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One hell of a movie. Aesthetic as fuck, comfy cinematography, brain-tickling sci-fi philosophy questions. Definitely worth a watch for anyone interested in science fiction, probably worth a watch for general film enthusiasts as well.

I had been planning on watching this for a long time, but what finally spurred me into action was some comments that mariomguy made in another thread. I'm going to address them here because I greatly disagree with them and I think we can get an interesting conversation out of them.

Anyone who thinks they need to watch Blade Runner, I can save you the 3 torturous hours

1 hour, 57 minutes for the Final Cut. Less, if you skip out on the credits.

play the love theme from Vangelis, look up the triangle building, the light-up umbrellas, and the unicorn, and you've just seen all the best parts of that movie back-to-back.

I really don't understand this. Look up some disconnected aesthetics and don't indulge in any of the concepts or context that makes the film intellectually engaging? This is especially weird for the unicorn scene, because it means nothing by itself and is the setup for a payoff at the end of the movie. The light-up umbrellas is another weird one, because it has nothing to do with the overarching story or themes. It's just a little tech detail. I'm really not sure why you would give that a point. Is this a joke?

Plus, you don't include Batty's final speech? Arguably the most intense single piece of characterization in the entire film, a speech which exists as the capstone for the themes that the rest of the film spent building up? This is a really confusing opinion.

In reality, this takes ages

Even if you're just watching it for aesthetics, there's a lot more going on than the couple of points that you liked. There's pretty regular shots of the city, the streets, various interiors and characters that are very well composed.

and the payoff is not that great. The tears in rain speech is so overrated.

I disagree.

I've never been so bored with a movie.

Yes, I could see how this film would be really boring to someone who was watching it for the light-up umbrellas and unicorns.

I am the mighty Sun-Column.
There are 6 Replies

Got em.

I personally went in with high expectations and didn't enjoy the film. It does feel longer than two hours . I didn't care to finish it as I already knew the ending.

Not my favorite Harrison Ford film. The world was pretty neat though.

Edited January 4th, 2018 by S.o.h.

Glad to hear you enjoyed it, and that it still has resonance for newcomers (despite being such a source for inspiration and knockoffs in the genre for decades now). It's been one of my favourite films for as long as I can remember, so much so that I own all versions of it and watch it at least once a year. The original theatrical cut is worth checking out for the awful voiceover alone.

I'd imagine you'll move onto it anyway, but I'd wholly recommend watching 2049 if you can. I was obviously pretty skeptical when a sequel was first announced, since I was always of the opinion that Blade Runner didn't need expanding in any way (especially with Deckard), and I worried it would ruin the original's legacy for a myriad of reasons. But once Villeneuve and Deakins signed on - two of my favourite filmmakers working today - I had a bit more faith in the project. Once that first teaser trailer hit (which I unabashedly watched about 20 times in a row), I was totally on board.

And the mad men actually did it! 2049 pays homage to the classic without feeling pandering, standing on its own two feet as a genuinely great sci-fi film that could easily be considered another classic with time. Undoubtedly my favourite movie of 2017, so much so that I watched it three times at the cinemas.

Sharing the teaser here, because its beauty is worth keeping alive:

Edited January 4th, 2018 by Orion Nebula

Blade Runner is my favourite film of all time, and very few sci-fi films come close to matching its accomplishment of perfectly marrying theme, characterisation and narrativeĀ  pace.

We're spoilt by modern media these days in regards to the overuse of post-apocalyptic/dystopian settings, seeing as everything takes its cue from Blade Runner - no-one does it quite as good though, and it's worth a watch for its masterful opening sequence alone.

I also initially thought 2049 was redundant, and Blade Runner needed no sequel, but 2049 is great too, even if I'm not the biggest Gosling fan. It's as faithful a sequel you'll probably ever get. Paradoxically, I'm glad it struggled at the box office as it prevents the film becoming a stupid MCU-esque franchise.

I am somehow completely unsurprised that mguy disliked the experience as well.

Edited January 4th, 2018 by Arch

The tears in the rain speech is genuinely one of the greatest speeches in cinema history, and made even more impressive if you believe the rumor that it was largely improvised.

I can't fault anyone for not being into Blade Runner. It's one of those films that definitely seems to focus a lot more on atmosphere than other elements. And it can easily feel slooooooow, and, at times, a bit too brainy. (I am still liable to fall asleep watching it, and I really love it.) But this feels a lot like someone just didn't really get it, doesn't really have a lot of experience with a wide array of cinema, and has a very, very, very strict criteria for what makes something "good" or "great." By almost every metric, Blade Runner is great because it was unconventional. It's still unconventional. Many have taken visual influence from Blade Runner (one of the best looking films of the pre-CGI era), but conventional wisdom for Hollywood filmmaking suggests that you can't make a brainy, atmospheric film because general audiences won't see it. Blade Runner 2049 was great! And it nearly perfectly melded the atmosphere of Blade Runner with more updated and modern cinema norms and expectations. And, naturally, no one saw it. Both Blade Runners seem to me to exist in this gray area where it's a bit too challenging for wide audiences, but a bit too "Hollywood" for the indie crowd as well.

I'm curious: which cut do people think is the best? Which is your "definitive" cut?

Posted January 4th, 2018 by Jet Presto

I'm curious: which cut do people think is the best? Which is your "definitive" cut?

I've only seen the Final Cut, but I can't imagine supporting the other versions in good faith. I researched the differences between the versions before I selected one to watch (without spoiling myself, thankfully) and I immediately gravitated towards the most recent one, not just because it's called the final cut, but because it's the one where Scott had complete control.

Others who have seen more versions of it are encouraged to point out where and how other versions have strengths that the Final Cut does not, though. I would gladly watch this film again.

Posted January 4th, 2018 by nullfather

The cuts don't ultimately have a ton of differences. The addition of the unicorn stuff in later cuts is the biggest, and most consequential, as they actually wind up changing some pretty key elements of the story (namely whether Deckard is human or replicant). For me personally, I always kind of wish there were a balanced version of Scott's meddling years later, and what he originally intended prior to studio interference (the studios were behind the "happy ending" and the voice over narration, which should be axed).

I'm not quite sure I generally like when directors start messing with their work years later to further flesh out "their vision" or otherwise exercise complete control. I preferred the ambiguous ending regarding Deckard's nature, and enjoyed the fact that Scott thought he was a replicant, Harrison Ford thought he was human, and Hampton Fancher (the screenwriter) said it was supposed to be (and was indeed written to be) ambiguous. I feel like Ridley Scott ultimately ruins a great aspect of his own film to further push his theory, to make it more a fact than a theory. Doesn't ultimately change too much of the rest of the film (although some aspects don't make much sense if indeed he is a replicant). Just kinda seems strange for a filmmaker to go back years later and make key changes in editing that ultimately weaken the overall script he had.

I'm sorta of the mindset that the more control a director feels they need to exert, especially years after the film released, the less I feel like I'm going to respect it. Because of studio meddling, Director's Cuts are usually pretty interesting, and I like seeing those. But when you start having the director tweaking the cuts years later, with ideas he came up with after the fact, that feels a bit different. The studios wanted a happier ending, but they didn't dictate that Deckard be human so far as I'm aware.

Posted January 5th, 2018 by Jet Presto
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