In my attempt to return my online activity to spaces I control, I’m going to be dropping reviews here, too. To start, Blade Runner 2049.
First of all, it’s a beautiful movie. And it’s a sad one, too. That’s not a spoiler; it’s obvious from the first few minutes that this shit will turn tragic.
Also, it’s part of the Staring School of filmmaking. Nowadays, when filmmakers want to signal that their movie is Capital A Art, they show lingering shots of the actors staring at something without speaking. It’s meant to suggest that there’s a lot of emotions churning around on the inside, but hey, they’re underplaying it.
I’m honestly getting a bit bored with the Staring School. Imagine a film where eloquent people expressed their feelings in compelling ways! I’d love to watch that.
Another problem is the way the film treats women. Does it seem even remotely likely that every hologram advertisement in the future will feature a fully or semi naked woman? Not one dude at all? What happened in the future to remove the cigarette-holding cowboys and the models with washboard ads and half-buttoned pants? It just doesn’t make sense.
And it’s clear the film won’t be a financial success, although I’m certain it’ll turn a profit over the long run. I saw a matinee on the day it was released and, flaws aside, I loved it. On Sunday, my son asked me to take him, so we went.
He loved it. (The Staring School is one of his favorite things.) But as we left the crowd of friends in front of us were complaining about how boring it was. “Nothing happened!” they said, which I guess is code for no chases, no big action set pieces, and a lot of looking at things with no expression.
Which is fine, if that’s what they like, but honestly, I wasn’t bored for any part of the 2+ hour run time. If they’d been smart, they would have cast more non-white actors in major roles, which boosts ticket sales. Yet another missed opportunity.
So, a flawed movie, but also a beautiful and sad one, and I really liked it.