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Tyler Purcell

Blade Runner 2049

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DSR-500 yumm! I had two 300's for a long time, those were great little cameras. I really liked the DV format for it's post workflow especially, it worked really great.

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Its just fads and fashion like anything else.. clothes ,music ,art.. look at big budget films from the 70,s.. # 100 fog filter glued to the lens.. I dont think a DP who didnt have a set of fog filters would ever get a job..

 

Im not shooting features or commercials .. but the term Im told is a "flat" look.. in a few years we will be back the 5D crushed blacks thing.. its just the first people wanting to be different, which then becomes normal and the pendulum with swing back the other way.. and the groovy kids will do the crushed BLK thing again.. and thus ever will it be so.. I remember when flared trousers were in the first time round, then a time when you'd rather be put to death than wear them.. and then the fashion once more..

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So what does the director or DP or whoever ask for when they want this style? Gimme the "flat"...? Gimme the "looks like you didn't touch it"...?

A lot of it has to do with the finishing and projection systems we use today. I've screened quite a few things at theaters and have always found the "look" to be flat compared to the color grading monitor at home.

 

DCI-P3 color space is what they still use for most outputs and it's good, but it's not great. You can push DLP projectors pretty hard, but not in the highlights, only in the blacks. They fall apart in the highlights very quickly if pushed too hard. This is part of the reason we've seen a push towards this way of coloring things. It all started when digital cinema projection came about.

 

So there was a time where DI was all about blacks and contrast, but when film out's stopped and people switched to all-digital projection, that ushered in this whole phase.

 

So is it a director thing? I don't think so. I think it's just a consequence of people wanting to try something else and create a different look.

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Good grief, Tyler, it actually has blacks! You can't do that!

I know right? Like WHAT THE F MAN, what are those?!?!?!

 

I love blacks, but I also like beautiful colors and highlights.

 

That music video looked like poop when I got it, totally flat, no depth and the colors were more steered towards white, like solid white. So I turned them more gold and accentuated the green and red's.

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Disagree BR 2049 lacked contrast or punch, I wonder if that had to do with your projection maybe, never felt that way and I LOVE contrasty images. There's ONE shot I felt looked too overly bright, it's when K gets out of the spinner in Las Vegas and starts walking. Roger's finest work alongside NCOM for me, and I always felt his best work on digital didn't touch his best on film. I do miss the grain, the grit of the original, but like he said, he's not Jordan Cronenweth and could never do that, everything is obviously intentional.

 

For the low contrast look that is so lazy, I'd argue that Bradford Young is one of the only ones who can do this & pull it off completely, milky blacks can look interesting on isolated shots even though overall, there is nothing better imo than nice, dense, inky blacks. Inside Llewyn Davis was super low con, but that truly fit.

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NCOM? these acronyms kill me! LOL

 

My favorite "digital" Deakins film is Skyfall. That night stuff at the end was just stellar.

 

Blade Runner also had a very "video" look in terms of it's motion blur in certain scenes. It wasn't a consistent problem, but it was there for sure.

 

Bradford Young "has" pulled off better immersive blacks, but they don't hold up on home video.

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Disagree BR 2049 lacked contrast or punch, I wonder if that had to do with your projection maybe, never felt that way and I LOVE contrasty images. There's ONE shot I felt looked too overly bright, it's when K gets out of the spinner in Las Vegas and starts walking. Roger's finest work alongside NCOM for me, and I always felt his best work on digital didn't touch his best on film. I do miss the grain, the grit of the original, but like he said, he's not Jordan Cronenweth and could never do that, everything is obviously intentional.

 

For the low contrast look that is so lazy, I'd argue that Bradford Young is one of the only ones who can do this & pull it off completely, milky blacks can look interesting on isolated shots even though overall, there is nothing better imo than nice, dense, inky blacks. Inside Llewyn Davis was super low con, but that truly fit.

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I agree with Manu, I saw it last night on the Dolby Screen in Burbank and it felt very contrasty, rich blacks. Especially the shots in Wallaces sactum. One of Deakins darker films. The varied contast felt contextual. Some scenes with heavy atmosphere, like the Las Vegas sequences, will naturally have lifted blacks because thats simply the look of the scene. I think the original did that too. You wont get super rich blacks when you fill a room with haze, backlight it, and flare an older lens.

 

Anyway, I appreciated Rogers take on it, he did his own thing as he always does. It seems to me every production in LA is madly scrambling for vintage anamorphics, larger formats, etc. to get artistic results. And he achieved great results with clean Master Primes and an Alexa and surperb lighting. (Granted the huge, brilliantly designed sets and army of vfx artists had just as big impact on the visuals).

 

As for the film itself, I feel that the problems it did have were similar to the issues the original had, which is in the writing. Also missed Vangelis score.

Edited by Tristan Noelle

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scenes with heavy atmosphere, like the Las Vegas sequences, will naturally have lifted blacks because thats simply the look of the scene. I think the original did that too. You wont get super rich blacks when you fill a room with haze, backlight it, and flare an older lens. .

Yes good point. And I agree I dont think this movie had the low con look that seems to be popular these days. But since it was brought up I mentioned the trend. Love the look of this blade runner. I have three little children so seeing movies in theaters is a big deal, but Im going back for a second time with this one. I just loved it. It made me feel like a little kid when I enjoyed cinema for the cinema again. Pure movie going experience.

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As for the film itself, I feel that the problems it did have were similar to the issues the original had, which is in the writing. Also missed Vangelis score.

Yea, a few of the same folks in that department.

 

The digital girlfriend...

The "maker" being a flat/uninteresting and uninvolved character outside of playing "Dr.Evil"

The lack of a 3rd act... It's really a two act movie, there are a dozen story threads and only one is resolved.

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The lack of a 3rd act... It's really a two act movie, there are a dozen story threads and only one is resolved.

 

Could be part of a possible trilogy, the middle film tends to have that issue.

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NCOM? these acronyms kill me! LOL

 

My favorite "digital" Deakins film is Skyfall. That night stuff at the end was just stellar.

 

Blade Runner also had a very "video" look in terms of it's motion blur in certain scenes. It wasn't a consistent problem, but it was there for sure.

 

Bradford Young "has" pulled off better immersive blacks, but they don't hold up on home video.

 

There is a 3rd act, everything does not have to be resolved or explained, you do still get to have some kind of mystery these days. The "digital" girlfriend, her name is Joi, is kind of an important character regarding the nonstop question (without spoiling) of humanity, what it is to be human, etc.

 

No video look, I would have noticed (especially in goddam IMAX). And yes, those immersive blacks as you call them, hold up on home video. Anything else?

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There is a 3rd act, everything does not have to be resolved or explained,

Umm, then why did they spend 45 minutes of the movie showing a relationship with CG character, if everything doesn't have to be explained. They could have told that story in 10 minutes, spread throughout the movie. Heck, the first movie has much more going on and is well under 2 hours.

 

I mean, I don't wanna spoil the key points, but suffice to say, many of them were poor writing tropes used to move things along. The movie holds together thanks to cool locations, excellent effects, beautiful set design, fantastic music, convincing action and most importantly, Roger Deakins. Outside of those things, I feel it was a missed opportunity to make someting really great. I fret, this movie will be long forgotten unless there IS a 3rd movie that's well made and finishes off the story, to which again, I don't think we should spoil.

 

No video look, I would have noticed (especially in goddam IMAX). And yes, those immersive blacks as you call them, hold up on home video. Anything else?

IMAX laser? It's a slightly different system and you may not notice the issues quite as much as a standard xenon system. Still I recognized it right way and it's not throughout, it's only in scenes where the shutter speed would have been decreased.

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As per my "Outland" thread; saw it, didn't like it much. Visually it was bleak though interesting, and also couldn't decide what kind of look it wanted.

 

Story wise, as per my review and commentary on other forums, it feels like a giant graphic novel. Replicants are supposed to be artificial beings who may or may not develop emotions they don't know how to deal with. That's never touched on in the film. They are in essence sociopaths. There's no explanation for their sudden realization of life and valuing life.

 

There's one story twist, but even before that the story is kind of predictable, and after it's resolved the film become extremely predictable. Original Blade Runner had its issues as well, but there was a kind of mystery and ambiguity that left you hanging on the edge of your seat. There's no real mystery here, and the villain is just another megalomaniac psychopath--a graphic novel stock villain.

 

The science, again unlike original Blade Runner, is never really put forth. There's a lot of emphasis on "the child", and "finding the child" without really explaining why that's important. Again, no science as to how replicants start to become normal humans. Even in old 1950's films or the old Japanese Godzilla movies they usually say something like "radiation mutated the thing" or some such. But we don't even get that.

 

I didn't understand the part about K not being able to get out of the precinct or cop HQ alive after blowing his test. Couldn't they just incarcerate him until he got back to normal?

 

And going to Las Vegas was a little hazy. And the bee hive just seemed like another graphic-novel-ism, something that's supposed to be interesting and perhaps forward the plot; i.e. why pick up bees and their hive? Couldn't K just pick up the dog on his scanners in one of the abandoned hotels instead?

 

Lots of female supporting cast, which had me a bit baffled. Why couldn't K be a woman with lots of male supporting characters? Or a mix of both sexes?

 

The film tried to push the miracle of birth, but it's like we know how conception takes place, but again no one ever tries to explain how or why it took place in replicants in this movie. I think Green, who wrote the script (Fancher I'm pretty sure polished it, and had nothing to do with creating the plot) really needed to crack a text on micro-biology, or at least basic chemistry to get put some science in the science fiction. At least make it sound plausible, because then you can build a plot and not have to rely on your DP and on-screen talent to sell your story.

 

Good science fiction is about challenging ideas. There are no ideas challenged here.

 

And the final scene with K and the flakes falling on him, again, that's out of Graphic Novel authorship 101.

 

I guess my other real pet peeve is that they didn't let Rachel and Deckard have a happily ever after life. Again, more graphic novel story tropes. Take the characters from the previous story, and screw with them; divorce, accident, death, breakup over something. With this story you really didn't need them at all. They're just there to put asses in theatre seats.

 

Pretty vapid stuff.

 

On the plus side the audience was civil and the theatre was clean with nice plush seats.

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I still haven't seen it due to life issues, but I think you've got the stuff about the script backwards. Fancher did the original pass, and the other guy rewrote him. Same thing happened first time around in 1982, where the rewriter, who also did 12 MONKEYS, did a spectacularly wonderful job of building on AND fixing Fancher's stuff.

 

If you've ever seen comparisons between O'Bannon's original ALIEN script vs the Hill/Giler rewrite, that's probably similar, though I have a hard time believing Fancher could have been quite as hokey as O'Bannon. The Hill fix is very exciting, and in many ways of more interest than the finished film of ALIEN for me, though in the last 10-12 years, my opinion of ALIEN has risen a LOT beyond the original 'nice art direction' takeaway. Still can't get through EITHER version of Scott's LEGEND though (picked them up for 50Cents apiece on DVD so it wasn't a great loss.)

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Are you sure about that? Green's got a lot of superhero stuff to his name, where Fancher has all kinds of genres under his belt.

 

Legend looks like a high budget high-concept two-hour long commercial. It's got about as much substance as this film.

 

Seriously though, this film really felt like a two-hour long graphic novel.

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Are you sure about that? Green's got a lot of superhero stuff to his name, where Fancher has all kinds of genres under his belt.

According to IMDB, Fancher has written very little other than Blade Runner, and various spin-offs.

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According to IMDB, Fancher has written very little other than Blade Runner, and various spin-offs.

 

I have egg on my face. I was looking at his acting credits. Still, the whole film, to me at lest, is one giant 1980's graphic novel.

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Just as a side note, I looked up Edward James Olmos character, and found this;

 

Gaff (Character)
from Blade Runner (1982)
The content of this page was created by users. It has not been screened or verified by IMDb staff.
ALERT: All Character pages will be turned off on Dec 6th 2017.
Please see the IMDb GetSatisfaction Character announcement for details.

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Not too surprising. IMDb lost its character long ago. And last year because of the election they removed the message boards. They'll just keep neutering the site until it's nothing but one consistent advertising experience.

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