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Monday, January 07, 2008

Is the man half-machine or is the machine half-man?

As I anxiously awaited the arrival of my copy of Blade Runner on DVD (yup, I shelled out the $55 for the five-disc edition), I read a few online reviews: Keith's, IGN's and DVDFile's. With it arriving at my doorstep on Thursday, I've just begun to go through the five different versions of the film, along with a few hours of documentaries on the film. Even at this point, I find the collection to be the final, definitive word on a great film.

One lingering question addressed in the supplements -- a question that so many fans have asked since 1982 -- never crossed my mind back when I saw the "Director's Cut" and the theatrical cut back in college and still doesn't cross my mind: you know, is Deckard a replicant?

There are plenty of clues that prove Deckard is one, but as Frank Darabont eloquently points out in one of the documentaries, there are reasons why Deckard isn't one. To me, that's not really what the movie's about. It's a love story set in a grim and dark world. Whether or not Deckard is a machine with human feelings doesn't change my feelings about the film. Plus, the film is still a marvel to look at, thanks in part to Ridley Scott.

I bring all this up not to start a "is he" or "isn't he" debate. Rather, it's about not falling victim to what vocal, nitpicky fans talk about online. You'd think all Star Wars fans will never forgive George Lucas for making Greedo shoot first. You'd think all Lord of the Rings fans will never forgive Peter Jackson for taking Saruman's death out of the Return of the King theatrical cut. Alas, there are the people that don't care to speak up in these kinds of debates. That includes me. So why speak up at all?

Well, a big reason is to speak up about stuff that not a lot of other people bring up. It's so easy to write about what pisses you off or amuses you. I definitely write about that stuff, but I try to communicate it a way that sounds more like me rather than anyone else. Isn't that a point of desire to write anyway?

Roping back around to Blade Runner, by the end of the movie, the replicants are retired and our two lovers escape their situation. Not answering the question doesn't change the outcome, at least to me.

2 comments:

Py Korry said...

Blade Runner has been one of my favorite films since it was released. I gotta ask: did you get the DVDs that were in the metal case?

Eric Grubbs said...

Yes indeed. The case now sits on a bookshelf.