Blade Runner (AFI) vs. Gladiator (IMDb)
Or: Ridley Scott vs. himself.
I appreciate a young Harrison Ford and a robot snake lady in a clear plastic coat being shot in the back and falling – in slow motion – through multiple planes of glass as much as the next person. And I love Sci-Fi, so I always want to like Blade Runner more than I actually do in reality.
Really, Blade Runner is more neo-noir than anything. And like I said last week I find most film noirs to be gorgeously cynical. Neo-noir is great too, even though there’s no Bogey.
There’s like seven different versions of Blade Runner now– theatrical cut, international cut, director’s cut, final cut, really-we’re-serious-this-time-final final cut, etc. If you’ve got a choice, try to watch one without Harrison Ford’s narration. Blade Runner is considerably better without the Philip Marlowe-esque narration attempt, but no matter what, the story line is a bit thin and pacing is a bit slow. But you can’t beat it in terms of atmosphere. And Harrison Ford’s fingers being broken one by one… priceless.
Gladiator, on the other hand, was just plain painful for me. It started sad and violent and ended sad and violent. Fortunately, the middle was filled with sadness and violence to break it up. Sigh. Really, these are my least favorite kinds of films, no matter how well-acted, well-written, or well-produced. Or how buff Russell Crowe looked:
Both movies were directed by Ridley Scott, and both have their own merits. My pick for this week, though, is Blade Runner, due to its cultural influence and cult favorite status, more than plot or story.
So after Week 4, score is AFI – 3, IMDb – 1.