Thursday, May 15, 2014

Blade Runner Sequel (An Open Letter to Alcon Entertainment)

Please, Alcon Entertainment. Please don't make a sequel to Blade Runner. At least not one with Harrison Ford - or, more importantly, his character from that film, Rick Deckard.

It's not that I think you or Ridley Scott will do a bad job of a sequel. And believe me, I never get tired of watching Harrison Ford. But I don't think you understand what you're losing - and potentially how little you're gaining - by making another film about Rick Deckard. Because if Harrison Ford returns to a character he played over thirty years ago - a character that may or may not have a four-year lifespan, mind you - doesn't that pretty much guarantee Deckard is human? Unless, of course, the script does something terribly clever, possibly quite silly, with the character.

Either way, it's making a choice, giving us an answer, about who - or what - Deckard is. Ever since the release of The Director's Cut, the true nature of Rick Deckard has been up for debate. Is he human? Is he a Replicant? The film works either way - and one of the great joys of Blade Runner is having your own interpretation of a great, great film. Nerds like me never grow tired of arguing about the film with their friends or complete strangers on the Internet.

In fact, I'm a strong advocate that Deckard is human. The film works best for me - I say again, for me - when it's a story about a man who regains his humanity due to his experiences with the replicants. Even if a new film backs up my vision of the film, I don't want it.

I want the mystery. I want the debates. I want the story to have the meaning it currently has because we don't have all the answers. I don't want to know if Sam Spade or Kasper Gutman ever found the Maltese Falcon. I want Tony Soprano's fate to remain a Schrödinger's Tony Soprano paradox. And I want the mystery of Rick Deckard to remain a mystery. Not every movie needs sequel - and Blade Runner certainly is one of those movies. It's a complete story, even with - and most likely because - of its ambiguity.

It's too bad Blade Runner can't be left alone - but then again, what sci-fi classic is these days?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

King Kong vs. Godzilla

No blog tonight, but here are some highlights from the live tweet of King Kong VS. Godzilla.

Titanfall (First Impressions)

Tonight, I piloted a big-ass robot in a video game. Said big-ass robot shot and punched other big-ass robots, who shot and punched my big-ass robot in return. (Also, I shot, stomped, and punched fellow human combatants who were not lucky enough to be piloting a big-ass robot like me... but that doesn't sound as cool or classy, does it?)

Our side had lost the battle, but a drop ship was coming down from orbit to collect the survivors, giving the losing side one last little victory to eke out. My robot charged to the evac site that was on top of a building on the other side of the map... only to find two enemy robots waiting there for me and my fellow survivors.

After a frantic firefight, another robot and myself took down the enemy robots -- but my big-ass robot was catastrophically damaged and about to become a big-ass explosion in a few short seconds. I quickly ejected from the robot like a pilot from a jet fighter. I shot straight up dozens of feet in the air.  At the height of my upward arc, I noticed the drop ship waiting below me. I timed my fall just right and using my jet pack (I mentioned there were jet packs, right?), I angled myself directly into the side door of the drop ship just before it took off into the sky and warped directly into orbit.

This experience is a thing that happened to me tonight in a video game.

The video game is called Titanfall.

You should buy Titanfall.

End of line.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

And tonight, a selection from David Mamet's The Phantom of the Opera:

THE PHANTOM: I'm the phantom.
THE PHANTOM: The opera.
CHRISTINE: Bullshit.