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Blade Runner at 25, Why the F/X Still Matter

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the beware-the-thighs-that-crush dept.

Sci-Fi 454

mattnyc99 writes "Today marks the 25th anniversary of the release of Blade Runner, Ridley Scott's dark vision of the future that changed the future of filmmaking and still stands up today, argues Adam Savage of The MythBusters (and the F/X crews of The Matrix and Star Wars). Between the "lived-in science fiction," pre-CGI master models, futuristic cityscapes and tricked-out cars, don't you agree? And after we got the first official glimpse of him from Indiana Jones 4 this weekend, isn't Harrison Ford still the man?"

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didn't know what a steier .222 looked like, found (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19637545)

Goatse Link (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19637675)

Hey, I got the first post but forgot to make it "official." So here it is. [www.goat.cx]

Re:didn't know what a steier .222 looked like, fou (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637681)

I'm not usually into movie trivia like this, but that was a pretty neat article. Their single-minded devotion to creating the exact prop from the film is a bit eerie, though.

Re:didn't know what a steier .222 looked like, fou (2, Interesting)

OECD (639690) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638269)

. Their single-minded devotion to creating the exact prop from the film is a bit eerie, though.

Savage is (or was) a prop guy. That's what they do. I know one who made a working replica of the Logan's Run Blaster just for grins. (Working in that it spews green flames, not in that it terminates runners.)

Oddly, today I happened across some '04 Mayoral candidates that were given the Voight-Kampff test. [thewavemag.com] (The Nexus 7 won.)

Special edition DVD? (4, Interesting)

James_G (71902) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637571)

What happened to it? I've been waiting for years now. The latest update here [brmovie.com] seems hopeful, but nothing since.. and it was suggesting a release in time for the 25th anniversary..

Re:Special edition DVD? (5, Informative)

edawstwin (242027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637613)

http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/index.php?id=36328 [scifi.com]

"Blade Runner: Final Cut will arrive in 2007 for a limited 25th-anniversary theatrical run, followed by a special-edition DVD with the three previous versions offered as alternate viewing."

Re:Special edition DVD? (2, Informative)

edgrale (216858) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637793)

You can find more information on Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] . (Fall 2007)

Re:Special edition DVD? (1)

Troed (102527) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638335)

Warner Bros. has plans to release the Final Cut version not only on DVD, but also on the enhanced HD DVD disc format

Great. Release it in the format that's already dead, please.

Oh well. Someone will surely rip it and maybe we can make our own Blu-ray version then ..

Re:Special edition DVD? (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638593)

I thought that both HDDVD and Blu-Ray were pretty much stillborn and that everybody--even people with HDTV--is still using DVD.

Re:Special edition DVD? (1)

Troed (102527) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638653)

Maybe in the US, then. In Sweden the PS3 is the Blu-ray player of choice for HDTV owners (esp. us with FullHD sets).

Huge penis failure (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19637829)

In your pants! [goatse.cz]

The Lone Troller

Re:Special edition DVD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19637935)

Are they doing this just in time to not be in high definition?

Re:Special edition DVD? (3, Informative)

Qhue (1119913) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637957)

There is a trailer for it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fAm7qOY7Vg [youtube.com] it was aired on the American Film Institute's top 100 movies special last week (where Blade Runner was added to the list as well) Apparently they are considering a re-release in theaters as a way to help recoup the costs of the reshooting they did earlier this year.

Re:Special edition DVD? (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638135)

That trailer didn't really show too much. I've been looking forward to this for some time, personally. I just hope it doesn't end up riddled with newly shot CGI and such rubbish. I did always find it a little disappointing that the film downplays pretty much every aspect of the novel save for the general "feel"; no mood devices, no Mercerism, little social importance implied to organic animals, no radioactive dust, etc. The film is great, but still could have been so much more than just the sci-fi action flick that it tends to lean toward. I expect the "Final Cut" to add more general narrative tot he film, but certainly not to put it more in line with the novel.

Dystopian future (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19637603)

Still living with my parents 25 years on

Just remove the wires, OK? (4, Interesting)

ashitaka (27544) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637627)

The one thing that did distract from the movie was the extremely obvious wires holding up the spinner in several scenes. That's one "enhancement" I could stand the Special Edition DVD having.

"All this will be lost, like tears in the rain"

"Time to die"

Re:Just remove the wires, OK? (5, Funny)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637683)

I can live with those sorts of "enhancements", just so long as they don't put a CGI jamaican frog-man into any of the scenes.

Re:Just remove the wires, OK? (5, Funny)

harrkev (623093) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637717)

Meesa thinks yoosa prejudiced.

Re:Just remove the wires, OK? (5, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637775)

Or changing who shot first.

Re:Just remove the wires, OK? (0)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637837)

Why yooousa no likes da jamaican frogman?

Weesa likeses yooooou!

meesa gonna be your friiiiend!

Re:Just remove the wires, OK? (4, Funny)

Doctor Memory (6336) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637831)

the extremely obvious wires holding up the spinner in several scenes
*snort* C'mon, those were obviously a phased-array antenna system for their UltraSuperMegaStreetFighterTurboDefinition 1:4:9 phase-conjugate audio/video/tactio deck. Everybody's got those in the future. Everybody who's anybody, anyway.

Re:Just remove the wires, OK? (5, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637973)

The real controversy will be when Deckard shoots first. ;)

Poor, Harrison.

Re:Just remove the wires, OK? (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638367)

They weren't holding it up. Those were Ethernet cables although if you were really driving around in a spinner you'd want 802.11.

Maybe? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19637629)

And after we got the first official glimpse of him from Indiana Jones 4 this weekend, isn't Harrison Ford still the man?
Maybe he's still the man ... I thought that he was "the android" in Blade Runner.

Oh, shit! Put a spoiler alert above that!

Re:Maybe? (2, Informative)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638057)

There are no androids in BR. Only replicants.

Re:Maybe? (3, Funny)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638121)

The replicants in Blade Runner are 100% organic.

CGI is nice, but let's not forget ... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19637649)

Let's not forget Blade Runner's completely smokin' Sean Young ...

Re:CGI is nice, but let's not forget ... (4, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638067)

...who will be digitally replaced with Hayden Christensen in the special edition.

Re:CGI is nice, but let's not forget ... (4, Funny)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638341)

...who will be digitally replaced with Hayden Christensen in the special edition.
This would be a somewhat appropriate excuse to have that shot of Darth Vader yelling "Noooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!"

And its strange English-to-Chinese-to-English subtitle:
"Do Not Want".

it would have been way better (0)

drfrog (145882) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637659)

it would have been way better if they would have stuck more to the book

the idea he was cheating on his wife with a replicant made the story a tad more intersting

esp when she throws his goat off the top of the building and then his wife find s out

that said the effects do stand up

i heard philip k dick patterned his city off of vancouver,

the dark depressing rains of the north west really set the tone well

Re:it would have been way better (5, Insightful)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637723)

it would have been way better if they would have stuck more to the book
It would have been a different movie if they had stuck more to the book. Whether or not it would have been a good movie is up in the air. In any case, BR is a good movie, so let's just count ourselves lucky and enjoy what we have.

Re:it would have been way better (4, Insightful)

DeepHurtn! (773713) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637951)

Absolutely the right attitude, IMHO! A lot of the stuff in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep would be impossible to film in anything like a mainstream movie, I suspect. Mercerism? Buster Friendly? C'mon, it would either have to be camp or experimental. The book and the novel are totally different beasts. In this case, we have a brilliant novel and a brilliant movie. 'Nuff said.

Re:it would have been way better (5, Interesting)

LithiumX (717017) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638023)

I enjoyed "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" - but the movie is a different story, only based off of Dick's novel.

The emphasis, as I read it, of Dick's novel was that no matter how real something seems, it is never as good as the real thing. No matter how realistically a replicant could look or act, it would never - ever - really be human.

The movie took the opposite stance. We created the replicants as slaves, but we made them too human - quite possibly "More human than human". Replicants were harsh, violent, and angry - which makes sense considering that they had the emotional experience of a 4 year old. They knew fear - not the reflexive mechanical fear of the book's replicants, but wild animal fear of a human who doesn't want to die. In the book, a replicant that knew it was screwed just gave in - in the movie, they did anything... anything they could... to escape and survive another day. I also don't recall replicants really caring for eachother in the book - whereas in the movie is was a primary driving force. The pictures they kept in the book were mostly to keep up appearances, while in the movie it was a sad attempt at building a past.

Also you have to admit - Batty as he was in the book wouldn't have been that memorable a villain. In the movie, he was one of the most memorable fictional villains ever. A ruthless poetic madman who was getting a crash course in emotions and ethics, and who didn't really understand life until the very end.

The book was good, but I'll take the movie any day - not just for cool factor, but because I feel the movie had far greater literary value (watered down as it was to suit the needs of a 90-minute action movie).

i love blade runner (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637661)

there is no more perfect science fiction movie to me

the problem with most science fiction movies is that the sampling of the philosophical implications of their subject matter is too shallow (or they are outright fantasy riffs without any attempt at philosophisizing). you don't get that with a good sci fi book. a good sci fi book gets you to really think and wonder. a good science fiction movie just usually entertains you... sometimes entertains you REALLY well, but the thinking part isn't usually there

but blade runner really got to me. especially the scenes at the end, with deckard and batty, the movie collapsed all of the science fiction trappings into meaning: the essential human struggles with life and death and what is the whole damn point anyway? blade runner really sticks with you. every time i watch it i think of something new

i really don't know of a better example of how deeply a 2 hour scifi movie can really get to you in a deep way

well maybe contact [imdb.com] , but contact comes second in my mind to blade runner

Re:i love blade runner (4, Interesting)

green453 (889049) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637977)

I like Gataca a lot as well. I think it goes beyond shallow subject matter--it forces you to think about the ethical implications of the movements in science. It might seem shallow at first, but think about when it came out. Dolly had just been cloned. Biotech was on the minds of people and when they saw the movie when it first came out, they had to think about whether or not we should always let science advance for the sake of science. It made us think about the 'essential human struggle with life and death.' It told us the whole point -- the human spirit is triumphant but we have to be careful that our zeal for advancement doesn't ever quash our humanity. I'm not trying to say Gataca > Blade Runner. I like both a lot and they take us into slightly different areas, but both force us to think about what it means to be human. For me though, Gataca gets me more deeply than Blade Runner does. Maybe just because I'm a limited nerd that wants to triumph rather than a uber-cool cop (alright, I could identify better with Deckard in DADoES, but we're talking about the movie here...)

Re:i love blade runner (3, Insightful)

samkass (174571) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638015)

The thing is, both Blade Runner and Contact are a pale shadow of their books. "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", on which Bladerunner is theoretically based, contains many times the depth and probably only takes you the same couple hours to read. In Contact, the entire point of the book was more or less missed by the movie-- in the book, the dichotomy between faith and science is addressed by the ending. The movie makes it into a gimmicky twist.

I agree that Blade Runner is one of the best science fiction movies of all time. And it stands up amazingly well to modern special effects and scenery. But the movie is still a movie-- entertainment with tunnel-vision, spoon-fed philosophy.

Re:i love blade runner (1)

estarriol (864512) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638147)

I don't agree at all - I thought the book and film were very different, but the film delivers better than the book IMO. Not much more to say on that really... I was surprised when I read the book that it wasn't better than it was.

yup (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638171)

a good sci fi book will always makes you think and wonder about 100x more than a movie ever could. a book shares thoughts better than any movie, simply as an aspect of one medium versus another

however, like life, thought alone is nothing. thought must be combined with action in real life to have any meaning. we denigrate, for good reason, action without thought (in movies, politics, etc.). but i think the corollary: thought without action, is just as bad

the point being, movies are better than books. simply because sharing the audiovisual action and not just the thought has more meaning to a human being, it effects a more compelling impact than a book

a movie is an evolutionary advance over a book in mankind's ability to communicate ideas. you need more than thoughts. you need something compelling to give ideas impact and weight. and whether you like that concept or not, this is an aspect of human nature that won't be surmounted. out brains are wired for that kind of prejudicial emphasis on the audiovisual over unbound thoughts. movies simply carry more wieghts than books in terms of their ability to stay and impact you

Re:i love blade runner (4, Insightful)

rossifer (581396) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638415)

"Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", on which Bladerunner is theoretically based, contains many times the depth and probably only takes you the same couple hours to read.
I disagree, sorta. They're such different stories, with such different protagonists, themes, and antagonists, I don't think the comparison is apt. An earlier post said it pretty well: there's no way of saying whether a movie that closely followed the book would be great. The movie "Blade Runner" is great, so let's enjoy it for what it is.

As for one being deeper than the other... personally, I find the movie's resolution of the synthetic/authentic dichotomy more satisfying. The book says that the synthetic is never as "good" as the authentic. The movie says it can be.

This analysis is consonant with my impression of Penrose re: AI's potential. Penrose says we can't simulate intelligence using Von Neumann computers because intelligence relies on quantum-mechanical nondeterministic computation to evade Godel's incompleteness theorem. I say that Penrose has made at least three significant errors: 1) his argument that human intelligence does successfully evade Godel's incompleteness theorem is pure speculation; 2) simple electrochemical models of brain operation include nondeterministic elements (neurotransmitter diffusion, etc.), without any need for quantum-level effects; and 3) that it would be difficult to add probabilistic operations to Von Neumann systems if nondeterministic elements were found to be necessary to simulate intelligence.

Don't get me wrong. I love reading PKD's stuff and am a huge fan. I just happen to disagree with his thesis in that story ("Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep"), and that disagreement leads me to be more satisfied with Ridley Scott's variation on the story.

Regards,
Ross

Re:i love blade runner (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638095)

there is no more perfect science fiction movie to me

Except for those god-awful '80s hairdos and makeup... Barf.

Re:i love blade runner (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638683)

Except for those god-awful '80s hairdos and makeup... Barf.

Would you prefer the god-awful '60s hairdos from Space 1999? Projectile barf!

Style is often cyclical, so just imagine those hairdos coming back in the year XXXX.

Re:i love blade runner (1, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638243)

I don't know, I put it in my top three. For me, it ranks with Forbidden Planet and The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Uhhhh, Contact? Good lord. Okay book, awful movie, IMHO.

A.I. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19638325)

People seem to either love or hate it, but I thought A.I. was one of the best sci-fi movies, and IMO both a better film than Blade Runner and more philosophically provocative. Could have done without the last half hour though.

Re:i love blade runner (3, Funny)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638535)

well maybe contact [imdb.com], but contact comes second in my mind to blade runner

Contact is definitely first in my list, because of the "my daddy is an alien" and "your mind can't bear how we actually look" cop-out ending.

You gotta be very brave to masterfully build suspence for hours in this otherwise great movie, and end with daddy talking condescendingly to the main protagonist "honey, you're too stupid to even have a look at me".

I mean, what the hell could they be? Really ugly fat green gelatinous blob monster? Seen that [darkhorse.com] . Gaseous purple clouds? Seen that, too (although the comic version [wikimedia.org] looks kinda different).

I mean WHAT, what the hell did it look like? Maybe they all looked like middle-aged average dads and this is why all the lies. Outer space jerks.

Re:i love blade runner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19638655)

I mean, what the hell could they be?

Maybe in reality they looked like the goatse guy, the only difference being that in the classic goatse pose the alien would be holding open its mouth.

For a 50 year old guy... (3, Funny)

HardCase (14757) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637677)

...Harrison Ford's holding up pretty damn well.

Oh...what? Damn!

Re:For a 50 year old guy... (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638035)

If he only was 50. Harrison Ford is currently 65 years old.
I wonder if Indy thinks that he's "getting too old for this".

The movie's amazing... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19637691)

... but that website is atrocious. Three lines of text on each page with a chunk of whitespace underneath the size of Alaska? Was their site done by a 3 year old?

On today's Mythbusters... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19637725)

On today's episode of Mythbusters, Jamie and Adam examine the myth that a four-paragraph article should be spread across four pages.

Re:On today's Mythbusters... (1)

Duggeek (1015705) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638199)

On today's episode of Mythbusters, Jamie and Adam examine the myth that a four-paragraph article should be spread across four pages.

Why do I get this feeling that it would be found “plausible”?

Re:On today's Mythbusters... (3, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638521)

Dude, you know how they love to blow shit up. So they exploded a story across four pages? Par for the course, don't you think?

But Is Deckard A Replicant? Or Not? (5, Interesting)

ausoleil (322752) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637735)

One of the great questions of "Blade Runner" is whether Deckard (Harrison Ford) is, or is not, a replicant himself.

"Knowing" Phillip K. Dick (through reading most of his works) I think personally the answer is a yes, but the debate has raged on for a long time, at least when the subject comes up. Others say no, and that's the greatness of the movie: you can't be completely sure.

Read #14 of the Blade Runner FAQ here [faqs.org] and ponder it for yourself.

For...

Ridley Scott and Harrison Ford have stated that Deckard was meant to be a
    replicant. In Details magazine (US) October 1992 Ford says:

                "Blade Runner was not one of my favorite films. I tangled
                with Ridley. The biggest problem was that at the end, he wanted the
                audience to find out that Deckard was a replicant. I fought that
                because I felt the audience needed somebody to cheer for."

Against...

- Could you trust a replicant to kill other replicants? Why did the police
    trust Deckard?

- Having Deckard as a replicant implies a conspiracy between the police and
    Tyrell.

And so forth and so on...

How does that get modded up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19637917)

What's the question? How can there be debate on the issue?

Ridley Scott and Harrison Ford have stated that Deckard was meant to be a replicant.
Well, there ya go. End of story.

It may not be that way in the book. It may not be that way in the script. But when the guy who made the movie comes out and says, "this is what I meant," you'd have to be a pretty big a-hole to continue the argument.

Re:How does that get modded up? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19638011)

The guy who made the movie could argue that Deckard was a repressed homosexual communist dyslexic Jew, but since none of that is ever conclusively answered in the film it's still argument fodder. There's a world of difference between "what I meant" and "what I actually showed," y'know.

That said, Deckard's a robot and you're a douche.

Re:But Is Deckard A Replicant? Or Not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19637919)

Read #14 of the Blade Runner FAQ
Ok, I just did. From the FAQ:
"Gaff may have seen Rachael's implants at the same time Deckard did, perhaps while they were at Tyrell's."

I don't remember that part... so where can I get the uncut version?

Re:But Is Deckard A Replicant? Or Not? (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637987)

- Could you trust a replicant to kill other replicants? Why did the police trust Deckard?
Why not? One of the core themes of the book and the film was that replicants lack empathy. Without empathy, there is nothing stopping them from killing, if they are going to gain something (e.g. money) from it.

Re:But Is Deckard A Replicant? Or Not? (1)

LordSkippy (140884) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638087)

I read "Do Androids Dream Of Electronic Sheep?", and it was pretty clear that he wasn't a replicant. The idea that he might have been was dismissed in the middle of the story. After that, the book fell apart for me and made Blade Runner one of the extremely few films that was better than the written story on which it was based. Solely because it left you wondering. Then Ridley had to go and spoil all the fun.

Admittedly, I did not finish the book, due to the story falling apart for me after Deckard's V-K test about midway through. But, Wikipedia (in all of its "truthiness" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Do_Androids_Dream_of_ Electric_Sheep%3F#Differences_between_the_novel_an d_film [wikipedia.org] ) seems to confirm that he was pretty solidly in the human camp.

I'm thinking about reading "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale", because I always liked to think that "Total Recall" ended with Quaid in a coma at the Total Recall offices and dreaming that he was on Mars. But, with my disappointment in DADoES, I'm a little hesitant about reading even a short story by PKD.

Re:But Is Deckard A Replicant? Or Not? (1)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638189)

There is almost no relationship between "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" and Total Recall. None of the story even takes place on Mars, there's just a bit of backstory at the end. If you want to read very good Dick SF, start with the short story "The Electric Ant" and the novels *The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch* and *The Man in the High Tower*.

Re:But Is Deckard A Replicant? Or Not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19638225)

Or Ubik. One of the few books I've read in a single sitting.

Re:But Is Deckard A Replicant? Or Not? (2, Informative)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638385)

I just watched this again a few weeks ago. A lot more things I noticed after hearing that Deckard was rumored to be a replicant. You left out a lot of FOR arguments:

* Deckard was an older, presumably more reliable, model.
* When the sergeant tells Deckard that replicants have a life expectancy of 4 years, he looks at him and apologizes.
* The unicorn dread that Deckard has. The cop makes an origami unicorn as well. How the heck did he know what he was dreaming? A little too coincidental to me.
* There's a scene in his apartment where Deckard has that weird glare in his eyes like you see with other replicants.

Re:But Is Deckard A Replicant? Or Not? (1)

Johnny Mnemonic (176043) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638453)


As a philosophical statement, Deckard as a replicant is interesting. However, it poses tremendous plot problems, some of which you mention. How you feel about the argument, I think, depends on which aspect of the movie you appreciate more.

Personally, I always had trouble working this notion into the constraints of the plot, and like many, that's how I approach storytelling. So it never held water with me. But eg the French have different priorities.

Gritty non-scifi scifi (4, Insightful)

grapeape (137008) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637745)

What made Blade Runner great was what made Dark City, Liquid Sky and the Original Manchurian Candidate good sci-fi, realisim. Yes it had flying cars, but things were still pretty much the same, people still worked, took taxi's, wore semi-normal looking clothing and ate regular food. The haunting subtle differences are what made it future we could accept as real which in turn made the "dark" future all that more scary because we belived at least for a couple hours that it could happen. Having Ridley Scott at the helm didnt hurt much either.

Edge (2, Insightful)

hack slash (1064002) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637755)

In case you haven't seen it yet, the UK Channel 4 documentary On The Edge of Blade Runner [google.com] .

REALLY looking forward to the super-duper-mega box set coming out, my HD to DVD conversion of the DC is nice but the 5.1 audio doesn't sound much better than the original 2.0 fed through Pro-Logic II, and getting a proper copy of theatrical version is going go to be great (no more putting up with the laserdisc transfer) - I just hope they don't copy Lucas and make it a 4:3 letterbox release like the OOT.

Edge removed (1)

hack slash (1064002) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637797)

Ahh nuts, looks like they finally removed On The Edge of Blade Runner from google video. I take it as a sign that the DVD box set is definitely happening, they wouldn't want people watching their stuff for free when they know they can make people pay for it.

I still have my original VHS recording of it though.

excuse me sir (0, Offtopic)

Asshat_Nazi (946431) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637783)

you appear to have a homo-sausage stuck in your butt.

Some things stand up, some don't (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19637843)

The visual effects stand up (unlike those snowalkers on SW V that really look jerky). The noir mix of futuristic and deco design seems to model the new-old mixes we have today. The Asian cultural mixes (we see those in Firefly as well) seem to properly project the history moving east to west that we see today. All these things stand up.

The horizon-less smoke stacks of dystopian so-cal eco-collapse do not age well. Same as the over-populated streets of NY in Soylent, where the city of Philadelphia was going to grow to the borders of NYC. The population of our evil developed world has plateaued. Our water is getting clean enough for the return of fish migrations. And in the midst of our Phila-NYC sprawl, we are getting the return of top predators bears and even cats (largely to the detriment of themselves if they manage to be seen), but top predators indicate healthy enough pyramids underneath, right?

Re:Some things stand up, some don't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19637927)

The population of our evil developed world has plateaued.

Oh?

Re:Some things stand up, some don't (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637965)

Population growth in 'developed' nations is at or near zero, in some cases declining. Prosperity seems to be one of the best measures ever found for population control. It's mostly in the 'third world' areas that populations are still exploding. Read what he wrote again. He didn't say our world, he said the developed world.

Re:Some things stand up, some don't (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638113)

Interestingly enough, the US is one of the few countries that bucks that trend and has a growing population (even without immigration...)

Re:Some things stand up, some don't (1)

bondjamesbond (99019) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638599)

Yes, thanks to our white trash population segment - which makes us both developed AND undeveloped.

Re:Some things stand up, some don't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19638613)

The US is not a developed country. Compared to Europe (esp. the Nordic countries) you're ages behind.

Re:Some things stand up, some don't (4, Interesting)

jiawen (693693) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638183)

Ridley Scott's vision of Los Angeles always seemed amazingly futuristic and innovative to me until I went to live in Taiwan. Los Angeles 2019 = Taibei/Taipei 2002 with more white people. The mix of dirty and ultracool newness is very, very close to what things look like in Taiwan. And if you go across the straits to China, things look even more like Blade Runner.

Dr. Jones (5, Funny)

Himring (646324) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637853)

German guy: So, Doctor Jones, boxers or briefs?

Indiana Jones: Depends....

Re:Dr. Jones (1)

MS-06FZ (832329) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638315)

German guy: So, Doctor Jones, boxers or briefs?

Indiana Jones: Depends....
Whereas if you asked the same question of Lt. Frank Drebin, the answer would be "Oops! I crapped my pants!"

Need I Say It? (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637975)

BEST MOVIE EVAR!

If you were born before 1970, chances are you that you "get" why this is such a great film on so many levels:

1. Based on a story by the master of science fiction for the thinking person: Philip K. Dick (PKD)
2. Got the approval of PKD when he saw the portion that was in production before he died
3. It was the very beginning of the cyberpunk model for all scifi films in this genre to come.
4. Directed by Ridley Scott who has an incredible sense of visual artistry and does nearly everything very well
5. Soundtrack by Vangelis. Who better to do scifi soundtracks? Orchestral sound tracks are overrated, and the modern approach of using pop music is lame.
6. Excellent selection of actors and actresses well suited to the roles they played
7. Fun production glitches to look for (aka "easter eggs")
8. Any film about machines from an emotional perspective is exactly what *I* like. I LOVED A.I. But I saw it from a totally different perspective than most. I saw it from the perspective of a machine.

Re:Need I Say It? (1)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638245)

Actually, Dick was rather ambivalent about the movie. Of course, he had serious psychological problems, and couldn't keep his mind made up about anything.

Re:Need I Say It? (1)

Fahrenheit 450 (765492) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638253)

See, now I've always thought of it as one of the most overrated movies ever. Bad set design, bad wardrobe, overblown visuals, over the top acting, all of which drown what was a pretty decent story. Every now and again I watch it, sure that I'm just missing something and that the greatness will shine through. But invariably, I always end up laughing at how ridiculous it is.

Meh. We can't all like the same things, I suppose.

Re:Need I Say It? (1)

rs79 (71822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638585)

"BEST MOVIE EVAR!"

Best science fiction movie ever. There's always Amelie. And Sin City.

Visual density (4, Interesting)

rbanzai (596355) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637981)

One of the keys to Bladerunner's look was visual density. I recall a quote from one of the set decorators that they had emptied prop houses and junkyards for miles around to get the street scenes ready. When Ridley looked at it he said "That's a good start."

Movies that try to imitate the Bladerunner look fail because they lack the commitment and/or resources to achieve that same visual density. They end up looking like sets.

Alien was like a test run for Bladerunner's set design. The command area is very dense, control panels are studded with screens and controls, as well as personal items, signs that the area is in use and has been for some time.

After seeing Bladerunner in the theater when it first came out all other movies I see will be compared to it, and very few have come close to the strange combination of realism and science fiction, two words that should in a sense be mutually exclusive, but Ridley Scott brought them together better than anyone before or since.

Re:Visual density (4, Insightful)

Scutter (18425) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638531)

realism and science fiction, two words that should in a sense be mutually exclusive

I disagree. I think when you can blend the two successfully, you achieve a much more believable effect. This is why we don't buy the Star Trek future quite as readily as the Bladrunner (or Alien or Outland) future. We inherently believe that in our real future, things will be more or less the same as they are now. It will be the little things that will be different. We'll use cellphones instead of payphones. We'll pay with "credits" instead of "dollars". We'll have voice-controlled appliances instead of switches. We'll have a few flying cars in the air, but mostly it'll still be ground traffic. These are the things that Bladerunner brought to the table and they are partly why it's believable sci fi, even today. Especially today, when some of the little things in the film have already come to pass.

Movies like this always remind me of those old Tom Selleck AT&T commercials: "Imagine taking a college course from the beach. You will!" Realism + Sci Fi.

Printable version (2, Informative)

refitman (958341) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638003)

Link to printable [popularmechanics.com] version without 4 pages of ads.

Why Special Edition Recuts are Bad (0)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638019)

...Decker shot first?

The reason (4, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638025)

The reason that the effects were so good is that they were by and large accents, rather than fabricated whole cloth. Big flashy effects still look dated very quickly, because the technology is improving so rapidly. I'd go so far as to say that the original Star Wars series (4-6) will stand up better than the newer series because the limitations of the day forced them to use more "real" models, rather than quickly dated CG.

Blade Runner was subtle; it used environmental effects and models to create a sense of the future that the viewer could fill in with his own imagination.

Re:The reason (1)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638423)

'd go so far as to say that the original Star Wars series (4-6) will stand up better than the newer series because the limitations of the day forced them to use more "real" models, rather than quickly dated CG.

John Carpenter's "The Thing" [imdb.com] holds up surprisingly well today, too, because it used models and makeup for nearly everything. The few short bits of stop-motion or reverse-motion stand out very clearly, especially to modern eyes used to CG stuff, but the rest looks much more realistic.

Harrison Ford is NOT the man! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19638099)

Please don't hord all the drugs for yourself... I want whatever it is you're on!

Stupid movie then and now. (-1, Troll)

tjstork (137384) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638117)

The present day was depressing enough back then, and now, it is even more depressing. I remember when Blade Runner came out. I saw it in the theater, and I thought that it sucked. It was too slow, too long, and the ending was weak and depressing.

When this movie came out, Reagan was President, the Cold War was on, and the real vision of the future was more about mushroom clouds rising up over all of Europe, Asia and North America. At least if the world was going to end, it wouldn't just burn out like BR did, it would go out in a blaze of manly glory.

Who cares if Harrison Ford's character turned out to be a replicant, and that was part of the bleak vision of the future. So what if a bunch of clone / droids / zombies get out of hand in the future. How sad. I laughed at the premise, and I still do. Had the end of the movie had a bunch of replicants dropping an asteroid on LA, that would have been cool. But, I remember watching that, and thinking, "jeez, the end is these two dudes sitting in the rain. Where's the war?"

The Ewoks were tougher than the Replicants, and infinetly more entertaining. They were probably smarter too - nab Carrie Fisher and put Mark Hamill on a spit. That's genius. You didn't see them whining like Rutger Hauer and Harrison Ford did in BR. "Woe is me. I'm a clone. Life sucks". We're all clones anyway - each of us is an anonymous nuclear target. Get over it.

The movie was stupid. I'll take Jar Jar Binks any day, even, over this crap.

Re:Stupid movie then and now. (1)

powerpants (1030280) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638463)

Does your sig apply here or was this one intentional?

Re:Stupid movie then and now. (5, Funny)

rs79 (71822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638623)

"The movie was stupid. I'll take Jar Jar Binks any day, even, over this crap."

And what would you like for your tenth birthday?

Re:Stupid movie then and now. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19638677)

"When this movie came out, Reagan was President, the Cold War was on, and the real vision of the future was more about mushroom clouds rising up over all of Europe, Asia and North America. At least if the world was going to end, it wouldn't just burn out like BR did, it would go out in a blaze of manly glory."

And then what?

Read the book [wikipedia.org] (but don't read too much of the wikipedia page if you want to avoid spoilers for it). I don't think it is clearly mentioned in the movie, but in the book the setting *is* post-nuclear war. That's why so many people are being encouraged to go to the "off-world colonies", and why the place is in such a dilapidated state (most people have left, and the weather is screwed up).

Ah, you're probably trolling anyway.

Had to track it down from europe (1)

IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638187)

You know, the widescreen *theatrical* version (some of us *like* the voiceovers) because Mr. Scott is pulling the same shit that Mr. Lucas does/did...only allowing us to see his "vision" of the film.

PITA that was.

That aside, the F/X are very good, and given that it wasn't done in CGI, more believeable and realistic IMO.

CGI attempts to emulate reality more cheaply than can be done by traditional F/X, but with the state of CGI advancing so rapidly, older CGI flicks look worse than if they'd been done the traditional way, and yet, even the most high tech and up-to-date CGI doesn't look as good to our eyes as reality, something about the way light bounces off things is my guess.

Space Balls was a Better Movie than Blade Runner (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638309)

Anyone wants to see what quality film is should go get SpaceBalls.

Rick Moranis's "Dark Helmet" is pure genius.

May the Schwartz be With You!

MythBusters? Ew. (-1, Troll)

morari (1080535) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638351)

Those guys are annoying, not to mention lacking in any sense of scientific method. What really gets me though is this:"I worked on Star Wars Episodes I and II, on the Matrix films, on AI and Terminator 3". Oh wow! So he worked on a bunch of films that really, really sucked and were riddled with CGI... You know, the kind of special effects that look dated before the films are even in theaters. The exact opposite reason Blade Runner stands the test of time! Let's hope that's something they remember for the so-called "Final Cut".

Re:MythBusters? Ew. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19638525)

Those guys are annoying, not to mention lacking in any sense of scientific method. What really gets me though is this:"I worked on Star Wars Episodes I and II, on the Matrix films, on AI and Terminator 3". Oh wow! So he worked on a bunch of films that really, really sucked and were riddled with CGI...

Actually Adam very likely did physical prop work for those films, probably very similar if not identical in nature to what was used in Blade Runner. Therefore he is well qualified to give his opinions on the film's SFX. And while I'm at it, you're probably right about the other films(especially ep1&2) but I reckon the effects in AI will largely age comparatively well - most of it is damn fine work.

This movie sucked (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19638427)

Im not trying to troll but it was boring, pointless and LONG. Why does everyone love this movie?

CGI pitfalls (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638429)

One of the biggest is the cost of making something fake. Good CGI is expensive and a lot of it is edited with the attention of a hummingbird to cover up faults and the expense of it all. Blade Runner works not only because of the tangability but because it's not hidden away behind a pile of jump-cuts.

Love/Hate Ridley Scott (1)

spungo (729241) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638533)

Yes, Bladerunner was undeniably superb -- this from a guy that had already brought us "Alien", and was later to bring out "Thelma and Louise" -- both excellent films, but entirely different genres. And then he produces "Gladiator"... even with his track record of greatness, can we ever forgive him for this travesty?

No thx! (-1, Troll)

radu.stanca (857153) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638537)

What a booring movie, Blade Runner destroyed a great book. It should be forgotten...

Are we talking FX (4, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638649)

or design?

Or are they the same thing?

One of the most convincing Sci Fi movies of all time was The Day the Earth Stood Still. The key to that movie is the relentless ordinariness of the sets, the way the scenes are short, and the actors (other than Michael Rennie whose phsyiogamy is a special effect in itself).

It seems to me that (relying on my twenty five year old memory of the movie) Blade Runner's hybrid noir/ginza landscape works in the same way, suggesting that the people who inhabit it are overstimulated on the outside and empty on the inside. The most human people are those who are the replicants, who at least aspire to something.

Maybe I'm too young - I didn't find BR special (2, Informative)

SpecialAgentXXX (623692) | more than 7 years ago | (#19638681)

Sure, I guess way back in the day when Blade Runner came it, it must have been visually exciting to watch. But as a younger person, I only saw it for the first time last year. Personally, I find most of today's modern CGI movies to be the same or more interesting than Blade Runner.

Do other younger /.'ers feel the same way? The only sci-fi movie that I can think of that I enjoyed from that pre-CGI era was Star Wars and Star Trek 2.
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