If you’re reading this before 2 December 2007, you still have a chance to see Blade Runner – The Final Cut on the big screen at one of a tiny number of cinemas such as the Arts Picturehouse in Cambridge. Forget the fact that it’s a whole new version of one of the most influential films ever made. The real importance of this is that you may never again get the chance to see any version of this movie on the big screen again. And whether you remember it from the first or second time out, or have it on DVD, or are yet to witness its brilliance at all, you’ll be kicking yourself if you could have caught it at the cinema, and didn’t.
So what is it like? Bear in mind that it’s my favourite film of all time, and I’ve even slogged my way through Future Noir: The Making of “Blade Runner”, so I can be counted as a fan, albeit not an obsessive. I’m not really that bothered about the changes to the film, especially the relatively minor differences between this version and the 1992 “Director’s Cut”. I just came out of the cinema thinking “wow – what an experience”. It’s tremendous. A science fiction film made twenty-five years ago has no right to look contemporary in 2007, but it still does. Only some amusingly lo-tech visuals on various computer and instrumentation screens dotted around the film spoil it. That and adverts everywhere for companies which might have seemed in 1982 like ones which would dominate the commercial landscape in 2019, but didn’t make it anywhere like that far: Pan Am, Atari, TWA, etc. Otherwise it’s fabulously stylish and often quite believable.
Most importantly, the film has been restored beautifully and looks great, and sounds even better (oh, that music!).
Short but good review of Blade Runner – The Final Cut from SciFi.com which summarises some of the changes and makes the best observation of all, that this version simply flows better.
Decent Blade Runner – The Final Cut review from Empire magazine which points out something else which struck me on this viewing: that the detail in the film is quite astonishing.
More Blade Runner – The Final Cut reviews than you can shake a stick at, as ever, from Rotten Tomatoes.
Review of Blade Runner – The Final Cut from the New York Times which quotes director Ridley Scott as confirming that Deckard is himself a replicant.
Terrible review of Blade Runner – The Final Cut from The Times by a guy who seems to have either missed the second version of the film, or just read the press pack (as some commenters have observed). Here’s a second attempt by the same bloke after interviewing some people and realising how daft his first effort was.
It’s not the same, but better than nothing:
Buy Blade Runner: The Final Cut (5-Disc Ultimate Collectors’ Edition Tin) at Amazon UK. Yes, every version and every extra they can think of does seem a bit excessive, but it’s only a few pounds more than the plain version.