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Blade Runner: The Final Cut (DVD Review)

16 Dec, 2007 By: John Latchem

Blade Runner

Street 12/18/07
$20.97 two-DVD set, $34.99 four-DVD set, $78.92 five-DVD set (with collectible packaging), $39.99 five-disc HD DVD or Blu-ray ($99.98 with collectible packaging)
Rated ‘R' for violence and brief nudity.
Stars Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Edward James Olmos, Joanna Cassidy, Sean Young, Daryl Hannah.

All these new 25th anniversary Blade Runner releases are built around director Ridley Scott's new “Final Cut” of the classic future-noir film, which is available on its own in a two-disc set with the documentary Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner, a new three-hour retrospective.

As if that weren't enough, a four-disc set includes the final cut, the documentary, a bonus disc with more features, and another disc with three more versions of the movie — the 1982 theatrical cut, the international version and the 1992 special edition — offered together with seamless branching.

The film remains as visually stunning as it did when it was first released. The final cut, like the 1992 edition, strips from the film the narration that now seems like cheap exposition.

True collectors will want the five-disc Ultimate Collector's Edition set. It offers all of the above packed in an ultra-cool limited-edition Deckard briefcase, plus a letter from Scott, a chrome origami unicorn, a Spinner police hovercar replica, photographs from the film and, exclusive to this set, a work print of the film.

The HD DVD and Blu-ray disc configurations are the same as the DVD, but the high-def versions are offered only as a five-disc “Complete Collection” with or without the briefcase.

All the different versions should thrill film buffs, who will love the chance to compare all the versions borne from Scott's 25-year reconstruction process, which is detailed in the featurette “All Our Variant Futures.”

The final cut includes several commentaries from Scott and various crew members, while the work print has a commentary from a Blade Runner historian.

As a special treat, the deleted scenes are packaged as somewhat of an alternate version in itself, complete with more insightful Deckard narration.With so many versions out there now, hopefully everyone will be satisfied — so we can finally close the case on this classic once and for all.

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