Blade Runner

Dear reader,

Thirty-four years ago or if you prefer, on the last century  🙂  I watched Blade Runner, one of the best science-fiction movies ever made, for the first time! Since I had some free time after my undergraduating classes during a weekday I invited a friend to watch it in a small movie theater in Porto Alegre, my hometown.

The first thing that called my attention was that it rains during 99% of the movie! Only at the end of the movie was possible to see some sunshine on the big screen… Actually, I learned last week only that all these years me and millions of people around the world watched the studio version, or in other words, the happy end version…

There are seven versions of Blade Runner. The most important (or known) ones are:

  • The US theatrical version (1982, 116 minutes), known as the original version or Domestic Cut,
  • The International Cut (1982, 117 minutes) also known as the “Criterion Edition” or uncut version, included three more violent action scenes than the US theatrical version and,
  • The Final Cut (2007, 117 minutes), or the “25th-Anniversary Edition”, briefly released theatrically on October 5, 2007.

Basically the film depicts a dystopian Los Angeles in which genetically engineered replicants, which are visually indistinguishable from adult humans, are manufactured by the powerful Tyrell Corporation. The use of replicants on Earth is banned and they are exclusively utilized for dangerous or menial work on off-world colonies. Replicants who defy the ban and return to Earth are hunted down and killed (“retired”) by special police operatives known as “Blade Runners”. The plot focuses on a group of recently escaped replicants hiding in L.A. and the burnt-out expert Blade Runner, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), who reluctantly agrees to take on one more assignment to hunt them down.

For more details about the movie take a look at Wikipedia link below, please:

Until two weeks ago I have watched Blade Runner three times, all of them were the US theatrical version, i.e., with the happy ending… However, only last week (when heard that a sequel will be released next year) I learned that the definitive and true version was the Final Cut version since it shows a completely different ending plus a very important scene that wasn’t present in the studio version!  😉

Therefore if you still haven’t watched Blade Runner (what are you waiting for?) you must watch the Final Cut version since it’s the only version that was completely approved by the film director, Ridley Scott.

You are probably asking me here, “but why do you like this movie so much?”. My answer is a complex one:

Because it contrasted a lot with my reality thirty-four years ago. The differences (for worst) between my hometown in 1982 and Los Angeles in 2019 were so huge that sometimes I asked myself: “Is this the future that wait for us in the 21st-century?”

I personally enjoyed the internal conflict inside the minds of some replicants, especially Roy Batty and Rachel. As an electronics engineer that has became passioned about Robotics through the years it won’t surprise me that in a near future with the advance of A.I. (Artificial Inteligence) some humanoids (or replicants) will be more humans that some of us, mere mortals…

I also liked the movie soundtrack a lot. Vangelis, a Greek musician, composed most of the soundtrack. It is mostly a dark, melodic combination of classical composition and synthesizers which mirrors the futuristic film noir envisioned by Ridley Scott. His music is as much a part of the dystopian environment as the decaying buildings and ever-present rain.


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