Good news: Anne and I are celebrating our anniversary with a much-needed break from work.

Bad news: That means that I’m on the road during the opening weekend of Blade Runner 2049, a sequel to one of my ten favorite films of all-time.

No regrets. Anne and I have been looking forward to this getaway for months.

And I should be able to catch Denis Villeneuve’s much-anticipated, much-dreaded movie sometime in the next several days.

But since I’m eager to serve those of you who have questions about the movie, I’ll interrupt my anniversary adventures to provide you with some substantial reading.

Here are some reviews that I haven’t read closely. (For me, the element of surprise is one of the most valuable aspects of moviegoing.) Why am I recommending them? I respect the minds that made them.

Alissa Wilkinson at Vox:

…it’s not mere fan service; the film tries very hard to sustain interest with new characters and developments that draw on the past without being handcuffed to it, throughout its sometimes ponderous 163-minute runtime.

But far too often that attempt to be interesting fails.

Joel Mayward at Cinemayward:

Deliberately paced, with a strong sense of atmosphere and compelling visuals, this is a sequel which builds upon the original foundation without ever quite surpassing it.

Brian Tallerico at

…one of the most deeply philosophical and challenging sci-fi films of all time, a movie that never holds your hand as it spirals the viewer through its gorgeous funhouse of the human soul.

David Ehrlich at Letterboxd:

It’s the first Denis Villeneuve film to be boring.

Josh Larsen at LarsenOnFilm:

2049 is a worthy successor, a moody, broody visual feast that taps into our unease about the advent of artificial intelligence—and the questions of what it means to be alive that will inevitably come with it.

Scott Renshaw at Salt Lake City Weekly:

As many different ways as there are to make a sequel—and Blade Runner 2049 is very good at some of them—it helps to pick one and go with it, rather than try to be every kind of sequel at the same time.

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