Blade Runner 2049 (2017) - WITH Spoilers

Brian G Turner

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#61
Dash it - I never got a chance to go back and edit "pretend man" into "Hunk" as an alternative to "Joi". :D

As for the discussion at hand - I think we're getting far too off-topic. Sexism and sexist imagery in film is common, ordinary, and accepted by society, so if people struggle to see how this applies to BR 2049 then that's understandable.

What BR 2049 did is handle that side especially badly. For cinematography, direction, and atmosphere, it is a wonderful visual tribute to Blade Runner. Unfortunately, poor and confused scripting means it never rises to being anything more than that IMO.
 

The Crawling Chaos

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#62
Dash it - I never got a chance to go back and edit "pretend man" into "Hunk" as an alternative to "Joi".
I took the liberty of going with Bliss but now I really regret not going for Hunk.

As for the discussion at hand - I think we're getting far too off-topic. Sexism and sexist imagery in film is common, ordinary, and accepted by society, so if people struggle to see how this applies to BR 2049 then that's understandable.

What BR 2049 did is handle that side especially badly. For cinematography, direction, and atmosphere, it is a wonderful visual tribute to Blade Runner. Unfortunately, poor and confused scripting means it never rises to being anything more than that IMO.
I agree that this discussion has overstayed its welcome and the thread is at risk of being derailed into a deeper one about gender politics.

Make no mistake, I am far too aware that sexism is everywhere, and it is in BR 2049 too (again, the statues in the desert, or the names "Luv" and "Joi"). But when it comes to labelling a movie as sexist, the intentions of the filmmakers are what should matter rather than the skin-deep observation of the world they depicted. Joi is not called Joi because of what she represented to the filmmakers, but because it says something about the society who gave her this name.
 

Judderman

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#63
Brian, when it comes to stories that have a reproduction, or challenges with reproduction, as a key part of the storyline there is always going to be a focus on women. The reverse story doesn't make much sense.
I don't think the AI is an issue really. If a young, single person wants to have fantasies at home that is not a big surprise. Also as Chaos says Kay is also approached as a sexual object by his boss. Females are also key in the planned android rebellion.

One point I would agree on there should have been holograms advertising male companions in the city.
 

Luiglin

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#64
would agree on there should have been holograms advertising male companions in the city.
I don't see that. Why can't a technology capable of producing a female Joi produce a male Joi? Why can't it be intelligent enough to realise that it's viewer is male or female and therefore tailor the advert accordingly?

I know this is a case of 'what if' but today's technology is already heading in that direction.
 

Judderman

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#65
If there is a gigantic hologram there could be people of both sexes going by at once so it may not be able to pick up one person. So it could alternate.

As for advertising equipment recognising the sex of a passerby. That is some serious big brother stuff :O Plus not everyone is heterosexual.
 

Luiglin

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#66
If there is a gigantic hologram there could be people of both sexes going by at once so it may not be able to pick up one person. So it could alternate.

As for advertising equipment recognising the sex of a passerby. That is some serious big brother stuff :O Plus not everyone is heterosexual.
There are ways round all of that. Minority Report provided a great example with linking adverts to retinal recognition. Link this to back end data of personal preferences and, as they say, Bob's your uncle.
 

Toby Frost

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#67
I don't want to start this discussion again, but I saw Ex Machina recently and thought that it covered similar territory, a bit more interestingly.
 

Sir Vivor

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#68
I'm a huge fan of the original Blade Runner. Loved the story, the visuals, and the music is probably responsible for my love of synthesizers.. but the new movie, what a disappointment! The makers apparently obsessed about copying the feel of Vangelis' original score, and failed miserably. In the cinema where I saw the new version, they also had the volume up so loud, it was a total turn-off.. it almost hurt my ears. Absolutely ridiculous. As far as story goes, I saw the new movie about 6-8 weeks ago, and I cannot even remember the plot... that's how good the film was.
 

Rodders

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#69
I’m the total opposite Sir Vivor. I love synthesisor music, too. I thought the soundtrack was pretty good (although I need to listen to it in isolation.)

I hear what you’re saying about the sound levels in movies. It can be a bit too loud.

I loved the film.
 

Luiglin

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#70
I’m the total opposite Sir Vivor. I love synthesisor music, too. I thought the soundtrack was pretty good (although I need to listen to it in isolation.)

I hear what you’re saying about the sound levels in movies. It can be a bit too loud.

I loved the film.
Same here and I thought the sound levels were spot on adding to the whole atmosphere.
 

Judderman

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#71
It may depend on the specific cinema. They can crank up the volume if they think it is more impressive.
 

The Crawling Chaos

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#72
It may depend on the specific cinema. They can crank up the volume if they think it is more impressive.
I remember catching 2001: A Space Odyssey in an arthouse cinema with the volume cranked up so loud that I was in physical pain and had to cover my ears whenever the monolith emitted its piercing sound. Really not an enjoyable experience. Make sure you talk to your cinema's manager after the show and let them know, otherwise things will remain as they are.
 

Toby Frost

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#73
Likewise, years ago I saw Zorro at a cinema where the volume was much too loud. Every time there was a swordfight it was like a car crashing into a saucepan factory.

Many trailers for "epic" films are cursed with a pulsing bass noise that is supposed to suggest drama and excitement. The BR2047 soundtrack had quite a few of these.
 

Judderman

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#74
The most annoying thing I find with a lot of films sounds is the contrast between loud music but quiet talking. So at home the volume goes up when there is talking, particularly for strong accents, and then you have to grab for the remote when the music starts blaring.
 

The Crawling Chaos

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#75
The most annoying thing I find with a lot of films sounds is the contrast between loud music but quiet talking. So at home the volume goes up when there is talking, particularly for strong accents, and then you have to grab for the remote when the music starts blaring.
Years ago, I worked in the post-production industry and I happened to attend a handful of sound mix sessions. Those mixes are done on finely calibrated machines in soundproof auditoria, and when you listen to the mix in these conditions, it sounds perfect: You can hear the whispers as if the characters were whispering in your ear, you can take in the loudest explosions without covering your ears.

Every movie goes through at least two, often three or above, different sound mixes: One for the theatre release, one for the home video market (Stereo, 5.1). but even in cinemas, which only have one of half a dozen standards when it comes to sound equipment (Dolby, etc.), you can spot noticeable differences from one theatre to the next. When the movie is released on the home video market, you have to take into account hundreds of possible configurations, and there is no way to calibrate a sound mix to make it sound great on every single TV out there. So unfortunately, the problem you're referring to is due to your equipment, not the quality of the mix.

The same goes for the picture (colours and luminosity), although it's less noticeable because your eyes adjust to whatever they're seeing and your brain thinks it's just watching the film as it is meant to be watched (and your eyes won't bleed even if the colours look atrocious). Movies are graded on small monitors that cost around 30K and have a perfect restitution of each colour channel. And when you do happen to watch a film on these monitors, boy does it look great.

Then you've got people watching that same film on a home cinema screen, a 50" flat screen, a 70" curved screen, a PC, a smartphone, an iPad, an old TV from the 90s, and that's without taking into account the multitude of differences from one brand to the next and all the different modes that modern TVs offer nowadays (Gaming mode, cinema mode...), so the movie never ever looks the same again. So you've got movies that look too dark, too bright, too yellow, etc.

Unless the entire home video industry becomes standardised, which is impossible, this will never change.
 

Judderman

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#76
A good explanation CC.
For the home release version put sound volume the same between speech and music, and that would surely leave equipment problems out of it?
 

The Crawling Chaos

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#77
A good explanation CC.
For the home release version put sound volume the same between speech and music, and that would surely leave equipment problems out of it?
Well, the issue is that a good sound mix in many ways can be defined by how dynamic it is, ie. how much of a difference there is between the lows (whispers) and the highs ('splosions) while still having both audible to the human ear.

A sound mix where everything would be at the same levels would sound flat and, I'm sure, barely bearable to a human ear. It would be this uniform soup or carpet of sound where nothing really stands out. It would also be impossible to set the score at or near the same level as the dialogue, because scores tend to hit a richer spectrum (due to their orchestral nature) than the human voice, therefore the score would always overpower dialogues.

In any case, you want dynamism in your sound mix, just like you want dynamism in your pictures (dynamic picture = having a huge difference between the darkest point and the brightest point on the picture, while still allowing the human eye to discern both as shades of gray and not absolute black and absolute white, respectively). There's a reason HDR filters and cameras offering highly dynamic images are all the rage, nowadays: We hear and see the world dynamically, the world is made of low and high sounds and it's made of really dark and really bright spots, and we want our movies to reflect that.

So the next best way to go about it is to aim for maximum dynamism in ideal conditions, knowing that the people with the best equipment will get the best restitution of your mix on their home equipment and that, unfortunately, those with lesser equipment will not get the full spectrum of highs and lows (since lesser equipment will not be able to restitute sound frequencies that are higher / lower as faithfully as the good equipment, and will often truncate the spectrum in its lower and/or higher end). Because technology tends to get better and better with time, it's the soundest (no pun intended) option.

To be honest, it's a bit of a headache for everybody. No filmmaker wants their film to be seen in less than ideal conditions, and they know that audiences only ever see a bastardised version of their film, one that does not look nor sound as good as the master they created in laboratory conditions, but it's the best they can do: Aim for the highest possible quality at the risk of falling a little short.
 
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Dave

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#78
Okay, very late to the party, I'm afraid...

Where to start? Well, I did enjoy it. Not as much as the hype over it (wasn't it meant to be the best SFF film of 2017?) but enough to ignore all my complaints about them even making a sequel. The best thing was that it wasn't a retread of the early story, and the idea of a child of Rachel was interesting.

Beautiful, stylish, excrutiatingly slow and did what many sequels do - dispells the mystery of (and therefore diminishes) the original. Was Deckard a replicant or not? I no longer care - that's what this movie did for me.
I couldn't go quite that far. Pace-wise, I didn't mind. Actually, this was a very long film, but it didn't seem too long, and there was none of that, thinking the film is over, then there is another bit, and another bit, and.... something I often find in modern action films.

I think the idea of someone not even knowing if they are replicant or not is quite interesting.
For me, that was also one of the ideas that made the original film. Rachel and Tyrell's other toys didn't know, and we didn't know if Deckard was or not. However, other people have said that wasn't important to them. I noticed that Wallace dropped hints that Deckard was still a replicant with his "designed to meet Rachel" statement. Of course, he could have just meant "designed" as in given that assignment by his superiors.

I did like the twist at the end. I should have seen that coming really. But why did she use her own memories in replicants? If it was against the law then why would she? If she was as good a memory designer as she was supposed to be, then why would she need to? Obviously, she wasn't that good and cheated.

JOI has grown to more than just her programming through her love for K. She is very much a female character and more than just an ai.
For me, she was a real women, but then I would treat replicants as real people too. They are better than humans, which is why the humans are so worried.

And what's with the bees?
No idea either. If they were replicant bees, then that passed right over my head. If they were pollinating food for Deckard, I not only didn't see plants, but I saw a Las Vegas that had completely returned to the desert.

The scene that introduces Wallace to us only had to let us know that he had a God-complex, and that he wanted replicants to have babies (bizarrely putting himself out of business, seeing as he's making them).
I think he thought planetary colonisation would be what he would be remembered for, and that could only be possible with a much faster rate of production than was possible unless they reproduced themselves. That actually has a scientific basis in population dynamics. It is amazing how fast bacteria can reproduce just by splitting in two, but a production line capacity will never increase beyond a maximum.

I don't want to get into the sexism debate, as you have probably said everything already. The film portrays a sexist society, but no more than today. Why are SIRI and CONTANA female? We are still taught to view females are more caring and compassionate, and studies have shown that while most men like caring women, most women do not like caring men. These things won't change in the next thirty years, however much the world changes.

Brian, when it comes to stories that have a reproduction, or challenges with reproduction, as a key part of the storyline there is always going to be a focus on women. The reverse story doesn't make much sense.
I agree. I read through Brian's 'revamped script' and while it wouldn't bother me, I think the majority of both sexes would have found that story very odd.

Replicants have been revamped by Wallace technology to be obedient slaves, regardless of what they might have to say about the tasks they are asked to perform. So yes, they start off as drones without desires or needs. But the whole point of the movie is to show how the good guys are able to move beyond those limitations and find purpose.
I think that is an important point, and makes these new replicants different to the older models.

I think you can watch BR 2049 without having seen Blade Runner.
Yes, I agree, you don't need to see the first film. In fact, everything you do need to know is shown to you.
 

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