New movie releases this week include Katherine Heigl’s return to the big screen, plus The Promise, Truman, and more
Matthew Lickona 6 p.m., April 21
Two of the more socially conscious of cinematic genres — science fiction and the detective story — have been mated to produce a future-generation Los Angeles (A.D. 2019) that looks like Tokyo or Hong Kong gone to seed. The detective work is somewhat scamped, except for a good scene (echoing Antonioni's Blow-Up) involving a computerized photo scanner and enlarger. And several nostalgic throwbacks to Bogart’s heyday simply misfire: the hard-boiled, first-person narration (eliminated in the re-released “director's cut”); the Venetian-blind shadows; the Joan Crawford hairdo and fashions on the female lead. The sci-fi elements are more fully elaborated, but aren't always sure-fire either: the topography of the cityscapes often seems as flat and jumbled as a Cubist painting, and even the tightest of shots is apt to be busied up with reflections, moving lights, colored mist. With Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, and Sean Young; directed by Ridley Scott. [This review refers to the 1982 theatrical cut. The final cut, of course, contains the full-length unicorn dream.] 2007.