I'm not a big fan of Blade Runner, but I do like it, and although I'm interested in seeing alternative takes on the narrative and pacing, the soundtrack is probably something I've always considered untouchable. However, I went into this with an open mind after seeing the trailer.
The result? Well, I felt that some alternate music choices worked really well, particularly towards the beginning of the edit. However, there were times where it just plain didn't work, and really altered the tone of the film in a bad way. Some examples being during the club scene, Snake Lady scene (as well as her chase and demise) and the final battle with Roy.
Visual and audio editing is generally pretty good, and for the most part, music choice is preferential. There were a couple of occasions where the original Vangelis soundtrack comes through, only to quickly disappear again, but they are easily overlooked. Occasionally, I felt the music was either too loud or too quiet, but this didn't have a huge bearing on my enjoyment of the edit.
Some visual cuts were a bit quick, but these are infrequent.
Visual/audio quality was good, but I believe the blu ray is superior visually, and although minor I could tell a difference. The audio in terms of balance between dialogue and other audio seemed to me to have improved though.
But my chief concern was the way in which the narrative had been altered. The pacing was improved, but some bizarre choices of scenes were cut... Some examples:
- Because of the cut scenes, Rachel has no motivation to save deckard.
- Deckard not answering Rachel when she says "Would you come after me?" creates tension and leaves it ambiguous whether he would kill her, which is fine, but then Rachel pokes around the apartment, let's her hair down and starts playing piano - something you absolutely would NOT do after being left wondering whether someone is about to kill you or not.
- Deckard is much more of a jerk, which I'm not a fan of. I probably wouldn't mind too much, except that the borderline rape scene is now just plain rape - It's also made much darker, particularly due to the lack of a romantic element.
- Priss's character is generally underdeveloped.
- The sudden jump to Roy in Sebastian's apartment is jarring and there's no explanation for why or how he came to be there.
- In the elevator, Sebastian calls a check-mate move, but now only says "check" - why?
- The "Its too bad she won't live, but then again who does?" line makes absolutely no sense in the context of this edit. Deckard isn't a replicant, and he clearly doesn't care about Rachel - the last time we see her is when he rapes her.
Overall, well edited for the most part, but I can't say I'm a fan. Some of this is preference, but the narrative in particular made it very difficult for me to enjoy the edit.
This is phenomenal. I'm admittedly new to fanedits, but a decades-long fan of BR so this was an ideal cherry popper. You cut a HUGE amount of undiscovered fat; re-incorporate forgotten elements from other official versions; and elevate it all with a transformative (woohoo! was searching for this word) and agonizingly specific orchestral score that's accessible yet meaningful to whoever would recognize the tracks and their historical context. Ridley Scott would appreciate it more than anyone, and just that notion gives this entire watch a tingly freshness. Everything in this is fantastic. Really fun to watch.
You also create a two- or three-hump feeling of dread in the climax, which is preserved across the best official versions. Then it rockets off the chart in the last seconds. I feel like I can't talk about it more without spoilers, not that anyone reading this would be unfamiliar with BR. Anyway, nice pacing.
Fantastic music, fantastic excision, and if anyone argues the technical or narrative details I have to believe they'd still be taken by the smash-to-black finale. Phenomenal. Thank you!
Thank you for your kind review. Glad you enjoyed it!
This was a great edit. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was intrigued by this from listening to the Feature This podcast. When I read about it in the forums, I mistook your saying "this was a boring movie" as "this is not a good movie." When I heard you start to talk about it, I decided to watch the edit. Here, Blade Runner is tight, streamlined down to about an hour and 20 minutes. I feel like it flies by but in a good way. Compared to the relative crawl of the original, this felt refreshing. I loved the new score; I kept saying I couldn't believe this track works so well with this quite a few times. The ending was perfect; loved it.
A/V: 10/10 - The blu-ray looked great, the sound was very balanced to me.
Visual Editing: 10/10 - Invisible cuts, which is no small feat because lots of little parts in scenes are excised throughout the whole thing.
Audio Editing: 10/10 - Loved the new score. Can't say enough how well it worked with the visuals for me.
Narrative: 9/10 - Very quick but everything is there. It actually rewards repeat viewings because I watched this twice. The second time I wanted to listen to the commentary track but was unable to on the menu. So I just watched it again anyway and a couple of things I thought were holes or didn't make sense were set up well, just that it doesn't spoonfeed anything to the viewer.
Enjoyment: 9/10 - Really enjoyed this. My only minor quibbles relate to the disc. The menu buttons aren't mapped correctly. When I hit down it goes down to 'Audio' but up does not go up to 'Play Movie.' The left/right buttons are mapped to it even though it's a vertical menu, as well as down but not up. Maybe that's my player for some odd reason. The other thing is that if you make a blu-ray disc (believe me, I know the hassle), why not put chapters in the movie? It's as easy as dropping flags into your timeline and adds to the polish. The commentary track did not work which was a big bummer. I will try to burn the disc again and update this but when I accessed the audio menu and clicked on anything (Fanedit Commentary, Dolby 5.1 or Subtitles OFF) I just got a red X and nothing actually changed.
Now, the one harsh criticism I have for this edit is that the name 'Tyrell' is misspelled in the opening quote of the entire film! I don't know how that happens.
Other than that, phenomenal work and highly recommended.
Do you recommend this edit?
I misspelled Tyrell?! I'm so embarrassed!!!
Oh well. :P
My BD authoring software is kinda weak. It's supposed to add chapter markers every ten minutes, so I'm surprised even that didn't work. The audio commentary track is definitely there, as another reviewer has stated he was able to listen to it.
If by chance your player, for whatever reason, doesn't let it play, I'm sure you can listen to it through VLC player.
Thank you so much taking the time to listen to the podcast, watch the movie, and provide a review!!!
This was a really nicely done edit. I love "Blade Runner" as is (the so-called Director's Cut is my favorite version) but I can certainly understand why someone would think it's boring and needs "salvaging".
A/V Quality and Editing are top notch, excellent work. As for Narrative and Enjoyment, this version feels a bit off and some of the bigger changes you made I didn't like too much. The music you used was great and I especially liked some of the songs you used ironically. As well, props for including an audio commentary (which I see is your M.O. so far on fanedits). I listened the full commentary and it was great that you pointed out a lot of edits I wouldn't have noticed, such as shots you reversed, and I felt like I completely understood your editing choices and why you changed what you did.
Do you recommend this edit?
Thank you for the warm review and listening to the commentary track! I always appreciate someone willing to spend some more time on the edit to get a better idea of my intentions, good or bad, of my edit. Thanks again!
I love Blade Runner. The original film is truly something to behold. That said, I didn't know exactly what to expect with this edit, but I'm pleasantly surprised with it. I didn't think that the cuts to the narrative would create such a different experience but I came away loving this alternate version. I know that the original film is very slow, but that's what I love about it, it gives you more atmosphere, but less plot. I'm amazed that this edit was able to present the atmosphere, and the plot on equal levels.
The music choices were pretty much perfect. The aesthetic of retrofuturism is taken to new heights with this music. You have these future-noir visuals combined with music from the past two centuries. The visuals and audio just click.
I also loved how this edit felt. Every character presented felt completely beaten down by the world around them. That's something I didn't feel as much in the original. The ending was brilliantly constructed too. By removing certain scenes and side-plots Beezo created an entirely different character arc for Rick Deckard. Really good work on that.
If I have any complaints, then they're very minor. Some of my favorite shots from the original film were removed from this edit. But I understand that sacrifices had to be made. When pretty much every shot in the original is gorgeous, you're going to lose some good ones when you cut it. Overall, this is definitely worth your time if you're a fan of Blade Runner. Even more so if you're not a fan.