Usually when I get a movie like this in for review I begin things with a bit of sarcastic fun. In this case I would write something like: Come on, it’s Blade Runner on Blu-ray. Get it. I reserve that sort of introduction for movies that are so huge, so well known, so monumentally influential that everyone has seen them, or at the very least, know about them. Blade Runner certainly falls into this category. Not only is it just one hell of a great movie, not only is it one of the very few films to do the cyberpunk genre any justice, not only did it star Harrison Ford at the height of his superstardom, but it’s visual style was so fresh, unique, and mind blowing that it was ripped off by countless films that followed it. Director Ridley Scott is a master of his craft and this, in my book, is his masterpiece. So when I tell you that this new 30th Anniversary Collector’s Edition is, hands down, the best version of Blade Runner to ever come out, that should be all the review you need. If that’s not enough for you to get this Blu-ray set, then I don’t know what it will take to convince you. But hey, I’ve got a job to do so I might as well get to it.
Blade Runner is set in the near future where mankind has managed to make a robot slave labor force that is so perfect as to be indistinguishable from humanity. Because they are both hard to spot and rather upset at their lot in life (i.e. they only live for four years and they get all the dirty jobs) they are kept off world to keep them in line. If they do come back to earth then it’s the job of a special branch of the police called Blade Runners to hunt them down and exterminate them on sight.
Harrison Ford plays the “number one Blade Runner” who is forced out of his self-imposed retirement by the cops to find four androids, or “skin jobs,” who came back to earth and has already stated killing folks. And … OK, just in case you have never seen this movie, I’m going to leave the plot synopses at that. For God’s sake, do yourself a huge favor and watch this film. This is sci-fi done right. It’s worth the price of admission just to see this incredibly thought out and visualized world. Add to that a strong performance by Harrison Ford and an incredible performance by Rutger Hauer as the deadly leader of the androids. What could have been a one note take of a murderous machine on a rampage instead is nuanced, layered, and full of pathos. Both of these actors bring their A Game here and it really shows. So yeah, watch this movie already. See it for the original (at the time) story, the breathtaking world, the stellar acting, and the masterful direction.
What, do you need more? OK, the HD transfer of this movie is amazing. This movie looks simply incredible. You want a demo movie to show off your new High-Def home theater to dazzle your friends? Then you want these Blu-rays. They’re eye candy so sweet that it could send your brain into a diabetic coma. Take care when watching this movie.
Befitting such great an influential movie as Blade Runner, this new Blu-ray/DVD combo release from Warner Brothers is jam packed with goodness. First and foremost there are four, yes FOUR versions of this movie here. There’s the final cut that was done on 2007, the original theatrical version from 1982, the international cut also from 1982, and the first director’s cut from 1991. The final cut has commentary by director Ridley Scott, a commentary with the producers and screenwriters, and a third commentary tack with the visual guys such as the art director, special effects supervisors, production designer and more. Ridley Scott introduces all four versions of his movie. Wait, there is actually a fifth version of this movie that can also be found here. Well, sort of. It’s the workprint version that sort of leaked out years ago and was sort of the impetus for the first director’s cut. There’s even a twenty-eight minute doc on Blade Runner’s journey from the workprint to the final cut. Oh and if that’s not enough for you, there’s a huge, multipart documentary on the making of the movie that’s an impressive three and a half hours long. Now that’s truly impressive. In addition to the extras on the disc, there are some cool goodies to be had off of the four discs. There’s an Ultraviolent copy so you can watch it on your PC or mobile devices, a mini lenticel poster, a hardcover art book, and a small toy replica of the hovercars from the film. Now that’s a lot of extras.
So it should be obvious by now that this is THE version of this film to own. For the amazing transfer to HD, for the five different versions of this amazingly influential movie, for the four hours of extras, and hell, even for the little hovercar toy, you owe it to yourself to get this new Blu-ray box set. Consider it highly recommended and the very definition of the term, “must have.”
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