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...)
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 …
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.
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"...
> 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. :)
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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 :/
”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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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 :(
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.
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.
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).
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 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.
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.
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?
..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......
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.
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.
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.
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.
When I saw Blade Runner again a few years ago what struck me was Harrison Ford actually .................
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 ?
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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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