Blade Runner - The Final Cut (Two-Disc Special Edition) (2007)

Actors: Harrison Ford
Directors: Ridley Scott
Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Original recording remastered, Restored, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
Language: English, German, Japanese
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Region: 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
Number of discs: 2
Studio: Warner Home Video
Run Time: 117 minutes

Disc One
Restored and remastered with added & extended scenes, added lines, new and cleaner special effects and all new 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio. Also includes:

  • Commentary by Ridley Scott
  • Commentary by executive producer/co-screenwriter Hampton Fancher and co-screenwriter David Peoples; producer Michael Deely and production executive Katherine Haber
  • Commentary by visual futurist Syd Mead; production designer Lawrence G. Paull, art director David L. Snyder and special photographic effects supervisors Douglas Trumbull, Richard Yuricich and David Dryer

Disc Two
A feature-length authoritative documentary revealing all the elements that shaped this hugely influential 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 controversial legacy and place in Hollywood history.



It may be a quarter of a century old, but Blade Runner still seems like the future. Whereas other movies like Logan's Run seem like, let's say, a 'Seventies version of the future, Blade Runner hasn't dated at all. Sure, there's a haircut here (Johanna Cassidy's in particular) or an outfit there which looks dated today, but Blade Runner has held up remarkably well.

Part of its success is that it is rooted in the now, and doesn't go in for any far-out zipper suit vision of the future. That plus the special effects are still spectacular, having a solidity about them that is lacking in many CGI effects. (One wonders how the film would be done today - if at all, that is.)

A box office failure upon its release, Blade Runner has gone on to be one of the most divisive science fiction movies of all time. Only 2001: A Space Odyssey tends to split audience opinion in two more than it does. Like all genuine cult movies, you either get it or you don't. If you do "get" it, then no explanation is necessary. If you don't, then no explanation is possible. We fell in passionately love with the movie upon its original theatrical release back in 1982 and could never understand why others weren't as enamored of the film as we were. But either you let yourself be carried away by the film's stunning visuals and music, or you get bogged down in a literalness of plot mechanics. "But what is it about?" Does it matter? Look at those fantastic opening shots of a futuristic L.A., man!

A fellow critic has likened the film to poetry - and that is true. If the movie catches you in the wrong mood, then it is most likely to disappoint. The film is a meditation upon themes such as mortality and as we grow older and death becomes more of a reality we better understand Rutger Hauer's soliloquy towards the end of the movie and the dilemma faced by the expiry-dated Replicants: "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain." (Much of it was ad libbed by Hauer incidentally.) A more apt summation of human transience we cannot think of.

THE DISCS: This contains the so-called final cut of the movie. It doesn't differ that much from the previous director's cut version. The voice-over narration has been dropped and the unlikely happy ending excised. For this version the special effects have been spruced up.

Nothing major though in the line of what Lucas did with his special edition version of Star Wars: there are no unlikely CGI characters inserted into the action. Instead some wires from which a spinner craft is dangling has been removed, the woman crashing through several panes of glass now is actually Johanna Cassidy and not a stunt woman who doesn't look like her at all.

A backdrop to the dove being released by Rutger Hauer has been changed. Anal purists will fret and fume, but the movie stands improved by these minor changes.

The documentary on disc two alone is worth the price of admittance. It contains Dangerous Days (the screenplay's original title), a new making-of documentary that is actually longer than the movie itself. All the principal cast and creative members are interview, and since no one has any suck up and talk nice clauses in their contracts the talks are rather candid even though tempers have obviously cooled down over the past 25 years.

Harrison Ford makes no secret of the fact that he didn't like working on the film because of Ridley Scott's hands-off approach towards his main cast (Scott seemed more concerned with the elaborate sets and production designs - no surprise there!).

There are also loads of fascinating deleted footage featured and even if you count yourself as a Blade Runner obsessive and know-it-all, the documentary is still well worth watching. It should also be made compulsory viewing at film schools; in particular the segments on special effects and the model work are fascinating and should serve as a missive to today's young film-makers who are enamored of CGI. Director Ridley Scott also provides an interesting audio commentary as always.





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