Journey With Me Through the American Film Institute's Top 100 Films. A movie a day. Experience for a lifetime. At least that's what we're aiming for.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Blade Runner

A long time ago...
In a galaxy far far away...

There was a galactic empire of movies known as Star Wars. They ruled the entire universe of movie blockbusters and particularly of the science fiction realm. It started with the release of the first Star Wars movie Episode 4: A New Hope. Since 1977 and the two films that followed it, only one actor survived the fame and chaos and went on to have a successful career in show business. His name, was Harrison Ford. This is his least in the early 80's vision of the future...

Which brings us to AFI Number 97 Blade Runner, though many websites consider this to be the Number 1 Science Fiction movie of all time. Released in 1982, it's pretty surprising how advanced the imagery and special effects were for the time. Watching the movie, I couldn't help but notice the similarities with the "future" as depicted in the Fifth Element: flying cars, high buildings, Chinese people selling you food.

So cutting straight to the plot, I must admit that I enjoyed it despite the "film noir" adaptation throughout. Harrison Ford narrating his thoughts was a little humorous, especially since he sounded like a drunk John Wayne: "Well, you I was fee...ling....What did they...want...on Earth?" Actually, the more I think about it, it was definitely a mix of John Wayne and William Shatner and Jack Daniels. Oh, and something that I definitely did not like was the movie's resemblance to Lethal Weapon. Don't get me wrong, I liked Lethal Weapon and the 25 sequels, but is it necessary to play jazz music during every scene? Even the violent ones? It just doesn't make sense to me, and makes me feel that I'm watching an alternative on-stage performance of murder with some sweaty guy in the background playing the saxophone. If you think that's an odd scenario, then you know how I feel.

Edward James Olmos makes an appearance of what looks to be a character who's half Spanish, half Japanese, half from the future and half from the early 80's. Oh, and he has weird eyes. But I must give him credit for the origami skills. Referring back to my compliments on the movie's plot, I think the powerful message in the ending was ruined with the blatant narration of Harrison Ford, yet again. If they just left him picking up the origami bird and walking off, without a word being said, then I think it would have been so much more powerful. Sometimes silence is essential in movies, just not in the case of Ms. Scarlett who could never keep her mouth shut, for the love of God...

So if you're into science fiction, then watch the movie, it's just shy of 2 hours. If you aren't, but are somewhat interested in the story, then try the book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep. If neither, then I bet you were expecting a third option which I unfortunately do not have for you. Sorry.

Until the afternoon, Lawrence of Arabia is next.

(Blade Runner theme FUN TASK: Try spending the whole day narrating everything you do in a John Wayne manner. Not only will you have a blast, but people will never forget you. That's one way to impress your boss.)


Yolanda Barker said...

Hey Charles, cheers for the review... 'Bladerunner'is one of my favourite films of all time! I've got a film review blog going on here if you fancy looking:

I'm a director, so I think my reviews offer interesting insights. Feel like contesting or challenging me? Go for it!


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