Isaacs Picture Conclusions

THE IPC DOUBLE TAKE # 2 ~ FEATURING HEAD IN A VICE: BLADE RUNNER (1982)

I was doing some email talking to my friend Tyson at HEAD IN A VICE a few several weeks ago and we were discussing my involvement in his IMDB TOP 250 project and I agreed to do ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST (as well as something else hint hint) and he offered up a guest review here in exchange for my services (everyone is ALWAYS encouraged to do a guest review here if you like to – I would love it) and I thought about doing another DOUBLE TAKE. So we decided on the classic Blade Runner and eventually we both got around to watching it and then doing some writing. So here we go and I would LOVE it if anyone else would want to do this, for real.

BLADE RUNNER by THE IPC – FIVE TOP HATS

Blade Runner… I believe this is regarded as one of the best Sci – Fi movies ever made and I can’t disagree. Of course I watched this when I was a kid then I took a thirty year break until the other day. You sure see things a lot different when you get older. When I was a kid I loved it because I loved everything Sci – FI (Doctor Who, Star Trek, LOGAN’s RUN, Buck Rogers, you know) and now I look at it and I see: a really good movie. It’s dark, it’s depressing, it’s visually fantastic, it’s smart, it’s well acted, it’s got Sean Young before she went nuts and Harrison Ford was still young and studly and lookie there, there’s M. Emmet Walsh who is probably best known for “using his whole fist” in Fletch. Anyway, I think there’s about 47 different versions of this out there to watch and I got a hold of “The Final Cut” (which I don’t think was the final) and thoroughly enjoyed it to no end. So let’s see what I can get typed up here.

Raise your hand if you haven’t seen this. What? Really? Interesting, Tonight’s assignment is to watch Blade Runner and present me with a 1 page essay tomorrow morning. In the far, far, far, far flung future of 2019, L.A. is a run down craphole where the sun never shines and it rains constantly and billboards are the sides of buildings and cops fly around in their police vehicles and, oh yeah, the humans had created robots called REPLICANTS who grew too big for their britches and turned on their masters and are outlawed and put to death retired by cops known as Blade Runners.

Harrison Ford plays a run down craphole down and out Blade Runner who just wants to get drunk on Whiskey when he is forced back to work when four replicants slaughtered a mining crew and came back to Earth. “WHAT? WHY??” The Apt Pupil asks, absorbing today’s lesson like a sponge. Well, they only have four years to live and like Rob Zombie wrote in “More Human Than Human“, “I am the Nexus One, I want more life, fucker I’m not done.” OOPS, did I just cuss in class? OOPS.

These are actually Nexus 6 models and they’re smart and strong and full of Kick Ass and they’re back to meet their maker and get more life coded into them. They are lead by Rutger Hauer as Roy Batty and their group consists of Darryl Hannah as Pris, Brion James as Leon and Joanna Cassidy as Zhora.  To meet their goals, they plan on infiltrating the Tyrell Corporation and get to the top. Posing as an employee, Leon is subjected to the “Voight-Kampff” test designed to distinguish humans from replicants based on their emphatic response to questions (thanks Wikipedia!) He doesn’t like how it’s going so he blows the interviewee to smithereens and Ford is, reluctantly, on the case.

There’s also another story at foot here involving a young and fetching Sean Young before she was off getting into fistfights at the Academy Awards. She plays a new model of Nexuses that have memories implanted in their code and think they’re human. Her story is actually kind of sad when she realizes that she only has a limited amount of time left but, like Edward James Olmos’ character Gaff says ” “It’s too bad she won’t live, but then again, who does?”” I don’t think I am going to go in to too much more detail here because I want plenty of space for Tyson’s work but I’ll ask The Good and Sage Reader this: do you watch it and think Deckard’s a replicant or human?

~ NOW ~

This review is a joint collaboration project with my good friend Eric from The IPC. On his site he runs a feature called ‘Double Take’ where he and a guest discuss a movie. I finally relented to his begging to work with me, and we decided on Blade Runner as our movie of choice. I figured it would tie in nicely with my IMDB project since this movie features on that list, and Eric can then tell me why my opinion is wrong and we will post this up on both our sites. I can only to apologize to Blade Runner fans, there are probably loads of you who could have done a better review for this film than I’m about to offer up, but it should at least be fun watching Eric shoot my thoughts down in flames! Enjoy 🙂 (ED. NOTE- WHY THE HATE??)

Blade Runner is a 1982 American science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Daryl Hannah and Sean Young. The screenplay, written by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples, is loosely based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. Blade Runner was not a financial hit at the time but has gathered plaudits over the years.

I will try and offer my thoughts based on the time this film was made, and not compare it to the visual treats CGI and technology can create these days. That being considered, I thought Blade Runner looked beautiful, and the film depicts a dystopian, overpopulated Los Angeles in November 2019 that never sees the sunlight, and in which genetically engineered organic robots called replicants – visually indistinguishable from adult humans – are manufactured by the powerful Tyrell Corporation as well as by other “mega–manufacturers” around the world. Their use on Earth is banned and replicants are exclusively used for dangerous, menial or leisure work on off-world colonies. Replicants who defy the ban and return to Earth are hunted down and “retired” by police special operatives known as “Blade Runners”. The plot focuses on a brutal and cunning group of recently escaped replicants hiding in Los Angeles and the burnt out expert Blade Runner, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), who reluctantly agrees to take on one more assignment to hunt them down.

The version I saw was Blade Runner: The Final Cut, a 25th anniversary digitally remastered version by Scott. Apparently the previous versions contained a narration which Harrison Ford himself hated, so I guess I saw the best version possible.

Blade Runner is considered by many people to be a hugely important and iconic piece of cinema. I have seen parts of it throughout my lifetime, but I have never sat down to watch the whole thing in one go, until now. Whilst my overall feeling is that I wouldn’t consider it to be the masterpiece some claim it to be, I will say that it’s visually both dazzling and visionary and full of compelling ideas about artificial intelligence and what makes someone ‘human.’ I like a film to make me think, and Blade Runner certainly does that.

I liked the plot, and whilst appearing to be a simple ‘guy is forced out of retirement for one last gig’, Blade Runner had a lot more going on. Harrison Ford is someone I like as an actor but don’t love. Not being a huge (please don’t hate me even more!) Star Wars or Indiana Jones fan, I have never really seen the appeal of Ford. After doing some research I saw Dustin Hoffman was the man they wanted as the titular character, and whilst I prefer him as an actor I can’t really see him in this role. Now Jack Nicholson on the other hand, maybe that could have made this even better!? (Apparently in the version I didn’t see, the ending involving a drive through the countryside was actually unused footage from The Shining – anything Nicholson or Shining related is good stuff to me!!). I was surprised to see Daryl Hannah in this, man she has aged well!! She is great here and I really enjoyed her part. For me (and I’m sure I’m not alone) the show was stolen by Rutger Hauer. What a great bad-guy he is, and I’m amazed he doesn’t get more credit when people talk about their favorite movie villain.

The world has a futuristic look to it, but like so many films from days gone by, when they try and predict what our future world will look like, floating cars are always there. I wish that was true now but along with hoverboards we still havent got them! That aside I thought they did a great job of making a futuristic world and having the whole cyber-punk look going on.

Another thing I liked was the music. Vangelis, fresh off of his Academy Award winning score from Chariots of Fire, composed and performed the music on his synthesizers.  The score is haunting and, again, while dated, was “futuristic” at the time.

There was nothing I disliked about Blade Runner really, I just didn’t come away from it feeling ‘blown away’. I was surprised how many famous quotes I have heard pop up somewhere in life that originated from Blade Runner. The one I have heard the most would be ‘It’s too bad she won’t live! But then again, who does?’. The ending in the version I saw at least was left open to interpretation, and I like ambiguity in an ending. I personally thought pretty early on that he may be a replicant, and despite Ridley Scott basically admitting that he is, the ending scene with the origami was a nice way to finish off the movie and I guess more so for huge Blade Runner fans, analysing this and re-watching it could be great fun. It’s just not a film I would be particularly interested in seeing again.

If I rated films with half stars I would go for 6.5, but I don’t and I’m feeling generous so I’ll round it up and score Blade Runner with a 7/10.

Thanks again Eric for making me watch this and emailing me constantly to find out ‘how god-damn long is this going to take you!? – I did your bloody Desert Island Films list (shameless link!) 🙂 so hurry up!!’ (this may or may not have happened). Always a pleasure to work with you and I look forward to your thoughts on the film and on my ramblings. 🙂 (ED. NOTE: I have never been anything but nice to you, why do you talk about me so badly???)

~

Thanks Tyson for putting in the time to do this excellent work!! I don’t know how our stories got so different but this is how I remember it (email summaries):

TC: Cheers Mate! Finally got BR, I’ll have something for you by the weekend!
EI: Sounds good! Love your work!

(a week later)
TC: Mate!! Sorry I haven’t gotten you anything, been super busy doing Desert Island films!!
EI: No worries!! I’ll have “Cuckoo’s Nest” for you here in a day or two.

(a week later)
TC: Cheers!! Sorry I haven’t got anything to you!! I’ve been in Paris and I’m really sunburned!! I’ll have something for you in the next 48 hours!!
EI: No prob!! Take it easy!!
TC: Why do I keep getting emails from ROCKETMAIL?????????????
EI: Fuck me….

(two weeks later)
EI: Hey Man – did you send me anything? Just wanted to make sure you didn’t send it to that rocketmail address.
TC: HA! Is your way of telling me I’m being too slow?
EI: LOL! No – just checking since we’ve had email problems…
TC: I’ll get you something soon!!
EI: OK!!

SO – HA! That’s all just good fun! THANKS AGAIN Tyson!! This was good, very slow, fun! I hope you wonderful people liked this! If you’re ever interested in doing something similar – just send me an email to ei@theipc.me and let’s rick and roll!

Be sure to check out Tyson’s BIO over on the STAFF PAGE

14 comments

  1. Pingback: Tyson + Eric vs Blade Runner (1982) | Head In A Vice

  2. Thanks again Eric, this was good fun and I apologise for my time taken with this. I was busy writing for Misty & Jamie, applying for WhatCulture! and editing and replying to people about Desert Island Lists! I spread myself a little thin, and glad you put up with me! Your email conversation is perfect, made me laugh as its so true…..what can I say, I set myself projects and time slips away

    Love your work as you know and can’t wait to do this again!

    Like

  3. Excellent post from you guys. I’m a five top hat kinda guy myself, I have to say. This is not only the best Sci-fi movie for me but ranks as number four in my personal top ten film’s. A philosophical masterpiece.

    Like

  4. Pingback: Movie Review: Gran Torino (2008) | Head In A Vice

  5. Well, this is one of the best damn movies EVER. And Tyson was going
    to give it a 6.5?! Pah! And he expected me to give that boring ass Raging Bull movie a 10?! Not! Anyway – nice review. This movie rocks and Harrison Ford is definitely studly. 🙂

    Like

  6. Good post. I also see Blade Runner as a wonderful and important movie, but it never really blew me away….

    btw the link on logan’s run here – (Doctor Who, Star Trek, LOGAN’s RUN, Buck Rogers, you know) – is not working.

    Like

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