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Blade Runner - Fill Me in Please

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Patrick Larkin, Nov 27, 2001.

  1. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    Hi --

    I'd like to purchase Blade Runner on DVD. It was one of the first demos of what widescreen does for home video that I ever saw.

    I don't know much about the history of the film, however. I did a search and found a few tidbits:

    * There was a voiceover.

    - Is this the original way it was shown

    - Does the DVD have the voiceover

    - Do I want the voiceover?

    - I don't remember a voiceover.

    * I see people talk of the unhappy ending. Anyone care to elaborate - was there multiple endings?

    * Finally, if someone can brief me on the way it was originally shown, the way Ridley Scott wants it to be seen, and what is contained on the current DVD.

    I'm also aware of an SE in the works...

    Thanks.
     
  2. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Blade Runner is a long, complicated subject. To answer your immediate questions:
     
  3. Douglas Bailey

    Douglas Bailey Second Unit

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    I'm far from being an authority, but I'll take a stab at answering your questions and trust that others will correct any mistakes I make.
    As it was released in 1982, Blade Runner had a voice-over -- added by the producers against the wishes of director Ridley Scott -- and a "happy ending" in which it's revealed that Sean Young's character Rachel, a replicant, does not have a fixed four-year lifespan like the other replicants in the film.
    When Warner wanted to reissue the film in 1992, Ridley Scott convinced them to let him restore the film to his original vision. There wasn't time to get it all done, apparently, so it's not perfect, but the 1992 "Director's Cut" is still much closer to the film that Scott originally wanted to make. There's no voice-over and no happy ending, and there's a new scene showing Deckard dreaming of a unicorn.
    The "Director's Cut" is the only version currently available on DVD. Both the 1982 cut and the DC are available on laserdisc, though. The Criterion LDs contain the European version of the theatrical cut, which has a few extra seconds in some of the violent scenes.
    The upcoming Special Edition DVD is supposed to contain Scott's final cut of the film, with all the changes he wants to make. Details are hazy, though Charlie de Lauzirika -- a poster here -- could probably tell you more: he's working on the disc. :)
    For more details on the various versions of Blade Runner, check out its IMDb page or -- better yet -- Paul Sammon's excellent book Future Noir.
     
  4. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the replies. I suppose I should get the DVD then.

    How's the audio/video quality?
     
  5. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Visually, the disc has that "early DVD" look. It's a credible anamorphic transfer. Sonically, it fares less well; no DD 5.1 there.

    Despite the shortcomings, yes, you should get the disc. It's the only Blade Runner we have presently.

    It should also be noted that multiple cuts are rumored for the forthcoming SE--including the original 1982 theatrical cut replete with the much-discussed voiceover and "happy ending."

    As many others here have stated, I prefer the cut that's on the current DVD--though the "unicorn" factor disturbs me.
     
  6. Tom-G

    Tom-G Screenwriter

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    I enjoy both versions, but if I could somehow combine the two so that I would have the voice-over and delete the "happy ending" I would be a happy camper.
    The narration gives the movie a film noir characteristic that I quite enjoy. I'm hoping that it will be included, but here is what Warner had to say about it in the chat with the HTF:
     
  7. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    As many others here have stated, I prefer the cut that's on the current DVD--though the "unicorn" factor disturbs me.

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    I'm curious about why it disturbs you. I don't like it because it just seems tacked on and without any real context. Some people think it means

    that deckard is a replicant


    but if that is true, then the whole point of this movie, for me personally, is destroyed
     
  8. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Producer
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    As to Edwin's comments, "some people think it means.."
    Actually, Ridley Scott thinks that's what it means too.
    [​IMG]
    And, for me, it adds a whole layer to the film,
    not destroying it at all.
    Mark
     
  9. DannyS

    DannyS Second Unit

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    Deckard is human. Deckard is human.. repeat if neccesary..
     
  10. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    Actually, Ridley Scott thinks that's what it means too.

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    Did he come right out and say that or did he say that is the way he leans but that it is open to interpretation?

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    And, for me, it adds a whole layer to the film,

    not destroying it at all.

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    I'm curious, in what way? I have tried to picture Deckard as a

    replicant


    and how that would lead to this movie being more layered or powerful but it completely escapes me. If Deckard is a

    replicant

    then what does he actually learn about himself and replicants during his final bladerunner mission? To me this film loses power in a myriad of ways if he is a

    replicant
    .

    I don't know if I really need all those spoiler tags but better safe than sorry.
     
  11. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Producer
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    Edwin-
    On a British TV show, he came right out and said,
    "Yes...Deckard is a replicant."
    Of course, Harrison totally disagrees. [​IMG]
    What does Deckard learn?
    Well, think of it this way:
    Imagine a film where a person is hired
    to hunt down and kill Africans.
    This person doesn't think of Africans as humans,
    but as something less than.
    Then, this person finds it increasingly troublesome
    to kill Africans, and begins to understand
    that Africans are as human as anybody else.
    This person then falls in love with an
    African, and just as he is preparing to run
    away with her, obstensibly atempting to save
    her life, and sacrifice his own safety,
    he is tipped off by another killer's
    coded message, that he himself is
    of African decent, and that his trainers
    had used him to kill others of his kind,
    since Africans are physically superior
    to the killers, and they wanted to
    use an African to kill Africans without
    them knowing it.
    Not only are your superior
    in strength and intelligence to
    the killers who trained you,
    but you have a more profound spirit, because of your
    ability to see the humanity in others.

    How cool is that? Pretty cool in my opinion.
    (And, yes, I do use the African comparrison deliberately,
    because I think this film makes statements targeted at slavery issues in the United States' past.)
    Mark
     
  12. Brad_W

    Brad_W Screenwriter

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    Patrick,

    One thing to also consider before buying the DVD:

    A) there may be a new SE coming out soon

    B) there a several CDA versions of this, even one with Harrison Ford's autograph (although it sells for almost $200).

    When I get the money I'll prolly buy one of the the CDA versions.

    CDA = Creative Design Art
     
  13. Tom-G

    Tom-G Screenwriter

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    Although I don't care one way or another if anyone buys the current DVD, the only thing I can say that would encourage you to buy it is that it can be had for a very reasonable price. I've seen it anywhere from 10-15 dollars.
    And, it's much better than VHS. [​IMG]
     
  14. John Sparks

    John Sparks Screenwriter

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    There are 3 cuts of the film. The Egyptian Theater in Hollywood showed the "Workprint Cut" about 5 months ago.
     
  15. Dave Barth

    Dave Barth Stunt Coordinator

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    What Mark Walker said.

    Or, as Rob Zombie put it, "More human than human."
     
  16. Charles de Lauzirika

    Insider

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  17. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    Mark

    It's a pretty good alternative explanation. I think with some modification that the basic point about slavery
    could still apply even if he isn't a you-know-what. I also think the storyline regarding his relationship with Rachael loses all meaning if he isn't a human
    . To me, everything about Deckard shows him as being an ordinary man. Well....to each, his own...Scott can say what he wants but I'm siding with Harrison on this one, too many of the story's threads lose their effectiveness if he isn't.

    I'm always open to changing my mind but right now there are more indicators that he is a human
    and only very vague reference that he isn't. Anything is possible though.
     
  18. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Charlie,
    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE get the word out that for a TRUE SE of a film with this history, ALL versions (at least the 2 released versions) should be made available.
    Don't let Ridley be a revisionist like Lucas. I respect his vision of the film, I can respect if it's considered the "best" or most correct, but if for no other reason than historical comparison and record the original version should be available as well.
    It's not about wanting that version instead of the DCut, but rather about wanting all-things Blade Runner.
    Cripes, he can even record a message right before the original release version stating that we are about to watch unauthorized crap or something, just so long as he makes ALL his Blade Runner work available to his fans.
    Again I would point to the Criterion version of Gilliam's Brazil in which his cut comes off looking quite well in comparison to the "studio" cut. Having both available does not take away from the director's vision, but rather emphasizes it.
    [​IMG]
    btw, human. :p)
     
  19. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    You know the Harrison/Scott debate on this is not unlike the Heston/Vidal debate over Ben-Hur/Messala being lovers.
    In both cases the actor was right. [​IMG]
     
  20. Dharmesh C

    Dharmesh C Supporting Actor

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    I wonder if there will be a documentary on the SE disc discussing the various cuts of the film? [​IMG]
     

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