Blade Runner: Tears in the Rain
2. Rutger Hauer's credit before Harrison Ford. Film retitled "Tears in the Rain". Opening credit theme replaced with "Memories of Green" from soundtrack. Other titles cut except for Ridley Scott. Opening scrawl replaced with the "Replicant" definition from the Workprint cut.
3. Film cuts from Hades landscape (before the Leon-Holden interview) to Pris' meeting with JF Sebastian (with inserts of L.A. skyscape, so that Pris is seen looking up at the "New Life" blimp. The Hades eye is also implied to be Pris' here, not Holden's). This gives the replicants a more sympathetic intro in the film, instead of ruthless killers.
Menacing music at their meeting replaced with "Blade Runner Blues"
4. Chew-Leon-Batty scene moved up to this point. Lines concerning JF Sebastian are cut as they have found him by now. Scene ends with Batty saying "Where do we find this... father?" (implying Tyrell)
5. Leon-Holden scene moved down to this point, as at this point the replicants have presumably gained info about how to access Tyrell Corp. for Chew.
6. Deckard's original intro, noodle store scene, trip to police station, all cut. Deckard introduced driving to work listening to tape of Holden, followed by briefing scene with Bryant. VK on Rachel at Tyrell corp truncated to just the test and the post-test conversation with Tyrell.
4. Rachel's VK followed by Pris' scene with JF (raccoon airbrush scene) up to just before Batty shows up.
5. Deckard shown finding scale, followed by phone booth sequence of Batty-Leon.
6. Scene of Rachel in Rick's apartment cut, as well of him on the balcony.
7. Unicorn dream and Esper photo detection scenes cut.
8. Scale identification scene truncated as well as snake merchant.
9. ZHora strangling Rick cut.
10. After Zhora shot, Deckard's phone call to Rachel inserted, recut to appear as if Deckard calls Rachel out of loneliness, and then when she hangs up, he starts dialling again (it is implied this is Bryant he's calling, as the next scene is of Bryant arriving at the crime scene).
11. Bryant's lines about Rachel are cut. Deckard and Rachel's scenes in his apartment after Leon's shooting cut.
12. Deckard calling Pris at JF's apartment cut. Bryant's V.O. about JF is played as Rick drives. In this version he goes straight to the Bradbury apartment. It is implied from his actions in this version that he is in fact on top of his game and more menacing, unlike in the original, where he is an "ex-cop".
13. Ending with Rachel cut. Film now ends on the roof. Final shot is of Batty dead on roof and Rick staring at him.
13. BR theme replaced with "Tears in the Rain" and "Rachel's Song"
14. "Fanedit" and "Special thanks" cards inserted at end.
Before I get into this, I'll give some context. I don't really like Blade Runner that much. I think it's good, but not great. I appreciate it, but I believe it to be overrated and unnecessarily slow-paced. It's one of my brothers favourite films and, as a result, I have seen either the final cut or the directors cut countless times, both with him, on my own and with a variety of other people. I always go in with an open mind, and always come out with the same opinion: the film looks beautiful, it sounds beautiful and the story is pretty good - but it has some big issues with pacing. On that note, I'll start with the NARRATIVE:
This was a big issue for me, particularly in the first act. I get that the focus is being brought more onto the replicants, but for me this didn't work. Deckard still felt like the main character, just ill developed. Origami man was well cut, but Rachel wasn't. Naturally, she can't be removed completely because she kills off one of the replicants, but then again, if you can't cut something completely, and what you're choosing to remove is going to damage the narrative, then you either need to work a way around it or leave it untouched.
In regards to the pacing... I find it interesting that even though this has been cut down to nearly half the length, it's still drags. However, I'm a firm believer that length has very little to do with pacing or keeping a viewer's attention. This might seem like a strange example, but allow me to go on a brief tangent:
The other day I was talking with someone about Elton John. I'm very familiar with his work, whereas they were only familiar with his hits. They said his best song was Tiny Dancer, I disagreed. I'm not sure what his best song is, but I labelled Funeral for a Friend as better. Now, Tiny Dancer is 4 minutes long, and Funeral for a Friend is 10. We each played our chosen song to each other, and of their own accord, the other person stated that they couldn't believe funeral for a friend was as long as it was, whereas they got bored of tiny dancer quite quickly and said that it "was a lot longer than they remember". Why is this? I believe that Tiny Dancer has a very basic structure and it milks one particular section for far too long towards the end of the song, whereas Funeral For A friend, although long, builds just right, balances dynamics well and never overstays it's welcome on any one section.
What's my point? Structure is everything, and length is overrated. Cutting something down will not automatically improve the pacing, and if you're going to make the decision to reorder the narrative, you have to be supremely careful - especially if you are already familiar with the film, because you always run the risk of assuming things make sense and losing the ability to perceive how the film will come across to new or less familiar viewers.
For me, things were slow from the start of the edit simply because we're switching between several different characters without developing any of them properly. The audience doesn't know who they're rooting for, they don't know where they stand or where to settle. The start of the movie is incredibly important; it builds a foundation for the rest of the film to rest upon and if done improperly, nothing that follows, no matter how good, can have as much impact as intended.
Now, regardless of the above, I did enjoy the edit (sort of). I found the first act frustrating and slow, began to settle back in for the middle act (despite Rachel's appearance) and very much enjoyed the last act - chiefly due to the combination of nice, streamlined editing, the black and white filter complementing the cinematography and everything else that's great and already present in the film.
Audio/video quality for this seemed pretty good to me, especially for a DVD. Black and white was a nice touch as well; there were definitely scenes that were far too dark, but likewise there were also moments where it complemented the cinematography beautifully. I particularly enjoyed the end sequence with Roy and Dekard - the silhouettes, shadows and rain all looked great.
Visual and audio editing were both excellent. The only time I noticed something off was right at the beginning of the film where we transition from the opening shots to Priss. I wouldn't go as far as to say that it was jarring, but it felt a little awkward and unnatural to me. Something in the audio sounded unbalanced, and this combined with some ill placed shots of Priss had me shuffling in my seat. Thankfully, the rest of the editing that followed was wonderfully done.
A final thought:
I feel like there are people on here that only want "alternative" edits that alter the narrative but keep the pacing, and people that feel the need to speed the film up to the pace of a thriller. I don't agree with either of these. I like the atmosphere of the film, but I still think it's too darn slow. I'd like to see a light edit that retains the wonderful score from Vangelis, makes good use of the gorgeous visuals, retains the narrative of the Final Cut (I haven't seen the original... yet) and yet still manages to improve the pacing. I believe it can be done, and I really don't think anything radical is required. I'd like to watch some more of the edits that are around, but it may well be that I end up doing one of my own...
the A/V looked and sounded fine to me. that high contrast BW looked great to me, it drew me into the environment even more so than the original's color palette. all the audio sounded fine, no hard cuts or weird fades. replacing the score may have been nice, but i realize how hard that can be at times. plus that's the editor's choice, he wanted to leave it as is, so be it.
the narrative, it all still made sense even with so much cut. Ranger's intention was clearly successful and the only weird story element has been said already, what happened to Rachel. the biggest improvement is dropping that horrible narration.
it's a fantastic edit and Ranger did a top notch job and i'll take this over any of the studio versions, but i still don't like this movie; it's still boring and moves incredibly slow. but that's on me, Ranger didn't say he was trying to make it fast and more exciting, just present the story in a different way, which he completely accomplishes. i seriously put the original film at like 4 or 5. Ranger's version here has boosted that rating for me.
if you're a blade runner fan, this one is worth your time.
Blade Runner is in my top ten favorite films. I never grow tired of watching it and I am obsessed with the score by Vangelis. The original film is a visual masterpiece, entirely devoted to pulling the viewer into this vision of the future and letting us marvel at the awe and wonder of this strange new Los Angeles. This version is more personal. It doesn't replace the final cut of the film - although I'd much rather watch 'Tears in the Rain' than listen to the clunky narration in the theatrical version - but it is a nice way to really focus in on the replicants and their struggle: "living in fear." In many ways, I understand 'Blade Runner' more from watching this version. Being able to see Rutger Hauer's journey completely strung together and as - in a way - the film's protagonist put everything in a new light. Watching this film also made me wish the actual movie were in black and white, an underrated medium that elevates almost every film it's applied to. The only failure in this edit is the Sean Young character, who is introduced, saves Deckard, and then disappears. This isn't necessarily a failure on the editor's part - as the scene of her saving Deckard is necessary to the replicants' plot - but shows a limitation in creating a fanedit with this premise in mind. Still, I highly enjoyed this edit and couldn't help but shed a tear during Hauer's death.
Blade Runner is one of those films in which people profess to like more than they really do. Or, perhaps through the lens of nostalgia or some facsimile, people enjoy remembering it more than they enjoyed watching it. Speaking for myself, I never liked it. And, among my film enthusiast peers (who confided in me in hushed tones), they too admitted their general malaise for the movie. Whatever ending or version one watches, the film never settles in a place in which characters are worth rooting for or where subtext is given more than a cursory glance. In short, it is a film ripe for an editor's eye who might be able to wrangle a more satisfying experience out of it.
Sadly, Ranger613's Tears in the Rain isn't quite it.
To the editor's credit, despite cutting a third of the original's run time, the edit never feels rushed. The only oddity worth mentioning is the lack of narrative conclusion to the part played by Sean Young. The idea that a replicant can be fooled into thinking it's human never has a subtextual callback. Her character is necessary though and cannot be completely edited out as she comes to Decker's rescue at a critical juncture that (probably) cannot be remedied with the tools available to any editor. To this extent, I forgive this short coming.
However, at just an hour and ten minutes, the film still felt laborious in the latter part of the second act and much of the third.
Two things that can save a dull movie are fascinating soundtracks and exquisite cinematography. Speaking to the latter, Ranger613 goes big by opting for a black-and-white, high-contrast take on the (admittedly) already great camera work from the original. However, puzzling to me was that his edit lacked sharpness and was unfortunately plagued with pixelation and artifacting in the darkest parts of the frame. When I saw that the film was under 90 minutes, and was over 7 gigs without extra features, I just assumed all those 1's and 0's would be going towards a crystal clean image. But this is not the case. I'm not sure if the editor had the ability to make this on a source that was HD, but if not, that was certainly to the detriment of this project. This is the kind of movie that needs a superior image to really sell the experience.
Regarding the film's score, it appears that the editor never felt compelled to address it. The synthesized sounds might, by some, be argued as a layer of subtext to model the plight of the replicants (synthetic humans, synthetic music, etc...). I find it a cheap reminder than we're watching something from the early 80's. I'm under the impression that an overhaul to the film's score would help breathe more life into the more mundane points of the movie. I admit I could be alone in this assumption.
Ranger613 has stated that his edit is not supposed to be a "fixed" version of the original (a film he, unlike myself, claims to be among his most cherished). Rather, this edit is merely a different or alternate take on the material at hand. In this respect, it really does come off as something unique from its source material. The original is a long, bloated experience, while this is curt and focused. This edit better correlates with the visualization of a short story, not a screenplay. I liked this, and I sense there's room to take this concept even further.
I can't say much without repeating what other reviews have said. In short, I really enjoyed this edit. It's an interesting, creative take on a classic. Well done. Highly recommended.