Blade Runner: The Final Cut

I don’t know why he saved my life. Maybe in those last moments he loved life more than he ever had before. Not just his life, anybody’s life, my life. All he’d wanted were the same answers the rest of us want. Where did I come from? Where am I going? How long have I got? All I could do was sit there and watch him die.

Blade Runner: The Final Cut, is hopefully just that. The movie has more versions at this point than the software used to edit it. I bought the Blu-ray disc and was astounded at the quality of the picture. It’s an absolutely fantastic job; everything looks crisp and beautiful. Some continuity problems have been resolved, and certain scenes trimmed or expanded.

But of course, I’ve seen all three versions of it, as well as read the book (which is way better), so it’s impossible to see it with fresh eyes. The voiceover is still missing in action, which is perhaps for the best*, but would the movie make sense to anyone who hasn’t seen it? Does it matter? Blade Runner has had a growing audience since day one, and has been interpreted and analyzed for 25 years. I adore the movie, despite its flaws. And since cinema is a visual medium, I can overlook plot deficiencies for such sumptuous visuals. But it isn’t as profound as it would like to be, nor does it really matter.

Blade Runner imagines a future that looks increasingly realistic by the year. It deals superficially with what it is to be human. Ultimately, it is a triumph of production design, if not the nature of humanity. The is/isn’t he has become less ambiguous with each version, but since the seeds were there from the very first version, I believe it when Scott says he always reckoned Deckard was a replicant. (This is mentioned in the book about the production – Harrison Ford wanted deckard to stay human)

Like I said, some flaws are at this point, others not. Exactly why the Voight-Kampff test had to be administered when they had mug shots to begin with is still a mystery. But what the hell. Rutger Hauer’s final speech is either moving or ridiculously bathetic. I have felt bot ways about it, but it does fit in there. It’s nevertheless one of Hauer’s finest roles. Ford is pitch perfect; light years away from Han Solo, but still rocking the same cynical charm. If you haven’t seen it, do so.

*Some lines, like quote on top, are missed. Call me sentimental.

  • Director: Ridley Scott
  • Cast: Harrison Ford, Sean Young, Rutger Hauer, Edward James Olmos
28.12.2007 • Permalink

So, do you ever find yourself listening to Radiohead and wondering what the big deal is?

18.12.2007 • Permalink

Laughter

So every now and then I put on an album by the late & very great mr Bill Hicks. He’s the only comedian I know of  whose material can still be considered current a decade after his death. There’s something to be said about historical predilictions for tragedy and farce, but nevertheless, Hicks was some kind of genius.

Anyway, do you ever laugh on the subway? I mean, just you, on your own? I never do. And it’s a hell of a thing when I first do it, too; people stare at you as if you’re batshit insane. It’s great! Depending on the performance I’m listening to, it’s a smile, then a snicker, then another smile…a muted laugh and maybe a belly laugh, if I can’t help it – often cut short, as I’m pretty embarrassed to be laughing on the subway like this. And since I don’t look particularly crazy, people seem extra worried, as if I’m one of those pissed-off postal employees one always reads about. Or a terrorist. And you know, the subway still doesn’t have a metal detector. Add to that the fact that I’m always being stopped "randomly" at airports (well, in the US), I must assume I look sufficiently swarthy enough with my wispy beard to resemble such a gentleman as went to the London subway with half a ton of Semtex strapped to his ass.

It’s terribly entertaining, don’t you agree? Yes, I’m sure you do. You’re welcome.

16.12.2007 • Permalink

Nobel, Nobel

I read that Preznit Shrub called Al Gore to say congratulations on winning the Nobel and such, and I couldn’t help but ponder what that conversation was like.

“Hello?”
“Hey, Al? Guess who?”
“Well…”
“The PRESIDENT of the UNITED fucking STATES of AMERICA, Al!”
“(Muttering) Asshole”

Writing this depressed me to no end, so I’ll just stop here.

12.12.2007 • Permalink

Every now and then, I turn on the radio and hear a song I haven’t heard in ages. Case in point: Nirvana’s “Smells like teen spirit”. Angst has long since given way to a number cynicism, but damn…it still sounds great.

11.12.2007 • Permalink

Led Zep Redux

So Led Zeppelin reunited and rock fans across the globe creamed their jeans. I enjoyed Zep for a while, but it’s been about five years since I last put a CD of theirs on. Not to belittle the New Yardbirds, but Zep is Zep is a juggernaut and Hammer of the Gods and all that, so this show was a big deal, and has naturally gotten a lot of press. Still, every now and then, an eyebrow will arch over an odd line, such as in this case:

Page showed he still has the touch as well. Besides ripping out his patented riffs all night, he put the spotlight on himself when the band played the bluesy "In My Time of Dying." With his left hand moving freely up and down the neck of his guitar and the metal slide wrapped around one of his fingers, Page effortlessly played a song that’s not easy to master.

This is taken from the AP story over on Yahoo. Now, I realize there isn’t much you can write about a show that’s 100% percent guaranteed to go down as pure musical orgasm for most in the crowd, but as far as I know, Page is still considered one of the best guitarists in rock music. So considering he wrote the damn thing in the first place, I fail to see why it deserves its own paragraph, even if it is "hard to master". Maybe it was the fact that his hand moved freely, but I somehow doubt it. Slow day, can you tell? 

10.12.2007 • Permalink