April 27, 2008
When Ridley Scott first released the extended edition of Blade Runner I was initially ecstatic. I'd watched it all the time when I was younger and loved the concept of a Bogart-style film noir that took place in the future (of course at that age I just called it a detective movie) and when I found out it was actually butchered by bad post production I had to jump on what the real story was.
For the most part this was wonderful, but there was a fatal flaw, on a personal level if not a technical one. I missed Ford's narration, one of the main sources of that old detective movie feel I remembered. ADigitalMan evidently missed it as well, and rather than stew in his disappointment he did something about it, thus providing what he advertized: a closer look at a retired Blade Runner thrown into his most ethically complicated case.
A/V Quality: 9
-Visual Editing: 10
A small note here: I didn't watch the high quality version of this and will for the foreseeable future watch all of these edits in the very standard 640p due to technical limitations.
Deleted scenes, particularly regarding the first Blade Runner shown in the movie, were very welcome and added to a character who was just written off in virtually every official cut. Everything was smoothly edited and virtually seamless.
For the most part the editing was smooth and fit into the narrative.
My only problem was that the deleted narration was markedly quieter than what was already in the theatrical edition. For one, this showed what was deleted and what wasn't, but I also found myself rewinding the video in order to better hear what was said. That said it was worth listening to.
Here's where this edit shone.
The deleted narration, reintroduced in this edit, brought more insight as to why Deckard's life hit bottom, why he was so miserable, and better illustrated his internal struggle between his job and his passion. There were some very good lines here that were taken out in lieu of statements of the obvious.
Also no longer does Deckard immediately know what the flake in the bathtub is. He actually investigates into the matter a little more. It's funny how just a couple of added scenes makes me regret not watching this edit first.
This is my go-to copy of one of my absolute favorite movies. It convinced me that Deckard's narration in the theatrical cut was in fact a crutch, despite what I personally liked. ADM turned this crutch into something better: a bittersweet narrative force that lets one into Deckard's head and adds a little more depth to an already fantastic character.
If you wanted the narration back in the special edition, I can assure you you'll get even more than you bargained for.