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Blade Runner; A Discussion...


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Showing 151-175 of 178 posts in this discussion
Posted on Jun 1, 2012, 8:31:48 AM PDT
Cavaradossi says:
D. Larson

Interesting post, but I remain unconvinced. Unfortunately, large numbers of people lack empathy, many to the point of being sociopaths. Deckard's comment concerning his wife's opinion of him is a quick snapshot that helps us to understand him as a detective who "burned out" through the killings of replicants, which suggests he once had plenty of empathy. His wife probably left him because she couldn't take him in that mode. Also, those opening scenes of the film clearly present Deckard as a world-weary, though hardened, detective of the film noir type. Think Bogart.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2012, 9:23:21 AM PDT
D. Larson says:
I'd take the "cold fish" voice over mostly as a really bad attempt at giving Deckard some sort of backstory, really. Studio executives watched the rough cut and complained that the Ford's detective didn't have even the flimsly setup of a Mel Gibson cop flick; y'know, the brash over-the-top crazy-brave young detective paired with the grouchy old "only two weeks before I retire and buy that fishing boat" mentor. With "Blade Runner", we're dumped into the story without the slighest idea of who Deckard is, what he does or why he does it.

Of course, if Deckard really is a replicant, then he wouldn't have any backstory at all, would he? Maybe vague memories of a petri dish or a burbling tank.

But, I expect the misconceived voice over was brought in, to provide a slight amount of exposition and invite a lot of ridicule. World weary film noir Bogart detective would be fine by me, but Harrison Ford plays this guy like he's been hit in the back of the head one time too many. Compared to the wonderfully hammy Rutger, Harrison really does come across as a bowl of cold noodles.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2012, 12:49:26 PM PDT
but I couldn't tell you what disc it is, but it is there somewhere in that 4 disc set"

I keep intending to watch the second directors cut and hope to this weekend. Then I will check out the extras disc and see if I can find any of the footage that seems to be "missing". Should prove interesting.

Posted on Jun 1, 2012, 12:49:57 PM PDT
Cavaradossi says:
D. Larson

It must have been the way Scott wanted Ford to play Deckard.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2012, 12:56:36 PM PDT
postsoviet re: "Agree, one replicant saving life of another would diminish everything immensely"

Yeah, this seems to me the best argument against it, as interesting a concept as it is. It would just diminish the impact of the story so significantly that I can't believe it was the intention of the screenwriters or the director. Why weaken your film that much?

You were probably disappointed because of all the overkill. By contrast, the film has grown immeasurably in my estimation from my first contact with it. If nothing else--and there is much more--the entire ambience of the film is totally unique.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2012, 12:59:56 PM PDT
cavardossi: "Why do you suppose if so many of us can see that having Deckard be a replicant weakens the film thematically Ridley Scott doesn't? "

Because Scott likes to think of himself as an "artist" or a filmmaker with "a touch of the poet" as I once heard him described, but he isn't. Sometimes he gets lucky, as with Blade Runner because of everything just falling into place, but the clunkers he has produced far outweigh the quality product.

If he thought it would sell one more dvd, he would probably claim everybody in the film was a replicant, but just didn't know it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2012, 1:04:46 PM PDT
d larson re empathy

Very interesting bit of information and it makes total sense in the context of the film. I think perhaps it hits a core in so many people because it asks what it means to be human, what sets us apart. If anything. In the end Roy proves himself more "human" than Deckard.

You are quite right that Harrison Ford hurts the film considerably. He is out acted by everyone from E Emmett Walsh and Joe Turkel to Rutger Hauer who wipes him off the screen. As much as I know admire the film, I can only dream about how powerful it might have been with a dynamic actor in the lead.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2012, 1:07:49 PM PDT
D. Larson says:
Wow, if Ridley's got a "touch of the poet", the poet part must've been on vacation when he made "Gladiator". Or that "Robin Hood". 'Cause those were some seriously murky, gloomy, dour, clunky pictures.

"Alien" poetic? Yeah, I can sort of see that. Way back in the early days with "Legend" and "The Duelists", Ridley was spreading that poetry around like all the fuzz floating in the air in "Legend". Seriously, it was great to look at, but your air filter would plug up in ten minutes from all the drifting effluvia.

I'm looking forward to "Prometheus" even though I should know better. Maybe he'll get some of that old "Alien" magic back. Or at least have a good space panties scene.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2012, 1:09:32 PM PDT
d larson re voiceover

This kind of thing has happened before. Scott wanted to plunk us down in a world we only vaguely recognize. The film seems constructed as a kind of tone poem with images, sounds and music intertwined to give us Impressions rather than explanations. The film, as I assume it was conceived, assumed the audience had a brain.

Well, this of course makes studio executives very nervous, assuming people are intelligent. I suspect that is the real reason for the awful narrative: they didn't think we would "get it".

This has, of course, happened before. Kubrick did not intend to use title cards on 2001, but MGM didn't think we could make a connection between the beaming of the signal and the space mission, hence a title card explaining it to us.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2012, 1:10:30 PM PDT
cavardossi: It must have been the way Scott wanted Ford to play Deckard"

I could believe that except that Ford is almost Always like that! As an actor, he IS sushi.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2012, 1:15:27 PM PDT
dlarson:

Yeah, there is some poetry in Alien, and in the Duellists, but there is darn little else in Scott's filmography. The discouraging thing about Prometheus, though, is that he seems to be consciously trying to retread an early success.

You want bad? How about Matchstick Men? Gladiator is monstrously overrated. A Good Year? Kingdom of Heaven. G.I. Jane. The beat goes on.

Posted on Jun 1, 2012, 4:45:09 PM PDT
Boss Oxmyx says:
In a future where artificial body parts and entire artificial bodies can be grown, it is hard to believe those parts and those bodies would not be used to extend human life. If human consciousness can be transplanted into an artificial body, how can law enforcement distinguish between a human, who has rights protected under the law, and an android, who has no such rights? Humans, being living organisms, have empathy for other living organisms. Androids, being manufactured organisms, have no more empathy for natural organisms than toasters have for other electrical appliances. Thus the need for the Voight Kampff empathy test.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2012, 5:01:59 PM PDT
bossoxmyx: "Humans, being living organisms, have empathy for other living organisms."

Oh, yeah? Well, here on Planet Earth we have endless wars and endless crime. This place has been a slaughterhouse from the beginning. And that's the way we treat other humans. Animals get it even worse from us.

So much for empathy with other living organisms.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2012, 5:14:33 PM PDT
So very sad but so very true. I've tried to live my life by a certain code of honor. Raised my children to do the same. So why is it I always find myself turning the other cheek. Yet I won't give in to the hate and lies. Doesn't make me better or worse than anyone ( or creature ) on this planet. Just a fact.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2012, 5:29:55 PM PDT
wild duck bill: "I've tried to live my life by a certain code of honor. Raised my children to do the same."

You know, in the end, that's all you can do. As much lip service as we give to it, it ain't gonna change. All you can do is try to control your little corner of it. Decide what is right and wrong for you to do and try to live by it. You can't expect anyone else to live according to it; just do what you can.

And keep out of sight!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2012, 8:43:19 PM PDT
Boss Oxmyx says:
Humans eat. Humans kill what they eat. Humans cannot empathise with what they eat or they cannot kill it and will starve. Humans work at emotionally separating themselves from what they eat so they can kill it and not starve. Hunger becomes avarice. Avarice and jealosy cause humans to work at emotionally separating themselves from other humans so they can take what others have by killing them. Killing to eat has become killing to possess. Killing motivated by avarice and jealosy leads to total inability to empathise which leads to psychosis. The psychotic has an unending hunger without any sense of guilt.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2012, 9:35:13 AM PDT
"Humans cannot empathise with what they eat or they cannot kill it and will starve."

I've heard there are certain tribes that apologize to the animals they kill, and give thanks to them.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2012, 9:41:53 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 2, 2012, 9:44:17 AM PDT
"In the end Roy proves himself more "human" than Deckard."

Batty doesn't show much empathy until the very end of the movie. Perhaps Batty becomes fully "human" just before the dies?

And regarding "lack of empathy" and "sociopathy-" don't Pris, Leon, Batty, and Zhora act pretty much like sociopaths?

On the other hand, Rachel and Deckard (who according to Ridley Scott is a replicant) don't act particularly sociopathic. Maybe that's just an unresolvable inconsistency (Scott screwed up).

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2012, 9:55:34 AM PDT
"I don't know why he is locked into not letting Blade Runner go over two hours. More footage wouldn't have hurt a bit."

In those days (before Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings), SciFi/Fantasy movies rarely went over two hours. Dune, which came out after Bladerunner, was unprofitable (although that movie had other problems, like being largely incomprehensible to those who hadn't read the book, which is to say, most people)

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 4, 2012, 4:02:39 PM PDT
"Maybe that's just an unresolvable inconsistency (Scott screwed up)."

In the end, this is probably true. We are looking for in depth consistency where most likely none exists. Even with all his re-edits, there is only so much Scott and correct.

However, I am not sure that Deckard or his boss or Joe Turkel for that matter, express much more empathy than the replicants.Well, maybe that's part of the point, though.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 4, 2012, 4:06:03 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 4, 2012, 4:06:45 PM PDT
Cilantron: re movie length

Well, 2001 ran over 2 1/2 hours. But what I was getting at was that Scott has now re-edited his film twice, in a later time and there doesn't seem to be any intrinsic reason he couldn't have made it longer. Each cut seems virtually the same length. He did pretty much the same thing with Alien. He recut it, but the running time is barely different.

Heck, I kind of like Lynch's Dune; I bought it anyway--and I have not read the book. In some ways its like Blade Runner, in that we don't have to have everything literally spelled out for us.

Posted on Jun 5, 2012, 4:38:46 AM PDT
Cavaradossi says:
Thomas A. Stith

Dune - odd film, but, oh my heaven, what a visual feast!

I rewatch it every few years and always wonder what it could have been. Maybe Herbert's book really isn't filmable, at least not in the usual two to three hour span, but it feels like Lynch & Co. did their best. Too many commentators focus only on the film's failures and never on its successes.

Was this one of the classic Hollywood cases of a nervous studio stepping in and forcing its vision of a film over the director's wishes in an attempt, in their minds, to save it?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 6, 2012, 12:15:04 PM PDT
cavardossi: re Dune

I don't know,maybe not having read the novel was an advantage for me. I rather got into Lynch's oblique way of telling the story,and, of course, the visuals. Did we really NEED to have every little thing explained to us? I tried to watch the longer version, with endless explanations, that Lynch quite rightly had his name removed from,and all that backstory doesn't improve the film one bit.

If we are watching a complex society on a distant planet we know nothing about, is there anything wrong with a little mystery? Does everything have to be cut and dried?

Did you notice that all these massive sets are barely seen? You get one scene in some of them, and often in medium shot. Maybe the producers didn't think Lynch put enough of their money visibly on the screen?

And, as you say, it does some things extremely well. The film literally drips with atmosphere as few more successful films do. Maybe Lynch realized that, ultimately, its a pretty shallow story, so he concentrated on the visuals.

Even at that point in his career surely people realized that Lynch wasn't going to give you a standard sci fi action film!

Posted on Jun 6, 2012, 12:33:03 PM PDT
I'm sure we are all going to miss Ray Bradbury (1920 - 20l2)

Posted on Jun 6, 2012, 1:30:13 PM PDT
I'm sure we are all going to miss Ray Bradbury (1920 - 20l2)

Not to mention Pedro Borbon.
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Discussion in:  Movie forum
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Initial post:  May 23, 2011
Latest post:  Jun 7, 2012

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