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View Full Version : A sacrilege against 'Blade Runner'



Perks
12-28-2008, 08:30 PM
So, a million years ago, I saw Ridley Scott's much revered Blade Runner. Ever since, whenever it's come up in conversation, I've always convinced myself that I was "just very tired" when I watched it.

So, it's out on Blu-Ray now and I decided to have another look, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. (Although, anyone volunteering that my tail is 'bushy' is likely to receive a dark look for his efforts.)

It's a gorgeous film and thematically interesting. And I'm not set against unrelenting grimness or anything, but - dun dunh dun DUNHHHHHH - it's boring.

I didn't care what happened to any of them. I did enjoy seeing Rutger Hauer in one of his handful of legitimate films, but beyond that, it was a very long stint at nodding thoughtfully while wondering what part of my soul was missing that I couldn't enjoy a sci-fi classic.

Am I alone?

Ol' Fashioned Girl
12-28-2008, 08:32 PM
Uh... Rutger Hauer... yes!






Blade Runner? Meh.

williemeikle
12-28-2008, 08:35 PM
So, a million years ago, I saw Ridley Scott's much revered Blade Runner. Ever since, whenever it's come up in conversation, I've always convinced myself that I was "just very tired" when I watched it.

So, it's out on Blu-Ray now and I decided to have another look, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. (Although, anyone volunteering that my tail is 'bushy' is likely to receive a dark look for his efforts.)

It's a gorgeous film and thematically interesting. And I'm not set against unrelenting grimness or anything, but - dun dunh dun DUNHHHHHH - it's boring.

I didn't care what happened to any of them. I did enjoy seeing Rutger Hauer in one of his handful of legitimate films, but beyond that, it was a very long stint at nodding thoughtfully while wondering what part of my soul was missing that I couldn't enjoy a sci-fi classic.

Am I alone?

Yes :)

Which version did you see? The director's cut without the voiceover, or the cinema version with it?

Perks
12-28-2008, 08:38 PM
Which version did you see? The director's cut without the voiceover, or the cinema version with it?I watched the original theatrical release the first time and the director's cut last night. No voice over.

Perks
12-28-2008, 08:41 PM
And as a matter of trivia, doesn't the film open up with James Remar? He's uncredited, but I swear that's the guy who gets blown away by Leon in the opening scene.

maestrowork
12-28-2008, 08:45 PM
Some of the best SF/F are "boring." ;) I couldn't finish 2001, for example, for a long time. And Solaris (the original Russian version especially)? It's slower than watching paint dry, but it's a classic.

Perks
12-28-2008, 09:15 PM
And as a matter of trivia, doesn't the film open up with James Remar? He's uncredited, but I swear that's the guy who gets blown away by Leon in the opening scene.
Nevermind. The character is named Mr. Holden, and he's played by an actor called Morgan Paull. Weird. He sounds exactly like James Remar and occasionally even looked enough like him to have me wondering.

The internet is so good for scratching pointless itches.

Toothpaste
12-28-2008, 09:29 PM
I don't find it boring to watch, but I do find the plot very thin and weak. I was surprised how much so, since it is quite a classic. Still I think it is gorgeous to look at, and thematically very interesting. It does move at a pace we are not typically used to with film in general, and you really have to submerse yourself into it, let it pour over you.

But again, there is nothing wrong with disliking a film, even a popular one. No film is universally loved.

brokenfingers
12-28-2008, 09:29 PM
I've scratched you off my Christmas card list.

Karen Duvall
12-28-2008, 09:36 PM
I really loved that movie and now must go out and rent it yet again. *sigh*

I've discovered a now defunct TV series that is very similar to BR called "Total Recall 2070." Awesome show. I'm watching the entire season on hulu.com, and it reminds me a lot of BR.

robeiae
12-28-2008, 09:41 PM
*solemnly records this day as the last one in which he will have acknowledged Perks' existence*

williemeikle
12-28-2008, 09:47 PM
I really loved that movie and now must go out and rent it yet again. *sigh*

I've discovered a now defunct TV series that is very similar to BR called "Total Recall 2070." Awesome show. I'm watching the entire season on hulu.com, and it reminds me a lot of BR.

They're both spin-offs (a fair distance away) from the same writer's source material, Philip K Dick

Perks
12-28-2008, 09:53 PM
I actually thought the climactic sequence of Batty chasing down Decker was really very good. If that helps keep me alive and on Christmas card lists...

Jcomp
12-28-2008, 09:59 PM
*solemnly records this day as the last one in which he will have acknowledged Perks' existence*

Whoa, that's all it takes?

Uh... I found Blade Runner boring as well, then...

brokenfingers
12-28-2008, 10:21 PM
To be honest, it's been a while since I saw either version, but if I recall, the "Director's Cut" did seem slow and that's why the studio added the voiceover for the theatrical cut. I believe the test audience found the seemingly long lapses of dialogue made the film drag.

Perks
12-29-2008, 12:24 AM
To be honest, it's been a while since I saw either version, but if I recall, the "Director's Cut" did seem slow and that's why the studio added the voiceover for the theatrical cut. I believe the test audience found the seemingly long lapses of dialogue made the film drag. I think not caring if Decker lived or got squashed into a grease stain made it drag.

It was the lack of being able to root for either the protagonist or the antagonist that was the problem for me. I don't need to invest a special two-plus hours not to care about anyone.

Although, every scene with Batty in it was a bit charged. He was intense and at least a little complicated, so I enjoyed watching him.

SPMiller
12-29-2008, 12:35 AM
Not everyone can appreciate antiheroes. That's just how it goes.

HeronW
12-29-2008, 12:49 AM
Took me 20 years to watch 2001 through 5 seperate times without falling asleep. Aside from BR's nifty future and the breaking fingers part, it drags like an arthritic snail over flypaper. Eyes Wide Shut is another yawner. Sometimes classics are such due to the name in it or on it --has nothing to do with the worth of a film.

rugcat
12-29-2008, 01:31 AM
I think not caring if Decker lived or got squashed into a grease stain made it drag. . .

It was the lack of being able to root for either the protagonist or the antagonist that was the problem for me. I don't need to invest a special two-plus hours not to care about anyone.I think Phillip K. Dick's books were all about ideas, dystopian futures, and paranoia in general. He wasn't particularly interested in character, imo -- his characters were only there to hang the philosophical ideas and the invented world on. That's not necesssairy a bad thing -- I read practically all his books back when they came out as Ace Double Novels (http://weblog.ceicher.com/archives/PKD.jpg) -- remember those? (Youngsters need not answer)

So it's no surprise Blade Runner, staying true to that vision, also stayed true to the lack of empathy for the character.

I see why it's a cult film, but it never grabbed the way it does some.

BenPanced
12-29-2008, 06:36 AM
It's been years, but I've seen both the theatrical release and the director's cut. I remember liking the director's cut more because I didn't have Decker telling me what I should think and/or feel about what was going on.

Chumplet
12-29-2008, 07:33 AM
I like the Director's Cut better, too. I lose myself in the images and music.

Still, I felt it missed a lot of key components, so I bought the book. I have yet to struggle through it.

TrickyFiction
12-29-2008, 08:09 AM
It's been years, but I've seen both the theatrical release and the director's cut. I remember liking the director's cut more because I didn't have Decker telling me what I should think and/or feel about what was going on.

Agreed. The voiceover was god-awful. But I loved the director's cut when I first saw it. Got all weepy even. But then, that's me. I did other things while watching 2001, which helped, and I got all weepy over H.A.L. too.

kuwisdelu
12-29-2008, 09:13 AM
I think Phillip K. Dick's books were all about ideas, dystopian futures, and paranoia in general. He wasn't particularly interested in character, imo -- his characters were only there to hang the philosophical ideas and the invented world on. That's not necesssairy a bad thing -- I read practically all his books back when they came out as Ace Double Novels (http://weblog.ceicher.com/archives/PKD.jpg) -- remember those? (Youngsters need not answer)

So it's no surprise Blade Runner, staying true to that vision, also stayed true to the lack of empathy for the character.

I see why it's a cult film, but it never grabbed the way it does some.

If you want a surprisingly good adaption of a Philip K. Dick novel, I thought A Scanner Darkly was excellent.

dclary
12-30-2008, 12:07 AM
I thought Blade Runner was "meh" when I first saw it, but there's a lot of stuff that people consider classics because they emotionally commit to it and then can never look at it with unbiased eyes again.

For the time period it came out it, it was like Unforgiven: a deconstruction of the kinds of sci-fi movies that had come before it. There's no plucky space cowboy hero (harrison ford is no harrison ford, let's just say)

And remember: Blade Runner was a financial flop when it was released, earning a paltry 27 mil... But what it WAS... was true sci-fi juxtaposed against the other, far more successful "sci-fi" movies of the year: ET and Wrath of Khan. Because it tried to compete with a kiddy movie, and a Kirk movie, it gained a huge place in the fanboy hearts of the world, and that's why it's adored today.

I still don't like it, but I appreciate it, and I appreciate Ridley Scott's enthusiasm during this period for sci-fi.. Alien and Blade Runner were formulative films in the minds of many of gen X sci-fi fans and writers.

Shadow_Ferret
12-30-2008, 12:14 AM
I was never a huge Bladerunner fan. I guess I don't like dark dystopian societies. But then I also found 2001 and Alien (yes, I tried watching this with my son and we fell asleep) boring when I tried to watch them recently.

Satori1977
12-30-2008, 01:10 AM
Love Blade Runner. Had a hard time watching it when I was younger (I just didn't get it, and thought it was boring). But now I appreciate it. I loved the dark future world. For the time it was made in, I loved it was great. Plus Harrison Ford, c'mon.

2001 is a hard one to get through, but worth it IMO.

Alien? How could someone not like Alien?? The second one was pretty awesome too. After that, I got bored.

Satori1977
12-30-2008, 01:11 AM
If you want a surprisingly good adaption of a Philip K. Dick novel, I thought A Scanner Darkly was excellent.

One of the reasons I love AW...always giving me cool new book and movie ideas. I think I have heard of this, but never seen it. Added it to my netflix queue. Thanks

Perks
12-30-2008, 01:12 AM
Holy crap. Now, I LOVE 'Alien'. How tricky is this thread?

Tiger
12-30-2008, 01:39 AM
I became a Ridley Scot fan after Blade Runner. Weird thing is that I never put it together that one of the reasons I liked the film was my taste for noire...

TrickyFiction
12-30-2008, 08:17 AM
How tricky is this thread?

So, so tricky. :D

maestrowork
12-30-2008, 08:21 AM
The next thing you know, someone's gonna say they hate Star Wars and Planet of the Apes.

The end of civilization, I tell ya.

Satori1977
12-30-2008, 12:23 PM
Planet of the Apes I can do without. Watched them once, and that is enough for me. Loved Star Wars (the last three), the newer ones, meh. But I couldn't call myself a sci-fi geek if I didn't love Star Wars.

Shadow_Ferret
12-30-2008, 10:33 PM
Alien? How could someone not like Alien??
Easily. It hasn't aged well in my opinion. That computer room with all the flashing lights is just laughable. And honestly, the beginning is just so long and booorrrring. Look, I was geeked when this movie was popular. I even have a Nostromo ball cap. I just don't think it's held up very well.

And just to clarify, Alien is more monster movie than sci-fi.

TychoBrahe
12-30-2008, 10:44 PM
Recently I watched Blade Runner with a friend who'd never seen it before, and it does have the virtue of being slow enough that you can discuss the movie while it's going on and not miss anything.

Anyway, my friend noticed right off something that had never quite clicked with me: if you insist on viewing SF movies through the good/evil lens, then Harrison Ford isn't the hero, he's the villain. Rutger Hauer is the hero, and it's really the story of Ford's redemption through the example of Hauer's heroic sacrifice.

It does make the movie more enjoyable (in a tragic kind of way) once you accept that you're supposed to be rooting for the Replicants, and not the cop. Maybe everyone else already realized that, and I'm just slow.

Meerkat
12-30-2008, 10:50 PM
I find it interesting that several of you have made comparisons between this film and 2001. I think that both directors had in mind that it was essential to the feel of each film to capture and reflect our plodding motions, our dependable lack of introspection or playfulness. In fact, it was the non-human entities in both films who went on to demonstrate both characteristics.

dclary
12-30-2008, 11:29 PM
Easily. It hasn't aged well in my opinion. That computer room with all the flashing lights is just laughable. And honestly, the beginning is just so long and booorrrring. Look, I was geeked when this movie was popular. I even have a Nostromo ball cap. I just don't think it's held up very well.

And just to clarify, Alien is more monster movie than sci-fi.

As a monster movie, it's a great monster movie. As sci-fi, it's great sci-fi, but yeah... the ship designs are 70s ship designs.

I saw it recently and didn't think it'd aged that bad. Ferret needs to imagine that that computer room is really just the server room... a big room full of servers with all their flashing lights. That's still pretty much what a computer room looks like today. All that's truly changed is the user interfaces, and you can overlook green screens and flat text.

Writer2011
01-07-2009, 09:57 AM
This is like one of may ALL time favorite movies. I like the directors cut (no voice over) and the ending to me is much better. I bought the 4-disc special edition that's got all four versions last fall.

While a little slow, it's a very interesting movie...and for those who have seen it..what do you think about Dekker? Is he or isn't he?

MissLadyRae
01-07-2009, 01:07 PM
I think Phillip K. Dick's books were all about ideas, dystopian futures, and paranoia in general. He wasn't particularly interested in character, imo -- his characters were only there to hang the philosophical ideas and the invented world on. That's not necesssairy a bad thing -- I read practically all his books back when they came out as Ace Double Novels (http://weblog.ceicher.com/archives/PKD.jpg) -- remember those? (Youngsters need not answer)

So it's no surprise Blade Runner, staying true to that vision, also stayed true to the lack of empathy for the character.

I see why it's a cult film, but it never grabbed the way it does some.

Ironical (Tm Will and Grace) in a story about distinguishing humans from androids using an empathy test, I imagine. ;)


Love Blade Runner. Had a hard time watching it when I was younger (I just didn't get it, and thought it was boring). But now I appreciate it. I loved the dark future world. For the time it was made in, I loved it was great. Plus Harrison Ford, c'mon.

2001 is a hard one to get through, but worth it IMO.

Alien? How could someone not like Alien?? The second one was pretty awesome too. After that, I got bored.

Co-sign. 2001 messes me up in a weird way with it's ending in that room. Something unsettling about how it's filmed or the idea that is rather creepy.

Alien and Aliens are both cinematic gold. Too bad the series didn't continue after that. Nope, no more movies in the series, still waiting for Scott or Cameron to pick it up. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it :tongue)

sabo10
01-07-2009, 02:53 PM
I love Blade Runner. I saw it when I was much younger (I'm not sure I was legally allowed to be in the cinema at the time) and it was incredible. This was an all-night cult film showing and they showed the director's cut, which made all the difference. I can't stand the voice-over version -- it really does make that much of a difference to the movie.

One of the defining moments of the film for me is the view of the city while Vangelis' soundtrack plays. Oh, and the final speech as the "last" replicant dies.

I can remember sitting in the cinema after it finished going, "Wow. That was Blade Runner? I understand the hype."

KTC
01-07-2009, 03:25 PM
I was unimpressed when it first came out and unimpressed when I sat through it years later for misguided nostalgic reasons. I actually found it quite horrible.

MattW
01-11-2009, 01:21 AM
I love the movie for the visuals and setting. I cannot stand the characters.

MRevelle83
01-11-2009, 05:54 AM
I liked Blade Runner.

But perhaps it was because Ridley Scott released the Director's Cut? And, you know, started the whole "Deckard is a replicant" angle. Unanswered questioned always get to me.