First off - I'm not a reviewer but here goes. Has anybody watched some of the behind the scenes 'making of' for Blade Runner? It's really interesting with a lot of insight. I hadn't realised this film had bombed as much as it had on first release. It had stiff competition in the cinemas at the time (ET for example) and its marketing appears to have aped that of more uplifting/'exciting' sci-fi's of the time, such as the Star Wars saga. Some of the interviews in the 'making of' shed more light on its troubled production and possible reasoning for its poor box office takings. This is all very interesting but not applicable when you are actually in the throes of watching the film.
The first time I ever saw this film, it was a VHS on loan from a friend and the quality was fuzzy and the sound poor. The version I watched the other night was brighter, sharper and the dialogue clearer. It makes a big difference. I guess I've gone from hating (on first view) to appreciating this film. When my friend first passed me the VHS back in circa 94, the film had been out a long while and it had gathered this cult status and the VHS was presented as the best film he had ever seen or owned. Although it looked fantastic even in its poor VHS reproduction, I didn't like a single character in it. I was non-plussed about the story, missed a couple of scenes, or important snippets of dialogue which left me thinking, where are we now? how did he get here? I concentrated a lot more on my second viewing a few years back and concentrated even more just the other night. I still don't know if I like it, but it is absolutely fantastic. Do you need to be in a certain mood to get it?
The main character is pretty useless at times. I find myself liking one or two of the androids more. The whole feel is dark and dismal, depressing almost and some of the violence, tame by modern standards, still makes me cringe. The scene where the Darryl Hannah character grabs Harrison Ford by the nose was given carte blanche by Harrison to look as realistic as possible, and oh boy it does. Ouch. It is without a doubt an incredibly realistic portrayal of a possible future. There is a scene that sticks out in my mind where the camera pans from a high view point into Bryant's office. As it passes over the roof of the office annexe there's a few seconds view of the kind of dust, grime and filth that you find collects over time in places that otherwise, from the ground, appear to maintain a level of cleanliness. I guess my point is its attention to detail is paramount in its realism.
There is a plethora of deleted scenes available for this film. I've watched a fair few of them and I think some small elements of the Harrison Ford voiceovers would have helped here or there. He also gathers further information from the first blade runner we meet, Holden, as the film progresses. These scenes have also been deleted. I'm not sure it really matters too much and most of the information can be assumed by the viewer without going too far wrong.
It's an amazing film that stands the test of time. It could have been made yesterday except for the incredibly dodgy hairdo sported by Joanna Cassidy which is 80s through and through. If you haven't seen it, it's well worth watching. Don't expect to come out of the experience feeling cheered up at all, but I myself can't get it out of my head. Looking forward to watching it again. And again.