Title: Blade Runner: The Final Cut – The 30th Anniversary Collector’s Edition
Special Features: Excellent
Revisiting The 30th Anniversary Collector’s Edition of Blade Runner the Final Cut, reminded me that some films seem to capture a genre better than other movies telling similar stories, in the different sub-genres of love stories told against differing backdrops there are several shining examples of what I mean. Against the backdrop of war. It’s Casablanca (1942) without a doubt, and for Westerns, there is little doubt, it’s Shane (1953). Moving along, for Action Adventure thrillers its any number of films that feature 007, James Bond, and for private detective crime thrillers, mysteries, or film noir, the titles that come to mind is John Huston’s immortal The Maltese Falcon (1941), and Alfred Hitchcock’s equally masterful North By Northwest (1959).
I suggest that Blade Runner, spanning two genres, is as iconic a film as any I just listed, or maybe it’s because I spent the last few evenings re-familiarizing myself with this excellent 30th Anniversary Collectors Edition of this beautifully dark, fantastic, stylish, and phenomenal film again, and the experience left me a little jacked-up.. I mean, what can you say about Blade Runner that hasn’t already gotten said? If someone were to write a love letter to a movie, then this is that letter, and it got very well written.
For the film’s 30th Anniversary, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment brings Blade Runner back to Blu-ray in two more iterations — a 4-Disc Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy Combo Pack, and a 3-Disc Blu-ray Digibook edition. I have the digital version.
The collection contains multiple versions of the film including ‘The Final Cut’ and several extras; including the 1982 domestic and international versions, plus the 1992 Director’s Cut); the rare “Workprint Version” of the film alongside the mammoth 3 hour-plus the documentary “Dangerous Days”, and an all-new and quite extensive HD Stills Gallery.
The exhausting-looking amount of extra content seemed almost overwhelming at first, but I shrugged my shoulders and dived into the digital version on my 4K set to check it out, and my initial reaction turned out to be right on target: There is a tremendous amount of stuff here to explore. It wasn’t long before I got completely sucked into the splendid assortment of material included in the collection’s content. My 21st century binge-watch brain, a little to my surprise was hardly phased, and I dug right in to begin what looked like a lengthy trip. It was and it was well worth it; this collection offers a fascinating look at the film and its creation that provides an abundance of insights resulting in a much greater appreciation, and reverence-like respect for all the work and energy that goes into making a movie, any movie, but especially a movie as good as this.
I gained a greater understanding of what the phrase ‘movie magic’ really means, bring stories to life on the silver screen is only part of the story, The real magic happens behinds the scenes; a fact I think we sometimes forget. Watching the documentary Dangerous Days (an early title considered for the film), really made an impression about just what a daunting task modern moviemaking can be, the sheer scope of the multiple elements that need to come together at the same time in the same place boggles the mind. And it imparts a greater understanding of the myriad aspects that need to come together for it to happen.
The documentary paints a vivid picture of a man obsessed at the center of a whirlpool of insanity. The film also imparts a much greater understanding of the film-making process while it depicts an unflustered Ridley Scott, as a man consumed with one idea; making this movie come out the way he wants it to, and woe unto anyone who is not on board with that idea. This film is Ridley’s baby, and its a baby he loves. It’s a right kind of obsession though (if there is such a thing, which I got convinced it can be under the right circumstances and for the right reasons. It’s the sort of love/obsession the Beatles sang about in the song “All You Need Is Love” which I decided a long time ago meant all you need is a (hopefully healthy) obsession. The film creates a portrait of a complete control freak and artistic genius doing his thing, while it also offers a fascinating look at the man at work, his aesthetic sensibilities, and intellect wholly immersed in the task at hand. It goes on to show just how involved in everything Scott is, from the lighting to costumes and lets us know he understands the more increased importance of art direction in a genre film and more. The film defines the meaning of movie magic by leaving no doubt things could have turned out very differently without the help of a little luck.
As for the actual film, this is a beautiful ‘print’ of my favorite version of an outstandingly, amazingly, excellent movie. My recommendation is if you already have it watch it again and if you don’t, run right out and get it, because it’s worth the effort. This collection is the bomb.