There
are certain films that hold a unique place in history… and Hollywood
had better keep their grubby, remaking mitts off of them! While the
trend to “re-imagine” or “re-envision” everything around them has been
going on for some time, these films have so far managed to escape the
fate of some of their less fortunate compatriots. We speak of course
of…

SACRED COWS
The 25 Movies They’d Better Never Remake.

These films are not just near and dear to our
hearts, they should be considered OFF-LIMITS to those jerks at the
studios. The films on this list were special when they premiered and
continue to be so today, and we’re going to explain why they shouldn’t
be remade – as well as why they can’t be. So enough jabbering, on with
the list!

DAY TEN
BLADE RUNNER (1982)


DIRECTED BY: Ridley Scott
STARRING: Harrison Ford, Sean Young and Rutger Hauer

THE SACRED RUNDOWN

The year is 2019, and several replicants have revolted on an off-world colony and returned to Earth. Recognizing the need to quarantine the dangerous rogues, Rick Deckard is approached by his former boss and reinstated as an active Blade Runner – a special agent tasked with locating and “retiring” replicants. As Deckard begins his investigation he finds himself being drawn deeper into a world of deceit and half-truths, for which the consequences are heavy.



THE REASON IT’S SACRED

The case for Blade Runner being regarded as a Sacred Cow is hardly a difficult one, but it needs to be made regardless. It’s an art film, a science fiction thriller, a detective tale and a love story. Outside of Metropolis (from which it borrows), there isn’t anything else like it in the world, and for that alone Blade Runner is a singular, special beast. It took elements from that German classic and expounded on them ten-fold, not an easy achievement.

While Star Wars was flashy and Close Encounters dramatic, Blade Runner managed to be both, adding elements ranging from psychology and religion to urban development and the reliance on technology. It’s a beautiful example of what can be achieved through inspired film making, made all the more incredible due to the bickering and backstage politics that were rampant during the production. In spite of all the turmoil Ridley Scott was able to produce a film that to this day continues to inspire and influence.



The flow of the movie is almost like a dance; very calculated (some would read: slow) and graceful, but it moves along knowing exactly where it needs to end up. By adding a human element to the replicants – represented in their desire to live past their lifespans – the characters don’t come off as villains as much as they do victims; they’re striving to ensure their survival, something the humans in the movie seem to take for granted. There aren’t many films that have been ale to make its non-human antagonists feel more “real”, and have you care for them in such a way. An example of this would be Rutger Hauer. He nailed the part of Roy Batty, and managed to convey the humanity the character needed in order to appear menacing.

From Vangelis’ iconic and haunting score to the sets and practical effects – everything about Blade Runner seems to pop on the screen. Ford’s almost-nervous performance (I mean more in terms of the character’s disposition) sets the tone for the dark, brooding feeling that oozes off of the film, aided by the virtually constant rain and foggy atmosphere. It establishes its noir-ish roots immediately, with or without the narration. And that’s another example of how classic this film is: regardless which version you see (something like 7 versions exist), the film still exudes the same charisma and doesn’t falter. No matter which form it’s shown in, the true core of what makes the movie work on all levels manages to survive. This can’t be locked down to one thing, either. What makes Blade Runner such a true classic is the collaborative aspect: the acting, directing, cinematography, music, set design, script… everything is fully realized and alive, you can’t take your eyes off of the screen.



ICONIC MOMENTS
[WARNING, Spoilers ahead] One way to measure the “classic-ness” of a film is to take a look at the moments that define the film. Blade Runner has several:
  • The opening scene, featuring the futuristic Los Angeles cityscape – complete with fire bursts from skyscrapers and mass pollution is as iconic and bold an opening as there is.
  • The interview with Leon is beautifully shot, and is shocking the first time you see it. It really sets up the replicants as more than simple robots.
  • The Batty/Tyrell scene, where Dr. Eldon gives Roy an answer he doesn’t like.
  • The developing relationship between Deckard and Rachael. It’s a little awkward but is handled wonderfully.
  • The supporting characters are great, from Brion James’ Leon to Edward James Olmos as Gaff, Deckard’s new partner.
  • Vangelis’ score: delightfully dark and haunting, he was at the top of his game when he composed this (having just won the Oscar for Chariots of Fire). It’s the perfect companion to the look and feel of the picture
  • The end confrontation between Deckard and Batty. Some will point out the symbolism of the doves as pretentious, and I would agree with most other films but it’s a perfect sequence and suits the movie.

A man’s beard.

WHY A REMAKE WOULD MAKE ME RUN OFF SCREAMING

There’s no way they could remake Blade Runner and have it come anywhere close to capturing the sense of overbearing technology and jadedness. Plus, part of what helped craft the character of the film was the turmoil associated with its making, and a new version would presumably be shot under a more calm atmosphere. The director would likely not be under the same pressure and urgency as Scott was, and it would come across the screen without that intangible thread that was a contributing factor which helped define Blade Runner. Also, while Scott was handcuffed in some ways, a remake would be controlled by the studio and the filmmaker wouldn’t have some of the same freedoms he had – unless it was someone above the usual stock like a Cameron or Jackson. It would just be another big-budgeted sci-fi popcorn movie, with much of the underlying themes either dumbed down or excised entirely… in other words it’d be a mistake.



WHAT WOULD PLATINUM DUNES DO (WWPDD)?
Michael
Bay’s been producing remakes all over town, using his Platinum Dunes
company as a front. So naturally he’d be the logical choice to spearhead
any attempt at remaking this classic. How would it pan out, you ask?
  • Forget Vangelis, bring on a pounding Hans Zimmer or Klaus Badelt score. They’re practically the same person anyway.
  • A 14 minute spinner chase scene through the futuristic skies of L.A., with much of the city laid to waste in the aftermath.
  • No more practical effects. All CGI all the way, baby!
  • Let’s make the replicants seem less human and more robot-like. Maybe have them transform into some well-placed product placement items.
  • Allow Len Wiseman to direct it.


BOVINE MISCELLANY

Blade Runner
isn’t a perfect movie, but it’s really, really close. There are at least 4 brilliant documentaries on the behind-the-scenes drama that went on: Dangerous Days (the best), Future Shock, On the Edge of Blade Runner and All Our Variant Futures. They each offer different things, and are great companion pieces to this Sacred Cow.

Try not to mention Soldier.


Rebuttal: None. We agree!


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