****/**** Image A Sound A Extras A+
starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos
screenplay by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples, based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
directed by Ridley Scott
by Walter Chaw The prototype for the modern science-fiction film, Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, through its seemingly endless iterations, through its growing cult of personality and a production history that's become as familiar as a Herzog shooting mythology, retains its ability to astonish as--along with John Carpenter's contemporaneous The Thing--the last hurrah for the non-CGI, in-camera effects piece. Tron, The Last Starfighter, and Firefox were destined to be the rule of the day at the expense of matte painters and model-makers, here working out puzzles like how to make a futuristic, mechanized advertising blimp appear to be shooting strobes through the glassed ceiling of the Bradbury. Indeed, it's almost impossible to watch Blade Runner now without taking its technical brilliance for granted. It looks like it was made in 2007 (particularly in its newest, digitized incarnation); with its lack of the bluescreen artifacts that plague many of its contemporaries, it's easy to think of a mainframe as the movie's author.