Here's an interesting comment on the TiVo Community board that compares the impact of Michael Mann and Ridley Scott as directors. (The main thread is devoted to the pilot episode of FX's "The Americans," which is quite a rocking show if you haven't seen it yet -- and if not, fear not, there's a mini-marathon this Friday that will get you caught up.)
[Mann] did Miami Vice and Ridley Scott did Blade Runner at pretty much the same time, and they both seemed very forward-looking. But Miami Vice today looks quaint and old-fashioned, whereas people are still imitating the look of Blade Runner.
Which to me makes Michael Mann somebody who had a vague notion of where the culture was going and did a brilliant job of shaking off some (but not all) of the deeply-embedded tropes of the day, and Ridley Scott a visionary who not only saw very clearly where the culture was going, but helped shape it.
Which isn't to say Michael Mann wasn't important in 1984. It just wasn't a lasting kind of importance. He rode the wave, which is more than most people ever accomplish. Ridley Scott WAS the wave.
I can see what the commenter is saying, and it's undeniable that the dystopian look of "Blade Runner" continues to exert influence, not just in "The Matrix" trilogy, but countless other sci-fi movies and TV shows.
At the same time, I look at Ridley Scott and Michael Mann, and I can't help but notice this comparison, which is much less favorable to Scott:
Michael Mann took The Last of the Mohicans, which I found completely unreadable, and made an epic movie -- gorgeous in cinematography, gripping in action, and smoldering in the acting.
Ridley Scott took Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, which is one of the better (but not best) books by trippy author Philip K. Dick, stripped it of virtually all intellectual content, and made a visually stunning but empty-headed movie.