Time & Dustiness of the 80's (& Blade Runner)



Watching a movie from the 80's is always a fun treat, mostly because I get to check out which have aged and which -like fine wine- have gotten drastically better in time. For this dreary decade in film, the 1980's represented the worst in cinema and not many truly timeless works of art. One can think of Robert Redford's Ordinary People which won the Oscar and New York Critics prizes in 1980, only to be seen as an untimely document today- with its soapy dialogue and hollywoodized vision. There's also the BIG epics of that decade such as Reds, Gandhi & -yikes- Chariots Of Fire- all of which have aged as well as a bottle of Bailey's liquor out in the heat.

All this bitching could make someone think that there was only bad to be had but then I think of Scorsese's impressive run, Woody Allen's prime, Spike Lee's best film, Oliver Stone at his political best and James L Brooks' solid melodrama's- But then there's Blade Runner. Where do I start? It has a huge following and for many represents the apex of what 1980's cinema was about. I clearly don't. Ridley Scott's epic Sci Fi drama has aged horribly. With its 80's costume and hair to its not so great dialogue. This darkly literate tale of Machine vs Man is good but definitely not great. In other words, it is just what critics thought it was at the time of its 1982 release- average. The director's cut a few years ago slightly helped by taking out the clumsy narration and adding an extra layer to its climax (is he a robot. isn't he?)

No doubt I'm gonna get a mouth full for these comments & I'm surely only backed up by a few. But what Blade Runner hypes up isn't necessarily substantial enough to warrant all the fuss decent folks have been clamoring about for close to 2 decades. Scott has made far better movies in his career. Watch Raging Bull. Do The Right Thing. Blue Velvet. As far as iconic, relentless & ageless cinematic masterworks of this particular decade.
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