Blade Runner - The Final Cut aka Director's Cut aka 25th Anniversary Edition
FILM ONLY REVIEW
There are a few different versions of this movie. This review is for the directors's cut version aka the 25th Anniversary Edition, released in 2007.
It was directed by Ridley Scott and stars Harrison Ford. I didn't recognise any of the other actors in this.
== Plot synopsis ==
It is set in Los Angeles in 2019. We are told at the start of the movie via a short written introduction that a company, the Tyrell Corporation early in the 21st century has designed robots that are practically the same as humans. They are known as Replicants and are more powerful than and maybe even intelligent than their human creators. (You have to remember that this was originally released in 1982, so 2019 must have seemed a long way off).
I think the replicants are genetically engineered humans, rather than robots from what I could make out from the rest of the story. They are used as slave labour on other planets. Any replicants found on Earth are killed by special police men known as Blade Runners.
Dekard (Harrison Ford) is a former Blade Runner who is coerced into hunting down 4 replicants who have managed to come to Earth. The replicants have been programmed to have a lifespan of 4 years. The police think they have come here to try to find a way to extend their life.
The viewer follows Dekard's journey as he hunts them down whilst at the same time questioning the morality of what he is doing . . .
== My thoughts ==
This is the first time I've watched this movie. I have heard a lot of good things about it, but I didn't think it was a classic as portrayed by everyone else who has seen it.
It is a sci-fi movie with strong elements of film noir. It reminded me of a detective novel but based in the future. Also, I thought it was similar to The Matrix and The Terminator in the themes it explored like religion, morality and what makes you human.
I liked the acting of the leader of the replicants, Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer). He was able to show the different emotions he was feeling like guilt, rage and anger. I didn't really think much of Dekard (Ford). All he seemed to do was get beaten up and be grumpy.
I found the pacing of the movie to be extremely slow. I was thinking this would be a pure action movie like the aforementioned Terminator or Matrix, but this crawls along for the most part, apart from a few brief spurts of violence. The main character, Dekard spends most of the time being beaten up which is not what I want to watch in an action movie. Also, I noticed that the only characters he kills in the movie are females. I couldn't help thinking that he should really carry more firepower around with him if the replicants are so strong and maybe have a swat team nearby to back him up.
There is some pornography in this but nothing too strong I think. It is rated for 15 years and older.
I thought some of the music / sound effects during the movie sounded dated and a bit 1980's with the kind of synthesisers that were used. There's a love scene between Dekard and a female character in the movie. I thought the use of a saxophone playing in the background during this, was very clichéd.
I did like the soundtrack right at the end credits which reminded me of music used in games from that era.
Considering when this was originally made (1982), I thought they did quite well on constructing a futuristic world. The technology and buildings seemed plausible like the flying hover cars and the computer Deckard uses to scan a photo into, so he can manipulate and enlarge it.
The ending was left to open-ended for my liking though, and I didn't enjoy the final battle that takes place. Not that it is a real battle. Most of it is one-sided.
== Price and availability ==
The 2-Disc Special Edition DVD of Blade Runner: The Final Cut is currently selling for £9.99 with free delivery on Amazon.
== Summary and recommendation ==
Overall, I'd have to give this 2 stars. I didn't really feel there was much to keep me interested. I liked certain parts, but it lacked action. It manages to create a believable sci-fi future and I liked the way the replicants were portrayed as being more compassionate than the normal humans. But it's a movie I wasn't able to get into.
I have read that Ridley Scot is planning on filming a sequel and hopefully he will do a better job with that, when it comes to pacing.
What strikes me so blatantly when I see the opening sequence of Blade runner over the Los Angeles skyline is that I am always amazed that this film was made in 1982. You look at films in the same genre in the same year, with the same budget and they dont come close. Ridley scotts direction is fantatsic but it is well known that his creative impulses were reined in by the bean counters and by the production execs.
If you have this directors cut version the ending is the one we all know, only because Ridley stood his ground and didnt accept the , quite frankly, hugely pants alternative ending that the production execs tried to slip in. I mean its soo bad.
But this film is so good that even my mrs, who HATES sci-fi (but who lieks a great crime-noir film) liked this.
Synopsis: Harrison Ford plays Deckard, an ex cop/ bounty hunter specialist called a 'Blade Runner'. When his old colleague Holden is killed by renegade replicants (cybonetic robots that look realistically human), Deckard is reluctingly recruited by his old police chief who is charged with bringing the gorup of replicants down. The leader of the replicants, known as Roy Batty (played brilliantly by Rutger Hauer), is aware of their fatal DNA Programming flaw, a limited lifespan, put in place to stop replicants building up the necessary emotional repsonses that would camoflage them too well into human society. Roy is on a mission to find a way of extending his life and the lives of his fellow renegade replicants. Faster and stronger then humans, Deckard follows clues to the local chinatown where he sucessfully kills one of the replicants Zhora, pretending to be a cabaret act. In his investigation Deckard meets the creator and brains behind the replicant phenomenon Dr Tyrell of the Tyrell corporation, and his assistant Rachel (played by Sean Young), who finds out she is a replicant herself and helps deckard track down the remaining replicants, leon, pris and roy.
The performances in this film were steller and it practicarly made Rutger Hauer, he having only done Nighthawks and mainly dutch films prior to this film. His end quote "ive seen things you people wouldnt believe" is so iconic in the sci fi genre, most of us know it off by heart. It is also Anthony Hopkins favorite film qoute of all time (see the sky adverts). It also helped Ford get away from that george lucus badge of star wars and later indianna jones, to show he could play a more grown up character. Sean Young and James Edward Olmos are also remarkable. Daryl hannah is also great as the cute but deadly Pris, a role that helped her get female lead in wall street.
One of ridley scotts best films, his vision had art directors working through the clock and inspired films like Aliens and Equilibrium. He pushed his actors hard and this is no better documented by ford and scott themselves who openly admit that they had serious problems with eachother during the filming. Ford still says that relationships wise, it was his hardest film ever.
I couldnt write a review without mentioning the OST. Compased by Vengelis, the populer synthesizer composer wrote what is arguably the greatest sci-fi soundtrack of all time. He brilliantly portays the cityscape and technical advancement of the film, whilst being able to use instruments effectively to portray the loneliness that deckard has or the self realisation of Roy in the final scene, that death comes to us all no matter what you try to do, the only thing you get to choose is how you go.
Great super imposed scenes, no CGI here kids. Ridley didnt like too much super imposed effects, so he literally built huge sets and objects like flying police cars so that the look was genuine.
Blade Runner is a fantastic sci-fi movie brought to us originally in 1982 by director Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford in the lead role. It is a spectacular version, however was not fully embraced on it's first release, before a director's cut was released in 1992 and then audiences finally saw it for what it is. This DVD is the version of the director's cut.
The movie is set in Ridley Scott's vision of how Los Angeles would look in the year 2019, remembering this film was made nearly thirty years ago now. He uses astonising visual images to depict a city that is bleak and forboding. It's neon-lit streets are overcrowded and continual downfalls of acid rain batter those living there. For me of all sci-fi movies I've seen this is one of the best representations of a view of the future just because of the attention to detail.
Harrison Ford plays detective Rich Deckard. He wanders through these streets searching out replicants which are androids posing as humans and are very dangerous. Unfortunately in doing his job he unexpectedly falls for one such robot which is the interesting side-plot in the movie. He is basically a man sent to execute human-looking androids who have come to earth to find their maker.
There is the ongoing question which certainly crossed my mind in this movie about whether Deckard himself is actually a replicant himself. It is just one of the questions that you ask yourself as you try to unravel this mysterious sci-fi thriller. There are some weird and wonderful characters in this film and I think the director was right to cast Harrison Ford in the lead role as he plays his character with such confusion and bemusement that it's very fitting with the storyline.
For me this movie is visually stunning and very exciting and fast paced throughout that you will feel submerged in this strange world for the whole length of the movie. Would recommend this to any sci-fi fan who has not seen it yet.
Blade runner is a Dystopian and somewhat Orwellian inspired film that creates a believable world around the main plot which atmosphere completely engulfs you from the first moment.
In the opening shot you are shown a epic industrial landscape which spews out fire balls in the dark and horrible brown light polluted skies. From this scene a shot of an eye is shown which becomes a running image throughout the film- a symbol of identity and authenticity as well as soul.
The story goes in the future Synthetic humans have been created to do the dirty work such as slave labour and prostitution. Past a certain point or catastrophe in history these "replicants" have become illegal and are hunted by execution squads called blade runner units.
Several replicants have escaped and are on the loose in the city looking to extend their lives which are soon to expire. Deckard a former blade runner is called up to quietly dispose of these androids.
The themes of globalization and de-humanization are present in the film as it quickly seems inhuman and cruel for Deckard to be hunting these seemingly emotionally ripe and creative androids.
The film looks beautiful and has been countlessly imitated since in films. Director Ridley Scott's attention to detail and what the scenes tell you about this decaying cities culture and underbelly is genius and will draw you in.
Its a great sci-fi film which has a deeper meaning and should be seen.
Ever since I first saw this film in a film studies class, it took my breath away.
From the opening sequence of a semi-integrated West/East society, through the flame jets and the Vangelis music uplifting throughout, and to the intradigetic fan blades whirring round. I knew I'd be hooked to this film, and have been ever since.
Basic story is: Harrison Ford is Deckard, a Blade Runner. The Blade Runners were created to hunt down and deactivate the Replicants, a race of androids mainly aware of their own existence with a timer set in, 4 years. The Replicants went crazy and started to kill humans, with the resultant that the Blade Runners were sent to deactivate them all.
Only 4 remain, the hardest and strongest, and most devious 4 left. Deckard is the best, he has been sent to deactivate them all.
Deckard meets their creator, and also meets Rachel, another Replicant unaware that she is one, and also with no short timer set in. Deckard falls in love with Rachel, who reciprocates his emotions, and he plans to leave after killing the rogue Replicants, lead by Rutger Hauer in possibly one of his most spine-chilling roles.
The scenery through is fantasy, a cyber punk fantasy made near real by Ridley Scott, who constantly reminds the viewer that in this world, the East has won (shown by the geisha advertising modern things, quite a juxtaposition given the geisha's history in society) Scott also mixes languages to provide a fully multi-cultural society.
I would recommend this film be watched more than once, not only to take in the story, but also the differences from the original (removal of the "happy ending" for one) and the greater understanding these bring. This is one if you love sci-fi action, and is arguably one of Scott's finest films.
A truly magnficent film that has been hacked about with and genrally destroyed by the Director. The original cut of the film was inspired, dark and very film noir that gave you a real empathy with the lead character.
The extra scenes added about the unicorns were a waste and straight out of another film from Ridley Scott's Legend. This version feels more like the verison that was orignally released with the first release being a special edition with extras. In essence I felt cheated by this version, that mewed the whole premise of the film and all the foreboding atmosphere lost with the absence of the voice over by Harrison Ford.
I would recommend that if you can find the original version, or fork out a little extra cash and get the definite Blade Runner edition released last year that has many different versions of the film. A great film, with a brilliant cast, great camera work and hit the perfect level in the original cut. The Directors cut is still worth a look, but please track down the original before you look at this!
Anyone with a passing interest in science fiction will no doubt be familiar with Blade Runner.
Directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford, the film is very loosely based on the novel "Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?". Deckard (Ford) is a retired "Blade Runner", cops responsible for seeking out and eliminating runaway "Replicants", robots built to do unwanted jobs who look and act like humans. After being enticed back to work he has to track down 4 replicants, led by Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer). Eventually the hunter becomes the hunted.....
The first thing that often gets mentioned (and is being in this review!) is the special effects. For a film that is now 27 years old, the effects and overall vision of a Los Angeles in 2019 is breathtaking. If only half the sci fi films of today put as much effect into creating a believable world of the future. The rain drenched cyber-punk streets of Blade Runner are still aped today. Although Scott digitally "cleaned up" certain scenes for the "Final Cut" version of the film in 2007(such as removing the wires visible from an ascending hover car) the only one I felt was really necessary was when Joanna Cassidy's (blatantly obvious) stunt double falls through some glass. In addition, a few of the lines of dialogue were redubbed again with mixed results.
The story plays like a film noir at times with Ford's hard bitten cop relentlessly in pursuit of his quarry, but it asks philosophical questions, such as what is it to be human - the replicants act with more humanity and feeling than a lot of the human characters. Without giving too much of a spoiler, in one of the final scenes a replicant saves a human character even in the face of death, would the human have done the same? As a result the performances are understated but still powerful, with Hauer in particular giving a moving speech (anyone who has seen it will know which one!)
Although I have mentioned above that certain scenes and lines have been changed slightly for the Final Cut version of the film, if you are looking at the 5 disc box set then it is an essential purchase. Versions of the film included are:
The Final Cut
The Theatrical Cut - this has a narration by Ford and a tacked on hollywood ending that the studio originally insisted on.
The Director's Cut - the above is removed and a dream sequence inserted.
The Workprint Cut - This has a few scenes with slightly more bloodletting. More of a curio than an essential viewing.
It also contains the documentary "Dangerous Days", which I have yet to watch but is meant to be one of the most comprehensive documentaries about a film. At 3 and a half hours long I should hope it is!
If you don't already own Blade Runner then buy this 5 disc set, if you do already own a version of Blade Runner still go out and buy this 5 disc set!
Film Only review
Have you ever wondered whether technology and genetic engineering could ever become so far advanced that it could be used to make 'humanoids' and so advanced that we couldn't tell the difference between android and human? Now what if these 'humanoid' beings were given superior strength and adapted to making their own decisions, which were geared towards becoming a threat to our very own human existence?
Well if you are the sort of person who likes to think along these lines, or you're fascinated with anything to do with sci-fi, then I'm sure that you have already seen this film and have found it to be a great starting point for even more futuristic pondering. Mmm, I wonder 'do androids dream of electric sheep?'
Before I go into my thoughts on this film, here is a quick outlay.
Blade runner hit the screen in 1982 and is set in the Futuristic vision of Los Angeles in the year 2019. Leading up to this time, Genetic scientists have produced 'more human than human' androids called 'replicants' which are perfect in almost every way. The Tyrell Corporation takes things to a completely new level producing a series of super human androids called the 'Nexus 6', which are so far advanced that they are programmed with a life span of just 4 years to prevent them from becoming too advanced; these are only used on off world colonies for jobs far too difficult for human hands.
The inevitable happens and a group of replicants reap havoc amongst humans on an off world colony, resulting in them being made illegal on earth. More worryingly a small group of Nexus 6 replicants manage to escape and dissolve into the community back on earth. The Nexus 6 consist of Leon Kowalski (Brion James), Zhora (Joanna Cassidy), Pris (Daryl Hannah) and the leader Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer). The team set in search to meet their maker at the Tyrell Corporation with a view to obtaining the one single thing that they don't have - more life.
The name 'Blade runner' is given to those who form part a dedicated team of police who are tasked with killing the replicants on earth; this is known as retirement'. Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is re employed as a Blade runner because his much-needed skills are required to track down and 'retire' the outstanding Nexus 6 who have already started to make their mark upon the people of Los Angeles.
It's not without good reason that this film still remains as one of the benchmarks of all sci-fi's, because way back in the 70's and 80's when every sci-fi was based in the year 2020, films seemed to lack a certain level of authenticity with tacky sets, awful costume design and really bad acting which made the whole package fall flat on its face. The same cannot be said for Blade runner because it oozes style and quality right from the very start, so much so that the sheer cinematic visual appeal makes great viewing even without the sound on. It's very difficult to try and pick holes in this film, even by today's standards it fails to feel dated with the extraordinary sets.
The first time that I watched this film I was gob smacked by the sheer scale of it all and just sat there soaking it all in. My eyes never once left the screen even with the camera just panning around showing off the amazing visuals and sound effects; there's no doubt about it, they knew this was going to be a stunning film and they were right too.
The actors, make up, and costume design couldn't have been better either. They seemed to have got the whole chemistry of it all just right and they fitted into the whole package with perfection, so much so that when the film ended I knew that I had seen something very special that would leave me wanting to own it and watch it time and time again.
It's probably best to watch it at least 3 times because the first time will leave you so absorbed by the experience that you may lose sight of the actual story line. The second time will allow you to appreciate the full adventure. The third time just for the hell of it because you're hooked and have been left looking for more clues about Deckard's past.
If this film was to be made today, I'm sure that it would be tweaked with expensive computer generated images and more special effects than you can shake a stick at; but I really do think that some films can become too dependant on this and the simplicity of what makes a great film can be lost along the way.
It will be interesting to see in the year 2019 as to how authentic Blade runner actually was. It's not too difficult to see that in 10 years time that we have humanoids doing the jobs which we hate, or maybe masses of LCD and neon advertising signs cladding the facets of high rise skyscrapers; maybe not so much off world colonies or the death of the shell suit, but we can still live in hope can't we?
note: also appears on The Student Room and Flixster
Blade Runner is one of the most influential science fiction films of all time - Ridley Scott's achievement visually is simply magnificent, and I guarantee that so many frames of this film will stick in your mind long after you've seen the film. I implore you not to watch the theatrical cut, though, because it somewhat hampers the experience - the new Final Cut DVD is the best to get, but the Director's Cut will also do.
The film takes place in the early 21st century, with Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a "Blade Runner", being sent on task to hunt down a group of replicants (simulated humans), led by Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer), who were meant to be decomissioned but instead fled. He must hunt them down and bring them to justice, but that won't be easy in the slightest.
What makes Blade Runner such a classic is not simply its trademark visuals, but its complexity as a work of fiction - it asks numerous questions about existence, the purpose of technology, and what it really means to be human. The Director's Cut delivers a brutal punch at its climax that elevates it far beyond the "happy ending" of the theatrical cut. You'll need a keen eye to catch the true meaning of the film's ending, but the disturbing question it asks has plagued viewers for decades, with Ford and Scott never agreeing on a definitive answer to this question. Up with classics such as Alien and 2001 stands Blade Runner, a gruelling, beautiful meditation on existence, and the morality of our technological advancement.
Blade Runner is an important achievement in regard to film aesthetics and the sci-genre. Its influence is palpable, although the film suffers from poor pacing. This criticism is partially redeemed by the fantastic soundtrack, the great ending, and the existential questions Scott's film asks us.
Ridley Scott's second and last truely great film came in the form of Blade Runner in 1982. It follows Rick Deckard in Los Angeles, 2019, where he is assigned to the case of replicants (effectively robots who are given human memories) who have gone missing, whom Deckard will "retire."
The streets of Los Angeles are vastly overpopulated, where language barriers cause various cultures to be kept apart - a clear and infuriating problem for those who want to simply order some food, as Deckard does when he is introduced to those who want him to take on the case. This, of course, contrasts with the idea we are given today - that a multi-cultural world is something that should be a target, having many positive affects. One of Ridley Scott's heroes, Stanley Kubrick, painted a similarly damning portrait of mankinds position in the future with 2001: A Space Odyssey. A theme they both share is the warning of corporations taking a large part in our everyday climate - 2001 with IBM (I'm pretty sure that the references were intentional, despite what the fact that Kubrick later refuted it) and Blade Runner famously showing the huge Coca-Cola bilboard in the opening scene. This warning of fascism is even more appropriate in both the UK and the US now than it was upon Blade Runner's first theatrical release. The film has also been cited as an example of a Hollywood film that uses Illuminati symbology, though I will neither write off or support that view.
The replicants themselves are painted in a sympathetic nature. They live lonely and short lives (four years), are given memories which are not true and are hunted despite the lack of danger they cause - merely that they would become integrated into the lives of some humans and their emotions would make it difficult or them to be distinguishable.
The character of Deckard is often regarded as being one of his most iconic - likewise, it is regarded as one of Ford's performances, despite his unhappiness on the set. It is, however, the asthetics which give Blade Runner it's true class. It give the film it's futuristic notions whilst the thematic elements give the impression that this lifestyle is not as far away as you'd think upon first impressions.
There have been several cuts of the film, the best of which (in my opinion) is the Final Cut. However, I would advise those reading this review who haven't yet seen or purchased Blade Runner to get the 5 disc box set which contains the theatrical cut, director's cut and the final cut; along with the soundtrack.
Probably the best sci-fi film ever, ever part 3
The opening sequence of Blade Runner still haunts me every time. The eye, gazed upon the skyline of a futuristic L.A., views erupting fireballs from factories, a hazy, clouded horizon, and structures of cathedral-like architecture.
The very idea of technology going out of control, like creating artificial beings in our likeness to perform hazardous and undesirable tasks, and having it backfire in our faces was unique. A vision of American society, 37 years hence (from 1982, when the movie was created), with hovercars, architecture having evolved to unreasonable limits, androids working alongside humans, distant space colonies, videophones, with hairstyles, clothes, weapons, and television sets of the 20th century creates a strangely beautiful depiction of where we just might be headed.. This is why Blade Runner is a noir-ish sci-fi film, like The Matrix and Demolition Man are, that not everyone will enjoy. Is it exciting to watch? Not neccesarily. Will you be glued to the chair, pulse pounding? Probably not. The underlying idea runs much deeper than the average future-based flick (like Freejack!) and correctly earns its cult status.
The soundtrack and score is entrancing, particularly the opening "eye" scene and the credits music. You can order it from any music store. It is typical of most Ridley Scott movies to incorporate a memorable, ear pleasing score, like Alien or Legend.
What a film. Quite possibly one of the most beautiful and iconic films ever to be produced. Taken from the book 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.' This film encompasses everything that is great about science fiction. Beautiful setting which encapsulates future technologies and a story which keeps you guessing right up until the end. And..... thrown in for good measure a little film noir. Does it get much better than this?
Forget Hans Solo and Indianna jones I think this is Harrison Fords best role. And Daryll Hannah playing an android? Ingenious. Even the sound track to the film is amazing. The opening sequnece is cinematic brilliance. If you want a film that offers visual magnificence anda thrilling story with perfect acting this is the one for you. You can't appreciate science fiction until you have seen this film. It will put all other films in to perspective and make you understand how brilliant and unpredictible this genre can be.
It's Painful To Live In Fear
In the future human clones are made to perform menial tasks off world.
These are not called robots but replicants, built by the Tyrell Corporation
run by genius Elden Tyrell. They are not allowed on Earth and the penalty
for this is death.
A special arm of the police known as Blade Runnner units is employed to track them down and kill them if they come to Earth. A group of replicants has escaped to Earth, but this time there's a catch, they are a new mproved type and it'll take the best Blade Runner, Rick Dekard, to hunt them down and "retire" them.
What do they want with the Tyrell Corporation?
Following on from his highly successful Sci-Fi film Alien director Ridley Scott risked becoming type cast to make this film. The film is based on Sci-Fi
writer Philip K Dick's story "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?". I started to read the book but didn't find it to be very good and lost interest in it.
Harrison Ford is in the lead role here following on from his highly successful
roles in Star Wars and Indiana Jones. This is a world apart from those roles,
Dekard is a melancholic world weary character. A lot has been said about Harrison not getting along with Scott. In the dark days documentary on the Final Cut Scott praises Ford calling him a "Consummate Professional". So perhaps too much has been made of it. His performance is certainly first rate.
Rutger Hauer is Dekard's nemesis and leader of the replicant rebellion. He is tough but also shows a lot of emotion for his fellow replicants. Not a favourite actor of mine, this is a role that I find he suits well. He hasn't managed to better or even equal this since. The blonde hair really sets him off.
Sean Young plays Rachel, the love intrest for Dekard. She is more than just love intrest really, she is an important character who's involvement with Dekard proves to be important for them both. A great performance by her, she really makes you feel for her as Dekard does.
Daryl Hannah is here in an early role as one of the replicants on the run. She does have quite a large part dressed up as a gothic looking femme fatale. She certainly looks great here. Not the strongest performance of the film, she lacks a little emotion but still adequate.
Another notable performances are Joe Turkell as genius genetic designer Elden Tyrell, William Sanderson as a genetic designer who ages rapidly and Brion James as a replicant.
The film looks gorgeous, despite being released in 1982 it still looks futuristic. Scott has really pulled it off, even with all the studio interference that he loathed. The style in both look and plot is Film Noir a bit like old black and white detective films. Without any CGI (except in the Final Cut) it's amazing how good it looks, it still holds it own very well against all the latest Sci-Fi films. It is all set in very dark city scenes. The use of lighting is second to none.
The soundtrack is by Vangelis and is one of his best works, especially on a soundtrack. His electronic style fits this film like a glove and I often play it. It really helps produce the atmosphere and tone of the film. They have now released an extended CD set with more of the music than the previous one disc version.
There have been more versions of Blade Runner than I've had hot dinners.
The first theatrical release had narration by Harrison Ford and had a much brighter ending. The directors cut has a much darker ending, no narration and a very short key scene that could suggest the Dekard himself is a replicant. This scene alone has created a big talking point. If he is or not is upto the viewer to decide. The recently released final cut has some minor (in my eyes) differences. A couple of slightly extended scenes and a little CGI touching up some loose ends.
Summing up, this is an all time favourite of mine. It's a film I usually watch on my own, it helps with the atmosphere. It's not a fast paced film, it takes it's time. Even the few action scenes are at a leisurely pace compared to modern in your face movies that don't stop for breath. This is a good thing. It also has one of the best endings I've ever seen. Ridley Scott has been hard pushed to better this and Alien. He has done it with Gladiator but
this has been a hard act to follow.
Main Cast List
Harrison Ford - Rick Deckard
Rutger Hauer - Roy Batty
Sean Young - Rachael
Daryl Hannah - Pris
William Sanderson - J.F. Sebastian
Brion James - Leon Kowalski
Joe Turkel - Dr. Eldon Tyrell
Directed By : Ridley Scott
Running Time : 117 Mins.
Certificate : 15
A splendid noir movie. Set in the future (actually, about five years in the future now, the problems with dating your movie eh?) this is at it's simplest a detective story about a traditional Gumshoe tracking down some robots. The thing is though, these robots are replicants, so they look and behave like humans. This gives the film it's moral complexity, yes, these replicants have done terrible things, massacred and murdered. But, they were empancipating themselves (the Darryl Hanner replecant was a 'pleasure' model - ick!) from slavery.
Apart from the very smart moral conceit, this film look s and sounds stunning. The set design set the standard for what the future will look like. A mass of neon advertisments wrapped around huge skyscrapers. Down on the ground it's noisy and dirty. The soundtrack by Vangelis is moody electronica that conjures just the right atmosphere.
IT's a beautiful, bleak, thriller. One of the best ever made.
Blade runner- The Final Cut-Ultimate Collectors Edition (Five (yes five) Discs.
"They don't advertise for killers in a newspaper".
If that's not an arresting opening line in a movie then I don't know one. Strictly speaking its not the films opening line but the first words uttered by Rick Deckard in the original theatrical version of Blade Runner. Harrison Ford at night on a crowded street in the rain. A morally troubled former policeman introduces us to his malaise in an authentic Philip Marlowe like voice over.
"That was my profession-ex-cop-ex Blade Runner-ex-killer"
The film is set nominally in Los Angeles 2019, but feels like the indeterminate near-future, too close for comfort. Maybe just one scientific leap away. In this dystopian time every one who can afford to has migrated to an "off-world" colony.
An introductory scroll tells us the Tyrell corporation has advanced robot technology to the Nexus phase, fashioning organic/biological beings called replicants. These genetic slaves are employed off world performing menial and more dangerous tasks like in warfare for the military. They also have variable capabilities, just like people. "More human than human" runs the Tyrell moto. And so human infact they begin to develop emotional responses, begin, concious of their inbuilt termination dates, to question their own existence.
And this is what the whole film turns on, as the infinite sadness of mortality falls on these creatures.
Replicants are outlawed on earth a trespass punishable by death or "retirement" as the murky authorities have it. Special police squads-bladerunners are deployed to find and exterminate them.
Rick Deckard quit the force, having empathetic doubts over killing sentient beings. But he was the best of them, and when a replicant group murder and mutiny their way to earth the venal police chief Bryant (M.Emmet Walsh) wants him back, and he means to get him one way or another. Theres a band of "skin jobs" loose on earth and he needs "that old magic".
But as the Blade Runner moves down the mean streets of this derelict world, the lines between hunter and hunted begin to blur. The renegades are led by Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer in a blazing luminous performance) a Nexus6 replicant with optimum mental and physical capacities he looks and sounds like an Aryan Superman.
Blade Runner set a new vernacular for the science fiction film and is also an exciting detective story, its film noir pedigree is enhanced by the voice over in the original version. Theres even a sexy femme fatale in Rachel-a new generation replicant who links up with Deck.
Hampton Fanchard and David Fincher molded a screen play from Phillip K Dicks novel "Do androids dream of electric sheep?". Anyone whos read his work will know this could only be his story.
As on Alien Ridley Scott's actors seem so natural in a futuristic setting, its as if they have lived on the sets for six months before shooting began.
There was much trumpeting about the directors cut on its release and its seems fahionable to insist this is the better vision of the story i.e without the voice over and including not much else really-a superfluous scene were Deckard visits former collegue Holden (Morgan Paul) who is on a life support machine after being shot identifying one of the replicants. Also the very short supposedly significnt scene wherein Deck dreams of a unicorn, implying that he himself is a replicant and the dream is an implant so making sense of the origami unicorn left in his apartment by Gaff (Edward James Olmos) another seedy policeman.
The directors cut faction's contention is that without the expiation, the paper figure has no relevance. But I take it to be a subtle play on Decks romantic attachment to Rachel.
There's also a different ending which I won't jeopardise my non spoiler credentials by going into.
Throughout the film theres an aching for the- past-Deck falling asleep at his piano laden with photographs and waking to Vangelis beautiful saxophone theme. Rachel clutching a photograph of herself with her mother in dappling sunlight, only for Deckard to break her heart by telling her they are implants in her synthetic memory.
In a terriffic climax where Roy Batty stalks Deckard through a degraded apartment building, Rutger Hauer makes a speech beginning "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe...." its a very effecting moment that touches upon the transience of existence and (in Bernard Levens phrase) speaks directly to the human heart. Hauer, who wrote the dialogue himself has never been better.
Its said Ridley Scott went into a big sulk and Harrison Ford had to be dragged kicking and screaming into a sound suite to record the voice over. But this is one of those occasions when the artist doesn't know best. The narration completes the film. Don't doubt it.
This ultimate collection comes in a tin and contains everything (and maybe more than) you need to know about Blade Runner, this set was priced at £39.99 originally but is now available for £13.99 on Play.Com. As well as three versions of the film with three commentators there are nine featurettes, an audio interview with Phillip K Dick, deleted scenes, alternative scenes, trailors and TV spots and on and on......
The trouble is, anyone wanting to own the original theatrical version on DVD will have to buy an extraneous multi-pack like this.
I understand though, its only because its a movie thats so loved that it tantalises and obsesses people and its just a wish, to somehow get under the skin of this great film; to know more.
But no matter how many versions or investigations there are, or still to come, you'll never get to the botton of blade runner. Won't we all end up like Rik Deckard?........Then again theres nothing wrong with being left wondering.
It is 2019 and genetically made beings known as replicants exist as slaves and prostitutes in the off-planet colonies. Despite possessing such human traits as intelligence and virtual emotion, they are limited by a four-year life span which forces them to question their mortality. Four escaped replicants, led by Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer, THE HITCHER), arrive in Los Angeles to confront their designer, Eldon Tyrell (Joe Turkel). Hot on their trail is world-weary assassin--or 'blade runner'--Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford, INDIANA JONES), who has come out of retirement especially for this case. His objective is to hunt down and liquidate the four renegade androids before they have a chance to exact revenge on their cruel human oppressors. In the course of his search, Deckard becomes romantically entangled with Tyrell's lovely assistant Rachael (Sean Young)--who may not be all that she seems--and a dramatic face-off with Batty is inevitable. Director Ridley Scott's hauntingly prescient vision of the not-too-distant future is a stark revelation: a dark, polluted, overcrowded dystopia dominated by cloud-piercing buildings and looming neon billboards, the air dense with acid rain and flying traffic. Based on the novel DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP? by Philip K Dick, BLADE RUNNER boasts astonishingly rich art direction, juxtaposing ingenious technological gadgetry with yellowing photographs and fetishist objets d'art as it touches on questions of time, memory, identity, and mortality. Scott's 1992 director's cut edition contains notable alterations, including the absence of Ford's narration, which significantly heightens the ambiguity of key moments in this stunning cinematic landmark.