Blade Runner (6/22/12)

Blade RunnerMovie One Hundred Forty Six

In Blade Runner, in the dystopian near future, replicants, androids that look exactly like humans become illegal on Earth and it is up to a group known as Blade Runners to hunt them down.

Los Angeles 2019, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is a Blade Runner that seems to have seen it all. He is given a job to hunt down a group of rogue replicants that need to be “retired”. We learn that replicants, who are implanted with memories and totally indistinguishable from humans except for their emotions, have a four year lifespan but the ones here illegally are seen as a threat.

I realize that isn’t a very good summary of the film for those who have seen it, this is a movie that simply needs to be watched to be fully appreciated. For some reason, even though I have seen Blade Runner several times over the years, I remember next to nothing about it each time I watch it. The positive side of that is that each time I watch it it’s almost entirely new to me and I can appreciate it but the downside is I don’t appreciate until it’s fresh in my memory again.

Hailed by many as the best sci-fi film ever made, it was not originally a success. The world created for the film is indeed spectacular. It’s scary to think that it takes place just 7 years in the future (where are our flying cars, huh future?) but the atmosphere is great. Harrison Ford gives an amazing performance along with the entire cast.

Currently, the Blu-Ray out has multiple versions of the film spanning several discs. It’s a large set that isn’t very expensive but it absolutely chock full of Blade Runner goodness. I highly recommend it, even if you haven’t seen Blade Runner before. I watched the “final cut”, whatever that means but since I have memory lapse on the film in general, I couldn’t outline the differences so Wikipedia to the rescue!

While I wouldn’t say that Blade Runner has the best story, what it does have is a great universe created and great production values. I wanted to watch Ridley Scott’s older work to glean any information on how I thought Prometheus might hold up 30 years later and I think history will be kind on Prometheus but not as kind as it has been to Blade Runner.

I give it 4 LA eyeball reflections out of 5.

Links:

Rotten Tomatoes

IMDB

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32 responses to “Blade Runner (6/22/12)

  1. I know multiple people who put this on their top film list, but personally have never seen it. I think it’s interesting how your view is always fresh no matter which viewing it is. Whether that is a good sign or bad is yet to be seen haha. It’s fallen into the “I swear I’ll watch it” category.

    • I would recommend it in an instant to anyone, it’s a fantastic movie. I really don’t know why my brain insists on forgetting 90% of what goes on during the film each time I watch it.

    • There’s a difference of 4 minutes between versions and two different endings (one happy ending, one ambiguous) but the rest I’m not totally sure what has changed. Chances are, the so called Final Cut is the way to watch it.

  2. I love this film. Not sure which version I saw, but I highly value the work of a good editor. As a rule, the extended director’s cut is generally not the best version in my opinion. I saw a ridiculously long cut of Amadeus once and it actually made one of my favorite films a chore to sit through.

    • There is certainly too much of a good thing – I would even count the extended cuts of the Lord of the Rings trilogy as too bloated, while many prefer those versions. The Blade Runner versions all seem to be very similar in runtime and scenes, it’s mostly just editing for pacing, I assume.
      If I really had more time I would watch each cut of the movie and try to compare them.

  3. I originally saw the theatrical cut when I was a teenager and loved it then (even though it was a bit on the slow side), and when Scott released his “director’s cut” (the first of many) without the awful narration and happy ending, I was ecstatic (even more so to see the re-release in the theater). I believe the final cut fixes some errors, like the obvious stunt double for Joanna Cassidy and the very apparent wire rig lowering the flying car to the ground.

    • Oh, I didn’t realize things were fixed in post for the final cut. The thing I read (probably on Wikipedia) just said the Director’s Cut had been rushed, hence the need for a Final Cut. Makes sense.

  4. One of my favorite films of all time. It’s usually a hit or miss with people: some love it, some don’t. Plus, it has the best director’s cut of all time. Nice review.

  5. Strangely enough, I have never been able to like this. I have seen it probably 15 times, and have never seen what the big deal was.

    Unforgiven with Clint Eastwood was like that for me too. Until one day, I watched it and it finally clicked. I’m sure eventually I will see the genius in Blade Runner, but as of so far, not so much.

  6. I love this movie, and I have had a similar experience to yours in that it is a new movie every time I see it. I don’t know why; maybe it’s because it’s not really plot driven, but rather mood? I do remember reading a long time ago that the director’s cut contained some voiceovers that Ford did not want to do, and therefore didn’t do a good job on, so some people prefer another version.

  7. I’m a HUGE fan of this movie. 5 out of 5, man, 5 out of 5! LOL I think it does have a great story, I think its got a lot of great themes too…

    And yes, I second your opinion that that 5 disc Blade Runner set is a great buy!!

    • Haha, if I watch this again before I forget it I would probably be more inclined to give it a 5/5!
      I think the story is great but the setting is what makes Blade Runner shine. Few films I’ve seen create their own fictional settings better.

  8. This isn’t only the definitive Sci-fi movie in my opinion but it’s also one of my all time favourite film’s. I have loved this film for over 20 years and I still don’t tire of it. I dread to see what the sequel is going to be like after a disappointing Prometheus.

  9. Ridley is working on a sequel to it right now. Here’s hoping it is a good one.

    I too love watching this one when I can. I studied it in a Film Noir class when I was in college. It is amazing that you can apply those Film Noir principles to a Sci-Fi movie, but from what I remember it does work.

    I would have to say this is one of the greater Sci-Fi movies of all time. At least Top Five. It was a movie ahead of its time and that is why it probably failed from the start.

    Great review.

    • Most people associate noir with detective stories, but they don’t necessarily go hand in hand. The definition I’ve always used was one I was given a long time ago where the characters are dark and destined for bad things. The definition doesn’t necessarily mean the characters are bad people doing bad things, just that their story isn’t going to end well one way or another.

      Also, I would whole-heartedly agree that Blade Runner is a top 5 sci-fi film, but definitely not my top pick for the genre.

  10. I love this one. I didn’t like it upon first viewing but it really grew on me. I don’t think it’s the best sci fi ever – for me it either would be Alien or 2001 Space Oddysey – but it’s amazing.

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  13. Great review, Andy! You know, I’m not the biggest fan of Blade Runner. Maybe that’s why I agree with what you say about it not having the best story but a great universe and production values. It’s very interesting how you seem to love it but forget about it after watching. Hadn’t heard of a similar case before.

    • Thanks, Fernando – Yeah, I don’t believe there are any other movies out there that I seem to forget after repeated viewings either. Don’t know what makes Blade Runner any different in that regard…

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