Sunday, May 2, 2010

Blade Runner starring Harrison Ford

So, one of the benefits (I guess that you can call it a benefit) of having a broken ankle is that you get to watch a ton of the movies off your Netflix queue that you wouldn't normally have the time to watch and, in my case, to do it in a relatively sober state because I can neither drink or take the "good" pain medications. 

Blade Runner is a 1982 science fiction/dystopian future type of film starring Harrison Ford and directed by Ridley Scott. Ford plays a semi-retired Blade Runner in LA in 2019. Blade Runners are police officers whose sole job is to chase down and "retire" (a synonym for kill) replicants. Replicants are humanoids that are visually indistinguishable from adult humans, created by the Tyrell Corporation, but which have been banned from Earth due a violent uprising that occurred in the years before the events in this film. They are now limited to off world colonies, doing dangerous work that humans can't or won't do. At the beginning of Blade Runner, we learn that a group of 4, cunning replicants have returned to Earth and are going on a rampage.  Ford's character - Rick Deckard - is a retired Blade Runner who is called back into service to help track down and retire these out of control replicants. During his quest, Ford comes across Rachel, a replicant that is employed by Tyrell company as the CEO's personal assistant, that is somewhat of an anomaly - she's called "an experiment" - because, unlike the other replicants that Tyrell has produced, Rachel actually has memories, albeit ones that come from Tyrell's niece. As the movie progresses, Ford develops feelings for Rachel that he struggles with periodically during his quest.

I had never seen this movie before, ever, even though we have the DVD at my home and my husband absolutely adores the movie.  It apparently also has a cult following - now not so much a cult following as a mainstream following.  And I can see why - it's a pretty good movie. What shocked me is that people agreed that when this film was released in the theaters in the early 80's, it was a complete and utter flop. People hated it.  No clue why because Scott created a really good movie with Harrison Ford as his lead man. Thematically, the movie was attractive because it dealt with themes of memory and identity and how they are intertwined: are they intertwined, how much does one impact the other if at all, etc. I really enjoyed how the scenes were shot and the sets themselves. The darkness, with some brief interludes of light, fit in very well together and added to the overall feel.

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