Wednesday, December 05, 2007

More On Blade Runner "Final Cut"

Blade Runner shot
This is a follow-up on the Blade Runner DVD set, which I ran out and bought the day of release -- a singular event for me.

So far I have watched the "Final Cut", which is similar enough to the "Director's Cut" that casual viewers will not notice the difference. Sure enough some continuity fixes are in place, as itemised at Wikipedia. There's additional and modified dialogue which fans will notice right away. But non-obsessives will not see what the fuss is about.

I have corrected my previous article where I claimed there was an extra scene. I was misled, as others were, by the new short clip of two dancers at Taffey Lewis'. But it's not a full scene at all.

The only major change is that the unicorn dream sequence is now not a dream and instead represented as a memory. This definitely impacts some of the interpretations of the film.

The soundtrack is now in Dolby 5.1 but there is no option for 2-channel sound, which sucks when listening on only two (great) speakers.

There are no fewer than three commentaries, so one must really watch the film 9 times to get through all the variations in the tin. (Since the work print has a commentary too!)

Disk Two contains a three-and-a-half hour (!) documentary entitled "Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner", which interviews all of the main participants and includes lots of so-far unseen footage, screen tests, etc. All of this is done in a smooth integrated fashion. I have no idea how much of this duplicates info in the commentaries, and likely will never watch the film enough times to find out.

There are many revealing insights, such as the fact that the original screen-writer Hampton Fancher refused to write in a sex scene between Deckard and Rachael, this being the straw that broke the camel's back and led to him being replaced by David Peoples. Though this scene was filmed (we get snippets), it thankfully saw the cutting room floor. What was a horrible irony for Fancher, to get booted over a change that never saw the light of day!

One of the commentaries includes both Peoples and Fancher... can't wait to hear that one.

For further reference, the definitive Blade Runner site is BRmovie.


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