back to article Hollywood has savaged enough sci-fi classics – let's hope Dick would dig Blade Runner 2049

1982 was a good year for sci-fi cinema. ET, Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan, Tron, The Thing. All great in their own ways. It was also the year Blade Runner came out. Ridley Scott's telling of Philip K Dick's 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? didn't make the top 20 of most-grossing films that year – ET was number one …

  1. malle-herbert Silver badge

    You want me to tell you about my mother ?

    I'll tell you about my mother...

    (I really hope they put a somewhat similar scene in the new movie...)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: lemme tell you about my mother ?

      this is one of the most powerful scenes I've ever seen in a movie. In other circumstances I'd say it blows you off the chair...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: lemme tell you about my mother ?

        I've seen this scene!!! It's the one where Han shoots first!

    2. tekHedd

      Re: You want me to tell you about my mother ?

      Probability is it will be done Disney-fan-service style: a completely different character will say it in a completely different setting for no reason whatsoever.

      And, TBH, hell no. I don't want to hear all my favorite lines ripped from a classic movie and shoehorned into a new movie. Again.

  2. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Watch the three short films that sit between the original and 2049 and help bring you up to speed (backlash against replicants, EMP blast, new generation of replicants), but avoid the trailers for the new film itself.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Apparently a new trailer for Blade Runner 2049 this week gives just a bit too much away. So I have read. I've heeded the warning.

      1. caffeine addict Silver badge

        I've just watched the trailer embedded in the article. The main spoiler I witnessed was the obligatory WHHHHHHHHhhhooooooooommmmmmm that every post-Inception trailer has needed.

        Oh. That's not the kind of spoiler you meant, was it...

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        It's the rule now. I just don't watch trailers. Way too many of them are packed with either plot-spoilers or ruin the best gags by showing the punchline.

        Although some do have good info. They'll say, "an Adam Sandler movie" and then I'll know not to watch the film. Or I think I saw one on telly the other day that starts with "Reese Witherspoon back to her romcom best"...

      3. Haku

        I have purposely avoided reading / watching anything about the new Blade Runner film because I want to go see it knowing as little as possible. The way movies should be enjoyed IMHO.

        And on that note, I'm outta here! Catch you in some other comment thread :)

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          > I have purposely avoided reading / watching anything about the new Blade Runner film

          The three short films aren't spoilers, as they sit chronologically between the original and the new Blade Runner. They just outline some big events that happen before the new film is set. I doubt they are essential to your enjoyment of the new film, but they won't spoil it either (as some of the trailers are reputed to do). Think of them as prologues. :)

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            One of the short films is set in the wrong year or the published timeline is wrong.


            Can't get the staff these days.

  3. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    I have all the versions to date, and enjoy them all, different views of the same movie and I read the book before I saw the premier of the original in London years ago. To a degree Blade Runner is only understandable if you have read Do Androids Dream... but the real magic of the movie is that it invites the viewer to discover the question after the end of the movie ... that's real movie making.

    I just hope that the sequel preserves the ambiguity, because to reveal an "answer" would destroy the movie. PK Dick's work is all about questions, not answers.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      I saw the film before reading the book.

      I fell in love with the film, but the book left me disappointed.

      Must have been the absence of Vangelis background music in the book at the time.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Film adaptations of Philip K Dick are often only distantly related to the source material, with A Scanner Darkly being the exception that proves the rule.

        1. Excellentsword

          Electric Dreams

          Has anyone been watching that on Channel 4, Sunday evenings? It's various screen interpretations of Dick's more obscure short stories by different directors and writers. Quite good, I thought. I always hit the internet in search of the originals to see how they differ from the show. That might be the crux of Dick and the success of Blade Runner, in that Dick provides very evocative worlds in which to set great sci-fi tales, and the directors/screenwriters run with it into even more interesting territory.

          1. myhandler

            Re: Electric Dreams

            Yup they're pretty good I think, they get the essence of the man's stories.

            Last week's probably the best. mostly down to Timothy Spall's acting.

            No idea if I ever read the originals

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Pascal Monett,

        I think it's because Philip K Dick mostly wasn't a brilliant writer. I've read a lot of his stuff, and enjoyed most of it, but most of it has huge glaring flaws. I think he banged out a lot of stuff to meet deadlines, and get paid - which is fair enough. So a lot of his work is about the ideas, rather than the writing.

        Although I think 'A Scanner Darkly' is one of my favourite books. One that he took more effort over perhaps? It certainly feels like it, and it doesn't seem rushed. Admittedly I've not read it in years, so perhaps it's time to dig it out and see if my memory is playing tricks on me. Not the most cheerful of reads mind... It needs to be followed by something like a Pratchett, as a palate cleanser.

        1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

          "I think it's because Philip K Dick mostly wasn't a brilliant writer."

          Disagree strongly. Some of the early stuff is a bit lack lustre and trite. But he's a brilliant prose stylist and a shrewd painter of character.

          If all you can get out a book is the plot, then, yes, you're in trouble, because writing books while high isn't conducive to producing well-reasoned plots. (He famously wrote The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch in a fortnight while on amphetamines.) But reading PKD for the plot is like reading Greg Egon for the prose. Or for the characterisation. Or without several maths text books handy. Still both can mindfuck, if you let them.

        2. IsJustabloke Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          "I think it's because Philip K Dick mostly wasn't a brilliant writer."

          I absolutely agree... I think his forte was ideas and that mostly he struggled to put those ideas into words in a coherent way. The fact is that for most of his career this was the prevailing opinion. It wasn't until after his death that his work was revisited and reclassified.

          Blade Runner was panned by critics because it was a film that has to Watched. you can't skim it like so many of it's contemporary films.

          Sci-fi was suppose to be all "flash bang crash kill the aliens !!!" a'la Star Wars, Leave the cerebral stuff to books please!

          It's a fabulous films in all its many cuts and It rightly deserves the plaudits it gets, it's up there with 2001, and Alien as a classic Film both of which also redefined what a certain type of movie should be like.

          I'm looking forward to seeing 2049, I'll watch it with an open mind and I sincerely hope we can add it to the list of brilliant films.

          Lord knows the list has been lacking in recent times :/

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "I think it's because Philip K Dick mostly wasn't a brilliant writer."

            ”Blade Runner was panned by critics because it was a film that has to Watched.”

            Not to mention the original cinematic ending was awful and fixed only later. I loved it at the time (saw it twice in the first week), but to do so you had to assume a reworked ending. Brazil suffered a worse version of the same fate.

    2. Tom 64

      > "but the real magic of the movie is that it invites the viewer to discover the question after the end of the movie ... that's real movie making."

      I'm betting the new one ends in an obvious cliff hanger.

  4. TRT Silver badge

    The Thing?

    Dreadful remake of a 50s classic. Too much gore for my liking, although not a patch on the gorefests that followed.

    1. EddieD

      Re: The Thing?

      Preference is an individual thing, but the Carpenter version far better captured the paranoia of Campbell's short story "Who goes there" - which if you can find it is well worth a read.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: The Thing?

        I've not read that. I think the 50s one was terribly claustrophobic and benefitted from both a lack of colour and better lighting. But as you say, it's a matter of personal preference.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. EddieD

          Re: The Thing?


    2. Anonymous Cowerd

      Re: The Thing?

      Carpenter's was NOT a remake, any more than Polanski's Oliver Twist was a remake of David Lean.

  5. Jim 59

    Never got ET. Perhaps at 15 I was a bit too old.

    Never got Bladerunner either, for which I apologise and will keep rewatcing.

    Loved The Thing (1982) on TV but couldn't watch it, or other gore-fests, in the cinema.

    Tron perhaps "didn't impact pop culture", but it did help to send regiments of us down the computer track.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      I never got ET either. I mean, it was OK-ish in the genre, but the genre for me was kids movie. Mind you, at least it had guns! For a while.

      Tron, I was enamoured by. Loved it. The bold use of graphics throughout the main story... just like nothing I'd really seen before.

      Bladerunner is just great. I have a slight bias against it because my brother liked it, but that was just sibling rivalry. The music, the dystopian future, the ambiguity about everything.

      The Thing, as I said, was too gory for its own good. Alien did it right. One shock-gore moment, the rest was just flash of movement and cut to an echoey scream down a corridor lit by flashing amber beacons.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      "Never got Bladerunner either"

      No one is obliged to like any film.

      For Bladerunner, take it as visual and audio poetry. That might help with the mindset.

      Just a suggestion.

      1. PhilipN Silver badge

        Visual and audio poetry

        Spot on!

        Recommend to wear a good set of headphones and listen intently to the soundtrack.

        Then watch in hi-def and try - most likely through several sittings - to see everything that is going on.

        There is in fact so much going on that it is almost impossible for the conscious mind to get it all even after several sittings.

        For example the interrogation sequence near the beginning with Brion James is superficially simple but incredibly complex. Masterful use of cigarette smoke and a hundred other things.

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      Never got Bladerunner either, for which I apologise and will keep rewatcing.

      Of the eight versions, I'd recommend Ridley Scott's Final Cut (2007)...

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        ET is okay

        The Dark Crystal is far superior.

  6. graeme leggett

    Replicant or not

    The question to my mind is whether replicants are humans or not, and not whether Deckard is a replicant? The latter being the question that seems to occupy much discussion around the film.

    Dick seems to suggest, or at least advance the issue, that a replicant with emotions is possibly more "human" that a real human with little to no empathy.

    Spoilers for the book - the replicants have their own (fake) police precinct and employ a human bladerunner. Will Deckard kill a real human one day by mistake? Fortunately in the book, as I recall, it's relatively easy to tell after the fact - as replicants have non-organic brain units.

    1. James 51 Silver badge

      Re: Replicant or not

      In the computer game it normally takes bone marrow to tell the difference between replicant animals and the real ones.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Replicant or not

        Assuming you mean the 1997 voxel-rendered game, and not the Sinclair Spectrum Blade Runner? :)

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Replicant or not

          Or the Oscar Pistorius movie.

        2. James 51 Silver badge

          Re: Replicant or not

          Yes Dave. I still have the CDs in a draw but trying to get it to run now is a pain. Hoping it will turn up on GOG.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Replicant or not

      Again, adaptations of Dick obey their own rules... We can assume that in the Blade Runner universe, unlike the DADOES world, replicants have organic brains because otherwise the Voight-Kampff test wouldn't be required (only a metal detector). Also, before the 2049 film, there is an EMP blast in 2022 which doesn't 'kill' replicants.

    3. IsJustabloke Silver badge

      Re: Replicant or not

      "The question to my mind is whether replicants are humans or not"

      There was an old paperback I read years ago (i picked it up in a charity shop) The premise was that androids were all but indistinguishable from humans, the only visible difference being that the androids were blue in colour. everything about them was steeped in secrecy about where they "made" and the various processes etc etc... but there was a dark secret!

      It was a good read but sadly I can't recall what it was called :(

    4. TomPhan

      Re: Replicant or not

      The short story "Human Is" addresses that question directly.

  7. steviebuk Silver badge

    Was never...

    ...a massive fan but liked it anyway. The new one looks good and Ryan Gosling is good so I think all will be well.

    I watched the original recently and was confused about the story because it turns out the story I remembered was the one from the 90s PC game.

  8. Lee D Silver badge

    Bladerunner isn't that great .. well, it's alright. But it set the aesthetic. In the same way that the book Lord of The Rings collated and set the aesthetic for lots of similar tales and settings. And how things like The Matrix set the aesthetic for many similar movies.

    The problem - The Matrix was good because it wasn't trying to be too clever, it just introduced you to a well-thought-out universe with a unique aesthetic, You can drop in the deja-vu, and the "bound by rules" and all the other bits and it's all new, fresh, interesting and makes sense. The rest of The Matrix movies are trash. Literally just action films where he gets more and more ridiculously powerful. Boring. (God, just remember that final fight between Neo and Smith that just goes on forever while they destroy the world around them... you just think "You might as well just give up, because beating each other with lampposts etc. isn't working no matter how many times you do it"). I would hold that the thing that kills the Matrix sequels is, quite sadly, the whole human city thing. Too much time in caves and pipes and not enough inside the Matrix, and the time inside the Matrix is just never-ending fighting with someone who basically doesn't really get hurt.

    The same happened with Alien / Aliens (both set their own kinds of aesthetic, I happen to think Aliens is much better in doing this). Everything past that was just "let's throw in something different at random" while pretending it was more of the same. It wasn't necessary, it didn't really work, and now the whole franchise is just trash. Alien 3 figuratively changes the colour of everything (and literally, too - think of Aliens, you think blacks and blues, think of Alien 3 and everything is brown, even the alien), even though the story has gone "unskilled crew vs alien in confined space ending with lone woman, over-equipped military against alien on huge planet, unskilled crew vs alien in confined space).

    There are lots of movies that set their own aesthetic, most are not all that good. The early Star Wars movies, moves like The Thing (for zombie/alien like movies), etc. If you are setting the aesthetic for a genre that's not been seen before, it will become yours, and that movie will be used as the standard (I've heard many people see/read cyberpunk stuff and call it "Bladerunner-esque".

    But the problem is that new storylines and new aesthetics are few and far between, and aesthetics are easily ruined. Those kinds of opportunities can be squandered. And sequels don't work too well once you've set the aesthetic as you're then competing against a movie with the same name and idea and aesthetic. Alien/Aliens is probably the only one I can think of that's really successful in that regard, almost because it's two different movies: "alien vs lone survivor" and "alien vs elite military unit packing state-of-the-art hardware".

    It's not even about original actors, or same scriptwriters, or same directors, etc. Remember Highlander? First was great. Second was trash. The aesthetic change kills it.

    Bladerunner set the aesthetic, but then was also overrun with re-interpretations. Sure, everyone probably likes a different one but it hit saturation really quickly. That's cost it dear in the sequel-viability stakes, as has the amount of time that has passed. Again, going back to Aliens, it had the Special Edition - people will prefer one or the other. [Special Edition is better than the original (if you exclude all the namby-pamby Ripley-famliy nonsense)]. It was a way to get "more" out of the original Aliens aesthetic.

    But sequels don't cut it. They change too much, alter the aesthetic. The movie that makes a second aesthetic that's as good as the first, without just piggybacking or reinventing everything, is really rare. I foreesee any Bladerunner sequel trapped there - they can't abandon the aesthetic of Bladerunner, but they also can't add much to the story that will introduce new things to it without breaking into something else.

    And because it's an undefineable quantity, it's almost impossible to promise or to prove, so any such attempt to follow it with even the smallest claim to being able to replicate (ha!) it is really quite dishonest. When film people say "We're going to move in a different direction", it's because they know they can't compete on an aesthetic level.

    I think what Hollywood misses is that often we want more of the same, without having to put in "new" stuff too. We'd give our hind teeth to make the Aliens movie just 10 minutes longer, but we wouldn't want fleets of marines arriving to take out the mega-queen or whatever. I'd love to have had The Matrix play out to a movie twice as long with some of the elements of the later movies, but as soon as you shut the clapperboard for the last time and then try to resurrect it a year later, you lose it.

    Aliens was so cool to me, that when the Colonial Marines video game came out, and it had original voice, sound effects, licence, etc. I was over the LV426. Now I could play IN THE MOVIE, as it happened, with the same aesthetic. But, no, it was just dire because it was all reinterpreted, and rushed. But I was more hyped about being able to BE Hicks, exactly as it was, exactly like an 80's movie, with motion trackers that now look out of the Ark, and original gun sounds, etc. than I was about any of the movies that followed.

    You have to keep the aesthetic. Nowadays. I imagine any sequel would be destroyed by over-use of fancy special effects, rather than just keeping on par and inventing new twists rather than just "telling us more" about the story.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      It's interesting to hear William Gibson talk about Neuromancer - he was already some way into writing it (and had established this vision of the Sprawl, city streets that resemble the LA depicted in Blade Runner) when Blade Runner was released.

      It also interesting to read Gibson's unused script for Alien 3. It expands upon the factions and politics of Alien/Aliens (which are borrowed from Joseph Conrad), introduces new twists, and places Hicks in the fore. Also, Jeeps blasting through corrupted biodomes, like the beginning of Silent Runnings (a good film for real, solid sets, to whit an aircraft carrier) on steroids.

  9. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Hollywood being moribund

    There is a SH*TLOAD of SciFi which was not even theoretically feasible to be filmed 20 years ago which can be filmed today. However, instead of filming let's say the Uplift War by Brin (which can make the mother of all blockbusters - way beyond Star Wars), they are doing what? Rehashing old films and regurgitating Marvell comics.

    Bleaurghhhh... Where is the vomit icon (we need one).

    1. John 110

      Re: Hollywood being moribund

      Can I vote for Consider Phlebus (Iain Banks)?

      1. tony72

        Re: Hollywood being moribund

        Can I vote for Consider Phlebus (Iain Banks)?

        Rhiiiiight. And what sort of budget did you have in mind for that? I'm a huge fan of the Banks' work, but I hope nobody ever attempts to make a movie out of any of them. The amount of butchery required to squeeze a huge-scale epic space opera of that kind into a two hour movie ensures that it will lose all its character, and nobody is ever likely to spend the kind of money that would be required to do the stories justice. Just look at the adaptations of Frank Herbert's Dune as a cautionary tale. Some things are best left on the printed page, and visualized in one's imagination.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Hollywood being moribund

          Except in a few years you will be able to do Lord of The Rings CGI battles on your laptop.

          So a TV miniseries of Banks/Simmons/Brin type novel becomes more possible every year

      2. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

        Re: Hollywood being moribund

        I still want to see a movie of Frank Herbert's "Dragon in the Sea", but it has to use the sort of 50's nuclear tech in the book and, preferably, be lowish budget and claustrophobic. Don't make it shiny and futuristic or it will disappoint.

        1. 2Nick3 Bronze badge

          Re: Hollywood being moribund

          +1 on "Dragon in the Sea". Frank Herbert has a lot of great stories that don't have Dune in the title. I'd also love to see a version of "Destination: Void", "Hellstrom's Hive" or my personal favorite "The White Plague". That book scared me to no end when I first read it, and the premise is even more plausible today. Even so I'd love to see it done in the original setting, but I doubt that would ever happen.

      3. Rattus Rattus

        Re: Can I vote for Consider Phlebus

        I'd prefer Excession myself, or The Player of Games, but I agree Consider Phlebas would be pretty amazing on the big screen.

    2. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

      Re: Hollywood being moribund

      I know it's a typo, but "Marvell Comics" gave me a smile. You'd need superpowers to get that damn NIC to show up in Linux....

      But, on your point, the problem is that studios are businesses, and a business can't drop a quarter of a billion dollars on something that might return their money. The days of releasing a wide range of pictures to catch a cult hit are largely gone in the big studios. Whatever your views on torrenting etc, one thing it has done is dramatically shortened the earning life of the average movie (and mega-budget movies often turn out to be very average movies). Now, a picture has to make back its costs on the first three or four weeks of theatrical release - if it doesn't, disc sales and streaming won't rescue it.

      Marvel's endless movies are successful because the generations of Americans who grew up reading those comics provide a ready-made audience for anything they put out. People hear the title and most will know what it's about without the studio having to spend a cent on publicity, so the hundred million or so they do spend has a much greater effect in getting as many people buying tickets in that brief window before the thing shows up on every torrent site.

      Streaming TV services are the only place you'll see slow-burners like the original Blade Runner getting commissioned now. The charging model there at least allows a story that doesn't have instant appeal to be commercially viable over time as more people get into it.

    3. Toltec

      Re: Hollywood being moribund

      For action SF with plenty of sequel material I'd go for Altered Carbon (Richard Morgan) or Gridlinked (Neal Asher), Snow Crash (Neal Stephenson) would make a great TV series too.

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Hollywood being moribund

        Hollywood deals in visual spectacle first and foremost, so if you wish you favorite novel on them be prepared for the results (coughDunecough).

        Slightly off-topic: When my office pals and I were all reading the hot new novel "The Hunt for Red October", *they* held the opinion that it couldn't be made into an enjoyable movie. *I* said that if they dropped the first third (which is full of internalized back and forth) and filmed what was left (the action sequences of the chase), it would make a dandy movie. I reckon they did a good job. But if you loved the book you would no doubt have a different take.

        Personally, I'd like to see some bright young things give the Game of Thrones treatment to Dragonflight. It would lend itself very well to the CGI-heavy mini-series model, given that it has several action sequences, a love story, a young boy made king (sorta), a riches to rags to altered perspective heroine and dragons in flight, fire and all.

        I'd also love to see Delany's Nova on screen. Weird body-mod tech. Space Opera grail quest. Towering villains. Smouldering hero. and a band of loyal "misfit" followers. What's not to love?

        Gotta Dream.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Hollywood being moribund

        Snow Crash (Neal Stephenson) would make a great TV series too.

        Drum roll: Amazon is making a Snow Crash TV show

      3. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Hollywood being moribund


        Amazon has recently commissioned a Snow Crash (and Ringworld) adaptation.

        1. Toltec

          Re: Hollywood being moribund

          Watching Altered Carbon on Netflix at the moment.

          A welcome break from all of the tedious superhero/comic book adaptations.

  10. John Mangan

    I was late to Bladreunner . .

    ..some friends went to see it and weren't complimentary. When I finally saw it I had to permanently downgrade the weighting I put on their views. I like all the versions but I've never gotten around to reading the book which I regret and will amend in the near future.

    I've avoided all trailers for the new one and I really can't decide whether to see it or not. Bladreunner was as near perfect as it is possible to get (for me) and I don't want it all tritely answered or spurious add-on concepts and what-nots conjured out of the air to power a franchise into the future.

    On the other hand another visit to a marvellously realised universe......

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: I was late to Bladreunner . .

      Watch the film 'Arrival' by the same director, and it may reassure you that BR 2049 isn't trying to spawn an ongoing franchise.

  11. Arctic fox

    For me the moment of Roger Batty's death is extraordinary and deeply moving.

    ""I've watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.""

    Rutger Hauer's delivery of that monologue was absolutely amazing.

    1. The March Hare

      Re: For me the moment of Roger Batty's death is extraordinary and deeply moving.

      I believe he also ad-libbed quite a lot of it - the original script called for a boring long speech that had no impact - so he cut most of it out.

      1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

        Re: For me the moment of Roger Batty's death is extraordinary and deeply moving.

        Saw a documentary on this (on one of the many, many, Director's releases), and surprisingly, his version is no shorter than the originally scripted part. The scripted piece was pretty flat and in Hauer's words, "opera speech", so he dumped almost all of it. Ironically, given that "opera" description, it was he who brought in the famous "Tannhäuser Gate" phrase that had been in an early draft of the script but was later cut.

        The closing lines, with "... like tears in the rain" were entirely Hauer's, and he got an ovation on set after the take.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Roger Batty's death

          Sigh. Don't you mean Roger /Blake's/ death? :-)

    2. TRT Silver badge

      Re: For me the moment of Roger Batty's death is extraordinary and deeply moving.

      I prefer his delivery of the Roy Batty speech myself.

  12. Mud5hark

    What about the "Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion."

    1. Tim99 Silver badge

      "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe."

      What about the "Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion."

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm ambivalent. Even if it were one of the greatest films ever made, the very existence of a Blade Runner 2 detracts from the qualities of Blade Runner 1. So much of its effectiveness as a film comes from the mystery and the fact that so much of the universe is left for the viewer to construct in their mind. Expanding on this and answering the questions is just so very anti-Dick.

    It's basically a bit like making Pulp Fiction 2: The Opening Of The Briefcase.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Better than the string of "Alien 7 - Muppet babies go on spring break" sequels

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. MJI Silver badge

    A superb film

    Seen it a few times, currently own the Blu Ray ultimate cut, sold the really bad transfer DVD.

    Imagry great, music great, acting excellent, direction and cinematography superb.

    If the sequel is half as good, it will be great.

  15. heyrick Silver badge

    a flurry of branching narratives created to feed the attention span of modern Hollywood

    What attention span?

    I mean, did you see the Ghost In The Shell movie? Oh my God. It was like somebody watched the animated films, enjoyed the good visual sequences, and recreated them all in a new movie with little understanding of their context so they had to come up with a new story that was a far cry from the narrative that the originals were known for. I swear if they explained what the ghost/shell meant one more time I was going to beat my head off the wall. So the live action film is visually amazing but utterly lacking in substance. Welcome to modern Hollywood.

    1. Alistair Silver badge

      Re: a flurry of branching narratives created to feed the attention span of modern Hollywood


      Hollywont has to feed to the masses. And sadly, the sum total intelligence on the planet is a constant.

      1. Bandikoto

        Re: a flurry of branching narratives created to feed the attention span of modern Hollywood

        Which is why you have the extended stupid exploding rubber doll sequences in "Total Recall". Well, that and the three-boobed mutie. (Hm, one of each hand, the other for...?) It gives the mouth-breathers something to enjoy while the rest of us are watching the story.

        1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

          Re: a flurry of branching narratives created to feed the attention span of modern Hollywood

          Maybe all three are for infants?

  16. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge

    Call me grumpy...

    ...but in the great scheme of things I think sequels are a lazy alternative to new material. There are exceptions, of course (Godfather 2 etc.) but let's have more new stuff please, not endless sequels and reboots.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Call me grumpy...

      You have $300 to make a movie and then you have to spend on marketing.

      How much is the marketing budget to sell "Hotel du Lac" to a market of Indonesian teenagers vs "Iron Man 11" ?

  17. Miss Config

    Here Is The News

    When I saw Blade Runner again a few years ago what struck me was Harrison Ford actually .................

    Reading Newspapers.

    And btw, given that The Reg routinely nicknames companies ( such as The Chocolate Factory) , why does it NOT refer to the people who bring you Android as The Electric Sheep Dreamers ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Here Is The News

      Duly noted. But was it ever answered whether androids DO dream of electric sheep?

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Here Is The News

        At first the people monitoring the "dreams" during an Android's recharge and backup cycle thought they were sheep, but it turned out it was little fluffy electric clouds.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Here Is The News

        androids DO dream of electric sheep?

        With GPUs and map-reduce you can count all the sheep at the same time so it doesn't help

      3. smudge Silver badge

        Re: Here Is The News

        But was it ever answered whether androids DO dream of electric sheep?

        It's years since I read the book, but my conclusion was that the emphasis in the title is not on "do", but is on "electric".

        People can afford electric animals, but dream of being able to own flesh-and-blood ones, like themselves.

        So what do androids dream of? Electric animals, like themselves? Or flesh-and-blood animals, because they aspire to be human?

        Clever title when you consider it.

      4. Tikimon Silver badge

        Re: Here Is The News

        "Duly noted. But was it ever answered whether androids DO dream of electric sheep?"

        They do, and given what they dream about the sheep would be well advised to keep their distance.

  18. nickx89

    notorious for remakes.

    Remakes are notorious for going flop. Only a few got to see the light of success. I think it will live to see another day but it won't hit the blockbuster.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

      Re: notorious for remakes.

      Off-topic movie trivia time: The version of The Maltese Falcon everybody remembers (Houston, Bogart, Lorre, Greenstreet, Cook, Astor, ...) was already the third version made, so technically the remake of a remake. Sometimes it's worth to try again.

      1. TomPhan

        Re: notorious for remakes.

        Not really remakes as they're based on the novel rather than each other, and it's interesting to see how the original is differently interpreted.

  19. micheal


    This along with the original Dune, Repo Man and The Andromeda Strain I could watch all night long.

    They have an appeal and timelessness that lots of modern movies do not.

  20. Stevie Silver badge


    "Deckard and his wife bickering over which setting to have on the Penfield mood organ"

    The sequence in the book actually has Deckard wanting to dial a "happy" mood on the mood organ but not wanting to have his wife then dial "moody and depressed" - provoking an argument and souring his own mood. The real joy of this is the dialogue between them which pretty much defines "Emotional Blackmail". The lengthy drawn-out pun is definitely my bag, baby.

    "Any sequel needs to have a premise stronger than our need to know whether Deckard really was a replicant and what that might mean."

    Mostly because this is the *least* interesting question posed by the movie.

    Consider: If Deckard *isn't* a replicant (or that status is undefined), and he is bonking Rachel who definitely is a replicant, then a number of interesting points arise, not least of them having to do with the two axioms "Rachel is almost indistinguishable from a "real" human being" and "Rachel is less than six years old". Now we are asking "Is Deckard a child molester?" among other things.

    (Rutger Hauer and Brion James do a wonderfully obscure job of conveying that Batty and Kowalski are five going on six in their periodic immature exchanges interpolated into their more adult conversations. Kowalski's reaction to the VC tester's question about his mother is pure elementary schhoolyard stuff. It's instructive to note that Deckard *never* does this.)

    But if Deckard really is a replicant, he and Rachel are just two bio-machines bonking and that's about that. BFD.

    1. TomPhan

      Re: Bah!

      Don't know what mood you want? How about dialing the setting for people who don't know what mood they want.

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Bah!

        There was mention of random dialing in that sequence. But the *point* was if Deckard selected upbeat first, his wife would almost certainly select depressed. The joy for the reader wasn't the fact of the mood selection, but that of the sword Mrs Deckard was holding over her none-too-stable husband's head, knowing that he needed to dial an upbeat mood just to get on with his depressing job in a world gone "meh". Neither could function at that stage without the mood organ.

        My favorite part of the novel is when Deckard gets picked up on suspicion of being an android by counterpart using a completely different test than Deckard does. Each works out of a different (police?) precinct. Deckard's test works on empathy (as in the movie) but the other guy's works on measuring reflex timings, a test Deckard has never heard of. Deckard spends a few pages arguing his humanity with someone he isn't sure is human (because he was "shopped" to this precinct's staff by someone he strongly suspected was an android). It is all very PKD.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not at home to Mr Batty?*

    Which is Afro American or Caribbean slang for gay.

  22. Alistair Silver badge

    Sooo many things.

    I'm avoiding all the teasers and trailers -- just am terrified that Hollywont has done the "we're out of ideas and this sold well the first time lets do it again" to one of my favourite movies.

    I read the book at about 11 or 12. Perhaps that's why my cynicism is so pure. The movie, although not much of the book, captured the (excuse me whilst I borrow a club from Lee) aesthetic. (cough) -- no, not aesthetic, the horrible sense of dystopia that was salted throughout the novel in Scott's imagery and atmosphere, and I, despite missing aspects of the book, thoroughly enjoyed it. It has place of privilege on the bookshelf, the DVD shelf and both on the zfs array and on backups and snaps. Ford and Hauer were *perfect* for the roles they played and in my eyes captured the entities they portrayed spectacularly well. Mind you I'll agree with Lee, it is one of the movies that has set the bar, much like 2001 and Clockwork Orange, to which we (?my generation?) compare cinematography. ( okay- there are some youngsters out there who know who Kubric et al were )

    The SO and I have a weekend away planned (No KIDS!) this weekend, I however doubt that we'll be getting out to see this one in theatre whilst we're napping, eating, sleeping and reading ... (no electronics unless I get paged). Perhaps next week or so.

    1. Mark 110 Silver badge

      I can't wait to see it. Reviews are too good to be true. Off to the iMax in Manchester on Sunday anyway.

      Its not impossible for a sequel to be good. Aliens proved that.

  23. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    Somewhat off topic, but an excellent comment on the trailer-is-a-spoiler problem.

  24. Howard Hanek Bronze badge

    Main Obstacle

    The primary obstacle to Hollywood's reruns are ........... Hollywood. If they were architects they'd put vinyl siding on the Houses of Parliament....

  25. Inachu

    Hollywood is full of IP theft. They even ripped off a NewYork times best seller Tess Gerritsen who wrote this book that Hollywood stole. They copied her characters race and then made a movie of it called LIFE and she never saw 1 penny from that and she did not give permission for Hollywood to rip her off.

  26. MT Field

    Arrival was good - the best sci-fi film I've seen for a long time.

    Let's hope this one isn't a stinker. But already judging by the lazy special-effects spoilers in the official trailer it's going to pretty formulaic.

  27. Inachu

    The quest to make the INFINITY WARS into movie format has been in the works for well over 15 years.

    IT was because the INFINITY WARS series was so well written and entertaining to read that fans were in total agreement to have it in movie format.

    Too many comics in the movie theater?!?!? Not enough!

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