“Blade Runner 2049”

blade-runner-2049-poster

Ridley Scott’s 1982 classic Blade Runner helped me understand humanity. The film is rightly lauded for its detailed world-building and hypnotic score, but it is also a philosophical treatise about human identity (seriously, Ridley Scott’s oeuvre has spawned a whole academic subfield). Humans unfortunately have a tendency to tribalism, defining some members of the species as sufficiently worthy of respect while excluding “Others” on the basis of race, gender, or religion. Blade Runner argues that the ability to feel empathy towards other forms of life is key to humanity. Indeed, in the world of 2019, bounty hunters use the Voight-Kampff machine to detect replicants (or androids) by measuring their empathy. Continue reading ““Blade Runner 2049””

Advertisements

The Martian (by Ridley Scott)

The-Martian-movie-poster

Last week, I posted my thoughts on Andy Weir’s The Martian. It’s easily one of the best science fiction books of the century. Fortunately, Ridley Scott’s film adaptation is very faithful to the novel. I won’t summarize the plot again (just read it here), but if you like the book, you’ll like the film. That said, there are a few notable differences that make the film a unique experience.

The film starts off before the accident that leaves astronaut Mark Watney stranded on Mars. We as viewers see the Hermes crew collecting samples before everything goes to hell. We see Watney struggle through those first painful hours when he’s still recovering from the accident. By contrast, the novel starts off after the accident, when Watney has already come up with a plan for survival. Continue reading “The Martian (by Ridley Scott)”

“The Martian” by Andy Weir coming to the Big Screen!

The_Martian_2014The website Shortlist has put out a list of popular books  slated to become movies in 2015. Of these, I’ve only read Andy Weir’s The Martian, which is excellent. I will post my review of the book closer to the movie’s release date.

Fortunately, with Gravity and Interstellar, Hollywood seems more willing and able to produce intelligent science-fiction films. Gravity in particular might be a good model for The Martian. Ridley Scott my favorite director and I’m sure the movie will look visually stunning.

I’m a bit less confident in the casting. Matt Damon has been cast to play the lead, scientist Mark Watney. Damon has never impressed me as an actor who can pull off the quirky, brainy type – and Watney is nothing if not quirky and brainy. Still, I’m definitely looking forward to this film.