The economy has gone to hell, but you can still afford to splurge on the latest in High Definition treats. The CHUD Home Entertainment Team has taken upon themselves to draft the Top 25 Blu-Rays released in Region A thus far. From the 1st of December until Christmas, we’ll count down to the greatest Blu-Ray release of all-time. Join us and marvel at the treasures of the 1080p set.
TITLE: Blade Runner
Director: Ridley Scott
Cast: Harrison Ford, Sean Young, Rutger Hauer, Daryl Hannah, Brion James, Joanna Cassidy, M. Emmet Walsh, Edward James Olmos
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WHY IT’S ON THE LIST
I came to Blade Runner late. I’d end up watching it as a teenager just because one of my favorite games of all time, Hideo Kojima’s Snatcher, rips the movie off wholesale, and after years of hearing it’s basically Blade Runner but Japanese, I needed to see the original.
It took me two years to watch it without falling asleep.
Yes, I was a dick as a kid, how did you know?
Either way, Blade Runner ended up being one of those films I would need to grow into. Despite the more action packed stories it would spawn, Blade Runner‘s an almost sedate affair, with a pacing that’s almost alien to what we know of film noir or science fiction. And make no mistake, it’s not a perfect film, and the older I get, the more holes start to become very, very visible. Chief among my gripes being the whole conceit about Replicants being impossible to distinguish from human except by the Voight-Kampff test. It’s a conceit you run with for the sake of the story, but a multinational corporation would most certainly keep better tabs on their dangerous, disposable assets than this. However, again, you let things like this slide because of one word that this entire set is steeped in: Ambition.
In its Final Cut form, Blade Runner is a film with its giant testicles slung over its shoulder from minute one. It expects you to buy into this world, this universe, whole-heartedly and let it tell its story as differently as it needs to. The Final Cut does not compromise itself attempting to please a crowd. It does not apologize for not being the action film its imitators would attempt to be. It does not apologize for allowing its cyborgs to be stunted, psychopathic children, and expecting us to have sympathy for them. It is a film that knows its different, that it is timeless, revels in it even.
And of course, it didn’t get to be that without a fight. The 5-Disc set of the Final Cut isn’t just a copy of one of the deepest, stunningly crafted pieces of filmic science fiction ever created, but a veritable bible on science fiction filmmaking in the modern age. Every challenge, creative decision, and pitfall of the filmmaking process is addressed, honestly and thoroughly. To absorb this set is to absorb the workings of an entire genre. And that’s without factoring in the numerous cuts of the film. At this point, it should be obvious that the Final Cut is the only version of the film one should ever need to set eyes on if you’re just watching the film. The other cuts are there for posterity more than anything, unless you really get that much of a kick listening to Harrison Ford belch out his narration like he swallowed the wrong pills at Carrie Fisher’s house. However, they all collectively represent steps of a creative process that would take 25 years to see through to its true form, which in itself represents a milestone in terms of an artist getting to see his vision realized to its utmost, and how the technology has advanced to the point where the tools employed to accomplish that goal, unlike most CG-laden sci-fi nowadays, is virtually invisible. On top of that, while aside from the workprint every cut of the film just plain looks and sounds utterly gorgeous, the color enhancement for the Final Cut makes a film that was already a stunner into a virtual candy store for the eyes.
There are still filmmakers coming out these days saying they were influenced by Blade Runner in some way. There will be new ones in years following who will say they were inspired by the journey as well, and this set will be responsible.
WHY DIDN’T IT RANK HIGHER?
Well, the bottom of the barrel ain’t gonna scrape itself: Put a gun to my head and tell me to badmouth Blade Runner on Blu Ray, I might void my everything in my pants while sputtering something about Dangerous Days and the rest of the bonus features being in Standard Def. Supposedly, this was due to production restrictions, which I believe since HD discs were relatively new when this hit. Still, it’s the one major mark against it.
THE BEST SUPPLEMENT
You mean, besides the 3 1/2 goddamn hours long documentary that somehow manages to dodge EVER regurgitating anything said in the FOUR commentary tracks (including the one recorded for the Workprint by a film historian, just because they fucking could), and the 6 HOURS of random featurettes and footage? Well, I guess besides that, I can mention my favorite, the Deck-A-Rep featurette which basically concludes with Ridley Scott calling you, in that special polite British way, a fucking cunthat if you still haven’t figured out Deckard’s a Replicant by the end of the Final Cut.
Lindsay Lohan: 2019
Dance naked on stage? No problem. Masturbate with a snake? No problem. Do a fifth Indiana Jones? Hell to the NO.
In retrospect, the club’s owners would come to grips with the fact that an Enter The Dragon motif probably wasn’t the smartest one to go with for a place where people would be on X.
“Oh, yeah, that’s a nice smile. Good, baby. Now, call me Mistah J. In a Brooklyn accent.”
Roy was already regretful enough in his final moments without realizing that Tyrell built him without a dick too.