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October 6, 2017

Blade Runner (1982) --- “You Might Have To Watch This Movie More Than Once To Figure Out Which Characters Are Humans.”

Plot Summary
Deckard (Harrison Ford) is forced by the police Boss (M. Emmet Walsh) to continue his old job as Replicant Hunter. His assignment: eliminate four escaped Replicants from the colonies who have returned to Earth. Before starting the job, Deckard goes to the Tyrell Corporation and he meets Rachel (Sean Young), a Replicant girl he falls in love with. (1)

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
      Blade Runner, directed by Ridley Scott (The Martian)  is based on Philip K. Dick’s  Sci-fi novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”. Set in the decrepit setting of 2019 Los Angeles, both novel and film follow Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) a cop – a Blade Runner – whose job is to "retire" genetically engineered cyborgs known as "Replicants". Some of these Replicants have returned to earth from exile on an off-world colony with the intentions to force their creator into expanding their pre-determined four-year lifespan. Blade Runner flopped in its original 1982 release but over time the film became a widely acclaimed classic sci-fi film. This is partly due to the release of a ‘Director Cut’ version of the film and the film’s ability to operate on different levels at one time.

     Director Ridley Scott has crafted an amazing science fiction film that is about more than just space-battles, alien creatures, and futuristic gadgets. Scott delivers a hauntingly brilliant depiction of what Los Angeles or even the world as we know it could look like in the future. There is an urban atmosphere of corruption everywhere. The dark and rainy garbage-littered streets give us an insight as to what a seriously screwed up world looks like, while the idea of respectable human being is a thing of the past. Blade Runner not only bravely touches philosophical questions but also requires the viewers to think in order to truly understand and appreciate the film’s content. The film questions the impact of technology on human civilization as well as the very nature of humanity itself.
     The film's power is derived from its stunning visual imagery and philosophical themes. The cinematography is distinct and genius, primarily for the bluish haze that the film is seen through and its gritty urban atmosphere. Blade Runner features an over amount of product placement and yet it does not feel out of place. There is a hint of style from the 1940’s, especially in regards to the cars, music, and costumes. Also, the majority of the sets used were pulled off using models, and personally I believe that handmade sets require more skill and are therefore much more impressive. On another note, there are several philosophical themes going on at one time throughout the film. There is the dehumanization of people who live in a society that is shaped and capitalized on technology. There is the question on what really classifies as being human or having humanity – emotions & memories, purpose & desire, mortality & death, cruelty & love, etc. What is the meaning of our existence without humanity? What are the aspects that make up our personal identity and what is just simply part of our standard programming?

      Overall, Blade Runner (1982) is a classic sci-fi film that must be seen at least once in everyone’s lifetime. The film searches for the meaning of life itself and what it means to be human, along with the question following mortality: How much longer do I have to live? Why do we die? What happens when I die? Is who I am real or is it all merely an illusion? Are these Replicants more human than their creators would have us believe? By the end of the film director, Ridley Scott leaves us with more questions than answers which is no wonder why critics are still debating this film today. When you think about it, it is Blade Runner’s vagueness that is the reason behind the film’s success. If you do not enjoy contemplating films then Blade Runner’s brilliance and thought-provoking themes may be lost on you. But if you do enjoy films such as this then you will find this film to be entertaining even when it demands discussion and leaves us with a haunting and vague feeling.

"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time... like tears in rain... Time to die."
- Batty

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  4.2 of 5 star
Worth Buying:  4.2 of 5 stars

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Movies Similar 
Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Elysium (2013)
Ex Machina (2015)
Inception (2010)
Looper (2012)
Prometheus (2012)
Repo Men (2010)
RoboCop (2014)
Surrogates (2009)
Total Recall (2012)

Transcendence (2014)

Cast & Crew
Directed by Ridley Scott   
Writing Credits: Hampton Fancher, David Webb Peoples, and Philip K. Dick (novel)
Produced by 
     Charles de Lauzirika          ...         producer
     Michael Deeley                   ...         producer
     Hampton Fancher              ...         executive producer
     Brian Kelly                          ...         executive producer
     Ivor Powell                          ...         associate producer
     Paul Prischman                  ...         associate producer
     Jerry Perenchio                  ...         co-executive producer
     Ridley Scott                        ...         co-producer
     Run Run Shaw                   ...         co-executive producer
     Bud Yorkin                          ...         co-executive producer
Music by Vangelis.
Cinematography by Jordan Cronenweth.
Film Editing by Marsha Nakashima and Terry Rawlings.
Production Design by Lawrence G. Paull.
Art Direction by David L. Snyder.
Costume Design by Michael Kaplan and Charles Knode.
Production Management: Alan Collis, C.O. Erickson, and John W. Rogers.

Harrison Ford                       ...      Rick Deckard
Rutger Hauer                        ...      Roy Batty
Sean Young                            ...      Rachael
Edward James Olmos         ...      Gaff
M. Emmet Walsh                  ...      Bryant
Daryl Hannah                        ...      Pris
William Sanderson              ...      J.F. Sebastian
Brion James                           ...      Leon Kowalski
Joe Turkel                              ...      Dr. Eldon Tyrell
Joanna Cassidy                     ...      Zhora
James Hong                           ...      Hannibal Chew
Morgan Paull                         ...      Holden
Kevin Thompson                  ...      Bear
John Edward Allen              ...      Kaiser
Hy Pyke                                   ...      Taffey Lewis
Kimiko Hiroshige                ...      Cambodian Lady
Bob Okazaki                           ...      Howie Lee
Carolyn DeMirjian               ...      Saleslady

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