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Blade Runner News Archive - 2004 (Jul-Sep)

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Please note that most links are not revised. Although correct when originally written, the nature of news means that I cannot guarantee that any particular link will still be valid today.

25 Sep 2004 In a review of 'Civic Spirit: Changing the Course of Federal Design', a ten year review of the U.S. government's 'Excellence in Architecture' program, the International Herald Tribune goes further than simply tell us about the exhibition. It focuses in what it impliess about U.S. culture. The use of BR goes beyond a simple description of shards of light entering a building to also carry with it the "moody, 'Blade Runner'-like vision of the future". Once again, BR used as evocative adjective.
24 Sep 2004 engadget has a brief reminder of those two wonderful gadgets in Blade Runner - the Voight Kampff machine and the Esper.
23 Sep 2004 The Seattle Times revisits the SF Museum. They also note upcoming event, "The History of Science Fiction Film Series", a screening of six landmark sci-fi films followed by discussion with local authors and film critics, starts Oct. 8 with the 1951 classic "The Day The Earth Stood Still," and includes "2001: A Space Odyssey," "Blade Runner" and "The Matrix."
23 Sep 2004 Starting production next year is "Reaper". Being described as "stylish action-neo-noir" and if you read the synopsis, you can see a resemblance to BR. Written by Gary Whitta. I asked Gary about the influence and he responded, "Blade Runner wasn't a direct influence but it probably was in some subconscious way because Deckard is such a quintessential modern noir hero and it's one of my favorite movies." So as expected with a prolific creator in this genre, BR is part of his background knowledge as it is with all of us. But keep an eye out for Reaper which looks like it might turn out to be a really cool and original film.
22 Sep 2004 Stepping away from the nightmare of laboratory built supersoldiers (see previous DARPA reference), the reality of the future is that robotics and genetics will continue and will be applied to humans. As one might expect from Tech Central Station, the Sky Captain and GitS 2 releases don't prompt a simple film review column. No, these two are used as a bouncing board for a look at the future of the world, of cloning and robotics and the US and Japanese philosophical present and economic futures. And I think, in this, the UK will follow Japan and not the USA.
21 Sep 2004 I mentioned Syd Mead's involvement with Bahrain architecture some while ago. Now he's gone a step further - Syd Mead Incorporated has signed exclusive regionwide representation rights to Manama-based Vahid Associates according to AMEinfo. When Blade Runner's future look was visualized by someone who is so directly involved in creating the look of the real world in the future, it is not really surprising that BR's future vision turned out to be so accurate!
21 Sep 2004 So if we were going to guess who in the real world might actually create replicants in the future, who would it be? My guess would be DARPA. This article refers to them and points to Tom's Dispatch which has an in-depth look at the things they might be up to - including bio-genetics applied to humans.
21 Sep 2004 The debate on films using a high proportion of CGI and Blue Screen versus mixing it in with real props, models and people (as in BR) continues. Matt Zoller Seitz in NYP reviews Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and contemplates this very subject.
20 Sep 2004 The reviews for GitS 2 are below. But read this for interview of Mamoru Oshii himself - some rather interesting insights including how he feels about moviemakers getting inspiration from other movies. Also check the Post.
19 Sep 2004 Drew Struzan, "the last of the great poster artists", is famous for many wonderful posters including Blade Runner. Pasadena Star News reports that he "will sign copies of 'The Movie Poster Art of Drew Struzan' at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Vroman's Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd." The article contains an interview with Drew.
16 Sep 2004 GitS 2: Innocence reviews. If you're already a fan of the first Ghost in the Shell (and why wouldn't you be?) then you'll probably want to see the second one regardless of what any reviewer has to say. But with something so closely linked to Blade Runner, cross-references abound. East Bay Express, Chicago Tribune, Daily Californian,, Seattle pi, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Animation World.
14 Sep 2004 The use of "Blade Runner" as shorthand for "future dystopian hell" is now common practice. In this USA Today story, it is used as comparative to Mayberry RFD (a US 60s family sitcom representing a happy, safe world). In this world of viruses, adware, malware and spyware, it really is best if you don't leave the doors of your computer open and unlocked. As my brother-in-law was asking me just this week about what he needed to protect the family computer against the funny stuff going on, I thought I'd create a page here for anyone who would like a straightforward page of advice: Protect your computer.
10 Sep 2004 The essence of Blade Runner provides both warning and prediction, sometimes almost without trying. In the real world, it is not just in trying to create robots just like humans that science focuses upon, but also on improving ourselves and our environment in completely new ways. Such is the subject matter of BetterHumans where George Dvorsky, prompted by the recent Guardian poll where 60 scientists had the excellent taste to choose Blade Runner best sci-fi film, explores the film in depth, with some interesting links embedded.
09 Sep 2004 I suppose with the anniversary of 9/11 approaching, I should put some story with some connection here. I've chosen just the one, which has a reference to the "Blade Runner ambiance" of New York and reflects really on the pleasures of New York from the POV of a visiting businessman, which is how I mainly know the city. This is in Business Direct Weekly from Michigan.
07 Sep 2004 Ridley and Tony Scott are teaming with US Sci Fi Channel to exec produce a couple of remakes of classics. According to Zap2it, both films will be remade as four hour miniseries - the first is a remake of Crichton's Andromeda Strain. The original being an excellent procedural SF drama. The other is The Thing. Not sure what more can be done with it now, but I'm sure they'll come up with something, together with modern cultural references.
04 Sep 2004 "Crash course 101: sci-fi dystopia on film" an article in, reviews a brief history of a range of a certain type of SF film starting from a look at a DC of THX 1138. [8 Sep] THX 1138 also reviewed by who suggest its influence on later films like Blade Runner, Dark City, etc. - something I completely disagree is the case, but I don't have enough space here to rant on about it.
01 Sep 2004 With the design of vehicles for Blade Runner being done by Syd Mead who envisioned future vehicle design for the automotive industry as his day job, it was inevitable that real life vehicle design would start catching up with the designs of BR. And so when we have a new train/coach concept that could run on rail and road and looks like it comes straight out of the film, why not call it the 'Blade Runner'. Check it out in the Oldham Advertiser.
30 Aug 2004 Mark Thomas is an accomplished designer of "wearable art" - the individually created, top end of fashion clothing. And according to the Alameda Times-Star, he "began his fashion career in Hollywood costume design, working on the sci-fi fantasy 'Blade Runner' among other projects. That led him to think of clothing as 'functional art'."
29 Aug 2004 "An Alchemy of Mind : The Marvel and Mystery of the Brain" is a book by Diane Ackerman. In it she wriites of the stuff going on in our heads, such as memories, which have their Blade Runner reference within a few paragraphs of the first chapter. Check it out at Amazon.
29 Aug 2004 Not so often mentioned as actors and director is what some of the BR crew have been getting up to since. So nice to see Richard Yuricich mentioned in a DVD Talk review. As Visual Effects Supervisor on Resident Evil, he participates in the commentary on the DVD Deluxe Edition.
29 Aug 2004 Ben Rayner in the Toronto Star imparts 30 piercing insights gleaned from his almost 30 years of life. One of these is to watch Blade Runner at least once a year. What a perceptive fellow!
27 Aug 2004 If you can get to Rehoboth Beach (Delaware) on Saturday, Aug. 28, then you might be able to go to the film society screening of BR. It is being hosted by Dr. Barbara Novak, professor of psychiatry at the Georgetown University School of Medicine who sounds like she may have some interesting insights into the film. See Delmarvanow for details.
27 Aug 2004 Blade Runner, like many of the top near-future, Earth-based SF films, presents a somewhat dystopian vision. While there are all too many reasons to think that these films are not actually being particularly pessimistic in outlook, we should make an effort to squeeze in some optimism. So, I'll bring to your attention an unusual art event. While only a few of us may be able to attend the event in person, one of the main artists has invited people to write in with visions of a realistic, but positive future. Read the East Bay report - the prompting questionnaire is at the bottom should you wish to participate.
27 Aug 2004 It is interesting how some things are either obscure or well known depending on what group of people you're talking to. Mention Donnie Darko to some people and they look blank. But mention it to BR fans and not only do most seem to have seen it and enjoyed it, many own the DVD and want to discuss the ideas in the film. So what new questions will the Director's Cut throw up? Like the BR DC, will it change the viewing of the film for some? See what the Boston Globe has to say about it.
25 Aug 2004 It isn't easy linking Britney Spears to Blade Runner (and I'm not sure why I want to), but linked they are, via the direction by Joseph Kahn of her 'Toxic' video. The "Blade Runner" look of the futuristic city Britney rides through on a motorcycle is quite specifically a tribute by Kahn to our favourite film. It must be true because MTV says so.
25 Aug 2004 Probably worth watching simply because it stars Jet Li, at least one reviewer considers "Hero" to be similar to Blade Runner in respect of it being immediately almost one of the best films ever seen.
25 Aug 2004 The Guardian conducted a poll which turned into a story that has spread very widely very quickly: "Scientists vote Blade Runner best sci-fi film of all time". Obviously 'scientists' know what they're talking about! "Ridley Scott's Blade Runner is the favourite science fiction film of scientists, according to a poll for the Guardian. Second and third places went to Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey and the first two films of the original Star Wars trilogy." This is reported elsewhere in the Toronto Star, The Age (Australia), (South Africa), Digital Spy (UK), (UK), Reuters (obviously). and then The Guardian tops itself by presenting the Top Ten SF films and then The Guardian tops itself again by discussing this. Of course it is also mentioned by the BBC (VOTE!!!), Globetechnology, The Mercury News, CHOI (French Canadian), CBS, MSNBC, CNN,, The Straits Times (Singapore), Slashdot (natch), Seattle pi and even reported in the Gulf (who needs war when you can watch good films?) In another part of the Guardian survey, the SF authors are rated, (PKD is fourth). List of the scientists polled.
25 Aug 2004 Why Spielberg could never have made Blade Runner is highlighted in this Times review of his latest effort. He is the sort of person who would put in the happy, sloppy green trees ending to Blade Runner - the first thing Scott wanted removed in the DC.
24 Aug 2004 On tonight on US PBS TV is a programme on The Hidden Art of Hollywood, which apparently is a documentary about the art of production designers. Included is an interview with Lawrence G. Paull, who designed for Blade Runner.
24 Aug 2004 Comic Book Resources reports on Greg Horm, comic book illustrator. For one of his latest projects, for Daredevil, (involving Spiderman), he refers to his inspiration for the rooftop scene being BR.
24 Aug 2004 "Basic black: Hard-edged noir returns as latest fashion in fiction" entitles an article by Christopher Cox in the Boston Herald. Film keeps returning to the Noirish look, though it does get updated. The 'Future Noir' look of Blade Runner set new standards for neo Noir, but itself was referential to original Noir. As fashion moves on, it seems some elements not only remain classic, but are essential to the new classics. (I'll get my coat...)
18 Aug 2004 Elsewhere in the world of busy BR actors, M. Emmet Walsh is to appear on stage at the Lyttelton Theatre (National Theatre in London). According to Playbill, the production is of Sam Shepherd's 'Buried Child' and also stars Lauren Ambrose.
17 Aug 2004 And talking of Zhora (see previous article), or rather, actress Joanna Cassidy, look who has just popped up on my long range scanner! In the third episode of the fourth season of Enterprise which has just finished shooting, Joanna is playing T'Les - mother of T'Pol. Cool. I can see the family resemblance - good choice.
10 Aug 2004 So, if you were to pick the sexiest lady in Blade Runner, who would you choose? What if the question was "Who is the sexiest sci-fi babe in movies?" According to Ananova, a poll for Film Review magazine ended with Zhora from Blade Runner getting 7th place overall. Well, she is the sexy snake dancer wearing not much more than sequins who then takes a shower and gets dressed in little more. 3rd was the T-X (who arrives naked), 2nd was Leeloo who is wrapped in a few surgical bandages and then changes clothes on camera, twice. And top is ultimate Sci-Fi Babe of all time and an obvious winner - Barbarella (who ... well you must know.) Yes, it is rather vacuous stuff for summer heated brains, but hey, Blade Runner makes it into yet another Top Ten...
02 Aug 2004 Code 46 - a film, (not about robots!), set in a dystopian future where cloning and gene splicing are widespread, but intimate relations with someone with similar genetics is forbidden by a totalitarian state (Code 46 violation). Although to a large extent that is mainly the background to the story. It is also about a lot more and a lot less and may appeal to BR fans. Possibly one of those films that succeeds on atmosphere and detail and improves with repeat viewing. Some of its heritage is clear, as The Village Voice points out - it "feels like Blade Runner on meds." Also check out
29 Jul 2004 Okay, one last I, Robot review (in The Guardian) because it goes into so much more depth and background.
28 Jul 2004 "The Philosopher at the End of the Universe: Philosophy Explained Through Science Fiction Films" is a book. It is written by Mark Rowlands and reviewed by Howard Price. Of course Blade Runner features - apparently at the end when the author gets right down to the core of it all in "Death and the Meaning of Life". Sound like a fun and interesting read, but be careful or, like the reviewer, you might actually learn something.
28 Jul 2004 Those of you who have delved into the locations where Blade Runner was filmed will certainly know that Deckard's apartment building exterior was filmed at the Ennis-Brown House in L.A. - designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The interior of Deckard's apartment was created in a studio, but fully inspired by the same design. But did you know that you can visit not just this house, but a couple of others designed by Wright as well - all in one day. This article tells you how, and also gives plenty of detail on the houses.
25 Jul 2004 Pris is a "pleasure model", so eventually a comparison to her had to crop up in a review of a porn movie. The movie is "Domina 3", reviewed at DVD Talk. I don't suggest you actually read the review (and if you do, be prepared for graphic description), I'm just including it because it's a first.
25 Jul 2004 A curious, but nevertheless strangely interesting article by movie critic Michael Wilmington on the magic of SF to the 12-year-old. Perhaps that is a magic age to start getting interested in SF, but why stop there? Maybe I am still mentally 12 (though I can barely remember that long ago). And what of my 6-year-old daughter who doesn't at present even differentitate between SF and non-SF? If SF is the limitless fiction of ideas, why do so many reporters still express surprise at any SF that is popular? Don't they get that half the Top Twenty best/favourite films ever seem to be SF or that most bookstores have a huge section for SF? This really is not just the preserve of some children and a few geeks. It is something that interests a huge swathe of the population of the world.
23 Jul 2004 So, according to The Comic Wire, the Wachowski brothers (or brother an sister...) actually turned up to Comic-Con to talk about the next comic step after Matrix: Revolutions and Larry even dared to suggest that like Blade Runner, their third Matrix thingy might actually be recognized as a great film later. Yeah, right.
23 Jul 2004 Let's move on to architecture. The Guardian has an article about 20th Century architect Louis Kahn. The article points to a (very short) list of films where architecture 'comes to life'. It isn't easy to do, because As Kahn Jr says, "one of the biggest no-nos in filming architecture is panning, because that's just moving the camera. People don't pan ... they move through space.
22 Jul 2004 James P. Pinkerton offers his (reasonable) opinion at on why, despite the warnings of SF, robot technology will be accepted and needed by society - or is that accepted because of a perception that robots will fulfil society's needs?
20 Jul 2004 Heard of the anime Malice@Doll? Well I hadn't until I read this review. It appears to have been inspired in part by Blade Runner. See also and
18 Jul 2004 Stephen Whitty of the Star Ledger (on has an interesting tour through the history of robots in film and the way they are presented. It singles out Blade Runner as the point where robots took on the moral dimension and a step change from the evil machine: "The robots don't spare us because they're weaker than we are. They spare us because they're better." And thus they make the leap from villains to heroes of our films. The BBC has a similar idea, but does little more than list the films and their robots.
15 Jul 2004 This USA Today article delves well beyond the I, Robot review into an examination of Hollywood and Science Fiction films in general. Of course, you and I know there is little made since 1982 that can compare with Blade Runner, but it is interesting to see it written in such a wide-audience newspaper. I'm not quite sure they hit one point though - Hollywood churns out SF movies because people love them, but Hollywood execs have no idea exactly WHY people love them (for the same reason there is a huge SF section in most bookshops!) I don't believe they really are so "hard to do well" - the problem is the people in charge impose what they think should be in the films, but they are the ones who haven't got a clue about real SF. One of the reasons I, Robot isn't classic SF is summed up by its star, "It's more than science fiction; it's a beautiful little art film wrapped in a big action movie," says Smith, 35. No...actually, being an art film wrapped in a big action movie makes it LESS than good Science Fiction, Will. (And why do we need to know his age..?) So should we call this movie 'I, Blockbuster' or 'Sigh, Robot'?
14 Jul 2004 MSNBC has an extensive and most interesting article on a book that looks fascinating, called "Digital People: From Bionic Humans to Androids" by Sidney Perkowitz, (professor of physics at Emory University). Check it out at Amazon (US or UK )
14 Jul 2004 While I don't want to list loads of I, Robot reviews, I will certainly include such as the NC Times, who compare it to BR in this way, "Too many bang-bang fireworks in the last third of the film gnaw at any tension built, though, and 'I, Robot'becomes more concerned with its visual wows than its storytelling techniques. For reference on how it's done properly, see 'Blade Runner,' where such synergy is masterful." Too right!
14 Jul 2004 Storm in a candlestick? City planning, financial profits and science fiction nightmares like Blade Runner? It is all about a stadium at Candlestick Point, as reported in The (SF) Examiner.
14 Jul 2004 In an article called 'Sacrificing Isaac', The East Bay Express pretty much sums up the reviews on I, Robot which some might describe as "a feature length cartoon commercial based on the title of an Isaac Asimov book".
13 Jul 2004 Sir Ridley's latest project this year has been "Kingdom of Heaven". Box Office Prophets has an article on it that starts off in glowing appreciation of Scott, but then turns a little cynical. Could this win an Oscar for best pic? Probably not. But then who really cares anyway?
13 Jul 2004 The name "Blade Runner" symbolises many things, but sometimes it is just plain abused. Given the society represented in the film, with people smoking pipes (of what?) and being based on a novel by PKD who experimented with many drugs, it must be being used in a negative way when "the law" used the name for their operation to pull up a load of pot plants. Perhaps they should put their efforts into stopping the really harmful drugs like Cocaine and Heroin instead of messing with mild drugs like Marijuana that are little different to alcohol and tobacco. It happened in North Carolina.
11 Jul 2004 East Valley Tribune (Arizona) has an article going a little wider than just an I. Robot review and with comments from Gregory Benford (one of my favourite authors). It points out that in BR, the replicants often seemed to have more passion for life than the humans.
01 Jul 2004 Rutger Hauer in Guinness commercialRemember Rutger Hauer as the iconic image of Guinness commercials back in the 80's? Many of you probably won't, but for all those who do look back on them fondly, you'll be interested to know that he has been asked to reprise the role as part of Guinness Extra Cold self-referincing ad campaign, (i.e. "cold" takes on classic Guinness ads). Check the ad out yourself. (If you need to go through the Guinness site's front door, you may need to check England for his ad.)

If you see a Blade Runner article not listed, please send me the link so I can add it.