KAMN Show #47: Blade Runner

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Welcome to Show #47!

Feature Discussion: Summer, Dave, Brian and Jen discuss the 1982 Ridley Scott film Blade Runner. Starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Edward James Olmos and Sean Young, this movie set the standard for futuristic noir, and inspired an entire generation of scifi fans.

Listener Feedback: You can leave comments here for the show, or at the Kick-Ass Mystic Ninjas Forum. You can also email all of us at ninjas-at-kickassmysticninjas-dot-com, or use the Contact Form... and yes, you can also email in recorded commentary.

Books and Films mentioned:

Promo: British Invaders
Promo: The Adventures of Indiana Jim
Promo: Slice of SciFi

Related posts:

Comments

  1. I believe Jen was thinking of Velvet Underground when she said Velvet Goldmine. I'm guessing from the context of what she was saying. I know that because A) I love Velvet Underground (especially Nico), and 2) I've more than once jokingly referred to my Geek of all Trades show as the Velvet Underground of Podcasts. ;-)

  2. Rhettro says:

    I see KAMN is taking on one of my favorite movies of all time. I guess I should give a listen.

  3. Vanamonde says:

    Well no mention of the book the film is oh so loosely based on...aaarrrggghhh.

    • I don't know if our listeners could have handled a 100 minute show, which could have happened if we included the book in the same episode :)

      We are still open to talking about the book separately.

  4. Thank God you're back!

  5. The explanation I'd heard for the Unicorn was the legend that the unicorn would lay it's head in the lap of the maiden, so the hunter could kill it. The end of the movie becomes that he's taking Rachel out to the woods to dispatch her. You spend the movie watching the replicants become human, and the Bladerunner become less human as the hunt goes on.

    Y'all make me want to read that book on the making of the movie now.

    Thanks for a great show!

    frank

  6. Arkle: Yes, I was. I realized this immediately after the podcast ended and felt like an idiot. Sent an email to the other ninjas saying as much. But you, one person who got my reference, see what I mean about Blade Runner not being necessarily commercially succesful but being very influential because those that saw it then went on to make their own films, like with Velvet Underground? Ah, well, it was an obscure reference anyway.

  7. Thanks you Jen I has the same reaction when I watched the Directors cut. I didn't understand and only made it through because so many people told me how great film it was. The Final Cut was on nexflix streaming a while ago and found it much easier to follow. Still kinda Meh on it, but I think that's just one of those things you had to be there to really enjoy it.

  8. I was surprised that I didn't hear anyone talk about Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Have any of the KAMN read the book? It goes deeper into mood altering drugs, the decay of the planet causing the population to leave and why society has placed a need on people to keep and help animals. Also there are no noir references in the book.

    • Not including the book on this discussion was a conscious choice.

      We easily hit 80 minutes unedited with just the movie... including the book would have pushed us well beyond the 2hr mark, and that would just have been crazy :)

      Plus, we can still do the book separately later.

  9. True I guess that would make it one very long podcast would be neat to compare and contrast. Love KAMN by the way one of my favorites.

  10. I'm surprised there was no mention of how Joanna Cassidy reprized her role as Zhora to reshoot her death scene. In the original release and the Director's cut, when Zhora is shot, you can tell that it's obviously a stunt double. Cassidy, still in pretty decent shape, put on the plastic smock and "Xena" costume (which Ridley Scott keeps in mothballs apparently) and did her own stunt for the Final cut. I'm not sure, but Ridley may have also replaced the scene in the theatrical release in the Ultimate edition, but I'm not sure.

  11. Oh, and as a side note, I agree with Jen concerning the translation to a newbie viewer. I wasn't old enough to see this in theatres when it came out, but I did catch it on TV a few times growing up, and eventually owned a VHS tape of it. When the director's cut was released, I watched it, and I thought it was GREAT, at the same time, I saw a number of problems with it that would have neatly been cleared up if the narration had been left in, or redone. I believe that the Director's cut is superior to the Theatrical release, and I believe that the Final Cut is superior to the Director's cut (I do have the ultimate edition...Why wouldn't I?), but I believe a person new to the film will be lost on a few different levels if starting with the later cuts that the narration of the theatrical release would prevent, badly, but what movies don't have rough spots?

    I usually recommend to people new to the film to watch it twice: Watch the theatrical release first, then the Final Cut. The experience becomes complete, and opens a dialogue on the fact that they had to watch only 1 lousy film... the question will center on which of the two was lousy, of course

  12. Hey, it's your friendly neighbourhood, late to the party, commenter!
    Really enjoyed the chat with Blade Runner.
    Although, I pointed this out on my Facebook page really when I watched the movie with my 14 year old son again.
    The Director's Cut is boring.
    Seriously boring. My son, who has watched a ton of eighties films with me lately, fell asleep TWICE trying to get through it.
    I'm sorry.. There's this little thing Mr. Scott called "editing". The original Theatrical cut was so much better because at least it kept the plot going beyond a slow idle.
    I own the Director's Cut and I want my money back to find the original.
    I'm also one of those who thinks that the plot is better served with the voice overs, and I normally don't like voice overs (especially in audio drama).
    Bored sounding or not, Harrison Ford's voice overs add depth to the story and absolutely give us the characterization that the show is missing without them. It's one of the few times we get into the head of Decker.
    So, once again, I'm for the Theatrical release. And let me be clear. I am a huge PKD fan (made more awkward in my English Classroom when I excitedly informed to my students "I LOVE Dick!"). I watched BR in the Theatres, and many times through the years. Did not see the Final Cut though until now and was utterly disappointed.
    The Unicorn part certainly made a good extra, I'll give Ridley Scott that.

    There were some other elements about the discussion that got to me.
    1. "Happened to die at the same time Decker is chasing him" - That's the point. Roy and the others were on the planet at the last of their lives. The desperation of the chase and the final moments are accentuated because of it.
    2. "They had pictures of the replicants. Why use the VK test?" - If I remember correctly, it was pointed out that they didn't have pictures at the time, and Leon was picked up during a general sweep.
    3. "The FU Hollywood Ending". I don't know. Maybe I'm a sucrose-filled romantic, but it worked for me for many reasons.
    - Just because the city was crap, doesn't mean the countryside was not. Lots of folks decide to live in a polluted city for work (Mexico City is the most unhealthy city in the world and its growing and growing!)
    - The counter point of having Earth "spent" but really not, was interesting to me. Here you've got miles and miles of greenery that is uninhabited by animals shows a kind of Eden quality that occurs in a lot of Sci-Fi shows. Logan's Run comes to mind and Lee Major's terrible movie "The Last Chase" comes to mind as well
    - It could have entirely been a dream like "Brazil" and that too would have been cool.

    Creating a contradiction in a movie unfortunately for us nerds can drive us crazy when it comes to consistency, but let's be fair, Phillip K. Dick's style was more about metaphor and consciousness than it was about keeping a strong consistent through put.

    4. I find the mindsets of the Replicants constantly fascinating. Unlike the "no characterization" in the movie comments, I would argue that the Replicants Priss and Roy were given more characterization (along with J.F. Sebastian) for a purpose. Making them more human, and Decker less once again highlights the central motifs of "What IS human after all?"

    Thanks once again for a trip down memory lane folks.
    You really aught to have this Canuckian come in some time as a guest ;)
    Jack

  13. Hey Jack! You're more than welcome to peruse the list of future topics, and let us know which ones you'd be interested in talking about!

    The Earthsea stories are up next...

  14. Hey kids,

    At the risk of sending the thread down a rat-hole, but not finding a better place to post this:

    Released from Audible on 4/20/2010, narrated by Scott Brick, UNABRIDGED...(wait for it):

    Foundation ©1951
    Foundation and Empire ©1952
    Second Foundation ©1953

    I would like to humbly resubmit my nomination for Isaac Asimov's original Foundation Trilogy for the KAMN treatment.

    To quote a Ninja:

    On Jun 2, 2008, at 1:00 PM, Summer Brooks wrote:

    "Foundation is on the list (or should be)"

    That is all.

  15. Not to be off-topic, but during the podcast, you mentioned a rewrite of The Phantom Menace script. Where would I find that? It sounds hilarious.

  16. Jhonny from Uppsala says:

    So, when is the next episode comming folks? This waiting buissness is getting painful.

    Perhaps not episode related, but do you think you could put up a new link to the KAMN theme song. The old one is broken.

    All the best.
    /Satai

  17. One of my other regular netcasts just faded, so the first thing I added to the new hardware and ITunes was KAMN. The Blade Runner episode was really good quality -- very impressive. I'll be listening to back episodes for sure.

    On the idea that it's not understandable without the narration: I first saw it on the laserdisc and I had not read Electric Sheep though I knew of it. I had no problems and have watched it many times afterward and it stands up well to repeated viewing. For those who think it was "opaque," without the aid of the voice over, you can feel good in that you are not alone. I remember when 2001: A Space Odyssey came out in the theatre, and very few of the people I knew understood anything at all in it. Ditto The Prisoner. My father was upset that he *never* escaped! Different levels for different folks, I say.

    I can understand that you ran long on this one. Some might say it's two-part material. (hint, hint)

    Cheers!
    Michael

  18. So is the show officially dead or what?

  19. Vastly off tempo says:

    Why did Rick Deckard play with the scanner for so long?
    First, keep in mind that he is reluctant to take on the case. Rick was doing nothing more than sifting through scanty evidence. He was letting his intuition guide him and it helped him decide his next move. (David is right about the number use on the scanner being inconsistent, because the same number is used to indicate somewhere in the bottom left, and later somewhere in the upper right.)

    Rick is attracted to Rachel, but did he rape her?
    Rick did throw Rachel against the wall. He commanded her, "Tell me to kiss you". Does a limited lifespan replicant have the wherewithal to process romantic attraction? Do you or I? We know she wants him to kiss her neck, because she shows she enjoys it. But when he goes in for a kiss on the lips, she pulls away and runs. She's afraid. What is it she is afraid of? His sexual aggressiveness? No. She begins to tell us when she plays the piano - she didn't know if she could play. She's having an identity crisis. Later, she says she can't trust herself. She's floundering. Every move she makes, she is over-analyzing. She's trying to draw a line between who she is as a borrowing from Tyrell's neice, and who she is separate from her implanted memories. But this is a fool's errand. These are not hallucinations. The only way out of this hampster's wheel is to jump the tracks. Rick pushes her to jump the tracks. He wants her to find her voice and act on her emotional impulses to show that they are real. If she feels something, she feels it with her own feelings, and she should trust her feelings as her own, because they are real to her regardless of how she came by them. Look at Elliot - http://www.radiolab.org/2008/nov/17/overcome-by-emotion/
    Rick is pushing Rachel away from a robotic existence, because if either of them are going to survive, they both need her to be more than that. He has power of life and death over her. But I would also argue that she has power of life and death over him as well. What is he doing sitting around in his retirement? He's just drifting along, and we know that this makes him vulnerable to Bryant. His way out of the lethal cesspool is by caring enough about Rachel to break free, but he can't do that if she's just a robot. If she gives up on her self, then he gives up on her too, and if he gives up on her, he gives up on himself.

    What happens with Taffey while Rick is tracking down Zhora? Rick is able to intimidate Abdul, but not Taffey. Why is that?
    How does it play out if Rick puts the squeeze on Taffey? Nothing would come of it. Taffey's got pull that Abdul doesn't, and Rick is wise to that. Rick knows he's getting nowhere the way he is going about it, so he adjusts. He's got to decide his next move. Is he apathetic? Well he's certainly not happy to be on the case. Also, Rick's an alcoholic, and Taffey has started a tap. Rick is in a slump until he once again let's himself unwind and be guided by his intuition.

    Also, you don't really talk about the rhino as a possible inspiration for the unicorn dream independent of the unicorn origami being used to dismiss Rick as a useless dreamer. Or the theory that Gaff is a replicant, and is jealous of Rick for winning Rachel.

  20. Hope you come back soon. We miss you.

  21. Do you guys know that your contact button on your website doesn't actually have any contact info (emails and such) on there?

  22. OK guys, it's been over a year. I've waited patiently, now please put us out of our misery. Give us another show or at least a little news.

    I know ninjas are supposed to be silent, but this is getting silly.

  23. Tim Travel says:

    Come back Ninjas we miss you!!

  24. So I guess it's safe to unsubscribe from this podcast now? Doesn't seem to be any new episodes coming down the pike.

  25. I still check you for a pulse every month. I haven't given up on you. On the bright side, you make MonsterTalk's release schedule look positively prolific! :)

    You're my favorite fiction podcast - please don't be dead!

    • There's a Princess Bride joke in here somewhere, isn't there? :)

      Not dead. Resting?

      I've been extremely lax in posting Show #48, because the audio for it is really rough, and it'll take me a long time to fix it. But I'm working on it!

  26. I'm a new listener and will flip out like a ninja if you don't make any more! so addictive and the theme song gets stuck in my head all day

  27. A year's worth of editing, now that's an audio file with issues. ;)

  28. Still here, still practising patience.

    It's clear that some people do still check back here for updates even though it's been over a year since the last episode.

    If you want a testament to how good this show was - there you have it.

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