Page 8-The Michigan Daily- Tuesday, September 15, 1992
Ridley's rehash is still the same 'Blade Runner'
by Aaron Hamburger_
When "Blade Runner" first came
out in 1982, the film received a
wildly mixed reception among crit-
ics. Some recognized the brilliant set
designs and moody creation of its fu-
turistic setting, while others focused
on the confusing plot and shallow
writing, particularly the annoying
voice-over narration by Harrison
Now Warner Brothers has given
director Ridley Scott a chance to an-
swer his critics by releasing a new
version of this cult film which was
edited by the director rather than the
studio (perhaps Scott's recent Oscar
nomination for "Thelma and Louise"
had a little something to do with
this). The question is, what's the dif-'
None of the elements of the story
have changed. The story concerns a
police detective (Harrison Ford) in
the early 21st Century, whose as-
signment is to kill six androids, one
of whom (Sean Young) he has fallen
in love with. You don't remember
"Blade Runner" for plot, however.
You remember the constant rain that
falls on the overpopulated, teeming
Los Angeles of the future, and the
general mood of emptiness and de-
Directed by Ridley Scott; Written by
Hampton Fanches and David Peoples;
with Harrison Ford and Sean Young
The original "Blade Runner" felt
slow and dolorous, like a death
march. The new version, however,
seems to hurtle along at an uneasy
pace and seems to contain strange
lapses in continuity. There is one
moment when one of the replicants
(Rutger Hauer) mourns over the
dead body of one of his friends, then
suddenly confronts Harrison Ford,
and then, just as suddenly, is back to
his mourning again.
Part of the confusion may lie in
the one major chinge in the new
version: the loss of Ford's voice-
over narration. Perhaps Scott made
this change to make the film more
contemplative and quiet, much like
his earlier film "Alien."
In many ways, the loss of Ford's
voice is one of the best things about
the new version, especially in one of
the many death scenes, which in the
original version seemed obvious and
cloying because of Ford's preachy
voice-over about "learning humanity
from an android." It's now subtle
and effective. However, there are
other times when the movie is just
Harrison Ford models the fall collection for the year 2020 on a really, really high rooftop in the director's cut of Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner."
plain confusing because the narra-
tion was removed, with nothing to
take its place to smooth over some
of the rough spots.
In the end, your impression of
"Blade Runner" will not depend on
whether you understood what was
actually happening all the time or if
you thought the narration was hokey
and the writing cliched (which they
most definitely are).
These criticisms are beside the
point. If you want good writing read
D. H. Lawrence - "Blade Runner"
is a purely visual experience. No, it
doesn't always make sense, but how
many movies do you run into that
feature surreal images like Daryl
Hannah spray-painting her eyes
black, or a shivering old man ignor-
ing a big round eye perched on his
The new "Blade Runner" may
not correct all the problems of the
old "Blade Runner," but then agair
the old one wasn't so bad either.
BLADE RUNNER is playing
Woody dare II?
Didn't get enough of Woody
last night at the free screening of
"Husbands & Wives?" Missed
"Annie Hall" last month on cable'
or "What's Up Tiger Lily?" in
Aud. A over the weekend? Dying"
to have something to talk about
over coffee with that new special
someone? Well, have we got the -
thing for you. At 7 p.m. tonight
(and 9 p.m. tomorrow) at the
Michigan Theater, Woody's
futuristic farce "Sleeper" is
showing as a part of Film/Video
412, "Comic Masters: Woody
Allen, Mel Brooks and Blake
Edwards." We wouldn't advise
taking the class - why would
you want to write term papers on
"Spaceballs" and "Skin Deep"?
- but the Woodys are undoubt-
edly our favorite essential
My cranium, or yours?"
OK, let's get the snickering
out of the way right off. The
shows name is."Brain Sex" and
it's on the Discovery Channel at
10 p.m. tonight. Now we've got a
pretty good idea of what's
running through your head right
now, so perish the thought - it's
about the differences of learning
ability between the sexes. Of
course, we could have thought of
a few more, well, truthful titles,
but then again, you probably
wouldn't watch "The Difference
of Learning Ability in Men and
Women." Sex just plain sells.
Ring any bells?
Of course, if education is what
you're looking for, the Disney .
Channel is the place to turn. That
classic of classics, "The Story of
Alexander Graham Bell" from
1939 returns to the reel world.
And, as if that weren't enough, it
stars Don Ameche and shows
twice! First at 9 p.m., and then at
4 a.m. for you insomniacs. We
hear it's better than Sominex.
Microsoft is speaking your language with out-
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