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Blade Runner Discussion Thread (contains spoilers)

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  • Blade Runner Discussion Thread (contains spoilers)

    Just saw the original 'Non-Directors cut' of Blade Runner. I have to say, with all the 'Is Deckard the Last Replicant' theory, with Harrison Ford's dull, lifeless noir-esque voiceovers in the film. I'd have to say that the film hints more at Deckard being a replicant in the original movie than any other versions.

    And also, while I am on the subject, when is the 'difinitive' Blade Runner directors cut coming out on DVD?

  • #2
    Even though the director says that he's a replicant, I personally don't believe he is.
    The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Berry Sizemore
      Even though the director says that he's a replicant, I personally don't believe he is.
      Then how do you explain Gaff's tinfoil unicorn? :?

      Comment


      • #4
        Has anyone read Blade Runner 2? I did not, I saw it once and forgot about it until now. 'The Edge of Human'

        http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...93415?v=glance

        I thought it might say in there if Deckard is a replicant.

        I often thought about that question. I thought the Unicorn sequence was supposed to point in the direction that he was a replicant and Edward James Olmos' character knew it.

        Now, I don't know. Why was Deckard so much weaker than the other "skin jobs" if he is an android?

        "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
        - Michael Moorcock

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        • #5
          I had both Blade Runner "sequels" given to me once, but couldn't bring myself to read them. I believe they're supposed to be a sequel to both the original story and the films, which doesn't really seem possible to me... I mean, yes, in the Multiverse you could have a chap who is both a married man and a bachelor at the exact same time... but otherwise it would seem a little tricky. Personally I don't see the point of trying to continue a story that came to a natural conclusion in both media. Except for the money, of course, but I'm not getting any of that so why should I care?

          I haven't seen the film often enough to really comment, but I think I preferred the second cut. Unfortunately I think that by the time I saw it for the first time, I'd already seen a lot of pale imitations, so it didn't quite stagger me the way it must have done the audiences who saw it on the big screen (the same thing must now afflict the original Matrix film I imagine).

          I always wonder how the chap who wrote the surgical drama they bought the title "Bladerunner" from felt. Sure, they bought his screenplay, but all they wanted was a single word! "I'm a writer." Really, what do you write? "Well, titles, mostly." :(
          "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

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          • #6
            There are at least three versions of Blade Runner:

            - The original (Director's Cut) screened for test audiences (with unicorn footage) (the Definitive DC)
            - The Studio Cut (w/ voice over and sappy happy ending)
            - The reissued 'Director's Cut' (sans vo and sappy happy ending but with unicorn footage) which is still missing some bits from the original DC.

            The whole 'Is Deckard a Replicant?' question revolves around the statement from the Police Chief (Bryant?) that 'Six replicants' escaped from wherever it was. One got 'fried' trying to break into the Tyrell Corp. building, Deckard is shown mug shots of four others - Batty, Leon, Zhora and Pris - and we never learn what happened to the sixth replicant. The unspoken assumption is that Deckard *is* the sixth replicant and that he was (*speculation alert*) apprehended during the abortive break-in attempt and 're-programmed' to track down the remaining four replicants.

            As for why Deckard seems physically weaker than the others, that could simply be down to whatever function the Deckard replicant was originally designed for. Since replicants are basically 'slaves' (according to Batty) some are designed for heavy manual labour, some for sexual gratification and no doubt others are used to do the sort of work that humans balk at, such as , say, sewage worker, where there's no particular requirement for enhanced strength etc?

            Even without the so-called director's cut I think all the clues are there in the original studio version, so if you want to see Deckard as the sixth replicant you can. Equally, you can see him as being human - the ambiguity being somewhat more interesting than in the re-issue where the evidence for him being a replicant is firmed up.

            But I still say the studio version should end with the lift doors shutting in any case - that's where I always stop the video when I watch it. :)

            Like Dee I've never read the 2 sequel novels (nor have I any interest in doing so) but I have played the BR PC game that came out a few years ago. That was pretty good and had the additional bonus that depending on how you played the game your character could turn out to be either human *or* a replicant, so there was some replay value in it.

            Oh, and the title 'Blade Runner' came not just from the guy whose script the studio bought but also from William S. Burroughs - there's an acknowledgement in the credits to WSB to that effect.
            _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
            _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
            _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
            _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

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            • #7
              The Bladerunner was a novel by Alan E. Nourse, originally published in 1974. Burrough's screenplay was inspired by Nourse's book. The producers didn't actually buy the rights to the novel, or Burrough's screenplay, just the rights to use the title.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thought Bladerunner was a great movie, and saw both versions at the cinema, but probably missed all the sub-text, so to speak. I'd never have figured Deckard for a replicant, but if that's what the director says then I guess it has to be so.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Grey Mouser
                  I'd never have figured Deckard for a replicant, but if that's what the director says then I guess it has to be so.
                  I tend to side with the 'Deckard is a replicant' theory because I happen to think that's more interesting than the 'Deckard is Human' hypothesis. But I don't think that just because the Director voices what he thinks is happening that you have to subscribe to that idea as well.

                  For instance, in one of my above posts, I speculate that Deckard was the sixth replicant that escaped from the off-world colony (or wherever) with the other five replicants - Batty, Leon, Zhora, Pris and the one who gets electrocuted when they try to break into the Tyrell Corporation. But as it turns out, in the actual scripts for the film, the sixth replicant is supposed to be an other female called 'Mary'. At a late stage in production a decision was made to excise 'Mary' from the script/film and just have the five replicants as in the finished movie. However, Bryant's line about there being 'six' replicants was missed when they 're-edited' the film and so this discontinuity crept in.

                  Now you can, if you want, use the knowledge of 'Mary' to make up the numbers for the film, but this then relies upon having 'privileged' information that wouldn't normally be available to the viewer. There's nothing in the film as it stands to suggest or remotely imply the presence of 'Mary' in the back story. I tend to feel that my response to a film has to depend on what's up on the screen not what's left behind in the script or lying on the cutting room floor. The extra information can have its uses but in determining whether the Director has suceeded in telling the story he wanted to tell you first and foremost have to refer to the finished product imo.

                  That's why while I was pleased to see the so-called 'Director's Cut' of BR finally get a release, I still have a soft spot for the Studio version that I grew up with. Primarily that because (as I've said elsewhere) that version is more ambiguous as to Deckard's nature, whereas in the DC version there's less room to question the Director's intent.
                  _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                  _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                  _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                  _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I saw the original version in the cinema and found it fairly satisfying, although the 'sappy happy ending' did seem slightly odd, mostly because I wondered where all the wide open green space and verdant forest had come from, after the mightily polluted and acid rain soaked Los Angeles.

                    I just accepted the ending, because it gave it all a genuinely pulp fiction feel.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by AndroMan
                      although the 'sappy happy ending' did seem slightly odd, mostly because I wondered where all the wide open green space and verdant forest had come from, after the mightily polluted and acid rain soaked Los Angeles.
                      It came from unused footage for the opening of 'The Shining.'

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by manmiles
                        It came from unused footage for the opening of 'The Shining.'
                        Man, that Stanley Kurbrick gets everywhere.

                        He worked (uncredited) on a James Bond movie once, you know?
                        _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                        _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                        _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                        _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Typhoid_Mary
                          The Bladerunner was a novel by Alan E. Nourse, originally published in 1974. Burrough's screenplay was inspired by Nourse's book. The producers didn't actually buy the rights to the novel, or Burrough's screenplay, just the rights to use the title.
                          Are either of these versions any good?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by manmiles
                            Originally posted by Typhoid_Mary
                            The Bladerunner was a novel by Alan E. Nourse, originally published in 1974. Burrough's screenplay was inspired by Nourse's book. The producers didn't actually buy the rights to the novel, or Burrough's screenplay, just the rights to use the title.
                            Are either of these versions any good?
                            All I know is that they are nothing like the film. The book and screenplay are about a kind of underground medical service, with the Bladerunners being smugglers of medical equipment.

                            I've just ordered a copy of Nourse's book, so I'll get back to you with my opinion when I've read it.

                            More information here:

                            The Bladerunner by Alan E. Nourse

                            Blade Runner: A Movie by William S. Burroughs

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I always agreed that he was a repliant, for the fact of the unicorn symbolism AND the original story that its based on, the main character is revealed a replicant by the end.

                              But personally, i didn't look much into it. Bladerunner was something of a dissapointment to me, after years of hype, and finally watching it, I thought it was a mediocre scifi with some interesting ideas but not deserving of all the hype. Eh, i may be wrong. . . :D

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