The Replicant Mystery and Blade Runner 2049

One thing that makes Blade Runner and other movies classics is the ambiguity of certain important aspects of the film. As a matter of fact, ambiguity gives the film a longer lifespan than a film that answers every question. In the case of Blade Runner, the one topic of ambiguity is the nature of the protagonist. In the first film, particularly in the director’s and final cuts, there were scenes that suggested that the protagonist of the film Deckard is a replicant. However, one issue that appears with the film is that Deckard appears in Blade Runner 2049 in an aged form. For some people, this shuts down the replicant theory. However, there are plenty of other things to consider.

While in the first film, it was stated that the replicants had a four year lifespan, there are lines of dialogue that suggest that not every replicant has the four year lifespan. In the theatrical ending that was cut out of later versions of the film, Deckard’s voice over has said that Rachel, who was a replicant, was special in that she had no termination date. However, she does not appear in the film. It might be explained what happened to her, or there might be ambiguity in that case as well.

One thing that the director doesn’t want to do is answer the mystery as to whether or not Deckard is a replicant. He did say that he will take care of the mystery. The best way to take care of the mystery is to keep it going. As to whether or not K is a replicant, the trailers seem to spoil that he is a replicant. However, this is not going to be the big mystery in Blade Runner 2049, which will be released this October in premium theaters.

How Blade Runner 2049 Can Avoid Repeating History

One of the most well known facts about Blade Runner is that it did not do well at the box office. There are many ideas as to why that is. They all range from the time that it was released to the type of cut that was released. There is one very possible theory. There is very little wrong with this ground breaking masterpiece. The only issue is that it has moved very slow. One of the things that people were expecting when they have first seen the trailer for the 1982 sci-fi classic is that there was going to be more action.

Whatever the real issue is, the sequel, Blade Runner 2049 is ready to be released in October. It is safe to say that the same issues that worked against the predecessor is likely going to work in the sequel’s favor. For one thing, Blade Runner has come to be loved as a classic groundbreaking sci-fi film. Therefore, if the new film manages to keep the style of its predecessor while bringing something new, then it will likely do well. One thing that is certain is that it has a lot going for it. Among these is the Blade Runner branding.

Perhaps one thing that Blade Runner 2049 does not want to be is an action spectacle. While it is okay for it to have just a little more action than its predecessor, it is important for it to maintain the slow, deliberate and contemplative pacing that has become part of the charm of Blade Runner. Therefore, the best way for Blade Runner 2049 to avoid repeating the first one’s fate at the box office is by being like the first one. If this film does good, then there might be more movies that may open up the universe.

What Tension Exists In Avengers: Infinity War?

One thing that helped set Marvel Comics apart from D.C. Comics in the 1960’s was the tension between heroes. Heroes even outright fought with one another. While not perfect, Marvel characters showed a humanity the more traditional D.C. heroes lacked. In the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War film, the heroes bring more tension to the big screen. Doing so definitely can help the drama of the narrative.

Paul Bettany, the actor who brought The Vision to life on the screen, recently commented on the heightened tension between heroes. The commentary noted the heroes may have their differences, but they do come together for the greater good. That “greater good” would be defeating the all-powerful Thanos, one of Marvel Comics’ most ultra-formidable villains.

Therein lies one of the most important morality tales of superhero adventures. Ultimately, the goal is to serve the greater good for all humanity. In some cases, serving the greater good actually preserves humanity. Thanos doesn’t exactly have humanity’s best interests at heart. Thanos wishes to rule and conquer. Without The Avengers standing in his way, rule and conquer he shall.

All of this does come with the potential to be very boring if no conflict exists between the heroic characters. Heroes lacking conflict with one another end up acting in a very boring and predictable manner. Audiences can become supremely bored when characters never deviate from a by-the-numbers approach to interactions.

The writers, actors, and directors associated with the Marvel Cinematic Universe realize this. That’s why a good bit of tension and conflict is welcomed in the films.

Wonder Woman is Most Tweeted Movie of the Year

Wonder Woman is Most Popular Movie on Twitter This Year

 

It’s no surprise to anyone that Wonder Woman has already become one of the biggest movies this summer, if not the entire year so far. A huge record-breaking turnout at the box office goes along with that as a huge factor.

 

What shouldn’t be surprising is the fact that the movie is dominating nearly all forms of social media, in all conversations. For one thing, the movie was exactly what DC needed from its live action movies, since the previous three movies received mixed to negative reviews, whereas Wonder Woman has earned overwhelmingly positive reviews. Much of the positive feedback was definitely in anticipation of leading actress Gal Gadot after giving a scene-stealing performance in Batman V. Superman in 2016.

 

Wonder Woman has performed much better than other films at the start of the summer, many of which were high-profile films that only ended as a disappointment. This film generated a lot of positive buzz and will be sitting at the top of the box office even a week after its debut.

 

According to Variety, Wonder Woman is the most tweeted film so far this year, in fact upwards of 2.19 million tweets were sent out about the movie in its first week, moreso than Oscar winner La La Land. Wonder Woman herself is the most tweeted movie character so far this year as well. In addition, Gal Gadot, director Patty Jenkins and Chris Pine are all the most tweeted names that are most associated with Wonder Woman.

 

The vast amount of talk on social media really shouldn’t be a big surprise, since moviegoers have been excited to see a female-led superhero adaptation in the modern era for a long time and Wonder Woman was more than able to deliver.

 

The Mummy Unravels for Universal

Universal’s Dark Universe has gotten off to a truly awful start. The debut film of the shared monster universe has garnered marginal pre-release box office and even worse reviews. Prior to the June 9 North American major release, the film pulled in over $20 million at international theaters and $2.7 million in previews.

 

Those at Universal hoping for hundreds of millions of dollars in international box office are going to be very disappointed. The film might only barely hit the $100 million mark in North America, but is likely to do much better overseas. $300 to $400 in worldwide grosses won’t even come close to the big money made by other franchises.

 

The Mummy is not launching the Dark Universe, a shared universe reboot of the classic horror films of the 1930’s and 1940’s, on the right footing. Even if the box office was below expectations, good reviews could help keep plans moving.

 

Universal is not likely going to abandon the Dark Universe too quickly, but there are surely major worries. The Mummy is not the first disappointment. Several years ago, The Wolfman remake did not deliver the desired results at the box office.

 

Perhaps the trouble with the Dark Universe is the weak attempt at crossing genres. Pirates of the Caribbean, Marvel/DC heroes, Godzilla & King Kong, and Fast and Furious are all movies rooted in action. Monsters such are horror. The previous Mummy franchise did weave in adventure quite well but, in general, monsters are tied with horror. Trying to turn the Universal monsters into stand-ins for superheroes probably won’t work.

 

All is not lost. The D.C. Extended Universe suffered several critical duds before the release of the outstanding Wonder Woman. No D.C. Comics film did weak box office, though.

 

The creative teams at Universal have their work cut out for them with the Dark Universe going forward.

 

 

24: Legacy Ends, But A New Beginning Is Possible

24: Legacy has earned a rather dubious legacy. The FOX series earned a cancellation after only one season. Incredibly, FOX states the franchise may return. The network probably wishes to reserve the right to resurrect the one-time hit series in the future.

 

A few reasons exist for 24: Legacy’s failure. Weak ratings are definitely among them. The lack of the original series’ star is obviously another. Kiefer Sutherland was the star of the original 24. Without him, the film comes off as a weak imitation. Sutherland was more that just a “star.” His portrayal of Jack Bauer in the series was iconic. Unlike so many forgotten TV characters, Sutherland’s Jack Bauer is one who will be remembered decades from now.

 

The FOX network’s attempts to resurrect programs from the recent past are quizzical. In addition to 24: Legacy, FOX relaunched an X-Files mini-series and a new season of the once-canceled Prison Break. The X-Files was a hit, but Prison Break was not.

 

The X-Files is another iconic television series as it ranks among the most successful science-fiction television programs ever produced. Millions of fans tuned in for the program’s return. Prison Break never had anything close to The X-Files popularity. And unlike The X-Files, 24: Legacy did not feature a beloved lead actor returning to a famous role. That major deficiency bears repeating.

 

Why would FOX look at the failure of 24: Legacy and state the franchise may continue?

 

The reason is simple. The next series could be a hit. With the right concept and the right timing, another attempt at resurrecting 24 might do very well. Maybe moving the franchise away from the broadcast network would be an effective strategy. Co-producing a streaming series or a video game endeavor are two possible ways the series may survive and thrive.

 

A return to FOX is always a possibility as well.

Riverdale Gets A Season Two Premiere Date

The CW has announced its fall premiere dates, and Riverdale fans are in luck. No longer a midseason show like it was for its freshman season, Riverdale will be back on the network in October, though it is on the move.

 

The series, inspired by Archie comic books, aired on Thursdays during its inaugural season. It followed Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) and friends Betty (Lili Reinhart), Veronica (Camila Mendes), and Jughead (Cole Sprouse) in the small town of Riverdale after it was rocked by the unexpected death of one of it teenagers. The mystery of just who killed him played out over 13 episodes and brought to light student-teacher affairs, incestuous relationships, and financial scandals, not to mention another attempted murder in the season finale.

 

For its sophomore set, it’s moving to Wednesdays at 8PM. Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead will return for more soapy small town mysteries on October 11.

 

Showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has been giving fans hints at what’s to come by releasing episode titles on his twitter account while the show’s team is back at work in the writers’ room. Their first foray back into television will be “Chapter Fourteen: A Kiss Before Dying,” picking up not long after the season one finale left off. That will be followed up by “Chapter Fifteen: Nighthawks.” The titles continue the method of naming the episodes after classic films that the writers have used since the pilot, so fans will have plenty of fun dissecting those episode titles over the next few months to see if they can learn anything about what’s next for the Riverdale residents.

 

Riverdale fans can currently relive season one on Netflix, where it became available to stream in its entirety in May.

 

 

Wonder Woman Wows at the Box Office

A superhero is taking the box office by storm yet again. People have been in love with movies about superheroes for years, but this one is a little different than most. Wonder Woman is a powerful female character who is the lead in this new movie named after her. It is rare for a movie in this genre to have a female character as the main draw. Not only that, but the director is a woman as well. That is another rarity in most genres.

 

Those differences did nothing to stop Wonder Woman from being a success once it hit theaters last weekend. It has already surpassed $300 million and had the largest opening weekend ever for a female-directed movie. It raked in over $100 million during its debut weekend in the United States alone. The director, Patty Jenkins, is surely pleased with how well her movie has performed.

 

With a budget of $150 million, Wonder Woman is on the fast track to becoming a huge financial gain for Warner Bros. Their DC universe’s competition with the Marvel universe is beginning to heat up after some poorly received outings in the past.

 

There are already plans for a Wonder Woman 2. That is wonderful news for movie-going audiences who have shown that they are craving more well-made movies featuring female leads. This is in contrast to movies such as the recent remake of Ghostbusters. It may have had female leads, but critics agreed that it was simply not a good movie. The lack of success at the box office showed that movie-goers agreed with that sentiment. That makes Wonder Woman all the more important for the future of female-led movies.

 

 

Live-Action Cowboy Bebop TV Show In The Works

With the recent live-action Hollywood remake of the anime Ghost in the Shell, which stars the famous Scarlett Johansson as leading protagonist Motoko, we may be in for a trend of live-action anime remakes.

 

The most recently announced live-action remake is that of the classic anime series Cowboy Bebop, a space Western that follows the adventures of a zany crew of bounty hunters aboard a spaceship called the Bebop. Cowboy Bebop originally aired a total of 26 episodes from 1998-1999 on TV Tokyo and WOWOW in Japan. The show then made its’ debut in America on Adult Swim, and was one of the first anime series to be aired on the channel.

 

Tomorrow Studios, in conjunction with production company Midnight Studio and Sunrise (the series’ original producers), are set to create the adaptation. There has been no news of casting or production as of yet, so it is up to fans to debate who they think would be best for the roles of characters like Spike Spiegel or Faye Valentine.

 

One of the things that was striking about the anime was the jazz inspired soundtrack that accompanied it. Composed by Yoko Kanno and the Seatbelts, an international band formed by Kanno for the sole purpose of creating albums for the series, their music was an integral part of the show. There is no word, however, as to whether or not Kanno will be providing music for the live-action adaptation of the show.

 

While many are critics of the live-action anime genre, comparison of Cowboy Bebop to non-animated TV shows like Firefly gives fans hope. Only time will tell whether or not the new show will be a flop, or if it will reignite peoples’ interest in live-action remakes as a whole.

 

 

The Walking Dead Treads All Over Social Media Discussions

AMC’s The Walking Dead garners an interesting distinction. Reportedly, the series ranks as the “most talked about television program” on social media. Such a distinction is amazing. With so many different cable, network, and streaming channels available, the sheer volume of original programming means The Walking Dead faces a lot of competition across all genres.

 

The competition, however, did not go to great lengths to alienate fans. The arrival of Negan added a tremendous increase in previous levels of violence in the series. The violence completely turned off a significant number of viewers. Millions ceased watching the program.

 

In addition to the violence, a bit of tedium infested The Walking Dead. The narrative connected to Negan and the Saviors had a tendency to move a bit slowly. Slow pacing bores audiences. Since the show has been on the air for several years, a certain segment of the audience is likely looking for a reason to watch something else. Boring episodes and the occasional smattering of graphic violence are going to send some viewers running.

 

Still, people are talking about the program on social media. They are talking in massive volumes. What does this mean for the future success of the series? It really doesn’t mean much of anything.

 

The program still draws in millions of viewers to watch the series. Although the audience is declining, the remaining number of people watching is in the millions. Even if a fraction of the viewers choose to post and comment on social media, the numbers are going to be impressive. The most passionate of those fans post consistently and with great enthusiasm.

 

The serious fans of the program are going to stay with the series to the bitter end. And even with declining ratings, the bitter end is far off. The declining ratings are concerning, but not critical yet.