“Blade Runner 2049” and the Importance of Theatrical Competence

Blade Runner 2049!

All things considered, such a beautiful film made it extremely hard to choose just one moment for our lead photo.

When I was 10 the original Blade Runner was the first R-rated film I ever saw in theaters. Mom had a strict policy against them till I was a teenager, but made the first exception while we were on vacation visiting family who wanted to see it. I’d already read and enjoyed the Marvel Comics adaptation by Archie Goodwin and Al Williamson, and did Mom the unspoken favor of asking her to lead me to the bathroom as soon as I knew Joanna Cassidy’s nude scene was coming. It was the least I could do in return for the opportunity to see revolutionary science fiction cinema unfold before my eyes.

Other kids had the first two Star Wars films, neither of which I saw till adulthood. I had Blade Runner. I never needed or expected a sequel. Not every story needs to be a never-ending saga. 35 years later, here we are anyway.

That was the intro I wrote before I saw Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 on its second weekend of release, capturing my trepidation in advance regardless of whether it blew me away or offended me with corporate greed. I’m sad to say that evening was an unpleasant experience.

It wasn’t the movie’s fault. It was Regal Cinemas’.

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Brief Thoughts Before “Arrival” Departs

Arrival!

“Okay, two words. First word…two syllables. Sounds like…’bosker’?”

Props to director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Sicario) and screenwriter Eric Heisserer (whose last film was this summer’s Lights Out) for picking up Christopher Nolan’s baton in composing a critically acclaimed non-superhero non-toyetic non-franchise non-reboot non-cheesy science fiction film in 2016 on a modest budget without a Top-40 soundtrack and without the studio announcing plans for the next three increasingly cash-grabby sequels before the Monday after opening weekend. For triple extra credit, next time I dare someone to try doing the same without well-known actors in the lead roles.

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