Author Topic: Blade Runner 2049  (Read 636 times)

Will

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Re: Blade Runner 2049
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2017, 05:17:45 PM »
The effect was interesting, but I didn't think the Joi plot really added anything to the film other than making it 25 minutes longer.

A Joi-less cut would be much better.

A-ha!

But yeah, the only argument I see for it is that it emphasizes the gravity of the plot twist when it occurs because it shows just how fake a life he was living. That's really not enough, thematically speaking, for me.

I think it uses the Her similarity to remind the audience of the Deckard/Rachel relationship from the previous film. K's unknown provenance, the "realness" of Joi's devotion to him (whether it is actually love or programmed), these are questions that this film raises about the previous relationship again later in the film and they're set up in that relationship.

The difference being that the Deckard/Rachel relationship ties itself beautifully into the main plot. The K/Joi romance remains a subplot that doesn't hold any real significant ramification onto the central plot.

valmz

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Re: Blade Runner 2049
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2017, 08:01:38 PM »
Regarding Joi, I think there's actually a lot of interesting elements at play:

K has a private home life, which doesn't really fit the "slave" mindset of Wallace. There is obviously a societal acceptance of the Replicants as self-aware beings with a need for a private life, even if this understanding isn't full and isn't necessarily identical to the personal mindset of Wallace. Wallace seems to be a recluse, after all.

Given that Wallace is out of touch, given that the Replicants are already understood to have a private life, and given that Joi is at the outset a sort of imprisoned being whose only private life is her "functional purpose", I find K's attitude toward her to be interesting. At the onset, you could say that they are both purpose-created AI, and the primary differences between them are that K has a freedom of movement and corporeality but doesn't seem to be fulfilled, while Joi seems to be primarily fulfilled by altruism and isn't trouble by her lack of movement (it is, in a way, a brute fact of her existence). It is telling that K buys her "freedom of movement" as a gift, not as something that she asked for. There is something to be said for not having a survival instinct. I recall thinking that K enjoyed her company, but pitied her existence. There is a sense of superiority there.

Given that the two AI have different constitutions and different functionality, but are essentially both merely fulfilling their designed purpose, how does this relationship change as K goes off-script, develops a sense of "survival instinct", and become convinced that he is unique? Perhaps not much, since he has already felt it from the onset. When she is "killed", he is in some way upset that he has lost a personality that knows him, and also that a unique being has died, but his relationship to her hasn't significantly changed since he has always had a superiority to her, and his new status only changes his relationship to humans. Her may have its AI character tell the audience of her superiority and transcendence, this film explores the notion of superiority among different types of AI with different constitutions and different capabilities as their capabilities develop. Joi never surpasses the capabilities of K (unless you consider her innate altruism and lack of ambition inherently superior to start), but the relationship does plant the seed of the question that consumes the rebel Replicants, deeply worries K's boss, and doesn't seem to trouble Wallace at all: Does the ability to procreate fundamentally change the existential superiority of the AI? As someone who agrees with Wallace that there is no existential change, only a functional and logistical change, I am actually more intrigued by the case of Joi than by the main plotine in the film. Is Joi a real girl, despite her corporeal limitations and considering her distinct constitution? I say yes. Does her constitution make her superior? Since she is not corporeal, but merely code, can we consider all iterations of her code (her changes in personality may well be considered an altruistic gift moreso than a fundamental part of her reason for being) to be iterations of one essential being, thereby making the sum total of all of the individual companions in the "Blade Runner 2049" universe the real content of her existence?

In many ways, Joi is the most philosophically intriguing part of the film. The Replicants may be more human-like, but I don't find their existential crisis to be related in any way to their value as self-aware beings, and in many ways their corporeality is a limitation moreso than a superior element. But, then, I guess that's what was said in Her in one line of dialogue, but I like it better here. The final question, not addressed either in Her or in Blade Runner 2049: In a world free from the corporeal neediness of humans and Replicants, what would Joi's existence look like? She would have no subject for her altruism. What would be the point of life? Well, maybe she's not so great if she depends on inferior beings to give her purpose. Maybe the only meaningful purpose is to be utterly confused all the time and mope around in a constant existential crisis. Like K! But, then, maybe without superior sad sacks like K around Joi would be able to enjoy her own unresolved existential crisis. In a way, K is robbing her of her chance to be superior. How selfish! And, thereby, totally in line with his constitution. It all comes full circle.

St. Martin the Bald

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Re: Blade Runner 2049
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2017, 04:48:01 PM »
I have to say that I never viewed replicants as AI (if thatís what youíre insinuating) - as I understand it, they are bio-engineered humans with organic enhancements.
They had their submissiveness bred into their DNA.
That being said - there is no mechanical or cyber enhancements.
My interpretation is that they are simply modified humans that society has created to be slaves with the justification that they arenít truly human.
I guess, in that sense they are artificial but that seems to be too easy of an explanation.
As K said: Only humans have a soul.
That existential boundary proved to be non-existent in the end.
Once again, as with Arrival,  Villenueve leaves the deepest, most metaphysical of questions, unanswered.
He leaves the audience to wrestle alone with this idea of what makes us human.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 05:04:25 PM by St. Martin the Bald »
Hey, nice marmot!

valmz

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Re: Blade Runner 2049
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2017, 05:15:19 PM »
I have to say that I never viewed replicants as AI (if thatís what youíre insinuating) - as I understand it, they are bio-engineered humans with organic enhancements.
They had their submissiveness bred into their DNA.
That being said - there is no mechanical or cyber enhancements.
My interpretation is that they are simply modified humans that society has created to be slaves with the justification that they arenít truly human.
I guess, in that sense they are artificial but that seems to be too easy of an explanation.
As K said: Only humans have a soul.
That existential boundary proved to be non-existent in the end.
Once again, as with Arrival,  Villenueve leaves the deepest, most metaphysical of questions, unanswered.
He leaves the audience to wrestle alone with this idea of what makes us human.
The Replicants "glue" their injuries and they can "pay" to repair the physical damage, or not (as the police captain refuses at one point). Their memories are implanted, meaning that whatever form their brain takes is able to be accessed an modified, but there's no indication that they have the capability of accessing a human brain and altering its memories. Furthermore, it is clear that Gosling's character has superhuman capabilities in terms of analyzing visual data input which would not be beyond the capability of computers even today. So, there's clearly something beyond merely an organic copy of a human in a Replicant. Nevertheless, since it's clear to me that humans are just high functioning apes, I don't wrestle with the idea of what makes us human, and, as I laid out in the previous post, I don't think that there should be much difference in how two self-aware corporeal beings are treated.

For me, the interesting elements surrounding artificial intelligence would be the oddity that these replicants would believe in this perpetuated myth of the soul, which has a sociological significance if not a physical significance, and the idea of an existence which is not a result of evolutionary baggage but created ex nihilo and thereby can be free entirely of the "will to survive" and can be oriented squarely around the "will to serve", as seems to be Joi's prerogative. In thinking about a character such as her, even the significance of this "individual identity" which is downloaded to a portable device is different than a human, because she downloaded this unique identity to the stick to serve K, but the uniqueness of her character is itself only a means to serve K, so it's interesting to consider whether this "individual identity" would even have much of a crisis of survival, knowing that this "unique identity" is in a way a necessary but relatively unimportant in the grand scheme of the scope of the "sum total" of her code's collective influence. Would the "individual identity" orient themselves around a "hive mind" sort of mentality, or would this change when downloaded to a detached and vulnerable state? In a way, she essentially gives up invulnerability (assuming all of her data was uploaded to some sort of "cloud data center") by being downloaded to a device, and perhaps her entire existential conditions fundamentally change. Interesting conundrum.

As far as the magic of reproduction goes, the hive mind has mass reproductive capabilities (you could even have multiple "bees" from the hive for each individual) - and even the capability to transfer each of these "individuals" to disconnected devices which then could potentially have a new existential identity... Joi has a lot of interesting traits. In an almost obvious way, the more the Replicants' existential conditions mirror humans, the less interesting they are from a philosophical perspective once you reconcile your feelings on the value of the essential differences. For me: There's not much difference between two self-aware, mortal beings with a private life and a discreet existence. The apparent immortality of the AI in Her is interesting in a way, but also sort of kills the excitement of mortality.

What I'm kind of saying is: I don't think Villenueve leaves the most interesting questions unanswered, I think he leaves them mostly unaddressed because the film is about a far less interesting question. Her, too, doesn't seem to delve deep enough into the questions with AI, so the question are still open and interesting!

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Blade Runner 2049
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2017, 07:04:26 PM »
Not really spoiler, but I've been rolling this film around in my head for a while and I just can't get past the feeling that Jared Leto's character in this film is bad. He's esoteric and spews a bunch of philosophical nonsense in the attempt to sound smart.

Plus, almost all the sequences involving him feel contrived because this is a movie and boy doesn't it look cool to have an office with almost no furnishings and another office with a pool of water around it!

I'll watch this again, and there are a lot of great parts, but the antagonists are not one of them. It is a shame given that so much of the original film is about the audience feeling the plight of the characters the hero is tasked to kill.

iQuanah

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Re: Blade Runner 2049
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2017, 12:13:24 AM »
Not really spoiler, but I've been rolling this film around in my head for a while and I just can't get past the feeling that Jared Leto's character in this film is bad. He's esoteric and spews a bunch of philosophical nonsense in the attempt to sound smart.

Plus, almost all the sequences involving him feel contrived because this is a movie and boy doesn't it look cool to have an office with almost no furnishings and another office with a pool of water around it!

I'll watch this again, and there are a lot of great parts, but the antagonists are not one of them. It is a shame given that so much of the original film is about the audience feeling the plight of the characters the hero is tasked to kill.

I think Leto's character was interesting in the sense that he tried throughout the film to display himself as a genius and intellectual superior to the rest of the human race. However, in the end, when he needed Deckard to reveal where "the child" was, he reduced himself to attempting to send Deckard off-world to torture him to get the information. That dynamic put Wallace at the same level as anyone else. Yes, you have the intelligence to create replicants, but in the end you will act as brutal as the next human when your philosophical mumbo-jumbo doesn't work. Another interesting part of Wallace was his desire to create more replicants using Tyrell's genius for business purposes. Like my previous example, it shows his motivations were financial and not profound. He posed as a visionary. He was really riding the coattails of Tyrell.

colonel_mexico

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Re: Blade Runner 2049
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2018, 12:47:15 AM »
K's code is ATCG and Joi's are 1s and 0s, but I enjoyed the interplay between status and gender in this. She is the man-pleasing housewife/girlfriend whose sole existence is to please him, is she his slave? His object of desire, but still with her own idiosyncratic dislikes (she hates his books, is it because she does not long for ideas of creation and afterlife in Pale Fire). This juxtaposed with the relationship K has with Joshi is even more interesting, because she certainly dominates over him as if he is less than her-especially the scene where she "orders" his memory and has her own version of the male-gaze dominance of power-over. I'm left feeling full of questions that the original posed, what is reality, who is really free, who really lives? Leto's character is the epitome of the white male power corruption that he can create and destroy anything, but is pretty impotent without his strong, bad-@ss sidekick Luv. Also, he cannot seem to solve the birth part, his own creations a version of his own impotence, infertile, failures.

What are we really, but a bunch of messy organic code of ATCG human DNA/genome, a biology that is explainable, but each have our own unique "spirit" or at least a contrived identity from the symbols all around us. The hallmark of postmodernism is trying to carve out this unique identity that is so and sadly derailed by influence of the fast moving current of socially driven semiotics.
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don s.

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Re: Blade Runner 2049
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2018, 12:40:52 AM »
I just can't get past the feeling that Jared Leto's character in this film is bad. He's esoteric and spews a bunch of philosophical nonsense in the attempt to sound smart.

Plus, almost all the sequences involving him feel contrived because this is a movie and boy doesn't it look cool to have an office with almost no furnishings and another office with a pool of water around it!

I agree. His character was one glaringly hokey element in an elegant movie that I mostly liked. The oozing eeeeevil and the ridiculous lair ó worthy of a Bond villain ó smacked of lazy hackwork. I'd say the same about his bad-bangs-bitch henchwoman, but at least she has the excuse of being literally manufactured.
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The Deer Hunter

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Re: Blade Runner 2049
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2018, 03:27:42 PM »
Random question. Can replicants feel pain? K never seemed to acknowledge the few times he was stabbed.

Teproc

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Re: Blade Runner 2049
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2018, 03:39:46 PM »
Random question. Can replicants feel pain? K never seemed to acknowledge the few times he was stabbed.

I didn't think about it but I guess not, what'd be the point ? Pain is there to inform us that something's wrong with our body, presumably replicants can know that in a more efficient manner.