Jude Finestra Finally Looks At Bladerunner!

10 Jul

Jude Finestra Reviews Bladerunner–At Last

Behold! The glory of Bladerunner — science fiction, an apocalyptic future, philosophical self-doubting reflections by my man Harrison Ford. Behold! the magnificence of Bladerunner — music by Vangelis, an entire movie filmed (with the exception of one sunrise or sunset — oh the ambiguity!) in the dark.

Bask in the brilliance of director Ridley Scott and ask yourself: how could this man, the producer/director of Black Hawk Down (my man JP’s all time favorite war movie), the producer/director of Gladiator, and the director of Alien, for god’s sake, how could this man make a bad movie? Answer: he has.

I admit it. Scott did also make GI Jane and Thelma and Louise. Everyone has off days. Some chick probably made him do those.

Bladerunner has an almost mystical quality to it and was immediately nominated for two Oscars (I think a fucking popularity contest), won or was nominated for the BAFTA Film Award for more categories than I care to totally list here (but I will mention its nomination for Best Score award for Vangelis’ music), and was nominated for Best Cinematography Award, the International Fantasy Film Award (twice once in 1983 and once in 1993), and the Golden Globe.  It won the Hugo (best dramatic presentation, 1983), won the London Critics Circle Film Award for visual concept in 1983, won the Los Angeles Critics Association Award for best cinematography (again 1983), and was nominated for five prestigious Saturn Awards (best genre video release, best director, best science fiction film, best special effects, best supporting actor) and after more than twenty years won a Saturn in 2008 for best DVD Special Edition Release.  Clearly this movie was never headed for the dung heap.

Remember this movie came out in 1982. It has truly survived the test of time—much more so (sorry, Dr. H) than The Bridge Over the River Kwai. Almost a generation later Bladerunner is as fresh and compelling as it was when I was in college. Do I need to tell you that this is a rose? A bouquet of yellow roses!

Dude, I dare you to watch the following scene and not get drawn in.

If you read old reviews of Bladerunner, you’ll find all sorts of invective regarding the decision to add narration by Harrison Ford. The narration was added later, only when the powers that be decided that moviegoers would be too confused without it. Well, sometimes The Man gets it right. Ford’s narration is brilliant and quite frankly, as The Man predicted, holds the movie together and MAKES it so compelling. Through the narration it becomes clear that Ford is utterly conflicted about killing these replicators, but dude, it is his job. Consider these lines:

“They don’t advertise for killers in the newspaper. That was my profession. Ex-Bladerunner. Ex-cop. Ex-killer.”

“Sushi, that’s what my ex-wife called me. Cold fish.”

“I quit because I’d had a belly full of killing. But then I’d rather be a killer than a victim.”

Then in this scene we see Ford forced to kill in cold blood yet again:

No, he’s no angel, he is burned out, on the verge of moral bankruptcy and a killer, but we know he’s still one of the good guys. What kind of actor can act out a cold-blooded killing and still leave us feeling that he’s one of the good guys? Harrison Ford, that’s who. No, he’s not Mr. Sweetness and Light. But he means well.

I’ll grant you that there is something lacking in originality in the premise for the script. It’s a Hollywood chestnut that human governments can’t tolerate anything nonhuman that has intelligence, spirit, character and poses a threat to our hegemony. Must kill all nonhuman forms of intelligence. Must kill anything alien or artificial (ala Battlestar Galactica). Yeah, yeah. But the execution (no pun intended) of this film makes up for any lack of originality in the premise.

I’m not going to tell you how it ends.  You are a fool if you have not seen this movie yet so get your ass in gear and bathe in the glory of Bladerunner!

I think I’ll go watch it again myself.

Now what do you say, Dude? JP? was it worth the wait, Mr. “I haven’t received your review yet Mr. Finestra”? I hope you enjoyed it. I sure did.


Posted by on July 10, 2010 in Movie Reviews


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6 responses to “Jude Finestra Finally Looks At Bladerunner!

  1. dr h

    July 12, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    A great review for a great movie.
    You nailed it by a distance.
    It has not only stood the test of time but has become the quentessential movie that defines a genre.
    A trend setter.


  2. Bonnie

    July 13, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    It was compelling and I agree with Jude about Harrison Ford’s narration. (It’s too bad that Harrison Ford has gotten typecast into playing the same character in every movie he is ever in, however.) On the other hand, I don’t think this movie is as brilliant as everyone else seems to believe. It started out compelling and then deteriorated at the end with a long, long, long, long, fight between Ford and the last of the original crew of replicants he was supposed to “retire.” I think we are supposed to develop some sympathy for our philosophical replicant friend during his dying monologue, but I just can’t do it. I also really did not like Daryl Hannah’s babylike role as Pris in this movie. Sorry, Jude!


  3. jpfmovies

    July 14, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    I am with Dr. H–nice call on the movie Jude and a nice job (finally) on the review. You wanted a lot of clips, but given the movie it justified such an amount. As for Bonnie’s comment she doesn’t know what the hell she is talking about.



  4. dangerousmeredith

    August 20, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    I felt that Harrison Ford’s narration gave the movie a film noirish touch that suited it.

    Thanks for reviewing such a classic film


    • jpfmovies

      August 21, 2010 at 11:31 am

      Dangerous good call on the flix–it is nice to have your input again.



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