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Do you love Blade Runner? Why?

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Rainys Andrew Blekaitis
Do you love Blade Runner? Why?
on Mar 19, 2013 at 8:28:21 pm

Many people love Blade Runner, and so do I. If you love this movie please tell me why.

I don't care about the Deckard character played by Harrison Ford, I don't think it's a great detective story, and whether Deckard is himself a Replicant doesn't matter to me. For me the essence of Blade Runner is when Roy, leader of Replicants who snuck back to Earth, meets with Mr. Tyrell, his maker. Roy is my allegorical stand-in.


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Mike Cohen
Re: Do you love Blade Runner? Why?
on Mar 19, 2013 at 11:16:34 pm

We talked about Blade Runner further down this forum. I found some behind the scenes vids on YouTube.

The Bradbury building is a character in the film along with other films it has been in over the past century. Once I learned that I once stayed 2 blocks away and missed it I was peeved. I did see Angel's Flight nearby.

As a kid my favorite scene was the video microscope thingy where Declared studies a photo. Now we can almost do that but not quite.

The spinner car flying around LA was a nice effect.

OK you know what the whole movie is amazing visually. Sci fi noir. Has not really been done since.

Mike Cohen


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Scott Roberts
Re: Do you love Blade Runner? Why?
on Mar 20, 2013 at 1:14:42 pm

I hate always being a contrarian when Blade Runner comes up, but I'm just not a fan of that movie. But I don't really have a hatred of the film or anything, I just find it rather overrated.

I've seen it three times. The first time was my freshman year of college, just on my own. I almost fell asleep during it. The second time was my junior year of college, for an actual class. My opinion of it had not improved. Then a few years after college, I had the urge to rewatch it again, maybe thinking my college self was too naive to enjoy it... Nope, I still just thought it was an alright movie on the third viewing... It's neither good nor bad to me, but I definitely didn't read into it as deeply as it WANTED me to read into it.

I don't consider Blade Runner to be a sci-fi masterpiece. I don't consider it to be a 1980s masterpiece. I don't even consider it one of the best 1980s sci-fi films in general. I'd take Aliens, Robocop, Akira, Terminator, Predator, The Fly, and Brazil over Blade Runner any day of the week. It's better than Tron, I guess. I'll give it that.

Perhaps a fourth viewing is what it will take for me to finally enjoy Blade Runner as much as everyone else? Eh, the only problem is that I don't see myself getting motivated enough to do so. [makes origami figure, leaves it on desk, hopes you overanalyze it to nausea]


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Tim Wilson
Re: Do you love Blade Runner? Why?
on Mar 20, 2013 at 5:14:26 pm

[Scott Roberts] " I don't even consider it one of the best 1980s sci-fi films in general."

I'm with you. No disrespect intended. It certainly had a compelling visual take on the future of urban design...but otherwise....

Nice list of better 80s sci-fi. I've got others to add.

-- Altered States
-- The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. Not sure this doesn't belong at #1. LOL Holy spit.
-- The Abyss. Cameron's masterpiece? See the extended version before you decide. I'm not going to argue against Aliens though.
-- Superman II. The first one was fun, but this one got real. Hahaha. Maybe we can agree on "compelling" and "dark."
-- Phone home, bitches.
-- Road Warrior. Made me sick to my stomach, but stuck the landing.
-- Reanimator. Maybe the most disgusting movie ever (although I haven't seen Caterpillar), but perfect in every way.
-- Liquid Sky. Definitely has elements of Blade Runner rip off just a year later, but also bizarrely original, and utterly insane. Maybe doesn't belong on the list of "better than Blade Runner," but certainly on any list of 80s sci-fi classics.
-- Escape from New York
-- REPO MAN. Oh. My. God.
-- Heavy Metal
-- Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Absolutely adorable.
-- The Thing
-- Swamp Thing. Almost not fair to include, but man, I loved it.
-- The Last Starfighter. Ditto.
-- Back To The Future. Ditto.
-- Ghostbusters. Ditto. Although I saw it recently, and was mostly aware that it was too damn long.
-- Spaceballs. Ditto.
-- Kyle MacLachlan IS Muad'Dib. Sting in a diaper!!!
-- The Hidden! Kyle MacLachlan, even tranger than Dune? Hells to the yeah! Intentionally goofy, but it still works.
-- Predator, The Running Man. With Terminator, Arnold was on a roll.
-- Alien Nation. Mandy Patinkin, holla!
-- Lair Of The White Worm. I can make a case that this is the freakiest Ken Russell film of all...which is saying a lot. But since I started my list with him, it feels right to end with him.

Except for this of course.


I'm leaving out a number of cheese classics (Somewhere In Time, Honey I Shrunk The Kids, Earth Girls Are Easy, Scanners, Cocoon, Bill & Ted, Innerspace, Short Circuit), and some "real" movies that I didn't think were quite as good as Blade Runner...but overall an amazing decade for sci-fi. There are a lot of films that Blade Runner would have to top, that -- other than some sections of visual brilliance -- for me, it just doesn't.

We might should start a thread of "things that are probably actual classics that I just don't like anyway," but I was more taken with Ridley Scott's 1984 spot, and I don't mean that as condescending or faint praise. I think that thing's genius on a stick.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Do you love Blade Runner? Why?
on Mar 21, 2013 at 3:48:35 pm

Blade Runner and the original Star Wars marked a seminal change in the Art Direction of big sci-fi movies, in that they both envisioned a "lived-in" future, one with dirt and dents, stained and worn clothing, mixes of styles and fashions, and the appearance that actual time had passed and the environment had developed over time.

In SF movies before these two films, the "future" was always depicted as if every article of clothing, every manufactured object, was showroom-new. And from the SAME showroom, as if there was only one brand and one maker of everything. Like every building had just been completed the day before. And this artificiality and homogenous look to everything didn't jibe with audience sensibilities. Lucas said he wanted a world the "looked lived-in". Scott's Los Angeles tells you it's future history with one glance: the change in weather patterns, the rise of corporatism, industrialization, the promise and failings of new technologies, the tidal wash of ethnic composition and demographic change as cultures overlap each other.

The art direction, as much as anything else, in these two film,s marked a huge turning point, and films coming after these all went from depicting shiny plastic artificiality to attempting weathered, used, realistic design cues, where the background has a back-story all its own.


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Tim Wilson
Re: Do you love Blade Runner? Why?
on Mar 21, 2013 at 5:15:26 pm

[Mark Suszko] "Blade Runner...marked a seminal change in the Art Direction of big sci-fi movies"

I ain't sayin' it ain't IMPORTANT, just that I didn't much LIKE it.



[Mark Suszko] "Star Wars...envisioned a "lived-in" future"

Except it took place in the past. A long, long time ago in fact. LOL

Not disagreeing of course. Probably my actual favorite science fiction thing is Firefly, set indeed in the future, and it completely owes its dusty settings and beloved, beat up small starship to Star Wars. It also, ironically, has a specifically "past" feel to its future, with horses, revolvers, trains and saloons figuring every bit as prominently as spaceships.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Do you love Blade Runner? Why?
on Mar 21, 2013 at 7:25:41 pm

Are you SUPPOSED to "like" a dystopia?


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Rainys Andrew Blekaitis
Re: Do you love Blade Runner? Why?
on Mar 21, 2013 at 8:09:28 pm

I love other movies more because Blade Runner isn't a good detective story. I don't care about the subtle twist that Deckard is himself a Replicant. I love Blade Runner for Roy Batty's vicarious struggle with God. And also Batty loves life so much he spares Deckard's life before his built-in timer ran out.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Do you love Blade Runner? Why?
on Mar 21, 2013 at 8:21:57 pm

You can find fascination in a thing without "loving" it. It can be enough that a film takes you away from your reality and for ninety-odd minutes, occupies your skull with a fictional place that holds your complete attention and takes you outside of yourself.

Avatar is like this.

The Fifth Element is like this. (Plus, it's always the best movie to demo a new AV/sound system)


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Tim Wilson
Re: Do you love Blade Runner? Why?
on Mar 21, 2013 at 9:16:19 pm

Rainys, great point.

Mark, I adore dystopias. Some of the movies I love most dystopias. I'm going to assume that you're being playfully rhetorical and not over-answer (wha....?), but since I just mentioned Firefly, I'll mention Serenity. I could also have mentioned this in the favorite endings thread.

Children of Men is an all-time fave, and I think no more kids is a GOOD idea. LOL

Brazil, District 9 and 12 Monkeys come up here now and again. Then there's this awesome Carrie Anne Moss- Hugo Weaving movie whose name I forget, but I'm sure one of you kids can remind me.

I already riffed on 80s movies, many of which are dytopias, so here are some I love from the 70s: Silent Running, Planet of the Apes (I loved every sequel too, saw 'em all at the movies), and while not great, I really enjoyed Logan's Run and Slurm...I mean Soylent Green. Does Sleeper count?

I love every single thing about Starship Troopers. Which puts Michael Ironside in TWO of the great dytopias, the other being Total Recall of course. (If his name wasn't Ironside, we'd have had to make that name up just for him.)

Joan Allen as Jason Statham's nemesis in Death Race? Awesome.

Most underrated dystopia: The Island, by Michael Bay. I can't recommend this highly enough. You've definitely seen bits of this before in other movies, but never presented with such flair. Great, great fun.

Wall-E probably shouldn't count for this discussion. Should Fast & Furious? LOL

Feeling myself start to over-answer, I'll stop with Hunger Games. I just watched again last weekend and enjoyed it even more. Also, you need to buy it for the second disk of features - best look at directing, previs, writing, editing and shooting I've ever seen. (LOTR obviously takes the prize overall.)

So yeah, I think that expecting to like dytopias is fair. :-)


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Mark Suszko
Re: Do you love Blade Runner? Why?
on Mar 21, 2013 at 9:38:23 pm

I wasn't impressed by Hunger Games; the leaps of logic and uneven characters took me out of my willful suspension of disbelief. I'll be charitable and say the movie probably couldn't realize things that the book could do with internal monologues.

You forgot Ironside in Scanners.

Ember was pretty neat for a dystopia, and Bill Murray was great in that.


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Tim Wilson
Re: Do you love Blade Runner? Why?
on Mar 21, 2013 at 11:04:13 pm

Regardless of your feelings about Hunger Games as a specific example, I was just making a point wrt dystopias, of which I'm a huge fan. If it's a movie, and I pay to see it, it's not unreasonable to expect to like it. I could have listed another two dozen that I absolutely adore, loveloveLOVE, in any way you can describe strong positive feelings.

(BTW, it's not just one of my favorite genres of movies, MUCH more so than sci-fi in general, it's also one of my favorite genres of fiction. Right now, I'd say it's my VERY favorite. If I was back in school, I might be writing my doctoral dissertation on the women writers of YA dystopias.

Or I might be smoking dope and sleeping late. I'm just saying.)

To a point that you made while I was typing my last post on my phone (why do I that?), "It can be enough that a film takes you away from your reality....for ninety-odd minutes...." -- if we're talking about Blade Runner, there aren't NINE consecutive minutes that held my attention, much less 90. I haven't counted, but there may not be nine minutes TOTAL.

For the record, I'm a huge Ridley Scott fan. I lived in Boston for many years, but the only thing that ever got me to leave the house to attend the Boston Film Festival was to see them give him a lifetime achievement award. I wouldn't have missed it. There's no director I can think of who has even attempted the range of work he has, and been so successful so often...but for me, for this, not.

Now, if we're talking about a powerful dystopia that I didn't like but was nonetheless compelled by, we can talk about Clockwork Orange. But I'd rather we didn't. LOL


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Richard Cardonna
Re: Do you love Blade Runner? Why?
on Apr 1, 2013 at 12:54:34 am

I love blade tunner but my all time number 1 is "This island earth" a 1950's b/w jewell of a film.
from Blade runner i love the atmosphere it created and the line "Like teardrops in the rain"


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