Why do the kids "get it" while the parents don't?
I think I have posted once on CSM, but I feel to need to do so now. This is going to be long and critical—so get some popcorn and enjoy--but I think important for the CSM user community. Before getting to the point of the title in this review, let me say two things for clarification:
(1) I am a concerned and conscientious parent in terms of my kid’s media “consumption.” CSM is my “go to” for discerning what I think my kids should and should not watch and what (limited) games they should and should not play. I’ve been using CSM for years and will continue to do so. Overall, it is an excellent resource.
For example, my kids wanted to watch “Fuller House” on Netfilix which they list as “TV-G.” So I, without checking it first, said “OK.” Then I caught some of an episode and was appalled, went to CSM and found confirmation on what I thought was inappropriate for a supposed “G” rated show and made me disappointed with Netflix’s false advertising. I began looking for something else for them using CSM.
Thus, I’m in 100% agreement with the 100% consensus from all reviewers that “Blade Runner 2049” (hereafter, BR2049) is suitable for years 16+.
(2) I am also a film buff and watching and making sense of films and non-network TV shows is my principal hobby for my adult life. I value cinema and believe in it as an art form and for philosophical reflection so much that I want my kids to be cinematically literate. My goal is that my kids will watch every film on the AFI’s Top 100 by the time they are 18 and a good number of those films, esp. from the 70’s onward, e.g. “the Godfather,” “Raging Bull,” “Taxi Driver,” are for more mature teens, though even Hitchcock’s films require a more mature viewer despite their rather “PG-rated” content.
The director of BR2049, French-Canadian Denis Villeneuve, ranks as one of the finest directors working today and is as good if not better in some ways than Scorsese and Coppola (I don’t think Spielberg ranks up there given his lack of “maturity,” but that’s a different post), and Ridley Scott, the director of the 1983 original “Blade Runner.” Why? Because Villeneuve’s vision in his small yet growing corpus of amazing films is far more optimistic (hopeful) and humanistic (and feminist) than the other post-1968 young turk male film makers who tend toward the darker, pessimistic, and despairing in terms of the human condition, which was a necessary backlash in cinema from the often pollyannaish, character of much popular American cinema before. I could say a great deal more about the virtues of Villeneuve’s work—beyond his technical brilliance--but what I would write has already been said elsewhere by film critics better than I. But to cut to the chase, BR2049 is one of the finest, if not the finest, films of the year. It is a masterpiece cinematically and ultimately about the transforming power of self-sacrificial love in the face of totalizing insignificance (sound like the most historically well-known, beloved, and worshipped person we know?). I predict it will get at least 9 Academy Award nominations and win a lion’s share of them. It is also a beautiful cinematic counterpoint to Scott’s original; it neither recycles nor rejects BR but rather complements and completes it. It is superior to BR in that regard—which all of the adult reviews totally miss.
OK, to the rhetorical question in the title of this review. After seeing the film twice now (beside seeing the original BR 10x or so) and reading the 16 combined reviews by the parents and the kids, as well as CSM’s own (note: the video reviewer errs in calling replicants—a term missing from the review—“genetically modified humans.”), I find it supremely *ironic* that the kids (14-17 year olds) have a more mature understanding and appreciation of the film than the adults do; the adult “knee-jerk” reviews seem completely “juvenile” in contrast.
Why is that? Well, I could speculate—let it suffice that perhaps the film holds up a mirror to the world today we adult have created and benefit from so we adults don’t like to identified as responsible--but I let others do that (plus, why makes this any lengthier). I just want to point this irony out and let the adult posters and adult readers to struggle with that. Plus, I want to give some props to the really thoughtful and smart kids out there; it gives me hope, which is ultimately about what BR2049 is about, if you take the time to understand it first before judging it.
Thanks for hanging in there and apologies if any adult takes offense at my critique. But I think it was important to identify this issue for the greater good of the CSM community.
P.S. Note I check every category, except "too much consumerism," Maybe that is why we adults take umbrage?
This title contains:
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Drinking, drugs & smoking