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Moriarty Soaks Up Two Showings Of BLADE RUNNER: THE FINAL CUT!

Hey, everyone. “Moriarty” here. Sitting in the screening room on the Warner lot a few weeks ago, watching the 4K projector that had been tweaked for that room, with the sound cranked... BLADE RUNNER: THE FINAL CUT played as something akin to a religious experience for me. I’ve been a fan of the film since it came out. I was twelve that summer. I read everything I could about the movie as it was in production, in STARLOG and FANTASTIC FILMS, and when the collector’s souvenir magazine came out, I bought one, and I read it cover to cover at least three times before I saw the film. I also read DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP? that summer, and doing so confused the living shit out of me. I had no idea how a book like that was going to become a movie starring Indiana Jones or Han Solo. I couldn’t imagine how there was anything about Philip K. Dick’s book that was “heroic” in any way. Keep in mind... at the age of twelve, I already had about five years of hardcore Harrison Ford fandom under my belt. I’d seen STAR WARS and EMPIRE and GRAFITTI and RAIDERS. I was ready to see Harrison Ford fight some robots. That, of course, is not the film that Ridley Scott released, and that may go a long way to explaining the film’s failure at the box-office. I’m surprised in looking back, though, how soft BLADE RUNNER’s critical reputation was when it came out. There are people who call it overrated, but that seems impossible to me. It is undeniably one of the most visually influential films of the last quarter-century. BLADE RUNNER’s influence on production design for movies, TV shows, comic books, and pop culture in general is almost immeasurable. It was the film that really drove home for me the lesson that when all the departments on a movie really raise their game and work in synch, you can do something special. Something permanent. Something worth revisiting in a way that few films are. And no, it’s not just visually that I think the film works. I think it goes deeper than that. The opening crawl sets a tone by doing something subtle and unusual. Next time you see the film, pay close attention to the last two lines of that title card: “This was not called execution. It was called retirement.” To me, that reads like the film BLADE RUNNER was made at some point in the future after the events of the film took place, almost like it’s a MISSISSIPPI BURNING for replicants, a film looking back at a time when replicants were treated as slaves, as less than alive, and when they were summarily killed for the simple action of being alive. There’s a righteous anger to that opening title crawl, and right away, it indicates that this isn’t going to be a simple story of good guys and bad guys, the hero versus the robots. In fact, I’d argue that there are no “bad guys” in this film. There are awful things done by some of the characters, but they are understandable in the larger context of who these characters are and the world they live in. Roy Batty and the other replicants are children, emotionally speaking, barely able to keep themselves in check, desperate for answers and angry at whatever god abandoned them to their fates. They lash out, but never for reasons we can’t understand, and never just for the sake of lashing out. As a result, the cumulative effect is one of great sadness. This doesn’t work like an action film, and as detective stories go, it’s remarkably straightforward and doesn’t really feature much in the way of detective work. Taken simply as a narrative, BLADE RUNNER is a thin piece of work, and sort of falls apart as an adaptation. But this may be the ultimate case of style as substance, a film where the textures of sounds and the colors of the world and the smoke and the mood all combine to create this thing that plays out like a dream. I find myself lost in BLADE RUNNER when I watch it projected like this. It’s a sensory experience more than it’s a conventional story. I went back to see BLADE RUNNER: THE FINAL CUT again on Tuesday at the Landmark in LA. I went because Quint was in town, and also because, frankly, I wanted to see it again. Seeing it in a screening room, even one as nice as the one on the Warner lot, still isn’t the same as theatrical. Seeing it with a crowd that is there because they are genuinely passionate about the movie and they want to have the best possible visual experience with it... that’s the experience you want to have. Our auditorium was maybe 1/3 full at 10:30, so there was plenty of room for all seven of us. Afterwards, everyone seemed uniformly amazed by what they saw. I would add one caveat, though: after seeing the film on the Warner lot and then seeing it again at the Landmark, I would say that something’s wrong with the sound at the Landmark. That’s discouraging for a high-end theater that’s still as new as this one, and I hope they address the issue immediately. It was distracting in places, and definitely muted the effect of the film for me. Even so, the thing that really struck me both times I’ve seen it recently is that this new restoration, and seeing it in a theater, does something to me as a viewer: it forces me to actually watch the film, and not just put it on as background noise. When you’ve seen a film as many times as I have with this one, it’s easy to put it on and then do something else in the room, a comforting sound in the background with things that you look up to see from time to time. I’m sure a lot of you watch films the same way sometimes... as background noise. Seeing BLADE RUNNER like this, it was a sobering reminder of just how much a film can be diminished by home video, no matter how good a system you have. And it’s also a reminder of how much more I enjoy sharing a film with friends in a theater than anywhere else. I have a buddy who throws a movie night where we all get together to watch both good films and bad. We’ve screened THE MANITOU there as well as THE FOOT FIST WAY, to equal enthusiasm. But there are always conversations during the films, and people are able to walk in or out to get drinks or to have conversations, and it’s never the same as it is when you wrangle everyone and go to the theater and pay your respects to something by giving it your full attention for two uninterrupted hours. With BLADE RUNNER, the film works best if you hand yourself over for the full experience, and I found myself deeply emotional over the movie both times I’ve seen it recently. Rutger Hauer has every right to be bitter over the way Hollywood failed to figure him out, and his work here is so good, so alive, so strange and compelling, that I am still baffled as to why he isn’t a bigger movie star. I would argue that Daryl Hannah is at her best when she’s playing someone who isn’t quite human, like Madison in SPLASH or Pris in this film. Sean Young may or may not be a giant nutbar off-camera, but I’m fond of the work she did in the ‘80s. She nails Rachel. She’s like a baby deer, trying on the whole “being human” thing, gangly and uneasy with it, but determined, and it doesn’t hurt that she’s stunningly beautiful, all 1940s pin-up perfection. And then there’s Harrison Ford. People accuse me of being too mean to him in the time I’ve been at AICN. Fans have written me virulent hate mail because I’ve beaten up on his work. And what I’ve told them repeatedly is that my dissatisfaction with Ford’s career comes from a place of pure fandom. I can honestly say that he was the first movie star I ever gave a shit about. He was the first actor who became a reason to see a movie for me. It’s impossible to overestimate the iconic impact that Han Solo and Indiana Jones had on me in my pre-teen years. Ford personified a certain kind of workman-like swagger, but seeing him in BLADE RUNNER convinced me that he was an actor, not just a movie star. Everything that Han and Indy are, Deckard isn’t. Here’s a guy who seems to be on the verge of implosion through most of the film, tight as a clenched fist, charged with tracking down false humans while barely registering as human himself. Forget all the talk about Ridley Scott’s thematic retrofitting of the movie and the “Is he or isn’t he?” square dance. Looking at Ford’s work, what impressed me on my first viewing has only grown more impressive over the years. Instead of just phoning in some post-modern nod and wink to the conventions of the noir detective genre, Ford takes the hard-boiled thing in a totally different direction. He plays Deckard as a guy who has already shut down as the film starts, and it’s the process of facing down these particular replicants that ironically kickstarts his own appreciation of life. That simple character arc is what makes the film so resonant for me. It’s as subversive a playing of the detective hero as Elliot Gould’s work for Altman in THE LONG GOODBYE, and it’s my third favorite performance of Ford’s overall. The restoration that was supervised by Charles de Lauzirika (finally fulfilling a longtime dream) is a marvel. It’s the best bigscreen restoration of a film I’ve seen since 1989’s release of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. There are all sorts of clever little continuity-fixing tricks in the movie and digital band-aids, and they’re not just clever... they are artistically sound. They do nothing except clean up little rough edges. There’s no “fix,” no big change. It’s nothing drastic. This restoration makes the case for this as one of Ridley Scott’s most significant films. This film may have taken a while to find its audience, but twenty-five years after its release, it is miraculously more alive than ever. Here’s hoping Warner Bros. takes those limited release numbers seriously and puts this film out theatrically for people all over the country to see. Strike a negative if you have to, but make prints of this and get it out there. People should have a chance to enjoy this, especially after all involved have obviously put heart and soul into making this presentation so great.


Drew McWeeny, Los Angeles

Readers Talkback
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  • He has every right to be bitter. And it's not Holland, Michigan....

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 4:05 a.m. CST

    and finally a Holland First.........

    by lostbat

    We deserved it.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 4:37 a.m. CST

    Gotta see this...

    by loafroaster

    ...I haven't seen it since I watched it on VHS as a nipper.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 5:06 a.m. CST

    Someday my prints will come....

    by Kefrif

    I saw BR theatrically in 1993 when the DC print rolled through my local cinema (Dudley, England). WARNERS! RE-ISSUE THIS TO THE BIG SCREEN!! It so much benefits from the scale of a large cinema screen you wouldn' believe. The cityscapes, the Geisha billboard. People deserve a chance to see this - even if they only release touring prints. Either way guys, if you've not seen it before give it a watch! Kefrif.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 5:06 a.m. CST

    Am I the only one who digs the voice over narration version?

    by theycallmemrglass

    Wish they clean that up too as I really want to see both versions again. The voice over gave a "future noir" philip Marlow feel to the movie. Regardless, BladeRunner is my no 2 all time greatest movie.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 5:08 a.m. CST

    Rutger Hauer is a genius

    by FILMFUNK

    How d'you steal a picture from Harrison frickin Ford when you're supposed to be the badguy and NOT get the gigs you so rightly deserve!<P>Blade Runner proves that Movies can be true ART and Hauer is a performing artist of the highest order. I can't wait for that music to raise the hairs on the back of my neck and those amazing visuals to fill my eyes, <P>Blade Runner is and always will be an untouchable Sci-Fi masterpiece and Ridley Scott at his absolute pinacle.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 5:19 a.m. CST

    Blade Runner

    by kwisatzhaderach

    was the first film I ever saw that made me think that film was an artform as well as an entertainment. It was an overwhelming experience for a 9 year old to see and the film has only gotten more and more impressive with each viewing. Blade Runner is Ridley Scott's masterpiece.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 5:22 a.m. CST

    theycallmemrglass

    by kwisatzhaderach

    The voice over is terrific and really hels lend something to the movie. They should keep it in and only cut out the voiceover when Rutger Hauer dies, which was pretty bad. The voiceover fleshed out Deckard and, ironically, made him seem even more of a replicant, as though all the little stories he is telling the audience about his ex-wife were implanted by someone else. Intriguing stuff.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 5:27 a.m. CST

    I have no excuse not to have seen this

    by IndustryKiller!

    It's one of the best films ever made remastered, I've never seen it on the big screen, I live in the city it's playing in, and I have a roommate that can't remember if he's ever seen it back to front, which any good friend should take upon himself to rectify. Must catch it this week.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 5:45 a.m. CST

    The Voice Over (kwisatzhaderach)

    by Crabtree

    Ironically, the voiceover which seems most out of place is the only one that was supposed to be in the fiilm -- the narration over Roy Batty's death, which was written by David Peoples in his screenplay. All the other voice overs were added much later to "help the audience", but that climactic one was supposed to be important (D.Peoples thought so at least).

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 5:47 a.m. CST

    does Deckard still shoot first?

    by newc0253

    oh, and nice side-step, Mori, of the whole "“Is he or isn’t he?” square dance".

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 5:53 a.m. CST

    So, is the narration back in full..?

    by workshed

    I want my original Bladerunner, the one i saw at the movies 25 years ago. I have always hated the 'Director's Cut' and i'm sure i'm not alone in this. Of course i have a divx of the original but it would be nice to have it restored to how it was meant to be seen (and heard).

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 5:59 a.m. CST

    Excellent Review

    by Derek Wildstarr

    Moriarty nailed it. I always watch Blade Runner sort of half-assed in the background while im working because I've seen it so many times. I saw the FINAL CUT at the Landmark as well and it was a stunning almost pious experience.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 6:01 a.m. CST

    Blade Runner the musical

    by speed

    I was in grade 8 when it came out and was so taken by it that my friend and I decided to do our graded 5min musical drama as a retelling of blade runner. Just like the movie it got panned by the class. in fact they were all left speechless as nobody new the movie. I was blown away, this way indiana jones and han solo's new movie. how could they not have seen it?!? Ford was also my first movie star (geez that sounds creepy). AND i would say mosquito coast, indy and blade runner top 3 ford performances.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 6:09 a.m. CST

    Gotta send this to San Francisco

    by aboriginal

    I can still remember seeing the Director's Cut in Westwood and still have the stubs to prove it along with the poster I picked up around the corner. The Castro Theater hosted it, but we have the Sundance Multiplex now. Send it up here! This must be some plot to get me to add more inches to my next LCD purchase.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 7:09 a.m. CST

    anyone know if this will play in London?

    by mansep

    i like Moriarty's view of the film being made in the future, after the events in the film took place... puts a nice perspective on it.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 7:19 a.m. CST

    For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge..

    by Redfive!

    Thats right FUCK everyone wo gets to see this on the big screen,all the AICN employee-geeks and everyone else living in LA AND NY..I hate you and i want you to choke on your popcorn and blow coke through your nose afterwards.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 7:31 a.m. CST

    Wanted:Dead or Alive Bitch!!

    by Redfive!

    Rutger owned everyones ass with that one.Especially when he pulled the pin while the granade was in gene simmons mouth at the end and walked away...he walked away with all your pansy asses!!

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 8:34 a.m. CST

    HD DVD ordered.

    by Fixthe Fernback

    Cant wait. What with this, Children Of Men and Kubrick's movies soon to be released, at last there is something worth having a HD Drive for.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 8:36 a.m. CST

    I'm about to incur the wrath of most geeks, but honestly

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    I never cared for Blade Runner. It just didn't do anything for me.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 8:50 a.m. CST

    It is undeniably one of the most visually influential films of t

    by Chilli815

    I don't doubt it, but the film as a whole did nothing for me. Which sucks, but there you go.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 9:17 a.m. CST

    Harrison Ford is an ACTOR!

    by bluebottle

    I'm slightly younger than you, Mori, and I had that "moment of realization" when I saw Witness. Up until that point, he was still just the coolest guy on the planet, with the coolest job. <p> </p> Great piece, I can't wait to see this - And I agree, they should release it theatrically. The last time I saw it was in 93 with an audience, and it was a great experience.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 9:17 a.m. CST

    "I never cared for Blade Runner. It just didn't do anything for

    by Dr. Sid Schaefer

    who gives a fuck what you think? dude - why would you post that? seriously. how does it add to the conversation? why are you even here? you're like one of those guys that posts in threads about television shows proclaiming the fact that you don't have a television. it's douchebaggery of the highest order, IMHO.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 9:29 a.m. CST

    See it at the Ziegfeld in NYC

    by gumbercules

    Just wear boots. They have rats. Really.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 9:33 a.m. CST

    {Orcus} Ford's sons contribution....

    by Rameses

    In an earlier talkback , someone posted that they just used Ford juniors mouth and digitized it onto the original to get the lip synching finally right.It's as you guessed , the snake sellers scene , that got this treatment

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Dr. Sid Schaefer

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    First, I am intelligent enough to have an opinion without having to resort to profanity. Second, while I love sci-fi (if I didn't I wouldn't be on this site) I just have a differing opinion, that's all. Third, I'm here, as you put it, to view others' comments, and give my own opinion. Fourth, it is people like you who give anonymous internet geeks a bad name, no one can disagree with you without you having a temper tantrum. Fifth, if you have an opinion try to be a little more intelligent and articulate. Debate and discuss. Don't act like my little daughter.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 10:03 a.m. CST

    i am praying the film comes my way.

    by lucid dreamstate

    i certainly hope that i get a chance to see B.R. on the big screen. i'm praying the directors cut rolls through charlotte but i'm sure it won't. i am one of the select few that enjoys the idea that deckard could be a replicant. the story works better for me when i see him as an android. B.R. is one of my top 20 favorite films of all time. i think it is at least as good as the worst star wars film ( cough, jar jar, cough).

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 10:09 a.m. CST

    "Fuck the bonus."

    by Ditch Brodie

    Vintage Hauer.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 10:13 a.m. CST

    MISSISSIPPI BURNING is underrated.

    by brezzel

    Gene Hackman should have beaten Dustin Hoffman for the Oscar in MISSISSIPPI BURNING. As a kid, the night he lost was the moment I realized the Oscars are a ridiculous popularity contest. The Academy didn't recognize the brilliance of BLADE RUNNER either.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Batty said "fucker" first!

    by Prof. Pop-Cult

    I spit on metaphysics.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 10:20 a.m. CST

    fuck the oscars

    by lucid dreamstate

    at least they did recognize pulp fiction. i will give them credit for that. if they had let pulp go without even acknowledging it, then that would have been a travesty. the oscars are a piece of shit.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 10:22 a.m. CST

    They should double-bill this with The Kite Runner

    by BringingSexyBack

    I can't wait to see that.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 10:24 a.m. CST

    DID LUCID JUST COMPARE BLADE RUNNER TO PHANTOM MENACE?

    by BringingSexyBack

    Are you looking for an assrape or something?

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 10:24 a.m. CST

    they can show the kite runner first so i

    by lucid dreamstate

    can get a two hour nap before the main feature. that would be the optimum way to show that double feature.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 10:28 a.m. CST

    BLADE RUNNER 2: THE HUNT FOR HAM

    by BringingSexyBack

    Harrison loves ham.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 10:28 a.m. CST

    I doubt moriarty can get this film to show here

    by mthrndr

    I live in Durham NC, and there is still no sign of Into the Wild or The Assassination of Jesse James (the two movies I most want to see) anywhere in NC. I'm not holding out much hope for There Will Be Blood, either. So I highly doubt we will ever get the rerelease of Blade Runner. By the way, anyone still want to see Evan Almighty or Daddy Day Camp in theaters? Those are still playing here.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 10:30 a.m. CST

    i don't think the phantom menace holds up to B.R.

    by lucid dreamstate

    that is what i was trying to convey. assrape? what? i can compare B.R. to anything i want to. i wasn't looking for an argument i was just trying to make a jar jar joke, that's all. i am a fan of both films, but i was trying to make a point to all of the B.R. haters out there that this film is as valid as star wars to me. relax, i am a sci fi fan too.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Thanks Orcus

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    I knew there had to be intelligent life out there.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 10:34 a.m. CST

    n.c. films

    by lucid dreamstate

    mthrndr....i have had to drive to columbia s.c. to see some of the films that i wanted to see in the past ( a scanner darkly). charlotte has one cool place for indie theatrical releases and i am hoping they show blade runner. i saw the original night of the living dead last halloween on the big screen in charlotte so that was really good ( even though it was just the dvd projected on the big screen).

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 10:42 a.m. CST

    Damn, I wish I could see this on the big screen.

    by rbatty024

    What happened to Ridley Scott? The poor man made two of the greatest films of all time and never really made it to that level again (despite the Oscar). I read somewhere where he said Alien would never work today because it's too slow. Hell yes, it's too slow, that's why it's such a great fucking movie. The steady, pulsating movement towards doom. The languor of the first half of the film sets up the perfect hysteria of the last half. Movement in space must be presented as slow to seem realistic. With the distances you're traveling it seems a natural representation in film. Anyway, the mad genius Ridley Scott is no longer there, replaced by the historical epic Ridley Scott.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 10:47 a.m. CST

    Moriarty, I'd like to know your take on...

    by Gilkuliehe

    ... the whole “Is he or isn’t he?” square dance. Seriously.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 11 a.m. CST

    Must See

    by rickdeckard1

    If you are even remotely close to the LA or NY theatres showing it, run to see it. I have seen this film in a few incarnations, 1991 at Radio City Music Hall, and smaller venues recently, but nothing can prepare what you see visually. The film is incredibly sharp, and there is an amazing amount of details in the imagery that is lost otherwise.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 11:05 a.m. CST

    I totally disagree, Mori

    by Sandinista

    I think that what's so great about Blade Runner is that it goes beyond the simple detective story and that in using a conventional genre to spin it and extract something deeper, Ridley Scott made a movie that is so complex inside this somewhat straight story that we keep coming back after all these years. I don't see how you can call this a case of style over substance, if not for anything you have the last "tears in rain" scene (which Hauer improvised on spot), that is so tight with K. Dick's vision of the book that old man bearded prophet himself liked the movie. How can you say there's no substance only because it isn't a complex narrative within the genre's structure? Wouldn't you say that some of the issues discussed in the movie came to be quite true and seem even more real and urgent than they did at the time it came out? Apart from that, nice review, hope they decide to release this here in Brazil.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 12:08 p.m. CST

    I loved the original narration...

    by Bill Clay

    I'm still quoting it 25 years later! Too bad everyone else (Scott, Ford, etc.) hated it and wanted it out. I think your favorite version of Blade Runner is like the "favorite Dr. Who" rule, whichever one you saw first is usually your favorite. I still love the narrated version, and Tom Baker will always be the real Dr. Who to me.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 12:45 p.m. CST

    I saw it in '82, then in '92 in the theater...

    by Anti-fanboy

    I was amazed, during that first re-release (so brief and miraculous), at how much I had been missing with the VHS version -- nuances of sound, and the depth of field of the cityscape -- whole lanes of spinner traffic that I hadn't noticed before... the first time I watched it, I was eight, and what impressed me was how deeply imagined everything was, the richness of the entire production, the realism... and I loved the trademark Trumbull lensflares. And even at that age, I appreciated the complexity of Roy Batty (and the marvel of Rutger Hauer's screen presence), his last act of redemption. It was the third part of Harrison Ford's holy trinity of genre films/roles, along with Empire and Raiders, that, for me anyway, cemented him as the greatest movie star of my generation.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Yeah, I like the Narrated version, too...

    by Zardoz

    ...it really adds to the whole "neo-noir" aspect of the film; y'know, the hardened and weary detective talking about himself and his environment and the case while he's solving the mystery. (and it also fills in a lot of narrative blanks for you, as well. And that's the first version I saw, too!) But, I also like the newer versions, too. Vangelis' score is incredible, and it makes so many scenes seem so ethereal and beautiful and otherworldly. And I like the ending better on the new versions; the "happy ending", with Rachel and Deck driving in the mountains was just so anachronistic to the rest of the film, it was utter rubbish! (That exterior mountain footage was from Kubrick's "The Shining" btw; Scott asked him for some film and Kubrick sent him like 10 reels. Of B-roll. Sheesh!) I've got both versions of the film at home, so now I guess I'll have a third version, too! Oh, and great article Mori! (I thought the sound was perfect when I saw it at The Landmark, though. Sorry it was bad for you.) Dare I ask if you think Deckard's a Replicant or not?

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 1:10 p.m. CST

    Mori, where is the Landmark in L.A.?

    by Kirbymanly

    I looked it up and they gave me about 3 different listings. I found the website for the one its playing at but it doesn't give you directions or even an address

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 1:27 p.m. CST

    It's in Westwood

    by Zardoz

    there's a shopping mall. 10850 W. Pico. It was nice. Bar and cafe next door. Reserved seats.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 1:36 p.m. CST

    The Finger of Doom

    by Steve Young

    I've always enjoyed BLADE RUNNER, but not enough to watch it any more than a few times a decade. What has really RUINED this film for me is the virulent rumination about Deckard's identity. People want Deckard to be an android because it's 1. "A Badass Ironic Twist" and 2. (wait, yeah, it's) "A Badass Ironic Twist". This film is (obviously) so more emotionally devastating if Deckard's a human, regardless of the "square dance" performed on the script by the director.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 2:27 p.m. CST

    Great piece, Moriarty.

    by DarthCorleone

    I saw it twice at the Landmark myself this past week. I did not notice any sound problems, but I did not have your other screening as a reference, and I had never seen it at the theater. I simply devoured the sounds and sights and loved the experience. I did find myself ruminating on the whole replicant issue, but I agree the brilliance of the film transcends that.<br><br>Our views of Ford are more or less identical. Out of curiosity - what do you rank as his number one and number two performances?

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 2:49 p.m. CST

    Blade Runner

    by Bubba Gillman

    Totally agree with Mori about BR being one of the most influential films in recent memory with respect to visual effects, art direction, etc. I also think the performances and direction are great. Love that the film has big ideas on its mind, and that it took a ruminative, thoughtful approach. However, I always wished that all of these great components and ideas were hung on a compelling narrative. And the fact is they are not. The surface story is not worthy of the ideas and artistry surrounding it. Still love it though.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 2:58 p.m. CST

    Saw It @ The Landmark Last Saturday

    by utz_world

    Should have played at Grauman's Chinese. It's already equipped for digital projection - and they still have THX to boot!

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 3:20 p.m. CST

    I've never seen it. Just bits.

    by barnaby jones

    I'm not really a fan of Ridley Scott's work either, am i missing something ? Is there some Hollywood secret that i don't know about, why is here so popular ? Always liked Alien though.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 3:23 p.m. CST

    Blade Runner is the prequel to Alien

    by Orionsangels

    The middle part is the movie 'Soldier' with Kurt Russell. So it's Predator, Predator 2, Blade Runner, Soldier, Alien, Aliens, Alien 3, Alien Vs Predator, Alien 4, Alien Vs Predator Requiem. In that timeline order. All these movies take place in the same universe and yes the replicants in BR are the precursor to synthetic humans in Alien.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 3:23 p.m. CST

    Just out of curiousity though

    by barnaby jones

    Does anyone know if this will be getting a theatrical release in the U.K ??

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 3:35 p.m. CST

    Minority Report is still THE BEST Philip K. Dick adaptation

    by Proman1984

    Though I think Blade Runner is awesome too.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 3:53 p.m. CST

    Orionsangels -- wha??

    by The Inspector

    You think all of those movies exist in some sort of related continuity (??) and somehow ALIEN VS. PREDATOR comes AFTER set-in-the-distant-future ALIEN 3 but before ALIEN RESURRECTION which then somehow doubles back to present-day ALIEN VS. PREDATOR 2??<p> Why are THOSE the movies that fall into your (made-up) continuity? Why not include OUTLAND or MOON 44 or SOLO or THE TERMINATOR films somehow while you're at it??

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 4:21 p.m. CST

    Orionsangels>> Interesting theory, but...

    by DarthCorleone

    ...the replicants in Blade Runner seem to be more "human" than the synthetic humans in Alien's universe, and would thus seem to be more advanced. They bleed red, don't have those gooey white entrails, and seem much more existential in philosophy. With the vision of Blade Runner, therefore it would seem that Replicant "rights" took an immense leap backward. Either that, or humans saw the folly of the whole enterprise and gave up on the "more human than human" motto. Bishop displayed a few human quirks, but for the most part he and Ash acted first and foremost as machines.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 5:10 p.m. CST

    WARNER BROTHERS!!! RELEASE BLADE RUNNER WIDER, DAMN IT!!!

    by wackybantha

    LLOK HOW MUCH DOUGH THOSE FEW SCREENS ARE RAKING IN!!! YOU COULD BE RAKING IN MORE!!!! RELEASE IT WIDER , DAMN IT!!!

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 5:20 p.m. CST

    I think Will Smith woulda made a better Deckard

    by JAGUART

    Or Matt Damon. Or Ben Affleck. Those three need to remake some classics.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 5:57 p.m. CST

    Proman1984>> Re: Philip K. Dick adaptations...

    by DarthCorleone

    ...If you want to make the argument that Minority Report is the best movie that happens to be a Philip K. Dick adaptation, then I can accept that statement, even if I might not agree with it. However, I think that Blade Runner and A Scanner Darkly tonally do a far better job of adapting Dick's prose than Minority Report does.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 6:22 p.m. CST

    AWWWWW fuck

    by TheNorthlander

    I wanted to go to a film festival over here that showed Blade Runner final cut, but I just read it's been canceled from the program due to technical difficulties whatever that meant.<br> <br> Instead they're showing Shrooms. WTF.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 6:56 p.m. CST

    The Final Cut! Fucking beautiful.

    by seniorspeilbergio

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 6:57 p.m. CST

    Fucking Beautiful!

    by seniorspeilbergio

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 6:58 p.m. CST

    This Thing Has Been Cut More Times Than An Emo Kid

    by skoobyx

    <rimshot> <p> But seriously folks haven't we had more than a few versions to date?

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 7:11 p.m. CST

    Why...

    by slapshot

    ...do they need to "strike" "prints"? Memphis ain't exactly the film mecca of the universe, but even we have a theater with half its screens equipped for digital projection. (I'm seeing the 4 1/2 hour Tom Petty documentary there Monday night; do you think they've spent thousands on striking physical prints and overnighting them to the theaters? It'll be a disc or computer file or whatever playing in one of the digital rooms.) Warners should make Blade Runner a D-cinema exclusive, it could be playing nationwide next week.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 7:13 p.m. CST

    skoobyx

    by TheNorthlander

    Starwars versions still outnumber Blade Runner versions 20 to 1, and ridley doesn't destroy any versions like boy george does. If he vowed never to re-release the theatrical cut or the 92 dir. cut, then I'd bitch and moan.<br> <br> as it is, why care that there are several versions to choose from? How many versions of T2 are there?

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 7:14 p.m. CST

    Fucking Beautiful!

    by seniorspeilbergio

    I saw it at the Landmark Tuesday as well but saw a later show and wow. Honestly the print is so clear, sometimes I didn't know if I was looking at a digital fix or things that were always there but I never noticed until seeing it in higher resolution. I mean, it looked like it was shot on a 2007 film stock! For instance, when Deckard arrives at the roof of the Tyrell building for the first time, right below it I could see a window and could make out the large room with the desk where Ford interviews Rachel! Was that always there? Because if it was, I bet I still couldn't make out the fucking table and the side columns in the room! And the blimp! I swear I can make out the cockpit! I remember seeing it in 1992 and it damn sure didn't look this clear. And Moriarty was right. All the digital fixes are practically unnoticable. The scene with the snake charmer looks damn good, like it's really Fords mouth. And the digital Joanna Cassidy face on the stunt double has to be the best digital face replacement I've ever seen.Also, the carlights from the traffic on the streets below was a nice touch. As far as the sound, I didn't have any problem with it. When those Spinners zoom by in the opening shot, you hear them way before you see them and it blew my socks off when they finally whiz by. But, yeah Moriarty, your sound was probably even better. I saw Babel at the Cinematographers Union Theater in off of Sunset and boy, you really don't notice how inferior theater sound is until you see it exactly as the filmmaker intended. But overall, what a film. But I must say, Moriarty, I have to disagree with your interpretation that there are no villans in the piece. I always thought that Ford was the bad guy and Hauer was actually the good guy and by saving Ford and making him regain his humanity; by giving him that gift; that is what makes him a hero. His selfless gift to one who took everything from him. Hell, I'm going to go see it again!

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 7:24 p.m. CST

    look, there's Deckard's tie. He's been wearing it all those year

    by AllieJamison

    That one scene they link to in their promotional stuff (it's the one where Rachel visits Deckard the first time and abruptly leaves him...and a photo) that I saw yesterday ...was a revelation. I mean...it was as if I had never before seen what Deckard is actually wearing and the whole picture seemed so much lighter and clearer. I guess both, the wonderfully crappy laserdisc copy copy I've been getting used to over the years (saw the DC in a theater once, though) and the amazing restoration of the Final Cut play a role here. <br>The thing is that I started wondering if I maybe actually like the grainy, somewhat dizzy and darker version more. <br> <br> This review now was a great read and gave some inspiring ideas regarding Deckard's journey through the film. I can't wait for the FINAL DAYS documentary and what the old man has to say about little unicorn origamis.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 7:28 p.m. CST

    Re: The Voice Over -- it was ALWAYS in the script

    by catlettuce4

    "Ironically, the voiceover which seems most out of place is the only one that was supposed to be in the fiilm -- the narration over Roy Batty's death, which was written by David Peoples in his screenplay. All the other voice overs were added much later to "help the audience"" -- Crabtree WRONG. Voice over was in the script from the beginning--Hampton Francher's, not David Peoples (who did the rewrite). Much of it was taken out, then added back in. This is a commonly perpetuated myth about Blade Runner.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 7:29 p.m. CST

    by catlettuce4

    Correction, That's Hampton Fancher. Anyway, you can read his first draft (with glorious voice over) here: http://www.imsdb.com/scripts/Blade-Runner.html

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 9:22 p.m. CST

    Harrison Ford hated the voiceover so much that ...

    by loonatic

    ... he figured if he did a crappy job at reading the lines, the powers that be won't use the voice over. they used it anyway. this was revealed in the Channel 4's documentary "On the Edge of Blade Runner" which featured interviews with Ridley Scott, Fancher, Peoples, Hauer , Trumbull and others. The doc ends with Scott saying that Deckard is a replicant.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 9:36 p.m. CST

    a feeling of relief...and a comment regarding Grammaton Cleric B

    by Dr.DirtyD

    I’m surprised and happy to see this wasn't filled with people ranting about "is he, or isn't he" a replicant. I like that it's up to the viewer to make the decision. It works either way, and I find no need to force ones interpretation on the world. It seems these threads are often filled with little film fascists that demand everyone see a film as they see it. On a different, though similar note: I don't know why someone would take the time to come to this page just to say, in a single sentence "I don't like blade runner". I don’t care if you do or don’t, not in the slightest. I’m just curious as to what motivates some one to take the time to do this. Do you just want a bunch of faceless strangers to know you don’t like a movie they like? Or, are you addicted to these little message boards and feel compelled to post something, anything? Were you trying to start a love it or hate it debate (if so, it didn’t seems to work)? I’m just curious about human (or replicant) behavior, especially when it comes to socializing through a computer.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 9:57 p.m. CST

    i'll take an actor's own portrayal and script's intention

    by Prossor

    over little effects thrown in like his glowy eyes and dreaming unicorns which were better suited to an extra on legend. sorry scott these little gimmicks just don't hold up against an actor PORTRAYING a human.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 10:19 p.m. CST

    yeah, BR & Soldier share the same universe...

    by Zardoz

    in fact, I think I remember that they put a "Spinner" in the trash that's dumped out with Kurt Russell on the garbage planet...heh. Spinner!

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 10:23 p.m. CST

    jack colby, re: Ford's voiceover

    by loonatic

    that's how Katherine Haber, Production Executive who was there at the recording recalls it. Bud Yorkin a financier for the movie disputes this, saying Ford never told him this. Track down this documentary [I found it on either stage6 or veoh]. it's fascinating. the interviewees appeared to be very candid and it contains some rare footage of Philip K Dick [as well as the Deckard/Holden hospital scene]

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 10:25 p.m. CST

    This "Fan's Cut" of BR would include No Way Out and Basic Instin

    by CrushKillDestroy

    Put Sharon Stone's "questioning" scene as Deckard's first replicant interview and Sean Young's limo scene from No Way Out with Ford's son digitally inserted for Kevin Costner as the ending.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 10:33 p.m. CST

    Mori, I'm disappointed...

    by Immortal_Fish

    I take no issue with what you wrote at all, but I was expecting a review of the new cut -- e.g. what's new, what's gone, what's been altered or tweaked, what changes you felt worked and which didn't, how the package conveyed the story differently, or more efficiently, or not, than the several releases before it. You and Vern are the only reviewers here that carefully take time to offer nuanced perceptions of the nitty gritty details such as these. I've grown to expect this from your reviews. It's nice that you explained your appreciation for Ford and for Blade Runner and for the theater experience, but that should be a lead-in, not essentially the whole of what you ultimately accomplished here. Please consider appending this review with some meat about the new cut. That second to last paragraph simply doesn't do it. If the changes ain't some big bells and whistles thing that smacks you over the head with the subtlety of a 2x4, like a dance number added to RotJ, then fine, but please provide an example and dish on it at the very least. I can't be the only one that looks forward to such stuff from you.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 10:56 p.m. CST

    Ford: "I delivered the voice over to the best of my ability"

    by catlettuce4

    Another myth re: the voice over is that Ford intentionally tanked it.<p> Via Wiki:<p> It has been suggested that Ford intentionally performed the voice-over poorly, in the hope it would not be used,[40] but recent interviews contradict this:[41] In an interview with Playboy magazine in 2002, Ford clarified: "I delivered it to the best of my ability, given that I had no input. I never thought they'd use it. But I didn't try and sandbag it. It was simply bad narration."

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 10:57 p.m. CST

    soldier: sidequel

    by Prossor

    supposedly it is a sidequel to blade runner, wiki it

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 11:40 p.m. CST

    Re: Soldier

    by TheNorthlander

    When that came out I always thought it would be the perfect MST3K movie 10 years from then. I gotta see if it's available on RiffTrax.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 11:48 p.m. CST

    Damn.

    by TheNorthlander

    Not available.

  • Oct. 13, 2007, 11:49 p.m. CST

    "I don't know why he saved my life..."

    by Bill Clay

    "Maybe in those last moments he loved life more than he ever had before. Not just his life; anybody's life; my life. All he'd wanted were the same answers the rest of us wanted, where do I come from? Where am I going? How long have I got? All I could do was sit there and watch him die." <p> God, I love that stuff!

  • Oct. 14, 2007, 12:11 a.m. CST

    Seriously considering making the drive to see this...

    by Veraxus

    The Landmark is about a 60 mile drive for me, but I'm seriously considering taking the trip tomorrow evening to catch this. I expected a much wider release than yet another 1-theatre-in-LA job (ala Kingdom of Heaven, Tideland), but a geek's gotta do what a geek's gotta do...

  • Oct. 14, 2007, 12:24 a.m. CST

    The Inspector

    by Orionsangels

    Oh I connect Blade Runner to Alien, not because they have the same director or anything, because The Spinner has a computer monitor that shows the altitude when taking off and landing. So does that ship on Alien and it's exactly the same! Ridley Scott reused it for Blade Runner. So I always put the two together. I don't honestly believe they're all connected, but I wanted to get you guys debating about it.

  • Oct. 14, 2007, 3:30 a.m. CST

    Which elements were in the film at what points...

    by DarthCorleone

    ...seems irrelevant to me. Film is a collaborative process, and all sorts of elements are added or subtracted at various stages for the better or for the worse, be that the opinion of the various people making the film or the opinion of those viewing it. The voiceover's presence in the first draft of the script does not make it superior. It might be superior, and I respect that opinion (although I do not agree with it), but that would only be because it is better, not because it predates the lack of narration.<br><br>scrivener>> It's worth the drive. I can see how you might be wary about making that trek again after doing it for Tideland. (Or maybe you enjoyed Tideland.)

  • Oct. 14, 2007, 11:58 a.m. CST

    Dr.DirtyD

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    I'm just saying I love sci fi of course, I like most of Ridley Scott's stuff, and Philip K. Dick. I loved Minority Report, and loved Soldier (maybe it was the lack of dialogue, and how Russell put himself physically into the role). Having said all that I'm just saying for some reason, and I'm not even sure what it is, Blade Runner was just an okay movie for me. I find that intersting in and of itself. Knowing what I like, I should have loved it. I just find that ironic,that's all. Redfive! you are right WDOA was awesome, especially of course the last scene. The only Hauer movie I liked better was Blood of Heroes. Underated, but I love post-apocalypse. Hitcher was great also.

  • Oct. 14, 2007, 12:59 p.m. CST

    About the Landmark...

    by MichaelM

    I have to agree about the sound problem. Went to see Lust, Caution last night, and the sound was very muted. It felt like I had a pressure build up in my right ear. Very distracting especially in a movie with such a gorgeous soundtrack. I guess I'll stick with the Arclight until they can fix it.

  • Oct. 14, 2007, 1:18 p.m. CST

    Oh please....

    by seniorspeilbergio

    Yeah, Paul Anderson (the shitty one) said Soldier was connected to Blade Runner but I seriously doubt ANYONE involved with that production would agree with that let alone Ridley Scott himself. Oh yeah, and my favorite other Hauer performance is FLESH AND BLOOD. Awesome movie. Best medevil film I've seen so far. Definately my favorite Verheoven movie.

  • Oct. 14, 2007, 1:21 p.m. CST

    Sound at all theaters..

    by Simpsonian

    The last 4 movies we went to had sound problems; two were "normal" theaters, one was higher end. For two of them we got a raincheck, one we walked out within the first 5 minutes. This convinced the wife we needed a home theater. Fuck those assholes.

  • Oct. 14, 2007, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Haven't partaken in the BR talkbacks...

    by DocPazuzu

    ...so I don't know what the rationale has been for the "Deckard is/isn't a replicant!" sections of talkbackers, so forgive me if I'm repeating anything anyone else may have brought up earlier. <p> I used to think the idea of Deckard being a replicant was cool, especially after first hearing about it, but the more times I've watched the different versions of the film with that in mind, the more pallid an alternative it seems to be. <p> First of all, the biggest obvious tip-off for Deckard's replicantitude is that shot of the unicorn dream (followed up by Gaff's origami unicorn suggesting that he knows Deckard's dreams). However, this is a poorly added and clumsy sequence which lays bare how much of a second thought the whole idea was. Not that I blame Scott, since getting the geeks into froth-o-mode has increased the interest in the film many times over. <p> Besides the half-assedness of the replicant idea's implementation, the thing that speaks mostly for Deckard's human status is simply the fact that it makes for a much better film and a much more satisfying emotional journey for the characters. <p> I mean, what's the fucking point of the scene on the rooftop where Batty waits to see if Deckard will whimper and drop to the streets or defy him to the end (and spit at him, which he eventually does) if he's a replicant? The artificial Batty, who obviously has more of a heart and soul than any human, is in his final moments of life trying to teach the emotionally and morally dead human Deckard a thing or two about the value of life itself. Blade Runner isn't half as profound if you allow that Deckard is a replicant. <p> Boiled down to its essence, Blade Runner isn't about how anyone could be a replicant, but that the replicants are quite easy to detect because they are so different from us in ways the humans of that particular future don't seem to grasp. Ultimately, this is why they need the Voigt-Kampff test -- humans have lost the ability to feel and empathize themselves. <p> "More human than human."

  • Oct. 14, 2007, 2:14 p.m. CST

    Style over substance

    by Zath_ras

    Mori hit it on the head, and yet used it as a compliment. This was the first genre film to really fall into that trap. It was a paper-thin story that immersed you in Ridley Scott's dreamy post-Chanel No. 5 commercial visuals, which culminated in the hit-and-miss "Legend". The world itself was as much a star, if not more so, than the actors within it. Sadly, with the constant improvement in fx technology, we've had more and more visually breathtaking films whose scripts are piles of mindless, soulless shit in the past two decades. If it looks good, who needs a good story, right? I'm not calling Bladerunner mindless, soulless shit, but it did open the floodgates nevertheless.

  • Oct. 14, 2007, 10:37 p.m. CST

    THIS NEEDS A WIDER RELEASE

    by RipVanMarlowe

    now.

  • Oct. 15, 2007, 12:12 a.m. CST

    narration makes it noir

    by lynxpro

    I've always liked the studio cut the best. And Deckard is a human.

  • Oct. 15, 2007, 8:59 a.m. CST

    Had the breifcase DVD on pre order for Months!!

    by boyblue

    I cant see it getting a wide theatrical release over here in the UK. Saying that though our local ODEON isnt much cop! Come on DVD !!!!!

  • Oct. 15, 2007, 9:02 a.m. CST

    breifcase???

    by boyblue

    I meant briefcase, doh!!

  • Oct. 15, 2007, 9:46 a.m. CST

    WIDE RELEASE please

    by ScreamingPenis

    BLADE RUNNER is an incredible experience on the big screen. starting with the huge eyeball in the beginning, the visuals take on much more meaing when they can be appreciated in more detail. i've caught the Director's Cut twice in the theater. for the love of film, Warner Brothers, print it up and ship it off. do a midnight saturday showing or something. people will come...

  • Oct. 15, 2007, 9:51 a.m. CST

    ...and Mori is so right about the Lawrence of Arabia restoration

    by ScreamingPenis

    it looks like it was filmed yesterday.

  • Oct. 15, 2007, 1:17 p.m. CST

    Would anyone want to see a BladeRunner prequel?

    by samurai sark

    Los Angeles, 2017: A new law makes Replicants illegal on Earth. "Blade Runners" are assigned to capture and/or retire non-compliant products. Some cops believe they are upholding the law, while others fear they have become murderers. -- Directed by Tony Scott, Matthew Davis as Deckard, John Leguizamo as Gaff

  • Oct. 15, 2007, 1:30 p.m. CST

    Senator Theater

    by holidill

    For all the fans in Baltimore, this is playing at the Senator for one week only starting Friday I believe. Check it out. I am...

  • Oct. 15, 2007, 3:56 p.m. CST

    Deckard is a machine. Human or otherwise, you decide.

    by Bronx Cheer

    The film is great. Rutger Hauer's speech at the end about the things he saw in space...horrible. Makes no sense. Orion's shoulder? The heavens are not laid out in 2D. Sean Young is wicked hot. Terrific cast. Amazing production design. And Los Angeles probably will look like that in another few years.</p>

  • Oct. 15, 2007, 10:02 p.m. CST

    CHICAGO BLADE RUNNER FANS!!!! NOVEMBER 2, 2007 IT WILL OPEN HER

    by wackybantha

    http://www.musicboxtheatre.com/comingsoon.html

  • March 16, 2010, 6:23 p.m. CST

    Orcus remembers this

    by orcus