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Stranger: Alright, here is Stranger and Papercamm coming at you with another review, on a movie this time. A movie that's a staple of dystopic media on par with the best, it is Blade Runner. Got anything to say to the readers before we begin Camm?
Camm: This is coming a little unexpectedly to be honest.
Stranger: Second time I've roped Camm into doing a review out of nowhere. xD But no matter, this movie is too good to be silent about. Tell us a little bit about the story of Blade Runner.
Camm: The story of Blade Runner is set in an alternate world where synthesis of robotic beings has reached the point of perfection. The distinction between man and machine is non-existant. With that came the evolution of the replicants as they are called into virtual human beings. In order to assuage this the manufacterers (they're created to do menial tasks - Ed.) limited the lifespan of replicants to a scant four years before they die automatically. It is at this point in the story where existence of replicants on Earth has become a crime, where the escaped androids are hunted relentlessly by a special unit of police known as the titular "Blade Runner". At this point the story beings.
Stranger: So you're thrown into the story of Rick Deckard, a retired Blade Runner who has to return to the job to hunt down a squad of particularly dangerous replicants that have made it to Earth. Let's just say that as the story goes along, there's more to the replicants than is learned from first glance. Much more. And...one of the biggest draws to this movie is the characters. They're amazingly complex and nuanced. From Deckard to Roy to Rachael, and all the rest, the characters are amazingly well written. Anyone in particular strike you as a favorite Camm?
Camm: In all honesty that best character of the movie was the city. A living, breathing, nightmare amalgamation of corporate corruption and spoiled decadence. Imagery like the flaming factories reminds one of Hell, where the conflicting image of the Tyrell Corporation's office complex eclipsing the sun show the extent of their influence. almost being God-like in scope and breadth. Truly, this is what makes the film so memorable to me.
Stranger: Oh man...the setting. I was saving that for later, but it couldn't be long before that was brought out. A beautiful, terrible dystopia where luminous billboards loom overhead amongst the homeless, the overpopulated streets, and of course, the corporations that basically run people's lives. This...more than any other thing about the movie...is what makes the movie unique. The setting is still the freshest part of the movie in my mind right now. And, oddly enough, it also struck me by how much the rainy gloomy weather added to the atmosphere. Did it do the same for you?
Camm: Yes it did, the entire thing was very reminiscent of a hellish world. The rare exceptions where the sun appeared only emphasized the division betweenn the population, those with opportunity and those without it.
Stranger: And another feature of the world were things like the hovercars, which did not appear near as joyful innovations as you'd think, they only enhanced the almost terrifying ubiquity with which police loomed over the population. They almost seemed omnipresent, such as when they notice Deckard in a closed off part of the city.
Camm: It is reminiscent of a police state, but it's a bit different, it isn't so much the government that is all knowing as much as it is the capitalistic aspects of the society at large.
Stranger: Yeah, the capitalistic aspect is definitely the most noticeable. Huge billboards for things such as Coca Cola and Atari dominate the landscape when you get shots of the city. And another thing that struck me was the quality of the film score. Thoughts?
Camm: The score of the film is a sci fi menagerie that reminds you that the promises of a better world are instead drenhed in a cloud of darkness. Synthetic wailing and violent rhythms are common, as they serve to reinforce the concepts of how dystopia is almost a utopia, but something about it undermines the concept.
Stranger: Camm hit it spot on. From the beginning notes until the end credits, the music reflects the dreary melancholic nature of the city at large. It entrances you, makes you think, and draws out emotion. It is perfectly suited to the movie. So, now we've discussed characters, story, setting, and music. Would you like to give an overall opinion, and a score if inclined (this movie is almost too good to quantify into a numerical value).
Camm: You're right about a score. This movie is a masterpiece, something that when crafted was so ahead of it's time that its influence still reverberates throughout the industry. It serves as an example of what sci-fi can accomplish, what it should strive for, and what it can become. Films today are still playing catchup in terms of putting enough depth and intelligence in a single film. And believe me when I say a thirty page essay would only scratch the surface of what this movie can mean. It is, without a doubt, a must see.
Stranger: Once again, Camm speaks sage words. This, along with Terminator to me are the best examples of how well dystopic elements can work in film. I'm not exactly the biggest sci-fi guy ever, but I'll be damned if I wasn't transfixed throughout the entire movie. It was complete and utter bliss to watch. Even as the credits rolled I was still reluctant to turn it off and after it ended I just sat down on my bed and thought about what I'd seen, which is a hallmark of a deep movie. Anyone who likes movies that are quality should see this, every element is spot on.
Stranger: Well, there you have our review of a sci-fi masterpiece. Anything you'd like to say to the readers before we end this Camm?
Camm: Make sure you watch either the Director's cut, or the final cut. The theatrical release is a blemish on this film's history.
Stranger: The definitive version is definitely the Final Cut, that's the one Ridley Scott was most proud of. So pick it up, experience it, love it, and reflect on it. Thank you for reading.