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Blade Runner

Director: Ridley Scott

A futuristic noir picture that is a crowning achievement for science fiction cinema. One of the most important visual films ever produced in the realm of sci-fi. It mixes classic detective with modern cop thriller.

Harrison Ford is assigned to track down and kill a handful of escaped slave androids and in the process falls in love with a female robot who has had childhood memories implanted, unbeknownst to her. Harrison's character Rick Deckard fosters her while trying to keep his assignment priorities in check, and in the process must question his own motivations and mortality.

This is really a much more complex and adult oriented film than many people have given it credit for. It tackles things in a slow paced and strange way but I get a feeling that most viewers discount it because they simply cannot look past the obvious things that get used against a movie like this.

If special effects were a distraction from a good story, I suppose Blade Runner would be guilty as charged. The model and set work in this film is simply magnificent. It has been copied to death so many times since 1982 that I can see why it's not as sacred or unique to modern movie goers. Back when this film came out, Harrison Ford was not a dramatic actor. He was Han Solo from Star Wars. A wisecracking, egocentric macho man with a certain charisma and charm to play anyone's cool uncle or father figure. Blade Runner took his public image and turned it inside out to a shocking degree. He was now vulnerable.

Music had never been used in a film like it was used in Blade Runner. Greek electronic composer Vangelis created a lush and haunting score that held this movie at all corners. Blade Runner's sound design is also brilliant. Scarce Rhodes piano notes, tubular bells, dulcimers, orchestra cymbals, all used in unconventional ways mixed with reverberated computer glitch blips, overhead fan blade whirring sounds, smokeless engine rushes and inventive mechanical/hydraulic cues were ocassionally signature of Ridley Scott's previous work on Alien, except now it was much more extravagant and dense. A whole world has been created for study from the soundtrack alone.

I suppose I have to say that I saw Blade Runner at the drive in theaters on a mild Summer night back to back with Sharky's Machine. Nothing, and I mean nothing, was like Blade Runner when it came out. It was mindblowingly sophisticated and deep.

It may may not be a perfect film on every level, and honestly, I'm glad it's not. I appreciate that some of the more dopey things about Blade Runner are there in the film. Because if Blade Runner were perfect, and I mean, what is perfect anyway(?), then it would be too much to watch. It'd be like seeing God. You wouldn't be able to take it. There would be riots in the streets. The dream would take over and people would be convulsing in the aisles, belching up popcorn and peeing their pants.