Monday, February 05, 2007

Got A Skin Job For Ya Right Here, Pal

Over the weekend I watched the movie Blade Runner for the first time. This was the Director's Cut, which means that I haven't been spoiled by seeing the theatrical release. Interesting.

I can see why it got poor reviews from the media, and good reviews from fans. It's the kind of film that requires repeated viewings to fully appreciate. The pros have limited time to give it a watch and file a report. Viewing the movie for the first time in 2007 is interesting, because it has a kind of "retro" feel to it, as if I were watching Metropolis for the first time (which I haven't yet but I swear I will get around to someday!). CGI would do some incredible things for Blade Runner but I hope that never happens, unless someone does a remake. Let these classic SF films stand on their own, and if you want to modernize them, then start from scratch.

Overall, the film was grittier than what I'm used to seeing. With a house full of kids, it normally doesn't get any grittier than Star Wars. (NB: I put the kids to bed before I started watching.) Harrison Ford played, basically, a typical low-key, emotions boiling under the surface Harrison Ford character. Rutger Hauer played the classic Rutger Hauer type: an angry, leering Teutonic madman. Each of the two has defined a type of role in contemporary film.

Sean Young did a good job as the replicant who doesn't know she's a replicant, acting just glamorous enough and just robotic enough to do her character justice. I must confess, though, that every time I see Sean Young, I can't help hearing Jim Carrey's voice saying "Your GUN is digging into my HIP!" The only way I can cleanse that from my mind is to go look at this tasty photo selection. WOW! Those pictures were taken just a couple of years ago when she was FORTY-FIVE YEARS OLD. I'm going to be forty by the end of this year. It's nice to know that there are still hot young chicks who are a few years older than me.

Back to the movie...

One of my favorite TV shows is Battlestar Galactica, and I now understand the Blade Runner allusions in that program. For instance, the Cylons, like the replicants, were created to serve mankind. The Cylons, in the long run, had better numbers and a longer lifespan and were thus a greater threat to their creators than the replicants, but both could pass as humans and thereby cause a mess of trouble. Then, in the most obvious homage, BSG hired Edward James Olmos and made him the star of the show. The only way they could be any more blatant would be if they cast Harrison Ford as one of the "final five" Cylons.

Finally, in what seems more like a rip-off than a homage, there is the term "skin jobs". Now I understand why many fans were aroused when the BSG humans called the humano-cylons "skin jobs"; it's a direct steal from the movie. I don't like "skin jobs". It sounds too much like one of those things that every boy in seventh grade (except YOU) understands the meaning of, but no one will tell you what it means, and you sure as hell can't ask your folks. On the other hand, it leaves quite a bit to the imagination. "Where's President Baltar?" "He's in his conference room with Caprica Six." "Ah, he's having a skin job, eh? Heh heh."

Like I said, the movie was interesting. It whet my appetite for another new episode of BSG, which was off this week. The end of the movie was very unsatisfying. I feel that way about a lot of movies; I need to know, What happens next?. Thank goodness for story arc Sci Fi.


jipzeecab said...

Had a three month fling with a girl back in 1988 who looked just like Sean Young...and she had an identical twin sister who I never met!
Blade runner is one of those movies I've only stumbled on bits and pieces of..maybe I'd better see the whole thing...gotta find out about that "skin job".

Nicko McDave said...

Are you sure you never met the sister? They might be the kinky kind of twins who like to switch places.