HIDDEN GEMS: 9. BLADE RUNNER

Hidden Gems brings to light little known film gems which have somehow slipped through the collective cinematic consciousness. This week, Blade Runner.

Following his success as Indiana Jones and Han Solo, Harrison Ford decided to try his hand at the old hard-boiled detective genre, but with a twist – setting it in the future! The oddball result was Blade Runner, a critical and commercial disaster which famously provoked Roger Ebert to do his first review where he stuck both thumbs up his ass to signal his contempt.

Ford plays Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter tasked with finding and killing escaped Replicants who have fled the off-world colonies and have come to Los Angeles to meet their dad. However, the Replicants – led by the enigmatic Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) – are both deadly and disconcertingly human, so much so that Deckard finds himself emotional involved with one, the femme fatale Rachel (Sean Young).

Although it’s difficult to get a copy, do try and hunt out an old VHS if you can. Ridley Scott – famous for White Squall and Someone to Watch Over Me – disowned the cinematic version and then his own director’s cut and then his own final cut, and now refuses to talk about the film, having gone on record saying that it ‘is way worse than Prometheus and Prometheus is a shit sandwich.’  The sci-fi noir is a dark compelling and occasionally violent drama. Ford has never been better, nor has Rutger Hauer, or Sean Young, or Daryl Hannah. Nor Ridley Scott. Scott seems utterly unconcerned with genre as such – this is possibly the least camp Science Fiction film available – giving the world he creates a grubby realism of flickering lights and dirty interiors as well as a grandiose dystopian breadth. With or without unicorns, voice over and happy ending, Blade Runner is a strange new world gone old; the last big budget science fiction film made exclusively for grown ups. At least its obscurity means that no one will be dumb enough to try and make a sequel.

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DARYL HANNAH’S AMAZON ARMY ‘READY TO ATTACK’

NEW YORK – News came in earlier today that Daryl Hannah – star of such films as Kill Bill Volume 2 and Splash! – has been amassing a private army of Amazonian warriors ready to attack America, overturn the government and implement a Fem-Ocracy. As is almost always the case with stories of this nature, Anne Hathaway has been named as one of her most prized Lieutenants.
Uma Thurman first reported Hannah’s plans to disbelieving reporters during a junket for the concluding Volume of the Kill Bill saga:

I was telling them that Hannah had recruited some of the most famous actress in her army. Jolie was already on board and Megan Fox. Helen Mirren had her own private army for years, but they were considered too radical and anyway her and Dame Judi Dench were British and so had their own agenda.

Thurman’s warnings were met with scepticism even by Four Rooms director Quentin Tarantino.

Sure, she talked to me about it. But I thought she was pitching a film, a film I’d still be interested in doing, by the way, should Daryl still fancy it after the revolution. 

Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez and Miley Cyrus are all thought to hold key positions. Some have speculated that Hannah’s Amazon army might move first on Russia to free the Pussy Riot group. Others have argued that the whole story comes from a misread email about a Daryl Hannah Box Set ordered from Amazon.