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Average review score based on 24 user reviews
When Ridley Scott's cut of Blade Runner was finally released in 1993, one had to wonder why the studio hadn't done it right the first time--11 years earlier. This version is so much better, mostly because of what's been eliminated (the ludicrous and redundant voice-over narration and the phony happy ending) rather than what's been added (a bit more character development and a brief unicorn dream). Star Harrison Ford originally recorded the narration under duress at the insistence of Warner Bros. executives who thought the story needed further "explanation"; he later confessed that he thought if he did it badly they wouldn't use it. (Moral: Never overestimate the taste of movie executives.) The movie's spectacular futuristic vision of Los Angeles--a perpetually dark and rainy metropolis that's the nightmare antithesis of "Sunny Southern California"--is still its most seductive feature, an otherworldly atmosphere in which you can immerse yourself. The movie's shadowy visual style, along with its classic private-detective/murder-mystery plot line (with Ford on the trail of a murderous android, or "replicant"), makes Blade Runner one of the few science fiction pictures to legitimately claim a place in the film noir tradition. And, as in the best noir, the sleuth discovers a whole lot more (about himself and the people he encounters) than he anticipates.... With Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, Daryl Hannah, Rutger Hauer, and M. Emmet Walsh.
In celebration of Blade Runner's 25th anniversary, director Ridley Scott has gone back into post production to create the long-awaited definitive new version. Blade Runner: The Final Cut, spectacularly restored and remastered from original elements and scanned at 4K resolution, will contain never-before-seen added/extended scenes, added lines, new and improved special effects, director and filmmaker commentary, an all-new 5.1 Dolby® Digital audio track and more. Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Edward James Olmos, Joanna Cassidy, Sean Young, and Daryl Hannah are among some 80 stars, filmmakers and others who participate in the extensive bonus features. Among the bonus material highlights is Dangerous Days, a brand new, three-and-a-half-hour documentary by award-winning DVD producer Charles de Lauzirika, with an extensive look into every aspect of the film: its literary genesis, its challenging production and its controversial legacy. The definitive documentary to accompany the definitive film version.
Visually spectacular, intensely action-packed and powerfully prophetic since its debut, Blade Runner returns in Ridley Scott's definitive Final Cut, including extended scenes and never-before-seen special effects. In a signature role as 21st-century detective Rick Deckard, Harrison Ford brings his masculine-yet-vulnerable presence to this stylish noir thriller. In a future of high-tech possibility soured by urban and social decay, Deckard hunts for fugitive, muderous replicants - and is drawn to a mystery woman whose secrets may undermine his soul. This incredible 2-Disc Set features the definitive Final Cut of Ridley Scott's legendary Sci-Fi classic and the in-depth feature length documentary "Dangerous Days" and features all new 5.1 Audio.
The ambitious, enigmatic, visually-complex film is a futuristic film noir detective thriller with all its requisite parts - an alienated hero of questionable morality, a femme fatale, airborne police vehicles called "Spinners", dark sets and locations in a dystopic Los Angeles of 2019, and a downbeat voice-over narration. The film mixed in some western genre elements as well, and is thematically similar to the story in High Noon (1952) of a lone marshal facing four western outlaws.
The main character in Blade Runner is a weary, former police officer/bounty hunter who is reluctantly dispatched by the state to search for four android replicants (robotic NEXUS models) that have been created with limited life spans (a built-in fail-safe mechanism in case they became too human). [Dustin Hoffman and many other actors were considered for the role of the title character, blade-runner Deckard.] The genetically-engineered renegades have escaped from enslaving conditions on an Off-World outer planet. Driven by fear, they have come to Earth to locate their creator and force him to prolong their short lives.
The film's theme, the difficult quest for immortality, is supplemented by an ever-present eye motif - there are various VK eye tests, an Eye Works factory, and other symbolic references to eyes as being the window to the soul. Scott's masterpiece also asks the veritable question: what does it mean to be truly human? One of its main posters advertised the tagline: "MAN HAS MADE HIS MATCH - NOW IT'S HIS PROBLEM."
The film's screenplay (originally titled Dangerous Days and Android) by Hampton Fancher, and later supplemented by David Peoples, was based on science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick's 1968 novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
OK - I'm a huge Blade Runner fan, and I got this attractive 5-disc briefcase collector's set. Yes...it absolutely is cool, and why wouldn't a Blade Runner nut like myself not want one? It turns out that the original US theatrical release, and the "final cut" is all you really need. The other versions aren't that different. I was kind of hoping that in this ultimate collector's set, there would be a sort of Blade Runner Redux - some 3 hour version of the film with EVERYTHING put in. NOPE. But you DO get a hell of a lot of Blade Runner goodies here.
The special features...Read full review are indeed interesting, with a number of the outtakes and deleted scenes worked into the little documentaries. But it makes me feel that we aren't done yet with Blade Runner. I.E. There are screen tests of other actresses doing the parts of Rachel and Pris...then it says the tests done by Hannah and Young had the audio parts lost. So? Put 'em in anyway.
Really - if you're a fan about Blade Runner, this big-ass fancy collection can't disappoint. Although, the collector's set trinkets are kinda lame. The toy spinner is neat, I love the small (origami ??) unicorn. I don't see the point of the Syd Mead art cards and the little Harrison Ford 3-D action thing. I think this set could have been done up much better...but I don't know what fully remains from the original Blade Runner archive vaults, and what they're allowed to use. Mock versions of the replicant files seen in the movie would have been cool. Movie stills, or bios on everyone involved would have been neat.
I could be here all day. I'm happy with the Blade Runner collector's set...and I think every fan could design their own. I paid $50 USD to buy it and have it shipped. I'll only feel truly happy about aquiring this set if there are no more collector's sets, or versions of the film released....and this briefcase set IS the final chapter in the Blade Runner saga. Only time will tell.
I'll preface the rest of the writings by saying that this is easily one of my top five all-time films, so I might be a little biased...
Now that the "HD format wars" have pretty much been decided, I finally went out & got the Blu-ray version. I bought the standard DVD version when they first came out...
For the Blade Runner buff, this package absolutely can't be beat for a mass-marketed release. And let's face it, an edition of 103,000 at this price point is not "limited" (as in truly scarce)... But what's in the box is great: each of the releases of the film can be challenging enough to obtain separately, and to have the ones in here, in one place, is a godsend for someone who really wants to get the most out of this film. In part, because each version can actually lead you to think a little bit differently about some of the plot elements. The "Final Cut" in particular fixes some things up cosmetically without changing anything at all (like other re-releases - Star Wars IV for example).
The lenticular card and little spinner car are kind of neat inserts, but not as cool as the origami unicorn - an item more representative of the film's premise than anything else IN the package. All the art prints and video extras REALLY enhance the movie & expand upon it nicely. And the case! Very cool touch. In small letters by the handle: "Voight-Kampff" - all very, VERY relevant.
But there is a boxed (and truly limited) special edition out there with better inserts - an autographed screenplay copy, 8 lobby card replicas, a movie poster and a card-mounted film frame. All or some of which would have been really cool for inclusion in something like this "Ultimate" edition...
The movie: what I call "good" science fiction. Never overwhelming you with effects or technobabble, but instead imprinting a damn good philosophical allegory on a "futuristic" setting. Many points of interest, but the main plot thread examines artificial intelligence and what happens when that AI becomes self-aware, and what these "replicants" decide to do after discovering their artificially short life spans. The aspect that I liked most about the film was the minimal expository dialog - except in the release with Deckard's voice-over at the end. For the most part, the viewer is presented with a story that is largely as if you are seeing things unfold naturally. You are not so often told by a character what they are thinking or doing, or what their motive is - instead a lot is open to speculation. See how much speculation is out there on the internet - who is a replicant? Why all the references to eyes? - and you'll see what I mean. But that's what makes it special. This is one of those movies that leaves you thinking about the "bigger questions" it long after the movie's over. AND, it's one of those that you can watch several times and winnow out some new detail every time you see it - enhanced even more by the picture quality in this release.
About the HD versions (and I've read that they're both from the same encoding): Yeah, this is worth it! The visuals are amazingly better than prior releases. It also seems that it's been cleaned up and color corrected somewhat too. A must have version for fans/collectors, and still a highly recommended film for anyone who wants a thought-provoking, intelligent story told in an incredibly stunning (visually) way.
Definitely both thumbs up.
This is the long awaited Definitive Ultimate Collector's Edition of one of the most amazing Science fiction movies of our time and one of Harrison Fords best performances ever. It also includes Rutger Hauer's best ever screen performance. There are very fine performances by all of the other members of this all star cast of Ridley Scott's most under rated film. It includes all versions of the film, so no matter whether you like the original theatrical version with the classic "Detective story" style narration by Harrison Ford, the more inclusive and gory "European version" of the same that was released in limited form on Beta Hi-Fi in the states back in the eighties, or the Director's Cut, they are all there along with the new "Final Cut" version. Plus you get all of the cool extras with this package that would make any replicant or human very happy! I have been waiting for this for many years along with all of the other fans that have built, maintained and visited the Blade Runner websites. Thank you to all who put aside their differences to make this finally happen! This package is worth far more than the full retail price.