Monday, October 18, 2010

Movie of the Week - Blade Runner

This week’s movie is Blade Runner (1982).

The sci-fi film is about a detective, Deckard, who is tasked with hunting down and killing four replicants who hijacked a ship in space and snuck back onto Earth to find their maker. Director Ridley Scott does masterwork on the film (his third feature); the mise en scene and atmosphere are fantastic (it is even better, I think, than his other sci-fi film Alien). The production design by Lawrence G. Paul and cinematography by Jordan Cronenweth are simply beautiful, capturing the film noir tone to the film set in the dismal dystopian future of 2019 Los Angeles. The lighting and how it plays within the sets is one of the best aspects of the film, visually. Vangelis also provides a pitch perfect score. Harrison Ford stars playing the role as a beaten down and more depressed version of Han Solo. Rutger Hauer is amazing in the film, heartbreaking and scary (his performance elevates the final scenes making the film the masterpiece that it is). Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, Daryl Hannah, and William Sanderson also provide good supporting work. What makes the film great is that it is a film noir hard boiled detective piece (for the most part) but set in the future (and aspects of the film clearly have influences sci-fi ever since, like Firefly). Aesthetically, it is magnificent. It is gritty and rundown, yet there are flying cars and seemingly high tech equipment (though today it looks pretty ghetto). The lighting and set design is something we just do not see anymore in modern film, which is a shame. The film is a must see for sci-fi fans, film noir fans and those looking to see the masterworks of canonized film (Note: watch the director’s cut). Check out the trailer.

Blade Runner is available on Blu-ray and DVD at and to rent at 

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