Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Time to Die... Again & In Newly Found Glory

Sometimes it's not about sharing what's new, but sharing what's best. In the case of Blade Runner, it's both 25 years old and in many respects very new; and it's unquestionably among the best.

In what must be one of the most anticipated releases of the DVD age, Blade Runner: Final Cut is being prepared for release, less than a week before Christmas Day, 2007.

This major campaign will introduce several versions:
  • Blade Runner - 2 Disc Special Edition:

    Disc One:
    Ridley Scott's all new "Final Cut'.

    Restored and remastered with added & extended scenes, added lines, new and cleaner special effects and all new 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio. Also includes:
    - Commentary by Ridley Scott
    - Commentary by Executive Producer/ Co-Screenwriter Hampton Fancher and Co-Screenwriter David Peoples; Producer Michael Deely and production executive Katherine Haber

    - Commentaries by visual futurist Syd Mead; production designer Lawrence G. Paull, art director David L. Snyder and special photographic effects supervisors Douglas Trumbull, Richard Yuricich and David Dryer

    Disc Two
    Documentary - "Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner"

    A feature-length authoritative documentary revealing all the elements that shaped this hugely influential cinema landmark. Cast, crew, critics and colleagues give a behind-the-scenes, in-depth look at the film - from its literary roots and inception through casting, production, visuals and special effects to its controversial legacy and place in Hollywood history.

  • Blade Runner - 4 Disc Collector's Edition

    Containing the 2 discs of the Special Edition, the Collector's edition also boasts 2 further discs, containing 3 alternative versions of the film,
    as well as an "Enhancement Archive" bonus disc of enhanced content that includes 90 minutes of deleted footage and rare or never-before-seen items in featurettes and galleries that cover the film's history, production teams, special effects, impact on society, promotional trailers, TV spots, and much more.

    Disc Three

    This is the version that introduced U.S. movie-going audiences to a revolutionary film with a new and excitingly provocative vision of the near-future. It contains Deckard/Harrison Ford's character narration and has Deckard and Rachel's (Sean Young) "happy ending" escape scene.


    Also used on U.S. home video, laserdisc and cable releases up to 1992. This version is not rated, and contains some extended action scenes in contrast to the Theatrical Version.


    The Director's Cut omits Deckard's voice over narration and removes the "happy ending" finale. It adds the famously-controversial "unicorn" sequence, a vision that Deckard has which suggests that he, too, may be a replicant.

    Disc Four
    BONUS DISC - "Enhancement Archive"

    - Featurette The Electric Dreamer: Remembering Philip K. Dick
    - Featurette Sacrificial Sheep: The Novel vs. The Film
    - Philip K. Dick: The Blade Runner Interviews (Audio)
    - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep Cover Gallery (Images)
    - The Art of Blade Runner (Image Galleries)
    - Featurette Signs of the Times: Graphic Design
    - Featurette Fashion Forward: Wardrobe & Styling
    - Screen Tests: Rachel & Pris
    - Featurette The Light That Burns: Remembering Jordan Cronenweth
    - Unit Photography Gallery
    - Deleted & Alternate Scenes
    - 1982 Promotional Featurettes
    - Trailers & TV Spots
    - Featurette Promoting Dystopia: Rendering the Poster Art
    - Marketing & Merchandise Gallery (Images)
    - Featurette Deck-A-Rep: The True Nature of Rick Deckard
    - Featurette Nexus Generation: Fans & Filmmakers

  • Blade Runner - 5 disc Ultimate Collectors Edition

    Containing the 4 discs of the Collector's Edition, The Ulitmate edition also includes a 5th disc, containing
    the ultra-rare, near-legendary WORKPRINT version of the film, newly remastered. It will be presented in a unique 5-disc digi-package with handle which is a stylish version of Deckard's own briefcase, in addition each briefcase will be individually numbered and in limited supply. Included is a lenticular motion film clip from the original feature, miniature origami unicorn figurine, miniature replica spinner car, collector's photographs as well as a signed personal letter from Sir Ridley Scott.

    Disc Five

    This rare version of the film is considered by some to be the most radically different of all the Blade Runner cuts. It includes an altered opening scene, no Deckard narration until the final scenes, no "unicorn" sequence, no Deckard/Rachel "happy ending," altered lines between Batty (Rutger Hauer) and his creator Tyrell (Joe Turkell), alternate music and much more.

    Also includes:

    - Commentary by Paul M. Sammon, author of Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner
    - Featurette All Our Variant Futures: From Workprint to Final Cut

    This version will be available in standard DVD format, as well as HD-DVD and BluRay High Definition variants.
It's hard to imagine a more comprehensively thought-out and packaged re-release of a 25 year old movie - such is the significance of the original release, and I for one will be first in line.

The only significant thing that appears to be missing is the excellent Mark Kermode-presented Channel 4 documentary, 'On The Edge Of Blade Runner' (2000), which was originally rumoured for inclusion on disc 5. It was on YouTube until Warners objected; hopefully it might appear in this Warner package, and has simply been left off the content detail.

Source for package contents: The Digital Bits


Chandira said...

I have inside information, and there is another PK Dick movie in the pipeline. I know people. Shh.. Let's hope it's as good as Bladerunner, I bet it will be.

Confused + Emotional said...

I hope you're right... though please don't let Spielberg direct another. While there were elements of Minority Report that I enjoyed, overall it wasn't pleasing... much like War of the Worlds too. In fact, SS needs to go back to the beginning of his career when sensible budgets and studio management didn't allow for CGI extravaganzas - back then he relied on story (ET/Jaws/Close Encounters etc).

In fact, I'm not sure who from the current era I'd want doing it - Ridley was going through a rich vein back in the time of Alien, Blade Runner et all - but I'm not sure I'd want the gladiator approach. But then I mustn't want a Blade Runner 2, must I?!

Soderbergh's treatment of Solaris was interesting and atmospheric - SciFi on a cerebral level. Yeah, ok, I'll call, we'll meet with him and see if he'll do it! lol

Anonymous said...

IMHO Speilberg's best film was Jaws followed by the TV movie Duel. If Soderbergh's tied up perhaps Mr Tarantino might come to your aid?

Confused + Emotional said...

Tarantino? I guess there'd be a good soundtrack... but too long and too many ninjas!