Review 9: Blade runner

Review 9: Blade runner

Don, Matt, Guy, and Rene podcast about things you wouldn't believe. Androids dreaming of electric sheep. Blades running after replicants shown to be real men. All those… versions… so many cuts, like tears… in… rain.

Ad hoc is our entertainment and media podcast, and this episode is all about Ridley Scott's seminal work, Blade Runner. From production problems to casting curiosities to effects, we put Blade Runner through the VK test! So what motifs did we pick up? Which themes resonated the most? And most importantly, who's a replicant?! Find out!

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Review 9: Blade runner


"All those… versions… so many cuts..."

And so many backlit fans and smoky rooms....

If only Prometheus were 1/10th as good.

Yeah, Prometheus... one of the worst movies from the last years. It could have been such a cool movie but WTF were the writers thinking.

I found the first half really raised my expectations... only for the second half to turn into a dumb action movie that dashed them all.

Batty meeting his creator was an amazing scene. Not so Prometheus.

"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All these moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die."

"You've done a man's job, sir. I guess you're through, huh?"
(Gaff throws Deckard his gun)
"It's too bad she won't live. But then again, who does?"

I love Blade Runner.

What I'd like to know is, what's a C-beam? And where's the Tannhauser Gate?

The neat thing about Roy Batty's last words there is that Rutger Hauer made that up. He added it into the scene and Ridley Scott liked it, so he just rolled with it.

I happen to live near where Blade Runner was filmed, and it's fun to go to some of the old filming locations, such as the Bradbury Building and Union Station in downtown L.A. Watching the film is even more interesting after you've been to some of those places.

2019 is only 5 years away and I'm still waiting for the spinners (flying cars) to happen. I want one! There are a few companies out there working on that technology, e.g. Urban Aeronautics in Tel Aviv, Israel. They have a car-sized unmanned test mule that they've been testing successfully. Tho I wonder if flying cars would really be a good idea, because people drive badly enough on the ground as it is!

I bought a couple years back the multiple-cut on Blu-Ray. I got my Father the collection on DVD but it is sadly missing a version.
They referenced Blade Runner on Series 2 of the K9 series. It is used as a sci-fi in-joke. When you watch it you'll know.

A conundrum: If Android's dream of Electric Sheep, what do Cyborg's dream of?

My favourite film of all time. A perfect mix of astounding design, perfect direction, a great cast, and a fantastic story. When sci-fi is done well, it's really quite something. It's too bad most of the time it's just an excuse for robots to hit each other.

I doubt Blade Runner will ever be beaten, and I really, really hope it doesn't get the rumoured sequel or prequel. Prometheus should be a warning for all, especially Ridley Scott.

Blade Runner is my all time favorite movie. Just when I think I know everything there is to know about it, I come upon your podcast and learn even more. Thanks for sharing your discussion of this amazing movie on your podcast!

When talking about motifs, you didn't mention the animal associations that are made with each of the replicants:

-The simple-minded Leon has an argument about a tortoise.
- Rachel shares a memory about a spider.
- Zorah, strong and seductive, owns a python.
- Pris, who astutely works her way into Sebastian's confidence, wears raccoon makeup.
- Roy, as he's being hunted down by Deckard at the Bradbury building, howls like a wolf.

There is also the owl, which could represent the wise and powerful Tyrrell, and the unicorn, which one could argue represents Rachel, or perhaps Deckard. I wonder if the fact that these two characters have animal daemons is a further hint that they too were replicants? Though I personally agree that the ambiguity of their identities is more effective to the story, these could be possible hints as to the characters' natures.

I would also like to recommend the book "Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner," by Paul M. Sammon. Mr. Sammon is interviewed in several of the features included in the multi-dvd final cut set, and has collected a wealth of knowledge on the film. A must read for any Blade Runner fan.

Thanks again for this great discussion!

I had to beg my father to let me go in '83 here in London, but he wouldn't let me. He said the cinema it was showing on is in a dodgy area of London (which it wasn't). So I never saw it until it came on VHS, and it was the version with narration.

Ever since, I've bought every version that has come out. Even have the special release with the Spinner toy, case, and various versions in DVD.

Of course now I have the BluRay. It's still one of my favourite films of all time and I am dreading the day Hollywood remakes it.