Sunday, December 30, 2007

I Don't Dream Of Electric Anything

Mr. Scoop today purchased a big metal suitcase. It did not contain drugs. Instead, it contained five DVDs of The Blade Runner Ultimate Collection. Ridley Scott's take on Phillip K. Dick's future is both depressing and yet compelling; Shinjuku trying to burn through Los Angeles. I've always been fascinated by the world they created for the movie and we watched the restored director's cut this evening. It leaves little doubt that Harrison Ford's character is a replicant in the end (whoops, "spoiler". Sorry.). It also took me down memory lane as I remembered how I first saw Blade Runner, along with other science fiction movies I got to watch when they were first run in the theaters.

When I was wee, Dad took us to see Blade Runner at the local drive-in theater. Dad was a cheap bastard (God rest his soul and all that) as far as movies went, but he'd pony up the cash if he deemed it worthy science fiction. Not everything was a stellar choice. For every TRON, there was a sucking Black Hole (not just reserved for Mom's perceived spending capacity anymore kids!). Other times, the decisions were based on his childhood nostalgia. I didn't end up really having an opinion about Star Trek: The Motion Picture one way or the other. There was a bald chick and that was kind of weird, but otherwise I was mostly happy just to get out of the house. I recall enjoying The Wrath Of Khan much more. It had that dude from Fantasy Island in a chest rug and it was years before I wanted to hit Kirstie Alley with something heavy on a repeated basis. Ah, childhood.

But, sometimes he made great decisions.

We stood in a line that went around two city blocks and didn't move for what felt to my eight-year old self like hours for The Empire Strikes Back. At that tender age, I felt pissed off and betrayed when the movie didn't seem to have a definitive ending. Han was trapped in carbonite. Vader talked all kind of smack to Luke: what the hell was all that "I am your father shit" about? That couldn't be true. The good guys didn't seem to really win at the end and it blew my elementary school sensibilities. However, my now thirtysomething self views it as the best of all the Star Wars movies. Dad must've been on to something.

I was so consumed with my dissatisfaction with the ending of The Empire Strikes Back that I ended up buying the novelization of Return of the Jedi from my school's "Troll Book Club" before we ever went to see it. It not only spoiled the movie for me (before I ever knew what a "spoiler" was), but for my dad. Ultimately, we decided that the only good Ewok was a crispy Ewok. Long live the Empire.

And Luke and Leia were brother and sister? WTF? Jesus...


But, getting back to Blade Runner:

1. It was the first movie that made me feel bad for "the bad guys". Pris and Roy were barely four years old. Sure they killed folks, but they were just kids for God's sakes.

2. The setting! I wanted then, as now, to live in that future city. Someday I'm going to visit Tokyo, man and when I do...I'll be average height. For once.

3. It wasn't Body Heat, the previous release at the summer drive-in outing the year before. No mom and dad - I did not fall asleep for the double feature. But I sure wish I did.

Happy Holidays all. Enjoy your time and your memories with your families.

3 comments:

Ari said...

Blade Runner was a formative movie for me as well. I went not with any parental types, but with my best friend (we were both 12). Of course we were admitted to a rated R movie -- it was the early 80's. I still love it, and the vision of Harrison Ford contained within, to this day. Today I'd just as soon not look at Harrison Ford, or Calista Flockhart either.

Lance Manion said...

I sometimes dream of Electric Barbarella...

LM

PS. Such a sweet, sweet Duran Duran reference reference.

Amandarama said...

"I knew when I first saw you
On the showroom floor
You were made for me
I took you home
And dressed you up in polyester
Princess of my dreams
Emotionless and cold as ice
All of the things I like
The way you look
The way you move
The sounds youre makin
In ultrachrome, latex and steel..."

"Electric Barbarella" by Duran Duran.

You know.

For the rest of us.

It's like Duran Duran predicted Real Dolls . Creepy. Especially since I had most of them pegged as gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that.