Obsessions: Blade Runner

Blade Runner is a beautiful, haunting, brutal film that's captured my eyes and heart for almost 30 years (!!) now. It is my all time favorite movie obsession.

Only a few days ago, I got to sit back and watch this brilliant movie again-for the first time in Blu-ray and on a gi-normous HD television and it was a marvelous revelation, a warm affirmation that I will forever love this movie!

Strangely enough, the first time I watched Blade Runner was on another gi-normous tv back in 1984. It was a projection tv. Incredibly anemic and fuzzy by today's standards but breathtakingly awesome to a 14 year old movie fanatic then.

From the first notes of Vangelis ominous score to the opening vista of a futuristic Los Angeles with it's pyramid buildings and lightning racked sky I was completely sucked in. It was a rainy, dreary, apocalyptic world that was completely believable. It is a visual look and feel that I believe has never been matched or surpassed even to this day, quite an accomplishment for a 30 year old film!

Blade Runner tells the story of a former Los Angeles policeman, Rick Deckard, who is called back into service when four renegade, artificially created people-known as replicants (designed for slave labor and 'entertainment' off-world) run a muck in the city. It's Deckard's job to find them and kill them.

Complicating matters is the fact that these replicants are Nexus 6 models. Their minds and bodies are much more advanced than the usual model which makes them a lot harder to detect and terminate ("retire").

The group of renegade replicants is led by Roy Batty, an optimized combat model, who wants to track down Eldon Tyrell, the mastermind behind replicant design, and make him give them more life. A Nexus 6 only has a four year life span and time's just about up for Roy and his girlfriend Pris.

On one level the film is a noir detective style thriller. But only on the surface. In fact, the whole movie is about what's going on below the surface. What is it to be human? What does it mean to be "alive"? Are we who we think we are?

When Blade Runner was released in 1982 it was panned by audiences and critics alike but over the years it gained in popularity and reputation. Today it's considered a science fiction classic on par with 2001: A Space Odyssey.

It was one of the first films to receive the now much overused "Director's Cut" treatments in 1992.

Blade Runner is based on the Phillip K. Dick novel DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP.


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