What Happened to Monday & Blade Runner 2049

Cry Baby


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Reported on 7th of November, 2017

Wait a sec. Scott? On a rant about babies????

But this is a different kind of rant!

Look…

Cry Baby


re: What Happened to Monday & Blade Runner 2049
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…as it was during WWII, ‘The World Is Dying’ should be our daily headline until we fix the problem, being a threat to all life on earth and whatnot. Could it at least read ‘What Is It About Humans That The World’s Death Isn’t The Number One Headline Every Day?’ But if we don’t care, why would that be the headline? It doesn’t make any sense. What’s the matter with you?

No one ever imagines about how a biological clock might actually appear. I see it like what would happen if David Cronenberg hand‑crafted your retirement gift.

Now I’m not here to convince you that 1+1=2, or that 10 of something takes up ten times the space as one of that same thing. I’m here to convince filmmakers of this idea.

I realized after all the various babyccinos in the world, really what bothers me about too many people was the same thing that bothered me about war and misogyny and the continued hiring of Mr. Spike Lee: lack of basic logic. With the last item, we know what I think is the silentest but deadliest sin: how illogic affects films.

Overpopulation, being that it exists and threatens that the fact that we do, is the subject of many a film. This has been true since the 1970s, when we comically thought it was a real problem, and more comically, that people would listen. I’ve written one myself. Let’s all the ponder the odds of that sucker getting bought again.

As I know first hand, the topic is a very touchy, and leads to much incongruititouses. The family of six arrives at the crowded beach and asks, ‘Where did all these people come from?’ There are two types of film that arise from this contradiction: the evil villain off to kill the world with some kind of superbug, but With Something Important To Tell Us At The End (Inferno, and, utterly inexplicably, in The Brothers Grimsby) and the Oppressive Government Stopping You From Having Babies (Terra Nova and….

What Happened To Monday?

30 August 2017 @ The Gaumont Rennes


$2.00 or, if one must be prosaic, and one must... 
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

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What Happened To Monday). Man, I will basically see anything with Frk. Noomi Rapace, who, not unlike her oft co-star Mr. Tom Hardy, is a kind of charisma singularity. I would see even this film, which I knew would swim in a topic for which I have declared my distaste. Ten seconds ago, and two seconds from now.

This is now. But I kind of loved it. It’s terrible, to be sure, but this is the thing about babies. The conflict extant in the idea that babies never turn into people causes things to squirt out at the margin. Yes, ‘squirt’.

For example, the desire to have babies is like totally natural, even if the concept of natural is totally made up. You know there’s a problem because no one ever imagines about how a biological clock might actually appear. I see it like what would happen if David Cronenberg hand-crafted your retirement gift.

The film – Translated into French and then back into English as Seven Sisters, mangles also the translation of the name of the last Rapacity. The very simple ‘Sunday’ (‘Dimanche’), is, in this film, poetically called ‘nom de Dieu’ throughout the film. A sci-fi using the French of Voltaire.

With these mental maps colliding, on a much larger mental map I guess, the film thrusts us into a world dying of overpopulation, but with a strange disease that causes women to have multiple babies. They can’t use birth control or get abortions because this, like the lack of flatscreen displays in films set in 2050 made in 1973, is a technology that didn’t exist. The preferable alternative? Why Ms. Glenn Close putting them in hibernation, of course!

I was already confused/infatuated.

In this environs, some woman has seven Frk. Rapace’s, which made me very happy. The seven hide from the gubment baddies, each going out a day of the week, each with a name corresponding to the day. I’ll say it, that’s a great set-up, and there are a lot of moments that could have been as each one is forced to pretend to be the other when one disappears.

Could have been.

Besides the squandering of the set-up, and not having the slightest idea how to write characters or dialog or scenes, the film would have worked more smoothly in a world where twins or multiples are feared – a form of plausible boundary crossing in this day and age. Instead, the pesky contradictions ruin the story, but serve to make the experience kind of awesome.

There’s a lot of stupidity to go around, especially retroactively. When it is revealed that Monday is the bad guy, you wonder many things. Why didn’t them gubment types check the apartment where we now know that they knew all Noomi Rapaceseses were until a full day later? Why during a secret raid, which I know it was because they yelled it enough times, did they use explosives and very loud machine guns? And so on.

As each of the Rapaci are killed, you find there is someone that wants to hurt those Nooms, and that is the first Noom herself.

But returning to Evil Ms. Rapace, and you knew this was coming as much as I did and because there’s only one thing a woman is good for, and yep, she did it because she’s pregnant. This is what I mean about this seemingly irreproachable motive: it means that if you want to have a baby, you just make a deal with Glenn Close to kill all your sisters. One imaginary life is worth six real ones. I guess that’s how they’ll take care with us old-timers soon enough.

People are awesome! Let’s make more!

What Happened to Monday: The Take

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Profits!
The matching twin FX, and they must have spent a lot of time doing them, are great. You will believe in Noomuses!
$2.00
The silliness – outlined above – first annoys, then baffles, then educates, then entertains. The final image in this film is thousands of babies being grown in test tubes. To solve the overpopulation problem. It’s amazing.
$3.00
Total Profits
$5.00
Losses!
But, during the annoyance: Catastrophic overpopulation, which continues after we reduced birth numbers has continued to go up. This is as plausible as someone
running to warn someone about something they already know
$1.00
Having impossibly vital data, but not backing up to the cloud. Another thing they don’t have in the future.
$1.00
Having, I don’t know why I love this so much, a back-up escape apartment that the characters had forgotten about. You’ll never guess what happens next!, say the writers. But if you do, could you tell us? We have no idea.
$1.00
Total Losses
$3.00

$2.00

Blade Runner 2049

4 October 2017 @ The Gaumont Rennes


$6.00 or, if one must be prosaic, and one must... 
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

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Blade Runner 2049 doesn’t have (all) the same problems as What Happened to Monday. This is an abandoned world, and not as terrible as it might have been sequel. The idea, undersold, is the way in which the rich can afford to go offworld, while the rest of us are left behind.

The rest of you. Fine.

First, I just want to get this off my hairy muscular masculine chest: with all the sex-robots and tough-cop ladies, it’s not such a misogynistic film as many have said. Living as we do in the era of I-feel-a-little-funny-down-there-so-it-must-be-politics, I want to clarify my position: when it comes to female characters, agency is the only thing that matters.

Like the black widow/femme fatales of yore, I guess we’re supposed to feel bad that Sra. Ana de Armas is a hologram naked sex robot lady. She remains – for me – the only interesting character in the film. This is for a very simple reason. She’s the only one to make a choice.

I was to discover afterwards – to my bewilderment – that it was the trailer that ruined Blade Runner 2049‘s financial chances and further that this was because the trailer didn’t contain spoilers which all good trailers are supposed to. Sans headphones one day, I saw the trailer. It reveals pretty much everything. We know Mr. Harrison Ford is in it. In the film, we don’t see him until two hours in. That’s a spoiler.

The film didn’t make money because sometimes films don’t. No one knows why. What we do know is that you don’t care, or apparently know, what a spoiler is. So here’s some spoilers. You won’t know what they are, I guess.

Sra. de Armas gives up the safety of her holographic world to help Mr. Ryan Gosling. This is a risk and thus a real choice. When she dies, I cried. Female characters, naked or not, when they decide, it matters.

This is what I put before I did the scan. You can get the actual ticket via the ‘film’ link, but I’m leaving the neo-camera-shot-calendar version. I have a special color in my calendar for movies! Don’t know why – pretty much the only thing I do.

Then, of course there’s the other stuff. You’ll never guess: replicants (that’s in spell check?) should have babies. Ms. Sean Young from the original was pregnant. The revolutionaries want to get the baby because, yeah I didn’t understand that. They did explain that they hadn’t done anything because ‘they were waiting for the right time’ though. So diffuse and lazy. For revolutionaries, not inaccurate.

The evil corporation also wants to get the baby because, no, I didn’t understand that either. Because as a corporation, they want the same things revolutionaries do?

Also not totally inaccurate.

Why didn’t I understand? Because the filmmakers didn’t either. And with all the chasing and shooting and design porn, there’s not much basic emotional connection. A film like Minority Report works because a world without crime vs. free will is an interesting debate. Likewise the original, whether a copy has a soul. Whether or not corporation wants to have clones that have babies, even though it can, you know, make clones, is the kind of motive that requires a lot of long speeches explaining it.

The further problem is actually misogynistic. Babies. Women only exist to have them! The original asked what it is to be a person, and this film answers that question in the most unfortunate of ways: if you have a baby, then you have a soul.

Yipe.

Which is a shame really, because for the first two thirds, I liked Blade Runner 2049, certainly far more than I would have thought from the man who made the worst film of last year. In so many ways it’s like the original, a weird-o art movie with a massive budget and swell design ideas. It is, as is often the case with a film shot by Mr. Roger Deakins, enough to simply turn off the sound and enjoy it.

Also like the original, the best parts are the universal themes of subjugation, identity and whatever the hell a soul, a world divided very clearly by the made and the borns. The idea of having a robot lead was a good one, and the way in which the film handles slavery, and its quotidien degradations, hits you hard.

The movie works when it is vague: when we live in this believably dirty abandoned world and aren’t hammered over the head with its themes. I’m spoiling this a little, but it’s best reflected in the moment when Mr. Gosling asks Mr. Ford: ‘Is the dog real?’ to which he replies ‘I don’t know. Ask it.’ This is a world where such a question is possible.

The film degrades when it tries to resolve these questions, and when it does so in a way that it thinks is universal. What I’m getting at, I guess, is that the tick of the biological clock seems to be draining the blood flow to our head.

I hope you’re imagining a Cronenbergian tick.

Blade Runner: 2049 – The Take

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Profits!
Mr. Gosling is revealed – right away – to be a replicant. It’s in the first five minutes. It’s great storytelling, so this is what you leave out of the trailer?
$2.00
The psych profile questions asked by the police to see if Mr. Gosling is still in compliance are worth the price of admission.
$1.00
Likewise, the interruption and pause-screen of Sra. de Armas romantic intentions during a voicemail. Staggering.
$3.00
Only in a science fiction film would you see the conditions under which we actually make iPhones.
$1.00
It looks great. The shot of the dense city blocks from above seamed with neon is the best version of Wall•E we’ve had in a while.
$2.00
Total Profits
$9.00
Losses!
Mr. Gosling is revealed – by me – to die at the end. Unable to have a baby, he had no soul.
$2.00
For a film so concerned (at the end) with plot, there are an awful lot of coincidences.
$1.00
If babies can’t fix the world, they can’t fix movies.
$1.00.
Total Losses
$3.00

$6.00

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