Stories Written Before Space Travel, But About Space Travel (Blade Runner 2049 review)

Like tears falling in the rain, so too do many movies leave a minor impact upon our hearts. Thankfully this movie doesn’t ruin a legend, but makes it more compelling.


Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

Cast: Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling, Dave Bautista, Robin Wright, Ana da Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Jared Leto, Edward James Olmos, Carla Juri
Director: Denis Villeneuve
released on blu-ray January 16, 2018
********* 9/10

IMDB: 7.6
Rotten Tomatoes: 85%, Audience Score 85%
The Guardian: ****/*****

In case you’re unfamiliar, Denis Villeneuve is a French Canadian film director and writer. I’ve reviewed his movies before and I generally like whatever projects he works on. Arrival was a great addition to the science fiction catalogue, and thankfully won an Academy Award, while Sicario is just beautiful to behold. Interestingly enough, I haven’t reviewed Enemy or Prisoners, yet – but I loved those movies too. Maybe there are some Watch Culture videos in the future coming for those films, because they are totally worth a watch. And even though Villeneuve doesn’t have the reigns on the Sicario sequel, I’m still excited to see it.

That’s how influential his directorial work is. Now he’s taking up the Blade Runner mantle, to excellent consequence.

Taken from Wikipedia and modified…

In 2049, K (Ryan Gosling), a replicant, works for the LAPD as a blade runner, and “retires” (kills) rogue replicants. At a protein farm, he retires rogue replicant Sapper Morton (Dave Bautista) and finds a box buried under a tree. The box contains the remains of a female replicant who died during an emergency caesarean section, demonstrating that replicants can reproduce sexually, previously thought impossible. K is asked to find and retire the replicant child by his lieutenant (Robin Wright).

K visits the Wallace Corporation headquarters (successor of replicant manufacturer Tyrell Corporation, which went out of business), where the deceased female is identified from DNA archives as Rachael (Sean Young), an experimental replicant designed by Dr. Tyrell. K learns of Rachael’s romantic ties with former blade runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford). Wallace CEO Niander Wallace (Jared Leto) wants to discover the secret to replicant reproduction to expand interstellar colonization. He sends his replicant enforcer Luv (Sylvia Hoeks) to steal Rachael’s remains from LAPD headquarters and follow K to Rachael’s child.

At Morton’s farm, K sees the date 6-10-21 carved into the tree trunk and recognizes it from a childhood memory of a wooden toy horse. Because replicants’ memories are artificial, K’s holographic girlfriend Joi (Ana da Armas) believes this is evidence that K was born, not created. K tracks the child to an orphanage in ruined San Diego, but discovers that the records from that year are missing. K recognizes the orphanage from his memories, and finds the toy horse where he remembers having hidden it.

Dr. Ana Stelline (Carla Juri), a designer of replicant memories, confirms that his memory of the orphanage is real, and K concludes that he is Rachael’s son. At Joi’s request, K transfers Joi to a mobile emitter, an emanator. He has the toy horse analyzed, revealing traces of radiation that lead him to the ruins of Las Vegas. There he finds Deckard, who reveals that he is the father of Rachael’s child and that he scrambled the birth records to protect the child’s identity; Deckard left the child in the custody of the replicant freedom movement.

After killing Lieutenant Joshi, Luv tracks K to Deckard’s hiding place in Las Vegas. She kidnaps Deckard, destroys Joi and leaves K to die. The replicant freedom movement rescues K. Their leader Freysa (Edward James Olmos) informs him that Rachael’s child is female and he is not Rachael’s son. Freysa asks K to kill Deckard for the greater good of all replicants and to hide the freedom movement.

Luv brings Deckard to Wallace Co. headquarters to meet Niander Wallace. He offers Deckard a clone of Rachael for revealing what he knows. Deckard refuses and Luv kills the clone. As Luv is transporting Deckard to a ship to take him off-world for interrogation by torture, K intercepts and kills Luv, but is severely injured in the fight. He stages Deckard’s death to protect him from Wallace and the rogue replicants, and leads Deckard to Stelline’s office, having deduced that she is his daughter and that the memory of the toy horse is hers. K dies peacefully from his injuries while Deckard approaches Stelline.

This is a film which acknowledges a rich history of material that precedes it, and yet it manages to venture out into the void of philosophy and bring back ideas to explore. While the first film examined intimacy, gender politics, the evolution of humanity and other topics on such a scale that we felt included, this film does the opposite. Every scene is one of a barren wasteland, monotlithic buildings and open caverns force the moviegoer to examine the sheer insignificance of K. His lifespan is severely shortened, his love is with a hologram, and even his possibility at an identity is taken away from him.

And yet, he strives for a life well lived. I would argue that his relationship with Joi is far more human then any of the other characters we see on screen, and it is very sad when he loses her. And thankfully Harrison Ford’s Deckard is a beaten down shadow of what he once was too, not dominating the screen as he did in The Force Awakens, but helping to make you feel discomfort about the future of humanity.

Pros: It expands upon the story that we loved from over thirty years ago. Better yet, it manages to be impressive on it’s own. Ryan Gosling is fascinating to watch as K, while Dave Bautista, Ana da Armas, and Sylvia Hoeks all add to the allure of this fantasy world.

Cons: Jared Leto falls flat with his performance, perhaps it’s the limited screen time, or that he often appears to be rebelling against his profession. And the film is a very slow burn.

Runtime: 2 hours 44 minutes

Points of Interest: David Bowie was slated for the role of Wallace, but passed away before the film started production. The role of K was also written specifically with Ryan Gosling in mind, Villeneuve had no other actors chosen to audition. In this future, wood is incredibly rare and valuable – that Wallace has a house made entirely of wood is no accident.

I was really glad to learn that Villeneuve had originally cast David Bowie as Niander Wallace, even if he passed away before filming started. Bowie was a staple of innovation, futurism and all of the things that go into making good art. If my minor concerns with the casting of Jared Leto, and the somewhat forgettable CGI Rachael (Sean Young) could be removed, this movie would have been my number one pick for 2017, but even good simulations are always just a tad unrealistic.

theories Summarized

I hope at this point you’ve made the decision to check out this sequel, and I’ll be curious if you note the same things I did about the scale of the film, the beautiful intimacy of K and Joi’s relationship, and the poetry in a decaying Rick Deckard. Just like the original, I’ll likely have to watch this film a few times before all of the themes really sink in, and I have a theory that’ll be for my own good.

And incidentally, we have a new Watch Culture video to share with you too. It’s the original, the masterpiece, the timeless Blade Runner. This short review should give you some insights into why the 1982 classic deserves those accolades. And hopefully you enjoy it enough to like the video, leave a comment, and subscribe to both my blog and the YouTube channel!


Better Than Your Parents Had It (Education)

Another post on the OECD index and inspired by timotheories? Wow, haven’t you farmed this land enough yet?

Well… No, dear readers. Technically I still have to cover off the following – education, environment, governance, health, life satisfaction, safety and work-life balance. So we’re only a third of the way in! Plus, I could write at length about all of these topics and how they relate to being a good global citizen as well as a participant in your local community (and how it relates to the arts). This is a good thing, the website is called timotheories after all, it’s all about the curating the arts and connecting seemingly disparate theories together while having fun.

And this one is sure to be a good post. Education is one of MY FAVOURITE TOPICS. Ever. Period.

The Parents Broken Dream

One of the things I’ve learned as I transitioned from being a child into an adult, and as I recount experiences I’ve had with parents, my own and others, is that every parent wants to provide their children with a life better than they had growing up.

I’m not sure if this is one of those impulses ingrained in our brains OR if it’s a social conditioning similar to the idea that we need to have a good education and a stable job in order to have a good life, but it’s out there in the ether as a theory for success. I mean, life is hard, one minute you are living the dream and the next you are blindsided at 4pm on some idle Tuesday but an event that never crossed your troubled mind.

You can thank Baz Luhrmann for that tidbit. Back to my point.


The economic privilege of the baby boomer generation is well behind us, dear readers. Baby boomers grew up with all kinds of benefits (free educations, established unions, more vacation time, company cars and trips) that generation x, millenials, and whatever comes next can only dream about. This is a major consequence of rising house prices. House prices in the 1970s and 1980s were incredibly low and the earnings on selling those houses has been significantly more lucrative for those families than what singles and young families could hope for today. On top of that, many retiring boomers are leaving behind debts and living on reduced pensions without any savings to back their lifestyles up.

If addressing gender and ethnic privilege are key tenements of politics today, we need to add in generational privilege as well. Skiing (spending the kids inheritance) is a thing of the past.

Investing In The Future

I hope you can see where this post is headed, and if you’re a futurist, like me, than you’ll appreciate the witticism, of that heading. For those of you without the blessing and/or curse of a dry sense of humour, investing in the future is never done. It’s an act of commitment to a process, not an effort towards a goal.


This is incredibly important in the face of a changing world creative cuties. When you make art you are expected to focus on the details, to see the bigger picture, or to pull from both camps. Effectively learning when to use your macro and micro lenses takes time, and an investment in the process, but as you gain skills you will gain confidence and see how your contributions to society are relevant.

This article from Forbes goes over it quite well, but I’m going to summarize it quick for you –

  1.  You need an authentic and personalized network of contacts. Yes social media connections factor into this bucket, but I’m referring to mentors and professionals you rely on for key advice. Who is your career expert? Who do you go to for construction and mechanical advice? And who is your health guru? Do you have someone you can go to for general advice? Spending time each day reaching out to these people is important – it gives you a support system. Plus it feels good to help others and will teach you invaluable things about people.
  2. Live outside your comfort zone, always. Whether it’s learning to wake up early, going out to a social event once a week, or finally starting that book of songs you’ve been dreaming about for years, tapping into your vast potential yields some fantastic dividends.
  3. Get your secondary business going. Maybe you weren’t expecting to have two jobs, maybe you hate the idea of doing more than your 40+ hour work week. But let’s be honest, you are more than your job and you definitely have skills that are being underutilized. You need to make practical use of your cooking skills, your computer programming skills, your animal husbandry (awesome word choice timotheories!), I could go on. You’re not out to get rich and famous, its to continue to develop your skills and to challenge yourself.
  4. Active and critical thinking. This one comes naturally to me, I can’t help it. I think a lot about a lot of different things. If we could visually showcasing what thinking, reading, and using our minds does for our mental capacity, I’d get compliments on my brain all the time. This is not arrogance, because we all think. But we need to think actively about the future, goals, how to improve relationships and solve problems. Don’t settle for your situation, think about how to change it – then go for it.

theories Summarized

In brief, education is important. And while I suspect your instinct was that I was headed towards a post about academic learning and certification, I should be clear and state that that kind of education has absolute value, but it’s not the only way to invest in the future and given how economic dynamics are changing, we need a new game plan. That’s my theory anyway.


The Man With Many Hats (Byron Martin interview)


There is this common saying that when you are a jack of all trades, you are a master of none.

Now I don’t know if it’s true, but well, that’s what people commonly say these days.

And if you want to be like the common people, you might just accept that misnomer and carry on with your life. That’s what Pulp would do, and it’s definitely what William Shatner would do.



But if you were to do a little digging, like me, a rebel without a pause, you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that one of the earliest uses of jack of all trades did not include that second clause of the phrase, and that one of the earliest recorded uses of the term was applied towards William Shakespeare by Robert Greene. Greene is famous primarily for a book he wrote entitled Greene’s Groats-Worth of Wit and in which attacks Shakespeare with that phrase.

The more you know eh?

So anyways, there is this notion out there that having many talents and being something of a generalist is bad while being a specialist is good. But creative cuties, let me set the record straight once and for all, rules are made to be broken.

And as I am prone to do with timotheories interviews, I’m going to prove once again that there are many paths to artistic freedom, and that I’m friends with a visionary artist that is capable of more than just the triple threat. That’s right, this gentleman can sing, dance, act, improvise, perform magic, AND do all of the functional components of theatre too. He directs, produces and writes all while running the business of his five year running company Grindstone Theatre.

Welcome to January 2017 dear readers, because I give you Byron Trevor Martin, the artistic director and founder of Grindstone Theatre, and the soon to be owner-operator of the Grindstone Comedy Theatre building located on Whyte avenue and 104 street in Edmonton. Byron is a visionary, pure and simple. And I sat down with him to explain how he’s managed to achieve so much, all while avoiding specialization in the performance arts.

Byron inherently subscribes to the the accelerated learning “20 hour” rule. Whenever he needs to learn a new skill, he squeezes in the essentials and then spends the rest of his time on what he loves – His passion for theatre and community.

A many of many hats, Byron Martin is the perfect incarnation of what jack of all trades should mean, a means to a vision. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you episode fourteen of timotheories interviews.

And as always, if you want to check out more timotheories interviews or the Cross Talk series please visit our YouTube channel.  And please, please, please share this post and of course subscribe to both the blog and channel!

Of course, if you REALLY want to reach Byron you can do so here – Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Lastly my sincerest thanks to Byron for being beautiful, beneficent, bold, and badass. See you tomorrow with an album review by USS.


The Red Pill (Stock Photography)

The future is bleak.

That’s what I would tell you if was a robot and not a human being. Because I am human, I am more than logic. I have a heart which is filled with faith and so I have hope. I have hope that we can solve issues of hunger, inequality, pollution, and war. I may have paraphrased that idea from Jacques Cousteau, but I think it’s incredibly relevant today.

Especially today.


Being a self-proclaimed futurist in the same class as one Anthony Stark, I recognize that there is always something more interesting along the horizon, and it can be difficult for me to sit still long enough to capture the now and be present.

I have this incredible desire to see life organized and efficient, conversations delivered in messages that I can absorb when I feel like and products available at the click of a button. But on the other hand, I want to pause in moments of isolation and really see what’s in front of me, engaging with life.

Thusly is the struggle of someone who has an analytical mind, but a heart driven to curate and create.

Which is why what I am going to share with you today will fit both the analytical and the creative minds in our ranks.

All day I’ve felt this pull to give some credit back to my fellow bloggers out there. Maybe it’s because it’s been a little over a year since I started this venture, and almost six months since I really hunkered down and started planning my posts, but I don’t think I’ve written about the business of writing at all yet.

And one of the elements of writing a good blog post is putting up an interesting header image or “feature image” as WordPress terms it.

I’m going to share a secret with you, one which many of you probably realize already – I don’t personally create a vast majority of the photos I attach to my posts. *Gasp!*

I use stock photography. *Double Gasp!*

I do have a future goal to start to use my own images more often, but that’s a goal for 2016 and beyond. So let’s get back to the topic at hand.

If any of you aren’t familiar with stock photography I’ve provided a handy definition from Wikipedia just below.

Stock photography is the supply of photographs, which are often licensed for specific uses. It is used to fulfill the needs of creative assignments instead of hiring a photographer, often for a lower cost.

We are very fortunate in this day and age because stock photography is readily available on the internet, and there a number of ways you can get a hold of it, paying a lot for premium photos, a little less for decent photos, and nothing for photos that are typically of poor quality.

You can also steal images from search pages like Google or take images from the Public Domain (AKA free to use for commercial or personal use).

When you purchase images you have the option of getting royalty-free images which are typically a one time purchase, and can be used over and over again, but you also can purchase images that are associated with a brand or licensed and subject to usage rules.

I typically swing back and forth between public domain and royalty-free images, but have recently been using public domain images more often because I enjoy the online hunt a lot more than I should.

This is the part where you say, “so where do you go to find images timotheories?”

Well dear readers, you can use paid services I’ve looked into such as Shutterstock, Getty Images, ThinkStock (by Getty Images), and fotolia, for starters. These are all solid choices. But they may not be for you.

Now here comes the fun part. What if I told you there was a way to get premium quality photos, without have to pay for them, in order to get yourself started or thinking differently about your image choices?

I bet you would be into that. Wouldn’t you friends?

Okay, well I’ll show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. The truth is that there are all kinds of photographers, from commercial to personal, and everything-in-between. This article from DigitalImpact has provided a list of 40+ free stock photography sites, many of which feature photographers that are just getting started or want to extend their reach to different clientele.

The thing to keep in mind with stock photography is that it represents generic types of imagery and so it is a very competitive field.

However, if you are interested in unique images that provide a specific service, you should ALWAYS go to a professional photographer who is an expert in a particular field. I say this in case you think I am condoning stock photography over traditional methods. This is not the case at all.

And that’s all I’ve got for today. Only 1 more sleep until my last post of the season. It’s gonna be a fun one and I hope you enjoy it. Till then, enjoy the snow and if you are celebrating Christmas I hope you get all your presents sorted out tomorrow.