kottke.org posts about Harrison Ford
You may have heard by now that Ridley Scott has signed on to "direct and produce a new installment of Blade Runner." Nobody seems to know if it's a prequel or sequel, but I imagine either way, Harrison Ford will be around for a paycheck if there's a role for him. It's often said that Hollywood is out of ideas, but this is a perfect project for Ridley Scott whose next film, Prometheus, is a "cousin" of the Alien franchise.
If it seems I'm not giving this story the proper respect, it's because I only saw Blade Runner once while [Redacted because it's too long of a story for the throwaway sentence at the end of a post. You'll have to trust it was less than ideal cinematic viewing conditions.].
If you need a reminder of Harrison Ford's ability to play Indiana Jones after nearly 20 years on the shelf, it comes in the movie's opening scene. Indy is roughly extracted from a car and tumbles to the ground. We see him stumble towards his trademark hat with that walk, a graceful stuttering step, wary of booby traps even on solid ground. Even though the camera shows us only his boots, it's unmistakably Indiana Jones.
That walk is also a signal that Lucas and Spielberg didn't screw this whole thing up...aside from the goofy film title (although having seen the movie, anything else would have ruined the surprise). They didn't take the bait offered by Casino Royale or The Bourne Ultimatum and attempt to shoehorn Dr. Jones into a frenetic, circa-2008 thrill-ride. Oh, there were thrills alright and plenty of swashes were buckled, but this was an action/adventure movie straight out of the 80s. Safe territory for Lucas and Spielberg perhaps, but for someone who believes that the best 80s action adventure movies have something to teach contemporary filmmakers (#1 of a long list: Don't make the special effects the star), the film was a thoroughly enjoyable territory in which to spend an evening. (thx to nextnewnetworks for the ticket hookup)
They don't make 'em like they used to. Sort of. According to Wikipedia, there are seven different versions of Blade Runner, from a 113-minute workprint version shown to test audiences in early 1982 to the "Final Cut" supervised by director Ridley Scott and released in late 2007. I saw the latter version1 and with the exception of Rachael's giant shoulder pads and the slower pacing, the whole thing seemed surprisingly contemporary (or not-too-dated at least). The film has aged well, like a fine wine.
 Which I watched in HD on a large TV...a fantastic way to view this beautifully cinematic film. I think this is what David Lynch is taking about when he says that you shouldn't watch movies on a "fucking telephone". ↩
Title of the upcoming Indiana Jones film: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.
Action films tend not to age well. Raiders is a happy exception. Expertly paced, a trait not shared by many contemporary films, action or otherwise.