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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » Film Handlers' Movie Reviews   » Blade Runner 2049 (2017) (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Mark Ogden
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 830
From: Little Falls, N.J.
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-05-2017 10:35 PM      Profile for Mark Ogden   Email Mark Ogden   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
After “retiring” an earlier and illegal model, replicant Blade Runner K. makes a startling discovery that the LAPD needs kept under wraps, but it’s also a discovery that causes him to question everything he knows about himself. In Dolby Vision at the AMC Garden State Theaters, Paramus, New Jersey.

*****

It turns out Rachael, the late-model replicant that Blade Runner Deckard fell for in the original picture, was even more sophisticated than Dr. Eldon Tyrell let on. She had in fact a first-of-her-kind ability, and what she wound up doing (or rather what she and Deckard wound up doing together) after they split L.A. is now thirty years later a serious problem for both the LAPD and the Wallace Corporation, the company that now makes more tractable replicants and who would like nothing better than to see the last of the original models retired forever. “If this gets out, it blows up the world,” says the hard-assed chief of police played by Robin Wright. But the investigation into these matters turns into a serious existential issue for Officer K., another replicant who winds up questioning where he fits into the puzzle of Rachael and Deckard.

Like the first film, Blade Runner 2049 is an amazing visual experience, the cinematography and effects work being top-notch. But at the same time, like the earlier picture, there is no-one to really feel any empathy for with the exception of Harrison Ford’s Deckard, who shows up pretty late in the film (and yeah, Sean Young shows up too, sort of). It’s a dismal thing too, L.A. is rendered even more shabby and garish than before, and it’s still pitch black and pouring rain as well, truly a future that nobody would want to live in. Still, for a nearly three hour movie, it moves right along and is consistently interesting, and like before the production design and art direction are outstanding. I also appreciated how the audience is led to believe that they have figured out where “K.” fits into the story, which may or may not be correct.

In all, not necessarily a better movie than the original, but a pretty good sequel and a very good science fiction movie in its own right.

I might add that the Dolby Vision version of this film that played at the AMC Garden State 16 had some serious issues with low-level detail. I am not familiar with how the encoding of Dolby Vision works or if there is any compression involved, but in some scenes the blacks were really crushed and exhibited the sort of "black pooling" effect that is usually associated with bad cable TV compression.

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Sam Graham
AKA: "The Evil Sam Graham". Wackiness ensues.

Posts: 1286
From: Waukee, IA
Registered: Dec 2004


 - posted 10-06-2017 02:52 PM      Profile for Sam Graham   Author's Homepage   Email Sam Graham   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
CINEMA: Regal Warren East, Wichita KS
AUDITORIUM: 14
PRESENTATION: Warren GRAND slope auditorium with Regal Roller Coaster Vision Digital
PRESENTATION PROBLEMS: Chatty seat kicker behind me
RATING: Two and one half stars (out of four)

THE PLOT: A replicant replicates. Wackiness ensues.

If you're going to see this, take a nap first. Then drink about six cups of coffee. Then buy the biggest caffeinated cola the snack bar sells, the one with the refill. Okay! Now you're ready to be bored out of your mind while watching super impressive visuals.

Thing is, there's a pretty decent story here, but it takes forever to get through. They could have easily told this story in 100 minutes. A guy having an animated discussion with a complete stranger in the lobby after went over a number of things in the movie that were pointless and a complete waste of time based on the ending.

And about that ending, some comments from the audience...

Seat kicker behind me when the credits started: "WHAT???"

Some other guy in the back: "Well that was...different..."

Guy in the lobby when asked how the movie was: "Uh,,,"

I'm sure fans of the original who are absurdly into sci-fi will enjoy it.

Not sure who else will.

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 2206
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 10-08-2017 05:09 PM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mark Ogden
I might add that the Dolby Vision version of this film that played at the AMC Garden State 16 had some serious issues with low-level detail. I am not familiar with how the encoding of Dolby Vision works or if there is any compression involved, but in some scenes the blacks were really crushed and exhibited the sort of "black pooling" effect that is usually associated with bad cable TV compression.
DCI always uses compression. Every frame is independently compressed using JPEG2000 compression. Still, it does not explain what you've seen.

Dolby Vision in DCI, uses the same 12-bit per channels normal DCI does, but they apply their own magic sauce to those, to map them into the Dolby Vision color space. The concept is similar to HLG, where a logarithmic gamma function is used to squeeze a broader range of luminance into the same 8 bits per channel.

As far as I know, the Dolby Cinema system is not capable of reliably detecting Dolby Vision content automatically yet and has to be switched into the corresponding color space via a macro. So, maybe they did set the macro, but programmed the wrong, DCI-color graded CPL, instead of the Dolby Vision graded one.

In that case, those blacks could have become over-exposed and showing JPEG2000 banding and compression artifacts, which would be otherwise invisible to the naked eye.

PS: I've also seen it in Dolby Vision, but I did not see any such artifacts.

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Richard Fowler
Film God

Posts: 2381
From: Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA
Registered: Jun 2001


 - posted 10-08-2017 05:36 PM      Profile for Richard Fowler   Email Richard Fowler   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My partner and I give it two thumbs down......and we love SCI FI.

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Mark Ogden
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 830
From: Little Falls, N.J.
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-08-2017 07:05 PM      Profile for Mark Ogden   Email Mark Ogden   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Marcel Birgelen
In that case, those blacks could have become over-exposed and showing JPEG2000 banding and compression artifacts, which would be otherwise invisible to the naked eye.
I would call that a very good description of what I saw. Now that the picture has played a few days I can discuss it with a mild spoiler: after Deckard is captured at his Las Vegas pad, he wakes up in a very dark cell. As he rises off the cot there is a pitch black area at the bottom of the frame. At the showing I attended, the blacks here surrounded a lighter gray area which seemed to me to be changing shape in the manner that we all typically associate with heavily compressed video. I saw it again in a shot of the flying cars zooming around a very deep black sky.

This is what gets me angry with the whole Dolby Cinema thing, you wind up paying an upcharge for the experience with no guarantee that a properly graded file is actually playing, or, as you astutely pointed out, that the projector and its peripherals are not set to agree on what's being played. How is that NOT getting ripped off?

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Mitchell Dvoskin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1784
From: West Milford, NJ, USA
Registered: Jan 2001


 - posted 10-09-2017 04:26 PM      Profile for Mitchell Dvoskin   Email Mitchell Dvoskin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Theatre: Lafayette (Suffern NY)

Picture: Ok, but no top/bottom masking for the scope picture. This is especially annoying as I know the theatre has the masking. Apparently, it was too much trouble to change the masking from the 1.85 commercials to 2.39 feature.

Sound: No audible surround sound. The theatre does not have ATMOS, but no 5.1/7.1 surround sound? Maybe they were too lazy to turn the amp on.

The Film: As a fan of the original I liked this one, but I have to admit that it is overly slow and ponderous. I could have edited this down to under 2 hours, and it would have been a better film.

Biggest Complaints:
  • At the start of the end credits, the theatre turned on the super bright work lights, which were aimed at the screen.
  • Did not use the top/bottom masking.
  • Sticky floors, first show of the day.
  • Day old pop corn.
  • Cleaning the auditorium before the credits ended.
My first trip to this theatre under the current management. My takeaway is that I need to find what I did with my Kodi box and hook it up again. If this is what going out to first run movies has come to, I might as well stay home.

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 2206
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 10-09-2017 05:12 PM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I guess you should spend your dollars at a theater that does care about this stuff. The issue with the surrounds alone would've angered me sufficiently to ask my money back. This movie has a very immersive soundtrack and if you're missing this, you're simply missing a huge part of the experience.

quote: Mark Ogden
This is what gets me angry with the whole Dolby Cinema thing, you wind up paying an upcharge for the experience with no guarantee that a properly graded file is actually playing, or, as you astutely pointed out, that the projector and its peripherals are not set to agree on what's being played. How is that NOT getting ripped off?
I agree and while mistakes can happen, it's pretty frustrating nobody even notices them and fixes them, especially if you paid for a premium experience. Which advertises itself to be the best possible way to watch a movie.

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Terry Monohan
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 233
From: San Francisco CA USA
Registered: May 2014


 - posted 10-10-2017 10:48 AM      Profile for Terry Monohan   Email Terry Monohan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We enjoyed the new Blade Runner 2049 movie. Watched in the large downstairs screen at Theatre DelMar in Santa Cruz CA last Sat eve. To my shock old Landmark Theatres has finally repaired the nice DelMar waterfall red curtains. Thanks to the manager Scott who had this done after a year of being broke. Hope he can put in a second closing after the trailers then open on main feature like they did before. The movie ran a little slow in parts but we enjoyed the short Elvis closed casino part. For some reason Landmark's DelMar is set up for Dolby 3-D but they show all their movies in 2-D. Now let's hope Scott can get the classic neon marquee to work better. Will have to see the film again in 3-D at a good cinema in SF.

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Jim Cassedy
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1510
From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: Dec 2006


 - posted 10-11-2017 12:19 AM      Profile for Jim Cassedy   Email Jim Cassedy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Marcel Birgelen
As far as I know, the Dolby Cinema system is not capable
of reliably detecting Dolby Vision content automatically

The DolbyVision DCP's are all SMPTE encoded, and so in theory the correct
format information is encoded in the content.

I regularly mix different aspect ratios & formats in a playlist, without using
any format cues, and I've never seen the system I work with fail to put the
proper image on screen. I've been informed that's the way it SHOULD work.

quote:
it's pretty frustrating nobody even notices them and fixes them,
Unfortunately, the staffs at many cinemas don't know their apertures from their
elbows. It's an unfortunate byproduct of having minimum wage employees who
have more important things to do than actually check screen quality.

I'm in a unique situation where there is a dedicated projection technician in
the booth full time for EVERY show, to properly run things. But most venues
don't have that luxury.

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 2206
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 10-11-2017 04:47 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Jim Cassedy
I regularly mix different aspect ratios & formats in a playlist, without using
any format cues, and I've never seen the system I work with fail to put the
proper image on screen. I've been informed that's the way it SHOULD work.

The Dolby Cinema setups I've seen all seem to have a bit of a hard time to get their automation working fluidly, especially in case of a 3D show.

For whatever reason, the dowser is being closed and reopened after every clip they play in the preshow. For normal 2D shows, this is not an issue, but during a 3D show, the dowsers of the two projectors close and open with a delay of about a second and a half apart from each other. This is a pretty irritating sensation, because it feels like closing one of your eyes, only you didn't remember doing it.

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Geoff Jones
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 512
From: Broomfield, CO, USA
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted 10-11-2017 07:51 AM      Profile for Geoff Jones   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I saw Blade Runner 2049 at Harkins Northfield on their Cine Capri screen (5th row!) on Sunday and loved it.

I agree that it slow and ponderous, but in a good way. It took its time to pull you into its world. It built on the first film. It kept me guessing. The visuals are stunning.

Small complaints: 1) The final fight was a bit tedious. 2) It seemed silly that Wallace got the color wrong when he tried to do something. That's the one thing he would have gotten right. 3) I never understood why they needed to take a character off-world to torture him. I didn't buy that they couldn't just do it on Earth.

I took my daughter to see Blade Runner: Final Cut the week before at AMC Flatirons on their Dolby Cinema screen. Other than the red glow on the screen from the exit lighting, they only thing they screwed up was it took them about fifteen minutes to figure out how to start the movie.

Seeing it on the big screen was tremendous. It felt like such a different experience from watching it at home.

My 12-year-old daughter thought both were kinda boring, but liked 2049 better. Despite that, we had some engaging philosophical discussions after each of them.

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 2206
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 10-11-2017 08:50 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've seen the movie twice now and I wanted to withhold my first judgement about it until then. I never consider my judgement regarding a film as final though.

As many others, who are a fan of the original, I've been pretty reluctant about a sequel to this decades old classic. The amount of quality sequels, prequels, reboots and origin stories has vastly been outpaced by utter garbage, so I went into this with very low expectations. I also decided not to read a single review, other than what was presented to me in the trailer, I went into this blank for the first time.

All in all, I think that we got more than we could've expected. Although I can totally understand why many people consider this a 2 hour and 45 minute endurance stretch, I think this film was simply not really made for them. This movie is not so much about just the story, which given the run-time is pretty thin, but it's about the total experience. It takes you right into this dark, dystopian future, into a world, where humans play god and have ruined their own planet in a way it's no longer a place anybody would want to live.

You really need to go out and see this big and loud. It's a movie that only really works properly in theaters.

quote: Geoff Jones
2) It seemed silly that Wallace got the color wrong when he tried to do something. That's the one thing he would have gotten right. 3) I never understood why they needed to take a character off-world to torture him. I didn't buy that they couldn't just do it on Earth.
The eye color was indeed a rather cheap story short-cut, something that felt rushed. Then again, he obviously knew it was just another replicant, not the replicant he loved.

I didn't get that torture part either. Too me it looked like there was sufficient torture on Earth already. [Wink]

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Frank Cox
Phenomenal Film Handler

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From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
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 - posted 10-26-2017 11:55 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The first Blade Runner is excellent! This one is just ok.

It could have used an audience, though. I got a grand total of 28 people for the whole week. [Frown] On two of the nights there were just two people....

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Allan Young
Film Handler

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From: EGHAM, Surrey UK
Registered: Jun 2011


 - posted 10-27-2017 06:29 AM      Profile for Allan Young   Email Allan Young   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Geoff Jones
It seemed silly that Wallace got the color wrong when he tried to do something. That's the one thing he would have gotten right.
It's supposedly a reference to a continuity error in the first film. In one close-up shot, Rachel's eyes are green but they're brown throughout the rest of the film.

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Jonathan Goeldner
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From: Washington, District of Columbia
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 - posted 10-27-2017 09:25 AM      Profile for Jonathan Goeldner   Email Jonathan Goeldner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
loved it! saw it three times. In IMAX-laser, amazing! In 3D, so pointless.

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