23 June 2017

Review of the new Blade Runner

Esquire has a column by Matt Miller about the upcoming Blade Runner:

So far, we only know very basic plot details about Blade Runner 2049, the upcoming sequel to Ridley Scott's 1982 masterpiece. We know it'll star Harrison Ford, reviving his character Rick Deckard, Ryan Gosling as an NYPD officer, and Jared Leto. And we know the date it will take place, as is conveniently explained in the film's title. Other than that, the film remains a glowing, neon mystery. But there is one thing we know from the early footage released so far: the film will be absolutely beautiful.
If the first trailer's weren't enough, there's a new featurette (below), which explores the making of the film. While it doesn't give many details beyond the actors hyping up the project, it does show some new scenes from the film, and, holy hell, they're gorgeous. Every single shot looks different, like some sort of near-future Renaissance painting. There's an insane diversity of settings from the classic rainy and luminous urban setting of Los Angeles, but also a new desert landscape, post-Apocalyptic rubble, clubs, museums, casinos, vehicles, and more.
"I've never worked on a film with so many sets and different lighting patterns," says director of photography Roger Deakins. And that's very clear in this featurette for the film:
Given the detailed and stunningly composed look of director Denis Villeneuve's movie Arrival, he's proven to bring a artist's eye to crafting these shots. If he can make a nerdy linguistics movie exciting and visionary, imagine what he can do with one of the most groundbreaking styles in modern science fiction.
What's really promising is a quote from art director Paul Inglis: "It's not just a replica of the first film. We're marrying the familiar with the slightly divergent in order to give ourselves an identity."
So many sequels and reboots have attempted to create a carbon copy of the original in order to deliver on nostalgia for the viewer. But what a sequel really needs to do is expand on the primary material. Visually, at least, we know Blade Runner 2049 will deliver that. Let's hope the rest lives up.
Rico says he'll see it, just for Harrison Ford...

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