Blade Runner DVD
Starring: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer,
Director: Ridley Scott
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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.
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.