Blade Runner is still an awesome movie

I love the strange, the surreal and the bizarre in film, as long as it’s told with strong narrative, interesting characters and beautiful camera work. Blade Runner has all of everything I love in cinema, twisted together into a film noir futuristic sci-fi, set in the distant year of 2019.

This movie has been through 6 official iterations, of which 3 have been available for cinema release. I saw the Final Cut last night, which is apparently the final final final cut, the way Ridley Scott intended it to be.

It was at least 10 years since I’d seen the original so I couldn’t tell you off the top of my head what was different. But 20 minutes on IMBD tells me (SPOILER ALERT) there is no voice over, which I don’t remember from the original anyway; there is no happy ending; and there is an additional unicorn scene giving the paper unicorn at the end a whole different significance which film buffs everywhere are happily debating. Whichever your preference it’s still a damn good movie and I recommend watching any of the available versions if you haven’t already.

As a film student I spent many late nights feasting on classic and cult cinema. Some old beauties like Metropolis and some best forgotten, umm Barbarella. In my home town we had a beautiful old theatre with terrace seating and gilt covered balconies where they used to screen classic films. I saw Gone with the Wind here, the 4 hours was tough with the old small seats; A Clockwork orange, which my friend walked out on in disgust; and silent Charlie Chaplin movies accompanied by the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra.

I saw the director John Waters speak at the Hay Festival a few years ago. In preparation my friends and I had a series of John Waters movie nights. Rediscovering the delights of Cry Baby, Polyester and the fabulous Hair Spray.

If you have seen any the movies I’ve so far mentioned, you’ll have an idea of the type of films I like. My partner on the other hand, loves action and disaster movies. I’ll watch any genre as long as it’s a good film, so I don’t mind Rocky or Deep Impact, but I’m not going to watch The Expendables III.

The one genre we do agree on is sci-fi. We both love strange worlds, alien invasions, robot and human relationships, I like the theme of forbidden love, he likes the sex scenes. We spent about 3 months of Sundays watching back to back Battlestar Galactica series.

What I don’t get is action hero films. Sure Wolverine is a walking hunk of sexy man, but how many superhero saving the world films does anyone really need to see in one lifetime? Can there be any more versions of Superman?

How is it that the dolls (sorry action heroes) that men played with when they are boys, have spurned countless serious movie franchises and it’s okay for grown men to get excited about these films. But if there was an equivalent for woman, say a Barbie series for adults they would probably get laughed at as pointless and stupid.

Although let’s face it we probably wouldn’t be interested anyway. I’ve long given up on the dream of perfect hair, long legs and elegant clothes. Perhaps that’s it, men aren’t yet ready to give up on the dream that one day, just one day they may discover a secret power and use it to rescue pretty women and save the world.

Maybe then they’ll stop watching men in tight trousers leaping about buildings and start watching the latest bitter sweet story of a transgender refugee living rough on the streets of Slovakia told through the perspective of her blind dog. Break out the popcorn, that’s the kind of art house festival film I’m talking about!


2 thoughts on “Blade Runner is still an awesome movie

  1. The only good thing about Blade Runner was the cinematography. It has the best I’ve ever seen, but everything else was terrible. Like Space Odyssey, it’s a film that’s busy hanging around, looking serious and artistic but keeps me screaming for characters.

    No, I’m not a buff of bad action films. I’m always seeking the strange, challenging and artistic films. Blade Runner just wasn’t enough.

    I agree with you on the action film thingie though. It is just a power fantasy. I love it, actually. Some people do it well – John Woo is a brilliant director, Commando is a brilliant film. The problem with a lot of contemporary action films is that they’re PG-13 and they’re held back by length, seriousness and obligatory female character who does nothing. If you want to know how action films really work, watch Commando. If you’re still not convinced, then John Woo’s The Killer and Hard-Boiled.


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