Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Blade Runner: The Final Cut


I heard Blade Runner: The Final Cut was playing in Salt Lake City yesterday and so my natural response was to go see it immediately.

My response was well rewarded since I'd almost forgotten how bloody perfect Blade Runner is. I've been hyped for the new version of the film since I caught Ridley Scott's panel at comic-con over the summer and I had naturally assumed that I wouldn't see it until I picked up the giant box-set-attache-case-dealie. But no. Not today.

The first thing I'd like to mention is that this film was projected with one of those fantastic 5K Christie projectors on a giant screen. It was quite possibly one of the most gorgeous Hi-def transfers of an older film I think I've ever seen. Not only that, but the special effects still held up to the point where I felt like I could have been watching a contemporary film.

Now that that's out of the way, I must now say that I hadn't seen Blade Runner in quite a while. Perhaps five years or more. And in all that time, my memory of the film faded and I felt like I was watching it for the first time and it was a wonderful experience. I had remembered quite a few details wrong and I had very little recollection of the last half of the film outside of Roy howling.

This film is what science-fiction should be about. Science-fiction filmmakers (with very few exceptions) seem to have lost their way and science-fiction filmmakers from days gone by seem to have abandoned films like this. I wish Ridley Scott would direct more stuff like this than crap like A Good Year.

But everything about this film worked. From the mind-boggling production design of the not-too-distant future and the cinematography to the script and the acting it all worked together to provide a tapestry of a world that offered the chance to weigh a philosophical debate that we wouldn't ordinarily be able to have. In fact, as we get closer and closer to scientists cloning humans we get closer and closer to the designer genetics of the Nexus-6 and the closer we get to that, the closer we get to the moral conundrums for people like Deckard.

I don't want to get too much into the philosophical issues raised in the film for a couple of reasons. One) It's pretty pretentious in a forum such as this and Two) We did it for like three or four hours after we left the film.

I want to point out two more things before I advise that you go see it before it leaves theatres: First is the attention to detail and the ambiguity that Ridley Scott imbued into the film. There are a number of visual clues and story points that lead one to believe that Deckard is himself, in fact, a Replicant. Visually, it was the orange balls of light in the eyes that informed you, as an audience member, that a character was a Replicant. It was a really fascinating touch and I don't know if it was something that was added to the Final Cut or in the original. Either way, it was bloody wonderful.

The second thing I wanted to point out was my eternal disgust for today's modern film-going audience. Saw IV sold out at the theatre I saw Blade Runner at last night and there were literally less than 10 of us inside Blade Runner. It's enough to drive you to drink.

Anyhow, go see Blade Runner while you still have the chance. And if you have the misfortune of missing it, revisit it on video as soon as the DVD's come out and you will not be disappointed.

3 comments:

Steven said...

There's a reason Saw IV sold out. It's because it was sawesome.

Anonymous said...

Hey we agree! Blade Runner is bloody brilliant. I would rate it on the top of my favorite films. Some of the older films that get a lot of attention, like citizen cane and 2001, just dont do it for me. But Blade Runner is pretty incredible.. I was watching it last week in fact to look at the lighting... fricking incredible how what they were able to do with it.

-Jess

Steven said...

What's a Blader Runner?