Blade Runner (Five-Disc Complete Collector's Edition) (2007) Review
(More customer reviews)Due for re-release in December, this motion picture is one of the finest science fiction films of the 20th century. Part of this is because it projects a future that could be - the earth as a place with a ruined environment populated by people that couldn't or wouldn't make the jump to one of the more habitable off-world colonies. The other part is because the film questions what it means to be human, and explores the possibly unsatisfactory answers you might get if you could, like the replicants, hunt down your maker and ask him Why am I here? Why must my life end? I'll pretty much let Warner's press release do the talking from this point forward. Basically you have your choice of three different sets - 2-disc, 4-disc, and 5-disc. The discs are described as follows:
Disc 1 - Ridley Scott's All-New "Final Cut" Version of the film - Restored and remastered with added & extended scenes, added lines, new and cleaner special effects and all new 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio. Also included is commentary by Ridley Scott and a host of others that worked behind the camera.
Disc 2 - Documentary - Dangerous Days: Making of Blade Runner - A feature-length documentary revealing all the elements that shaped this cinema landmark. Cast, crew, critics and colleagues give a behind-the-scenes, in-depth look at the film from its literary roots and inception through casting, production, visuals and special effects to its legacy.
Disc 3 - 1982 Theatrical Version - The original that contains Deckard's narration and has Deckard and Rachel's (Sean Young) "happy ending" escape scene.
1982 International Version - Also used on U.S. home video, laserdisc and cable releases up to 1992. This version is not rated, and contains some extended action scenes in contrast to the Theatrical Version.
1992 Director's Cut - Omits Deckard's voiceover narration and removes the "happy ending" finale. It adds the famous "unicorn" sequence, a vision that Deckard has which suggests that he, too, may be a replicant.
Disc 4 - BONUS Disc "Enhancement Archive" - Eight featurettes, image galleries, radio interview with the author, and screen tests for the part of Rachel.
Disc 5 - Workprint Version - This rare version of the film is considered by some to be the most radically different of all the Blade Runner cuts. It includes an altered opening scene, no Deckard narration until the final scenes, no "unicorn" sequence, no Deckard/Rachel "happy ending," altered lines between Rutger Hauer and his creator Tyrell (Joe Turkell), alternate music and much more.
Also included is commentary by Paul M. Sammon, author of Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner and a featurette - "All Our Variant Futures: From Workprint to Final Cut".
2 Disc Edition : Discs 1-2
4 Disc Edition : Discs 1-4
5 Disc Edition : Discs 1-5
The downside of this 2-disc version is that you are only getting the Final Cut version of the film and the documentary disc. You won't get the bonus disc of featurettes, the disc of past releases, and the workprint version of the film. The upside is that the 5-disc version of the film has some expensive packaging and promotional material included that seems to really raise the price of the entire package.
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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.
Stills from Blade Runner (click for larger image)