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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » Film Handlers' Movie Reviews   » Blade Runner (1982)

Author Topic: Blade Runner (1982)
Justin Hamaker
Film God

Posts: 2135
From: Lakeport, CA USA
Registered: Jan 2004

 - posted 10-02-2017 04:19 PM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Since Blade Runner 2049 opens this week, I decided to watch to original Blade Runner last night. I first saw it about 15 years ago and wasn't very impressed. I thought maybe I was missing something. Turns out I wasn't.

The movie is dark, depressing, and confusing. The tone is very uneven, and there isn't really anything to make the characters likable, including Harrison Ford's character.

I know Blade Runner is often regarded as a classic, and one of those movies cinephiles just expect everyone to like. I just didn't see anything particularly interesting in the movie. Plus the choices for music make the movie feel extremely dated.

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 2646
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012

 - posted 10-02-2017 07:47 PM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm one of those guys who really likes it... but I do realize there are plenty of people who don't really like it.

Yes, it is dark and I guess it's supposed to be confusing.

I think, given similar productions from around the same time, the movie holds up amazingly well. There isn't really any special effect in the movie, for example, that feels distinctively fake.

It's interesting how you classify the soundtrack as dated, as I've always considered it to be a pretty timeless piece, while not entirely hiding the time in which it was made.

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Mark Ogden
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 887
From: Little Falls, N.J.
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 10-02-2017 08:55 PM      Profile for Mark Ogden   Email Mark Ogden   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Two different but equally respectable opinions. Still, the picture is certainly one of the most influential movies ever made by virtue of its art direction and production design alone. I find the performances pretty stiff (and Sean Young is horrible), but I love watching the thing just to look at it, it is so beautifully visualized. Love the score as well, I thought it fit the picture perfectly.

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David Stambaugh
Film God

Posts: 4017
From: Eugene, Oregon
Registered: Jan 2002

 - posted 10-02-2017 09:13 PM      Profile for David Stambaugh   Author's Homepage   Email David Stambaugh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's a flawed masterpiece for me. I prefer the version with Deckard's narration.

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John Wilson
Film God

Posts: 5436
From: Sydney, Australia.
Registered: Dec 1999

 - posted 10-02-2017 11:35 PM      Profile for John Wilson   Email John Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm with you there, David.

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Peter Castle
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 212
From: Wollongong University, NSW ,Australia
Registered: Oct 2003

 - posted 10-03-2017 11:03 PM      Profile for Peter Castle   Email Peter Castle   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
And me. The narration gave it a more noir feel.
I watched it again on BluRay and preferred the narration still.
Saw it in 70mm in Salt Lake City back in 1982.

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Alexandre Pereira
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 126
From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Jan 2016

 - posted 10-03-2017 11:38 PM      Profile for Alexandre Pereira   Author's Homepage   Email Alexandre Pereira   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The narration is certainly what makes the film - it pulls back the audience and makes them connect with the main character...cynical as they maybe. The nature of noir is that cynicism - taken from the point of view of the hero/antihero who reflects on the world and involves the audience through that narration - really an inner glimpse of the id. Narration is a noir trope that makes the audience an accomplice tof the insanity of what is on the screen. The original 1982 edit of Blade Runner is by FAR the best and the most revealing.

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Monte L Fullmer
Film God

Posts: 8353
From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
Registered: Nov 2004

 - posted 10-06-2017 05:08 PM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Took three times to see the original BR to really like this film..and do agree with Ford's narration: it made the movie.

Wish Ridley Scott would have kept that in for the home video releases.

Soundtrack by Vangelis helped also


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Michael Coate
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1885
From: Los Angeles, California
Registered: Feb 2001

 - posted 10-08-2017 02:47 PM      Profile for Michael Coate   Email Michael Coate   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Peter Castle
Saw it in 70mm in Salt Lake City back in 1982.
At which cinema?

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 2646
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012

 - posted 10-08-2017 04:38 PM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm pretty torn between the version with and without narration.

The narration adds some perspective, insight and depth to the story, but it also removes some of the mystery. And unfortunately, the narration itself is pretty bad.

I think the ultimate version for me, would be a version without narration, which I think is in many cases, for a movie, a pretty sloppy device to tell a story. But they should've told what you missed either via dialog or worked it into the movie otherwise, while avoiding too much exposition (which often also is a sloppy cinematic device).

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Mitchell Dvoskin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1833
From: West Milford, NJ, USA
Registered: Jan 2001

 - posted 10-11-2017 11:10 AM      Profile for Mitchell Dvoskin   Email Mitchell Dvoskin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I actually like the narrated version better. Not only does it fill in non obvious detail, but it adds to the film noir feel.

My big problem with removing the narration is that they did not re-edit the film, so you had people standing around doing nothing for extended periods of time where the narration used to be.

My other two problems with all the non-narrated version is that by pushing the idea the Deckard was a replicant, and removing the "happy" ending, it changes the point of the film.
  • Inserting the "unicorn" dream broke up a beautiful piece of piano music, spoiling the mood of the scene.
  • Removing the ending removed the philosophical question of what it means to be human. The last line of narration needed to be in the film, whether spoken or narrated. "I don't know how long she has, but then who does?".
  • And of course, they never fixed the escaped Replicant count.
And finally, up until the "final cut", they never finished the opticals for the surrounding buildings when the dove flies up into the sky.
Sometimes directors should not second guess themselves after the fact. This is one of those times.

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