Blu-ray Review Blade Runner: 30th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Review

Cameron Yee

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Cameron Yee
With the 30th anniversary of Ridley Scott’s acclaimed existential sci-fi opus, Warner Home Video takes one of its signature Blu-ray releases and gives it a bit more polish. Owners of the older edition won’t find much reason to double dip on the title, but first timers shouldn’t hesitate to make the purchase.






Blade Runner: 30th Anniversary Collector’s Edition


Release Date: October 23, 2012
Studio: Warner Home Video
Packaging/Materials: Three-disc DigiBook
MSRP: $34.99


What difference does five years make?


Given the strength of Warner Home Video’s (WHV) 2007 five-disc Blu-ray release of “Blade Runner,” it was hard to imagine what it could do differently or better only five years later with a 30th anniversary edition.



Not surprisingly, it hasn’t done much, though that speaks more to the hard-to-top nature of the previous release than outright laziness on WHV’s part.



Material that was previously on two DVDs (the “Dangerous Days” documentary and the "Enhancement Archive" video featurettes) and one Blu-ray (the Work Print) has been consolidated to a single Blu-ray disc, though with the benefit of the Work Print now bearing an AVC encode, many more subtitle options, and – most importantly – an upgrade to lossless 5.1 audio. A gallery of about 1000 still images has also been added to the extras, an addition that may give the most devoted of fans some pause regarding a double dip. The rest of the discs, those containing the Final Cut and the various Theatrical, International, and Director’s versions, are straight-up re-pressings of the previous two Blu-ray discs.



With all of it assembled in a three-disc DigiBook case with illustrations and photographs filling the requisite printed material, the 30th Anniversary Edition is for the most part a repackaging of the 2007 release with a few modest enhancements. Though the changes aren’t insignificant, it’s still hard to recommend the release to those who already have the older edition. However, those who didn’t purchase it should jump on this latest version, which takes an already high quality release and refines it even further.


What’s on the Discs


For more detail about the transfers, audio quality and bonus material, please read HTF Reviewer Neil Middlemiss’s stellar review of the 2007 Edition.


Disc One


The Final Cut


Year: 2007
Run Time: 1:57:36
Rating: R
Video: VC-1 1080p 2.40:1
Audio: Dolby TrueHD: English 5.1 / Dolby Digital: English 5.1, French 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese



Special Features

  • Commentary by Ridley Scott

  • Commentary by Executive Producer/Screenwriter Hampton Fancher, Screenwriter David Peoples, Producer Michael Deeley and Production Executive Katherine Haver

  • Commentary by Visual Futurist Syd Mead, Production Designer Lawrence G. Paull, Art Director David Snyder and Special Effects Supervisors Douglass Trumball, Richard Yuricich and David Dryer


Disc Two


The Original Theatrical Cut


Year: 1982
Run Time: 1:57:16
Rating: R
Video: VC-1 1080p 2.40:1
Audio: Dolby Digital: English 5.1, English 2.0, French 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish



The International Cut


Year: 1982
Run Time: 1:57:25
Rating: R
Video: VC-1 1080p 2.40:1
Audio: Dolby Digital: Dolby Digital: English 5.1, English 2.0, French 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish



The Director’s Cut


Year: 1992
Run Time: 1:56:34
Rating: R
Video: VC-1 1080p 2.40:1
Audio: Dolby Digital: English 5.1, English 2.0, French 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish



Introductions by Ridley Scott

  • The Original Theatrical Cut (:34, SD)

  • The International Cut (:28, SD)

  • The Director’s Cut (:37, SD)


Disc Three


The Work Print


Run Time: 1:50:05
Video: AVC 1080p 2.40:1
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio: English 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, German SDH, Italian, Castellano, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazil), Croatian, Czech, Greek, Hebrew, Polish, Portuguese, Serbian, Slovenian, Turkish



Commentary by Future Noir Author Paul M. Sammon



Stills Gallery: Over 1000 images are spread across the categories of Storyboards, Abandoned Sequences, Ridleygrams, Syd Mead Gallery, Mentor Huebner Gallery, Costume Design, Graphic Design, and Visual Effects and Animation.



Dangerous Days (3:34:25, SD)



All Our Variant Futures: From Workprint to Final Cut (28:33, SD)



The Electric Dreamer: Remembering Philip K. Dick (14:21, SD)



Sacrificial Sheep: The Novel vs. the Film (15:11, SD)



Philip K. Dick: The Blade Runner Interviews (25:35, audio only)



Signs of the Times: Graphic Design (13:42, SD)



Fashion Forward: Wardrobe and Styling (20:42, SD)



Screen Tests: Rachael and Pris (8:56, SD)



The Light that Burns: Remembering Jordan Cronenweth (20:05, SD)



Deleted and Alternate Scenes (47:43, SD)



1982 Promotional Featurettes (14:22, SD)



Trailers and TV Spots (11:38, SD)



Promoting Dystopia: Rendering the Poster Art (9:38, SD)



Deck-A-Rep: The True Nature of Rick Deckard (9:35, SD)



Nexus Generation: Fans and Filmmakers (21:53, SD)


Recap


Having earned highest marks with its 2007 Blu-ray release of “Blade Runner,” Warner Home Video didn’t really re-invent the wheel for the film’s 30th Anniversary Edition, essentially relocating several standard definition items to higher capacity Blu-ray disc and then re-packaging the entire set in its signature commemorative DigiBook packaging. While it won’t be worth a double dip for those who have the older edition, those who never purchased the high quality title now have the opportunity to do so at a very attractive price.
 

Naoki

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Oct 5, 2011
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Naoki Nomura
Thank you for good review. I own that Deluxe case set, but I will buy this anyway:)
 

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