her ethos. If she was still around today she would surely be following the feminist party line but she was of an earlier age before this stuff had really entered even the left wing consensus. Remember that a lot of the '60s radical figures were so sexist that they make Harvey Weinstein look like a paragon of feminism by comparison.

    Ironically, in her day Kael was accused of being homophobic.

    FWIW, lots of feminists and lesbians are anti-gay. It’s no longer cool for them to admit it, but gay men reject women ipso facto and that sticks in their craw, even those who themselves have no interest in men.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    If you read the link, she was accused of being anti-lesbian AND gay.

    For example, regarding the lesbian-themed The Children's Hour, she writes, "I always thought this was why lesbians needed sympathy—that there isn't much they can do [in bed]."

    To me this indicates not so much homophobia as perhaps the innocence of a prior age before the pornification of America when it was actually possible for even a sophisticate like Kael to have only a vague understanding of the possible variations of lesbian sex.
  222. @Jack D

    keeping the plebs around in giant favelas fed on free soylent just so they can gloat from their towers
     
    How is this different from Chicago today?

    It’s not, that’s the point really – you don’t need to be prophetic at all now to see where things are going and only a little bit prophetic when the original was made,

    Adam Smith (iirc) said the minimum cost of labor is what was necessary for a man to support a family (i.e. reproduce the labor force) but what the Zuckerborg are doing in their city-states is making it impossible to afford to reproduce in the city (apart from the elites and the poorest) and instead getting people to reproduce outside and send their children to work in the city-state during their prime years and throw them out when they get old. This way the elites don’t have to pay for child care, old age, pensions etc.

    That’s the underlying logic behind replicants also – adult slaves (or workers) who don’t have an unproductive childhood or old age.

    The only question is if replicants would provide enough of a gloat factor?

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Historically, cities were always population sinks for the excess population from the countryside (due to mortality, not failure to reproduce). They were like the roach motel, where you check in but don't check out. You still see this in places like India where the poorest of the poor end up in cities picking thru trash dumps or something. There was a brief period starting in the late 19th century where they figured out public health measures so that city dwellers didn't die from plague, cholera, etc. So we are just going back to the historic norm.
  223. @Jack D
    Even if the odds of life forming on any one planet are miniscule, the universe is so vast with millions upon billions of planets that the chances that we are the only one are pretty small, I think. The chances of winning the Powerball are really small but God has printed lots and lots of tickets so we might have to share the jackpot. But this very vastness means that if there are space rats running around on some planet in the Andromeda galaxy (and this is only the CLOSEST galaxy) these rats are 2.5 million light years away from us, so even if we knew where to look and sent the space rat finding mission out tomorrow at the speed of light, we wouldn't hear back from them for another 5 million years. Even civilizations that are vastly more advanced than we are (probably) can't travel faster than the speed of light and probably consider 5 million year long missions to look for space rats to be not worth pursuing. (Now there could be other viable planets closer in our own galaxy but even these are way beyond our reach for now ). It's also possible that there are other planets with space rat equivalent life but that intelligent life capable of radio transmission let alone space travel is yet another level of magnitude more rare. Or else there are civilizations much higher than ours that have figured out that you really need to cloak your emissions so as not to attract unwanted visitors. Having Columbus show up was not exactly great news for native Americans.

    The search for intelligent life “out there” really makes no sense from the perspective of a biological life form. The signal latency is many orders of magnitude greater than one’s own lifetime. However, one could imagine that self-sustaining AI will supersede biological life in the not too distant future (assuming humans don’t self-destruct first—always a dangerous assumption). A million years down the line—just an eyeblink on the scale of the universe—humans will probably be wiped out, but AI by then could be operating on time scales into the billions of years.

    Leave to the SF writers what will happen to Earth in a million years, but this thought experiment suggests that if some other intelligent life reached the singularity appreciably earlier than us, what we would be visited by is not alien biological life, but rather the AI surviving the collapse of a long-forgotten biological civilization.

    And pushing a step further, why would AI be concerned with mere biological life? We are but ants to them. They could be on the lookout for other AI.

    • Replies: @Sean
    The most advanced alien technological civilisations may indeed hbe uninterested in us

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4562040/Aliens-haven-t-contact-HIBERNATING.html

    We hence suggest the "aestivation hypothesis": the reason we are not observing manifestations of alien civilizations is that they are currently (mostly) inactive, patiently waiting for future cosmic eras.'
    The level of background radiation of the universe is currently three degrees Kelvin above zero, which could be intolerably hot for machine-based life, the scientists said.
    As the universe expands and stars die out over the course of millions of years, it's likely that the temperature will drop back to absolute zero.
     

     
    OK yeah, that explains why some of the life forms (ie the super advanced IA) are not about at present, but consider the following

    ... researchers argue that the universe may be a ‘cosmic zoo’ of plant and animal life with functions similar to those seen on our planet – though with the possibility of different anatomy and chemistry. In the study, they examined the key innovations that drove the development of life on Earth. This includes the transition from single cell life to multicellular life, the rise of photosynthesis, the evolution of macroscopic beings, and the rise of intelligent life.
    The team determined that these innovations were ‘invented’ several times, originating independently at different points of histor
    y.
    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4562040/Aliens-haven-t-contact-HIBERNATING.html#ixzz4v2Lj4hHJ
     
    G, Cochran made a similar point in his post "The Great Filter"". It is important because now the assumption must be that it's a bloody great zoo of life forms out there, and with myriad biological life forms regularly getting to our technological point.Radio waves of a Hitler speech (the first transmission from our planet powerful enough to leave the atmosphere) are 70 light years away by now. Biological alien civilisations' should have been pumping out comparable ones for centuries r, even if the very first first alien civilisations in the Universe have already transitioned to super advanced IA life forms and gone to bed. I think it all indicates that getting that past this current point in technology is virtually impossible, I don't expect the elastic can be stretched much further.
  224. @Anonymous
    Boycott Hollywood. Show your pride in (what's left of) America.

    Hollywood does produce garbage to destroy the fabric of Western civilization.

  225. @jimbojones
    Watched it last night, it was good but not great. The original was better.
    Stylistically the movie delivers, but it suffers from overindulgence and nostalgia: 163 minutes are too much unless you are David Lean or James Cameron; Harrison Ford looks bored and lost; the "revolution" subplot is completely out of place; the villains are incoherent; the protagonist's conflict and resolution don't work well; and the sex scene was creepy.
    Speaking of which, the two female leads were both smoking hot.

    Overall 8/10, recommended; but not as good as the old one.

    When it comes to the “revolution” thing, at least there’s no jungle party like in Matrix 2, where the good swarthy real humans are pitted against the evil lily white non-humans and the director(esse)s impose a forced narrative om the audience so that we side with the “good guys”.

    BR is much more open-ended and its villains aren’t really archetypal villains
    There’s no reason to dislike Jared Leto’s character; after all, he saves humanity from extinction and all he does is kill a replicant, no humans harmed.

    Perhaps K’s story arc is deliberately played out this way, so there’s no moral value attached to it.

  226. biomechanics and longevity – heart with four year lifespan?

  227. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    2001 was the most overrated film in American history. Despite the common misconception, it was not deep but very shallow. 20001 is filled with imagery even those responsible couldn’t explain (i.e. the space baby)
     
    The star child is explained in the novel Clarke wrote at the same time he was writing the script with Kubrick. Read the novel and then watch the movie again.

    Briefly:

    The monolith that appears at the beginning of the movie spurred the evolution of proto-humans into humans.

    The same aliens who placed the monolith on earth buried one on the moon at the same time. That one was designed to be a trip wire to let them know if and when the species they were tinkering with on earth made it off the planet. It was excavated during the two week-long lunar night, and when the sun hit it, it triggered it to launch a radio signal toward another monolith orbiting Jupiter.

    That prompted the expedition to Jupiter.

    The monolith orbiting Jupiter was a star gate (and relay station for the radio signal from the monolith on the moon). David Bowman takes his probe into it and ends up in a room created for him by the aliens on their world. The monolith that appears there spurs the next step in human evolution, turning him into the star child.

    Clarke continues Bowman/Star Child's story in sequels to 2001.

    Thanks, you make it all sound so simple. I did read the novel way back when, but having seen the film again more recently I’d forgotten that it all makes sense, sorta.

    An aside about Kubrick: say what you will about the man, but he careened (wildly!) from one genre to another throughout his career and mastered most or all of them on his first try. I can’t think of another director of whom that’s true.

    Having said that, he really should have died before his last film, which is one of the worst embarrassments from any great director ever.

  228. I think I’m going to reserve final judgement for a second watching of the film, because my opinion of the original has changed drastically (for the better) with re-watching. But for now:

    On the whole, I thought it was a pretty decent sequel to Scott’s 1982 magnum opus. Not as good as I was hoping for, not as bad as I was afraid it would be. Arguably the most notable feature of the original was the dystopian visual aesthetic it pioneered, and I think BR2049 does a fine job recreating that. The score was also commendably similar to that of the original, and I think the acting was generally pretty good. The plot is sort of underwhelming, though, which made me like it a lot less than I could have.

  229. Anon • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Anon
    "2001 was deep, and remains the greatest sci-fi film ever."

    2001 was the most overrated film in American history. Despite the common misconception, it was not deep but very shallow. 20001 is filled with imagery even those responsible couldn't explain (i.e. the space baby); in other words, the movie was peppered with random images to make it look high minded when, in fact, there was no deeper meaning to any of it. 2001 was widely considered a failure upon it's release and not much more than a special effects demo reel by Kubrick. It was later reevaluated when some people realized they could look smart by trying to explain the mystifying images and confusing narrative as something profound when, in reality, it was just a poorly written movie.

    2001 was the most overrated film in American history. Despite the common misconception, it was not deep but very shallow.

    You are a dammy, but then, so is the guy who called it deep. And Sarris missed the point when he called the stargate scene ‘instant Bergman’.

    2001 is neither deep nor shallow. Tarkovsky went for depth with SOLARIS(not very successful) and STALKER(successful).

    Kubrick wasn’t going for depth but reach. He was trying to stretch imagination to what might be of space travel and the next dimension. 2001 may not be deep but it is a leap, and surely the single greatest leap in cinematic vision and expression. I mean there was NOTHING like that before, not even close.

    Most other great leaps in cinema were anticipated by earlier notable works. This even goes for the remarkable CITIZEN KANE and SEVEN SAMURAI. But when people watched 2001 for the first time, either their jaws dropped or they were so overwhelmed that they played cool and played aloof.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Yup, I saw "2001" at the Cinerama Dome in 1968, and I can't think of anything terribly like it before.

    Here's a question: "2001" used an enormous amount of lens flare as an intentionally eerie effect. That must have been done before, right? I imagine it was, but I'm stumped thinking of it.

    Similarly, how much of 1982 "Blade Runner" was new?

    , @Chrisnonymous
    Most true comment on this post.
  230. @anonymous
    Middle aged vet . . . said: re Pale Fire and Philip Dick: After a few years at Cornell, Nabokov realized he was not making many friends. He was not proud of that, far from it. SPOILER ALERT: He was inspired to write a novel about a guy like himself (Botkin in the novel, who gets two lines at most), an exiled professor of Russian, and just about the only person he made friends with on campus - A Frost/Winters type genius poet, who had a daughter who was also a genius (There are only 3 geniuses in the novel, and Kinbote is not one). He imagines the best friend on campus being shot to death, as his father was. Then he imagined how he, as Botkin, would honor his friend: write a poem for him (and ascribe the poem, not written by him, to him). The poem included lots of passive aggressive jibes at his friend: for example, criticisms of his friend's uxoriousness, which left his daughter the genius feeling left out of the enchanted circle of love (between, sadly, two elderly parents - sad! unfriendly and sad!), and criticisms of his friend Shade for his lack of interest in the Communist-inspired tragedy of the Slavic lands (there are many poignant moments where the comfortable poet Shade simply does not understand what happened in the Russian Revolution). Botkin makes it clear, through the lines, that he understood and cared for Shade's daughter more than Shade was capable of doing (this is a self-aware tactic on Nabokov's part, criticizing the Aspergerian coldness in his own heart - a coldness which, with effort, he successfully surmounted in his own life with respect to his own happy and beloved son, Dmitri - but Shade failed). But, in the end, despite the tricky passive-agressiveness, the poem is a tribute to the genuine goodness of Shade and to the lovable nature of Shade's daughter, and to the necessity we all feel for friendship and bravery on the part of our friends (even Botkin's ridiculous double, Kinbote, literally takes a bullet trying to save Shade, just as Nabokov's father took a bullet for a friend who was shot at by evil conspiracists). As for Nabokov himself, he foolishly, while a guest in a country that had been kind enough to take him in as a double refugee (from Communists and National Socialists), wrote pornographic passages into several of his popular novels - not an act of gratitude, to be clear, in a country that had hitherto been fairly free of the scourge of wide-spread pornography - but in the long run he did criticize cruel people and manipulative people to the best of his ability. So there's that. Paragraph for paragraph, there are lots better novelists (try reading the original Carmen by Merimee, or Sylvie or Bovary from the same generation), but he had many amusing observations along the way. Philip Dick, similarly, lived a life limited in that sad Aspergerian mode, but tried, every once in a while, to say the right thing.

    It reminds me a little of how Garrison Keillor supposedly came up with his Lake Woebegone world (not that Keillor is in Nabokov’s league). Apparently Keillor was a college boy who rented a place in a small Minnesota town where he was a stranger. He is kind of shy (and strange and miserable) in real life and the town was small and closed in, with the result that he didn’t actually get to know or speak to anyone beyond the most cursory exchanges . So he freely imagined a whole inner life for the people he saw around town because in reality he didn’t know a damn thing about them. Or so I have heard.

  231. Good review. Agree with basically all of what they said (except that movie is boring, I didn’t feel its length at all). I’ll hazard to say 2049 is better than the first. Since the film is direct with the audience about the nature of its protagonist, we actually care about him and find his arc interesting. K learns to value himself (film’s thesis distilled: is the dog real? I don’t know, ask him). In the first film, Deckard’s story was boring. I had no connection to him. His relationship with Rachael just seemed like lust rather than anything meaningful or philosophically profound. His whole feeling towards replicants seemed a bit too subtle to detect, which made for a crappy character arc. Batty was the one who was actually interesting with his whole Lucifer questioning God shtick. 2049 fixes the problems of the first by having the protagonist be a mix of both Deckard and Batty. We get the cool detective story and a protagonist with an interesting character arc. And its a character arc that more openly explores the themes of what it is to be human. It’s less opaque and I for one think that it’s better for it. The original superficially seems deep but I think that’s more of an artifact of it being incoherent in what it was trying to say. Scott seemed more interested in building the world than the story he was trying to tell in it. 2049 takes that awesome setting and perfects the story aspect.

  232. @Anon
    2001 was the most overrated film in American history. Despite the common misconception, it was not deep but very shallow.

    You are a dammy, but then, so is the guy who called it deep. And Sarris missed the point when he called the stargate scene 'instant Bergman'.

    2001 is neither deep nor shallow. Tarkovsky went for depth with SOLARIS(not very successful) and STALKER(successful).

    Kubrick wasn't going for depth but reach. He was trying to stretch imagination to what might be of space travel and the next dimension. 2001 may not be deep but it is a leap, and surely the single greatest leap in cinematic vision and expression. I mean there was NOTHING like that before, not even close.

    Most other great leaps in cinema were anticipated by earlier notable works. This even goes for the remarkable CITIZEN KANE and SEVEN SAMURAI. But when people watched 2001 for the first time, either their jaws dropped or they were so overwhelmed that they played cool and played aloof.

    Yup, I saw “2001” at the Cinerama Dome in 1968, and I can’t think of anything terribly like it before.

    Here’s a question: “2001” used an enormous amount of lens flare as an intentionally eerie effect. That must have been done before, right? I imagine it was, but I’m stumped thinking of it.

    Similarly, how much of 1982 “Blade Runner” was new?

    • Replies: @Anon
    Similarly, how much of 1982 “Blade Runner” was new?

    I think the genius of BLADE RUNNER was the opposite of 2001. It was 'back to the future'. It is Retro, a kind of thought-experiment of what might a noir-sci-fi been like if made in the 40s or 50 with 80s special effects and no censorship.

    2001 isn't without anxiety about technology -- HAL goes nuts -- , but it is overall an optimistic vision of the future where technology allows man to conquer space and do amazing things.
    BLADE RUNNER is utterly pessimistic about the future, but then, I don't think Scott or Fancher were trying to be prophetic or satirical like Huxley or Orwell. They riffed on Philip K. Dick's idea and thought it's be cool and far out to make a noir-ish science fiction film. (It was also a way to cut down cost since darkness hides whatever is underproduced in terms of sets.)

    So, if there was something 'new' about BLADE RUNNER, it was the way it recycled classic Hollywood genres to imagine a kind of post-modern future where styles are tirelessly recycled and refashioned. And it turned out to be inadvertently prophetic because we now hear culture critics say that there's very little innovation in arts and entertainment. Rather, it's the same thing repackaged differently. And since internet birthed a million subcultures, there's just about everything on sale.

    I think a year before BLADE RUNNER, there was a similar attempt to fuse sci-fi with classic genre with the Sean Connery film OUTHOUSE. It was like HIGH NOON out in space. TERMINATOR and BACK TO THE FUTURE decided to mess with time literally. In the Cameron movie, the future comes to the present, and in the Zemeckis movie, the present goes to the past. All very pomo.
    , @anonitron1
    William Gibson was famously disturbed by Blade Runner when he saw it while working on Neuromancer because he felt it anticipated so much of what he was writing, so I imagine a lot of it was pretty cutting edge.

    As for the new one, I saw it last night and didn't know what to think of it. I like it more and more as I have time to consider it, however. If nothing else, the video and sound design are incredible (also, I am a genuine Gosling fan).

    I know you've read Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson, but I don't know if you've read Neuromancer, which was his primary inspiration (other than Philip K. Dick).

    , @Anon
    Yup, I saw “2001″ at the Cinerama Dome in 1968, and I can’t think of anything terribly like it before.

    The only sci-fi film prior to 2001 that was as original and brilliant is LA JETEE. If Kubrick went with 'more is more', Marker's film is a prime example of 'less is more'. Kael called it the greatest sci-fi film. It has a purity... like NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD.

    http://www.thecinematheque.ca/emissary-into-time-and-memory-a-tribute-to-chris-marker/la-jetee

    2001 surely changed Lucas who then changed the world, for better or worse.

    Lucas explored and expanded on both sides of 2001: sci-fi as art and sci-fi as effects-driven extravaganza. THX 1138 was an experiment in the artistic vein, and STAR WARS added a million horsepower to the spaceships in 2001.

    Btw, if any film prior anticipated 2001, it was a non-scifi work that nevertheless seemed life suburbia as futurist paradistopia. THE GRADUATE. The way it begins in an airplane. Esp the audio voice-over gives it a sci-fi feel. And this world is so efficient and affluent that people are like automatons and robots surrounded by plastics. And Ben in the scuba reminds me of Bowman in the space suit.

    https://youtu.be/gjtoi6Z4lAg?t=20s

    https://youtu.be/fF7Hh8jQftw?t=1m9s

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgkyrW2NiwM
    , @guest
    Blade Runner is known for launching the "cyberpunk" genre in film. It already existed in print. I'm not sure where the line is drawn between cyberpunk and New Wave science fiction containing punkish crappy-future settings and computer stuff. Obviously, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep would have a claim if we widen the parameters. As would works by people like Harlan Ellison.

    There's a case to be made for 1981's Escape from New York as beating Blade Runner to the cyberpunk punch. But Escape lacks the consumerism aspect.

  233. @Anon

    Ironically, in her day Kael was accused of being homophobic.
     
    FWIW, lots of feminists and lesbians are anti-gay. It's no longer cool for them to admit it, but gay men reject women ipso facto and that sticks in their craw, even those who themselves have no interest in men.

    If you read the link, she was accused of being anti-lesbian AND gay.

    For example, regarding the lesbian-themed The Children’s Hour, she writes, “I always thought this was why lesbians needed sympathy—that there isn’t much they can do [in bed].”

    To me this indicates not so much homophobia as perhaps the innocence of a prior age before the pornification of America when it was actually possible for even a sophisticate like Kael to have only a vague understanding of the possible variations of lesbian sex.

  234. @Dave Pinsen
    Kim Stanley Robinson deals with that a bit in his Red Mars trilogy and 2312.
    https://twitter.com/dpinsen/status/855702361196691456

    The more realistic and detailed the sci-fi novel, the harder it is to film. Philip K. Dick was kind of a sketchy penny-a-word writer, but he’s good for movies because he had interesting ideas without great development of his ideas.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Coincidentally, Kim Stanley Robinson did his PhD thesis on Philip K. Dick. Apparently his Red Mars is going to be a TV series but that might be the first work of his adapted for film or TV, perhaps for the reason you suggest.
    , @Pupil
    I think that can be attributed to his massive drug use.
  235. Anon • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Pericles
    The Kael review was inadvertently funny. "We" are lost in an urban maze, apparently lacking any sense of direction. "We" think Tyrell's vast offices need a good dusting by some replicant servant. "We" are kind of bored with the scenic shots and at least want something 'perversely sexual' to happen. All in all, very womanly.

    The Kael review was inadvertently funny.

    I can understand where she was coming from. Many critics were put off by it at the time, and it’s an easy movie to dismiss on first viewing.

    In terms of story, pacing, characterization, and etc. things are fragmented, confused, haphazard, or overstretched. And nothing much happens in the movie. We see Deckard kill time and then kill a replicant, mostly by luck or accident. Then kill some more time before there’s another burst of violence. It’s a very slow-moving film, and Ford looks clueless and lost. Sean Young is more a ghost than a character. It’s very dark and moody.
    Basically, the story is this blade runner is hired to kill replicants, and boy, he takes his time. And there isn’t much else to the story. Entire movie is about this supposed ace killer barely surviving as he guns down 3 robots.
    And the motion is mostly vertical than horizontal, which makes it feel very cramped. And even the sky feels weighed with pollution and giant blimps flying around. Also, some of the characters are enigmatic, even cryptic. Roy Batty seems like an ascetic than a killer. Tyrell is supposed to be a businessman but he’s like some hermetic monk-as-god. In terms of feel, BLADE RUNNER drifts like the last 1/2 of APOCALYPSE NOW where we wonder how long it’s gonna take before Willard finally makes it to Kurtzville to carry out his mission. BLADE RUNNER has a very passive hero, and it feels like he waits around for things to happen to him than vice versa. He’s a mouse hunting for cats, and usually the cats pounce on him out of nowhere. The film was so slow-paced and Ford was so laidback that they decided to add voice-over narration to keep the audience alert to what’s going on.

    But it is in subsequent viewings that people realized that the mood, ambiance, and the visionary elements are the film’s main ‘characters’. Also, activity matters less in the film than mentality. In the first viewing, audience focused on what is happening, what the character are doing. And not much happens with Sean Young, for example. But in subsequent screenings, viewers became more attentive to her mental states, most brilliantly and hauntingly manifested in the scenes where she discovers her true identity and where she transforms into an angel before the piano.

    I think even lots of fans of the movie didn’t get its greatness on first viewing.

    It is one of those miracles. Some directors have the genius to take charge and produce one powerful visionary work after another. Think of Welles and Kubrick esp. Scott is a narrowly talented director, and even his strengths can be wasted if indulged the wrong way. Consider the ‘botcheries’ of LEGEND and 1492. So, in order for Scott to do something great, the right people and ideas have to intersect at the right time and place, and it happened with BLADE RUNNER. Scott made some other good movies but nothing even comes close. And he made lots of total stinkers.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Kael also had a point about the lack of urgency given that the replicants (with the exception of Rachel) were going to die in a few years anyway.
    , @Pericles
    If memory serves, Rutger Hauer claimed that he (Roy Batty) is the actual hero/main character of Blade Runner. I can see where he's coming from. Batty is proactive, larger than life, though also cold, cruel and increasingly and despairingly mad. Deckard is the viewpoint character, but his role is mainly that of Death, hesitantly taking the replicants struggling for more life, one by one. Except Batty dies on his own terms, at least.
  236. @notanon
    It's not, that's the point really - you don't need to be prophetic at all now to see where things are going and only a little bit prophetic when the original was made,

    Adam Smith (iirc) said the minimum cost of labor is what was necessary for a man to support a family (i.e. reproduce the labor force) but what the Zuckerborg are doing in their city-states is making it impossible to afford to reproduce in the city (apart from the elites and the poorest) and instead getting people to reproduce outside and send their children to work in the city-state during their prime years and throw them out when they get old. This way the elites don't have to pay for child care, old age, pensions etc.

    That's the underlying logic behind replicants also - adult slaves (or workers) who don't have an unproductive childhood or old age.

    The only question is if replicants would provide enough of a gloat factor?

    Historically, cities were always population sinks for the excess population from the countryside (due to mortality, not failure to reproduce). They were like the roach motel, where you check in but don’t check out. You still see this in places like India where the poorest of the poor end up in cities picking thru trash dumps or something. There was a brief period starting in the late 19th century where they figured out public health measures so that city dwellers didn’t die from plague, cholera, etc. So we are just going back to the historic norm.

    • Replies: @notanon
    nope

    1) urban worker families with a high mortality rate

    vs

    2) urban workers with no childhood or old age

  237. Anon • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Jack D
    There are not many sci-fi films that don't require suspension of disbelief (some more than others). Nor are there many movies in general that don't have plot holes big enough to drive a truck through or which don't depend on some unlikely premise(s) in order to thinly patch over those holes. The most important thing in a movie is whether it creates a convincing and immersive world while you are watching the film. It makes no difference if later on in the cold light of day it all falls apart if it grabs you while you are in the theater. Part of movie magic is just that it can make you overlook those things - the more it makes you believe in this unbelievable world, the better the movie is. If OTOH you are looking at your watch and don't give a damn about what happens to the characters while you are still in your seat, it's a big fail even if the movie is plotted perfectly and is 100% believable.

    There are not many sci-fi films that don’t require suspension of disbelief (some more than others).

    Also, we gotta keep in mind that the future world in BLADE RUNNER is semi-idiocratic.

    It still has super-genius titans like Tyrell at the top, but it appears there is no middle class in this LA. It’s the super-rich and their servant-geeks and everyone else. It seems anyone who is anyone in the middle class or upper-middle class all left for outworld colony. What is left are the kings and the dregs of society. So, there’s bound to much incompetence all around.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Are the outworld colonies a nice place to live or is it a sinister grift like in "To Serve Man"?

    Roy Batty is the leader of an offworld replicant combat team: whom do they combat? Aliens? Rebellious replicants?

  238. @Dave Pinsen

    2001 was the most overrated film in American history. Despite the common misconception, it was not deep but very shallow. 20001 is filled with imagery even those responsible couldn’t explain (i.e. the space baby)
     
    The star child is explained in the novel Clarke wrote at the same time he was writing the script with Kubrick. Read the novel and then watch the movie again.

    Briefly:

    The monolith that appears at the beginning of the movie spurred the evolution of proto-humans into humans.

    The same aliens who placed the monolith on earth buried one on the moon at the same time. That one was designed to be a trip wire to let them know if and when the species they were tinkering with on earth made it off the planet. It was excavated during the two week-long lunar night, and when the sun hit it, it triggered it to launch a radio signal toward another monolith orbiting Jupiter.

    That prompted the expedition to Jupiter.

    The monolith orbiting Jupiter was a star gate (and relay station for the radio signal from the monolith on the moon). David Bowman takes his probe into it and ends up in a room created for him by the aliens on their world. The monolith that appears there spurs the next step in human evolution, turning him into the star child.

    Clarke continues Bowman/Star Child's story in sequels to 2001.

    I just never got what the star baby meant thematically. Like, I get the in-universe point of what was happening, but what exactly is said plot contrivance trying to say? The beginning of the movie, from the apes to Bowman v Hal, seems like a nifty and coherent story about mankind’s relationship with his tools and what they mean regarding his dominance of the world. After that, its like an acid trip tacked on for no reason. What exactly is trying to be said with the star baby? That man in space is but an infant again? Is it even supposed to have some sort of symbolism?

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    At the end of the novel 2001, the suggestion is that the Star Child is going to somehow transform humanity on earth, but in the sequel 2010, he's basically an emissary between the aliens and the next group of astronauts. And in the last book, IIRC, he has merged with the ghost of HAL and turns against the aliens when they decide to whipe out humanity.
  239. @Pat Boyle
    Recently Jerry Pournelle died. He was a contentious guy who had several people criticize him and his politics. OK if you didn't like his politics - so be it. But that aside - almost everyone will have to admit he was a mighty force in the Science Fiction movement. Most people in the movement read his novels and columns and even those few who didn't, they knew who he was.

    But none of his stories made it into the movies. Why was that?

    Let me preface the discussion with the topic of this thread. Would Jerry Pournelle have written - or even been able to write the original Blade Runner screenplay?

    Jerry wrote mostly "hard" Science Fiction. This means that you are constrained by the accepted laws of nature. It means you cannot get out of a tight spot by just saying you escape into the forth dimension. Would you as Jerry would be sympathetic with the ethos of the "Blade Runner" movie. Would he have been happy with the Blade Runner weltanschung.

    I don't think so. Jerry had a lot of bloodshed but he had mostly happy endings. The movie si depressing. His girl is a replicant and he may be one too. Bummer.

    But none of [Jerry Pournelle’s] stories made it into the movies.

    James Cameron bought an option on Niven and Pournelle’s (I believe) alien invasion book “Footfall.” The authors spent a week going over their book with Cameron and were extremely impressed with Cameron as a close reader: an ideal fan.

    But a bunch of other vaguely similar theme movies got made in the 1990s and Cameron got into making “Titanic” instead.

    I believe Pournelle’s “Janissaries” has had a screenplay written for it a few years ago by a husband-wife screenwriting team with a good track record.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    In Hollywood, after all is said and done, more is said than done.
    , @Pat Boyle
    You write this reply as if it is some kind of refutation whereas it seems to prove my point. Niven and Pournelle were for many years the most successful SF writers - period. Niven contributed new ideas. Pournelle, I think, wrote the complex scenes when many things are happening at once. Many of Niven's ideas are no linger fresh because others have followed the paths he blazed. For years Hollywood ground out tired SF stories that mostly paid tribute to previous Hollywood films rather than explored new ideas and directions.

    If you wanted some good mind stimulating SF you had to buy a book not a movie ticket.

    Consider the recent big budget Hollywood SF film "Battle Los Angeles". I liked this movie (a little)but it was hard to get past stupidity of the plot premise. The aliens attack earth and the US Marines beat them off with small arms. These aliens give up all the advantages of being in orbit so they can come down to the surface where humans can shoot them.

    Compare that scenario with that of "Footfall". The invaded earthlings struggle through most of the novel trying to get into orbit where they can have some effect on the invaders. Niven and Pournelle themselves struggle with the whole notion of how could humans possibly beat an invasion by aliens so powerful that they could span interstellar space. This is a real problem that requires some creative plotting. But most Hollywood film just slide over such questions.

    Niven and Pournelle actually seemed to have sat down and wrestled with the implications of the worlds they were conjuring up. In Hollywood, their idea of an new SF film is one based on a previous film but with better special effects.
  240. @Steve Sailer
    But none of [Jerry Pournelle's] stories made it into the movies.

    James Cameron bought an option on Niven and Pournelle's (I believe) alien invasion book "Footfall." The authors spent a week going over their book with Cameron and were extremely impressed with Cameron as a close reader: an ideal fan.

    But a bunch of other vaguely similar theme movies got made in the 1990s and Cameron got into making "Titanic" instead.

    I believe Pournelle's "Janissaries" has had a screenplay written for it a few years ago by a husband-wife screenwriting team with a good track record.

    In Hollywood, after all is said and done, more is said than done.

  241. @Pat Boyle
    Recently Jerry Pournelle died. He was a contentious guy who had several people criticize him and his politics. OK if you didn't like his politics - so be it. But that aside - almost everyone will have to admit he was a mighty force in the Science Fiction movement. Most people in the movement read his novels and columns and even those few who didn't, they knew who he was.

    But none of his stories made it into the movies. Why was that?

    Let me preface the discussion with the topic of this thread. Would Jerry Pournelle have written - or even been able to write the original Blade Runner screenplay?

    Jerry wrote mostly "hard" Science Fiction. This means that you are constrained by the accepted laws of nature. It means you cannot get out of a tight spot by just saying you escape into the forth dimension. Would you as Jerry would be sympathetic with the ethos of the "Blade Runner" movie. Would he have been happy with the Blade Runner weltanschung.

    I don't think so. Jerry had a lot of bloodshed but he had mostly happy endings. The movie si depressing. His girl is a replicant and he may be one too. Bummer.

    American bohemianism for most of the 20th Century was anti-feminist. Prohibition was seen as the result of women’s suffrage, a trick played on America by women and Protestant ministers while the doughboys were busy in France.

  242. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon
    That was the only perspective from which Kael found it possible to write. Women and how they were depicted formed about 90% of her observations. Although she certainly looked like a lesbian, I don't know if she actually practiced that particular 'art'. But she always reserved her highest praise for directors who showed women in the most positive light possible, and men in the worst.

    See her worship of Paul Mazursky's "An Unmarried Woman" for example--she used it for many years later as an object lesson in how to portray women, and (perhaps inadvertently) gave rise to the current-day meme of how a director "doesn't understand women" if he portrays one as anything less than an all-conquering heroine. So in that sense, it could be said, she was ahead of her time.

    But she always reserved her highest praise for directors who showed women in the most positive light possible, and men in the worst.

    She loved Peckinpah who was accused of ‘misogyny’. And she loved Newman as Hud even though he was meant to be a negative character. She loved John Huston, a real manly director. And she praised MASH where a bunch of fratboy-like medics have a party and use women as whores. And what’s her fav movie ever? THE GODFATHER where men rule. And she loved THE LEOPARD about a reactionary patriarch. And boy, did she love Depalma who made movies where women are carved and slashed real good like a Halloween Pumpkin. She also loved LAST TANGO where Brando is the most sympathetic character and talks shit about women and treats them hardly better. Kael was not an ideological gender-thinker. She liked what made her feel good and excited.

    See her worship of Paul Mazursky’s “An Unmarried Woman”

    It’s probably Mazursky’s best film, and I think she liked it because it was a raw honest look at problems of a modern woman without excessive sugar and cream. Jill Clayburgh in the film is far from perfect. She’s not Mary Tyler Moore. She is confused and makes a mess of her life as she tries regain balance. And even though everyone has deep flaws in the film, the Alan Bates character still comes across mostly strongly. Looking back, UNMARRIED WOMAN seems truer and more heartfelt than the self-flattery of NY neuroticism by Woody Allen, esp in ANNIE HALL and MANHATTAN, which have their moments but now ring utterly false.
    UNMARRIED WOMAN blended the vitality of Cassavetes and the schmaltz of Women’s movies. What Kael liked most was a fusion of personalism and populism. UNMARRIED WOMAN had both and it was one of the last truly ‘auteur’ films of the 70s.

  243. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Yup, I saw "2001" at the Cinerama Dome in 1968, and I can't think of anything terribly like it before.

    Here's a question: "2001" used an enormous amount of lens flare as an intentionally eerie effect. That must have been done before, right? I imagine it was, but I'm stumped thinking of it.

    Similarly, how much of 1982 "Blade Runner" was new?

    Similarly, how much of 1982 “Blade Runner” was new?

    I think the genius of BLADE RUNNER was the opposite of 2001. It was ‘back to the future’. It is Retro, a kind of thought-experiment of what might a noir-sci-fi been like if made in the 40s or 50 with 80s special effects and no censorship.

    2001 isn’t without anxiety about technology — HAL goes nuts — , but it is overall an optimistic vision of the future where technology allows man to conquer space and do amazing things.
    BLADE RUNNER is utterly pessimistic about the future, but then, I don’t think Scott or Fancher were trying to be prophetic or satirical like Huxley or Orwell. They riffed on Philip K. Dick’s idea and thought it’s be cool and far out to make a noir-ish science fiction film. (It was also a way to cut down cost since darkness hides whatever is underproduced in terms of sets.)

    So, if there was something ‘new’ about BLADE RUNNER, it was the way it recycled classic Hollywood genres to imagine a kind of post-modern future where styles are tirelessly recycled and refashioned. And it turned out to be inadvertently prophetic because we now hear culture critics say that there’s very little innovation in arts and entertainment. Rather, it’s the same thing repackaged differently. And since internet birthed a million subcultures, there’s just about everything on sale.

    I think a year before BLADE RUNNER, there was a similar attempt to fuse sci-fi with classic genre with the Sean Connery film OUTHOUSE. It was like HIGH NOON out in space. TERMINATOR and BACK TO THE FUTURE decided to mess with time literally. In the Cameron movie, the future comes to the present, and in the Zemeckis movie, the present goes to the past. All very pomo.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Outland, not Outhouse.
    , @guest
    I see your point about postmodernism, though I don't think that's why anyone but hipster cultural critics like it. Regular people are always talking about what's "new," but they don't really care what's actually new, because frankly newness in itself isn't interesting, once it wears off. And there's nothing to postmodernism, so there's not much interest in Blade Runner being an early film example of it, in my opinion.

    Same way the newness of Pulp Fiction, for instance, is deadeningly boring at this point. Oh, his gangsters talk like regular-old Tarantinos. Wow, the chronology is messed up. Who cares?

    And by the way, Terminator and Back to the Future are pretty straightforward stories. Not postmodern at all, in my opinion. They mess with time because they're time travel stories. That was a well-established, mainstream idea by 1984.

    The Grandfather Paradox as depicted in Back to the Future wasn't supposed to mess with your perception of reality like in the Heinlein story By His Bootstraps. It was just a plot device. The Causal Loop in Terminator with John Conner's dad being born after him was supposed to be a bit trippy, I think, but really it was to strengthen the love story.
    , @guest
    I should add, the Newness was not to be found in updating the genre. That had been done before. Not in a sci-fi, crappy future, "more human than human" fashion. But did you ever see the Robert Altman hippy version of Long Goodbye with a mumbly Elliot Gould? Hollywood was fond of updating and mixing genres long before Blade Runner.
    , @Steve Sailer
    Retro had been a big theme in the LA music scene in about 1979-1982: the backlash against progressive music had pushed a lot of roots rock bands like X and the Blasters into local prominence. Surprisingly, even grown-ups in the LA culture world paid attention: for example, in cop novelist Joseph Wambaugh's 1982 book, all the younger cops are into X.
  244. @Steve Sailer
    Yup, I saw "2001" at the Cinerama Dome in 1968, and I can't think of anything terribly like it before.

    Here's a question: "2001" used an enormous amount of lens flare as an intentionally eerie effect. That must have been done before, right? I imagine it was, but I'm stumped thinking of it.

    Similarly, how much of 1982 "Blade Runner" was new?

    William Gibson was famously disturbed by Blade Runner when he saw it while working on Neuromancer because he felt it anticipated so much of what he was writing, so I imagine a lot of it was pretty cutting edge.

    As for the new one, I saw it last night and didn’t know what to think of it. I like it more and more as I have time to consider it, however. If nothing else, the video and sound design are incredible (also, I am a genuine Gosling fan).

    I know you’ve read Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson, but I don’t know if you’ve read Neuromancer, which was his primary inspiration (other than Philip K. Dick).

    • Replies: @AKAHorace
    Snow crash predicts a Blade Runner like future and says "Cool !!!!".
    , @Anon
    William Gibson was famously disturbed by Blade Runner when he saw it while working on Neuromancer because he felt it anticipated so much of what he was writing, so I imagine a lot of it was pretty cutting edge

    Never read Gibson but one of the characters of Bubblegum Crisis is named JB Gibson possibly as an homage to him.

    http://robkelk.ottawa-anime.org/bgc/original.html

    J.B. Gibson from Revenge Road could have been named after one of two people or possibly both. It could either be a homage to Willaim Gibson, the founding father of Cyberpunk science fiction or actor Mel Gibson the orginal "Road Warrior". The plot of Revenge Road makes it seem like the name is a homage to Mel (Road Warrior) Gibson. However many people consider BGC to be a cyberpunk anime which means that it is also likely that J.B. Gibson could be a homage to the writer William Gibson, who wrote the Cyberpunk classic Neuromancer.

    Bubblegum Crisis drew inspiration from many works but its primary model is Blade runner. It is surely the best thing to emerge from the Blade Runner brainstorm. Not surprising since BR was a hit in Japan. Japanese like artifice and may have appreciated the nifty idea of moving to the sci-fi future to turn back to the noir past. It was like simultaneously moving forward and backward.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8LmgZEWbAE

    Looks like 2049 is tanking.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2017/10/08/10-reasons-blade-runner-2049-was-doomed-at-the-u-s-box-office/#5d0ec3c424fb

    TOMORROWLAND tanked too, which is sad. That was a remarkable blend of sci-fi futurism, retro-optimism, comedy, action, etc.
  245. @Anon
    There are not many sci-fi films that don’t require suspension of disbelief (some more than others).

    Also, we gotta keep in mind that the future world in BLADE RUNNER is semi-idiocratic.

    It still has super-genius titans like Tyrell at the top, but it appears there is no middle class in this LA. It's the super-rich and their servant-geeks and everyone else. It seems anyone who is anyone in the middle class or upper-middle class all left for outworld colony. What is left are the kings and the dregs of society. So, there's bound to much incompetence all around.

    Are the outworld colonies a nice place to live or is it a sinister grift like in “To Serve Man”?

    Roy Batty is the leader of an offworld replicant combat team: whom do they combat? Aliens? Rebellious replicants?

    • Replies: @Senator Brundlefly
    Well, there's occasional CCCP ads, maybe the Cold War continues in space? Corporations duking it out? Warner Bros released three shorts to expand the world and promote the film, one of which depicts a battle where both sides are portrayed as Nexus androids (this short also explains the source of the blackout mentioned in 2049):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrZk9sSgRyQ

    From that you can glean that it isn't aliens at least. "Toy soldiers" comment also makes it sound like the warring parties are human entities.
  246. @Steve Sailer
    The more realistic and detailed the sci-fi novel, the harder it is to film. Philip K. Dick was kind of a sketchy penny-a-word writer, but he's good for movies because he had interesting ideas without great development of his ideas.

    Coincidentally, Kim Stanley Robinson did his PhD thesis on Philip K. Dick. Apparently his Red Mars is going to be a TV series but that might be the first work of his adapted for film or TV, perhaps for the reason you suggest.

  247. @Anon
    The Kael review was inadvertently funny.

    I can understand where she was coming from. Many critics were put off by it at the time, and it's an easy movie to dismiss on first viewing.

    In terms of story, pacing, characterization, and etc. things are fragmented, confused, haphazard, or overstretched. And nothing much happens in the movie. We see Deckard kill time and then kill a replicant, mostly by luck or accident. Then kill some more time before there's another burst of violence. It's a very slow-moving film, and Ford looks clueless and lost. Sean Young is more a ghost than a character. It's very dark and moody.
    Basically, the story is this blade runner is hired to kill replicants, and boy, he takes his time. And there isn't much else to the story. Entire movie is about this supposed ace killer barely surviving as he guns down 3 robots.
    And the motion is mostly vertical than horizontal, which makes it feel very cramped. And even the sky feels weighed with pollution and giant blimps flying around. Also, some of the characters are enigmatic, even cryptic. Roy Batty seems like an ascetic than a killer. Tyrell is supposed to be a businessman but he's like some hermetic monk-as-god. In terms of feel, BLADE RUNNER drifts like the last 1/2 of APOCALYPSE NOW where we wonder how long it's gonna take before Willard finally makes it to Kurtzville to carry out his mission. BLADE RUNNER has a very passive hero, and it feels like he waits around for things to happen to him than vice versa. He's a mouse hunting for cats, and usually the cats pounce on him out of nowhere. The film was so slow-paced and Ford was so laidback that they decided to add voice-over narration to keep the audience alert to what's going on.

    But it is in subsequent viewings that people realized that the mood, ambiance, and the visionary elements are the film's main 'characters'. Also, activity matters less in the film than mentality. In the first viewing, audience focused on what is happening, what the character are doing. And not much happens with Sean Young, for example. But in subsequent screenings, viewers became more attentive to her mental states, most brilliantly and hauntingly manifested in the scenes where she discovers her true identity and where she transforms into an angel before the piano.

    I think even lots of fans of the movie didn't get its greatness on first viewing.

    It is one of those miracles. Some directors have the genius to take charge and produce one powerful visionary work after another. Think of Welles and Kubrick esp. Scott is a narrowly talented director, and even his strengths can be wasted if indulged the wrong way. Consider the 'botcheries' of LEGEND and 1492. So, in order for Scott to do something great, the right people and ideas have to intersect at the right time and place, and it happened with BLADE RUNNER. Scott made some other good movies but nothing even comes close. And he made lots of total stinkers.

    Kael also had a point about the lack of urgency given that the replicants (with the exception of Rachel) were going to die in a few years anyway.

    • Replies: @guest
    The urgency comes from the replicants, who are desperate to find a way to live, or to die nobly.

    If you go by Harrison Ford's face (when he's not facing imminent danger), the lack of urgency from humanity's side was obvious. He didn't have Ryan Gosling's robotic expressions, but he had what they call a "flat affect." There was a pervasive feeling that nobody really cares about earth in the Blade Runner universe. That's probably why the replicants hid there. The cops send this one guy to investigate and assassinate, and he's not really all that into it.

    What makes the movie a tad loopy, yet fascinating--and probably why it was not a runaway success and had to wait for its mass audience--is that you have to leap in and not pay too close attention. If you allow yourself to by hypnotized, eventually you care. You're swept away by the plight of the soon-to-die, the shock of discovery of secret inhumanity, and the pathos of poor little frail ragdoll human Richard Deckard next to Blonde Beast Rutger Hauer. Then you cry with Rutger in the rain.

    It takes a while, is all. Blade Runner is a take it or leave it sci-fi gumshoe story for two acts, then gradually it becomes High Tragedy. Not the best way to tell a story, but the visuals, atmosphere, and music take care of you in the meantime.
  248. @Senator Brundlefly
    I just never got what the star baby meant thematically. Like, I get the in-universe point of what was happening, but what exactly is said plot contrivance trying to say? The beginning of the movie, from the apes to Bowman v Hal, seems like a nifty and coherent story about mankind's relationship with his tools and what they mean regarding his dominance of the world. After that, its like an acid trip tacked on for no reason. What exactly is trying to be said with the star baby? That man in space is but an infant again? Is it even supposed to have some sort of symbolism?

    At the end of the novel 2001, the suggestion is that the Star Child is going to somehow transform humanity on earth, but in the sequel 2010, he’s basically an emissary between the aliens and the next group of astronauts. And in the last book, IIRC, he has merged with the ghost of HAL and turns against the aliens when they decide to whipe out humanity.

    • Replies: @Senator Brundlefly
    That's an interesting part of the plot, but what, as a piece of art, it supposed to mean? What was Kubrick/Clarke trying to say? The rest of the movie seems to have some sort of symbolic/thematic goal in mind but I don't know what the hell a giant space fetus staring down at Earth with the intent of changing it is supposed to mean. That once our tools become powerful enough, it will take us to a place where we are faced with a new beginning? Space is as alien to us as the world is to a baby? That this journey will change us? Its just...weird surreal stuff that seems far too ambiguous. Films should be self contained. I shouldn't need to read its source material or a synopsis to understand its major plot points. And, to a certain extent, viewers shouldn't have to be the ones defining what it is trying to say and endow it with meaning.
  249. @Anon
    Similarly, how much of 1982 “Blade Runner” was new?

    I think the genius of BLADE RUNNER was the opposite of 2001. It was 'back to the future'. It is Retro, a kind of thought-experiment of what might a noir-sci-fi been like if made in the 40s or 50 with 80s special effects and no censorship.

    2001 isn't without anxiety about technology -- HAL goes nuts -- , but it is overall an optimistic vision of the future where technology allows man to conquer space and do amazing things.
    BLADE RUNNER is utterly pessimistic about the future, but then, I don't think Scott or Fancher were trying to be prophetic or satirical like Huxley or Orwell. They riffed on Philip K. Dick's idea and thought it's be cool and far out to make a noir-ish science fiction film. (It was also a way to cut down cost since darkness hides whatever is underproduced in terms of sets.)

    So, if there was something 'new' about BLADE RUNNER, it was the way it recycled classic Hollywood genres to imagine a kind of post-modern future where styles are tirelessly recycled and refashioned. And it turned out to be inadvertently prophetic because we now hear culture critics say that there's very little innovation in arts and entertainment. Rather, it's the same thing repackaged differently. And since internet birthed a million subcultures, there's just about everything on sale.

    I think a year before BLADE RUNNER, there was a similar attempt to fuse sci-fi with classic genre with the Sean Connery film OUTHOUSE. It was like HIGH NOON out in space. TERMINATOR and BACK TO THE FUTURE decided to mess with time literally. In the Cameron movie, the future comes to the present, and in the Zemeckis movie, the present goes to the past. All very pomo.

    Outland, not Outhouse.

  250. @Steve Sailer
    Are the outworld colonies a nice place to live or is it a sinister grift like in "To Serve Man"?

    Roy Batty is the leader of an offworld replicant combat team: whom do they combat? Aliens? Rebellious replicants?

    Well, there’s occasional CCCP ads, maybe the Cold War continues in space? Corporations duking it out? Warner Bros released three shorts to expand the world and promote the film, one of which depicts a battle where both sides are portrayed as Nexus androids (this short also explains the source of the blackout mentioned in 2049):

    From that you can glean that it isn’t aliens at least. “Toy soldiers” comment also makes it sound like the warring parties are human entities.

  251. @Dave Pinsen
    At the end of the novel 2001, the suggestion is that the Star Child is going to somehow transform humanity on earth, but in the sequel 2010, he's basically an emissary between the aliens and the next group of astronauts. And in the last book, IIRC, he has merged with the ghost of HAL and turns against the aliens when they decide to whipe out humanity.

    That’s an interesting part of the plot, but what, as a piece of art, it supposed to mean? What was Kubrick/Clarke trying to say? The rest of the movie seems to have some sort of symbolic/thematic goal in mind but I don’t know what the hell a giant space fetus staring down at Earth with the intent of changing it is supposed to mean. That once our tools become powerful enough, it will take us to a place where we are faced with a new beginning? Space is as alien to us as the world is to a baby? That this journey will change us? Its just…weird surreal stuff that seems far too ambiguous. Films should be self contained. I shouldn’t need to read its source material or a synopsis to understand its major plot points. And, to a certain extent, viewers shouldn’t have to be the ones defining what it is trying to say and endow it with meaning.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    I'm not sure you do read to need the novel to grok the main thrust of 2001, but you do have to watch it closely, and probably more than once.

    At the literal level, the end means that the aliens who sparked our evolution in the first place are sparking our next level of evolution.

    At the metaphorical level, one interpretation is, as you suggest, that our technological advancement threatens to infantilize us. This site makes that case: Kubrick 2001, though I think it gets a few things wrong:

    - The 1st monolith isn't just a metaphorical "challenge" but actually tweaks our evolution, per Clarke.

    - The astronauts do exhibit fear and awe in the face of the monolith on the moon -- Kubrick cues this with the otherworldly Ligeti music, the shot of the lead astronaut hesitating at the top of the ramp and looking over his shoulder to see if the others are coming, and the claustrophobic handheld camera work as we follow them down the ramp, etc. They do pose for a group photo in front of it though toward the end. Kubrick seems to modulate the wonder with banality in the sequences on the moon.

    - The broken wine glass at the end was an accident during filming that Kubrick kept in; it doesn't have a greater significance re: "transcending death".
    , @Anonymous
    You didn't consume enough pot to understand the deeper meanings, man.
  252. @Otsuka Duojinshi
    There are three versions of the original Blade Runner. For people completely unfamiliar with the oeuvre I recommend the 1982 with the voice-over that Ridley Scott hated being forced to put in the movie. Then, see the final final final director's cut 2007 version - can really be enjoyed at its atmospheric best. Without seeing the original all the references in 2049 will be lost to you.

    I saw 2049 Thursday as well and really felt that it was well done. Academy Award level work for cinematographer Roger Deakins - absolutely the finest and most breathtaking work of his career. Editing brilliant as well. Music - Vangelis lite. All in all an evening quite well spent.

    The music was good but too loud. At times it was a symphony fighting a film. Both were good, but the music was too loud and played in every piece. A bit of occasional silence would have made it a better film. For all that it was pretty good.

  253. @anonitron1
    William Gibson was famously disturbed by Blade Runner when he saw it while working on Neuromancer because he felt it anticipated so much of what he was writing, so I imagine a lot of it was pretty cutting edge.

    As for the new one, I saw it last night and didn't know what to think of it. I like it more and more as I have time to consider it, however. If nothing else, the video and sound design are incredible (also, I am a genuine Gosling fan).

    I know you've read Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson, but I don't know if you've read Neuromancer, which was his primary inspiration (other than Philip K. Dick).

    Snow crash predicts a Blade Runner like future and says “Cool !!!!“.

  254. @Jack D
    Historically, cities were always population sinks for the excess population from the countryside (due to mortality, not failure to reproduce). They were like the roach motel, where you check in but don't check out. You still see this in places like India where the poorest of the poor end up in cities picking thru trash dumps or something. There was a brief period starting in the late 19th century where they figured out public health measures so that city dwellers didn't die from plague, cholera, etc. So we are just going back to the historic norm.

    nope

    1) urban worker families with a high mortality rate

    vs

    2) urban workers with no childhood or old age

  255. I liked it, but…no doubt, it’s every single bit as audience-hostile as the original.

    Let me put it this way: It’s the best and most faithful unnecessary cash-grab sequel I’ve ever seen. Besides slightly more exposition, it makes zero concessions to current tastes and scrupulously preserves everything about the original, warts and all.

    It feels a bit like if J.J. Abrams made “The Force Awakens” with genuine 1977-era special effects and film equipment, with no digital tweaking. That’s not a comment about “2049’s” special effects, which are first-rate — it’s a comment about the tone and feel, which barely budge from the first movie.

  256. @Senator Brundlefly
    That's an interesting part of the plot, but what, as a piece of art, it supposed to mean? What was Kubrick/Clarke trying to say? The rest of the movie seems to have some sort of symbolic/thematic goal in mind but I don't know what the hell a giant space fetus staring down at Earth with the intent of changing it is supposed to mean. That once our tools become powerful enough, it will take us to a place where we are faced with a new beginning? Space is as alien to us as the world is to a baby? That this journey will change us? Its just...weird surreal stuff that seems far too ambiguous. Films should be self contained. I shouldn't need to read its source material or a synopsis to understand its major plot points. And, to a certain extent, viewers shouldn't have to be the ones defining what it is trying to say and endow it with meaning.

    I’m not sure you do read to need the novel to grok the main thrust of 2001, but you do have to watch it closely, and probably more than once.

    At the literal level, the end means that the aliens who sparked our evolution in the first place are sparking our next level of evolution.

    At the metaphorical level, one interpretation is, as you suggest, that our technological advancement threatens to infantilize us. This site makes that case: Kubrick 2001, though I think it gets a few things wrong:

    – The 1st monolith isn’t just a metaphorical “challenge” but actually tweaks our evolution, per Clarke.

    – The astronauts do exhibit fear and awe in the face of the monolith on the moon — Kubrick cues this with the otherworldly Ligeti music, the shot of the lead astronaut hesitating at the top of the ramp and looking over his shoulder to see if the others are coming, and the claustrophobic handheld camera work as we follow them down the ramp, etc. They do pose for a group photo in front of it though toward the end. Kubrick seems to modulate the wonder with banality in the sequences on the moon.

    – The broken wine glass at the end was an accident during filming that Kubrick kept in; it doesn’t have a greater significance re: “transcending death”.

  257. Minor, but one odd thing about the movie: it was released 35 years after the first one, but set 30 years after the first one. Why not set it 35 years later? Blade Runner 2054 was too reminiscent of Studio 54?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    it was released 35 years after the first one, but set 30 years after the first one. Why not set it 35 years later?

    Perhaps the actresses who played characters who might be the child of the original characters refused to be cast as over 30?

    You can see that in "Zero Dark Thirty." James Gandolfini, as the CIA director, mentions to Jessica Chastain that she has worked for the CIA for all 12 years since she got out of college and she replies: No, all 12 years since I got out of high school.

    It took Jessica Chastain a long time to become a leading lady and she doesn't want to get passed over for a role in the future just because a dumb line in a movie mentions her real age.
  258. @Dave Pinsen

    2001 was the most overrated film in American history. Despite the common misconception, it was not deep but very shallow. 20001 is filled with imagery even those responsible couldn’t explain (i.e. the space baby)
     
    The star child is explained in the novel Clarke wrote at the same time he was writing the script with Kubrick. Read the novel and then watch the movie again.

    Briefly:

    The monolith that appears at the beginning of the movie spurred the evolution of proto-humans into humans.

    The same aliens who placed the monolith on earth buried one on the moon at the same time. That one was designed to be a trip wire to let them know if and when the species they were tinkering with on earth made it off the planet. It was excavated during the two week-long lunar night, and when the sun hit it, it triggered it to launch a radio signal toward another monolith orbiting Jupiter.

    That prompted the expedition to Jupiter.

    The monolith orbiting Jupiter was a star gate (and relay station for the radio signal from the monolith on the moon). David Bowman takes his probe into it and ends up in a room created for him by the aliens on their world. The monolith that appears there spurs the next step in human evolution, turning him into the star child.

    Clarke continues Bowman/Star Child's story in sequels to 2001.

    As I recall, it then ends with the Star Child nuking Earth with the missiles thoughtfully left in orbit. Hinted in the movie, explicit in the 2001 book.

    Wikipedia tells me it was actually just the one missile, leaving some scope for the sequels, I guess. But that seems like a lawyerly cop out.

    The whole end sequence basically shows Bowman helplessly drawn into something vast, incomprehensible and, at best, uncaring. Then, on reaching his destination, he is without comment converted into something strange and malign that is sent back to his home in order to destroy it. You might think the whole thing was just one lab experiment that is now concluded and neatly tidied away, specimens destroyed according to best practices.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen

    As I recall, it then ends with the Star Child nuking Earth with the missiles thoughtfully left in orbit. Hinted in the movie, explicit in the 2001 book.
     
    Just looked on my shelf for the book and it's not there (though the 3 sequels are), but I'm pretty sure that it (at least the version I read) does not end with the Star Child nuking earth. I do recall that Clarke and Kubrick flirted with that idea, but decided against it in part because Kubrick had already made Dr. Strangelove.

    The rest of your description of Bowman is mostly accurate, though he's not quite malign in the books. Just alien. And the aliens do decide to the destroy the experiment in the last book, but Bowman and HAL try to stop them.
  259. Minor question: Does “Blade Runner 2049” definitively establish whether Deckard is a replicant?

    The director’s cut of the original left it slightly ambiguous, and my impression was that the sequel left it ambiguous, too. Like the original, it nods in the direction of Deckard being a replicant, but never fully settles the issue — at least not that I could see. (Harrison Ford was famously resistant to the idea that Deckard was a replicant — but then again, he would be, wouldn’t he?)

    Did anyone else notice anything in the sequel that established it one way or another?

    • Replies: @guest
    The sequel played with the Replicant Question. Villainous Tyrell executive Jared Leto talks to Deckard as if he's not human, then adds something like, "That is to say, *if* you're a replicant. [wink-wink, nudge-nudge]" Which marked the moment I stopped caring whatsoever whether he was or wasn't.

    I didn't hunt for clues. Maybe there were ones scattered throughout the film.

  260. @Anon
    The Kael review was inadvertently funny.

    I can understand where she was coming from. Many critics were put off by it at the time, and it's an easy movie to dismiss on first viewing.

    In terms of story, pacing, characterization, and etc. things are fragmented, confused, haphazard, or overstretched. And nothing much happens in the movie. We see Deckard kill time and then kill a replicant, mostly by luck or accident. Then kill some more time before there's another burst of violence. It's a very slow-moving film, and Ford looks clueless and lost. Sean Young is more a ghost than a character. It's very dark and moody.
    Basically, the story is this blade runner is hired to kill replicants, and boy, he takes his time. And there isn't much else to the story. Entire movie is about this supposed ace killer barely surviving as he guns down 3 robots.
    And the motion is mostly vertical than horizontal, which makes it feel very cramped. And even the sky feels weighed with pollution and giant blimps flying around. Also, some of the characters are enigmatic, even cryptic. Roy Batty seems like an ascetic than a killer. Tyrell is supposed to be a businessman but he's like some hermetic monk-as-god. In terms of feel, BLADE RUNNER drifts like the last 1/2 of APOCALYPSE NOW where we wonder how long it's gonna take before Willard finally makes it to Kurtzville to carry out his mission. BLADE RUNNER has a very passive hero, and it feels like he waits around for things to happen to him than vice versa. He's a mouse hunting for cats, and usually the cats pounce on him out of nowhere. The film was so slow-paced and Ford was so laidback that they decided to add voice-over narration to keep the audience alert to what's going on.

    But it is in subsequent viewings that people realized that the mood, ambiance, and the visionary elements are the film's main 'characters'. Also, activity matters less in the film than mentality. In the first viewing, audience focused on what is happening, what the character are doing. And not much happens with Sean Young, for example. But in subsequent screenings, viewers became more attentive to her mental states, most brilliantly and hauntingly manifested in the scenes where she discovers her true identity and where she transforms into an angel before the piano.

    I think even lots of fans of the movie didn't get its greatness on first viewing.

    It is one of those miracles. Some directors have the genius to take charge and produce one powerful visionary work after another. Think of Welles and Kubrick esp. Scott is a narrowly talented director, and even his strengths can be wasted if indulged the wrong way. Consider the 'botcheries' of LEGEND and 1492. So, in order for Scott to do something great, the right people and ideas have to intersect at the right time and place, and it happened with BLADE RUNNER. Scott made some other good movies but nothing even comes close. And he made lots of total stinkers.

    If memory serves, Rutger Hauer claimed that he (Roy Batty) is the actual hero/main character of Blade Runner. I can see where he’s coming from. Batty is proactive, larger than life, though also cold, cruel and increasingly and despairingly mad. Deckard is the viewpoint character, but his role is mainly that of Death, hesitantly taking the replicants struggling for more life, one by one. Except Batty dies on his own terms, at least.

  261. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @anonitron1
    William Gibson was famously disturbed by Blade Runner when he saw it while working on Neuromancer because he felt it anticipated so much of what he was writing, so I imagine a lot of it was pretty cutting edge.

    As for the new one, I saw it last night and didn't know what to think of it. I like it more and more as I have time to consider it, however. If nothing else, the video and sound design are incredible (also, I am a genuine Gosling fan).

    I know you've read Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson, but I don't know if you've read Neuromancer, which was his primary inspiration (other than Philip K. Dick).

    William Gibson was famously disturbed by Blade Runner when he saw it while working on Neuromancer because he felt it anticipated so much of what he was writing, so I imagine a lot of it was pretty cutting edge

    Never read Gibson but one of the characters of Bubblegum Crisis is named JB Gibson possibly as an homage to him.

    http://robkelk.ottawa-anime.org/bgc/original.html

    J.B. Gibson from Revenge Road could have been named after one of two people or possibly both. It could either be a homage to Willaim Gibson, the founding father of Cyberpunk science fiction or actor Mel Gibson the orginal “Road Warrior”. The plot of Revenge Road makes it seem like the name is a homage to Mel (Road Warrior) Gibson. However many people consider BGC to be a cyberpunk anime which means that it is also likely that J.B. Gibson could be a homage to the writer William Gibson, who wrote the Cyberpunk classic Neuromancer.

    Bubblegum Crisis drew inspiration from many works but its primary model is Blade runner. It is surely the best thing to emerge from the Blade Runner brainstorm. Not surprising since BR was a hit in Japan. Japanese like artifice and may have appreciated the nifty idea of moving to the sci-fi future to turn back to the noir past. It was like simultaneously moving forward and backward.

    Looks like 2049 is tanking.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2017/10/08/10-reasons-blade-runner-2049-was-doomed-at-the-u-s-box-office/#5d0ec3c424fb

    TOMORROWLAND tanked too, which is sad. That was a remarkable blend of sci-fi futurism, retro-optimism, comedy, action, etc.

  262. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Yup, I saw "2001" at the Cinerama Dome in 1968, and I can't think of anything terribly like it before.

    Here's a question: "2001" used an enormous amount of lens flare as an intentionally eerie effect. That must have been done before, right? I imagine it was, but I'm stumped thinking of it.

    Similarly, how much of 1982 "Blade Runner" was new?

    Yup, I saw “2001″ at the Cinerama Dome in 1968, and I can’t think of anything terribly like it before.

    The only sci-fi film prior to 2001 that was as original and brilliant is LA JETEE. If Kubrick went with ‘more is more’, Marker’s film is a prime example of ‘less is more’. Kael called it the greatest sci-fi film. It has a purity… like NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD.

    http://www.thecinematheque.ca/emissary-into-time-and-memory-a-tribute-to-chris-marker/la-jetee

    2001 surely changed Lucas who then changed the world, for better or worse.

    Lucas explored and expanded on both sides of 2001: sci-fi as art and sci-fi as effects-driven extravaganza. THX 1138 was an experiment in the artistic vein, and STAR WARS added a million horsepower to the spaceships in 2001.

    Btw, if any film prior anticipated 2001, it was a non-scifi work that nevertheless seemed life suburbia as futurist paradistopia. THE GRADUATE. The way it begins in an airplane. Esp the audio voice-over gives it a sci-fi feel. And this world is so efficient and affluent that people are like automatons and robots surrounded by plastics. And Ben in the scuba reminds me of Bowman in the space suit.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    "Btw, if any film prior anticipated 2001, it was a non-scifi work that nevertheless seemed life suburbia as futurist paradistopia. THE GRADUATE."

    Before "2001," sci-fi was kind of a low budget drive-in movie genre, so a lot of sci-fi impulses got channeled into conventional movies. Ronald Reagan would have made a good sci-fi movie actor, but there wasn't much of that available for A list stars in his day.

    Yeah, I could see that. The Graduate has a lot of Autistic Spectrum energy, before anybody heard the word autism. Dustin Hoffman had worked as an orderly in a mental hospital, so he was more aware of what real people with mental problems tend to be like, rather than the Romantic archetype of the Madman. I can remember visiting a museum of art created by crazy people in Switzerland in 1980. I expected the art to be very passionate but instead it was very OCD: the Eiffel Tower made out of 10,000 toothpicks, that kind of thing that people with a lot of time on their hands might do as self-therapy.

    , @Anonymous

    Btw, if any film prior anticipated 2001, it was a non-scifi work that nevertheless seemed life suburbia as futurist paradistopia. THE GRADUATE. The way it begins in an airplane. Esp the audio voice-over gives it a sci-fi feel. And this world is so efficient and affluent that people are like automatons and robots surrounded by plastics. And Ben in the scuba reminds me of Bowman in the space suit.
     
    This here The Graduate sounds like a Jacques Tati film.
  263. @Roy
    How much does HBO's "Westworld" owe to Blade Runner? What are your overall impressions of the series?

    HBO’s Westworld is of course based on the 1973 film Westworld (and its sequel), which came out a decade before Blade Runner. Michael Crichton, the writer/director, might have been inspired by Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, which came out in 1968. I wouldn’t know. But the original Westworld occupies an entirely different genre, and is more like Jurassic Park than Blade Runner.

    The tv show is more heady, asking the Big Questions, and less disaster movie-ish. The interviews with the robots are sorta like the interviews of replicants in Blade Runner, I suppose. But aside from that, the genre, visual style, atmosphere, music, etc. isn’t the same.

    The big similarity is that like Sean Young and maybe Harrison Ford in Blade Runner, the robots don’t initially know they’re robots, and it’s a huge psychological blow for them to find out.

  264. @Pericles
    As I recall, it then ends with the Star Child nuking Earth with the missiles thoughtfully left in orbit. Hinted in the movie, explicit in the 2001 book.

    Wikipedia tells me it was actually just the one missile, leaving some scope for the sequels, I guess. But that seems like a lawyerly cop out.

    The whole end sequence basically shows Bowman helplessly drawn into something vast, incomprehensible and, at best, uncaring. Then, on reaching his destination, he is without comment converted into something strange and malign that is sent back to his home in order to destroy it. You might think the whole thing was just one lab experiment that is now concluded and neatly tidied away, specimens destroyed according to best practices.

    As I recall, it then ends with the Star Child nuking Earth with the missiles thoughtfully left in orbit. Hinted in the movie, explicit in the 2001 book.

    Just looked on my shelf for the book and it’s not there (though the 3 sequels are), but I’m pretty sure that it (at least the version I read) does not end with the Star Child nuking earth. I do recall that Clarke and Kubrick flirted with that idea, but decided against it in part because Kubrick had already made Dr. Strangelove.

    The rest of your description of Bowman is mostly accurate, though he’s not quite malign in the books. Just alien. And the aliens do decide to the destroy the experiment in the last book, but Bowman and HAL try to stop them.

    • Replies: @Pericles
    Check it out:

    He is brought to what appears a pleasant hotel suite, carefully designed to make him feel at ease, and falls asleep, whereupon he becomes an immortal 'Star Child' that can live and travel in space. The Star Child then returns to Earth, where he detonates an orbiting nuclear warhead.

     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001:_A_Space_Odyssey_(novel)

    From what I remember, the feeling of the ending was that this was not just detonating a nuke once for a lark but the first of many such bombings (which makes more sense). But they retconned that in the sequels. More on how this ended up cut out of the film below.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interpretations_of_2001:_A_Space_Odyssey
    ("Military nature of orbiting satellites")
  265. @Anon
    Similarly, how much of 1982 “Blade Runner” was new?

    I think the genius of BLADE RUNNER was the opposite of 2001. It was 'back to the future'. It is Retro, a kind of thought-experiment of what might a noir-sci-fi been like if made in the 40s or 50 with 80s special effects and no censorship.

    2001 isn't without anxiety about technology -- HAL goes nuts -- , but it is overall an optimistic vision of the future where technology allows man to conquer space and do amazing things.
    BLADE RUNNER is utterly pessimistic about the future, but then, I don't think Scott or Fancher were trying to be prophetic or satirical like Huxley or Orwell. They riffed on Philip K. Dick's idea and thought it's be cool and far out to make a noir-ish science fiction film. (It was also a way to cut down cost since darkness hides whatever is underproduced in terms of sets.)

    So, if there was something 'new' about BLADE RUNNER, it was the way it recycled classic Hollywood genres to imagine a kind of post-modern future where styles are tirelessly recycled and refashioned. And it turned out to be inadvertently prophetic because we now hear culture critics say that there's very little innovation in arts and entertainment. Rather, it's the same thing repackaged differently. And since internet birthed a million subcultures, there's just about everything on sale.

    I think a year before BLADE RUNNER, there was a similar attempt to fuse sci-fi with classic genre with the Sean Connery film OUTHOUSE. It was like HIGH NOON out in space. TERMINATOR and BACK TO THE FUTURE decided to mess with time literally. In the Cameron movie, the future comes to the present, and in the Zemeckis movie, the present goes to the past. All very pomo.

    I see your point about postmodernism, though I don’t think that’s why anyone but hipster cultural critics like it. Regular people are always talking about what’s “new,” but they don’t really care what’s actually new, because frankly newness in itself isn’t interesting, once it wears off. And there’s nothing to postmodernism, so there’s not much interest in Blade Runner being an early film example of it, in my opinion.

    Same way the newness of Pulp Fiction, for instance, is deadeningly boring at this point. Oh, his gangsters talk like regular-old Tarantinos. Wow, the chronology is messed up. Who cares?

    And by the way, Terminator and Back to the Future are pretty straightforward stories. Not postmodern at all, in my opinion. They mess with time because they’re time travel stories. That was a well-established, mainstream idea by 1984.

    The Grandfather Paradox as depicted in Back to the Future wasn’t supposed to mess with your perception of reality like in the Heinlein story By His Bootstraps. It was just a plot device. The Causal Loop in Terminator with John Conner’s dad being born after him was supposed to be a bit trippy, I think, but really it was to strengthen the love story.

    • Replies: @Anon
    Terminator and Back to the Future are pretty straightforward stories.

    Pretty much. But there is something about how Schwarzenegger plays the robot that is outside and inside every time and place. He's programmed to fit into anytime precisely and paradoxically because he's so rigid and single-minded in his mission. So, he takes on the outer manifestation of whatever just to kill the prescribed victim. He arrives naked, takes clothes from some street punks, and then gets leather jacket and motorbike and looks like something out of the 50s, like Brando in THE WILD ONE. Of course, the Terminator is utterly indifferent to all this, but it is that indifference that will make him do ANYTHING to finish his job. So, what began as a very 80s time and place turns(as if no other time or place ever existed, but then LA esp has this amnesiac quality) becomes a runway of modes of future and past, not least because the movie alludes to WWII and Shoah. It's like a one-man SS is marching through present LA. Cameron's vision is both escapist and realist. It is a fanciful story about robots and outlandish violence. But it is also like a wakeup call, a warning that the current peace is just an illusion and that we could be revisited by all the violence and madness that was the WWI and WWII.
  266. @Anon
    Yup, I saw “2001″ at the Cinerama Dome in 1968, and I can’t think of anything terribly like it before.

    The only sci-fi film prior to 2001 that was as original and brilliant is LA JETEE. If Kubrick went with 'more is more', Marker's film is a prime example of 'less is more'. Kael called it the greatest sci-fi film. It has a purity... like NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD.

    http://www.thecinematheque.ca/emissary-into-time-and-memory-a-tribute-to-chris-marker/la-jetee

    2001 surely changed Lucas who then changed the world, for better or worse.

    Lucas explored and expanded on both sides of 2001: sci-fi as art and sci-fi as effects-driven extravaganza. THX 1138 was an experiment in the artistic vein, and STAR WARS added a million horsepower to the spaceships in 2001.

    Btw, if any film prior anticipated 2001, it was a non-scifi work that nevertheless seemed life suburbia as futurist paradistopia. THE GRADUATE. The way it begins in an airplane. Esp the audio voice-over gives it a sci-fi feel. And this world is so efficient and affluent that people are like automatons and robots surrounded by plastics. And Ben in the scuba reminds me of Bowman in the space suit.

    https://youtu.be/gjtoi6Z4lAg?t=20s

    https://youtu.be/fF7Hh8jQftw?t=1m9s

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgkyrW2NiwM

    “Btw, if any film prior anticipated 2001, it was a non-scifi work that nevertheless seemed life suburbia as futurist paradistopia. THE GRADUATE.”

    Before “2001,” sci-fi was kind of a low budget drive-in movie genre, so a lot of sci-fi impulses got channeled into conventional movies. Ronald Reagan would have made a good sci-fi movie actor, but there wasn’t much of that available for A list stars in his day.

    Yeah, I could see that. The Graduate has a lot of Autistic Spectrum energy, before anybody heard the word autism. Dustin Hoffman had worked as an orderly in a mental hospital, so he was more aware of what real people with mental problems tend to be like, rather than the Romantic archetype of the Madman. I can remember visiting a museum of art created by crazy people in Switzerland in 1980. I expected the art to be very passionate but instead it was very OCD: the Eiffel Tower made out of 10,000 toothpicks, that kind of thing that people with a lot of time on their hands might do as self-therapy.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    I can remember visiting a museum of art created by crazy people in Switzerland in 1980.

    If you're ever in Baltimore, visit the Museum of Visionary Art. Similarly fascinating stuff.
  267. @Anon
    Similarly, how much of 1982 “Blade Runner” was new?

    I think the genius of BLADE RUNNER was the opposite of 2001. It was 'back to the future'. It is Retro, a kind of thought-experiment of what might a noir-sci-fi been like if made in the 40s or 50 with 80s special effects and no censorship.

    2001 isn't without anxiety about technology -- HAL goes nuts -- , but it is overall an optimistic vision of the future where technology allows man to conquer space and do amazing things.
    BLADE RUNNER is utterly pessimistic about the future, but then, I don't think Scott or Fancher were trying to be prophetic or satirical like Huxley or Orwell. They riffed on Philip K. Dick's idea and thought it's be cool and far out to make a noir-ish science fiction film. (It was also a way to cut down cost since darkness hides whatever is underproduced in terms of sets.)

    So, if there was something 'new' about BLADE RUNNER, it was the way it recycled classic Hollywood genres to imagine a kind of post-modern future where styles are tirelessly recycled and refashioned. And it turned out to be inadvertently prophetic because we now hear culture critics say that there's very little innovation in arts and entertainment. Rather, it's the same thing repackaged differently. And since internet birthed a million subcultures, there's just about everything on sale.

    I think a year before BLADE RUNNER, there was a similar attempt to fuse sci-fi with classic genre with the Sean Connery film OUTHOUSE. It was like HIGH NOON out in space. TERMINATOR and BACK TO THE FUTURE decided to mess with time literally. In the Cameron movie, the future comes to the present, and in the Zemeckis movie, the present goes to the past. All very pomo.

    I should add, the Newness was not to be found in updating the genre. That had been done before. Not in a sci-fi, crappy future, “more human than human” fashion. But did you ever see the Robert Altman hippy version of Long Goodbye with a mumbly Elliot Gould? Hollywood was fond of updating and mixing genres long before Blade Runner.

    • Replies: @Anon
    I should add, the Newness was not to be found in updating the genre.

    True enough, but a lot of new ideas tend not to stick. BLADE RUNNER made it stick in the realm of sci-fi.

    Godard's ALPHAVILLE is a remarkable work and is actually closer in feel to Philip K. Dick's DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP. More a mindgame than a mood piece. And it's a work well-known to cinephiles, but not many outside the film community know of it. Even Godard fans tend to discuss it less than LE MEPRIS or PIERROT LE FOU, neither of which I care for.

    ALPHAVILLE also mixes noir and sci-fi elements. And the heroine's gradual conversion and the flight from the city are similar to what happens in BLADE RUNNER.

    But it was with BLADE RUNNER that many film-makers and fashionistas began to take that retro-noir-sci-fi film to heart in a big way.

    Though Welles' THE TRIAL isn't technically sci-fi, it feels sci-fi. It also anticipates ALPHAVILLE and BLADE RUNNER because its world is strange nightmarish hybrid of the archaic and the ultra-modern. Kafka felt this dichotomy in his own lifetime as the Austro-Hungarian empire he grew up in was both hyper-cosmopolitan & modernist AND tribalist & traditionalist. And of course, Jewish mindset also had aspects of this contradiction. By the time Welles made THE TRIAL, the modernism in art and architecture had gone way beyond anything in Kafka's time. (Kafka surely had a big influence on Philip K. Dick, who also seems to have been on drugs. Never read Burroughs but he was a big influence on Cronenberg.) Welles may have had THE THIRD MAN on his mind while making THE TRIAL. Harry Lime is like Roy Batty and Tyrell, but then, the two characters are like 'father and son'. Like Batty, he lives for the thrill of the moment. Like Tyrell, he has imperial ambitions to become really big. It may also have influenced Leone's last film with the dead guy not really being dead and driving his friend crazy.
  268. @Dave Pinsen

    As I recall, it then ends with the Star Child nuking Earth with the missiles thoughtfully left in orbit. Hinted in the movie, explicit in the 2001 book.
     
    Just looked on my shelf for the book and it's not there (though the 3 sequels are), but I'm pretty sure that it (at least the version I read) does not end with the Star Child nuking earth. I do recall that Clarke and Kubrick flirted with that idea, but decided against it in part because Kubrick had already made Dr. Strangelove.

    The rest of your description of Bowman is mostly accurate, though he's not quite malign in the books. Just alien. And the aliens do decide to the destroy the experiment in the last book, but Bowman and HAL try to stop them.

    Check it out:

    He is brought to what appears a pleasant hotel suite, carefully designed to make him feel at ease, and falls asleep, whereupon he becomes an immortal ‘Star Child’ that can live and travel in space. The Star Child then returns to Earth, where he detonates an orbiting nuclear warhead.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001:_A_Space_Odyssey_(novel)

    From what I remember, the feeling of the ending was that this was not just detonating a nuke once for a lark but the first of many such bombings (which makes more sense). But they retconned that in the sequels. More on how this ended up cut out of the film below.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interpretations_of_2001:_A_Space_Odyssey
    (“Military nature of orbiting satellites”)

    • Replies: @Pericles
    Here is the finale of Clarke's 2001. Not quite as apocalyptic as I recall it, but not very reassuring either.

    47 - Star-Child

    There before him, a glittering toy no Star-Child could resist, floated the planet Earth with all its peoples.

    He had returned in time. Down there on that crowded globe, the alarms would be flashing across the radar screens, the great tracking telescopes would be searching the skies - and history as men knew it would be drawing to a close.

    A thousand miles below, he became aware that a slumbering cargo of death had awoken, and was stirring sluggishly in its orbit. The feeble energies it contained were no possible menace to him; but he preferred a cleaner sky. He put forth his will, and the circling megatons flowered in a silent detonation that brought a brief, false dawn to half the sleeping globe. Then he waited, marshaling his thoughts and brooding over his still untested powers. For though he was master of the world, he was not quite sure what to do next.

    But he would think of something.
     

  269. @Anon
    Similarly, how much of 1982 “Blade Runner” was new?

    I think the genius of BLADE RUNNER was the opposite of 2001. It was 'back to the future'. It is Retro, a kind of thought-experiment of what might a noir-sci-fi been like if made in the 40s or 50 with 80s special effects and no censorship.

    2001 isn't without anxiety about technology -- HAL goes nuts -- , but it is overall an optimistic vision of the future where technology allows man to conquer space and do amazing things.
    BLADE RUNNER is utterly pessimistic about the future, but then, I don't think Scott or Fancher were trying to be prophetic or satirical like Huxley or Orwell. They riffed on Philip K. Dick's idea and thought it's be cool and far out to make a noir-ish science fiction film. (It was also a way to cut down cost since darkness hides whatever is underproduced in terms of sets.)

    So, if there was something 'new' about BLADE RUNNER, it was the way it recycled classic Hollywood genres to imagine a kind of post-modern future where styles are tirelessly recycled and refashioned. And it turned out to be inadvertently prophetic because we now hear culture critics say that there's very little innovation in arts and entertainment. Rather, it's the same thing repackaged differently. And since internet birthed a million subcultures, there's just about everything on sale.

    I think a year before BLADE RUNNER, there was a similar attempt to fuse sci-fi with classic genre with the Sean Connery film OUTHOUSE. It was like HIGH NOON out in space. TERMINATOR and BACK TO THE FUTURE decided to mess with time literally. In the Cameron movie, the future comes to the present, and in the Zemeckis movie, the present goes to the past. All very pomo.

    Retro had been a big theme in the LA music scene in about 1979-1982: the backlash against progressive music had pushed a lot of roots rock bands like X and the Blasters into local prominence. Surprisingly, even grown-ups in the LA culture world paid attention: for example, in cop novelist Joseph Wambaugh’s 1982 book, all the younger cops are into X.

  270. @Steve Sailer
    Yup, I saw "2001" at the Cinerama Dome in 1968, and I can't think of anything terribly like it before.

    Here's a question: "2001" used an enormous amount of lens flare as an intentionally eerie effect. That must have been done before, right? I imagine it was, but I'm stumped thinking of it.

    Similarly, how much of 1982 "Blade Runner" was new?

    Blade Runner is known for launching the “cyberpunk” genre in film. It already existed in print. I’m not sure where the line is drawn between cyberpunk and New Wave science fiction containing punkish crappy-future settings and computer stuff. Obviously, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep would have a claim if we widen the parameters. As would works by people like Harlan Ellison.

    There’s a case to be made for 1981’s Escape from New York as beating Blade Runner to the cyberpunk punch. But Escape lacks the consumerism aspect.

  271. @Dave Pinsen
    Minor, but one odd thing about the movie: it was released 35 years after the first one, but set 30 years after the first one. Why not set it 35 years later? Blade Runner 2054 was too reminiscent of Studio 54?

    it was released 35 years after the first one, but set 30 years after the first one. Why not set it 35 years later?

    Perhaps the actresses who played characters who might be the child of the original characters refused to be cast as over 30?

    You can see that in “Zero Dark Thirty.” James Gandolfini, as the CIA director, mentions to Jessica Chastain that she has worked for the CIA for all 12 years since she got out of college and she replies: No, all 12 years since I got out of high school.

    It took Jessica Chastain a long time to become a leading lady and she doesn’t want to get passed over for a role in the future just because a dumb line in a movie mentions her real age.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    That makes sense. And I guess it's simpler than having the script stipulate that Decker and Rachel didn't have their kid until 5 years or whatever after the events in the first movie.
  272. @Dave Pinsen
    Kael also had a point about the lack of urgency given that the replicants (with the exception of Rachel) were going to die in a few years anyway.

    The urgency comes from the replicants, who are desperate to find a way to live, or to die nobly.

    If you go by Harrison Ford’s face (when he’s not facing imminent danger), the lack of urgency from humanity’s side was obvious. He didn’t have Ryan Gosling’s robotic expressions, but he had what they call a “flat affect.” There was a pervasive feeling that nobody really cares about earth in the Blade Runner universe. That’s probably why the replicants hid there. The cops send this one guy to investigate and assassinate, and he’s not really all that into it.

    What makes the movie a tad loopy, yet fascinating–and probably why it was not a runaway success and had to wait for its mass audience–is that you have to leap in and not pay too close attention. If you allow yourself to by hypnotized, eventually you care. You’re swept away by the plight of the soon-to-die, the shock of discovery of secret inhumanity, and the pathos of poor little frail ragdoll human Richard Deckard next to Blonde Beast Rutger Hauer. Then you cry with Rutger in the rain.

    It takes a while, is all. Blade Runner is a take it or leave it sci-fi gumshoe story for two acts, then gradually it becomes High Tragedy. Not the best way to tell a story, but the visuals, atmosphere, and music take care of you in the meantime.

  273. @Mr. Blank
    Minor question: Does "Blade Runner 2049" definitively establish whether Deckard is a replicant?

    The director's cut of the original left it slightly ambiguous, and my impression was that the sequel left it ambiguous, too. Like the original, it nods in the direction of Deckard being a replicant, but never fully settles the issue -- at least not that I could see. (Harrison Ford was famously resistant to the idea that Deckard was a replicant -- but then again, he would be, wouldn't he?)

    Did anyone else notice anything in the sequel that established it one way or another?

    The sequel played with the Replicant Question. Villainous Tyrell executive Jared Leto talks to Deckard as if he’s not human, then adds something like, “That is to say, *if* you’re a replicant. [wink-wink, nudge-nudge]” Which marked the moment I stopped caring whatsoever whether he was or wasn’t.

    I didn’t hunt for clues. Maybe there were ones scattered throughout the film.

  274. Once again Sailer asks his readers to comment on a new film, yet out of the 263 comments I’ve just scrolled through, only a handful of readers have actually seen it.

    You’d think everyone else would have the sense to shut the hell up, but instead they feel a need to spout off about why they don’t intend to see the film, what they thought of the trailer, how they felt about the original “Blade Runner,” why they like or don’t like science fiction, what they imagine this new film will contain, how they feel about the cast members’ other films, blah blah blah. Pretty much a waste.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Not for me.
    , @Chrisnonymous
    Most useless comment on this post.
  275. @Simon
    Once again Sailer asks his readers to comment on a new film, yet out of the 263 comments I've just scrolled through, only a handful of readers have actually seen it.

    You'd think everyone else would have the sense to shut the hell up, but instead they feel a need to spout off about why they don't intend to see the film, what they thought of the trailer, how they felt about the original "Blade Runner," why they like or don't like science fiction, what they imagine this new film will contain, how they feel about the cast members' other films, blah blah blah. Pretty much a waste.

    Not for me.

    • Replies: @Louis
    Steve do you have any comment about high tech vs. low tech future? In my opinion they got a lot more mileage out of the low tech future in 1968's Planet of the Apes for instance. What happened to the technology that built the Great Pyramid at Giza? I don't believe extraterrestrials built the pyaramids because I don't believe aliens exist in space so what happened to human society when they lost that knowledge? Have you read Victoria by Thomas Hobbs?
  276. @Steve Sailer
    "Btw, if any film prior anticipated 2001, it was a non-scifi work that nevertheless seemed life suburbia as futurist paradistopia. THE GRADUATE."

    Before "2001," sci-fi was kind of a low budget drive-in movie genre, so a lot of sci-fi impulses got channeled into conventional movies. Ronald Reagan would have made a good sci-fi movie actor, but there wasn't much of that available for A list stars in his day.

    Yeah, I could see that. The Graduate has a lot of Autistic Spectrum energy, before anybody heard the word autism. Dustin Hoffman had worked as an orderly in a mental hospital, so he was more aware of what real people with mental problems tend to be like, rather than the Romantic archetype of the Madman. I can remember visiting a museum of art created by crazy people in Switzerland in 1980. I expected the art to be very passionate but instead it was very OCD: the Eiffel Tower made out of 10,000 toothpicks, that kind of thing that people with a lot of time on their hands might do as self-therapy.

    I can remember visiting a museum of art created by crazy people in Switzerland in 1980.

    If you’re ever in Baltimore, visit the Museum of Visionary Art. Similarly fascinating stuff.

  277. @Pericles
    Check it out:

    He is brought to what appears a pleasant hotel suite, carefully designed to make him feel at ease, and falls asleep, whereupon he becomes an immortal 'Star Child' that can live and travel in space. The Star Child then returns to Earth, where he detonates an orbiting nuclear warhead.

     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001:_A_Space_Odyssey_(novel)

    From what I remember, the feeling of the ending was that this was not just detonating a nuke once for a lark but the first of many such bombings (which makes more sense). But they retconned that in the sequels. More on how this ended up cut out of the film below.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interpretations_of_2001:_A_Space_Odyssey
    ("Military nature of orbiting satellites")

    Here is the finale of Clarke’s 2001. Not quite as apocalyptic as I recall it, but not very reassuring either.

    47 – Star-Child

    There before him, a glittering toy no Star-Child could resist, floated the planet Earth with all its peoples.

    He had returned in time. Down there on that crowded globe, the alarms would be flashing across the radar screens, the great tracking telescopes would be searching the skies – and history as men knew it would be drawing to a close.

    A thousand miles below, he became aware that a slumbering cargo of death had awoken, and was stirring sluggishly in its orbit. The feeble energies it contained were no possible menace to him; but he preferred a cleaner sky. He put forth his will, and the circling megatons flowered in a silent detonation that brought a brief, false dawn to half the sleeping globe. Then he waited, marshaling his thoughts and brooding over his still untested powers. For though he was master of the world, he was not quite sure what to do next.

    But he would think of something.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Now that ending sounds more familiar, particularly the last couple of lines.

    Of course, Clarke goes in a different direction with the sequels.
  278. @Busby
    I'm halfway convinced they've never read any Phillip K. Dick.

    No I have never read any Phillip K. Dick. I saw a documentary about him and it sounded like he was a junkie. Since I always thought drugs were for pagans and White Trash, I cannot be real enthusiastic about Phillip K. Dick or sympathetic to drug users. However, I liked Blade Runner as long as Harrison Ford was human. Also, I really liked Spielberg’s Minority Report. Great entertainment.

  279. @Ouzo 120 proof
    You're reading too much into this. If anything, this is one of the least PC-conforming high budget movies made lately.
    The film's white actors get most of the screen time; there's just two minor black characters with lines (a Somali guy and the always good Lennie James), none of them an übersmart omniscient superman, and there's no LGBTQWERTY character or related subplot.
    Plus, the movie has already been denounced by WIRED for not being PC-enough (and for being too white, no less).

    There's no agenda here. Just like the original, BR 2049 is all about aesthetics. Enjoy it for what it is: an audiovisual extravaganza.

    Its still ridiculous. Religion is non-existent in this vision of the future. I suggest reading Phillip Jenkins’ The Next Christendom and VICTORIA by Thomas Hobbs.

  280. @Steve Sailer
    Not for me.

    Steve do you have any comment about high tech vs. low tech future? In my opinion they got a lot more mileage out of the low tech future in 1968’s Planet of the Apes for instance. What happened to the technology that built the Great Pyramid at Giza? I don’t believe extraterrestrials built the pyaramids because I don’t believe aliens exist in space so what happened to human society when they lost that knowledge? Have you read Victoria by Thomas Hobbs?

  281. @guest
    Questions about Sean Young:

    1. Is she alive? Probably yes, because I don't remember them thanking her estate like Rogue One did with Peter Cushing.

    2. Does she get paid, or does the studio own her likeness?

    3. If not, did they credit her as a way of throwing her a bone? As in, we used clips of your performance from 35 years ago, here's your name up in lights again, kiddo.

    Questions about Sean Young:

    Sean has been a committed alcoholic most of her life, which has made her fat and face bloated. I believe that she was in a celebrity rehab show that she didn’t handle very well. It’s a big shame. She does half-assed indie films and works small theaters in NYC, where she now resides. You made me think of her, and I checked her facebook which she’s on regularly. She’s been asked about the new BR, and chose not to answer. However, she appears to be hankering for another feud with James Woods, and has been trashing him most recently on her page. I guess she wants a little attention off the Weinstein thing, or figures it’s safer to hassle Woods than Ridley Scott.

    If she had any common sense left, she’d leave that guy alone. Woods has a temper.

  282. @The Last Real Calvinist
    Is there anywhere in Manhattan that doesn't smell of piss?

    Airports are a great index of overall social competence. They’re important, and everyone knows they’re important, and as Steve has pointed out with regard to the Frequent Flyer class, almost everyone who is involved with making important decisions passes through them. Beyond that, they’re virtually everyone’s “front door” to a given city.

    With that in mind, it’s a bad sign when the people in charge can’t get their act together enough to keep the airport in good shape. I’m not even talking about anything super-fancy: just clean, well-lit, well-ventilated, comfortable seating, enough square footage of space, electrical outlets, enough security / TSA people to keep the lines under 10 minutes long, that kind of thing.

    I don’t fly that much, but on this basis, in my limited experience, there is plenty to suggest that the West is going down the tubes. There is also a lot of variance among terminals at a given airport. Often the new terminal is great, while they ignore the dilapidating old terminals for a few decades.

    I’ve never been to East Asia, but I have high hopes of someday visiting and being impressed by the airports.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/08/nyregion/some-see-third-world-as-too-kind-for-la-guardia.html

    In Hong Kong, travelers can play a round of golf while waiting for a connecting flight. In Seoul, South Korea, people can strap on skates and kill time on the ice at the Sky Rink. And in Paris, parents are provided with free strollers as they cruise newly upgraded terminals.

    At La Guardia Airport, the best a traveler can hope for is a stool at a crowded bar, an available electrical socket or a lukewarm pretzel from Auntie Anne. There are no day spas, no hotels within its grounds, no free Internet service, and even luggage carts, free in many international airports, cost $5. The situation is so bad that when Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. wanted to illustrate the dire state of infrastructure in the United States, he chose La Guardia as the prime example, likening it to what one might find “in a third world country.”

    • Replies: @Jack D
    La Guardia is WORSE than a lot of 3rd world airports (keep in mind though it is NY's 3rd airport and not an international gateway nor does it host domestic flights over 1,500 miles). In part this is because it is so old - when La Guardia opened in 1939, most 3rd world countries didn't HAVE airports at all.

    But it could have been fixed. HK had a lousy old airport and they replaced it with a beautiful facility built on an artificial island out in the bay. Tokyo - the same. However, it's impossible to do stuff like this in the US, especially in a litigious place like NY.

    NY used to have an elevated highway running along the Hudson River, built in late '20s/early 30s. When NY ran out of $ in the '70s, they stopped painting it (the structure was steel, not concrete) and it rusted to death (but for the want of a nail the ship was lost). They found this out when one day an overloaded dump truck was going down the highway and fell thru it . The proposal was made to replace it with a modern highway that would run partly on landfill in the river, replacing a bunch of rotting piers that had been disused since cargo became containerized and shifted out of Manhattan. The construction would have also created a lot of extremely valuable real estate. The Federal gov. would have paid for most of it - it would have been a tremendous economic win for NYC - traffic would flow better, lots of development would take place on the new landfill. But it never got built because there were a bunch of lawsuits brought claiming that the construction would disturb the breeding grounds of the striped bass (the rotten manmade piers). A stupid fish was more important than the millions of human residents of NY.

    So the chances that NY could build a new airport the way HK did and Tokyo did - zero. It would be tied up in lawsuits forever.

    , @The Last Real Calvinist
    You won't be disappointed by most East Asian airports. Bangkok is still not that great, but HK, Singapore, Beijing, the revamped Narita in Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul Incheon -- all are good. Even the more regional airports are improving bigly.

    Jack D is right: La Guardia and JFK are worse than the third world now.