Blade Runner: Director’s Cut

Dom Robinson reviews

Blade Runner: Director’s Cut
Distributed by
Warner

      Cover

    • Cat.no: D 012905
    • Cert: 15
    • Running time: 112 minutes
    • Year: 1982
    • Pressing: 1999
    • Region(s): 2, PAL
    • Chapters: 36 plus extras
    • Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0 (Dolby Surround)
    • Languages: English, French, Italian
    • Subtitles: 10 languages available
    • Widescreen: 2.35:1 (Panavision)
    • 16:9-enhanced: Yes
    • Macrovision: Yes
    • Disc Format: DVD 5
    • Price: £15.99
    • Extras : Scene index (almost!)

    Director:

      Ridley Scott

    (1492: Conquest of Paradise, Alien, Black Rain, G.I. Jane, Legend, Thelma and Louise, White Squall)

Producer:

    Michael Deeley

Screenplay:

    Hampton Fancher and David Webb Peoples

(based on the novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” by Philip K. Dick)

Music:

    Vangelis

Cast:

    Rick Deckard: Harrison Ford (Air Force One, American Graffiti, Clear And Present Danger, Devil’s Own, Force 10 From Navarone, Frantic, The Frisco Kid, The Fugitive, The Indiana Jones Trilogy, Legends of the Fall, The Mosquito Coast,Patriot Games, Presumed Innocent, Regarding Henry, Sabrina, Six Days Seven Nights, Witness, Working Girl)
    Roy Batty: Rutger Hauer (Blind Side, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Eureka, The Hitcher, Hostile Waters, Ladyhawke, The Legend of the Holy Drinker, Salute of the Jugger, Split Second, Surviving The Game, Voyage, Warlock, TV: Lexx, Merlin)
    Rachael: Sean Young (Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Dune, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Fatal Instinct)
    Pris: Daryl Hannah (Awakenings, The Best Intentions, Dune, The Exorcist 1 & 2, Flash Gordon, The Gingerbread Man, Judge Dredd, The Seventh Seal, Until the End of the World)

Blade Runneris the occupation given to Harrison Ford, who plays Rick Deckard,assigned to track down and ‘retire’ genetically-made criminal replicants,although their only crime is wanting to become human. After bumping offmany of them, including the acrobatic Pris (Daryl Hannah), he’s setto meet his match in the finale against Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer).

It’s November 2019 and when he’s not partaking of the noodles in theChinatown district of 21st Century Los Angeles, Deckard goes in search of thetruth and meets Rachael (Sean Young, on a par with Lorraine Braccofor “Worst Actress Ever”), for a real flesh-on-metal experience.

This director’s cut changes a few things from the original, released in 1982,most notably removing the voiceover from Deckard throughout the film (althoughit would’ve been nice to see Warner include this as an audio commentary track!),it loses the upbeat finale, enhances the romance between Deckard and Rachaeland includes a new “unicorn” sequence which lends weight to the theory thatDeckard, himself, may be a replicant.


Sumptuous visuals and expert direction from Ridley Scott call for a perfect,artifact-free anamorphic picture. Well, we got halfway there. It’s anamorphic,but looks grainy throughout with artifacts. Also, as Warner like to underscanthe ratio of their widescreen titles, it looks wider than it should and I’mleft with black bars all round the picture, with no chance of zooming infurther to lose these.

Like the video though, it is presented in the original widescreen ratio of2.35:1 and this is the only ratio in which any UK home version of this titlehas been available, unlike the pan-and-scanned TV broadcasts which lookreally dreadful. The average bitrate is 5.11Mb/s, occasionally peaking over7Mb/s.

The sound is presented in the original Dolby Surround soundtrack – the sameas the Region 1 release before you rush out to check – but why wasn’t theopportunity seized to remastered a new Dolby Digital 5.1 version?The Vangelis soundtrack is ethereal and would normally send a shiverdown your spine, but on this disc it’s way too quiet with no explanation why.


Extras :Chapters :One of Warner’s strengths is the number of chapters. Here we have 36 overthe near-2hour running which is perfectly adequate. However, what isn’t isthe chapter selection scene which gives you nine choices, requiring you toseek out the rest yourself! Languages/Subtitles :English, Italian and French in Dolby Surround. Subtitles are available inten languages: English (and for the hard of hearing), Italian (and for thehard of hearing), Dutch, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Romanian andBulgarian. Menu :A static and silent menu with nothing but the Warner Brothers logo, plusselections to choose the language or visit the laughable scene selectionscreen.


Blade Runner: Director’s Cut is a missed opportunity. There’s so muchthat the cast and crew should have to say about this film, but not a jot isincluded here. Avoid for now and hope that a collector’s edition is releasedeventually.

If you must buy this, get it second-hand.FILM CONTENT : ***½PICTURE QUALITY: **½SOUND QUALITY: **½EXTRAS: 0——————————-OVERALL: **

Review copyright © Dominic Robinson, 2000.

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Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.
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