Oct 7, 2007

blade runner - final cut

What is presumably the final installment of the constantly re-edited movie Blade Runner, is finally out in theaters now. Unfortunately it is only playing in New York and Los Angeles as far as I can tell. I've read of some people flying down from San Francisco to catch it. I was lucky enough to catch it yesterday at the amazing Zeigfeld Theater located conveniently behind my office. It's a great place to see a movie because it has a digital projection system and an amazing digital audio system.

The director hasn't screwed around with the movie that much. It's more an exercise in removing obvious continuity problems and poorly shot scenes. The thumb scene I mentioned below has been fixed. The last scene with Roy Baty's dove flying off into the sky has been fixed. The old version of that scene had buildings in it that didn't match where it was supposed to be shot and it was no longer night time. Wires used to lift the 'spinners' have been CGI'd out. The scene where Zhora is killed has been reshot. The old version had a stunt double who looked nothing like the actress. The new scene is almost indistinguishable from the old one except it now looks like Zhora. It's very well done. The inconsistencies around how many Nexus 6 replicants have to be killed has also been fixed. It's a little obvious at times where the Bryant dialogue was re-recorded but not too distracting. And a few scenes were added here and there, but they were all very minor.

The most impressive thing about the Final Cut however is the new print used to cut the final version. It is freaking immaculate. Seeing it on the big screen, you can finally make out all kinds of detail in the background. It is exceptionally clear. I often found my eyes wandering to the landscapes behind the main action. Buying this movie on anything less than a high definition disc would be criminal.

All in all I would call this version very complete and satisfying. I can't see any reason to ever have to touch the movie again. It's about as close to perfection as it can be.

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