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One of my top five films. I seen Blade Runner in the summer of 82. I was 9 years old at the time and it was a experience that changed my life. I was pulled into the world of this film and in some ways I've never left. It a film that makes me think everytime I see it and I continue to see things I never noticed before and that is rare in any film. On to the review.
Ridley Scotts' 'Blade Runner' is, by far, one of the greatest Science-Fiction movies ever made. 'Blade Runner' takes place in the far future where mankind has developed 'Replicants', genetically engineered robotic-human clones. 'Replicants' were designed to be physically superior to humans, but possess the same intelligence as the common human being. These androids are used as slaves for the 'hazardous exploration and colonization' of other planets in our solar system. At some point in time, (which isn't specified in the movie) a violent 'Replicant' revolt ensues on a colonized planet, this event causes replicants to be declared illegal on Earth, if a replicant is found on Earth it will be immediately destroyed. The title of the movie, 'Blade Runner', refers to a policeman whose job it is to shoot and kill any replicants they might find on Earth.
(All of this, of course, is explained in the first three minutes of the movie, much clearer, and much shorter, but I decided to write about it anyways)
The story is about a man named Rick Deckard (played by Harrison Ford), an experienced 'Blade Runner' who's unwillingly brought out of retirement to finish one last mission. Deckard has to track down four rogue replicants who have escaped from a planetary colony to Earth, killing innocent lives on the way. These four highly dangerous replicants are loose on the streets of L.A., and could kill again unless Deckard can deal with them first.
This film wasn't the first time in the Sci-Fi genre for Ridley Scott. His previous film in the Science-Fiction genre is 'Alien', which is an extremely well presented Horror film in space. Ridley Scott knows how to establish a mood, in 'Alien' he makes the audience feel clustered, tense, and alone on a gigantic moving spaceship, the same in 'Blade Runner'. Deckard's' chase scene through L.A. in 2019, halfway through the movie, best describes the atmosphere of the film. Medium shots of Deckard running through the streets, culturally diverse extras constantly filling the screen, talking street lights, loud-annoying street sounds, all of the preceding things add up to a perfect feel of a technologically corrupted Los Angeles. The final segments of this chase scene use slow motion, and a very bluesy musical score that gives the scene such finesse that an audience can easily see the horror of what mankind, in the film, has become.
The overall presentation of 'Blade Runner' is very much like a gritty 1950's detective movie, with Harrison Ford in a majority of the scenes, becoming the stoic private eye who is fed up with his job. Ford has a knack for playing characters that are down on their luck, because of this he pulls off Rick Deckard's character flawlessly. Ford's calm and collected manner of performing all his actions fit the experienced 'Blade Runner' very well. All the roles in the film are played with great skill by the cast, every supporting performance adds to the magnificence of this film. The creator of the combat 'Replicant' models J.F. Sebastian is a timid scientist who lives with his homemade midget robots. William Sanderson, who plays Sebastian, portrays the shy scientist exactly how one would expect. Joe Turkel plays Tyrell, the owner of a major 'Replicant' producing company called Tyrell Corporation. Turkel also gives a great performance as an arrogant corporate owner. Also we have Rutger Hauer who plays the leader and most dangerous of the four escaped replicants, Roy Batty. The innocence he gives to the ruthlessly evil character is a scary thing to watch at times. What truly makes 'Blade Runner' a must-see film is its' dialogue, every conversation between characters has an underlying theme within it. One of my favorite lines is when Batty says 'We're not computers ? we're physical'. The manner Hauer says it will get the viewer thinking. The writing also shines at the end with Roy's last lines in the film, overall a very moving script with a ton of different conversations that are worth listening to.
From the opening scenes of a horribly industrialized Los Angeles, to the chase on L.A.'s crowded streets, and finally the gruesome fight scene which concludes the movie, 'Blade Runner' is one of the breakthrough films in the Sci-Fi genre. This movie is a non-stop journey through a very realistic rendition of the future. The thing to watch out with this movie is also considered to be a Film-Noir. This means that certain characteristics will constantly take shape in the film. For example a Film-Noir will only promote the cynical side of human nature, thus the genre 'Film-Noir' is a very ugly look at life. Many factors in 'Blade Runner' add up to a classification of Film-Noir some of them are: - Deckard's primary job is hunting and killing androids, not a very joyous job. Deckard himself has a very cynical way of saying things. - L.A. is portrayed as a city overrun by smoke and fog. The exterior shots of the city usually incorporate rain. Many scenes take places in dark, gloomy, and empty streets. - As you watch the film you will notice that bright colors are rarely used and the city streets are in constant darkness(because of the pollution blocking the sun).
Film-Noirs are often filled with ambiguity and the protagonist is usually a depressing kind of guy. This might discourage people from watching it, but I highly recommend picking the 'Blade Runner' dvd just to see at least one Film-Noir in your lifetime. This genre is one of those things that you either love or you hate, a proper Film-Noir will usually not have a picture perfect ending so don't expect one from 'Blade Runner'
It is a highly overlooked film nowadays, when the common movie-goer thinks of Sci-Fi immediately big name titles like: The Star Wars Saga, Star Trek, The Matrix Trilogy, The Terminator, etc. are what they would think of. Blade Runner is the true definition of the Sci-Fi genre; it doesn't have the fun and games of Star Wars, or the huge firefight scenes of the Matrix, but delivers thoughts on what it means to live, what our future holds, and a serious outlook on humans in general.
Best known for directing the classic independent horror film "Halloween", director John Carpenter works wonders in another of many of his movies that I absolutely love- "Escape From New York".
"Escape From New York" is to give a quick plot rundown about Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell), a former war hero who is now a criminal. He is ordered by Bob Hauk (Lee Van Cleef), the calm, but stubborn U.S. Police Commissioner to go into New York City, now the country's only maximum security prison and rescue the President (Donald Pleasence) in twenty-four hours. Some of the scenes in this movie are terrific such as Snake eluding the Crazies, Snake finds Brain (Harry Dean Stanton), an old friend of his who betrayed him in a robbery, and the car chase across the 69th Street bridge that is mined. To just name a few off hand.
Kurt Russell gives a perfect performance as Snake and the film gets solid supporting performances from Cleef, Stanton, Pleasence, Ernest Borgnine as the last cab driver in the Big Apple, Adrianne Barbeau, Issac Hayes as the vicious Duke, and Frank Doubleday as Romero, who manages to steal some scenes in the movie with just his freaky appearence alone. The story was written by Carpenter and Nick Castle. It is smart and very well detailed. Also, Carpenter makes a terrific musical score that pays off in some of the key scenes. Dean Cundey's cinematography is top notch as usual.
"Escape From New York" is as mentioned before one of my favorite John Carpenter films. I could go on and on about it. In the end even though its dated due to the timeframe its set in ( 1997) the film is a timeless classic