**Planet Noir** I declare _Blade Runner_ the best sci-fi movie of all time. Arguments? No? Okay. So long. Please upvote the guest book on your way out. WAIT! There's more. At the risk of whistling conspiracies and setting off inappropriate vibrations in your slacks, you see, this Ridley K. Dick concoction is going on right now. While we're all transfixed by the endlessly goofy droppings from the web, forever staring down and swiping things on our smarty-pants phones, retweeting selfies of infinitely mirrored selfies; proliferating at light speed, every aspect of humanity is being replicated, perfected, mechanized, optimized, upgraded, fortified, robofied, Googlized, quantumized, DNA'd and NSA'd and will soon converge to fall upon and supplant us, and Harrison Ford, despite looking trim for his years, will be too old to stop it! And the irony to end all ironies is that we, as the irresponsibly arrogant, over-infested and narcissistic caretakers and consumers, and the colossal defecators of this broken-down, flea-bag of a planet, are entirely fundamentally responsible. No, the irony of all ironies is that a world exclusively dominated by self-correcting technocratic cyborgs with zettabytes of artificial intelligence will be a vast improvement. The androids are saving the planet! AHHH, run for your life! Blade Runner is both an expired cautionary tale and emerging utopian fantasy. Oh, you knew this already? Very well. Carry on. Enjoy your self-driving cars and virtual nature tours.
Retirement - Replicants - Resplendent. Blade Runner is one of those glorious films that has gained in popularity the older it has gotten. Ridley Scott's follow up to the critical and commercial darling that was Alien, was by and large considered a flop and damned for not being a science fiction action blockbuster. There was of course some fans who recognised its many many strengths during the initial weeks of its 1982 release, but many who now claim to have loved it back then are surely looking sheepishly in the mirror these days, for the hard-core minority of 82 fans remember it very differently. Remember the spider that lived outside your window? Orange body, green legs. Watched her build a web all summer, then one day there's a big egg in it. The egg hatched... Anyway, that's by the by, the point being that a film can sometimes be ahead of its time, misunderstood or miss-marketed, Scott's masterpiece is one such case. Story, adapted in fashion from Philip K. Dick's story, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Is pretty simple. It's a dystopian Los Angeles, 2019, and there are four genetically engineered Replicants - human in appearance - in the city, which is illegal. They were designed to work on off-world colonies, any Replicant who defies the rules will be retired by special police assassins known as Blade Runners, and Blade Runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is on this case. A case that will prove to have many layers... A new life awaits you in the Off-world colonies! A chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure! Ridley Scott gets to have all his cakes to eat here, managing to blend intriguing science fiction with film noir. That the visuals are outstanding is a given, even the film's most hardest critics grudgingly acknowledge this to be an eye popping piece of visual class - the mention of eyes is on purpose since it's forms a key narrative thread. That it is awash with eye orgasms has led to critics calling a charge of beauty over substance, but the deep themes at work here tickle the brain and gnaw away at the senses. Quite an experience to live in fear, isn't it? That's what it is to be a slave. Mood is set at perpetually bleak, a classic film noir trait, and paced accordingly. Scott isn't here to perk anyone up, he's here to ask questions whilst filtering his main characters through a prism of techno decay, of humanity questioned to the max, for a film so stunning in visuals, it's surprisingly nightmarish at its core. The emotional spine is ever present, troubled when violence shows its hand, but it's there posing an intriguing question as the Replicants kill because they want to live. And this as our antagonist, Deckard (Ford a brilliantly miserable Marlowe clone), starts to fall for Rachael (a sensually effective femme fatale portrayal), one of his retirement targets. Tears in the Rain. As Rutger Hauer (never better) saunters more prominently into the story as head Replicant Roy Batty, the pic evolves still more. Haunting lyricism starts pulsing away in conjunction with Vangelis' rib shaking techno score, while Jordan Cronenweth's cinematography brings Scott's masterful visions to life, key characters one and all. Visuals, aural splendour and dark thematics - so just what does it mean to be human? - Indeed, curl as one in a magnificent cinematic achievement. A number of cuts of the film are out there, and all of them have fans, but Scott's Final Cut is the one where he had total artistic control, and the scrub up job across the board is quite literally breath taking. 10/10
The movie's story didn't do much for me, however I did find parts of it confusing. After watching it I found out that I watched the "Final Cut" which has a completely different ending and different implications from the theatrical release. I didn't understand those implications...I needed to look up the ending online. Whether that's because the movie is confusing or I'm dumb, I can't say. But my friend I watched it with didn't understand it either. After looking up the end's meaning, I did find it a bit more satisfying. But the main reason this movie is worth watching is the visuals. Not sure I'd watch it again any time soon though.
Some people will say this classic sci-fi "has nothing to offer other than overrated cult-status". To that, I would respond, "it has Rutger Hauer on a rooftop, and that's enough for me". _Final rating:★★★★ - Very strong appeal. A personal favourite._ (3.5 for the Theatrical Cut, 4.0 for the Final Cut)
I have only viewed the Final Cut, and judging by reviews elsewhere this is possibly the most complete and satisfying version of them all. I cannot truthfully say I am in awe with this film as I found it quite plodding at times. But having said that the visionary aspects, the bleak surrounds, and the air of hopelessness that permeates throughout most of the film is exceptionally well done. I would hazard a guess it wasn't a big success at the box office back in 82/83 chiefly because of the likes of ET, and Raiders of the Lost Ark, Return of the Jedi and quite a few other adventure/SF films of the time pushing this film into a dark corner. Another reason could be because it was too slow for those brought up on Star Wars; or just too unengaging for those looking at it from a murder-mystery perspective (I recall reading that the original version had Ford do a Marlowesque voice over). An impressive film for all that, with some delightful special effects, and a decent performance from Ford. But of course for me the true delight was Roy's "Time to Die" speech at the end. If there was an Oscar for best speech in a film, he would have won it with ease!
This time, it is Ridley Scott's turn to offer us his prognostication of a future wherein corporate America has, ostensibly benignly, introduced the ultimate in labour saving devices - androids called "replicants" - which have a look and feel of people about them. These "Nexus" creations can turn their hands to just about anything, but when the latest off-world models rebel, all of their cousins become outlawed and it falls to the "Blade Runners" to track them down and destroy them. "Deckard" (Harrison Ford) is one such operator who is called back out of his retirement to identify four of these highly adaptable and intelligent robots and this perilous task takes him to the heart of their manufacturer run by the fiendishly clever but unscrupulous "Tyrell" (Joe Turkel), and into a web of duplicity surrounding their controlling protocols and maybe even a fifth, almost impossible to recognise "replicant", whom - unlike it's contemporaries - has no idea that it isn't human. Ford is on cracking form here, as is Rutger Hauer - the android leader "Batty" and the dark, frequently rainy imagery contributes wonderfully to this seedily presented story of greed and manipulation set amongst a grittily dank and hostile environment that offers little, visually anyway, by way of hope or relief. It has a film-noir look and feel to it, and Scott keeps it moving well, keeps the dialogue sparse - though impactful, and the whole thing develops cinematographically some of the pretty profound questions brought up in the original Philip Dick novel about just what constitutes humanity. Just shy of two hours - it flies by, especially on a big screen where the visuals and audio still work wonders.
Filipe Manuel Neto
**A magnificent work, if we consider the time when it was released and the technical resources that existed.** Honestly, I didn't expect much from this movie. It was a film that was not successful in theaters and that only took off when it went to VHS, acquiring admirers since then and becoming one of the most respected films of all time. Set in a profoundly dystopian Los Angeles, it raises many philosophical and sociological questions around human nature, the course of humanity, our relationship with technology and our morality in general. Watching this film in 2022 was funny because the action of the film, released in 1982, takes place in the year 2019. That is, it was set in a future that, now, is past for me and never materialized (and I'm glad). The film's plot is not easy: humanity colonized other planets while destroying Earth, and created very realistic human androids while destroying itself. However, the androids, called replicants, got out of control, and are now hunted and killed, or used for the most vile purposes. The metaphors are clear, there is a lot of philosophical material, and it leaves us thinking for a long time. Ridley Scott gives us, with this film, one of his masterpieces. The film is magnificent in every way, and it is worth giving it the time it needs to surprise us. It creates a neo-noir plot where nobody is innocent or angelic, and where danger is everywhere. The lighting, the shutters on the windows, the indispensable “femme fatale”, all the classic components of noir are here, in a frankly colorful film with sets and landscapes that combine the most grandiose futurism with the decadence and dirt of the world we destroy. The dialogues are memorable and full of deeply symbolic moments. The characters are rich, dense and complex, and it's extraordinary to think that we still don't really understand, after several decades, whether the main character is human or not. In fact, it seems that time has not passed for this film: if we think that it is from the early 80s, it is incredible that it is so visually powerful and that it has such good cinematography. It looks like a movie made ten years ago. The sets and costumes couldn't be better, and the special effects are stunning. The soundtrack, composed by Vangelis, is smooth and hypnotic. Adding to all this, we have Harrison Ford, in one of the most underrated works of his career. He does a really good job, and he deserved more recognition for that. Sean Young also deserves a round of applause for the way he brought his character to life, a replicant who really thinks she's human. There are other very good actors, and we can highlight Rutger Hauer in particular, but they do not match this duo of artists.
Experienced on the big screen in the Everyman Cinema was just about the best way to loose myself in this spectacular SCI FI masterpiece. Without Doubt “Blade Runner” has been extremely influential since its original release over 40 years ago and it’s technical wonder and effects are still as inspiring today. Doug Trumble’s effects, Larry Paull’s production design and the downtown L.A. location shots all work so well in creating a retro- fitted future. Obviously a different cut to the original release , “Blade Runner: The Final cut “ removes the voiceover and original ending so criticised by audiences and critics during its theatrical run in 1982. This newer ( 2007 ) ending elevates the movie to something more spectacular and wonderful. A group of rebel replicants , feared dangerous to humans, have escaped and landed on earth. Earth is a cyber, neon, futuristic , overpopulated, uncaring environment, with a population that has little time for anything other than existence. Unlike these humans of the future, the replicants show far more empathy and humanity towards each other. It is in the the dying moments of a replicant that we come to learn of the true nature of the rebel groups attempt to escape to earth. It is simply a quest that most humans try and attain, the desire to extend life. The beauty and wonder experienced by replicant leader Roy Batty ( Rutger Hauer ) in his short existence is sympathetically relayed as he saves his would be assassin. The power of “ Blade Runner : The final cut’” is highlighted during the end scenes when Roy reflects his existence. As he “dies” it is clear he is gazing into a future already lost to the past.
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