Collecting four different cuts of the film, the Blade Runner 30th Anniversary Collector’s Edition arrives on Blu-ray looking and sounding incredible and loaded with bonus material – including a toy flying car!
Along with the concept spinner car and action Lenticular still, the set includes 2007’s The Final Cut edition, the 1982 Original Theatrical Cut, the 1982 International Cut, and the 1991 Director’s Cut. Fans of the film will also enjoy a 72-page booklet that features behind-the-scenes photos from the film, poster art and never-before-seen sketches from director Ridley Scott.
The set features more than 10 hours of bonus material including a photo gallery with more than 1000 images, the Dangerous Days documentary, a work print feature version, and more – including commentary and a look at Philip K. Dick.
The wealth of bonus material and collection of all the different versions of the film make it worth the purchase price – even if you own Blade Runner in one of its past release formats.
Although I am not a diehard fan of Blade Runner (I only owned one version of the film on DVD before getting this), there is no questioning the fact that it is one of the greatest sci-fi films ever made and a cornerstone of the genre.
The movie’s ending and true nature of its main character has been debated since it was released in 1982 and the film continues to hold up against today’s bloated CGI heavy sci-fi outings. In fact, the film’s use of production design, lighting and noir still feel advanced compared to some of Hollywood’s latest summer blockbusters.
Based on Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Blade Runner was directed by Scott (with a screenplay by Hampton Fancher and David Webb Peoples), and stars Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, a chilling Edward James Olmos, M. Emmet Walsh, Daryl Hannah, Brion James, Joe Turkel, and Joanna Cassidy.
Trying to stay spoiler free in the review, Blade Runner is set in 2019, but at times feeling like it is straight out of a 1940’s hard-boiled Humphrey Bogart detective film. The plot follows former cop Rick Deckard (Ford) as he is brought back into his old “Blade Runner” division for one last hunt following escape of several Nexus 6 model replicants who are now believed to be in Los Angeles. Deckard was one of the best Blade Runners – who were responsible for “retiring” the replicants.
Under the supervision of his old boss Bryant (M. Emmet Walsh) and saddled with officer Gaff (Olmos), Deckard starts his investigation at Tyrell Corporation where he meets Tyrell (Turkel) and his assistant Rachael (Young) – a new model of replicant who is programed to believe she is human due to fake memories implanted into her consciousness. Despite his dislike of replicants, Deckard is drawn to Rachael and the two quickly strike up a relationship.
He also learns just how dangerous hunting these replicants is going to be due to the violent nature of them – especially their leader Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer). The other replicants include Zhora (Cassidy) and Pris (Hannah) and Leon (James). Deckard’s hunt of the replicants puts him in the fight of his life as he crosses paths with Batty’s plans to meet his creator. It also shakes Deckard’s own beliefs in who he is to the core and possibly changes him forever.
Blade Runner moves at a slow, but deliberate pace. It takes the time to soak in all of the noir influence that Scott fills into each frame of film. While the pace can drag from time to time, the story and characters are so rich you never get bored.
Scott also puts the action right into the audiences’ face- which makes action sequences incredible and epic to watch. Much like he did with Alien, Scott crafts a movie that has some problems, but is easily one of the greatest sci-fi films ever created.
On Blu-ray, the various cuts of the film all look and sound incredible, but it is up to you to decide which is the best version of the story. They are all worth taking the time to watch and see the tweaks made to the characters and the plots. Even if you own a previous version of Blade Runner, this 30th Anniversary Collector’s Edition is well worth the upgrade.
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