Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

Blade Runner 2049
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Writer: Hampton FancherMichael Green
Based on: Philip K. Dick‘s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Sequel to: Blade Runner
Cast: Ryan GoslingHarrison FordRobin WrightAna de Armas, Dave BautistaEdward James OlmosJared LetoHiam AbbassMackenzie Davis, Lennie JamesBarkhad Abdi
Seen on: 15.10.2017
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Plot:
K (Ryan Gosling) is a replicant who works as a blade runner – a section of the police tasked with hunting down rogue replicants and killing them. During one of those hunts, K finds evidence that there was a replicant who managed to reproduce sexually: she became pregnant and had a child which was believed to be impossible. K’s superior officer Joshi (Robin Wright) fears the repercussions if that fact became wide knowledge and tells K to find the child and kill it. This leads K to question his own past as well.

Blade Runner 2049 was so incredibly boring that I could barely stand it. Since it’s also racist and sexist, it probably would have been better if it hadn’t been made at all.

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Blade Runner (1982)

Blade Runner [Final Cut]
Director: Ridley Scott
Writer: Hampton Fancher, David Webb Peoples
Based on: Philip K. Dick‘s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Cast: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, M. Emmet Walsh, Daryl Hannah, William Sanderson, Brion James, Joe Turkel, Joanna Cassidy, James Hong
Seen on: 24.04.2015

Plot:
Humanity has managed to create replicants: genetically engineered robots. But after an uprising of the replicants, they have been outlawed on earth and have been banned to the off-world colonies. But when four replicants manage to escape back to earth, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is called on in his capacity as blade runner – a special police force tasked with hunting down replicants – to take them down. Although Deckard didn’t want to take on any more jobs, he agrees to do this last job. He starts his investigation at the company who builds the replicants, where he discovers Rachael (Sean Young), a new version of replicant that doesn’t know that they aren’t human.

Blade Runner was one of those classic films that I never saw until now – and now I’m afraid that I’m too late. In any case I was not particularly taken with the film. In fact, I thought it was rather boring, if very pretty.

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[Trigger Warning: Rape] [SPOILERS] Continue reading

Total Recall (2012)

Total Recall
Director: Len Wiseman
Writer: Kurt Wimmer, Mark Bomback
Based on: Philip K. Dick’s short story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale
Remake of: Total Recall
Cast: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, Bokeem Woodbine, Bill Nighy, John Cho

Plot:
Douglas Quail (Colin Farrell) would be happily married to Lori (Kate Beckinsale), if it wasn’t for a recurring dream about a mysterious woman. He decides to confront this dream by going to Rekall Inc., a company that provides real-seeming memories of unreal events. But before the Rekall treatment actually occurs, Doug finds himself surrounded by police and discovers that the memories of his life are pretty much all fake: he is not who he thought he was. With several people on his tail, he tries to figure out what the hell is going on.

Total Recall, much like Prometheus, is not a movie that makes particularly much sense, but it is very pretty to look at. Unlike Prometheus, though, I found it really very entertaining.

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Re-Watch: Total Recall (1990)

Total Recall
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Writer: Ronald Shusett, Dan O’Bannon, Gary Goldman, Jon Povill
Based on: Philip K. Dick’s short story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, Sharon Stone, Ronny Cox, Michael Ironside, Marshall Bell

Plot:
Douglas Quail (Arnold Schwarzenegger) would be happily married to Lori (Sharon Stone), if it wasn’t for a recurring dream where he’s on Mars with a mysterious woman. He decides to confront this dream by going to Rekall Inc., a company that provides real-seeming memories of vacations in the most exotic places – like Mars. But the Rekall treatment triggers actual memories and suddenly Doug finds himself in the middle of the revolution on Mars as a spy.

I had completely forgotten how absolutely campy and gory this movie is. That completely makes up for the rather lackluster performances. It’s amazingly fun to watch. Plus, they actually improved the original story.

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We Can Remember It for You Wholesale (Philip K. Dick)

We Can Remember It for You Wholesale is a short story by Philip K. Dick (and the basis for the Total Recall movies).

Plot:
Douglas Quail is stuck in a marriage he pretty much hates and only dreams of going to Mars, which he really can’t afford. So he decides to visit a REKAL center where they implant fake memories into your head that seem entirely real. But before they can actually go through with, they discover that Douglas has actually already been to Mars on a secret mission. And that’s where the trouble only starts.

I never read anything by Dick before, but after this one story I can confidently say that this man couldn’t write for shit. The story reads more like a rough outline, a first jotting down of some ideas than a finished product. Plus the added misogyny doesn’t make things any better.

But at least the ideas are interesting. And if all of his stories are written that way, I can see why they are adapted into movies left and right, since they’re basically just templates anyway.

Summarising: it’s worth reading as it’s short and does have some interesting concepts in it, but great writing this is not.

The Adjustment Bureau (2011)

The Adjustment Bureau is George Nolfi‘s directorial debut, an adaptation of Philip K. Dick‘s story, starring Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Anthony Mackie, John Slattery, Terence Stamp and in a cameo Jennifer Ehle.

Plot:
David Norris (Matt Damon) is a very promising young politician. He meets Elise (Emily Blunt) and they’re immediately attracted to each other. But something seems to be keeping them apart. As David is soon to find out, it’s not just fate: There’s a whole organisation – The Adjustment Bureau – that makes sure that things happen according to plan. And David’s plan has him without Elise. But David can’t accept that.

The Adjustment Bureau is well-paced and well-acted but the religious overtones of the story just got a little too much for me. Still, it’s very enjoyable.

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