Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Blade Runner - The Final Cut (2007)

Watched my DVD of Blade Runner - The Final Cut yesterday, bought the 5 disc set of what will now hopefully be the last time this film gets a DVD release.
As a film the changes were minimal, I spotted the odd change of dialogue or the odd quick new shot but for the most part it was more of a re-master of the print, what I did notice and it can be seen in these grabs is the film now has more of a blue tint to the scenes which I'm not sure I'm 100% on, the Tyrell building has always been this rusty coloured brown, like a Mayan pyramid but now it's whole look has changed, same as the shots in the police headquarters, the colour palette which was there seems to have been washed away mainly in favour of the blue again. And in the street scene, bottom pic of the stills below, the road sign/chevrons have gone from yellow to more of a green tint.
The first close-up shot we see of the Tyrell building windows with the elevator cars seems to hold for a bit longer before pulling in to show the closer view of the windows.

Dialogue changes now explains that 2 Replicants were killed trying to break in to the Tyrell Corporation as opposed to 1 in previous versions, though what is strange is the same scene in the Work Print version on disc 5 also states 2 were killed, so it went from 2 down to 1 in all the versions we've seen up to now, and then back up to 2. It does explain that it was the writers strike in the early 80 that put pay to the Replicant called Mary, they couldn't write any lines for the actress hired so the left her out. One continuity that still remains is Deckard's bloody nose as he buys the bottle of booze after he's killed Zhora, the blood on his nose is from the fight with Leon that he's yet still to have in the alleyway. If you read Future Noir it explains that this whole sequence had a different editorial order originally, thus once changed it created some continuity errors.

Regarding the death of Zhora, when I first heard that they were using Joanna Cassidy for re-shoots of this scene to replace the dodgy wigged stunt woman in previous versions I feared it would stand out like a sore thumb, I'm pleased to say it's been so expertly done that I don't think the average viewer would even notice a change. The visual FX are still some of the most beautiful optical FX and miniature work to grace a Science Fiction movie, and are more memorable than many FX today.

The one shot that bugged me like many people even from the first viewing was the shot as the dove flies up into the sky after Roy's death, I'm pleased to say that the replacement shot is very sympathetic to the original Matte Paintings and FX and fits in very well.

Film and changes aside, what really is the highlight of the box set is the Dangerous Days documentary, with interviews with all the major cast and crew, like most film classics from this period, it wasn't an easy task bringing Ridley Scott's vision to the screen, budget and schedule problems etc... producers trying to replace the director, crews not getting along with the director who wasn't from their country, very much like Lucas with Star Wars and James Cameron with Aliens, yet through all this turmoil and invention of new techniques came a masterpiece. Now these days they throw $300 million at a film like Pirates of the Caribbean 3 and all we get is overblown boredom.


Niel Bushnell said...

I love it when you do these comparrison images. I'm sure its very time consuming for you to put together but I for one can't get enough of them.

Dylan said...

There's a couple of changes that bug me a bit in the FC, they seem to have added some radio chatter to the spinner sections which sort of gets in the way of the Vangelis music but it might just be because i'm so used to the dc.I don't like that nail going into the crappy rubber hand either. I'm not sure on the colours yet either it seems darker that the other versions.
Dangerous Days was amazing though I love all the unseen footage throughout it and also the stuff on the featurettes dvd. I know it's geeky but I would love to see the 4hr rough cut they talk about as there are loads of shots in the documentaries that don't appear in the extended and deleted scenes. One in particular stood out when Deckard is putting his finger back in place in the bathroom there's a body in the bath behind him. i wasn't sure whether it was one of Sebastian's toys or Pris. All the extra fx shots were cool too.

Andrew Glazebrook said...

Niel if you haven't bought this yet it's well worth buying the 2 disc version for around £12 even if it is just for the documentary.
Dylan I was really disappointed by the work print, like you say there's loads of cool stuff in the documentary that wasn't in the work print, I'd rather have seen a much more rough and ready early cut including this stuff.
Some nice discarded FX shots and some you can see why they left out, also nice to see a clear still of the Millennium Falcon and they outlined the shape of the Dark Star model that was used as a building too, non were original models, rather replicas that Bill George had made for fun. I believe that some of the bigger building models with fire escapes etc... gor reused in Ghostbusters a few years later.

allen said...

Great post. I'm getting my copy this weekend...hopefully.

I. N. J. Culbard said...


I have to have the 5 disc set. I must have the 5 disc set. I need the 5 disc set.

Michael G Clark said...

I have to get this, not just because I remember the buzz I felt watching it in an empty cinema in 1982 (Ford didn't have a whip so hardly anyone watched it), but to find out what the hell the snake seller says.

Not sure about the colour pallete now though, the rusty tones really set the mood for the movie.

Moonwatcher said...

Hopefully I'll be getting this for Christmas.

Andrew Glazebrook said...

Make sure you get the 5 disc set !