Music, Film, TV & BooksBlade Runner 2048, and Chappie (2015)

 

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 From:  Curated Festive Content (DSMITHHFX)  
 To:  ALL
42039.1 
Two scifi films, one a new release viewed at the cinema, the other 'discovered' at the library (not sure it even got a theatrical release here, I'd certainly never heard of it), viewed on our old crt motel tv from dvd. (both seen yesterday). BR is stunningly gorgeous, with high-concept art house themes befitting the likes of the original and 2001. The 3d is really well done, very subtle, maybe the best I've seen. The pacing is desultory, even morose, with explosions of horrific violence and cruelty.

And yet, and yet... Chappie is also a remake of sorts in that it recycles many of the tropes, and even character types, from District 9 and, well, Robocop (the original).

Chappie has a light-heartedness and charm lacking in the BR sequel that for me was ultimately more affecting (also a lot more conventional action). The characters are relatable. Apart from scene-stealer Harrison Ford (others' performances come across as serviceable props that animate cgi sets), BR's are relentlessly alien -- even though they are replicant human, and Chappie is a robot.
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 From:  william (WILLIAMA)  
 To:  Curated Festive Content (DSMITHHFX)     
42039.2 In reply to 42039.1 
I've heard varying reports of Blade Runner 2049. Most of the professional reviewers seem to love it. A couple of people I know say that it's unoriginal, pompous and boring and one even walked out half way through. Our own (our very own) Kenny J writes "relieved that they didn't mess up Blade Runner 2049".

Seeing it myself tomorrow on a motel crt at the local imax in 3D. I had mixed feelings about the original. Filming and acting was great with some unforgettable scenes and characters. The underlying ideas? Meh - move along, less to see here than claimed for it. 
never trust a man in a blue trench coat, never drive a car when you're dead
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 From:  Curated Festive Content (DSMITHHFX)  
 To:  william (WILLIAMA)     
42039.3 In reply to 42039.2 
"boring and one even walked out half way through"

It's 2h45m and it had me on the metaphorical edge of my seat 'til the end (how my bladder managed that I'll never know). It's really masterful cinema, my only caveat is with the unrelatable characters, though it is a core aspect of the story iteself. This probably wouldn't have even ocurred to me had I not watched the other movie, and experienced its very different effect, a few hours later. Chappie's world is deeply flawed, but not utterly lost, BR's so far beyond redemption.
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 From:  Manthorp  
 To:  Curated Festive Content (DSMITHHFX)     
42039.4 In reply to 42039.3 
I was very happy with it & my ever-loving - who hadn't seen the original (?!) - was happy with it too.  We both agreed that the eye-candy & SF tropes were in service to the plot & emotional reach, rather than the other way round.  Which is not to dismiss the eye-candy, which was astonishing: a bold decision (or possibly a canny one) to conceal huge FX behind a pall of fog, rain and snow.  Or the tropes, which combined the inevitable with the fanciful, very much in keeping with the original.  

The Big Twist worked (& was honestly delivered, for purists).  Ford was allowed to biff harder than is remotely plausible, but in the context of all the other wonders flung at us, it was a modest conceit that plenty of fans would have been grateful for.  His (wolf?) mutt was a superstar.

For me, the film honoured the original and built upon it. 

In the same way that I dreaded this sequel, I dread the inevitable Blade Runner: Rise of the Replicants.

"We all have flaws, and mine is being wicked."
James Thurber, The Thirteen Clocks 1951
 
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 From:  william (WILLIAMA)  
 To:  Manthorp     
42039.5 In reply to 42039.4 
Replicants versus Predator
 
never trust a man in a blue trench coat, never drive a car when you're dead
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 From:  Curated Festive Content (DSMITHHFX)  
 To:  Manthorp     
42039.6 In reply to 42039.4 
"Ford was allowed to biff harder than is remotely plausible"

Well, considering his character was a replicant, I didn't find it implausible. TBH I half expected him to bust out of his cuffs at the end. The twist was well done, luckily I hadn't read much about the film beforehand and was caught completely by surprise, as the director intended (going by his admonishments to critics).
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 From:  william (WILLIAMA)  
 To:  Curated Festive Content (DSMITHHFX)     
42039.7 In reply to 42039.6 
Thoroughly enjoyed that. Not sure what people who were bored/walked out expected, but it was a in many ways a thoroughly conventional scifi movie with a nice noir plot. Extremely well filmed with a very classy and stylish feel throughout. 
never trust a man in a blue trench coat, never drive a car when you're dead
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 From:  Manthorp  
 To:  Curated Festive Content (DSMITHHFX)     
42039.8 In reply to 42039.6 
I didn't think they stated outright that he was. They got closer than in the original, but I think there was still room for doubt.

"We all have flaws, and mine is being wicked."
James Thurber, The Thirteen Clocks 1951
 
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 From:  Kenny J (WINGNUTKJ)  
 To:  Manthorp     
42039.9 In reply to 42039.8 
I think the intention in 2049 was to keep Deckard's nature ambiguous, as per the original, and I think this was well handled.

Hampton Fancher has stated that Deckard-as-Replicant was Ridley Scott's idea, halfway through filming, but Fancher always preferred having the ambiguity. I'm with Fancher on this - I'd rather have it as an unanswerable question.

As mentioned up-thread, I was very happy with it. It looked gorgeous, didn't go in any awful directions or introduce anything jarring and at odds with the original.

It's not perfect, but what is?

Kenny
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 From:  Curated Festive Content (DSMITHHFX)  
 To:  Manthorp     
42039.10 In reply to 42039.8 
Nah, he administered and took too many beat downs and kept on ticking for a >70-yo mere mortal. Also recall that his daughter (of a replicant -- and therefore impocerous) was regarded as a miracle. That's your 'ambiguity' done and dusted.
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 From:  Manthorp  
 To:  Curated Festive Content (DSMITHHFX)     
42039.11 In reply to 42039.10 
Nah right back at ya. The beat-downage was probably contractual (he said cynically) as could have been his supersperms.

"We all have flaws, and mine is being wicked."
James Thurber, The Thirteen Clocks 1951
 
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 From:  Curated Festive Content (DSMITHHFX)  
 To:  Manthorp     
42039.12 In reply to 42039.11 
Also he were living in a radiation zone and getting shitfaced on hundreds of bottles of whisky. And he could still walk?

Dude warnt normal.
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 From:  Manthorp  
 To:  Curated Festive Content (DSMITHHFX)     
42039.13 In reply to 42039.12 
He's Harrison Ford, man.  He's not just Deckard, He's Han and Indie and a studio chippie.

"We all have flaws, and mine is being wicked."
James Thurber, The Thirteen Clocks 1951
 
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 From:  Curated Festive Content (DSMITHHFX)  
 To:  Manthorp     
42039.14 In reply to 42039.13 
http://bladerunner.wikia.com/wiki/Deckard_as_Replicant
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 From:  Manthorp  
 To:  Curated Festive Content (DSMITHHFX)     
42039.15 In reply to 42039.14 
Apropos not very much, I know the man who was stunt-origamist for Gaff in the original.  Mick Guy, a very nice chap and fellow member of the British Origami Society.

"We all have flaws, and mine is being wicked."
James Thurber, The Thirteen Clocks 1951
 
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 From:  Curated Festive Content (DSMITHHFX)  
 To:  Manthorp     
42039.16 In reply to 42039.15 
Cool story! Are/were you an origamist?
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 From:  Manthorp  
 To:  Curated Festive Content (DSMITHHFX)     
42039.17 In reply to 42039.16 
I was.  You can find my Loch Ness Monster in Robert Harbin's Origami 4, invented when I was a dot.  Well, 14.

"We all have flaws, and mine is being wicked."
James Thurber, The Thirteen Clocks 1951
 
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 From:  Curated Festive Content (DSMITHHFX)  
 To:  Manthorp     
42039.18 In reply to 42039.17 
Doesn't appear to be among those depicted on the web site.  :-(

How many replicants did you mark for death retirement?
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 From:  ANT_THOMAS  
 To:  ALL
42039.19 
I watched Blade Runner 2048 last night.

It looks lovely, it's very long, it's an alright film.

I haven't watched the original to compare. Maybe I should.
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 From:  Curated Festive Content (DSMITHHFX)  
 To:  ANT_THOMAS     
42039.20 In reply to 42039.19 
I must re-watch the original, if only to see if it holds up as well as I remember it.
“hooliganism comes to lawn bowling”
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