Sunday, 16 December 2012


Dangerous Days. Still as potent a sci-fi drama as ever: the iconic BLADE RUNNER. Post art by the great John Alvin.

Another classic blog, originally on the main AFICIONADO site, from 2007.

To me, one of the seminal movies of science fiction, as well as one of the seminal movies of all-time is Ridley Scott's futuristic film noir masterpiece BLADE RUNNER. Featuring one of Harrison Ford's best performances, as intergalactic gumshoe detective/ruthless killer Rick Deckard, this film, like STAR WARS would set the standards for future science fiction films. Seeing it in 1982, I loved it enormously but didn't really appreciate it as much as I do now, as the plethora of blockbuster movies are generally so disappointing now, in one way or another, when compared to masterpieces like the first two STAR WARS films, ALIEN and BLADE RUNNER. So when I heard that WARNER BROTHERS, ever determined to make money out of the film that had once been considered a flop, were finally releasing, in liaison with Ridley Scott, what was being touted as “THE FINAL CUT” of this classic movie I couldn’t wait to receive it. My happiness was turned to great joy when it was revealed that the film would be available as part of a mammoth box set containing not only THE FINAL CUT but every other available version of the film in existence since 1982, including the legendary “work print” that a test audience first saw in 1982. With the release of the box set (available in the UK for a cheap, cheap price of £17.99 from HMV.COM), words cannot express how impressed I have been with all of it’s contents-not only have all the films been scanned to the best picture quality possible (even the raw work print looks the best it can be), but the extras are just incredible-amongst the most detailed, and labour of love crafted, that I have seen since the release of the earlier Ridley Scott influenced ALIEN LEGACY box set of a few years back- the highlight of the special features, as well as seeing the actual “work print”, which contains fascinating outtake footage being used, stock music and subtle differences to the theatrical version, and the original 1982 version (yes, I like the voice-over-I’m one of those like Guillermo Del Toro!!), the three hour documentary, titled DANGEROUS DAYS, is one of the best documentaries I have ever seen, not only about a film, but also as a general documentary full stop. Like the detailed release of all the films, this documentary has been just as lovingly compiled, with the most detailed interviews (including the once reticent Harrison Ford) and all the information on the making of the movie that you'd ever want to know. And as for the equally legendary deleted scenes, they are all excellent and fascinating, showing intriguing new aspects to the film, it's story and characters-this is one movie where so many scenes and characters motivations can be analyzed and re-analyzed. Basically, the whole box set is absolutely amazing and if you haven't seen this film, you'll absolutely enjoy seeing it in all its incarnations. This new product now re-sets the benchmark for quality presentations of films on DVD and additionally sets a new challenge to LUCASFILM as well. Their four-disc STAR WARS TRILOGY box set from 2004 was very good, and the EMPIRE OF DREAMS documentary was an enjoyable, but rather tame, viewing experience, with goodies that were partially, rather than fully, revealed (i.e. where were the cut scenes?). But with the release of this box set, fans will be disappointed if future LUCASFILM/STAR WARS releases (like the long awaited eventual release of a six film box set when it eventually arrives after the Blu-ray/hd- battle is over,) don’t give us the kind of mouth watering extras that Ridley Scott and the team behind DANGEROUS DAYS have unleashed. For STAR WARS, the fans deserve a box set that will be either an equal or superior to this and the ALIEN LEGACY sets- and when it comes there must be no chickening out -we all want, in particular, to see to see the cut scenes, from all six films, and we want to see more wide ranging documentaries- I think it would be fair to say that we want to see individual documentaries at least an hour or so in length one each and every one of the films in the saga. And if Ridley Scott can release the workprint of his seminal film, why can’t we see the workprints for all of the STAR WARS films, especially the John Jympson edit of the original film witnessed years ago by Dr. David West Reynolds.

Okay, Ridley’s team and BLADE RUNNER have set the mark with the new release, now it's time for George and STAR WARS to overwhelmingly top it!! C'mon LUCASFILM, we know you can do it!!!

Editors Note (2012): A stunning new anniversary box set of Blade Runner is now available on US Blu-ray. MTV Geek – Blade Runner is Coming to Blu-ray – Again!

Original Ridley Scott presentation: Blade Runner Convention Reel (1982) - YouTube

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