Review Detail

9.5 11 10
FanFix April 26, 2009 6672
Enjoyment
 
10.0
I really liked this edit. The whole thing was very consistent all the way though with only a tiny handful of jarring moments. I suppose if I were to pick holes I would point to the shot of the photo of Deckard and his wife appearing on three occasions, which I found repetitive and which I always find pushes me more to the pro Deckard being a replicant school of thought. Nowadays I’d much rather it be left ambiguoous, which is clearly the intention of this edit..isn’t it? It was nice not to hear the line from Gaff, “But are you sure you’re really a man?”, but then suddenly jarred me when it appeared in Deckard’s daydream/flashback at the very end. I was glad to see the ‘happy’ ending in this version. It’s nice to have that and NO voiceover for a change – Give me at least a grain of hope, I say. This world is way too dark already..

It’s probably a fault of the original production that all the possible ‘light’ endiings have that ‘tacked on’ quality, although I like them nonetheless, and it was nice to see it handled differently for a change. If it were my edit, I don’t know, perhaps I might have lost Rachael’s line, “Are we lovers?” as well? And I would certainly have dropped the flashback of Deckards photo. Even twice in Deckard’s apartment was too much really. Perhaps it’s the nature of the end scene, but it had an even more contrasting quality from the rest of the film, than even the end of the Theatrical cut – In this version it’s the only part of the film to show a dream/flashback/reverie sequence. I wonder if restoring the unicorn scene would have balanced that a little? But I will admit that, unlike ADM’s version, I didn’t find myself missing the unicorn. But even as someone who leans more to the Deckard as a human hypothesis, I don’t much have a problem with the unicorn dream. The unicorn could just as easily represent Rachael, I think, and Deckard was familiar with her file and the contents of her memories. This could have quite easily influenced his dreams, especially as he was in the process of falling for her.. And Gaff could have quite easily left the origimi unicorn at for her because he knew she was at Deckard’s apartment. And of course the unicorn theme could be extended with a few shots from Legend, as well, if one really wanted to go there..

I’m glad there was no voiceover in this version. Parts of it work well in the Theatrical cut, but one can easily hear the boredom in Harrison Ford’s voice through other parts of it. It just sounds weak and pathetic in places. And by restoring extra scenes with their own voiceover, the whole thing becomes even more inconsistent, and it becomes painfully obvious which scenes have been shoehorned in there. I’m not sure how it was done, my guess is the whole thing was put through some kind of filter, but the film as a whole is pretty much seamless. Except in the places where the cut scenes are very badly deteriorated, there is almost no contrast between them and the rest of the film. Assuming a filter was used, it looks to have created a kind of CRT scan lines effect. Although the whole thing is far from pin sharp, I rather fancied myself watching this not on my LCD monitor, but on some kind of Esper, or other computer/CCTV screen in the Blade Runner universe itself, and because the effect was so consistent it was easy to maintain that suspension of disbelief – Low picture quality doesn’t always bother me a great deal – I have a VHS rip of the Theatrical cut I sometimes watch when I’m feeling nostalgic. I’m quite happy to look at this dark yet colourful world through dirty glass – It can even add to it, I find.

It was nice to see so much moderation in the addition of the cut scenes, rather than just shove everything in there, just for the sake of it – like that horrible shot of Deckard digging a huge lump of gunky tissue out of his nose! And the subtle extra shots, like the one of Pris walking to Sebastian’s place from right above, didn’t go unnoticed. Oddly though, the shot of the Salome poster in Taffey Lewis’ bar did seem out of place though – It just dominated the screen too much, even in that second or so.

The video itself is a letterboxed 4:3 aspect ratio, but that presented no problems to me. Overall I would say this edit provided something new, yet also captured the original spirit of the film very well, and although the overall quality is perhaps lower than ADM’s cut, it is nonetheless very consistent and I find it easier and more enjoyable to watch. The only bits I would cut are at least one of the shots of Deckard’s photo, the shot of Salome’s poster, and a couple of lines from the last scene which I’ve already mentioned. I also dislike the Final Cut dove scene, for some reason. I’m not sure why the workprint version isn’t still used? – It’s dark, and I like it better than both the Theatrical/Director’s cuts and the Final cut versions of the same shot, but I suppose that’s just a question of taste.. All these things are really minor niggles about what is a very enjoyable edit.

This certainly a very good edit of one of my favourite films ever and I highly recommended it.
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