Blade Runner 2!?


#261

Saw it, loved it. Would see it again. Probably should since I’m sure I missed some things.

I was pleased with myself when, at the beginning, I leaned over to my wife and asked, “What’s the first letter?”

“What?”

“On the buildings. I can get ‘elina’ but I can’t remember the first one.”

After a pause she said, “It’s ‘ts’.”

Not having a Russian dictionary with us, I still had to come home to look it up. Tselina seems to mean something like ‘virgin land.’

Since it was homecoming weekend here in town, there were no people around us to disturb.


#262

That was clearly a point of view shot, so it tells us something particular about K: nudity isn’t important for him, Joi’s face is.


#263

[Vague spoilers ahead, I don’t think it warrants a spoiler tag but let me know if you disagree]

That’s an interesting perspective, I never thought of that. It makes me wonder about several things though. If nudity isn’t important to him, then why did Joi strip in the first place? You’d think she’d know how he thoughts considering she’s a kind of replicant too. It’s still true that the movie completely blacks out before showing any sexual activity.


#264

I guess, you took my remark way too literally. I was trying to say that at that specific moment the way her synchronized body looks like was less important to him than her face, eyes, emotions. At least that’s how POV shots work and could be interpreted. Besides he didn’t ask for this, that was her idea, her gift to him.


#265

I really like the dynamic between Joi and K and the question is raises around free will & humanity.

Joi is literally designed to love K and does so, potentially believing that this is her path to becoming unique & ‘more human’ - especially she realizes that K might be ‘special’ and starts to go against her creators.

K meanwhile, comes to believe he’s unique and ‘more human’ due to his ‘memories’ - but it’s unclear how many other replicants also have the same ‘memories’ embedded in them. It’s not unreasonable to surmise that he too was programmed to try to save the real child and that those memories were purposefully planned by someone.


#266

Maybe we need a spoiler thread at this point.

Anyway I found it interesting that there is a character named Luv, and it’s not the character who loves K. In fact, K kills Luv.


#267

I’m not sure how you infer this from the movie. Seems to me the point by the end of the movie is that Joi is just a product, and even her pet name for K – Joe – is little more than a routine feature. I didn’t get the sense that she was self-actualized or doing anything she wasn’t designed to do. And I’m not sure how you figure she went against her creators. She was like an operating system tailored to her user to create the illusion of being loved.

Which gives weight, by the way, to Wallace’s comment that Deckard and Rachel were designed to be in love with each other.

-Tom


#268

I think we are more or less saying the same thing - the supposed choices that Joi is making is squarely within the ‘programmed’ realm even if she realizes it or not - but what about K?


#269

2049’s sitting at a worldwide gross of $158,578,387, so if it weren’t for theaters having to make money, too, at least the studios would have covered the production costs.


#270

EDIT: Oops. I r dum. I typed out a whole reply after just skimming your post and missing where you pointed out what I’m about to tediously Tomsplain. Sorry!

I hate to be that guy, but the studios don’t get all that money. :)

In the US, about 40% goes to the theaters. That percentage is much higher overseas, which will take quite a bite out of the $100 million worldwide box office. So unfortunately, the production cost isn’t covered yet. I was kind of hoping maybe it would get legs based on word-of-mouth and reviews, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. Its second weekend drop-off wasn’t good news for the long term. In fact, it got trounced by a dippy Blum horror movie with no one famous* and without even a franchise behind it. The sad fact is that Blade Runner 2049 is a financial failure for Warner Brothers and Sony. Thanks, America.

-Tom

* although it does star my third favorite actress from La La Land!


#271

Haha, it’s fine, and you bring up a great point about international theaters taking a bigger percentage (that’s something I always forget). Even in the unlikely event that the Blade Runner IP resonated with Chinese audiences more than it does with the rest world, ala that terrible WoW movie, it would need to perform exceptionally well for it to be considered a success.


#272

Joi was made by Wallace, and she had K delete her from the console so that Wallace could not use it to get information about his whereabouts. I’d say she went against her creators. Luv reacted very determinedly when Joi disappeared from K’s console.


#273

Well, yeah, Luv is pissed because she wanted the data! But what makes you think Wallace Industries designed the Joi product line to stay online so its users could be tracked? Was there some suggestion about a corporate surveillance scheme? There might have been, but I’m not remembering it.

I get what you’re saying, but I think this idea that Joi is somehow a special or actualized entity who cares about K and has free will is an intentional red herring based on our expectations from other movies (see also Gertie in Moon), including the original Blade Runner. I thought an important point as the movie progressed is that Joi is just a PDA/realationship sim.

-Tom


#274

That’s because she’s God’s love for his creatures. Wallace is God.


#275

I think you’re seeing things in a different light than I am, and in your response to Tom later it sounds like maybe you’re still getting to the same end point, so maybe there’s nothing worth saying, but I think I disagree with some of this analysis.

Joi’s purpose is to make K feel loved, but we have no insight into Joi’s “mind”, such as it is. She’s literally advertised as “Everything you want to see, everything you want to hear” at least twice. This may not seem like a meaningful distinction, but I don’t think she’s “designed to love K”, she’s designed to make K feel loved. I don’t think she’s a being with agency reigned in with overriding instruction to love her owner, I think she’s a cleverly designed simulation that adapts to display behavior making the owner think something is deciding to love them.

Again, we don’t know what/if she’s thinking, but I keep coming back to that everything you want to see, everything you want to hear slogan. K wanted to be unique and important, so she encouraged that fantasy. Joi didn’t “believe” anything about K, she just recognized an avenue to feed what he wanted to think about himself.

Supporting that fantasy involved helping K when he goes on the run, but destroying her backup isn’t ultimately anything but potentially self-destructive—not an act of defiance that makes me think she had any autonomy or potential to act or grow beyond her programming.

As for K, I don’t remember anything in the movie that specifically indicates the memories he has were given to him (or potentially others) with the intent of uncovering the secret of Deckard and Rachel’s child. If there’s evidence I’ve forgotten I suppose it’s possible, but it took a larger coincidence than any plan I could imagine would account for to start K off in that direction, so I personally doubt it.


#276

Bolding mine.

There were other points on the map when K’s point disappeared. I assume those were other console installations of Joi.

As for the arc I saw for Joi, it began with her dressed and groomed as a '50s housewife, through her insisting that he delete her to avoid her giving him away, to her declaring her love just before she was destroyed. In particular, I found the scene of her going out into the rain to be moving as it recalled Batty leaning his head out into the rain and smiling with pleasure at the sensation on his face near the end of the first movie.

I’m still not sure what to make of Joi wearing a clear plastic rain jacket like Zora shortly before she was destroyed.


#277

I don’t remember the specific scene you’re referencing, when was this?

I see what looks like an arc until you realize the movie was teasing us (and K) with the idea that he was special, the important one. To be clear, what he did in the end was important in the story this movie was telling, but that was all post-Joi, after he realizes he’s not the special miracle-baby replicant, he’s not innately special or important.

Once you have that context, the denouement with K talking to the big pink Joi advertisement hammers it home—a Joi is a product to tell you what you want to hear (and she didn’t even have the creativity to give him a name, they call everyone Joe).

The movie doesn’t hide this, as Tom says, it just plays on our expectations. But that final scene with Pink-Joi isn’t the first time we’ve seen them advertised as telling you what you want to hear, and once you’re looking at Joi’s actions through the film through that lens, there is no arc. Everything you describe as an arc is the same behavior repeated, just expressed in the current context. Joi just keeps telling K what he wants to hear. He wants a 50s housewife, he wants to escape, he wants to be loved.

It was the style at the time.


#278

This is not always true. I don’t know where you got the information, and I’m sure it changes from country to country, but in Spain majors have powerful pressure mechanisms (we still have block booking) and for the first weekend of a major Hollywood picture a theater might get about 20% of the ticket price post taxes.

As an extreme example, this article has a theater owner claiming a major pushed a contract on them to split percentages for a movie (that I’m guessing was pretty big, otherwise it would make little sense) as 60% distributor, 24% taxes, 16% theater for at least the first month of the movie being shown (normally these percentages start to shift towards the exhibitor as the movie gets legs). Note that taxes are not reported as box office, so really we are talking about a 75/25 split.

It does look bleak for the financiers, but I wouldn’t discount the movie’s box-office performance yet. The International hold from opening weekend has been really strong (probably based on word-of-mouth). It is a movie that does cater for international tastes more than (US) domestic, I believe.

I doubt it will make the $400 it might most likely need to break even in box-office alone, but it might not be that far off and secondary earnings might make the enterprise slightly profitable. I think we’ll have a clearer picture on October 27th, when we know for sure mid-term international hold and first weekend number in Japan and China (I’m skeptical about China, though).


#279

Well, it’s not just the movie theater in another country taking a cut. When a movie goes overseas, more entities are taking a bite out of the gross, and in markets much larger than Spain – China comes to mind – I don’t doubt bigger bites are being taken out of the pie. A quick Google search turns up this article, which says:

-Tom


#280

Of course, that’s why I talked about distributors and not the production company. I just wanted to point out it was not the theaters benefiting. In a lot of international markets theaters are the less powerful agent (some countries like France offer protections in the shape of limits on contracts).

However, in this specific case, we need to remember Blade Runner 2049 has strange distribution arrangements. The international distributor is in this case the main financier along with the studio itself and the US distributor is more detached. So money going into Sony (international distributor) will be money going into one of the two companies who funded the film directly, with no intermediary, while in the US there will be an intermediary so the percentage of recovered costs will indeed be lower. I won’t be surprised in the proceeds from international box office roughly matched in percentage those of domestic BO.

As for the article you quote, I hope it’s better sourced than written… I don’t know how the hell does piracy affect the percentage of proceedings from box office that goes into the studio :P.