Saturday, November 11, 2017

Musings on Blade Runner 2049

Peugeot 2049, Masquerading as a sequel to Blade Runner

This is a long movie, so my first recommendation would be to get a medium sized popcorn, but add lots of salt to it, and then go with a small drink.  This will allow for some proper physiological water retention, so there won’t be a need for a bladder-based intermission.  This is a relevant factor, too, because despite the improved technology of today’s cinema, there isn’t a pause feature for a theatrical presentation, which insists on playing out in “real time,” although with the broadly-brushed panorama of Blade Runner 2049, watching it in real time would require an investment of several weeks.  This is one of the many advantages to film editing, as opposed to life living.

As a spoiler alert, this is another film where Robin Wright doesn’t fare well, but Harrison Ford at least manages to survive a relationship with his child.

And, considering that the original was supposed to be taking place 18 months from now, this version of my birthday number 94 seems logical.  However, L.A. isn’t quite to the 2019 level of drenched decay as the original 1980s movie predicted.

But isn’t that the function of science fiction, and for predictions of dystopia?  They are supposed to accelerate the likelihood of the predicted event as a form of “Wake Up” call to the probability of an unfortunate future... 1984 was premature by a generation, The Day After Tomorrow collapsed a decade of climate disasters into a two-week period, so it is that a film like Blade Runner 2049 is giving us the warning not to invest in San Diego property, because, frankly, San Diego is going to be one dumpy place.

There is an aside reference to a “Great Blackout,” an event that rises for unkown reasons but seemed to have had a major impact on digital information.  This is something we’ve been anticipating since the overwhelming dependence on the internet, making a linerar existence without it seem unimaginable.  So imagine it.

Need a typewriter?  See me after the Great Blackout.

As to the performances - Denis Villeneuve brings a large amount of humanity out of beings that are supposed to be completely subservient or totally digital.  It creates the question on the humanity of the supposed humans in that society, the reverse-abuse from a Lieutenant of the LAPD or the bloodlust of the manufacturer of the latest wave of replicants.  Even the sinister “Luv” belies her name again and again, but can still elicit a child’s contentment at the prospect of “going home.”

Sean Young, a la Carrie Fischer and Peter Cushing, reprieves her Rachael in cameo, but 30 years cannot be masked to the satisfaction of the producers, so a performance double is used, and quite smoothly, too.

In summation, 2 hours and 40 minutes, watch the drinks, watch the screen.  Quite the ride, but one we will probably push off until 2100, if we are all lucky...

(so of course I went out and found the original Blade Runner after watching the sequel - the VHS copy is a shredded mess and this DVD version is New! Improved! with More Kelp!)