In the smog-choked dystopian Los Angeles of 2019, blade runner Rick Deckard is called out of retirement to terminate a quartet of replicants who have escaped to Earth seeking their creator for a way to extend their short life spans.
- Director Ridley Scott and director of photography Jordan Cronenweth achieved the famous "shining eyes" effect by using a technique invented by Fritz Lang known as the "Schüfftan Process": light is bounced into the actors' and actresses' eyes off of a piece of half mirrored glass mounted at a forty-five-degree angle to the camera.
- (at around 38 mins) After Pris (Daryl Hannah) first meets J.F. Sebastian (William Sanderson), she runs away from him, skidding into his car and smashing the window with her elbow. This was a genuine mistake caused by Hannah slipping on the wet ground. The glass wasn't breakaway glass, it was real glass, and Hannah chipped her elbow in eight places. She still has the scar from the accident, as can be seen in Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner (2007), the "making of" documentary of this movie.
- The novel hints at the "Is Deckard a Replicant?" problem by having Deckard casually mention that one indicator of an android is a lack of sympathy for other androids. His interlocutor then points out that, given his job, this means that Deckard could be one too.
- Rutger Hauer came up with many inventive ideas for his characterization, like the moment where he grabs and fondles a dove. He also improvised the now-iconic line "All those moments will be lost in time... like tears in rain". He later chose "All those moments" as the title of his autobiography.
- The final scene was shot hours before the producers were due to take creative control away from Ridley Scott.
- In Philip K. Dick's original novel, animals were virtually extinct, something that this movie only addresses in very subtle ways. The most obvious reference to this animal extinction is when Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) asks Zhora (Joanna Cassidy) if her snake is real, and she replies, "Do you think I'd be working in a place like this if I could afford one?" Another reference occurs in the scene where Rick Deckard first visits Dr. Elden Tyrell (Joe Turkel), and he asks Rachael (Sean Young) if their owl is replicated. She responds with "Of course it is". In Dick's novel, the owls were the first creatures to die out.
- This movie suffered at the box office because it opened at the same time as E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). The Thing (1982) suffered a similar fate due to the same reason. Although there was praise for the visual style, word of mouth about this movie's slow pace and bleak themes quickly caused a decrease in attendance ratings. Both movies later reached cult status and received critical praise.
- Originally, the novel, "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?", was set in 1992, although later editions brought the date forward to 2021. The filmmakers initially identified the date as 2020, but settled on 2019 because 2020 sounded too much like the common term for perfect vision, 20/20.
- Ridley Scott and Michael Deeley were briefly fired from the production shortly after principal photography wrapped. Because this movie had gone over budget, executive producers Jerry Perenchio and Bud Yorkin of Tandem Productions had stepped in, firing Scott and Deeley, and taken over editing of this movie. And although they did rehire Scott and Deeley (mainly due to the intervention of Alan Ladd, Jr.), they retained artistic control. After two disastrous preview screenings of the workprint, which the audience claimed was difficult to understand, Yorkin and Perenchio decided to record an explanatory voice-over and add a happy ending. Ridley Scott had also acknowledged the movie's problems, and was not averse to the idea of a voice-over (as is often claimed), but he had wanted a voice-over with Deckard musing more philosophically on the implications of his actions. Yorkin and Perenchio, however, wanted a voice-over where Deckard literally explained aspects of this movie to the audience.
Blade Runner is like a great coffee, beer, wine or a Rolex. When you grow up in life, you might not like the taste of coffee. You might despise the taste of wine and a Rolex might sound like an old-school watch made for old rich folks.
But as you grow old, quality starts to become different. Your brain starts to look for details. Small details. And I believe the same thing applies for Blade Runner, a movie which I saw twice in my younger years and did not like. I was not taken by it. I found the movie too slow – or quite frankly, boring. A few years later, I rewatched the film and stayed focused. I loved it. Yes, one of the best sci-fi movies of all time.
The best thing about the movie is its eerie atmosphere. The sets are stupendously realistic. This is not fake Star Trek sci-fi. This is realism. I'm truly not only amazed but inspired by the production quality.
I give it 8 out of 10. Superb.
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!