... but I stopped. Now I'm a dad, and may blog again...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

398: when I watched Blade Runner

Despite loving the old Harrison Ford movies Star Wars and Indiana Jones, loving science-fiction and post-apocalyptic stuff like RoboCop and Total Recall, loving Ridley Scott's Alien (Gladiator and Legend are pretty good too), I have somehow never seen Blade Runner. I've even read the book it's based on a couple of times: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. I have watching it now (I'm taking a break about half way through) I have been missing out of a very good film. (I'm trying this new thing where I stop using words like fantastic, amazing, marvellous, wonderful, etc. Good, quite good and very good will suffice.)

The scale is huge, the tone is grim, and the lighting is dark. It's a terrible future where most of humanity has left Earth for space colonies built by genetically manufactured androids. Earth is crumbling and poisonous; the scorched surface and choking atmosphere is hostile to animal life, and artificial animals are kept as pets. Occasionally an android goes haywire and kills; sometimes they return to Earth, and when they do it is up to the Blade Runner to hunt them and retire them. All this is done against a backdrop of towering castles of alloy and shooting columns of flame, inspire apparently by Scott's South Shields upbringing (I never knew Ridley Scott was a Geordie, thank you wikipedia).

Yeah it's different from the book. It starts with the title and moves along swiftly. But that's not a problem – different media and all – and the book is sort of a let down to be honest. You start of reading it sensing that it might be along the lines of Nineteen Eighty-Four or Brave New World, but never reaches such heights; it has a couple of dead ends, a weird hallucination and then it just ends. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? isn't hugely memorable; on the other hand I've yet to forget Blade Runner (although I haven't watched it all yet – such is the difficulty with doing everything on the same bit of hardware). How about I finish watching it.

Well, the action between Deckard and the terrifying (but pathetically Last of the Summer Wine named) Roy Baty is proper good (I've given up trying to write well) and all 'round good film. Fin.  (Crappy ending to the blog post, but the ending to the film was so good I didn't think I could do it justice.  Plus it's night and there are Blade Runners on the prowl and I can't prove I'm not a replicant.)


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