Andrew-Wan Walks Us Through The Changes & Nuance Of BLADE RUNNER: FINAL CUT, And Ponders That Deckard/Replicant Question!!
I'm dying to see this film, I'm really, really X infinity excited about it.
Andrew-Wan Kenobi got a look at it & sent this in over the weekend; though you might like a comprehensive rundown of what's been changed, and what remains the same.
Another piece, similar in nature but differing in some details, CAN BE FOUND HERE. I'm dividing them up because they're both lengthy & rather exhaustive.
The film is in New York and LA theaters now. It'll hit DVD, in various permutation, this December.
Good hello, everyone. Andrew-Wan Kenobi, here.
On Friday, I saw 'Blade Runner: The Final Cut' on the big screen. It was amazing. People were lined up outside the Zeigfeld Theater in New York City for days. Guys dressed up in Deckard's trench coat. Girls sporting Rachael's various hairdos and Pris' crazy raccoon Makeup. I'm kidding, of course. But for a Friday afternoon showing, the theater was pretty full. Obviously people are passionate about the film. Some of you may be wondering what exactly has been changed since the so-called Director's Cut. Well, here's a list...
--The cables holding up Gaff's Spinner during takeoff have been covered up. The same goes for the spinner that's patrolling the area where Deckard is making his phone call to Bryant's office and Sebastian's apartment.
--Bryant tells Deckard that two of the six replicants got fried running through an electrical field. Which fixes the film's most notorious continuity error.
--Leon's video footage is slightly longer. Newly added exposition by Bryant explains that Leon is super strong and that he can lift up to 400 pounds.
--The shot of Batty in the phone booth has been fixed. In the background we see neon lights. And, more importantly, we no longer see Tyrell's hand on his shoulder.
--The unicorn scene no longer fades in and out. Deckard is sitting at the piano staring off into space... then cuts to the unicorn... back to a close up of Deckard's face... and back again to the unicorn. The Unicorn footage is from the same source as before, but has gotten the 'Final Cut' treatment. There is much more detail around the unicorn and the color has been adjusted.
--When Deckard scrutinizes the picture of Batty and zooms in on the woman hidden in the background... the woman actually looks like Zhora! However, the Polaroid printout remains the same.
--The magnified image of the snake scale has been changed. Now, when the Asian woman scrutinizes it under the microscope, her dialogue matches the serial number on the snake scale.
--No more 'lip flap' during Deckard's meeting with Abdul ben Hassan, the replicant snake salesman.
--Dancing girls in hockey masks outside the Snake Pit. Very cool.
--Zhora running through the glass doesn't look like a stuntwoman in a bad wig anymore. Her head has been digitally replaced by the Joanna Cassidy's. It looks great, by the way.
--I may be wrong, but Bryant's dialogue with Deckard, after he kills Zhora, seems slightly different.
--The fishing wire used to reveal Leon's gun wound to the head have been erased. Also, the head wound itself looks a little different.
--The thunder sound effect in the background seems to have been enhanced during the scene with Deckard and Rachael in the apartment after their encounter with Leon. The sound is much more prominent.
--Batty proclaims to Tyrell "I want more life, Father". In the DC, he says "I want more life, Fucker."
--Restored extended footage of Batty killing Tyrell, including Tyrell's eyes being gouged out. Not to mention a lot more blood.
--Batty says "I'm sorry Sebastian" as he chases him down. This is a huge addition!!!
--Restored extended footage of Deckard's fight with Pris which includes Pris shoving her fingers up his nose and Deckard shooting her a total of 3 times. Once as she rushes toward Deckard. Twice as Pris violently flails around on the floor.
--Restored extended footage of Batty shoving the nail through his left hand.
--The matte paintings of the street below have been enhanced by more traffic. Overall, throughout the film, the matte paintings have been improved. Also, the mattes around the spinners have all been cleaned up and look amazing.
--Major overhaul of the dove flying off into a now dark and rainy sky.
I may have missed a couple of other minor changes. But, there is one thing that wasn't fixed, which to me, sticks out like a sore thumb. And something you've probably never noticed. It's not even mentioned in Paul M. Sammon's book about the making of the film.
--As the German little people walk towards Deckard's parked car there is a spinner off in the distance that isn't moving. It's not hovering. It's completely still. In reality, it's not moving because it's not supposed to be in the shot yet. This, I was hoping that they would fix. Otherwise, I'm probably being too picky.
So, with all of those changes, how's the film? It's a near-perfect flick. I highly recommend seeing it on the big screen. The tone hasn't changed that much between the DC and the Final Cut. It's a little darker thanks to the restored extra violence. Other than that, it's pretty much the same old Blade Runner. Which is a good thing. Unlike some special editions (I'm looking at you George Lucas), the revamped special effects all have
legitimate reasons for being there and are seamless. The 'Final Cut' effects teams all deserve major credit.
And what about the unicorn sequence? Well, it works a lot better for me in the FC, but it still seems tacked on. You see, in the theatrical versions pre-dating the Director's Cut, there was no unicorn sequence. So, when Gaff leaves behind an origami unicorn, it can't possibly mean "I know your memories, Deckard. You're a replicant."
Consider this. The purpose of Gaff's origami throughout the film is to fuck with Deckard. The chicken in Bryant's office means that Deckard's scared to come back to the job. That he's a chicken. Later, the Stick figure with the erection, implies that Deckard wants to fuck Rachael. So, when Deckard comes across the Unicorn in his hallway, it couldn't possibly be a solid statement about Deckard's memories. I always assumed that it represented that like a unicorn, Rachael isn't 'real' and that his relationship with her is a fantasy since she's not human.
So when it comes to the Director's Cut and the Final Cut, the inclusion of the unicorn means that Deckard's a replicant, right? Not necessarily.
I still believe that Gaff intended the unicorn to represent the 'not real/fantasy' aspect of Deckard's relationship with Rachael. The difference is that since Deckard had this unicorn vision, it adds to his (and the audience's) paranoia that Gaff might know his inner thoughts which in turn suggests that he might be a replicant. I simply see it as a huge coincidence.
Sure, it's possible that Gaff had knowledge of Deckard's replicant status and his memories. But, how and why would Gaff know this information? And, if Deckard is a replicant, is the unicorn sequence a dream or a flashback? If it's a dream, Gaff couldn't know this, right? If it's a memory... then it's a strange memory to have been implanted.
Just imagine Gaff going up to Deckard and saying "Remember when you were six? You were walking through the woods and you came across a unicorn. You were gonna play doctor. He showed you his, but when it got to be your turn you chickened and ran. Remember that? You ever tell anybody that?"
Besides, the implanted memory concept goes against the original narration. While Ridley was opposed to it's insertion, he surely had enough control when it came to what was written and spoken. What would be the purpose of Deckard the replicant having memories of an ex-wife who used to call him 'sushi'?
For the record, I'm not against Ridley wanting Deckard to be a replicant. It just doesn't work for me. No matter how hard I try, I don't see it.
I can't wait until December for the DVD/HD-DVD/Blu-ray release. I'm dying to see the workprint and the 'Dangerous Days' documentary. More importantly, I'm interested to listen to Ridley's audio commentary. Maybe he can convince all us non-believers that Deckard is 'more human than human'.
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Oct. 9, 2007, 11:22 a.m. CST
Sucks living in the middle of the country sometimes.
Oct. 9, 2007, 11:29 a.m. CST
I love this movie, but I guess I'll have to be content with my crappy director's cut DVD until the new one comes out. I wish they would put it into wider release, like they did with the Nightmare on Elm Street last year.
Oct. 9, 2007, 11:48 a.m. CST
by Prof. Pop-Cult
After all, there are genetically fabricated animals all throughout the film. But I agree that the unicorn scene doesn't fully work as proof that Deckard is a replicant.
Oct. 9, 2007, 11:51 a.m. CST
...YAWN. And some people simply read too much into things. It's only a MOVIE. Sure, an excellent movie, but still a movie.
Oct. 9, 2007, 11:52 a.m. CST
Greedo shooting first joke.
Oct. 9, 2007, 11:53 a.m. CST
by Matthew Martinez
The link to the other review just links to the exact same page it's on.
Oct. 9, 2007, 11:56 a.m. CST
by Prof. Pop-Cult
I don't know how I feel about that change.
Oct. 9, 2007, 11:56 a.m. CST
Oct. 9, 2007, 12:12 p.m. CST
BR - The Final Cut is ramping up to be one of the biggest selling Blu Ray titles ever, with more than EIGHTY percent of all high definition pre-release copies being on the Blu Ray format. Many people who are Blade Runner fans are marking this as thier first ever Blu Ray purchase. One thing can be sure, that this will be a landmark Blu Ray disc for the forseeable future, and a standout piece of home cinema.
Oct. 9, 2007, 12:12 p.m. CST
...then it might make sense that his makers could have knowledge of not just his memories but also his dreams. So, I'm not with you on that logic. That said, hinting at it but keeping it ambiguous.
Oct. 9, 2007, 12:13 p.m. CST
That said, hinting at it but keeping it ambiguous is the way that I like the film. I saw it on the big screen this past weekend too. Enjoyed it a lot.
Oct. 9, 2007, 12:20 p.m. CST
by Happy Killmore
The film doesn't make sense if he is. The whole point was all life has value and the "lives" of the replicants had that meaning and value. This was the point of Batty's speech at the end. If you look at Deckard, a human, and compare him with Batty, a replicant, Rick had no life. He just did his job and went home to his empty apartment. The whole film is about "robots" wanting to be human who have feelings yet are hunted by a human who has become a "robot" and has no feelings. There's a reason the Tyrell motto is "More human than human." I think it cheapens the film considerably if he's a replicant. It's like one of those thrillers where the killer was a cop all along. It's so contrived and done simply to shock without any real thought behind it whatsoever.
Oct. 9, 2007, 12:39 p.m. CST
by Jaws Wayne
You get paid by Sony to post here pal ? Don't know where you got those numbers and i agree that the Bladerunner films getting released in HD (both HD formats) sounds really sweet, but the chances of HD DVD 'winning' the stupid format war are almost certain to many. Both HD formats aren't really going anywhere by the way, way too expensive and the differences between SD DVD and HD are marginal for people with normal set-ups. Watch your wallets guys.
Oct. 9, 2007, 1:15 p.m. CST
I always thought that was the idea- Deckard, and the other humans, is more "robotic" than the robots being hunted. An idea that was backed up by the monotony of the voice-over.
Oct. 9, 2007, 1:15 p.m. CST
First off, if you think that Blu-Ray is going to just slip away, you're forgetting the PS3. THAT isn't going anywhere any time soon, and I can guarantee you that even if HD suddenly took off big time over Blu-Ray, you would not see future models of the PS3 with an HD drive. The PS3 ensures a long life for the format.<br><br>Second, Deckard as a Replicant DOES make sense. Batty's speech at the end makes Deckard "wake up." He doesn't race off with Rachael just to protect her and love her for what limited time she has. He does it because he knows that he's in the same boat. Now he has something to "live" for, and he's going to do it on his terms. That's how I saw it, at least. I am of two opinions on the Unicorn dream: one, people have recurring themes in their dreams. I'm sure that for a creation that has such a limited lifespan, it wouldn't be tough to set parameters of what will be dreamed of. Therefore I believe that it proves he is a Replicant. The other idea is that it was just Scott doing a test shot for Legend, and he did it while shooting this :)
Oct. 9, 2007, 1:28 p.m. CST
by Jaws Wayne
You're right, but most PS3 owners are under 20 and haven't even heard of Bladerunner. Standalone Blu Ray players have hardly sold at all, so i don't believe the 80/20 pre-order difference. HD DVD owners are serious film and/or AV fanatics, PS3 owners are mostly gamers. But you're right, Sony themselves will release their movies on Blu Ray for a long time to come.
Oct. 9, 2007, 2:19 p.m. CST
There's no need for a post-rationalized "twist" to this story. It's far more resonant and moving that Deckard is made more aware of humanity and the gift of life by those who only have it for a short, pre-determined time. Yes, we can imagine him looking at all his family's and ancestors' photos on the piano and see him wondering, "Shit, what if it were me, and all this was just implanated backstory...?" as that Vangelis soundtrack drifts in like smoke. But the impact of the movie - and the control/fate/playing God questions it sets up - seems to me lessened and undermined if we go the whole hog. Happy Killmore and Tal have it right: I prefer the voiceover, somehow its stiffness and sourness works - and, yes, Gaff simply is fucking with him the whole movie from the moment he bangs on his shoulder at the noodle bar...which is why that original origami unicorn discovery voiceover worked "He'd been there and let her live". After the chicken and the priapic figure, Gaff leaves a symbol of magic, of fairy tales, since he respects him now, Deckard deserves the happy ending, the reward for doing "a man's job" - incidentally, a beautifully nuanced ironic comment, like Zhora's "Are you for real?", which doesn't need to be loaded with "OHH he's a replicant" significance. Hell, the fact that we still passionately discuss this movie 25 years on says it all really. It's a beautiful, original, flawed work of art and I never tire of sinking into it.
Oct. 9, 2007, 2:46 p.m. CST
shame. but "...father" works well too. other than that, this all sounds cool. can't wait.
Oct. 9, 2007, 2:49 p.m. CST
...I appreciate the ambiguity of the question raised within the film. It seems that places me somewhere between the two camps.
Oct. 9, 2007, 2:59 p.m. CST
by Ray Gamma
Ridley Scott has clearly tagged this "Deckard is a replicant" myth onto the film, years afterwards. The evidence for this being his original intention is flimsy to say the least.
Oct. 9, 2007, 3 p.m. CST
by Prof. Pop-Cult
I prefer it that it's left ambiguous, open to the viewer's interpretation, whether Deckard is human or a Replicant. Frankly, I'm annoyed that Ridley Scott went on record to say that Deckard is a Replicant (at least that is what he himself wants to believe). Why couldn't he have just stated it's up to the viewer to decide for themselves, and that's the whole point. Instead, Scott says "Deck is a Rep" and comes across like an asshat.
Oct. 9, 2007, 3:04 p.m. CST
That's what I always thought it meant. Why? Deckard dreams of the unicorn after talking with Rachael about her memories, and Gaff's line at the end when Deckard finds the origami Unicorn, "It's too bad she won't live; but then again who does?" She's unique and one-of-a-kind, like a unicorn. For me, the movie just doesn't work at all if Deckard's a replicant. Why would he be allowed to be on Earth and hunt other "Skin-Jobs"? He has an ex-wife, people know who he is. His banter and relationship with Bryant is real, not forced; they have a history of working together. His past is REAL, not imagined or manipulated. They KNOW each other. Anyway, I saw the film in L.A. on Sunday, and it is brilliant. The corrections are good, and the film looks and sounds awesome. I liked that Roy's line to Tyrell was changed to "Father" instead of "Fucker". Zhora's death scene looks really good, but you could tell that it was digitally manipulated in a couple of shots, as her head just didn't look quite right. (a vast improvement over the original scene, though) The audience really enjoyed the film and applauded loudly at the end. This was the third time I've seen the film on the big screen: once for the original release, once for the DC, and now this time. Well, the third time's definitely the charm! (although I still like the VO from the original release; it just helps explain so much....)
Oct. 9, 2007, 3:34 p.m. CST
by Alonzo Mosely
Deckard was most certainly not a replicant. The original script gives no leaning in that direction of any sort. The creation of the theory seems to be entirely Scott's, and entirely from after the original was made.
Oct. 9, 2007, 4:28 p.m. CST
"I want more life, sucka!"
Oct. 9, 2007, 4:32 p.m. CST
by Jack Burton
Whether or not it is what Ridley Scott intended, it works better for me that he's a human helping an android rather than 2 androids on the run. I just have never seen the point of Deckard being a replicant, it lessens the impact of the movie for me.
Oct. 9, 2007, 4:48 p.m. CST
This is what I felt was the intent of this movie. Showing that humanity has left and those who didn't go are robots with nothing to live for is a great contrast with the replicants who want for nothing else but to go on living. I looked at the ending as being Deckard fleeing with Rachel because he didn't want to be there when Bryant found out she was "special", not because Deckard was himself a replicant. It seemed that throughout the movie Deckard was conflicted, wondering if he was falling in love with a machine or a person. Did Rachel have a soul? Could he really love her? Yes, Deckard "woke up" after Batty's speech, but he woke up to the desire to actually live his life, not some notion that, "Hey! I'm a replicant, too. I think I'll go bone Rachel now."<p>Also, some time ago there was an alternate version of the script floating around in which Deckard shot (retired) Rachel at the end. Nothing in that script indicated Deckard as being a replicant either. In fact, the only place where I've heard the idea entertained was on usenets and interviews with Scott. I'm sorry, but the movie loses so much of its nuance if we're to believe that Deckard is just a toy.
Oct. 9, 2007, 5:01 p.m. CST
...by the same people who are now praising Scott for making them.
Oct. 9, 2007, 5:03 p.m. CST
Quite a while ago, but probably still there.
Oct. 9, 2007, 5:27 p.m. CST
I always thought the way Deckard nods to himself as he crushes the unicorn in his hand, confirms his realization of what he really is. It also seems to make sense to me from a story perspective, that the police force would create a replicant to hunt down rouge models rather then put flesh and blood cops in danger and the performances of M Emmett Walsh and Edward James Olmos only make me believe it more. I feel like there coaxing and prodding him through the whole assignment but yet holding something back from him at the same time. Well, I can't wait to see this. I'm leaving to see it at the Landmark right now. That is bullshit that it doesn't get a wider release. If i was still in Florida I would be pretty pissed I couldn't see it. I was pretty upset I missed 2001. That should have gotten a wider release too. Anyway, I'm going to post on the other review after I see it. Can't wait!
Oct. 9, 2007, 5:59 p.m. CST
I've been away from this movie for a while. I saw it first run and saw the 1st Director's Cut in West LA over a decade ago and never really bought the idea that Deckard was a replicant although the unicorn thing was oddly done. Always thought it was Gaff's way of saying I knew how to find you but you both earned a right to be happy for at least a while. All the talk of Gaff knowing Deckard's unicorn dream could imply that Gaff is a replicant that couldn't do the job so they had to bring in Deckard to finish it up. Gaff is cripled but the best they got outside of Deckard. Gaff was given some of Deckard's memories to flesh out his life. That is why he knows about the unicorn sequence. Gaff was to kill Rachel but he saw that Deckard was changed in how he looked at replicants so he let her live as his parting gift to him for his humanity.
Oct. 9, 2007, 6:08 p.m. CST
And yes, if you get any chance at all, see this on the big screen. The Final Cut is simply gorgeous. I felt the overall pace and tone were definitely improved from the "Director's Cut" and my wife, who had only seen the original version, was absolutely blown away. The interesting thing for me was that maybe it's just all of the years it's been since I've seen it, but this time I empathized with the escaped replicants as much or more than anyone else in the film. And though I always knew he was good, I never realized before how absolutely sensational Rutger Hauer was in the film. Truly the performance of his career.
Oct. 9, 2007, 6:17 p.m. CST
To me, whether or not Deckard is a replicant is irrelevant to the film, which does an incredible job exploring what exactly it is that makes us human. There are a lot of clues to suggest that Deckard is a replicant (perhaps a more advanced model, without the super-strength, but with heightened memories, preprogrammed dreams and superior detective skills - one created specifically to be the ultimate Blade Runner) but nothing definitive. However, I think there's enough "evidence" there that by the end, Deckard believes he is a replicant (whether or not he actually is).
Oct. 9, 2007, 6:21 p.m. CST
There is a third unicorn in JF's apartment. JF does the design work on replicants (see my post in the other thread). The evidence isn't just the dream/origami the evidence is the dream/origami/model.
Oct. 9, 2007, 6:30 p.m. CST
by Ash Talon
BR Just saw this new print on Saturday night. It's amazing! There are so many details that can now be seen again. Easily one of the best lit movies of all time. Regarding Decard as a Replicant. If it was originally intended as such, it's a little weak. Doesn't mean it can't work, though. Yes, there's the obvious unicorn dream which Gaff seems to know. There's also the reflective eyes on Deckard right after he's told Rachel he won't pursue her. While I heard they were a mistake in filming, they do lead to the theory that Deckard is a replicant. At the very least, I think they could be interpreted as him having sympathy for the replicants Deckard, like Leon, is obsessed with old pictures. Deckard's are so old that they might not even be relevant to him personally. How could he get his hands on such vintage photos? I see them as his personal obsession with the past. A past he might not even really be a part of. Deckard forces himself on Rachel. I used to think this was just him trying to force an emotional response out of her. Since she's not used to feeling emotion, maybe greater stimuli needs to be introduced...hence the violent sexual aggression. Well, maybe this is also for Deckard's sake. Maybe he's not used to such feelings and also needs greater stimuli. He plays the piano as well, just like Rachel. This could be a coincedence but hang with me a second. Rachel might be Nexus 6 or she might be something else. She could potentially be an even newer model that's being tested. Whatever she is, Deckard could be the same model. The fact that they respond together, when there's no real reason they should, could be more than coincedence. Maybe these new models are being tested? Maybe they sense something in each other? Tyrell is testing Rachel. He's repressed her knowledge of being a Replicant. The same could have been done for Deckard. Putting them together could be another test. Will Deckard recognize in her something about himself? Whether or not Deckard is a Replicant is really moot, though. Isn't the point that the Replicant's are as real as humans? Somehow in our quest to create artifical life, we may have created something that's more human than us. They want to survive, love, and experience life. Whether he's a human fleeing his own kind or a Replicant running away from authority, he's still a being that's seeking to make the best of what little time he has left.
Oct. 9, 2007, 7:13 p.m. CST
I agree that Deckard and many other humans seem robotic, but this is also a common feature of noir fiction. In of Chandler's books Marlowe says he has "no feelings": "No feelings at all was exactly right. I was as hollow and empty as the spaces between the stars." To the extent that "Blade Runner" evokes noir fiction, then, Deckard's lack of emotions is par for the course. As to the question of his being a replicant, as others have already stated, the ambiguity is what's important, not the answer. More to the point, the ambiguity is important for Deckard, not just the audience. If at a crucial moment in your life your belief in your own humanity was suddenly challenged-- by suggestion, not proof-- the only answer you need is, "I'm real enough". Deckard doesn't have to know one way or the other because in the end it doesn't truly matter.
Oct. 9, 2007, 9:23 p.m. CST
He says so early on in Channel 4's 'On The Edge Of Blade Runner' documentary (sadly it seems to be gone from Google Video now). Scott brought in a second screenwriter to work on the script but also admits he had his hand full with 'being creative' film-wise to be bothered with the story. One should look to the 2 screenwriters for answers. It's not even interesting in the grand scheme of things whether Deckard's is a human or a toaster IMO. The Channel 4 doc is a truly fascinating piece btw, if only for the segment where Rutger Hauer disses on Ford big time. I didn't even know Hauer wrote Roy's 'Tears in the rain' speech himself on set! I Hope they put this one on the new DVD (where, incidentally, you will also have the choice to turn the narration on or off).
Oct. 9, 2007, 9:23 p.m. CST
In that same doc Scott also states that Deckard IS a replicant (and the dream sequence is the proof). Bare in mind that Scott is a true chauvinist and this was a long time ago, I bet he believes his own 'bullshit' by now. He should give credit where credit is due and give the writers/staff some respect.
Oct. 9, 2007, 11:03 p.m. CST
by The Moseph
Not to make excuses for the filmmakers, but maybe the spinner in the distance, which is the same one that will moments later ask Deckard what he's doing in a closed sector, is actually checking out the street at the end of the street Deckard's on. It's a closed sector...ground traffic is prohibited. Who's to say there was no other ground traffic besides Deckard? Maybe it's all a part of their patrol and then they noticed Deckard's car and move in to remove and/or arrest him. I personally don't know enough about the filming of that particular scene to know whether that was a mistake or not, maybe it's not a mistake. And why would the vehicle have to bob around to convince one it's hovering? When you put a car on cruise control, does it swerve back and forth? Does it have random minor fluctuations in speed? No, it maintains the same speed (unless climbing or descending a hill)at a constant rate. So why can't the spinners do the same with a hover? Oh, on a side note, from what I understand Joanna Cassidy shot all new footage, not a digital head replacement.
Oct. 9, 2007, 11:36 p.m. CST
for a long time i thought the concept of the good guy being that he was looking for was a good idea, <P> but someone here said in a talkback the concept of a human being SAVED by what he was retiring was another good idea. <P> nice that a movie can have an ambiguous ending.
Oct. 10, 2007, 12:41 a.m. CST
BR had long been one of my absolute favorite movies. I saw it in the theatre when I was about 10, with a bit of my parents covering my eyes (only for Tyrell's death) and has had a hold of me since that time. I loved its dark tone, bleak outlook and wonderful unreality. I remember when this whole "Deckard is a replicant thing began" and I always figured it was boys without girlfriends trying to sound impressive by intellectualizing an unusual idea. I owned a now dead Laserdisc Criterion collection version of BR (for those of you to young to remember, LD was a format that came out before DVD and was the size of an LP, and if you don’t know what an LP is...I won’t bother trying to explain, but LD may not have superior video but does have superior audio, and uncompressed audio track).I owned a VHS version as well, read the book , ( as well as many others by PKD), and pretty much thought it was the bees knees until the ’92 release. The ’92 release diminished it for me, I could see that RS was trying to bolster the Deckard=replicant thing, and I disagreed with it. I have not watched it since the DVD release of the directors cut and most likely will not see the new one, as I disagree with RS revisionist (my take on it) take on the DECKARD thing. I agree with the previous post about the thematic and narrative reasons why DECKARD is not a replicant, but cannot argue with RS decision to explicitly state he is. But to me, it greatly diminished the story. I always thought that Batty’s final two soliloquies (i.e. “that’s what is like to be a slave”, and “tears in rain”) pretty much confirmed that both were human. One a normal human (Deckard) and one a “juiced up” human, but both biological and real. To me it spoke of what it meant to be human. Deckard being human and loving Rachel, and Rachel loving him back, Batty’s loving Pris ( look up the literary term foil, then reconsider the purpose of the love stories) , both living in fear, both becoming de-sensitized to the violence, both choosing not to kill each other at appropriate moments. The desire to belong and have relationships, the need for love, the all important visual of the DOVE at the end. For you Replicantee’s, do a little literary research and see what a dove symbolizes in English literature, and remember the writers who wrote this screenplay DO know. In the end though, RS said he is a replicant and he holds the final vision of the film. I won’t argue, I just won’t watch again. BTW, If I were to re-edit this flick, I would take the original voice over version, remove the last ( “who knows how long” piece) and end it exactly the same a the ’92 version, closing elevator doors. I always dug the VO, even though I know why pure cinema hate VO, it worked within the genre nature of the film, remember the NOIR elements. Okay…said too much and probably not enough. But a will all art, no matter what the artist intended, the final meaning is up to the audience, I just wish I could find an old LD copy of the original release with the voice over and the overly optimistic, studio created ending. One last jab at DECKARD=REPLICANT, I always thought that was RS’s attempt to punch back at the STUDIO re-edit they shoved on him But considering that I just said that the art belongs to the audience once it is put out for review…maybe I will see it, one more time.
Oct. 10, 2007, 12:46 a.m. CST
Deckard would be a normal human, while the replicants are manufatured human, but there really is not a difference...both are human...(as an example think how slave holders defended their ownership of african slaves by saying that african slaves were not the same kind of person as a white person)...I hope that I made that clear in the orignal post...but it is late and I be mightly sleepy...
Oct. 10, 2007, 5:44 a.m. CST
I that helps you.
Oct. 10, 2007, 8:05 a.m. CST
Now everyone's happy.
Oct. 10, 2007, 11:58 a.m. CST
The stick-man comes in the scene where Deckard is searching Leon's appartment: a stretch to say it has something to do with Rachel. I think it is more a symbol for the replicants (the real "stick-men") they are looking for. When I saw this Saturday night, someone in the theater cried out "no no no no no" when the Unicorn scence came on. <br>Two things about the Unicorn: <br> 1) In the scene where Deckard is playing the piano, there is a picture of a Rhinocerus on the wall. The Rhino being the natural model for the make-believe Unicorn. 2) The Unicorn is tamed by a maiden (Rachel is a virgin) after which the hunters are able to close in on him. (http://tinyurl.com/825ay) So the Unicorn is a symbol for Deckard, who at the end of the film becomes the hunted.<br> I know Scott said it meant he was a Replicant in the documentary. It seems he was being a bit facecious when he says it, though.<br> Happy Killmore above seems to have it right. If Deckard is a Replicant, the whole movie falls apart--then there is NO humanity.<br> <br> I hadn't thought of Rachel as a symbol for the Virgin (as Roy is the Christ-figure, dying so Deckard can live). But it's an interesting one. The Virgin, the source of life and power. After he shows her she isn't human, she cries--her first showing of true emotion--that Deckard himself shows any empathy for anyone. It's his beginning of humanity. And I didn't catch this before, but the friend I saw it with pointed it out--we're not 100% sure, when he returns to his appartment, if he's going there to kill Rachel or not. With his gun (his "canon") in his hand, he lifts the sheet from the sleeping Rachel and awakens her with a kiss. <br> I saw this Saturday at the Ziegfeld in New York. It was stunning. The friend I saw it with had never seen it before and he got lost with the plot. I can see why the voice-over was added. He pointed out that it seemed everyone in the theater was already a fan. So it seems to be a film that ONLY works on multiple showings.<br> <br> The important question in the film is "what does it mean to be human?" Its a basic questioning of Deckard's humanity, and so the viewers. This was also an obsession of PK Dick's. What is real? What is a genuine human being?
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