Review: Blade Runner 2049 – Disappointing to Say the Least

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I saw the new Blade Runner 2049 and after waiting and waiting and waiting for this film, I am NOT at all impressed. Growing up, Blade Runner was my film as well as my dad’s. We saw it 3 times at the theater and it was our night when it was on TV. So it literally pains me to say that after viewing this current incarnation, I feel duped and let down.

First, the visuals and production value were spectacular. The professionals behind this visually stunning dystopian world, were at the top of their game. The casting was on-point. Ryan Gosling was perfectly cast as one of the new models of replicants, and can we chat about Robin Wright. Here’s an actress who was all but forgotten, then she landed House of Cards and has gone on to critical acclaim for her role as Claire in HoC, Wonder Woman and here she is as another serious badass in Blade Runner 2049. She’s an older actress who has found her niche; strong and powerful women and her role in Blade Runner 2049 is no exception.

Then of course there’s Harrison Ford…being Harrison Ford. He still has a lot of the spirit he portrayed in the original film as one of the Blade Runners, Rick Deckard. He was feisty, could throw a great punch, gave us some chuckle-worthy digs in his scenes with Gosling, but what I liked the most about his role was that he was allowed to age. Jared Leto appeared out of nowhere in the first half of the film with about 10 minutes of screen time, then you didn’t see him again until the end and this go around, he had about 7 – 8 minutes of screen time, and no one really knows anything about him other than he’s the blind evil genius behind the corporation who manufactures replicants, but Leto delivered, considering what he had to work with. The rest of the cast were amazing as well.

But the storylines…that’s where it went south. They were beyond convoluted and disjointed. This film was in desperate need of better writers. Just when you would try to become emotionally invested in one storyline, they’d jump to another one and leave you dangling. THEN, here comes a subplot inserted into the already dangling plot line and you’re sitting there completely annoyed. Blade Runner 2049 played like the writers and the director just wrote and shot this film on the fly.

With a few exceptions here and there, the dialogue was consistently flat. This film has an abundance of beautiful visuals, I can’t say that enough however, it’s a pity that more wasn’t dedicated to the storyline and the dialogue. It was all over the place. Characters popping in and out with no real backstory to inform the audience of who in the Hell these people were. Then when they feebly tried to give the audience an explanation, it became even more confusing and complex….but not in a good way. This film was filled with eye-rolling pretentiousness; metaphors and symbolism galore. This was a pseudo-psychological journey into a laborious and overwhelming dystopian world that failed to excite your imagination and make you long for more.

Then that ending…no words. Sometimes you simply have to see something for yourself to understand someone else’s disappointment. Oh by the way, the film is LONG…an hour-plus too long! Now chew on that.  #BladeRunner2049

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The Wails of Our Ancestors

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Let’s be clear; sane, intelligent people know exactly who Trump is by now. If you don’t, then obviously you’ve been living in a cave for the last year. When Trump gave his first press conference in regards to the Charlottesville tragedy, that was exactly how he felt and who he is. Then that pathetic 2nd press conference was forced and he meant none of it…that wasn’t who he is. Yesterday’s press conference where the REAL racist Donald Trump emerged, supporting violent White Supremacists, Neo-Nazis, Alt-Right and KKK criminals, should put a period at the end of the sentence for every decent person in this country. But on cue, we have his Black plantation brigade coming out in full-force to defend the indefensible.

 

Yes, these men and women have every right to put their trust in Trump and believe whatever they choose. However, we have a right to pull their Black cards and put them squarely in the box with the rest of his despicable surrogates. They are not grounded in reality; they seem to have developed amnesia about history and they can never be trusted because they’re as Malcolm X so succinctly put it, “the house negroes”. They’ll sell-out anyone and everyone who dares to challenge their “massa”. Each and every one of them are still on the plantation, yet think they’re making these decisions on their own volition…they’re not. They’ve been manipulated, brainwashed and seduced by those in a system designed to find our weaknesses and exploit them.

Though they may dress well, eat well, fly around on massa’s private jet, attend events with massa and massa may put a few coins in their pockets, but they’re still massa’s slaves. They seem to relish in the fact that they’re dancing with the devil and disrespecting all of the people who fought and died during slavery, segregation and Jim Crow. Those brave, strong and powerful men and women risked everything including their lives, in order to make sure that future generations would never have to be subservient to anyone, and have all of the rights and freedoms afforded to White Americans. Lynne Patton, Pastor Darrell Scott, Gerard Robinson, Paris Dennard, Bruce LeVell, Diamond and Silk and so many others in and around that administration, have jettisoned any semblance of morality, and these Black men and women have literally made our ancestors weep.

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Humankind Lost?

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We can no longer be sure who the heroes and villains are because they appear to inhabit the same space; coexisting as one entity to serve each other for personal gain and benefit. If good and evil have morphed into one, then what does that say about the future of humankind?

We’ve become a terminally destructive people who refuses to learn from past mistakes. We’re in a perpetual state of disruptive chaos and it appears that humankind is at its happiest when it devours the weak, destroys the helpless and decimates the human spirit. Why?

Are we simply genetically predisposed for mayhem or have we fallen victim to the constant indoctrination that tells us only the richest, strongest and most malevolent are fit to lead, because being kind and decent gets you nowhere? Has this way of thinking propelled humankind to create and lurch from one crisis or act of savage barbarity to another, in order for us to get some sick satisfaction with flexing our muscles and proceeding to destroy everything and everyone in our path?

It’s become abundantly clear that human beings apparently have no working on and off switch.  We don’t know how to maintain happiness, peace, calm and prosperity for very long. We say we want egalitarianism, yet our actions say otherwise. We say we hate war, yet will use any excuse to start one. We’ll tell anyone who’ll listen, that we want to save the planet, help the sick, the poor, the infirmed, the homeless, children and animals, but only if it’s convenient and we can benefit from our pseudo-humanitarianism and bourgeois charitable endeavors.

We look at good people either as those to fear, feel sorry for or take advantage of. We worship at the temple of money and excess, yet vilify the wealthy. We say we hate big government, yet we need everything that the government has to offer. We drone on and on about electing politicians that truly represent the people, but many will dismiss those who actually do and elect the ones who will do the most damage. We value our freedoms, yet will dictate to others about their personal choices and decisions.

So my question is quite simple: WHO ARE WE REALLY?

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I’m BAAAACK!!

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I’ve been on a rather long hiatus from blogging because sometimes life takes you in some of the most unexpected directions. But now I’m back at it; more energized, more opinionated and even more in your face than ever! So let’s do this and do it BIG!

Has the News Become a Series of Gotcha! Moments?

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Yesterday I was surfing the Net and came across this story about Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o. It appears that he has either been the victim of an elaborate on-line hoax, perpetuated the hoax himself or as one of the theories floating out in the clouds intimated, that he’s really in the  “closet” about his sexuality.

Here’s the background…Deadspin.com was given a tip on Te’o’s girlfriend who was supposedly in a car accident, then diagnosed with leukemia. It seems that before Notre Dame’s game with Michigan State, he found out that his “girlfriend” and grandmother had passed away. So he was heralded as this strong, determined person, powering through pain and grief leading his team to an upset over Michigan State. Feel good story, with all the heart-strings pulled, violins and harps playing in the background…

Well, not so fast there chief, yes his beloved grandmother Annette Santiago did pass on, but his girlfriend is another story. Lennay Kekua doesn’t exist. There was no record of a car accident, no one enrolled at the college she supposedly attended; the background check returned absolutely nothing on a Lennay Kekua.

There’s more but the story is just too bizarre to go into all the intricate details. Nevertheless, he issued this statement:

“This is incredibly embarrassing to talk about, but over an extended period of time, I developed an emotional relationship with a woman I met online,” Te’o said in the release. “We maintained what I thought to be an authentic relationship by communicating frequently online and on the phone, and I grew to care deeply about her. To realize that I was the victim of what was apparently someone’s sick joke and constant lies was, and is, painful and humiliating.

“It further pains me that the grief I felt and the sympathies expressed to me at the time of my grandmother’s death in September were in any way deepened by what I believed to be another significant loss in my life. I am enormously grateful for the support of my family, friends and Notre Dame fans throughout this year. To think that I shared with them my happiness about my relationship and details that I thought to be true about her just makes me sick.”

Who knows what is really going on there, but the one thing I do know is our media, and I’m very much a part of it too, is so obsessed with bringing people down, it’s become sexual in nature. It’s almost as if some of the journalists and reporters are orgasmic when they can uncover some lie, indiscretion or varying degrees of bad behavior. I was watching Good Morning America and one of the Deadspin reporters who uncovered this little sordid tale, was so damn self-righteous and obnoxious, it almost made me want to start digging into his background. Yep, lets shake his trees and see what falls out. Glass houses people.

The man was giddy; the complete sick  joy he took in catching this young man in an alleged lie was written all over his face. He seriously couldn’t contain himself. Never-mind that all the facts aren’t in yet. He has accused, indicated and convicted this young man of this hoax and in his mind, that’s pretty much the end of it.

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But there’s this phenomenon called “Catfishing”. This is where people are anonymously on-line pretending to be other people, other genders, other everything and literally duping unsuspecting, lonely people into all sorts of scams and hoaxes. So it is very possible that Manti Te’o IS a victim.

I’m dismayed at what journalism has become. Gone are the days where stories are just too sordid and untoward to publish as well as fact checking first, before you present the story to the public. Everyone wants the “Big Get”. And unfortunately, some members of the media will do anything that’s necessary, even if their tactics are questionable, to get the story. We build these athletes, celebrities and many others in the public eye up so far in the stratosphere, they’re almost God-like, put them on pedestals, only to take pleasure in knocking them back down. It’s truly a vicious cycle and a disturbing game.

When you look at it in a broad sense, some journalists are just a different level of paparazzi. They do exactly the same thing, just with a better title, more money and a cooler, more accepted platform to spew their venom. Some write for fabulous magazines, sit on über flashy sets, but the basic premise is the same. They invade people’s privacy, dig into their backgrounds (interviewing someone’s 2nd cousin’s uncle’s stepmother, who married their brother’s 1st cousin’s mother’s nephew’s wife) act pompous and self-righteous, tell the public that what they’re doing is for their benefit because they have a right to know and then go on every day and nighttime TV show that will have them, ultimately basking in their own reverence at destroying someone’s life.

Basically…GOTCHA!

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