DULL BLADE — For someone who grew into adulthood thinking that Blade Runner was one of the best movies … ever, Blade Runner 2049 is a sorry, sorry mess. The first movie, released in 1982, was scrumptious in almost every way: the music (Vangelis) was nothing short of extraordinary and still is all these years later; the cinematography was unlike anything I had ever seen: dark, mysterious, evocative … even current day film auteurs still cite that first movie as miraculous in every way. There were actually three version of that original released; first, director’s Ridley Scott’s version that featured a droll voice-over from Harrison Ford. Word leaked that the reason Ford’s voice-voice over was so sardonic, was that Ford himself, was dissatisfied with the project. Second, a cut from the studio that featured no-voice over; and third, a version featuring a dream sequence with a unicorn. Supposedly, that sequence was to give more focus to the overriding question: was Ford’s Deckard a replicant?
For me, I liked the original version, with the voiceover; sardonic or not, it provided a total guide to the film which I immediately got.
The new movie, which was hyped to death, and made me think initially that there was something being covered up (also, there was no all media screening either from Warner Brothers, which is usually standard) will go down as one of the major disappointments of 2017. Truth be told, it has broken records in Europe, but I have absolutely no idea why. The original Blade Runner story was Rick Deckard (Ford) on the hunt for replicants; seemingly human but with great strength and a built-in clock that would eventually destroy them, The great actor Rutger Hauer was the one replicant (or, skin job … derogatory now, but back then, just perfect) everyone was searching for. Along the way Deckard realizes that Hauer’s Batty had far more compassion that he and a terrific monologue (known as the “Tears in Rain” sequence) from Haue’s character Roy Batty, is to me, the highlight of the movie. Batty actually rescues Deckard at one point, and then he ceases to exist. Watch the scene here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NoAzpa1x7jU
In the new movie, Edward James Olmos, his superior in the original, returns for this movie in almost a throwaway role; Darryl Hannh and Sean Young, who he escapes with in the ending of the first movie) … perhaps.
The new movie picks up the basic thread, as Ryan Gosling (Agent K) searches for a probable child produced from a Ford/Young union. Along for the ride is Robin Wright in the Olmos-role; quite good actually, and newcomers Ana de Armas and Sylvia Hoeks are both quite good in a nonsensical script. Ford, who finally appears in the last of the movie, brings it to life, but for me, it was too little, too late.
The filmmakers could not come to terms with composer Vangelis, so an irritating, not-so-similar score is there, done by the usually wonderful Hans Zimmer, but it turns out to be most annoying. The climatic action scene is good, but looks as if it was filmed on a Warners-sound stage. The effects are palpable, but if you loved that first movie, they’re very pale and derivative by compassions.The elements were there, I don’t know what happened. To me, the usually dependable director Denis Villeneuve, was overwhelmed by the original. I was terrifically disappointed. Don’t mess with a classic.
SHORT CUTS — Micky Dolenz announced on yesterday’s Chris Carter’s Breakfast with The Beatlestalk fest, that none other than Michael Nesmith will be a guest star at his two L. A. shows this week; the Canyon Club on 10-20 and the Saban on 10-21. Dolenz also does KABC’s Pete Tilden and Steve Jones’ Jonesy’s Jukebox on KLOS. Also expected at the Saban show is the one-and-only Rodney Bingenheimer, who is currently on SiriusXM. If you don’t know who Rodney is, Google him. He launched the radio careers of people like Bowie, Blondie, The Talking Heads, and yes, The Monkees, on KROQ. A valued treasure in every way. Also there at the Saban will be Joel Diamond and Rebecca Holden (TV’s Knight Rider). Details to follow … I don’t know about you, but Alec Baldwin’s Trump-show is getting bit tired. Last night’s new SNL featuring Kumail Nanjiana (The Big Sick) as host, was good, he was funny and had a great monologue. Music-guest Pink was stellar; looking great and we loved her new song “What About Us.” I have always liked her, but her glittering age-wear often wore thin. Last night, resplendent like an urban Stevie Nicks was spot-on. Just terrific …Marcus Goldhaber returns to the Cutting Room on November 6; in supporting his terrific new release Carry You On (Fallen Apple Records). We’ve written about Marcus before and have always applauded his terrific writing and performance. Smart, subtle and on-point. A big favorite here … Mark Bego’s Cutting Room event Thursday for his Eat Like A Rock Star (Skyhorse) is shaping up as a major event; with celebrity Chefs like Lou Christie; Cory Daye; Randy Jones; Jade Starling; and, Debby Campbell slated to show. Also there will be Robert Funaro and Joanna Bonaro, from Good ‘n Screwed, Rascal-Gene Cornish; PR-pasha Randy Alexander; Lee Shapiro from The Hitmen; Marcus Goldhaber, as well as Bego’s long-time PR-man David Salidor. Bego, with Supreme-Mary Wilson, does Fox TV Tuesday and Cousin Brucie (Bruce Morrow) on Wednesday. Details to follow … And, from Page Six: Melissa Etheridge was busted for pot possession at the Canadian border. Etheridge had been arrested back in August after her tour bus was stopped by U. S. Customs and Border Patrol in North Dakota. In late September, she issued a statement explaining that she uses medical marijuana to fight her cancer pain. But while it’s legal in her home state of California, it’s not in North Dakota. “Because I am a musician, people often assume that I must indulge in the fast-paced life that often comes with playing on the road,” she wrote on new approachmissouri.com, a medical marijuana advocacy website. But she saw no appeal in drugs of any kind until her doctors recommended cannabis after her 2004 breast cancer diagnosis. “It worked even better than they said it would,” wrote Etheridge, adding she continues to use the drug tofight sleeplessness and lasting effects of chemo … Our best to All Access’ Mark Strickland who is moving on to his new venture, Listen To Music. Mark’s has always been one of the best industry-people out there. A terrific knowledge about this business and a stellar fellow. Best of luck Mark! … Finally, never-say-die Liz Smith captured an interesting angle on Harvey Weinstein. Here’s her column from New York Social Diary …. scroll down the page and read her thoughts. As always, pure-Liz: Http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/guest-diary/2017/liz-smith-end-credits
Till next time…