Replicants Are Like Any Other Machine

The first trailer for Blade Runner 2049 looks pretty good. Here’s the official description:

Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.

Carmack on Developing the Netflix App for Oculus

John Carmack is one of those rare people who pretty much everything they write is worth reading. He’s not always right, but it is always entertaining to watch his level of genius on display. In this case, Carmack is writing about overcoming the problems he ran into while developing a custom virtual reality environment where you can watch Netflix films and shows on the Samsung Gear VR device. You should read it.

8-Bit Generation

There are not many people I trust to make recommendations about funding another crowdfunding campaign from people who have already failed to ship a documentary once, but you should read the full argument from Jason Scott. Here’s just a part:

Way back in 2012, I posted something, talking about how worried I was that a documentary that looked and sounded great seemed to have disappeared. I’d looked far and wide to contact the filmmakers, and nothing. But I wanted to at least put my voice out there, in case they wanted to talk to me. Unlike people who talked big about what they wanted to do, the small amount of footage I’d seen from the documentary looked so fantastic that I very nearly quit doing documentaries.

Like a lot of people, I’d pre-ordered the blu-ray edition for the forthcoming film, and I’d waited. And waited, and then nothing came of it, websites went down, and I squirreled away the trailer and other footage I’d seen, sad beyond belief such a promising work seemed to be doomed, destined for the shadows of promises and wishes.

Then, in 2014, I got contacted by one of the creators. Yes, they were alive. Yes, they had a lot of pieces of the movie. And yes, they’d run into incredible financial problems, gone bankrupt, lost homes, had massive layoffs… yes, as expected, there had been some incredible shitshow and the production company was essentially gone. They’d had to go into other directions, and put the project into a box and refund whatever they could afford to refund, and make a living.

Terminator Genisys: A Fart in a Wind Tunnel

Devin Faraci:

The script is the biggest problem with Terminator Genisys – it is stupid and it is riddled with cheap, lazy callbacks to movies that have technically never happened after this reboot – but the casting gives that shit script a run for its money as The Biggest Problem. Jai Courtney is a disaster as Kyle Reese; he’s wrong in every way, having none of the weary soldier qualities that Michael Biehn brought to the role. Courtney is the new Sam Worthington, who was the new Gretchen Mol, who was the new person whose name I forget because these are forgettable actors foisted upon us by the weird Hollywood hive mind. There are make-up techniques designed to baffle facial recognition software and Jai Courtney seems to have been designed with that in mind – he’s an actor who passes through your brain like a fart in a wind tunnel. Just poof, gone.

In a year where we’ve had the excellent Mad Max: Fury Road, this terrible redux of an action/sci-fi film we all love stands out even more than in an off year where your A Good Day to Die Hard or The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) can be properly ignored and forgotten.

The Little Lebowski Urban Achievers

Dan Benjamin (of many fine podcasts at 5by5) and Merlin Mann (of Back to Work and Roderick on the Line) recently recorded a podcast about the Coen brothers’ The Big Lebowski.

The Big Lebowski is such a great movie in all of its nonsense, and as Dan and Merlin point out we all know a Dude but for some reason the person I’m most amused by in the movie is Walter Sobchak.

Walter is dead-set on rules (he threatens a man with a gun for breaking one during league bowling) and constantly living in the past (all of his talk of the war in Vietnam) but he’s also bizarrely focused on being politically correct at one point in the film (Also, Dude, chinaman is not the preferred nomenclature. Asian-American, please.) and at the same time is constantly bumbling and unapologetic in his every attempt to help the unmotivated Dude. Every attempt of Walter’s to help ends up resulting in failure and more pain for The Dude. What a great character. I know a Walter Sobchak, I bet you do as well.

This podcast goes over almost every minute of it and points out details that those of us who have only watched it three or so times may have missed.

You should read Dan and Merlin’s notes which contain links to the script, links to the movie if you haven’t seen it recently, links to get the show into your podcast dingus, and more. For something completely different maybe consider listening to Chipocrite’s 8-bit Lebowski.

Let’s go out to the movie awards with Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman isn’t a nobody, except when he is at the Oscars:

I had written a book called Coraline, which the director Henry Selick had transformed into a stop-motion wonderland. I’d helped Henry as much as I could through the process of turning something from a book into a film. I had endorsed the film, encouraged people to see it, mugged with buttons on an internet trailer. I had also written a 15-second sequence for the Oscars, in which Coraline told an interviewer what winning an Oscar would do for her. I’d assumed that would get me into the Oscars. It didn’t. But Henry, as director, had tickets and could decide where they would go, and one of them went to me.

via A nobody’s guide to the Oscars.