Learn Writing From Wince Inducing Comments About “Blade Runner 2045”

9 10 2017

There is nothing wrong with loving without qualification. It opens your heart, lowers blood pressure, extends endocrine life, whatever. As I seem to be a wet blanket with in rare exceptions, I rarely have that rosy glow of fan-a-vision to distract me from a media’s problems.

How do we know that rosy glow of fan-a-vision is blocking our critical eye? Have you used these phrases?

“It was fantastic for the first two parts, but fell apart in the last third.” The last third of anything falls apart because of the first two parts. A resolution falls apart because the conflict had flaws. In Blade Runner 2045 (BR2045), the world was so complicated it stumbled over itself.


Let’s work backwards: The MacGuffin chick was going to procreate and lead the Replicants…with a immune system that makes skin-to-skin contact impossible. Deckard’s body wasn’t going to be found…in a world where a drone can locate a box buried 30 feet. Quasi-Rachel had the wrong color eyes…after Jared Leto could have double-checked her DNA off the original’s skull. There’s more, but I’m bored.


You’ll note that none of these details had direct bearing on the plot. The immunity, the location technology, the skull, were all details which could have easily been fixed. But the plot was so damn complicated, the details tripped up the cohesion. One can overlook a few sparkles, but in a 2 hour 40 minute film, the sparkles become a haze.

“The artistry of (actor/director/whoever artist) stood out.” In a work of art, nothing is supposed to be a darling. The previous comment was applied to Jared Leto’s villain. Jared Leto did a great creepy job. He was a great creep. He had to be exceedingly, noticably creepy, because the script gave him absolutely nothing else to do but sit and be creepy. In the first BR, the genius scientist played chess, day-traded stocks, explained genetics, and was understated in creepiness. (In real life, company CEOs are dynamic and involved with their corporation.) Here in BR2045, Jared Leto had nothing to do except two acts of ewww, forcing the director to have Leto overact. Again, a weak script.

“Such a beautiful movie!” How much money was spent on this movie? It better damn well be pretty. Again, dazzling doesn’t help a weak script.

You know how you’re not supposed to let your darlings in, no matter how pretty? The Rachel’s Eye scene could have been a flat-out rejection of artifice instead of eye-color. The Zen CEO could have been deleted and the heavy lifting given to his henchwoman. McGuffin Chick could have been healthy.

All of those fixes would have smoothed out the wrinkles in the plot. But man, their scenes sure were pretty, SFX laden set-pieces.

I’m guessing this movie will fare better than Prometheus in movie history. But not by much.

Use darlings sparingly and avoid screwed up plots.






How To Make Me Walk Out Of Your Movie

25 08 2013

It actually physically pains me to watch a movie when these things happen. It is a squirming pain, part embarrassment and part frustration, like being in front of relatives while a dentist extracts a sex toy that took a really wrong turn.

For those who think I am “picky”, please keep in mind that while I walked out of Francis Coppola’s “Dracula”, Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus”, and Pixar’s “Rango”, I sat through and enjoyed “Balls Of Fury.”

Every annoyance has been assigned a percentage. When the total reaches 100%, I am gone. Current record: Turning off “Insidious” on Netflix in ten minutes.

For each instance of:

Self-reference, say by using sound effects from other movies like The Wilhelm Scream +10%
I get it, Director! You are an old movie fan. Now that you have carefully crafted a world, by all means put in an inside joke to jolt me back out and make me roll my eyes at your pretension.

Predictable Dialogue +20%
If I can predict what the character is about to say, you are not paying homage to a genre. You are boring me, “Insidious”. (I lasted until I was leading Rose Byrne by thirty seconds)

Kevin Smith +30%
He is witty. He is clever. However, he talks about people I already know, using language I already use, composed in camera shots I could have done. Thanks to Kevin Smith, I discovered I go to movies to go somewhere new. And get away from…

Stunt Casting +15%
…Alanis Morisette as Mime God. (Which is why I did not make it through “Dogma”)

Poor Research +10%
Hey “Prometheus”, a billion miles from Earth, you are still in the Solar System.

Instance of Inconsistent Character Behavior +20%
If a man is terrified of the prospect of meeting aliens, why would he volunteer for deep space travel? And if he finally meets an alien, why would he suddenly want to put it in his pants? My god “Prometheus”…

Acting That Hurts +20%
Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder in “Dracula” were accents wrestling with affects.

Trying To Be Tarrantino +50%
What was that movie with Walken and the cute tangential stories about off-beat petty criminals? That one. (“Three Days In The Valley” and that movie with the dogs and Tom Waits, both within twenty minutes)

Distancing Your Story Through Finding DEEP PORTENSE +50%
DEL TORO-O-O-O-O-O! Not everything is a goddam fairy tale! Sometimes things are scary because of unanswered questions, not because of elaborate backstories “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” (The third BIG TRACKING SHOT) and “Mama” (When Ti-D-Bowl Mom finally showed up after scores of shadows, knocking, music stings, dire warnings, kid stares, and it was still the first reel).

Quirky Campy = Scary! +75%
“American Horror Story” will soon be performed at parties by fans of “Glee” and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

Do not ask about the sex toy reference. It was a dare and my elementary school records were expunged.

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