I virtually ignored “Blade Runner” when it originally hit theaters in 1982 and I pretty much have been kicking myself in the ass for such a lapse in movie-going judgment ever since watching it when I got my first VCR in 1985 and somehow managed to hotwire it to a 15-year-old hand-me-down remoteless color (barely) TV. Even with such suckass “this picture has been modified to fit your screen” quality and mono sound, I sat enthralled by it so seriously that I rewound it and watched it in its entirety immediately.
I’ve seen a couple of the six different versions about a half dozen times since on various small screens. Sure the quality of the presentation has been better on DVD, but that’s just succeeded in making me kick myself even harder for being one of the many who stayed away from the theaters during its original release and helped qualify the landmark visionary classic masterpiece as a box office dud.
So it should be no surprise that I wasted little time getting my long-bruised backside into a seat at the Landmark Theatres across the street from the Westside Pavilion — the only place “Blade Runner: The Final Cut” is being screened in L.A. This afternoon from my seat fourth row center I said show me what I’ve long been missing and wanting, Ridley. Bring it! And it was brung.
How good was it? Pffft. It was brilliant! It was stupendomagnifitasticalicousome. But beyond exceeding every expectation and ounce of respect I had for it as a creative enterprise, seeing it unspool across a big screen was like getting a chance to go back in time and right a long-standing wrong. As if I was finally able to straighten out that punk of an idiot that long-ago summer who decided that waiting three hours in line for “ET” was far more worthwhile.
So without dwelling on it too much let’s just say I got a little emotional when the opening credits and intro faded to black and the Vangelis score kicked in atop those first mesmerizing scenes of the infernal skyline of “Los Angeles, 2019” larger than I’d ever seen it before — the way the film was and is meant to be seen, unless you make the same mistake I did.