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Blade Runner DVD

Blade Runner DVD Starring: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, et al.
Director: Ridley Scott
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Danny Kim's Review

I don't know why he saved my life; maybe in those last moments he loved life more than he had ever before.

"Blade Runner" lies on two tremendous driving forces. The heralded visuals which have been imitated countlessly over the years, not just in science fiction, but music video, thrillers and commercials. While Blade Runner itself borrows a few elements from Fritz Lang's "Metropolis", it distances itself from the great German piece with a realism that is uncharacteristically grounded (pun intended) for science fiction.

The startling thing about Blade Runner is that every year that passes by, Los Angeles bears a closer resemblance to this skin grafting, smog congested, racist society that was projected by novelist Philip K. Dick, director Ridley Scott, visualist Syd Mead and screenwriters Hampton Fancher and David Peoples. Organ and tissue implants are better known today as plastic surgery. LA is a town in which such an emphasis is placed on physical appearance. Inevitably, clones created from a superior genetic stock would arise in a society such as this.

The Director's Cut gives the smoky and towering visuals more breathing room and the subtleties of Ridley Scott's detail come to light. The central conflict and irony of this film is that you have a sardonic Humphrey Bogart disenchanted Blade Runner commissioned to seek and retire all androids, regardless of their own personal involvement in a crime that was committed Off-World. This forces the androids to kill in order not to be killed.

Just who is the true protaganist of this film? Deckard is just doing his job, and is, for the most part, a static character. One moment largely affected by the additional unicorn scene is when he finds the origami unicorn on the floor. This is one of the few intuitive moments where Deckard reflects on the human nature of his own being. The unicorn is a dream that Deckard imagines, and dreams are our own to treasure and fear. The origami folding Gaff places the very mythical creature in his dreams. He dissects Deckard's mind much in the same manner that Deckard smashes Rachael's precious childhood memories.

I could go on much longer, but for the sake of this recommendation, I hope the complexity of this story speaks for itself. It is emotional in a deep sense and the visuals are stunning for its time. Many of the model techniques and wire effects outdo its contemporary rivals who utilize digital effects. They are close to 20 years old, and still drop jaws all across the world.

From Amazon.com

Amazon.com Editorial Review

When Ridley Scott's cut of Blade Runner was finally released in 1993, one had to wonder why the studio hadn't done it right the first time--11 years earlier. This version is so much better, mostly because of what's been eliminated (the ludicrous and redundant voice-over narration and the phony happy ending) rather than what's been added (a bit more character development and a brief unicorn dream). Star Harrison Ford originally recorded the narration under duress at the insistence of Warner Bros. executives who thought the story needed further "explanation"; he later confessed that he thought if he did it badly they wouldn't use it. (Moral: Never overestimate the taste of movie executives.) The movie's spectacular futuristic vision of Los Angeles--a perpetually dark and rainy metropolis that's the nightmare antithesis of "Sunny Southern California"--is still its most seductive feature, an otherworldly atmosphere in which you can immerse yourself. The movie's shadowy visual style, along with its classic private-detective/murder-mystery plot line (with Ford on the trail of a murderous android, or "replicant"), makes Blade Runner one of the few science fiction pictures to legitimately claim a place in the film noir tradition. And, as in the best noir, the sleuth discovers a whole lot more (about himself and the people he encounters) than he anticipates.... With Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, Daryl Hannah, Rutger Hauer, and M. Emmet Walsh.

Jim Emerson

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