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 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.
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.
Thanks for taking the time to review. Sorry it didn't work for you, but its understandable as my edit is not meant to be an improvement but an homage to the original, and since you dislike the original, well.. Blade Runner is my favorite film, and I couldn't conceive of changing the music unless its to something from Vangelis' unused score (which I did, for the end credits and some other scenes). Even Jerry Goldsmith's temp music in the original workprint cut was subpar. Lastly... 'cheap 80's'? Hellz no. The 80's were Awesome!! Cheers.
What can I say about this edit? I thought it was a great noir, sci-fi piece and the suspense built naturally throughout. The length of this edit felt just about right for me given the editor's goals.
The only one thing that felt a little awkward was the unfulfilled relationship between Deckard and Rachel. Even though my memory of this film was very dim, prior to this viewing, it felt as if something was missing or removed in that area of the plot. Other than that one small nitpick, I thought this was a great edit and the choice of B & W hit the mark, giving the film a very noir atmosphere.
Well done sir