|"Let me show you to your seat."|
Denis Villeneuve's movie was, as I expected, very much its own thing -- focused on his particular concerns and obsessions, utilizing and subverting stock-and-trade narratives in a manner that has become peculiar to Villeneuve, and recognizably so. While watching I thought it somewhat unfair to compare and contrast his film with Ridley Scott's from 35 years ago -- a film that subsequently dictated the visual grammar of Western cinema and became, for many, passionately loved not just despite its narrative flaws but because of them.
Still, Scott's is the property Villeneuve agreed to work with, so comparisons aren't just inevitable, I think they are called for. Here are a few of my own -- with NO SPOILERS (yet).
The aesthetic: Scott's Blade Runner aesthetic is arguably the tipping-point for the hesitant fan.
|You know it. You LOVE it. Los Angeles, 2019!!|
The rest of us stayed put. Scott's future was vibrant . . .
|Mezcal, with extra worms.|
|"Help me with the dishes, will ya?"|
|"Walmart says they need my student transcript..."|
Film score: Vangelis' original score was the stuff of legend, in large part because it was decades before anybody could get a copy to play on the home stereo. 2049's score by Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfinch can be streamed at your immediate convenience. Odds are you won't play it at the eardrum-shredding volumes we endured in the theatre -- even so, none of the tracks are likely to become ubiquitous at Manhattan Ayahuasca ceremonies. This, too, serves Villeneuve's story well, as Vangelis' did Scott's, so I will declare this comparison a "tie."
Story: both films retell the Pinocchio story. But there are twists, which I hope to get to in the next day or two.