Search results for: Bladerunner

Coincidence: Blade Runner 2049



I spend a lot of time talking about all of reasons for the cognitive errors we make.

Why I emphasize the psychological wetware that make coincidences seem much more important than they really are: availability heuristic; survivorship bias (“found” stock certs); confirmation bias; tribalism, confirmation bias, self-created info bubbles, groupthink, etc. It seems to be always about perspective. Consider the simple Birthday Paradox — you only need 23 people in a room to have a 50–50 chance two of them will share the same birth date — that non-mathy folks find hard to believe.

But every now and again, something happens that is just plain weird. For me. the new Bladerunner film is just such a thing.

If you have read this blog for any length of time, you know I am a huge fan of the original. Punch “Blade Runner” (or “Bladerunner“) into the search bar at right, and dozens of posts, links, interviews, videos, etc. will pop up.

I was all excited to see the premiere — but then I found out I was going to be out of the country during the week it was set to open. I set a date with my friend Ralph, who is a huge film aficionado to see it as soon as I got back. That was supposed to be Tuesday, October 10. For whatever reason, that date didn’t work out for him, so we rolled it over to last night: Wednesday, October 11, 2017.

Then a random click led me to this post: Blade Runner: The Final Cut at the Ziegfeld. The post was about Ralph and I going to see Blade Runner: The Final Cut at the Ziegfeld Theater on October 11, 2007. That is — literally — 10 years ago to the day.

I understand intellectually why this is a random occurrence out of millions of other random occurrences, only this coincidence caught my eye.

One can easily see the surprisingly strong emotional appeal of this, the gee whiz, ain’t that strange for something as relatively trivial as entertainment. Emotions obviously distort our thinking process. Now imagine how strong it is for something that has a huge impact on your life: economic decision-making, investing, savings, and all of the things that really make a big difference to you, your family and your quality of life.

No wonder there are so many myths, bad decisions, and poor outcomes in finance (“More Human than Human”).

We can never achieve perfection, but we can at least make strides towards reducing all of the unforced errors that is inherent in our wetware. It requires eternal vigilance to guard against biased-decision making when it comes to something as big and important as your money. We can try, at the very least, to understand our own wiring. Then you at least have a fighting chance to obtains decent results, despite all of the all too human shortcomings that were programmed in over time.

Nothing the God of biomechanics wouldn’t let you into heaven for…

Blade Runner 2049 – Trailer 2

The past will always find you. Watch the NEW #BladeRunner2049, in theaters October 6. — 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.



From executive producer Ridley Scott and director Denis Villeneuve, #BladeRunner2049 stars Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana De Armas, MacKenzie Davis, Sylvia Hoeks, Lennie James, Carla Juri, Robin Wright, Dave Bautista and Jared Leto.

Blade Runner 2049 Trailer 2

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

Official “Blade Runner 2049” Movie Trailer 2 2017

#BladeRunner2049 is the new science fiction movie by Denis Villeneuve, starring Ryan Gosling, Robin Wright and Harrison Ford. The script was written by Michael Green.

Blade Runner 2049 Official Trailer

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



There are still pages left in this story. Watch the NEW trailer for #BladeRunner2049, in theaters October 6.


Blade Runner 2049

In 2017, the story continues.

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.


Blade Runner 2049 Announcement


#BladeRunner 2049, starring Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Carla Juri, Lennie James, with Dave Bautista and Jared Leto


More Holiday Shopping Ideas!

Lots of great comments for our first list (Holiday Shopping Ideas!), so lets give this one another go round. As part of our annual Shopmas tradition, I cull some of my more interesting fascinations, acquisitions, and other items I stumble each year, as well as items off of my own overstuffed wish list.

Your feedback about the breadth of gift ideas keeps encouraging more of these, so here is our second round of last minute ideas for those of you have been very, very good. Or at least, those of you who were not leveraged long with no stop losses in place.

Go forth and stimulate!


Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas ($9) Ella at the top of her game made what is simply the best holiday disc ever recorded.

Those of you that mocked my suggestion of a JT holiday disc, I dare you to try with this one.

If this disc doesn’t make you smile, you are a hopeless grinch. Spike a cup of coffee with some Kahlua or Baileys and enjoy.


Billy Jealousy Hydroplane ($19.50) I use this “Super-Slick Shave Cream” as a preshave to lubricate my skin. Less irritation, fewer nicks and cuts, a closer shave.

And, an 8 oz bottle lasts me almost a year. (but I use my razors 2X then they go in the garbage)

This is great stuff.


Motorola MH230R 23-Mile Range 22-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio ($34.50 Pair)

These walkie talkies can cover 35 miles — thats a hell of a long distance for this price. Great for the mall, Disneyworld, Boating, the beach, anywhere you might get separated with poor cell coverage. (Uses rechargable or alkaline batteries)

They are rugged, but not waterproof. For even greater range, spend the extra bucks for the Motorola MR350R 35-Mile Range ($51)


Blade Runner (Five-Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition) $99

The greatest science fiction film of all time, in every variant of its many tortured releases, including the 25th anniversary Blade Runner: The Final Cut, spectacularly restored and remastered from original elements and scanned at 4K resolution. The definitive documentary to accompany the definitive film version is included.

For any hard core SciFi nerd on your holiday list.


Florilegium Imperiale: Botanical Illustrations ($114)

Francis I of Austria was the last monarch to rule over the Holy Roman Empire, and the imperial gardens remains one of Vienna’s most beloved treasures. In 1791, he commissioned Matthias Schmutzer to paint portraits of every flower in his garden – a project that took more than three decades to complete.

Until now, only six of the extant 1,300 paintings have ever been published. This collection features 120 of the most outstanding of Schmutzer’s watercolours, painted life-size and with extraordinary precision.

This book will delight botanical historians and lovers of flower art alike.

Casio G-Shock Military Mens Watch ($94-$149)

Stealth black, shock resistant, water proof to 200 meters, x-large case, this thing is practically bullet proof — G-Shock is designed to survive in the harshest of conditions.

Filled with all sorts of stop watches, calendars, time zones and additional features, this is an attractive oversized watch that can take punishment.

My version has blue highlights, not red. (Good luck finding one of these).

Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite 1000-Watt Juice Extractor ($299)

Missus Big Picture has wanted a juicer for some time, and most of the models I played with were under powered and fragile feeling.

I finally broke down and ordered this beastie. Stainless die cast steel housing and motor body feels solid (notice the theme here) with 1000 watts of power (This is the two speed model).

I picked this model because of the high power, the design style, and because so many of the reviews said it was easy to clean.


Riedel Sommeliers Black Tie Wine Decanter ($419) Have a tough to shop for oenophile on your list?

The Riedel family of Austria has specialized in fine wine glassware for more 300 years. This decanter is made with mouth-blown glass of a single flawless loop of clear 24-percent lead crystal curving from the high open tail to the narrow arching pour-spout. A slender black tuxedo stripe traces the decanter’s outside edge (hence the name).

The decanter holds 69 ounces and stands an 16-1/2 inches high.


Grow Light Lamp and Planter Grow ($1,250)
Designed by Carmen Salazar

I love great design, and this growlight fits the bill. Originally conceived for people limited by light, space, or temperatures outside, suited for tropicals, fresh herbs, and succulents.

A swath of whipped glass clouds the bulb and diffuses the light. Each one is unique. The lights are available as hanging pendants, wall mounted sconces or floor lamps, hand blown in lead free crystal.


Octopus Table ($25,000) It took artist Isaac Krauss 2 and half years to sculpt this one of a kind spectacular table in Bronze.  Yours for merely 25 large.

(Yes, I have a thing for Octopi)

When I said for all budgets, I was not fooling around!

Q2 GDP 1.9%; Q4 GDP = -0.2%; New Jobless Claim +448k

Across the board, this was simply a horrible, recession set of data:

Initial Jobless Claims448k. That’s the worst level since April 2003.

Q2 GDP: 1.9%, well below consensus of 2.3%.

Q4 GDP Revisions: Revised from +0.6 down to –0.2%; The first negative quarter (Don’t say we didn’t warn you) since Q3 2001.

Q1 GDP Revisions: Revised down to 0.9% from 1.0%

Note — I expect these revisions will get revised even lower in the future.

Durable Goods:

Consumer Spending: Despite $100 billion in rebate checks, consumer spending was up  only .56% — the bulk of which was (undercounted) food and energy inflation. Nominal spending for the quarter was 3%.   

Inflation: The personal consumption expenditure price index rose at a 4.2% annual rate.

Revisions: A major set of revisions, and nearly all were negative. The economy contracted in the last three months of 2007, providing the first negative quarterly GDP data. Q4 GDP 2007 was revised to a negative number from +0.6% to -0.2%. And, this is very likely to be revised even lower in the future.

Just nasty numbers across the board.

One last "surprise" — Bill King observes that the GDP Price Index inexplicably tanked to 1.1% in Q2; 2.4% was expected. Nominal GDP declined to 3% from Q1’s 3.5%. Thus, the Q2 GDP benefited by 1.5% points, thanks to the mysteriously collapsing GDP Price Index, down to 1.1% from Q1’s 2.6%.

Hence, I expect Q2 2008 GDP to eventually get revised downwards to 0.4% — or worse.

Here are the charts:

Real GDP Growth

Chart courtesy of Barron’s Econoday

New Jobless Claims
Chart courtesy of Barron’s Econoday


Larry, you have some ‘splainin to do!

James, are you really going to make me wait for that Bladerunner DVD?


Recessions Often Begin With Positive GDP Data (May 2008)

GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT: Second Quarter 2008 (Advance) 
BEA, JULY 31, 2008

Summary of GDP Revisions

U.S. economy suffers fourth-quarter contraction
Revisions show spending slower, profits higher than previously thought
Rex Nutting
MarketWatch, 9:01 a.m. EDT July 31, 2008

Blade Runner: The Final Cut at the Ziegfeld

I am going this evening to see my favorite sci-fi movie at my favorite movie theater with my favorite movie buddy.

I’ll update this later . . .


Blade Runner Update October 11, 2007 10:42pm:

First the good news: The movie looks fantastic. As ahead of their time as the retro-future effects were back in 1982, they still look great today: They pop off the screen (and the Ziegfeld is a pretty big screen). The color is wonderful, the perception of depth, the visceral sense of living in an over-polluted, never stops raining dystopian Los Angeles works even better than before.

Whatever digital work that was done on the film print is just marvelous. Even the opening green tree logo that scans line by line looks fantastic. All in all, the technical work was tremendous.

The Sound is also worth noting: Its crystal clear; the sound effects and the darkly gorgeous Vangelis soundtrack are wonderful — beautiful, brilliantly rendered, dramatically enhancing the film. It also sounded as if additional Vangelis music was added here and there (short clips/segues). I have owned the hauntingly beautiful soundtrack for years, and its simply a must have.

Now for the not so good news:

I first saw the movie while working in the campus cinema at Stony Brook as an undergrad; must have seen it 5 or 6 times the first weekend (showtimes: 7, 9:30 and 12) then another a few more times at a campus Sci-Fi festival. The version I fell in love with had the  hard boiled film noir Harrison Ford voice over — and its not in the Final Cut.

As much as purists claim the film is better off without it, I have to disagree. First, it fills in some details that the complex narrative was otherwise missing. If you do not know the book, there is a complexity to the future world that the movie alludes to, but does not cleanly explain. Second, it creates a void — there are long moments where the voice over is simply not there — and needs to be. Lastly, it humanizes the main character, as he his struggles with himself as a Blade Runner.

As to the ending . . . Not much of a spoiler alert, as this has been written about plenty — but if you don’t want to know, stop reading here.







Is Deckard a replicant?

Director Ridley Scott has always argued he was. The Unicorn scene, plus the origami at the end certainly implies as much.

I could give you dozens of arguments why Deckard isn’t a replicant — he gets the shit beat out of him constantly, the other replicants would recognize him as one, he quit his job, he’s a drunk . . .

Rather than go down that road, its simply easier to say that Phillip K. Dick, author of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, wrote him as a human. In the book, Deckard takes and passes the Voigt-Kampff test.

Between Ridley Scott, a director whose work looks beautiful, but has trouble telling a great story, and Dick, who was all about creating wildly compelling narratives, I have to go with PKD.

And as my friend Ralph argues so eloquently in the comments, the movie loses much of its appeal once the main character is no longer a person seeking redemption, trying to find his humanity. Instead, it becomes a story about the interaction of biorobotic devices.


Blade_runner_5_2That’s right kids, its coming:  The preview of the Final Cut is Saturday Night, 9pm, at the THE 45th NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL (full schedule here).

Here’s the official blurb:

“Blade Runner: The Final Cut Series: The 45th New York Film Festival [Sep 28 – Oct 14 2007]
Director: Ridley Scott, Country: USA, Release: 2007, Runtime: 118

Ridley Scott’s legendary adaptation of Phillip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? gave us a startling vision of a noir-ishly dystopic future, in which the line between human and non-human has worn perilously thin.

Scott’s masterpiece not only anticipated our future but designed it: Much of our world today appears, well, just so Blade Runner. To commemorate its 25th anniversary, Scott has gone back, corrected a few details and fashioned a version that he feels is closest to what he had originally intended.

One of the greatest American films of the Eighties has just gotten even better.
(A Warner Bros. release.)

In addition to screening Blade Runner: The Final Cut, our 25th anniversary salute to this key work of science fiction includes “The Future Is Now,” a panel discussion with prominent film scholars.”

I also see that one of the screenings is taking place at the single best movie theater on the planet: The Ziegfeld (141 West 54th Street).

Very very cool.

As we noted previously, the 5 DVD disc  Blade Runner set is to follow next year. I am not sure if there will be a wider theatrical release, but one can hope.



Blade Runner: The Final Cut
The 45th New York Film Festival
Sep 29 – Oct 14 2007

Q&A: Ridley Scott on Blade Runner


Attention Blade Runner junkies: The offline Wired interview with Ridley Scott, which I mentioned in this weekend’s linkfest, is now online.

As we noted previously, the latest version of Blade Runner is in theaters in October, with a 5 DVD disc set to follow next year.

Here’s the Ubiq-cerpt:™

“It’s a classic tale of failure and redemption, the kind of story Hollywood loves to tell.

Fresh off his second successful movie, an up-and-coming director takes a chance on a dark tale of a 21st-century cop who hunts humanlike androids. But he runs over budget, and the financiers take control, forcing him to add a ham-fisted voice-over and an absurdly cheery ending. The public doesn’t buy it. The director’s masterpiece plays to near-empty theaters, ultimately retreating to the art-house circuit as a cult oddity.

That’s where we left Ridley Scott’s future-noir epic in 1982. But a funny thing happened over the next 25 years. Blade Runner’s audience quietly multiplied. An accidental public showing of a rough-cut work print created surprise demand for a re-release, so in 1992 Scott issued his director’s cut. He silenced the narration, axed the ending, and added a twist — a dream sequence suggesting that Rick Deckard, the film’s protagonist, is an android, just like those he was hired to dispatch.

But the director didn’t stop there. As the millennium turned, he continued polishing: erasing stray f/x wires, trimming shots originally extended to accommodate the voice-over, even rebuilding a scene in which the stunt double was obvious. Now he’s ready to release Blade Runner: The Final Cut, which will hit theaters in Los Angeles and New York in October, with a DVD to follow in December.

At age 69, Ridley Scott is finally satisfied with his most challenging film. He’s still turning out movies at a furious pace — American Gangster, with Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, is due in November — building on an extraordinary oeuvre that includes Alien, Thelma & LouiseGladiator, and Black Hawk Down. But he seems ready to accept Blade Runner as his crowning achievement. In his northern English accent, he describes its genesis and lasting influence. And, inevitably, he returns to the darkness that pervades his view of the future — the shadows that shield Deckard from a reality that may be too disturbing to face.”

Other goodies:  An interactive look at the Cultural Influences Before and After the Film in the Blade Runner Nexus , and a full transcript and Audio of Wired’s Interview with Ridley Scott.

Its a must read for fans — even if Ridley gets whether Deckard is a replicant or a human wrong . . .




Q&A: Ridley Scott Has Finally Created the Blade Runner He Always Imagined
By Ted Greenwald  09.26.07 | 4:00 PM