Blade Runner on Blu-ray
by Chartreuse 24/1/2011 16.10
A new Christmas acquisition, a hot pick of my brother's and a viewing request from my partner; all good reasons to watch. Known for cult status rather than cinematic greatness it represents a favourite genre. Viewing and reading sci-fi from infancy I approached it with optimism.
On an Earth serviced by off-world slave-labouring, organic robots, a handful of rogue ‘replicants’ run amok are hunted down by is-he-or-isn't-he Harrison Ford. Yes, I want to know what happens next but I fail to engage with it on an emotional level. I feel the film is trying to push my buttons with lush Sean Young's mournful, middle-class secretary but I have greater interest in the pyscho tart with-maybe-a-heart, Pris, played by Daryl Hannah.
Window of the soul. Do replicants have one? The eyes have it. Replicants have a reddish reflected light in theirs, Daryl Hannah hauntingly spraying black paint in a makeup mask over her closed eyes is my movie take-away image, whereas the murder by mutilation scene simply has me detaching and working out they did it. Thick lenses, latex and stage-blood. Sigh. Graphic and heavy-handed. Far more chilling is the apology to the next victim and cut to the next location.
More an exploration of the morality of survival than humanity or the lack of it. Both users and used are on a life-timer ticking away and are killing in the interests of quality of life or longevity. Blade Runner may therefore leave you in a philosophical mood or simply wondering where you can get aerosol eye-shadow.
Some enjoyable cinematography. This is where Blu-ray brings its own to the table. The replicants’ creator’s office, and a dancer's long, ghostly death of flying glass and light are simply stunning.
The film felt a lot longer than it was but I was glad I watched it and finally got Blade Runner under my belt. Not a choice to cheer you up on a wet Sunday afternoon if you're feeling a bit bleak but in a jauntier mood or followed by the right light relief you may well feel in devoting your one hour and 50-odd minutes to Blade Runner, you'd Done the Right Thing.