BLADE RUNNER is Slow and Boring. So What?

download (3)Saying you didn’t like Blade Runner doesn’t make you dumb, but it doesn’t make you smart, either. Observing that you think it’s slow and boring isn’t some shocking, startling, taboo-breaking rebel action. Yes. Blade Runner is slow-paced.

Paul M. Sammon’s fine making-of book about Blade Runner includes the point that one reason the movie didn’t gain the audience it deserved is because it’s boring.

Yes.

Blade Runner is slow-paced and boring.

So is Citizen Kane. So is 2001: A Space Odyssey. So  is Romero’s Dawn of the Dead. Yes, it is. So is Aliens. Yes, it is. I’ll pause while you decide if you’re going to move along or stick around and get some educatin’.

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All of these and more are slow and boring IF you’re not receptive to their pacing.

The same folks who complain that Blade Runner is boring like movies like The Avengers and Pacific Rim. They prefer fast-paced movies. They never seem to grasp that a preference for a faster pace is not a sign that they are more intelligent or more Street than those who prefer a slower pace sometimes.

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Pacing is determined by the needs of the story, the genre, and especially the budget, and the need to make back the cash sunk into an Avengers or Pacific Rim.

A preference for a faster pace doesn’t make you dumb, but it doesn’t make you smart, either.

OK, I had to get that off my chest. It BOTHERS me.

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They should have used Joanna Cassidy in more scenes.

Very few movies I know about were altered by the studio to slow down the pace. Studios like fast-paced movies with shorter running times–lots more fill and spill, sell tickets, get ’em in and then get ’em out, sell MORE tickets. A movie perceived as slow-paced is a problem to critics and audiences and the studio; I’ve yet to see a movie criticized for having a fast pace, in large part because pace becomes a problem when one perceives a movie as too slow. That’s more about interesting and compelling storytelling than it is about the length of the movie or the length and number of scenes. Long movies with compelling scenes feel right, whatever their other problems.

The Ridley Scott movie that made me most conscious of pacing and storytelling was KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. The theatrical cut bored the hell out of me because we seemed to be whipping through the story, like we were being rushed through a museum minutes before closing time. Years later I saw the longer cut, thinking I’d bail once I got a sense of what was changed, and the longer movie was involving and seemed shorter than the first version.

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That’s what happens when you are with a movie, when the storytelling is appropriate.

I’ve got nowhere else to go with this. I’m just annoyed with people who like shit like EVENT HORIZON and half-assed good tries like DARK CITY but think observing that Blade Runner is slow is a middle finger to hipsters who don’t REALLY like Blade Runner, they just think it’s cool to like it.

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Man, they should have used her in more scenes.

Some of us just like slow movies sometimes, and we appreciate the slow and sometimes boring Blade Runner because it has pleasures you just can’t get in a freakin’ superhero movie.

I’m getting crotchety as I get closer to my birthday.

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If you keep saying “He’s a replicant!” I’m letting him go.

 

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