Podcast - Adam Savage Project

Blade Runner 2049 SPOILERCAST! – Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project – 10/10/17

In our longest episode of Still Untitled yet, Adam, Norm, and Will review Blade Runner 2049 in an epic Spoilercast! For those of you who haven’t seen the film yet, we start off the show by recapping our adventures at New York Comic Con.

Comments (38)

38 thoughts on “Blade Runner 2049 SPOILERCAST! – Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project – 10/10/17

  1. You guys spoke about the covered fields, these seem to be based on massive area of southern Spain around San Silvestre, which looks exactly like the scene in the film.

    I also loved the film, the sound engineering was just astonishing

  2. I have to disagree with some you said about Joy. One of the overarching issues in both movies is “Are replicants people?” Was Joy’s software growing and changing as she interacted with K? When she asked K to break the antenna, had she grown into a self? Was she simply a program? Are we?

  3. tdjewell, I agree with your comments, I saw the relationship between K and Joy as trying to look at what is self awareness, K is forced to be viewed as below human, how does he look upon Joy. Is she just a learning programme he uses for escapism or does he, at times, view her as equal to a replicant ie the programming/artificial intelligence but its just not been installed into a body.

    Lots of themes to think about on how we see technology mixed in with self awareness and artificial intelligence.

  4. The movie was visually stunning, but the plot was a misogynistic mess. Women are either prostitutes, holographic companions who’s only job is to love and cater to you, or ass kicking villains wearing hot pants (no man would ever wear that). The story hates women so much that they literally kill a women (replicant) by slicing open the symbol of her womanhood (her womb). K having sex with his hologram projected over a real women while an amazing special effect, came off as more about being able to posses two women at once. Harrison Ford gets to age but his love from the first movie gets to be recreated as her 20ish year old self. Oh I get it, she was past her “last F***kable day” so lets make her young again. This movie was a horrible waste of talent.

  5. That was my meta commentary. The dog was artificial, so it doesn’t matter what happened to it. Unless caring about an artificial dog makes you more human.

    What happened to the Dog?

    What dog? There were no dogs.

    I’m pretty sure i remember a dog.

    I loved the movie.

  6. planned obsolescence. but seriously, its really hard to tell whats real and whats just in her programming. is her program to love him so strong that shes willing to take the risk of being destroyed just to be with him, or is that actual love and emotion coming from a “companion” program. i dont think we will ever have any concrete answers.

  7. How in God’s name did you not talk in depth about Rachel? Love the extemporaneous dialogue, but for this one you needed to develop a discussion outline to follow.

  8. i think I saw this amazing movie in the same theatre at the same time as adam savage when he was in NYC. i saw BR 2049 at the AMC 25 in IMAX NYC and the IMAX lights came on with 5 minutes before the end of the movie.

  9. I have a hope that it has a nice, long run, that word of mouth will keep people coming, and some 2 or three times to absorb it all in. There is NO home theater that can ‘replicate’ a digitally projected movie on the BIG screen with the amazing Dolby Atmos sound. Mine comes close,.. but not quite yet.

  10. Please don’t ever refer to any woman character as a “holographic fleshlight”. I know that Ana de Armas put much more work into that character. Regardless of her character’s “status” in the film; that reductive term was gross and inappropriate… and you guys KEPT saying it. That character and the actress deserve much more respect.

  11. Two movies with a great opening:

    • Contact: Camera slowly drifting away from Earth. And particularly the moment when there is absolute silence.
    • The Thing: the dog running away from the helicopter: You don’t understand what the hell is going on.
  12. i’m with you on that one.

    joi and k mirrored the original’s question, one level removed. blade runner questioned the dehumanisation of manufactured serfs, in light of the difference to the actuality of their self, when the big difference can be boiled down to possibly-fake memories – and how real are memories anyway.

    2049 had k, a manufactured serf whose entire way of being internalised being a manufactured serf, interacting with a programmed hologram – i.e. a manufactured ‘mind’ with not even a body. to me, that read as a question of the reality of interaction and relationship. when blade runner made us question whether our memories are real, and how little it matters to the self-ness of the right now, joi makes us question in how far the motions we go through in our interactions are different to a programming. and how much of a difference that would make.

    it’s quite similar to how metal gear solid questioned the influence of our genes on our self, and metal gear solid 2 questioned the influence of the learnedness of our upbringing on our self.

    i found joi and k’s focus on the internal, the mind-aspect a good supplement to the more biological main aspect. (or rather, the societal consequences of an assumed biological difference, it being the accepted justification for discriminating between soulful humans and soulless replicants.)

  13. ok, kinda off topic, but movies?

    I’m assuming that “Movie Madness” up in PDX is known to you all? Still a video store, but not just any, they have EVERYTHING, including an amazing collection of props. The place is amazing. I have no affiliation other than I love the place (though live on the wrong side of town to use it much)

    kickstart to save the place/collection.

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hollywoodtheatre/save-movie-madness

    hope this is ok, but movie props, a guy who loves movies more than anyone, Hollywood theater, etc. Seems right up Adam’s bailiwick. (Hollywood theater that is trying to get the collection is a non-profit)

  14. Regarding Agency, and Joi, specifically:

    One thing I think that was missed by saying that Joi lacked agency was in the decision to remove her “memory” from the local console and have her reside solely in the Emanator. This was her advice (and decision), in order to protect K from being revealed by her memories.

    I agree that Jois are likely not AI, they seemed to take some pains to demonstrate that they operate on an algorithm that looks for feedback from the client. But there’s definitely the implication that there’s “learning” going on there, otherwise all Jois would be interchangeable and replaceable, and thus the destruction of the Emanator (and whatever of her is stored there) would be totally meaningless, even to K.

    Since we seem to agree that the at-face theme of the movie is about what it means to be sentient and that learning to act selflessly is a component of that for Deckard and K – I submit that Joi has learned a certain subset of that behavior as well, by insisting, in the face of K’s objections, that she be placed into the more-risky storage medium so as to protect K.

  15. Did anyone else think that the intersection between Paolo Baccigalupi’s “Drowned Worlds” and Blade Runner is now close enough that they could take place in the same universe?

    I would love to see a cinematic version of Ship Breaker or The Wind-up Girl (the latter unlikely because of the graphic nature of some of the key scenes – although Girl With a Dragon Tattoo suggests it’s possible). I’ve finally seen a cinematographer and director that might be able to bring that world to life on-screen.

  16. I didn’t take Joi as having any agency. The comment after the sex scene make it clear in my opinion; “There’s not as much in there as you think.”

    She’s just a sophisticated program to deliver what the owner wants, and this is why at the end he’s attached. He wanted and needed her to set that chain of events into motion (the deletion, the ‘you are special’ reinforcement’ etc. It was in her programming to appear to have agency and make it believable for him to accept because its what he wanted most.

    In this time and place in our history, this can become an interesting intersection point to consider what our own infantile echo chambers can become over time. Just like Agent Smith’s dialog in the first Matrix about the failure of perfection in the model, here is another layer of sophistication and evolution to consider as we move toward some version of that future.

  17. It’s a beautiful movie visually. As a gigantic fan of the original, perhaps my hopes were just too high. There is quite a lean skeleton of a plot here, and as it unfolded, I was sad that I kept being able to easily guess what the next step was going to be. The one surprise twist was the reveal of who the daughter was, but for me that just wasn’t enough. I would love for them to have delved more into the Luv character, and given her backstory more depth, as she was fascinating. I also think that the relationship between K and Joi was by far the most interesting and unexpected part of the whole story. The movie was long, and the pacing just never really reached the proper tempo in my opinion. I can understand why it hasn’t done well, because it just isn’t that good, when you get down to it. Beautiful actors, amazing costumes, sets, and visual effects only get you so far. There was much more gripping story telling in the prequel short films, in my opinion. I would like for them to make another, but all my favorite characters in this film died, so there’s not even that to look forward to.

  18. Adam, I love everything you do but I am so disappointed to find that you believe Deckard is a replicant. As far as 2049, two points: no evidence is ever presented as to how and why Deckard aged if he was a replicant. Secondly, if Rachel was fecund and could have children to other replicants, wouldn’t that be something far more easy to prove in the lab given Tyrell’s genius of producing replicants in vitro in the first place?

    As far as 2019, Deckard has spent his career killing replicants. But at some point, it is clear he grew tired of the burden and retired. Herein lies the fundamental, beautiful contradiction and hallmark of the story. Deckard finds himself falling in love with a replicant. If Deckard were himself a replicant, this touching moral conflict that is central to the story is destroyed. Likewise the fact that Rachel kills Leon to save Deckard! Killing another replicant, what’s the big deal? But a replicant killing another to save a human – now that stands for something and supports the beauty of the story.

    Lastly is the touching, finalizing scene and tribute to the notion that replicants are more human than human. Roy, after trying viciously to kill Deckard, reveals the replicants’ human side and love of life and saves Deckard. If Deckard is a replicant, this scene is pointless. But with the conflict and blurred identities between man and biological machine, it is truly a magnificent conclusion.

  19. I found the whole birth angle a little bothersome, because yet once again, women are being reduced to an object that’s pretty much only useful for: having sex with men, emotionally propping up men, and having babies. And if you can’t or don’t want babies, then you’re not particularly valuable as a “human.” It’s old and tiring to keep seeing the idea reinforced. What they did with Rachel’s story arc was rather disappointing for this reason.

    I could forgive an 80’s movie for not exactly being uber progressive (and…. for that quasi-rapey scene parading as “romance”); but for a current sci-fi film, where you could literally do anything, and which great pains were made in every other area, maybe we could show a non-stuck-in-the-past-male viewpoint for a change?

  20. You didn’t mention THE THEME OF THE WHOLE MOVIE….

    They all desire SOMETHING THAT IS REAL.

    In a world where they have synthetic people, food, casino entertainment, even girlfriends, over and over again they mention the desire for something real.

    Robin Write says “I want something real”

    Harrison Ford Says “I know what’s real”

    Gosling wants to know if the orphanage memory is real

    The hooker says, “he doesn’t like real girls”

    Even Batista refers to a “Miracle” with is a real birth.

    The fact that the toy is made of “real wood” is also a big thing.

    And when Gosling looks up at the large hologram of Joy and realizes his love is NOT REAL, that is the switch that shoots him into action.

    ALL characters are driven for the desire for something REAL.

  21. Couple thoughts:

    1. In a ‘world without wood’ as Will so elegantly put it, consider the significance of the tree at Dave Bautista’s house.

    2. I see ‘controlling the means of production’ as having nothing to do with individual men women, but being purely about independence – a population whose increase is under the control of a corporation is a hopeless slave of that corporation.

  22. The comment after the sex scene make it clear in my opinion; “There’s not as much in there as you think.”

    to me this was reinforcing the hierarchy of intelligent beings in this universe. it goes humans > replicants > AI. Joi is abhorred as much by the replicant Mariette as replicants are abhorred by humans (Mariette even looks sorta disgusted/disappointed when she hears the musical chime from Joi’s eminator). When Joi, who hired Mariette to use her body to make herself physically available to K, wields the smallest amount of agency by telling Mariette to leave she’s immediately put back in her place by being reminded that she’s only a hollow light show. I think joi does have agency but it’s a very very narrow band because she’s physically and electronically tied to either the home console or the eminator that only allows her to go where K goes. But within that narrow band i think the movie tries to play with the idea that she’s more than just a digital girlfriend and that she might have genuine emotions and thoughts of her own.

  23. Lantz i donno if K realizes that his love of Joi isn’t real only that the hologram billboard isn’t the same as his Joi. it’s the same as when Deckard rejects the re-made Rachel. it’s her in every way but it’s not /her/. Their love was real because they made it real.

  24. I agree – reality in this synthetic world is so greatly valued – even the wooden horse was considered of very high value

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