Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Blade Runner: 1982

Film Review: Deckard hunts androids. He is possibly one himself. Everything turns out happy. That's about it on the plot synopsis. To me, the things that stand out the most are the visual effects, art direction, cinematography, dialogue, and storyline.

The visual effects look better than most effects today, twenty-six years later. Seeing Tyrell's buildings, seeing the spinners flying, seeing the roving spotlights infiltrate every part of life (above) - the visual effects are continuous and perfect, allowing the viewer to believe them and not have to think about them. The biggest credited department is hands down this one, with 73 people.

The art direction, which includes the costuming and set design, is just quirky enough to be believable and fantastic. From JF Sebastian's "friends" to Tyrell's glasses, every single piece on every scale is thought out, designed, and placed perfectly. This is the second most populous department at 24.

The storyline is simple on the grand scale, as shown at the beginning of this review, but actually quite complex and detailed. The dialogue has only few parts that stumble, and most of those parts are spoken by Harrison Ford, but I’ll get to him in a moment. The words are at times reserved, at times over the top, and fitted to the characters perfectly all the way through. And this is remarkable considering this was Hampton Fancher’s first script and David Peoples’ second. Beginner’s luck much?

The cinematography is pristine and it illustrates the point that you can't let legibility get in the way of communication. Jordan Cronenweth's work is nothing short of a true masterpiece here.

Rotten Tomatoes gives the Final Cut Edition (top) a 97% and I say nay: this movie is 99% perfect. That missing 1% is because Harrison Ford stands out just a little too much to me, though his costumes and makeup are perfectly blended, his posture and delivery are too Harrison Ford and not enough Rick Deckard. And that is just barely. This movie may join my top five list. Maybe. I have to live with it for a year before I will know for sure. It survives it’s time perfectly. Go see it or buy it today. Especially the new version, the Final Cut Edition.

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