Thursday, June 01, 2006
#24- Blade Runner- Ridley Scott- 1982
Best science fiction film you'll ever see... and here is why. Blade Runner blurs the lines of Sci-Fi. Yes, it's set in the future and has strange landscapes of dark cities, flying cars and such, but the overall air doesn't feel foreign. The film brings a future society and makes it feel contemporary. The enemies are 'replicants' which are cyborgs, but they don't look robotic and act with somewhat normal human emotions. The Blade Runners themselves are futuristic Sam Spades as they are teh ones to hunt down on replicants who are back on Earth.
Basically, this is a Noir-Fi film. Taking the conventions of the Film Noir genre and skyrocketing them into the future is done so flawlessly that there was no way I couldn't have this film on this list. Two genres I love blended seamlessly into one epic film.
Harrison Ford is on top of his game in this flick. He commands the screen with his stoic and dark Rick Deckard, a retired blade runner brought back onto the force. Rutger Hauer (before he became hilariously bad) gives the most powerful and chilling performance of his troubled career. Roy Batty is the most cruel enemy you'll see, but there is a sweet twist at the end to show you just how the replicants can really be. The thing with Hauer in this movie is the fact that you see just how great of an actor he really was. Then when you watch some of the other films he's in, you say "why did he choose to do these roles?" Even in the crappiest of crappy movies he has done, he still has a screen presence that goes wasted. It's a shame, but if Roy doesn't make you sit on the edge of your seat in Blade Runner, then you just have some sort of mental block against Rutger.
Beyond being sci-fi and noir, Blade Runner is a social statement. The replicants were built as slaves, but since they have emotional abilities, they rise up and want equality. The fact that replicants look exactly like humans and the only way to know someone is a replicant is through a series of strange questions to bring an emotive response makes the enemies even more interesting.
This film is also an exercise in proving that CGI is for the birds. The special effects are not dated in the least. Everything is dark, dreary and rainy. All the approach shots of the cars coming into land and zooming around the skies of the city are really great. The action sequences in this film are also excellent.
Blade Runner has slowly climbed this list (used to rest near the bottom) but over time, I truly appreciated the pure genius of the story, the acting and the genre blending that this movie achieves.
(Editor's Note): Check the Pearl Jam post if you are interested in Odds and Lost Dogs: The Who vs. Pearl Jam tracklisting.