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A Milestone Of Science Fiction And A Cyberpunk Masterpiece
gogoschka-111 February 2018
A feast for the eyes. Dark and uncompromising. With a haunting musical score by Vangelis that adds a hypnotic quality to those breathtaking megacity landscapes of future Los Angeles. Ridley Scott's adaptation of Philip K. Dick's post-apocalyptic bounty hunter story 'Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep' is a visionary work of art; it's a dystopian masterpiece and I'd personally call it as much a milestone of science fiction as Kubrick's '2001' (and be advised to watch the version known as the "final cut" if you want to catch 'Blade Runner' as it was intended by its director).

It's hard to overstate how influential the film was; it invented the sci-fi subgenre now known as "cyberpunk", and it was also the first "film noir" in a sci-fi setting. And although it looks so distractingly gorgeous that even today there are people who still dismiss it as superficial and mere "eye candy", it is a philosphically deep film that ponders existential questions about the nature of being human. Its slow, brooding quality will perhaps leave some modern audiences who are used to a different pace and more action underwhelmed - but make no mistake: this is a groundbreaking masterwork of its genre and a timeles classic. 10 stars out of 10.

Favorite films:

Lesser-Known Masterpieces:
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A compelling, thematically-deep SF film
joelhoff5 March 2002
This is truly one of the greatest science fiction films ever made, one that requires a thinking viewer in order to understand and appreciate it. The director's cut is the recommended one to see as it omits a somewhat distracting narration and avoids an unnecessary Hollywood-style ending that is at odds with the rest of the film's tone.

A true science fiction story or film is about ideas, not spaceship battles, futuristic gadgets, or weird creatures. "Blade Runner" fully qualifies as this in its examination of the impact of technology on human society, existence, and the very nature of humanity itself. These themes are set in a fairly basic detective story that moves slowly but gradually builds power as the viewer is immersed in a dystopian futuristic Los Angeles.

Harrison Ford fans accustomed to the normally dynamic roles that he plays may be dissatisfied with the seemingly lifeless lead character that he portrays here as the replicant-hunting detective known as a "blade runner". They should be, for this dissatisfaction is part of the film experience, part of the dehumanized existence in the story's setting. However, as the story unfolds, we see Ford's character, Rick Deckard, slowly come alive again and recover some humanity while pursing four escaped replicants.

The replicants, genetically-engineered human cyborgs, that Deckard must hunt down and kill are in many ways more alive than Deckard himself initially. Their escape from an off-world colony has an explicit self-directed purpose, whereas Deckard's life appears to have none other than his job, one that he has tried to give up. By some standards, Deckard and the replicants have thin character development. However, this is a deeply thematic and philosophical film, and as such the characters are the tools of the story's themes. Each character reflects some aspect of humanity or human existence, but they lack others, for each is broken in ways that reflect the broken society in which they live and were conceived/created.

There are several dramatic moments involving life-and-death struggles, but most of these are more subdued than in a normal detective story plot. The film's power is chiefly derived through its stunning visual imagery of a dark futuristic cityscape and its philosophical themes.

Among the themes explored are the following: - The dehumanization of people through a society shaped by technological and capitalistic excess. - The roles of creator and creation, their mutual enslavement, and their role reversal, i.e., the creation's triumph over its creator. - The nature of humanity itself: emotions, memory, purpose, desire, cruelty, technological mastery of environment and universe, mortality, death, and more. - Personal identity and self-awareness. - The meaning of existence.

If you are not someone who naturally enjoys contemplating such themes, the film's brilliance may be lost on you. The climax involves a soliloquy that brings many of the themes together in a simple yet wonderfully poetic way. Anyone who "gets" the film should be moved by this; others will sadly miss the point and may prefer watching some mindless action flick instead.

"Blade Runner" is a masterpiece that deserves recognition and long remembrance in film history.
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A glorious, timeless nightmare
Flagrant-Baronessa25 July 2006
Dark, deep, uncertain, unsettling – imagine the most beautiful nightmare you've ever had – this is Blade Runner (1982).

Ridley Scott's Blade Runner is a brilliantly crafted science fiction film that not only touches upon, but bravely plunges into deep philosophical questions, making it simply ten times more important than any film of its genre. I love it not only for the initial feeling it gives, but because of its perseverance – none of the visuals, themes or technology feel dated but as deep, gripping and current as ever. It is timeless beauty with huge doses of emotion.

Set in 2019 Los Angeles, Blade Runner zooms in on the eerily-lit, urban streets of the city and follows Richard Deckard – superbly played by Harrison Ford who brings an exquisite moral ambiguity to his character – a special policeman who tracks down and terminates artificially-created humans called replicants, who have escaped from an Off-World colony and made their way to earth and need to be stopped. The things Deckard encounters on his detective journey raise many philosophical questions like: Who is really a replicant? Are replicants really bad? If replicants are bad, when why did we go to such lengths with our technology to create them? Are replicants really humans? Is Deckard a hero? This truly is a film that demands subsequent discussion and its ambiguous ending leave a haunting and eerie feeling.

In spite of a rich glaze of science fiction and futurism coating this adventure, there are distinct film noir elements present – primarily in the bluish haze that the film is seen through and its gritty urban atmosphere. Whoever thought of this combination is a genius. Since it is all about technology, it fits then that Blade Runner features a ridiculous amount of product placement, especially from Atari. In any other film, this would have felt out-of-place but here it is simply perfect. The score by Vangelis is strangely gripping when combined with the striking cinematography of the film.

Blade Runner deserves credit, celebration and remembrance for it is simply an excellent film.

10 out of 10 (and I don't just throw this grade out like SOME people)
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Still outshines the others 17 years later
Ivan-285 August 1999
Warning: Spoilers
Blade Runner belongs on a list of 2 or 3 movies that had me walking out of the theater in a stupor as though hit by a sledgehammer, the first time I saw it. It fulfills one of my requirements of great films in that I walked out of the theater a different person than when I entered. And it fulfilled another requirement in that it improved with repeated viewings.

There is so much to take in visually, intellectually, and emotionally that my mind was overwhelmed at the first viewing trying to sort it all out. Unlike the so-called "entertainment" we get today at the movies, this film didn't spoonfeed its meaning to you. It left the ending ambiguous so your imagination has to supply it.

The film demands discussion. There are so many topics to debate. Is Deckard a replicant? Do Deckard and Rachel live happily ever after? Why is there a unicorn in the director's cut? Is Deckard a hero? Or are the replicants really the good guys? Every time I watch it, my answers change.

I may be one of the few that really likes the original. Probably because I've seen that version a couple dozen times since 1982 before the director's cut came out. This may contradict what I said earlier about being spoonfed, but I liked the narration because it explained what was going on in Deckard's mind. And I didn't mind the "happy ending" because it still implied that their troubles may not be over. "I don't know how long we had together. Who does?" But with that version memorized, I now appreciate the directors cut. It probably has the better ending. (At least I think so until I view it again!)

It's also fun watching actors before they became more famous later like Sean Young, Daryl Hannah, M. Emmet Walsh, William Sanderson, and Edward James Olmos. I think they all did a great job. And Vangelis did a beautiful, moving score.

After "Blade Runner", most of the big blockbuster science fiction movies boil down to good guys vs. bad guys with lots of loud explosions and in-your-face effects. Very simplistic messages, if any. That's why I still contend that an "oldie" like Blade Runner still outshines them all. It has incredible special effects, but never at the expense of the story. The cityscapes do more than dazzle you, they involve you.

The more I think of it, the more I realize that "Blade Runner" is not only my favorite science fiction movie, but one of my favorite films in any genre. I wish Ridley Scott would return to science fiction, but then again today's Hollywood would never release a movie like "Blade Runner."
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Intriguingly Philosophical
jfitch76 March 2001
Blade Runner, directed by Ridley Scott and based on Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, is a Sci-fi slash Noir film about a cop named Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) in a decrepit 2019 Los Angeles whose job it is to "retire" four genetically engineered syborgues, known as "Replicants". The four fugitives, Pris (Daryl Hannah), Zhora (Joanna Cassidy), Leon (Brion James), and their leader, Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer), have escaped from an off-world colony in order to find their creator and bully him into expanding their pre-determined four year life span. This film originally flopped when it came out in 1982, but since has become a widely acclaimed cult classic with a director's cut to boot. A large part of the success that this movie has received can be attributed to its ability to operate on many different levels.

Ridley Scott's hauntingly possible depiction of what might become of Los Angeles down the line is absolutely brilliant. It captures elements of Noir with its urban atmosphere of decadence, lighting, and characters neither clearly defined as good nor evil. Corruption is everywhere. The garbage-littered streets and permanence of dark and rain give us the sense that we've seriously screwed up the atmosphere, and the impression that all respectable human beings have fled to the off-world colonies, leaving only the scum of the earth behind.

There is a hint of style from the 40's, especially with respect to cars, costumes, and music. Rachael's entire outfit, including her hair, screams the 40's.

The soundtrack, arranged by Vangelis (who won an Oscar for his Chariots of Fire score), consisted mainly of Jazz and Blues. This functioned to represent a dark, moody world of uncertainty and pessimism.

The special effects were exceptional. Much of the set was pulled off using models. In my opinion, sets made by hand require leagues more of skill and are much more impressive and realistic than those computer generated. These guys really knew what they were doing. I was especially fond of the pyramidesque Tyrell Corporation building, which hinted at the god-like presence of Eldon Tyrell (Joe Turkell), the creator.

The script (Hampton Fancher, David Peoples, and of course Phil Dick) worked for me, as well as the actors who gave voice to it. Harrison Ford was well...Harrison Ford. I thought he did a tremendous job down-playing the role. His voice-over narration helped you along, and was yet another feature conducive to Film Noir (apparently this was taken out of the Director's Cut). Rutger Hauer's performance was intense. His lines at the end were intriguingly philosophical. Daryl Hannah's chilling robotic expressions were quite impressive. Joanna Cassidy was just plain hot.

There is more to this film than just pulp. It works on so many remarkable levels. The movie itself is a detective noir quest for the meaning of life in a science fiction environment, but the story is a commentary on what it means to be human and the questions each one of us have about life, like: How long have I to live? Why do I have to die? What happens when I die? Doesn't my maker care? Is this all merely an illusion? At the end of the film we are left to wonder if these Replicants are human, and if Deckard himself is in fact a Replicant. Scott raises more questions here than he answers, and as a result, critics are still debating the mysteries of this film today. In a sense, the ambiguity of Blade Runner is the culprit of its success.
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marntfield14 July 2005
What can be said about this film that hasn't already been covered in preceding decennia? Blade Runner (either version) stands the test of time as an epic story which transcends a disparity of genres, as well as the seminal "dark" sci-fi film which has been mimicked so frequently (to varying degrees of success) since its original release. The interplay of film noir, sci-fi, and what is one of the most philosophically symbolic and academically analyzed narratives of the modern era holds its ground on both visual and cerebral levels even in the face of today's CGI laden blockbusters. The new director's cut, contrary to many cinematic re-hashings, actually serves to clarify many of the more nebulous aspects of the plot and makes a great film even better, arguably allowing it to be modernized and polished for a new generation of viewers who are more picky and yet simultaneously less idealistic. All while sustaining the feeling and flavor of the original. Call it restorative work if you will. The tinny and meandering score by Vangelis is pure 1980s at its most brooding and fits the texture and mood of the film beautifully. Indeed, for many reasons, finding this film in someone's DVD collection makes a true statement about their discriminating and refined taste in movies, and equally their appreciation of film as an artistic medium. I would suggest picking up a reader by someone like Nietzsche, Foucualt, Descartes, Kierkegaard, or any of the great existentialist philosophers after viewing this film in order to appreciate the story & its concepts at a whole new level, regardless if you're watching it for either the 1st, or the 100th time. An enduring classic and an intrepid piece of film-making with rich & often haunting visuals designed to entertain and promote introspection amongst its viewers. 9/10.
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One of the greatest Sci-Fi movies of all time.
NikosMarkant25 March 2018
Blade Runner is perhaps the best sci-fi film and undoubtedly one of the best films of all time. Along with 2001: A Space Odyssey, it is one of the most philosophical and influential movies ever created, as it conveys a plethora of fundamental questions, which are woven in the very fabric of the human essence and existence. It seems near impossible to imagine a more suitable fusion of two of the most successful genres of all time, Science Fiction and Film Noir. By merging together the moral conflict and the emphatic character arc of the private detective, a trait that is exclusive to and definitive of the Film Noir genre, with a futuristic dystopian environment, Blade Runner creates the ultimate Neo-Noir setting, the only one capable of supporting such strong ideas and posing such significant questions to the viewer, without compromising on an interesting plot development and an appealing pace, things that are masterfully achieved via a tight script and persuasive performances.

In a dark, future dystopian portrait of a 2019 Los Angeles, where humans have alienated themselves with their true nature and claimed the title of god/creator of life, effectively manufacturing artificial intelligence and bioengineering androids, called "Replicants", a retired "Blade Runner" named Rick Deckard is assigned with the undertaking of terminating four rogue such replicants that have illegally returned to Earth in a quest to force their maker, Tyrel, into postponing their grim destiny, basically prolonging their already predetermined four-year lifespan. Their greatest sin, however, is having the audacity of desiring one of the most sought-after values in the history of the human species, the freedom to live as they please. In this uneasy and twisted world, the lines between humanness and machinery are blurred and Deckard is faced with the consequences of the realization that not all is as it seems and there is more to "being-alive" than most believe.

Blade Runner's unique depiction of the future has been imitated numerous times quite unsuccessfully, mostly due to the fact that no other film to this date has managed to create such an engaging atmosphere so beautifully connected to every part of it, effectively enhancing every scene and allowing for a strong conveyance of all the moral and existential questions that are posed during the whole duration. The audience is instantaneously absorbed by the vivid and compelling world depicted in the film, and that's where Ridley Scott succeeds the most, offering a glance into an original and somewhat disturbing reality that might very well be humanity's near future. The cinematography is impeccable, the art direction is gorgeous and along with some of the best visual effects that have ever been used in film-making, creates one of the most realistic and visually stunning environments that have ever graced a motion picture to this day. Vangelis has also composed one of the best and most awe-inspiring scores of all time, effectively managing to capture the very essence of each scene, thus making all sound a significant and inseparable part of the whole cinematic experience that Blade Runner has to offer.

This thorough examination of what it means to be human isn't, thankfully, to no avail, as a careful observant, is forced to question their beliefs and attempt to choose a side on dilemmas that are still discussed by philosophers to this day, such as the traits that define humanity, the relativity that characterizes concepts like right or wrong, good or evil, as well as the meaning of life itself. The moral and existential complexity of this reality that Blade Runner has offered to the world reaches depths unparalleled by the majority of the films available, therefore greatly distinguishing it from all others and thus emphasizing its uniqueness through the most complete portrayal of science fiction to date.
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A futuristic allegory about the value of life
Videot-37 December 1998
OK, I admit...the first time I watched this movie I detested it. But hey, I was 16 years old and had expected an action-packed sci-fi adventure. Blade Runner is not such a film. But I am grateful for this, for after maturing a bit and rewatching the movie a couple of times, I discovered its greatness. It is not a traditional sci-fi movie, it's a touching drama about the value of life and the importance of making the most of what you've got. One of the most important themes in the film is the question of what is more valuable - humans without emotions, or machines with? The film gives no answer - it just opens our eyes and makes us aware that we should be grateful for being alive.

Some people prefer the Director's Cut, but I like the original version better - mostly because of the wonderful end line: "I didn't know how long we had together. Who does?" That pretty much sums it up.
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An incredibly beautiful-looking film as one would expect with director Ridley Scott…
Nazi_Fighter_David11 August 2008
But it's almost like an art movie, the first science-fiction art film… It's a futuristic film beautifully put together… It's really impeccably made by one of the great visionary directors… And you really saw a future that looked very different from the future you had seen before… A future that looked very believable like the visual-effects shots of the flying car going over a futuristic city… The fight sequence doesn't prepare you for the traumatic emotional side that there is in the film, it leaves you sort of broken…

There is a beautiful, delicate emotional great scene that I remember when I first saw the movie… I'm in the theater and I'm so drawn in what Rutger Hauer's doing… I'm so drawn in by what the theme of the movie has brought us to… The magnificent moment where he is letting go of life… And in those last moments of letting go of life he's really learned to appreciate life to the point where he spares Deckard's life, and where he's even holding a white dove because he just wants to have something that's alive in his hands… It's an amazing sort of crescendo that's going and there's Rutger saying: "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. All these moments will be lost in time like tears in rain." Hauer puts all the things that are so amazing about people: sense of poetry, sense of humor, sense of sexuality, sense of the kid, sense of soul…

Scott brought out the best qualities in his performers… He coaxed and very gently manipulated performances from his actors that in some instances I think they've rarely topped… You feel the story, you feel the emotions of the characters and you will be lost in the middle of this wild world, you know, it's so rich and it's painful… I mean it's a very bluesy, dark story and told very compassionately…

The overpopulation, the sort of crowd scenes is so rich and varied and there's such an extreme detail designing the magazine covers, designing the look of the punks, the Hare Krishnas, the biological salesman, everything is designed… You have just Piccadilly Circus punks walking by… You have a sense of layers in that society… That is one of those things that you see again and again… The city landscape with the big billboards à la Kyoto or Tokyo… Scott was able to create the look based on what goes on in various cities all over the world… Whether it is Tokyo, Kyoto or Beijing or Hong Kong or whatever, you're right in "Blade Runner" country…

"Blade Runner," to me, embodies the elegance, the power, and the uniqueness of a film experience… It's the most classical, beautiful, purest movie-making writing and then the film-making itself is… The images and the sound and the music, it's pure cinema… Ridley came out with an amazing, brilliantly executed future of an absolute dystopia… The intensity of his perfectionism on "Blade Runner" made the movie… This is a master at his best…
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The Last Great Noir
cp_spandex10 February 2007
This is a film that is so deep, rich, and multi-layered, it may require more than one viewing to fully absorb the brilliance of what you've just seen. At first glance, it can be a bit slow. It's told in a classic film noir fashion, so this is to be expected. Director Ridley Scott seems to want to savor every shot, and an astute audience will be able to sense this.

Now, I say the film is told in a classic Noir style, but this can be misleading. There is no Humphrey Bogart in Blade Runner, snapping off brilliant one-liners once a second. Only hopeless people, in many ways victims of the merciless world of which they are all a part. Deckard is a typically downbeat protagonist, a hard-boiled cynical leading man with a weakness for heavy drinking. The plot is a mystery in name only, as the audience is allowed to know what Roy Batty, Pris and Leon are all up to before Deckard ever finds out. This only lends to the dread and inevitability of the film, lending further to its pervasive gloom. There is no final scene at the end where the bold detective puts all the pieces together and says "Ah-Ha!". Instead, we find Rick Deckard questioning his own existence and drinking away his constant doubts, all the while embroiled in a romantic relationship with someone he's sworn to kill.

Blade Runner requires audience participation, particularly in the Director's Cut, which is entirely devoid of some rather necessary exposition provided by the Original Cut's much-maligned voice-over. Certain facts will not be clear even at the end of the film, requiring personal interpretation in order to be appreciated fully. Other facts will be given away in much more subtle ways than in most modern cinema, such as through visual cues and tenuous dialogue.

Finally, visually, this movie is quite simply a science fiction triumph. It looks better than modern computer effects in every way that counts. Superimposed special effect objects don't give off that unnatural, clearly computer-generated "Lord of the Rings" sheen common in today's effects-driven blockbusters. This, of course, is because Blade Runner - while a gorgeous movie - is not effects driven in the least. Rather, it is a visually driven story that doesn't rely on special effects. This is an important distinction to make in today's Hollywood.

"Touch of Evil" really wasn't the last of the Great Film Noirs!
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Finest hour.
RusselleBell12 December 2004
This is simply Scott's finest hour. There are a sheer plethora of futuristic films with vision. Films which crudely grope into a possible time ahead,when perhaps a post apocalyptic era is scattered with cliché upon cliché and often miss the whole point. What Ridley Scott achieved with this film,is an entirely possible scenario. It really does feel like a science fiction novel brought to life,but not so much as its derivative penned by Phillip K Dick(do androids dream of electric sheep?). Its a grimy,violent world inhabited by the sick,lower class,villainous second citizens who haven't quite made the grade for the off world colonies. We have a true smelting pot of nationalities.The heavy eastern references within china town like inner cities is particularly poignant.

This film also sees Ford in perfect casting.Theirs a rye charm that Ford has that no other actor could fake or fill quite as effortlessly. Its a mixed review depending on what version you have seen. For me,the directors cut is simply too cut. I preferred the audience friendly screening which had the wonderful narration. The finest moment with this narration has to be the moments described by Batty in his dying eyes and the summing up by Ford of this man/machines passion and love for life.. No other sci-fi futuristic film has ever made the grade before or since in my humble opinion. It captured the raw smells and light of a brutal future scarily depicted in films or even so well. From the chase scene with Zora to the flybys over the city capturing a stunning skyline,chimneys and skyscrapers in one shot. This is my favourite movie of all time for all the reasons above and many more i could effortlessly type all day and night.
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good atmosphere/ production design, but everything else was weak
usernumber65532118 July 2012
This movie is obscenely over rated. It is clear that ALL the attention was given to the production design and overall look to the film, as the script (no matter the 'version') is awful. For a film so raved about by nearly every critic, the plot is cookie cutter and drab. The pacing is, well, there simply isn't any pacing. It is S L O W. The characters are completely uninteresting and the film isn't deep or genuinely philosophical enough to warrant the attention it asks us to pay. There are many parts that are simply goofy and unintentionally funny, like when Rutger Hauer pops his head through the wall towards the end and says something silly, or when Darryl Hannah could have killed Deckard but instead decides to back up and then do a bunch of goofy gymnastics flips in order to give him time to pick up his gun and blow her "guts" out. It is one of my best friend's favorite films and it took a lot out of me to hold my tongue while watching it with him.
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So very, very boring.
remaxmiracle16 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
There were some buildings and then it rained and it's always dark and Edward James Olmos makes some origami and oh, someone shoots another guy, and then it rained and there was a chick dressed to look like Auntie Mame (look it up) complete with 40's style clothes and then it rained and Harrison Ford is in yet another dimly lit room (they don't have lights in the future?) and then there was a half naked lady (boobies!!) who had on some kinky high heeled boots that suddenly turned in to flats so she could run away in the rain...and it rained and oh wait! For some unknown reason we got some kind of hallucination of a running unicorn with no explanation and then There's Darryl Hannah with bad eye makeup and then it rained and some people said some stuff but none of it was really memorable and then it rained and some some nerd and his self made toy midgets did some stuff and then it rained and then Harrison Ford got into a fight with Rutger Hauer and then it rained and Darryl Hannah did some flips and screamed a lot and then it rained and then there was a white dove and some more rain and that about covers it.
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Science Fiction Epic
krishnaraj6139 July 2005
I have an interest in science fiction films and TV programmes. I like shows like (the original) Star Wars trilogy, (most of) the Star Trek films, as well as Star Trek TV series (Voyager for modern times,preferably, as it had the least number of useless episodes), etc. In my experience, most SF material turns out to be distilled garbage. Kubrick's '2001: A Space Odyssey' was a masterpiece. I am not hesitant to say that I blatantly dislike Spielberg's definition of SF- ET, Close Encounters, & (worst of all) War Of The Worlds. Neither do I appreciate any 'Alien' film apart from R Scott's 1979 original (although Alien2 was OK)-Alien vs Pred is a disgrace not only to all genres, but to the film industry itself. So when I heard of Blade Runner on the net, I wondered; what could be so good about this film? I have HBO,Cinemax, Star Movies- yet this film has never been shown. So, I got myself the Director's Cut at the local video store. I watched it once. Then I re-watched it two days later. My verdict: This film is fantastic.

It is one of the greatest films ever made, on par with 2001: A Space Odyssey. Upon 1st viewing, new audiences may be bewildered. One anticipates a futuristic run-of-the-mill 80's shoot-em-up (in the like of Outland,say). What you get is a film so deep that it is difficult to grasp the 1st time. There is so much symbolism, introverts and questions that I was left stunned. The film is hauntingly beautiful, and I doubt that these screen landscapes could be reproduced today as well as they were here. The plot centres around the question of humanity- something we take for granted. It is not an auctioneer, which was probably what audiences expected when they walked into theatres in the 80s, causing the film to fail commercially. Blade Runner is not for the adrenaline junkie, nor for those who like flashy gadgets and bright explosions, with a healthy Hollywood-made dose of convincing storyline spoon-fed for their satisfaction.

The film is set in the apocalyptic, suggestively post-war future Earth, where there seems to be a lag in technology. Perhaps there was a war which ravaged the world, forcing humans to migrate (the cramped cultural richness of LA), and rebuild, explaining the retro technology. 6 'Criminal' Nexus 6 replicates (genetically engineered humanoids), hijack a ship and come to Earth seeking their maker. These slaves(machines/automatons// regard them as anything which has been created by Man to lessen his burden) have developed emotions, and they fear death for they cherish their memories (Think robots weeping over photographs). Their cause: They want a longer life, they want to experience more, they want to be... human.

Enter Rick Deckard, Blade Runner. His job: kill trespassing replicates; Kill living, breathing humanoids composed of flesh and blood who only have 4 years to live out their miserable lives, seeking haven on Earth rather than serving as slaves in mining outposts on Mars. Kill? Murder seems more appropriate. But that's his job. replicates which trespass are a hazard. These 6 replicates have killed 23 people and hijacked a ship. They have to be killed, right? If you're planning to take sides in this film, you will be pleasantly if not unnervingly surprised. There are no sides. There is no good and evil. Harrison Ford plays the reluctant, burned out Blade Runner very well. His character is drab and dull, as it was meant to be; look at him in the Spinner on the way to Tyrell corporation- pure boredom. He hates his job. If there were any narration, it Should sound dull and uninteresting, reflecting his character. Rutger Hauer gives the greatest performance of his career (so far) in this film, playing Roy Batty, Replicant 'project manager'. He dominates the later part of the film. He is cold, stiff and evil, but in the end speech, one of the Greatest endings I have ever seen, his performance alone makes this film a Classic. The ending is beautiful, and the score by Vangelis is perfect.

All in all, the film is excellent. Well directed by Ridley Scott, innovative and stunning imagery underlined by Vangelis' superb score, and plenty to think about (on your own- no spoon feeding). Check out the trivia for this film; scientists voted it better than 2001:A Space Odyssey. Is the quest for humanity a crime? Find out for yourself. Blade Runner is a Must-Watch, and a Must-Have film.

My rating: 8.9 / 10 Thank you for your time. Kris
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New Blu-Ray Disc Made Me A Blade Runner Fan
ccthemovieman-17 December 2008
Sometimes you just need to give a film a second chance, even if it is 20 years later! Only some rave reviews about the picture quality of this new 5-disc "Complete Collector's Edition" enticed me to watch this again. Wow, I am glad; this was a very entertaining and a tremendous visual and audio treat.

I actually appreciated the audio best because, even in this new Blu-Ray era, one doesn't often find a film with very active surround speakers. However, this "restored" version did and the sound is, at the point, the best I've heard on a Blu-Ray disc....or any DVD, for that matter. The visuals? Well, fans of Blade Runner know all about them. They are fantastic. Scene-after-scene reminded me of a Stanley Kubrick film or another bizarre 1980s movie called "Jacob's Ladder."

Because there are so many things to see and hear, and the story is different, one filled with strange characters, I can see where people would watch this film multiple times and enjoy it very much each time. The "Collector's Edition" has the best picture ever, according to director Ridley Scott, and "is the version I'm most pleased with." It has added scenes one didn't see in earlier versions. The rest of the DVD has those earlier versions. Apparently, there are several including those with Harrison Ford doing narration, like out of a late '40s film noir.

Speaking of the latter, that's what this film looked like: a combination film noir (or neo-noir) and sci-fi movie. It has many dark images, fantastic night-time scenes, wonderful closeups and an always-interesting color palette. Sci-fi films usually get dated in a hurry, thanks to ever-increasing special-effects progress in the movie industry, but this still looks very good. Despite being made over 25 years ago, Blade Runner still looks very much state-of-the-art.

Scott says this is the best version and the best his film has ever looked and sounded. Since it's his movie, who am I to argue. So, if you're like me and never gave this movie a chance (I lost interest halfway through with my VHS look at it), give this a second look on this Blu-Ray edition....and you will be blown away. This is, indeed, an amazing film.
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A movie you have to watch twice
antialias114 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
First time I saw this I wasn't impressed. Maybe because I expected more action from a Sci-Fi movie. Then I rented it on VHS, and upon re-watching I figured something out: This is one of the very few movies that gets better the more often you see it. It is a subtle movie. Slowly but surely this one has made it into the top 5 of my 'best movies of all time' list.

I don't particularly care for the director's cut version, though. The inner monologue is missing - which gives you some of the most thought inspiring moments, and some of the added scenes downright make no sense at all. if I'd seen that one first I might never have given it a second chance.

The cast is exceptional. Every one of them does a really fine job. Especially Rutger Hauer who otherwise has very few good movies to his name (maybe 'Day of the Falcon') delivers a stunning performance. Most of the cast who were unknown before this movie have moved on to fame (and some to fortune) - and rightfully so.

From a technical point of view there is not much to criticize. More than 20 years later this movie still doesn't look dated (apart from 'Atari'-neon signs). The atmosphere is created with a lot of attention to detail, and the models of buildings are some of the most beautiful and believable ones I have ever seen.

Now I recently read the book on which it is based ('Do androids dream of electric sheep' by Philip K. Dick). It's a quirky read and, frankly, not a very good book. It has too many plot holes, deus-ex-machina devices and logical inconsistencies, plus a total letdown of an ending. What it does add to the movie is the setup of why the atmosphere is like it is (polluted, dark, many 'freaks' around), and the nice question whether the Hero might be a replicant himself.
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Best Sci-Fi Ever
Damien-1019 March 1999
Warning: Spoilers
I will confidently make the statement that Blade Runner is the best science-fiction picture ever made. I have seen every important sci-fi movie, and personally, Blade Runner reveals itself to be a superior film.

Space Odyssey and Alien come close, but they do not hold up as well as Blade Runner upon multiple viewings. Space Odyssey tends to lull in its more psychedelic moments, leaving one with a feeling of confused longing. No matter how many theories are expounded based on the content of the film, its ultimate meaning will remain ever-ambiguous, as Kubrick intended it to be. Alien is weakened by its inability to reach the viewer on a higher philosophical plane. The suspense in the film is nearly unparalleled, and Sigourney Weaver is fantastic, but it falls short of the excellence displayed in Blade Runner.

Let me explain why Blade Runner is my favorite:

The most striking aspect of the film is its cinematography. There is nothing but genius in the shooting of every scene. The use of shadows and low camera angles bears an uncanny resemblance to the cinematography of Citizen Kane. My favorite shot is when we get our first glimpse into Tyrell's office. The lighting effects in all of that set's scenes are fantastic.(especially when the windows become tinted). Please note that the lame-brains at the academy did not nominate Blade Runner for Best Cinematography. How stupid can you get?

Behind every film is the Director's vision, and in this film, Ridley Scott displays incredible vision. His conception of a futuristic LA, as characterized by the inevitable demographics of the future, is what allows the film to transcend its era and remain appreciated in the future. Many of the themes in the movie originate from the sci-fi novel (which carries an absurd title that does not obey the rules of logic:one does not dream of sheep; one thinks of sheep in an attempt to achieve a state of dream), yet the manner in which those themes are presented brings about the full genius of Ridley Scott. (How many Hardcore rock fans know where the phrase "more human than human" comes from?) Through the example of the replicants, Scott exposes the human sin of taking life for granted. Furthermore, he asks: what does it mean to be human? Do we have a false vision of our own morality as a race? Do we ignore our own evils? Can we play God as Tyrell attempts to do? The complexity of all these questions allows for many viewings of the film.

And then, of course, there are the actors. None of them stand out in their roles, and yet the acting is perfect. Harrison Ford plays Deckard, the misanthropic ex-cop, who comes off as a veritable anti-hero. Sean Young plays Rachel, the incredibly human replicant that steals his heart. Rutger Hauer plays Roy, the umistakably Aryan leader of the replicants. All three of them deserved Oscar nominations. The other minor roles are superb as well.

Finally, Blade Runner would not be itself without the Vangelis soundtrack. It has a wonderful mood-controlling effect throughout the film. I especially like the Blade Runner Blues, and Rachel's song.

I think that anybody who's read through my entire comment gets the point: I love this movie and I find it to be the best. If you haven't seen it, get over to the video store NOW!!! For first time viewers be sure to get the original version. When you have become familiar enough with the plot, go see it as it was meant to be, (without the voice-over), and rent the director's cut. If you live in a big city, you might be lucky enough to catch it on the big screen at an independent theatre.
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Still a classic
forbidden-122 December 2001
I first saw this movie on a rented Betamax video when I was about 8 or 9. It came across as a really sinister and bleak sci-fi movie at the time. I enjoyed it as a young kid, but guess I didn't really understand fully the themes behind the movie. I saw the vastly superior and definitive Directors Cut many years later and I instantly rated it as one of the best movies ever. And this is why:

To fully understand how good this movie is, you have to put it into the context of it's era. When it was released it broke new ground and became what is still up to this day an unrivaled benchmark in sci-fi cinema.

It was the first film to depict with such lavish splendor the nightmarish vision of future Earth. Set in post apocalyptic Los Angeles, the film tells the tale of Deckard (Harrison Ford), a semi retired cop who is persuaded back into his role of a Blade Runner (special units trained to identify and kill outlawed androids, or "replicants", who illegally return to Earth). His task is to hunt and destroy a band of off-world androids, led by Rutger Hauer, who fight their way back to Earth to confront their maker, the ingenious Tyrell, head of the monstrous Tyrell Corporation.

The film is dark and broody. The photography is exquisite throughout and Vangelis' musical score is a now a classic masterpiece in itself. Director Ridley Scott's melancholy vision is so stylish and smooth that the film is able to emerse you into its chilling future world from the very first shot. Visually, this is one of the most gorgeous films I've seen.

Deckard's character is similar to that of a film noir private detective. He comes across as a somewhat washed up and helpless soul lost in the polluted rat race. This film provides Rutger Hauer with his defining moment on film, a role I think he has failed to live up to since. With his fellow replicants, he seeks answers that only his creator can provide - all replicants all built with a lifespan of only four years and they are determined that their fate can be altered.

The reason the film is so popular is that it asks so many probing questions which, in 20 years of movies since the film came out, have rarely been asked since.

The themes look at humanity and the meaning and life. Should we really create "people" and choose their fate and mortality? If we choose to play god then we must be answerable to those who we create. Is there any real difference between life created naturally and that in a laboratory? And so do we really now what we are? Or why we are? Or who created us?

The film is inspired by the Philip K Dick novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" Although this movie introduced me to reading countless Dick novels, I've deliberately resisted reading this one. Consequently, I can't comment on how it compares although I know the book is substantially different in places.

The movie is quite slow paced, although "smooth" is a better word. Die hard action fanatics might not like this film although sci-fi lovers will embrace it instantly. In the current age of computer generated effects this film is looking only very slightly dated, but that shouldn't put people off. Even now, the ambience of Blade Runner is still unsurpassed.
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Just saw it and had to make sure the score was right...
roei-avraham23 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I'm writing this review after reading at least 30 reviews here on IMDb (10 of 1 star, 20 of 7+) and I just wanted to emphasize how shocked I am that someone actually gave this one above 5 (maybe for the effects which aren't that special, even then) and I must agree deeply with the 1 star givers - This is probably one of the worst, most viewer insulting, carp of a film I've seen and I'm a Sci-Fi / Fantasy standard geek who read lots of books and see 90% of all genre related movies. All the characters are near to completely shallow, the dialogues are pathetic and scares, the wanna-be-Protagonist (i.e. the replicants) are seem to be on cracks with super-power and no apparent real intellect (or moral, if that even matters). The concept of sending one man (may he be a replica or not) against the "most dangerous escapee" is ridiculous, all the genius "gene creators" have no security none so ever, live in dirty places (and always alone!) and have no survival instinct at all. I can't believe Philip K. Dick book is that shallow (which I haven't read as of yet). This was a boring movie, with no real philosophical point, no trigger to continue watching it and no deep thoughts at the end...

Is this really the movie that was considered a milestone in Sci-Fi? I tend to think even BttF trilogy had more philosophical moments :( Don't waste your time on this movie!
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Seriously 8.3
james-324816 December 2011
What a waste of time. 2 hours however long of my life wasted. I watched the directors cut and boy is it boring. Easily the most boring film i've seen since avatar. I personally love sci-fi films whether it be star wars or alien. My favourite book of all time is enders game. The film moves so slowly that I could feel my hair grow faster. There are literally 5 things that happen in the movie. People read way to far in this movie about how it's supposed to be about how the robots were more humans than the people, personally I believe that's a load of poppycock. When the original was released nobody went to see it, the original was cut and given a commentary for a reason, the film was too long, boring and doesn't make much sense. The commentary helped this film so much, it gave it a story and stops the watcher from having to make up some random story to stop themselves dosing off.
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One to re-watch over and over...
FlorisV3 November 2008
How this film has been underrated when it came out (mediocre, dull etc)!

This is one of the very few films I like to re-watch from time to time. Ultimately this is not something I do for the story. Although I sometimes find new content here and there, things I missed the first time, the major reason to re-watch films like this is:

-the astounding visuals (watch it in High Definition and be amazed, factor 10);

-the music, I love Vangelis' unique soundtrack because he managed to make jazzy/bluesy synth music;

-the atmosphere. Sure, it's all been done before, the film noir routine, but here it engages without being too formulaic.

The philosophical themes are interesting too providing plenty of questions if you are interested. Mostly: what does it mean to be human? For instance, watch Rachel cry when she finds out she's not human after all. It evokes a form of pity, because, is she really that different from us? Isn't she worthy of a normal life? Aren't we all machines in a way, following the written routines in our own DNA code? Lack of empathy makes the replicants different from humans, but only for older models. And they get more human by the day. When they get too human they expire...the 4 year lifespan. But like any life form, they want survival. More even, to get the maximum out of the whole experience called life. Human after all?

If you're not interested in such questions, this is still a beautiful film for the unequaled visuals, music, atmosphere and acting.

I like the simple, original romantic ending, it's less ambiguous than the director's cut and I didn't mind the voice over at all. The director s cut has a completely different climax which is maybe less satisfying but stimulates much more thinking. Both versions endings are good and deserve recognition (particularly the original version has been bashed too much).

The film is also better than the book though some would disagree. The book fails in truly capturing the atmosphere of a future where most living things are mechanical because it's one of Dick's less efficient books with a very forgettable ending. As much as I like his tales, his ideas usually outshine his writing. The film has much more atmosphere and tension.
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overrated trite
formiscosas20 November 2010
For the life of me I can't think of a reason why this movie is held with such high regards in the sci-fi community, except for having the holy trinity of geekdom (it's set in the future, sexy robots and Harrison Ford). Every movie geek that wants to secure their geek cred will go out of their way saying this movie is awesome and the best thing to happen to sci-fi since the invention of movies. In reality, they are loath to admit that it's a boring, overrated piece of cinematographic crap that nobody outside the community actually likes. Even though I've had all my life to watch this movie, I've never made it the whole way through in one sitting. In fact, I've seen more of Flash Gordon and Conan in one sitting than I have of this movie (and the fact that I made it almost all the way through both Guru and Gigli is a testament to my unwillingness to turn away from a movie once I start to watch them). Overall, a boring movie that nobody should bother with. If you want Ford, robots or movies set in the future there are far better things out there than this one. Having all the things you like in one movie doesn't make it good.
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The finest of Sci-fi genre, and my personal favorite film of all times (had to cut my review in parts due to 1000-word limit for reviews in IMDb)
utku_kamil_ozen24 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
It is ironic how Sci-fi genre is the most dependent on the technical side of the filmmaking compared to other genres and yet with all the technological improvements we will probably never see a better sci-fi film than most of the older ones. And even more ironically, the technical side of the filmmaking was the very quality that created the unique styles of the old sci-fi films. So, what makes these old films, Blade Runner in particular, so good looking compared to modern films, despite the fact that they had little technology back then? Speaking of visual style alone, what makes it so memorable compared to new films that are made with all the technological possibilities at filmmakers' disposal? There are three main answers to these questions:

1. singular artistic vision as opposed to an army of graphic designers, 2. director's own decisions as opposed to a director who does whatever he's told to, 3. and lastly care and love in craftsmanship for the film by those who involved in making of it.

Did you know that one of the buildings in Blade Runner was actually a kitchen sink? With all its miniatures and matte paintings the city looks gorgeous. Because people took their time to create it and they cared. It looks more real too than those created with CGI. And I know that uncanny valley effect is a term used for humans but I think it applies to objects as well. You can tell, most of the time, whether an object is physically there or it is a computer effect. CGI looks cheap. Blade Runner is like a hand-made classic European sports car whereas most modern films are like a Toyota Corolla, supposed to be better than the old ones but they are not, made out of plastic in an assembly line, and they look cheap.

Another thing, other than the visuals, that makes this film so good is the soundtrack. Vangelis is one my favorite composers of all time. His style is unique and his music is so emotional. The soundtrack for Blade Runner perfectly fits and even helps create the ambiance of its universe. There are some films, like Jaws (1975) for example, that owe most of their success to their composers. I am not saying Blade Runner is one those films. Because it's visually and story-wise so good, It would still be a great film with different soundtrack, but at the same time, the soundtrack of Blade Runner is probably the best soundtrack for a movie ever, even though it didn't depend solely on its soundtrack for the mood.

The story and acting are also very good. Though I must note that when I say acting, I mean Rutger Hauer's performance specifically. What a great performance from him. In fact, I wouldn't even bring up the acting in this film if it wasn't for Rutger Hauer. He totally steals this film. Harrison Ford is so mediocre most of the time and at times his acting gets even weird and bad. But in my opinion, this contrast of acting performances somewhat serves the film in a serendipitous way. We see how much there is to Roy, how a great character he is compared to Deckard, who looks like a mere policeman following orders with no depth to his personality. This brings me to the story of the film which is very simple in itself but brings up so many questions to the mind. Roy, an artificial human -a replicant as named in the film- seeking more life. As an agnostic person who suffers from death anxiety, I couldn't relate more to any movie character in my life than I relate to Roy. Don't we all suffer from fear of death, like Roy? I don't even know if I was created or not, as an agnostic. So I don't get to go after my creator, if there is such a thing, and ask for more life. But Roy has this chance and this is the plot of the film. But it is only incidental. For me, the film is all about the tragedy of being mortal. And by giving replicants a life span of only 4 years, we are reminded how short our own lives are. It is hard for us to realize somethings in life before an artist magnifies or reduces something so we can see it better. 4 years, 40 years, 80 years... In eternity, all those numbers lose their significance, as Roy put it more poetically ''...all those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain...''

And then there is this fact about Roy that he is an artificial human, but his passion for life makes you think about what makes us alive and sentient. I remember this line from another film ''I, Robot (2004)'' it goes like this ''...When does a perceptual schematic become consciousness?...'' this is a very good question indeed. In fact, even for (organic) organisms, you can question the extent of their consciousness or for more simple life forms you can even think whether they are conscious at all. Or you can ask what makes us special and unique. Is it because we have souls? Or perhaps soul is something we made up and it is all about the chemicals that effect our decisions and the complexity comes from merely endless combinations and permutations of these chemicals. That idea makes you question your very own existence. The very fact that we have medication for depression tells us something about human mind. But we can speculate about these facts. I choose to accept that Roy is nothing less than a human in that matter. I've heard people complaining how they cannot relate to a ''robot'' regarding this film, but in my opinion that just shows lack of imagination.
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Adding My Voice to a Loud Chorus
Sober-Friend13 May 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I was 15 when the film was released in 1982. I remember Gary Franklin (A Movie Critic on Television) gave this film a "10" on a scale of 1 to 10 "10" being best.

When a friend of mine saw this he hated it and so I never saw until 1992. That is when the "Director's Cut" was released theatrically. I was now 25 years. I wanted to see this because I saw a clip on television and someone saying this film was meant to be seen on the "Big Screen" and so off I went.

This cut of the film is most well known for being the version that "Took Away" the Harrison Ford Voice Overs. It also included a shot of a unicorn that implied that "Harrison Ford" is a Replicant.

I was not blown away by this film. I thought it was "good" not "great"

The story does take its time but the rewards are huge if you pay close attention. . Its haunting images are so memorable that it influenced future filmmakers. In more ways than one it became the "Metropolis" of a new era.

From the future setting to having different versions released. "Blade Runner" and "Metropolis" are 2 films one should watch back to back.

Now my problem with "Blade Runner" is that each version is SLOW! The action could of moved faster. The story is very thin. Ridley Scott film is like an old man trophy wife. Pretty to look at but has almost nothing to offer!
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Inspired by the cliffs-notes of a great novel, Blade Runner is, unfortunately, not widely recognized as a fecal insult to literature
MonkeyPundit8 October 2010
Blade Runner is perhaps the worst film adaption of a novel ever made. To say that Blade Runner is an adaption of Phillip K Dick's inspiring novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" is not only a lie, but it is an insult to both Phillip K. Dick and any movie that has been adapted to film with even a marginal degree of success. It is most generous and honest to say that Blade Runner is inspired by "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?".

Blade Runner presents, at best, a surface-level representation of a select few of the novel's characters; these representations are devoid of the depth that made them captivating. Likewise, there are many great (and well-developed) characters who were excluded from the film.

The subplots, entire segments of the plot, the greater part of its ethos, and major aspects of the novel's theme are also expunged from this film. In short, the elements of the novel that have moral, narrative, effusive, or dramatic merit are conspicuously absent from this film.

Instead of being a narrative that re-affirms greater truths about humanity, Blade Runner exists only as a testament to sloppy adaptation by screenwriters who have such little respect for literature that they would cinematically re-hash a novel's spark notes.

I believe that, were the novel by which Blade Runner is inspired more widely read, society would recognize Blade Runner as the fecal insult to great literature that it is.
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