Sunday, August 12, 2012

Blade Runner

Yes, I previously had not seen "Blade Runner" all the way through.  Sure I had seen pieces of it, in fact the majority of it, but recently it was being aired on AMC to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the film noir classic.  "Blade Runner" is a 1982 science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer and Daryl Hannah.  The screenplay was loosely based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick.

The film depicts an apocolyptic Earth in 2019 in which genetically engineered organic robots called replicants, virtually identical to humans, that are manufactured by the Tyrell Corporation. The replicants are superior in strength and agility, and at least equal in intelligence.  Replicants were used off-world as slave labor in hazardous exploration and colonization of other planets.  After a bloody mutiny the replicants have been declared illegal and are hunted down and "retired" by police known as "Blade Runners".

The biggest question for the film is if Decker is a replicant?  What do you think...
Watching a film from 30 years ago will invoke comparison to current films.  While SciFi is generally known currently for high special effects and a space theme, there have been several in recent years that hold their own as well.  However, it is the simplicity of the film noir take on SciFi that gives "Blade Runner" the edge and allows it to stand up to the test of time.  Also standing the test of time are the performances in the film.  Most of us have enjoyed the careers of Harrison Ford and Daryl Hannah, among others.  However, it is one of the lesser roles in the film that caught my attention as William Sanderson (JF Sebastian the genetic designer) has more recently been seen on the TV series "True Blood" as former Sheriff Bud Dearborn.

To watch a film that enspired so many others, and writing the inspired lyrics for Nine Inch Nails (more human than human) is fun.  Thirty years later the film still stands up and with modern reboots of films like Total Recall, I cannot help but think that eventually Hollywood will decide to reboot the image of Rick Deckard and Roy Batty.  To be clear I am not a fan of reboots, and hope that it never happens.

In 1983 the film only received nominations for visual effects and set direction.  That year brought other callsics like "Ghandi" and E.T.: Extra-Terrestrial.  I don't think "Blade Runner" should have won over these classics, but I do think it desserved a nomination.  The screenplay, the directing and the performances all deserved the attention for this 5Quack film. 

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