Over the past few years, Miguel Sapochnik has been directing some of the most exciting episodes on television. Sapochnik’s Game of Thrones episodes, “Hardhome” and “Battle of the Bastards,” are unforgettable and earned him a well-deserved Emmy. Before returning for the final season of that HBO series, the director (who has also helmed episodes of House and True Detective) worked on one of Netflix’s newest and biggest shows, Altered Carbon, an adaptation from showrunner Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island).
Sapochnik directed the first episode of the 10-episode science-fiction series, which gave him the opportunity to visualize the world 300 years into the future, shoot some brutal action, and help get the ball rolling on a noir mystery. In a recent email interview with Sapochnik, he told us about his approach to showing the future, why Blade Runner is so seminal to filmmakers, his favorite action directors, and more.
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The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.
In this edition, find out which of the many different cuts of the original Blade Runner you should watch. Plus, see an incredible shot-for-shot breakdown of one of the most exciting sequences in Raiders of the Lost Ark, and watch as Jimmy Kimmel goes undercover on Reddit, Wikipedia, IMDb and more. Read More »
Visual effects are getting better and better every day. While some didn’t quite buy the digital recreation of Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (not to mention have problems with the ethics of such a production element), it appears Blade Runner 2049 succeeded in a somewhat similar visual effects feat.
In Blade Runner 2049, we see the return of Sean Young as the exceptionally unique replicant named Rachel from the original Blade Runner. However, instead of merely bringing back Sean Young and de-aging her like Jeff Bridges in TRON: Legacy, director Denis Villeneuve opted to use a performance double and have the younger version of Sean Young recreated entirely with visual effects. See how they did it below, but beware of a bit of a spoiler regarding the nature of this character’s return in the movie. Read More »
Gallery 1988 has delivered another round of incredible pop culture artwork with Crazy 4 Cult 11, the latest iteration of the recurring exhibition of artwork paying tribute to some of our favorite movies.
This time we have a collection that includes pieces honoring movies like Gremlins, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Big Lebowski, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Poltergeist, Blade Runner, Beetlejuice, Back to the Future, and even The Room. Check out some of our favorite pieces from the Crazy 4 Cult 11 art show below. Read More »
(The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.)
In this edition, Adam Savage from Mythbusters went behind the scenes of one of the Blade Runner 2049 prequel shorts to show you how much work went into these pieces of marketing leading up to the sequel that just hit theaters earlier this month. In a series of videos, he tours the set, checks out the props and even becomes an extra in the short. Check out all the videos below. Read More »
(Welcome to The Soapbox, the space where we get loud, feisty, political, and opinionated about anything and everything. In this edition: Blade Runner 2049 joins a sci-fi trend of using East Asian imagery to communicate globalization. But where are the Asian characters?)
The first thing you notice about Blade Runner 2049 is how stark it is. Opening in a desolate, grey field where Ryan Gosling‘s Officer K confronts Dave Bautista‘s Sapper Morton, the world of the Blade Runner sequel steadily unfolds into the cyberpunk mecca that we were first introduced to back in 1982.
It’s clear that director Denis Villeneuve and cinematographer Roger Deakins don’t want to ape the neon-drenched griminess of the original, instead delivering an oppressive urban labyrinth that parallels the dense claustrophobia of modern Hong Kong high rises. Only one-third of the way through the film do we see hints of a vibrant neonscape cutting through the smog and rain that covers the futuristic Los Angeles. And with that neon: holograms of dancing women in anime-inspired outfits, cute Hello Kitty-style machines, Chinese characters and Japanese kanji galore.
It amounts to a stunning, dissonant image in one of the most gorgeously shot movies of the year, and not an unfamiliar one: science-fiction movies have long borrowed East Asian imagery as a visual shorthand to portray a more globalized society. It has roots in none other than the original Blade Runner, which drew from the burgeoning Tokyo and Hong Kong metropolises of the time, as well as the rapid globalization in the ’80s. With the massive cultural influence that China, South Korea, and Japan wield today, it’s no huge leap to assume that in the near future, every city would be a cultural melting pot with East Asian influences run amok. But in Blade Runner 2049, it feels less like a nod to those influences so much as it feels like window dressing.
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New York Comic-Con has come and gone, but for those who couldn’t attend the convention, you can get your hands on some cool prints that were first available on the show floor.
Hero Complex Gallery brought a new batch of prints from artists like Craig Drake, Kevin M. Wilson, Vance Kelly, Glen Brogan and more, paying tribute to movies like Wonder Woman, Alien, Harry Potter and the Chamber of the Secrets, Back to the Future, Gremlins, Blade Runner and others. Check out all those Hero Complex Gallery NYCC 2017 prints and find out how you can pick them up. Read More »
(Welcome to The Unpopular Opinion, a series where a writer goes to the defense of a much-maligned film or sets their sights on a movie seemingly beloved by all. In this edition: Ridley Scott has only made two good movies…and the reason why they’re good explains the rest of his weaker filmography.)
Sir Ridley Scott’s 40-year career is marked as much by its successes as it is by his chameleonic willingness to jump from genre to genre on an almost annual basis. This year alone, Scott has directed the grim sci-fi film Alien: Covenant and is following it up in December with All the Money in the World, a true-story crime drama about kidnappers trying to extort industrialist J. Paul Getty. His past films include the nihilistic thriller The Counselor, the light dramedy A Good Year, the con caper Matchstick Men, the sci-fi adventure The Martian, and on and on and on.
But the films that loom largest over Scott’s career are two of his earliest: Alien and Blade Runner, the latter of which received a long-awaited sequel last week in the form of Blade Runner 2049. Considering that both Alien and Blade Runner have gotten second lives of sorts in 2017, I feel compelled to come clean to my fellow cinephiles: for me, these are the only good Ridley Scott movies.
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“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” – Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick remains one of the most influential science fiction writers to ever work in the medium. Writing works both philosophical and strange, the prolific author often wrote about just what it means to be human. With Dick’s work so iconic, it only makes sense that Hollywood (and others) have tried again and again to turn his stories into feature films. Some of the films succeed, but often they do so by altering the original nature of the stories. And they almost always jettison Dick’s prose, which can often leave readers scratching their heads. Dick’s work has also influenced countless other movies, which may not be straight adaptations of his work but are clearly borrowing elements – think The Matrix, Gattaca, Source Code, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind; the list is actually pretty endless.
With Blade Runner 2049 now in theaters, and a new anthology series, Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams, scheduled to hit Amazon sometime next year, it’s time for a primer on the wild world of Philip K. Dick adaptations – the good, the bad, and the films that just don’t make much of an impact at all. .
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With Blade Runner 2049, which arrives in theaters 35 years after Ridley Scott‘s classic, Denis Villeneuve has pulled off no small feat. The filmmaker behind Arrival, Incendies, and Sicario has made a sequel that doesn’t stand an inch in the shadow of Scott’s masterpiece. He’s made this iconic depiction of the future feel as new and as awe-inspiring as the 1982 film.
Just like the original, every frame of Blade Runner 2049 is a visual marvel, which should come as no surprise considering the talent Villeneuve surrounded himself with on his largest film to date. The director reuinited with legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins on the sequel, and together they’ve again crafted such dense, emotional and dazzling images and created a hypnotic atmosphere. When we spoke with Villeneuve, he told us about their work together, what original Blade Runner director Ridley Scott told him to keep in mind, and why Blade Runner 2049 is a more hopeful story than the original film.
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