Blade Runner (R)

I attempted to watch Blade Runner (1982) the day before yesterday in anticipation of Blade Runner 2049, and it didn’t go very well. I have heard raves about it for years from Science Fiction lovers (most notably, my brother) but I’ve never taken the time to watch. Full disclosure: not my favorite genre and I found myself a bit unimpressed. It was a slow paced film that picked up in action in the last 40 minutes or so.  I’ll admit, I skipped a big chunk of the middle.  I just could not endure it. But the end was great! At any rate, I gained a clear understanding of how ripe the material is for an update. The first one was good enough and it is hard to top Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer. It was smart to do a sequel rather than a remake. Let’s face it, Blade Runner 2049 is directed by Denis Villenueve, Hampton Francher and Michael Green were involved with writing the screen play, Hans Zimmer composed the music, Ryan Gosling and Robin Wright star, and it features The Man, Harrison Ford!  Add to that, an estimated $185,000,000 budget. What could possibly go wrong with Blade Runner 2049?

Now… Here’s what had happened… I must digress for one moment to explain myself — I was supposed to catch a show in IMAX but missed the beginning by mere minutes and the next show was in friggin’ 4DX!  So, unless I wanted to wait an entire hour and a half or attempt to catch it any of the other 21 theaters at which it opened in the New York City area, I was stuck.  I was “treated” to: 3D glasses; seat shifting and being hoisted about throughout the film (which, honestly, I sort of enjoyed); wind gusts which forced me to  put on the jacket I thankfully happened to have in my bag; sharp thrusts of air zipping about my ears to simulate bullets flying past (the worst!); and some very rude sprays of water to the face, which I kept turned on through the entire movie so I could get the full “experience.”  Cost=$30.00 at the Regal Union Square, and I’m here to tell you, do not waste your money. I was able to shrewdly “coupon” and “points” my way in for free.

At any rate, the ways in which Blade Runner 2049 mimic the original make this film interesting.  I understand that you cannot just jump into a story from 35 years ago.  I get it.  But the beginning hour and ten to twelve minutes of this film was so very slow.  It was slow in a pensive way, but still – it was sooooooo sloooooooow. In this way, homage was paid to the style of the 1982 version, but it got old after a while with the long, thoughtful pauses. The way the two movies were literally interwoven together was one of the highlights.

The cinematography and set design are outstandingly beautiful works.  Not one complaint there.  Villenueve did a great job directing.

The story, as stated earlier, drags in the beginning, then picks up and becomes much more interesting as you begin to realize what is going on and the action increases. There are enough twists to hold your interest and not so many that you get lost.  Unfortunately, the villain (played by Jared Leto, who may want to consider laying off the villainous roles until is Suicide Squad Joker has had its run) is what brought the movie down.  This villain is so typical, it just felt like more of the same menacing, psychotic villain that we’ve seen before many, many times.  Contact lens didn’t change the fact that the character was pretty lame.  And although the set up for a sequel leaves a ball of yarn with which to play rather than just a loose thread, I didn’t mind it at all.

And by the way, just because we’re in 2017 as opposed to 1982, and one may insert more T&A into a film, doesn’t mean it is necessary to do so.  There was a certain sensuality/sexuality incorporated into the 1982 version that added “spark” to a pretty “grey” movie.  The majority of the nudity in Blade Runner 2049 didn’t add anything to the film but more nudity.  It became misogynistic and I hate that word, but if the nipple fits…  And maybe it’s just me, but another thing that bothered me is something that I am consistently bothered by in films: If someone is after me, as in they are going to kill me when they see me and I know it, I really don’t have time for romance, sex, a love scene or any deeply emotional moment or conversation. I have to get out of here now! This includes faux Sci-Fi threesomes. Let me be clear. I didn’t mind the scene. It was actually sort of interesting. I minded it’s placement.

Blade Runner 2049 earned 7 bloops out of 10.  It could have been better, but still, it is a good movie.  The cinematography, set design and sound are what makes it worth one watch on the big screen. I wish I could have seen it in IMAX but I don’t have another 2 hours and 44 minutes to watch it again right now.  (Stupid 4DX! I’m really mad about that if you couldn’t tell. I’m absolutely certain that would have made for a better overall movie-going experience with this particular film.) I’m not a huge dystopian, futuristic Sci-Fi fan, but if you’re into the genre and/or are a huge fan of the original, you more than likely will enjoy Blade Runner 2049 more than I did.

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Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

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 ** Thank you to the darling reader who read nearly every entry ever written on my blog the other day. I hope you enjoyed it.

 What I’m seeing next…

**I know I skipped a few reviews.  Coming up from what I’ve already seen and haven’t taken the time to write up are Victoria & Abdul (a very good movie), American Made (which I wrote up and lost somehow last Friday night! Good movie though!) and The Glass Castle (written up, just needs to be proofed.  Been sitting around with it for over a week now).  I’ll get them out a.s.a.p.  Anticipated Oscar nominated movie season is upon us, so I’ll be too busy to do so shortly.

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