Skip this review. I want it to run after the review for the new sequel, so I can’t move on until 46. Blade Runner. But I keep putting it off.
I watched the first half about a week ago, and it was cool but I got sleepy and stopped it, figuring I’d finish later. I don’t think I will, though; too many other movies and shows I wanna see. My neighbor watched the entire second season of the Netflix show Stranger Things the day it dropped. That’s nine episodes. I am jealous. Because we have a young daughter and I try to write novels, I figure I must be judicious about what I spend time watching.
I am no hater. I’ve seen Blade Runner probably six times. But I cannot seem to think about it without remembering what personal idol Chuck Klosterman wrote in Esquire, in an essay about robots enslaving mankind: “I suspect Blade Runner might have also touched on this topic, but I honestly can’t remember any of the narrative details; I was too busy pretending it wasn’t terrible.”
Brutal, but there’s another personal hero I also remember. My favorite college professor, a crazy rabbi, loved this flick. The lecture was fantastic. He told us Eldon Tyrell’s first name means, in Hebrew, “God is the judge.” Eldon created the humanoid robot slaves, and his important moments are preceded by a replicant owl; Athena, goddess of technology in ancient Greece, was likewise accompanied by an owl.
Also, Tyrell looks like Josef Mengula, a Nazi doctor who aspired to make a better human.
Blade Runner ponders whether memories define us, because what else are we? Its robots resent their mortality, because why should a creator decide we must die? Yet better works have grown from this richly sapient soil. Ghost in the Shell is a tighter action movie with robots questioning existence. The television show Westworld, likewise, is similarly dark and philosophical about androids and the soul, but it is also insanely entertaining.
So let’s move on. Blade Runner inspires, blows minds, and/or bores. Love it or hate it, you’re probably right.