Tag Archives: Blade Runner 2049

2018 BAFTA Nominations

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We’re in the midst of awards season, which is always an exciting time of year for film lovers. It’s finally time to see which of our beloved new movies will get the recognition they so richly deserve (or which don’t, the latter happens all too frequently it seems).

The 71st British Academy Film Awards (or BAFTAs) will be held on February 18th, 2018 at the Royal Albert Hall in London. I believe that BAFTAs are considered the British equivalent of the American Academy Award (correct me if I’m wrong).

Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water leads with a whopping 12 nominations; Darkest Hour and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri each have 9 nominations; Blade Runner 2049 and Dunkirk both have 8 nominations; I, Tonya has 5; Call Me By Your Name and Phantom Thread have 4; Lady Bird, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool and and Paddington 2 have 3; and among the list of films with 2 nominations, I would like to highlight Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Beauty and the Beast, Get Out and Lady Macbeth.

As I commented yesterday on the blog’s Facebook page, I am thrilled to see Blade Runner 2049 get 8 BAFTA nominations. After the film received nothing at the Golden Globes (not even a single nomination), I was very worried that the critically acclaimed but unprofitable sequel would be all but ignored during the awards season. To see so many nominations therefore, makes me feel much better. Since it’s release, people have been demanding (and outright betting) that Roger Deakins will earn awards for Best Cinematography (and with my memories of that film, I hope he does).

Star Wars: The Last Jedi was only nominated for Best Special Visual Effects (no surprise) and Best Sound, which sadly does not disappoint me. Of course I’d like to see all of John Williams’ scores get nominated, but I know that can’t always happen.

As always, the categories I regularly pay attention to are: Best Animated Film; Best Original Music; Best Sound; and of course, Best Film. (of course all of the categories are important, this is just my personal preference).

For Best Animated Film, I am sure that Coco will win (as it did in the Golden Globes), though I would also like to see Loving Vincent win as well.

For Best Original Music, I am hoping Blade Runner 2049 will be recognized. I am in awe that they were able to recreate the soundscape of the Blade Runner world as well as they did.

For Best Sound, I am hoping either Blade Runner 2049 or Star Wars: The Last Jedi win this category.

For Best Film, I would like to see Dunkirk be recognized, though I have a feeling The Shape of Water is going to sweep up a lot of awards.

Which films are you hoping will win big at the BAFTA Awards in February? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

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Blade Runner 2049: A Masterpiece

WARNING: This discussion will contain MAJOR spoilers for the film, so if you haven’t seen it yet, STOP NOW!!

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When they announced that a sequel to Blade Runner was really coming, I was NOT a fan of the idea, I admit it. To me, it was one of those films that couldn’t have a sequel without ruining the concept. So even though the previews looked good, I still approached this film with a high degree of skepticism. There was a long checklist of things this film HAD to do in order for me to walk out of the theater happy. And now that I’ve finally seen Blade Runner 2049, I have to say, it didn’t just fulfill that list…it SURPASSED it.

I truly didn’t believe that the look, feel and SOUND of the the original Blade Runner could ever be duplicated and I was dead wrong. From the very beginning, I felt a connection back to the original film that only grew stronger as the story continued. And what a story! 30 years after the original film, there are more replicants than ever, but now they all obey (according to Niander Wallace, who has taken over the defunct Tyrell Corporation). Agent K (Ryan Gosling) is one of these replicants who now works as a blade runner, hunting down the last of the Nexus 8 models. His world is turned upside down though when he discovers evidence that one of the Nexus 8 replicants died in childbirth. According to everything known about replicants…this shouldn’t be even remotely possible. As Madame (Robin Wright) points out, if there’s truly no difference between replicant and human, there will either be a war, or an outright slaughter. She orders K to find the child and ‘retire’ it.

Right away my gut instinct said that the dead replicant was Rachael, I’m not sure why but it made perfect sense in my head. Then, when K traveled to Wallace headquarters (with a great look at the old Tyrell pyramid building) and Luv played an old ‘crystal’ recording of Rachael being given the Voigt-Kampff test by Deckard (using audio from the original film), that was the moment I fell in love with the film (not to mention the fact that they confirmed to anyone who has seen the original film that this was Rachael and that she DID have a child by Deckard). I was not expecting such an explicit tie-in to the original film, in fact, I wasn’t expecting ANY type of tie-in.

The search for the child continues, and as the story goes on, all the evidence seems to point to the notion that K is actually this missing child. K has strong memories of hiding a toy wooden horse as a child; when he later finds this same horse, it seems to confirm that his memory was real, and not implanted. I was totally okay with this idea, until a wrench was thrown into the works. After encountering Deckard, and unwittingly leading Luv (who is also Wallace’s enforcer) straight to him, K is rescued by an underground resistance movement made up of replicants, who believe that they are equal to humans, and the existence of Rachael’s child proves it. K meets Freysa, who helped deliver that child and confirms…it was a healthy baby girl. Despite all the evidence, K can’t be that child, even though he clearly wants to be. I actually felt a glimmer of disappointment for a moment, but it didn’t last. In hindsight, it would’ve been too simple for K to be the missing child, too obvious as it were. And if you’re in the world of Blade Runner, nothing is THAT simple. Actually, once it was confirmed Rachael had a girl, for a little while I thought it might be Luv. After all, if you look closely at her, she does resemble Racheal a bit. But then I remembered she’s definitely a replicant, so it couldn’t be her either.

Then came the scene that made my jaw smack the floor. Deckard is brought before Wallace (who is played in a semi-creepy way by Jared Leto) who wants to know where the child is, or at the very least where the replicants who helped him and Rachael are. Wallace has prepared a special reward if Deckard helps him, a very special reward indeed. To my great shock, out of the shadows steps….Rachael. An exact duplicate of how she looked 30 years ago, gait, mannerisms and all. It shocked me in great part because Sean Young, who played Rachael in the original film had loudly and frequently said that she was not involved in this film in ANY way!! Now it turns out that this was a massive piece of misdirection, as Young WAS involved in directing her body double in how to act as Rachael. The character was resurrected in the same way as Princess Leia in Rogue One, only the results now are…perfect, absolutely perfect.

The identity of Deckard and Rachael’s daughter came as a bit of a shock, but it also made perfect sense. It turns out that the missing child is actually one of the best ‘memory designers’ in the world. She’s lived most of her life in a sterile chamber because of a ‘genetic disorder.’ It’s brilliant: what better way to hide the child of a replicant and a human in plain sight by fudging the records and making it appear that she has a compromised immune system and therefore must live apart from human contact? The story ends with Deckard coming in to the room where she’s working, clearly overwhelmed to see his child for the very first time. And K? He finally succumbs to the wounds he received in his final confrontation with Luv, but he is visibly at peace as well. At the moment he lays back in the snow, you can hear the iconic “Tears in Rain” theme from the original Blade Runner.

And speaking of the music, I had my doubts considering Vangelis isn’t involved but WOW! Musically it felt very much like the original film, with long synth tones and other motifs. At times the music felt like a sound cloud (which is a good thing), building and pulsating around the action (a good example is the end of the fight between Luv and K, when the dying Luv is looking up through the water).

More thoughts on Blade Runner 2049:

-I LOVE the look of Los Angeles, it has that same gritty, futuristic yet falling apart feel of the original. And seeing the former Tyrell pyramid got a little giggle out of me (I was wondering if we would see that building again). Also the abandoned Las Vegas looked amazing as well.

-I found it fascinating that K had a holographic girlfriend (Joi). Even though she’s programmed to “say everything you want to hear”, you get the sense that her love for K is real. Also the scene where she “syncs” with a call girl to give K a night with a “real woman” was…fascinating, to say the very least.

-There are two ways the story can go from here. First, this could be the end and I would be perfectly happy with that. All my questions regarding the end of the original film have been answered to my satisfaction, we know that Deckard has found his daughter, the story could be over. But then again, there are hooks that could lead into another film, as we’ve also been told that a revolution is coming from the enslaved replicants. A sequel could cover this as well as the ongoing adventure of Deckard with his daughter.

My final words on the film are: Blade Runner 2049 is an amazing film, a masterpiece. Don’t let any doubts about this being a sequel to Blade Runner hold you back from going to see it. This is easily the best film I’ve seen this year.

For more of my reviews on film, see here

See also:

Blade Runner (1982): A misunderstood gem

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Thinking about Blade Runner 2049

Well, in just over a week I’ll finally be able to see the sequel to Blade Runner that I’m still not fully convinced should exist (but it does). Everything I’ve seen so far looks intriguing (and I’m so curious to see what Jared Leto’s character is doing), but what worries me is there are still so many ways this film could turn out to be terrible.

For instance, a make or break moment for me is going to be how they resolve the fates of Deckard and Rachael (since their last scene in the Final Cut is abruptly cut off as they get into the elevator to leave). I NEED to know what happened, and if they don’t resolve it to my satisfaction, I’m going to be upset.

Also, I’ve gathered from the trailers that a pretty big twist is coming, and for their sakes I hope it’s worth my time. Maybe I’m being too harsh, but as I said before, I’m still not convinced that this film should exist in the first place (because some films just don’t need sequels). Of course, if this film DOES end up ruining the overall story, I can always ignore it (just like I ignore Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection).

Are you looking forward to Blade Runner 2049? Will you be seeing it next week? Let me know your reasons why or why not in the comments below.

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Blade Runner 2049 trailer….it actually looks good!

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Blade Runner 2049: Official Trailer

Aw man…I was really hoping that the more I learned about this still-unnecessary sequel to Blade Runner, the more I would not like it and not HAVE to see it. But I saw the full trailer yesterday and dang it all now I HAVE to see it!!

As far as I can tell, it looks like this film does as much as possible to match the look and feel of the original (down to the driving rain and decrepit skyline). And…I’m hoping the use of Vangelis’ music in the trailer means we’ll hear something very much like it in the actual film.

My biggest thought though is…Jared Leto is in this film? I must have missed an announcement somewhere because I had no idea (unless it was a surprise that they’re just unveiling now). I also recognized Dave Bautista (that’s interesting), and I wonder what type of character he’s playing.

The big question I’d like to ask is: what’s up with the deserted city area that Ryan Gosling’s character goes to to find Deckard? I have this thought that maybe this is the ruins of Los Angeles and the active city seen in the trailer is somewhere else, but I’m not sure. The point is, this film looks a LOT more interesting than I thought it might be. So definitely count me in for Blade Runner 2049.

Final thoughts: What happened to Rachael? If Deckard is really a replicant, why/how is he still alive 30 years later? And…I’m going to call it now, I bet Ryan Gosling’s character is some new kind of replicant/human hybrid.

What do YOU think of the trailer for Blade Runner 2049? Are you surprised by how good it looks? Can it possibly live up to the glory of the original? Will there be three separate versions like with the original film?? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear about it 🙂

Blade Runner 2049 is scheduled to be released on October 6th, 2017

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