Why is the voiceover on Blade Runner better than P&S?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by EugeneR, Oct 27, 2002.

  1. EugeneR

    EugeneR Second Unit

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    I'm puzzled. I have seen lots of people announce that they are waiting with bated breath for the new Blade Runner SE which will supposedly have the original theatrical version. The theatrical version had a voiceover and a tacked on happy ending which were both added long after Scott finished the film because the of preview audience responses--audiences were confused by the film and felt that it was too dark. I bet most of the same people would scoff at "Joe Sixpack" who wanted the film in P&S.
    So, how is this voiceover/happy ending abomination different from P&S? Was it only because the director himself worked on the changes, even against his will? If a director worked on a P&S version of his film because he wanted the P&S verson of a film to be less bungled than it would otherwise be, would the P&S version be acceptable? Or is it because the film originally came out butchered in the theater? 2001 was pretty confusing to a lot of people; what if originally against Kubrick's wishes it came out in theatres with a voiceover, and maybe a less ambiguous ending and a nice Britney Spears soundtrack, would that version be OK? Redford and Newman ride off into the sunset together at the end of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid ? Roberto Begnini's character overpowers the Nazi soldier, survives and leads Allied troops to victory in It's a Beautiful Life? The "directors change films all the time to accommodate studio wishes" argument does not fly here either--it is one thing to change a film during filming/editing, or to tame the film a little to meet rating board requirements, and another to change it very significantly after it is completely finished to make it more palatable to test audiences.
    I'm not quarreling with anyone's right to enjoy whatever version of the film they want, but does it not seem a bit hyppocritical to belittle the P&S desires of lowly J6P and then drool in anticipation of the version of a film which the director was forced to change to accommodate the wishes of studio suits?
     
  2. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    Eugene,
    I believe that the membership here encourages watching films in their theatrical format. This is often tempered by a desire to see films according to the director's intent. So, while there is the overwhelming desire to see the "director's cut", there is also a lot of interest in seeing the theatrical version. The best parallel is seeing Brazil in both of its forms, which is very educational in its own right.
     
  3. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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  4. Jay Sylvester

    Jay Sylvester Supporting Actor

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    While the original theatrical cut will certainly be a curiosity, I'd bet most people are interested in the new, true director's cut that's in the works. The current DVD may be called the director's cut, but it was rushed and not exactly what Scott wanted. The new release will supposedly be a 3-disc set that includes the theatrical release, the first director's cut, and the new, final cut with a new sound mix.
     
  5. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    I saw Blade Runner at the cinema in 1982 and loved it. The original theatrical version is the one I got used to seeing over the years. While I respect Ridley Scott's desire to re-edit his movie to the way he originally wanted it, that does not mean its the way I originally wanted it, I know it sounds arrogant, but I'm not going to suddenly go ga-ga over a version the director puts out simply because he likes it that way. I enjoyed the film the way it was, I got used to it that way, I liked the droning voice-over, gave this detective SF thriller a Phillip Marlowe feel.
    So I'm happy that both versions might be released on DVD next year, I hope its true.
    btw I loved Scott's re-edit of Legend, and not so happy with Francis Coppola's Redux version of an already perfect movie, my opinions.[​IMG]
     
  6. Eric_R_C

    Eric_R_C Second Unit

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    I'm afraid your point is a little convoluted. I'll try to add my 2 cents.

    First of all, people are going to criticize either opinion. I have seen the movie without the voiceover, and I prefer it that way. I think it's great that Scott gets to show his movie the way he wanted to. That being said, there are some movies, such as Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut, that are shown the way the director intended, but some audiences don't like (P&S only, PLUS the American version has digitally imposed "people" to cover up sex scenes--not sure if this last one was Kubrick's decision or not.) The nice thing about Blade Runner is, there is a choice. If you want the EXACT theatrical version, you can buy the old DVD. I don't recall if The upcoming DVD will have both versions or not, but I want Scott's intended movie.
    It depends on how much of a purist you are. I was thrilled to hear that ET would have both versions. I have seen the CG ET on tv ads, and it looks bad. Recently, I purchased a laserdisc player and the Star Wars Definitive Collection on LD to see the original, unaltered trilogy. (Solo shot first, dammit!) I will probably buy the Special Edition when it finally comes out on DVD, but at least I'll have both.
    DVD's like The Abyss and T2 are wonderful examples. You can watch either version, depending on your preferences. So long as there is a choice, I'll be happy.
    I hope this addressed your point, although I think the voiceover is not as significant a change as the examples you came up with. Some better examples would be Manhunter (not original theatrical-they cut one of my favorite lines), Star Trek TMP (upgraded, though understandably so), Jaws (no original award-winning mono soundtrack), and of course, Star Wars.
    Sometimes, we just don't like the director's original decisions, and other times, we want it to stay the same. There's been several discussions concerning this topic, and someone always brings up "What about ? It was changed and nobody complained!" About half the time, I decide that that particular change didn't really affect me. I like having the choice, but my preference isn't always a knee-jerk "original theatrical version." Hell, many of my 80's films didn't even have digital soundtracks, yet I listen to almost all of them in Dolby Digital (except a select few, such as Young Guns. The PCM soundtrack sounds much better. I've not compared all of my soundtracks, but again, it's nice to have the choice.)
     
  7. Mark_Davis

    Mark_Davis Extra

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  8. Eric_R_C

    Eric_R_C Second Unit

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  9. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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  10. Bryan Tuck

    Bryan Tuck Screenwriter

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  11. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Bryan.

    Agreed with the way you rank those theatrical vs DCs.

    I would also add Aliens to the list of movies I like in DC form.

    I think the issue can't be based on any principle...bcs there are many times that as a film lover I really feel the DC is the "definitive" version and there are many times (star wars/ET) I feel the theatrical version is much better.

    I have noticed a trend however...maybe this is as close to a "principle" as we can get:

    When directors edit back in existing scenes (or remove a few) and audio stems to recreate the original film that had be "edited down" for the studio it tends to be better.

    But when Directors try to "jazz up" their films by recreating special effects sequences so their films look more "modern" I tend to have to keep the barf-bag handy.

    -dave
     
  12. Grant H

    Grant H Cinematographer

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    Does anyone know what happened to the "Unrated" cut of Blade Runner? That's the one my father has on VHS. It's the theatrical version with v.o. and that ending, but apparently includes violence cut from that version. Any word on if that cut will ever make its way to DVD?
    By the way, still waiting to watch the Director's Cut of Legend. Was watching it with my girflriend and after 10 minutes we were both so bored I switched to the theatrical version.[​IMG] Maybe the D.C. pays off later on in the movie. Or maybe it's sometimes good to have more than one person responsible for what ends up on the big screen [​IMG]
     
  13. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  14. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer

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    While I much prefer the "almost" director's cut of
    Bladerunner, I want a DVD with both versions
    on it..the original way it was presented, and the way
    Ridley wants it to be seen now that he can go back and
    add/improve the things to match his original vision
    for the film.
    I feel the same way about E.T. and
    the original versions of the Star Wars films.
    Criterion's release of Brazil and even
    Ridley's 2 disc set of Legend is the ideal
    way for these films to be presented on DVD.
    Even in a case like The Magnificent Ambersons,
    where we may never see Welles's original cut, if it existed,
    I would still like the "hacked" version that is the only
    one the public has ever know for the last 60 years to be
    available on DVD.
    Mark
     
  15. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    Sorry, I am having trouble understanding the correlation in the original question but...
    I also saw the film in theaters is 82, at the tender age of 16. Three times in fact, although at that time I wasn't getting it right away. Even at that time, the aforementioned Marlowesque voice-over bugged me. I know the intention was to ease me along, but it didn't. Still, by the third viewing, it became my instant favorite, and has yet to be knocked out.
    So the coming DVD, will have this version, and it will be nice to replace my run down VHS of the only voice-over version I own. Viewings of this version are usually purely of the nostalgic nature. Much like the reason I watch the U.S. theatrical version of Legend. Man, nothing dates worse than hair-styles, than keyboards and that TD score has dated badly. To me, so has the 82 (VO)theatrical version of BR. The 92 "Directors Cut" moves as it should, I still remember how blown away I was when I first saw it w/o the VO. It was already my favorite, but the 92 version sealed the deal.
    Mr. Scott said the upcoming DVD will shut everyone up(paraphrasing). I welcome as many versions as he is willing to release, although some will get more play than others.
     
  16. Ray H

    Ray H Producer

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  17. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  18. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I would question the number of films that make it to market without being altered in some way through the prescreening process - I would think the number was rather small (outside indie releases). There is no comparison to P&S. I believe all films should be released as they were shown theatrically, with any revisions made by the director available as well. I think the approach that has been taken on Ridley Scott's work is admirable, by including multiple versions. It is not always the perfection that makes a work valuable to its viewers, it is often the imperfections that give a work its character and appeal.
     
  19. JosephMoore

    JosephMoore Stunt Coordinator

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    The VO in the theatrical release does more than offer exposition for the uneducated, it truly helps set the film-noir tone that is the movie's signature.

    There is usually a reason that the "Director's Cut" isn't the final version of a movie. Directors typically aren't good editors. That's why (to my knowledge) you haven't seen a Director's Cut of any Scorcese movie ... he's smart enough to trust his career-long editing partner. The "original" BR cut is truely stronger than the directors cut. Now often, the European cut is better (Highlander is a perfect example) because they usually are closer to the intended edit, without clumsy, after-the-fact censorship.

    I can take or leave the different endings, personally the whole "Deckard is an Android" thing doesn't work for me.
     
  20. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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