Oct 15, 2007

Blade Runner at The Ziegfield

Blade Runner, the Final Cut at the Ziegfield: oh, the joy of a bigass theater and a big screen. The luxury! The Ziegfield also boasts an enterprising usher that greets you with a booming, theatrical voice. Even the popcorn tastes better. Now, it is worth revisiting Blade Runner just because it is so visually stunning. I remember the first time I saw it, I was blown away by the noodle stands in perpetual night and rain, and by the floating geishas. The movie still gets the future right: dark, damp, cluttered and dirty -- it is magnificent. Ridley Scott did have a bit of an obsession with ceiling fans and window shades, and fog coming in through the slats at all times. But the set design and the whole visual concept of the movie are so unique and atmospheric and disturbing, it is gorgeous. Harrison Ford is totally wooden as Deckerd, the Blade Runner. He is more robotic than the replicants, but that may just be the point. How do you trust anyone in a world where robots are so human looking? I'm not a huge fan of science fiction but the premise of this movie is very cool. Sean Young wears huge shoulder pads and Daryl Hannah looks suitably punkish and Rutger Hauer is still very scary and Eddie Olmos wears blue contact lenses. I don't remember the original in much detail, but this cut seems much more atmospheric, the pace more stately, more ruminative. Also, there is an eye gouging a la King Lear that I don't remember from the original. Very violent but effective. And the original end, if I remember correctly, Sean and Harrison escaped into some lush green mountains that had nothing to do with the world he had just witnessed. No longer. The ending is much subtler and better now.

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