Roger A. Deakins is one of the preeminent Hollywood cinematographers of the last three decades, having shot classics from The Shawshank Redemption to beloved modern films such as Sicario. He’s also being lauded currently for his beautiful work on Blade Runner 2049, which is one of the most compelling reasons in recent memory to go see a film on the big screen—the new Blade Runner begs to be seen in such a way, if only to drink in Deakins’ awe-inspiring visuals.
But you may want to choose 2D over 3D showings, if you’re going to catch Blade Runner 2049. At least, that’s the way the cinematographer thinks you should see the movie, and we’re inclined to give this guy the benefit of the doubt.
On his website, Deakins keeps up a very impressive running conversation with film buffs, who are free to ask him questions about his process and thoughts on various Hollywood movies and filming techniques. During a discussion about Blade Runner 2049, Deakins appeared in the comments to give his opinion to audience members who were asking if they should buy tickets for 2D or 3D shows. As he writes:
“My preferred version is the standard 2D widescreen version. A problem I have with some viewing systems is their use of silvered screens. The image projected on a silvered screen lacks saturation as well as density as it falls off from a hot spot in the center of vision. This may not be so apparent for someone sitting in the optimum viewing seat but it is a compromise in terms of image quality wherever you are seated, though it maybe a compromise worth accepting if you are a fan of 3D.”
The moral of the story, when all is said and done, is that regardless of what format you’re seeing Blade Runner 2049 in, you really ought to see it in a theater while you still can. Despite critical acclaim, the film has under-performed box office expectations in the U.S., pulling in $32.8 million during its opening weekend. That’s plenty troubling, considering the large budget of $150-185 million, and suggests that the film will have to be a major hit across international markets to have a shot at profitability. You can read our own glowing review here.
In recent years, there have been few films in theaters with as much objective beauty in them as Blade Runner 2049. If you haven’t already seen it, catch a (preferably 2D) screening while you still can.