BladeRunner Transfer Quality?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Todd McF, Jan 7, 2002.

  1. Todd McF

    Todd McF Second Unit

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    Given that Ridley Scott is going to butcher the classic [​IMG] ala George Lucas, I find myself suddenly about to buy the old directors cut.
    How is the tranfer? Color, black level, grain etc? How is the Audio? 5.1 at least?
    Thanks,
    - Todd
     
  2. Christian Dolan

    Christian Dolan Stunt Coordinator

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    Todd,

    This was one of WB's first round (I believe) of releases, and, like most early discs, left a lot to be desired in terms of image quality. The audio is 2.0 Dobly Surround.

    -Christian
     
  3. Sean Patrick

    Sean Patrick Supporting Actor

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    while not bad-looking, it could certainly use a cleaning up session (a lot of splice artifacts, especially in the darkest scenes, when there is a flash of light for one frame at the bottom of the negative at the point of a cut).

    All in all, i think a higher bit-rate and a more careful transfer would do wonders for the film, although I think the audio is in even bigger need of a 5.1 track, which does exist (this had a surround track to begin with).
     
  4. Phu Vo

    Phu Vo Stunt Coordinator

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    Todd,
    We may see the original cut of Blade Runner with the happy ending and V.O. on the upcoming Blade Runner SE DVD. Charlie de Lauzirika who is putting this DVD together is a big fan of the original Blade Runner. Although, nothing is concrete yet, you should check out his statements here. As far as the current Blade Runner DVD goes, it could use some work. But you can probably pick it up for about 12 bucks, so it isn't that big of a deal.
     
  5. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  6. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    Its one of the earlier releases so it doesnt measure up to some of the fantastic transfers we've seen recently-but it doesnt suck.
     
  7. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Yes, it has that "early-DVD" look--but it is a look that wowed us back in 1997. This is a decent disc, and worth owning. The killer "extras," by the way, include a very short chapter-selection menu. And language options.
     
  8. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    I'll never forget how amazing that "early" dvd looked in 16x9 anamorphic glory on my 16x9 TV after living with the CAV laserdisc with it's hiddeous side-change break placements.

    Looking at it now, after having become accustomed to high-quality 16x9 DVDs as the rule, it's a "digital" looking image that has the "haze" or "grain" of many of Warner's early DVDs (like the first Fugitive DVD). The audio needs some help. That beautiful score is shrill and flat without any weight or roundness. Let's hope a high-quality 5.1 master can be obtained or created to do it justice!

    -dave
     
  9. Sam R. Aucoin

    Sam R. Aucoin Stunt Coordinator

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    FYI: The ONLY way to own the original theatrical release version of this film (according to the book "Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner) is to own the Embassy Home Video VHS or laserdisc (I own the laserdisc). Unfortunately, it is Pan&Scan, and thus is not a true representation of how the movie was presented in theaters. But in terms of content - Embassy is the only way to have it, for now.

    Many people think that they are getting the original US theatrical release when they purchase the Criterion Collection LD - they are not. That is the International release (or European release, as some call it).
     
  10. Tom-G

    Tom-G Screenwriter

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  11. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    Tom, you can check out www.bladezone.com for much of the minutia details, but I'd strongly suggest going over to bn.com or amazon.com and picking up the book FUTURE NOIR, the making of Blade Runner. This is not some after-the-fact journalism, the author was on set the whole time during the making of what turned out to be the modern day Citizen Kane. Exceptional film, exceptional book. Thick book, too. Known as the "Bible".
    May be reprinted in a couple years once the new Directors cut is made, though. But who can wait?
     
  12. Tom-G

    Tom-G Screenwriter

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    Will, thanks for providing the link. I'm going to head over there and check it out.

    "Blade Runner" is an exceptional film, it's one of my favorites. I'm anxious to see this rumored new version of the film, but call me a purist--I want the narrated version as well.

    The director's cut does have its merits. It makes you think a little bit more than you would while watching the narrated version.
     
  13. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    Sam is correct regarding the Criterion LD vs. the Embassy release. Fortunately the differences between the original theatrical cut and the International cut ( on the Criterion LD ) are relatively minor. The obvious advantages of the letterboxed presentation on the Criterion LD make it the definitive choice for those who wish to experience Blade Runner with Deckard's narration. ( Pending the eventual content on the upcoming DVD SE release, of course. )
    Regarding the differences between the versions. This site describes 6 versions of Blade Runner.
    - Walter.
     
  14. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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  15. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    I never saw the narrated version - its pretty straight forward without any help. Or am I missing something?
    Oh yeah, I nominate this DVD as having the lamest menu of any DVD I have ever seen. [​IMG]
     
  16. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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  17. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    The rumours of butchering is just...well, it is fans who realize that this film is magnificent and don't want it mucked up. Understandable. But realize:

    The film has a long and interesting editing history, and its various forms becomes half the fun when one begins to look at this story. Beyond the story asking what memories are reliable, we break another wall and have to ask - what person's vision is this particular cut, and how does that affect the story? What version is true? It's really fun that way.

    But about the editing history, with nods to FUTURE NOIR:

    In short, the discovery and accidental showing of a rough cut (at a revival showing) of the film terribly excited everyone who saw it. Eventually the studio realized there was interest in Scott's original version. So they began to prep the battered rough cut for release on video. Scott learns they're doing this and is understandably upset, after all, a rough cut is just that - rough, and he doesn't want to impose an Alan Smithee credit on a film he loves. So the studio listens to Scott politely and then says, hey, we're not bad guys -- if you can deliver a more finished director's cut in a few weeks, we'll release that instead. Of course they thought he wouldn't be able to do it since they gave him hardly any time. But he cared about his film a lot, so with the help of some colleagues he quickly created the current so-called "director's cut," essentially just stripping out the narration and sticking in the "dream" - but it was a rush job. Flash forward to Gladiator. Suddenly Ridley has clout again, and what does he do? He says, I am going to do right by the fans who were excited by the rough cut that accidentally was shown, and I am going to do right by my vision... I'm going to release Blade Runner the way I wanted it to be.

    This is not a Lucas-like revision. This is the artist making a version that has his stamp on it. The studio version has the studio's stamp on theirs. The current director's cut is something of an orphan.

    And then there is the Alan Smithee version of the rough cut sitting on a shelf somewhere (essentially the rough cut but color corrected, soundtrack repaired, etc.).

    So many versions...

    As far as technical changes to the film, he's going to alter some of the pacing of course, because without the narration it needs some tweaking. And some botched fx might be cleaned up and who knows, maybe even enhanced. But this isn't Lucas - he's not the kind of director who would add stupid cartoon characters or comic relief to dumb-down or kiddie-down his film. If anything, and I should say that NOTHING has been said on the record about what will be changed, he'll make it more mind blowing, as it should be. If that means more Spinners flying in the background, that's fine with me! As long as the studio cut (theatrical version plus the few seconds of violence) is also included. Which I expect it will be.
     
  18. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    That said, I will also be buying the current so-called Director's Cut, just to be on the safe side!!!!

    :)
     
  19. Charles de Lauzirika

    Insider

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  20. Phu Vo

    Phu Vo Stunt Coordinator

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