It's time for my first movie! I've decided to ease into it with the 1982 sci-fi movie Blade Runner, directed by Ridley Scott. Warning, there's some 34 year-old spoilers ahead.
Where I'm Coming From
Surprisingly, I've seen a movie recently. I saw was Don't Think Twice in theaters last weekend so I'm ready for something a little darker. I imagine Blade Runner is going to be like that, but I may be surprised.
What I Expect
What I do know is that the movie is based on the book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K Dick. My knowledge gets shaky after that sentence. Harrison Ford looks far younger than his weird CG face as seen in the more recent The Force Awakened. He'll also be running blades. It feels like an interested casting choice because he was appearing in another sci-fi franchise at the same time. I imagine this will take place in a dystopian future because the box art looks like it and it's a movie setting trend that continues over 30 years later. Movies based on books that take place in a bummer future? Hollywood has fresh ideas aplenty.
What I'm Bringing
I go to the kitchen to grab some movie snacks. I figured out pretty quick that grocery shopping day is soon because there was only an old bag of tortilla chips available. At least I have priorities straight and there's still liquor around, so I make a gin and tonic. Maybe a poor choice because it's kind of chilly in here. Who cares, I'm so READY to get started!
From the start I know I'm in for a dated looking treat. There's some credits, synth, and an opening crawl that gives me a lot of terms to learn - I commit TYRELL CORPORATION, NEXUS, and REPLICANT to memory between swigs of my beverage. I make a mental note to throw at least two of these terms out in my next conversation to indicate how much I've already grown.
I wonder if I should have read the book before watching this, but if I had would it be considered cheating? Synthetic people that are like real people makes me hope there is some kind of Turing test, kind of like from Ex Machina. Has this been shot today #replicantlivesmatter would be trending. The shot opens on flames shooting out of buildings, which I already figured was an LA thing. I haven't been there, but I imagine that's the skyline view from behind the Hollywood hills.
Hey look, a Turing test! I need to call the American Association of Psychics and see if they want me. I appreciate that the first introduction to a replicant is a less than average guy.
Lots of rain and noodles. This is the future I've always dreamed of. I like that the police station looks kind of like an 80s police station. Terms get a little confused because they're bringing Deckard back from retirement, but not the kind of retirement he was slinging at replicants. The amount of cigarette smoke everywhere makes me wonder how everyone isn't just riddled with cancer. They didn't predict a future of vaping I guess. I just figured out this is supposed to take place around now.
The first woman with lines shows up 17 minutes in, and it turns out she might not even be a real woman? There's a message there somewhere. I also think a four year lifespan is a questionable choice for such expensive investments. The set piece for this meeting with Tyrell is legitimately impressive. More smoke. I wonder how big Philip Morris is at this point. I can't tell if the size of Tyrell's glasses are supposed to be indicative of the future or of the 80s.
They nailed the amount of product placement the future will have. At least they went with Coke instead of RC. I don't want to imagine a future with Pepsi.
I see now that they were waiting to spring the Eugenicist replicants on me. White - check. Blue eyes - I think? Accent - check. I think the only food service parts went to Asian actors. At least they got roles I guess? I suspect people used to think the future would have a lot more Asian influence. The cars can drive and fly which makes them hybrids, but there's no way they get good mileage.
High collars on every outfit seems like a practical fashion choice, it's raining so much. Some of the outdoor shots look very set-like. It's distracting. There's no way this Sebastian guy has the IQ to be a genetic designer. I definitely believe that he lives by himself though. I have no idea if those 'toys' he makes for himself are alive but they reside somewhere deep in the uncanny valley.
I absolutely love the absurdity of this photo machine. It responds to even the most casual voice commands, incredible zooming ability, and the clarity of a modern phone. This thing makes every tool from CSI look like garbage, but unrealistic lab equipment has already been covered enough. I must have missed something because I don't know where he got this particular photo.
I feel like every sci-fi movie has to have this racially diverse bar scene, but my breadth of knowledge is a little thin to be able to back that up.
The full head blow dryers do seem like a pretty good idea. I wonder how that weak reasoning got him into stripper girl's dressing room. Oh, she's a replicant. That talking crossing signal would drive me insane. I'm surprised it wasn't investigated as well when they were evaluating waterboarding. Deckard might have abused the double tap a little bit when taking stripper replicant down, but props for making sure. People don't seem to upset by him opening fire in the middle of the street but that doesn't surprise me.
Why is he taking a nap while Rachel is at his place? Trying to get with a replicant seems wrong for someone in his profession. She tries to leave and then he decides to pull a James Bond 'no means yes.'
Seriously, there's no way Sebastian is a genetic designer. He has an entire a building to himself and it looks like run down garbage. He's his own slumlord, which must certainly get even more complicated than current tenant law.
Seriously, every one of these death scenes are uncharacteristically brutal compared to the rest of the movie. At least it's still raining. If they could have seen the future I'm sure they might have made some different weather choices.
This final showdown between Deckard and the lead replicant (no I still don't know his name) is long. Long and wet. Sorry I don't feel jokey anymore because I'm so fucking tired at this point. I do like the moment they have when he gets pulled up from building.
Deckard can't seriously expect Rachel would love him already. They've met a handful of times, someone more optimistic than me might say that's enough.
And that's it. I'm left questioning if Deckard is himself a replicant and where to draw the mental line between human and AI, which I've already struggled with more than I imagined I would.
Wow what a successful first viewing. I really thought I was going to nod off somewhere in there. I promise I did no research prior to the viewing and I only looked up a few key things after just so I could sound slightly informed, so that's why I still don't know most people's names.
I can't wait to do the next one - the list of possibilities runs deep.