Blade Runner (1982)

The characters in Blade Runner are set in a composite photo
Cover art for the 1982 movie Blade Runner by Ridley Scott.
About the movie
  • Director: Ridley Scott
  • Starring: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young
  • Yes or no?: Yes
  • Links: on Letterboxd, IMDb page
Other reviews:

Since listening to a review of this on We Hate Movies a couple of weeks ago, I have been itching to watch this. My problem was that I only had a DVD copy, which I thought was really difficult to follow. The picture quality made the movie really, really dreary, which made me drowsy every time I watched. So, after a week or so of thinking about this, I ordered a copy of The Final Cut in 4K. It’s a movie I should own, so I figured now is as good a time as any to grab it.

I’m so glad I did. The movie looks incredible. Perfect. And seeing it in this quality did wonders for me. I was enthralled. It helps that I knew the basics of the story: Deckard needs to kill four replicants, and Rachael is a wild card who might need some handling of her own. This is starting to feel weird, but I can’t stress enough how much I loved the look.

I loved watching this again. There is nothing I can add to this movie about interpretation that hasn’t been said by people better-qualified to talk about it, so I won’t. I’ll just say that as a fan of the style of noir, this movie hits almost every note perfectly in my mind. The casting was tremendous. This movie is a who’s who of magnificent character actors—Joe Turkel, William Sanderson, Brion James, James Hong, and of course M. Emmet Walsh.

I think this ranks among my favorites after this viewing.

Some notes:

  • Edward James Olmos’s outfits were gorgeous
  • M. Emmet Walsh is an all-timer
  • My DVD copy is The Director’s Cut. I don’t remember it exactly, but in watching this version, The Final Cut, I can’t imagine the movie being tighter as an edit, and I can’t imagine a different ending.
  • The scanner behind the counter at the food stand—excellent post-modern take
Edited to add

On the question of whether Deckard is a replicant: is it possible that he was sent to Tyrell Corporation to interview Rachael because Tyrell had created Deckard earlier, with the memory implants, and Deckard was the further evolved version of Rachael. So he had Deckard administer the test that outed Rachael as a replicant, while being far enough along with his own learning as a replicant with memories of his own, to prove that a replicant was fully capable of “being human?.” Maybe? I get it’s a stretch and there is no other part of the story to bear it out, but it’s also a stretch to buy that Deckard is a replicant. This just hit me as Deckard was testing Rachael. Maybe he’s the fully-realized version, and Tyrell wanted to see how things went between them.

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