Monday, June 04, 2018

The Tale of the Blade Runners

It couldn't have been nicer when I awoke this morning. A fresh breeze blew through my windows as I flung them open. Sun poured in through the wide window on my front door. I celebrated the return of nice weather with breakfast and Jinx Money. Sach and Slip find a rolled-up newspaper filled with 50,000 dollars on the sidewalk outside of Louie's Sweet Shop. They and the other Bowery Boys launder, seriously, they wash the money...then opt to keep some and give more to local charities. Slip may feel like a rich man, but he wishes he'd never heard of money when he and the guys are pursued by a group of gamblers who are after their financial windfall. Sach keeps seeing a man with an umbrella who picks them off one by one.

Work wasn't too bad when I arrived or when I left, but it did get busy during the lunchtime rush hour. I got stuck in the register for a bit on and off when I arrived. Otherwise, I spent the first half of my shift cleaning the bathroom, doing the trash, and gathering baskets, and the second half outside with the carts avoiding all the people doing inventory. At least it was a gorgeous day for it. One of the stock managers mentioned that it was still cloudy when she went to work at 7. The clouds were reduced to fluffy, harmless white cotton balls by the time I got in. The sky was blue, the wind was cool but not as heavy, and while it was still a tad humid, it wasn't anywhere near as bad as yesterday.

Went straight home after work. When I got in, I did some writing. It's a tense stand-off in the throne room as Leia and the others attack Palpatine's guards. Wedge's boys try to arrest Palpatine, but he grabs Leia to use as a shield before he can get far.

Broke for dinner at quarter of 7. Played Lego Indiana Jones while I ate leftovers. Completed "Well of Souls" and "Motorcycle Chase" tonight. Tried "Shanghai Showdown," but still can't get past that one glitch, and I can't seem to outrun the flood of water in the beginning of "Battle of the Bridge" long enough to get the remaining piece there.

Finished the night after a shower with Blade Runner 2049. Replicants, the human-like androids from the previous film, are now considered to be little more than slaves. K (Ryan Gosling) is one of the luckier ones. He has a real job as a "blade runner," a cop who seeks out rogue replicants to kill them. On one such job, he discovers evidence that a replicant had a child with a human, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford). Replicants weren't previously thought of as being able to have children. K's boss Lieutenant Joshi (Robin Wright) orders him to seek out Deckard and his child. Not only is Deckard in no hurry to be found, but there's at least two groups after him. One is a band of replicants fighting for their freedom; the other is headed by Niander Wallace (Jared Leto) who wants to use the secret of replicant reproduction for his own ends. Meanwhile, K is trying to sort through the memories of what is, what might have been, and if he had connections of his own to the mysterious former Blade Runner.

While I didn't love it as much as critics did last fall, I did enjoy it more than the rather dark and foreboding original film. The best things by far are excellent performances from Ford and Gosling as the past and present Blade Runners and the outstanding production. The cinematography and visual effects won deserved Oscars. They're flat out amazing, taking viewers everywhere from a ruined Las Vegas to the original neon world of Los Angeles.

The film does overstay it's welcome, running about a half-hour longer than it really needs to...and while it's not quite as dark or violent as the 1982 movie, it's still pretty heavy for science fiction. This may be why it was a fair-sized flop late last year. Critical adulation aside, I suspect this franchise may always be a little too heavy for mainstream audiences. If you have a taste for dark, neon-drenched sci-fi and prefer your fantasy to be a bit more thoughtful, this may be more up your alley than mine.

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