Ultimate Collector's Edition
Features: HD DVD 5-Disc Ultimate Collection, containing all five Blade Runner versions, including the rarely seen Workprint version.
Distributor: Warner Brothers
Movie Release: June 25, 1982
This Release: December 18, 2007
MPAA Rating: R
Final Cut Running Time: 1 hr 57 mins
Archived Versions Running Time: 1 hr 57 mins
Workprint Running Time: 1 hr 50 mins
Official Website: http://bladerunnerthemovie.warnerbros.com
Current Price: Check Price / Purchase
Cons / Disadvantages
- Video quality is exceptional and will probably be the most definitive available
- Vangelis score sounds much better
- Faces are much clearer & sharper
- Backgrounds and foregrounds are cleaner, revealing more detail
- Exhaustive amount of extras for the Blade Runner aficionado
- Workprint version available for the first time
- Blade Runner in High-Def is simply amazing and brings a totally new experience to the Sci-Fi Noir genre
- Entertaining collection of Blade Runner accessories
- The Spinner car replica is a little too toy-ish
- Gaffe's unicorn is made out of cheap plastic
- Should have created the mysterious not-so-much talked about 4-hour version of Blade Runner — I would have easily settled for a standard definition release
- The audio on this particular version of Blade Runner sounds darn good. Vangelis is one of my favorite all-time musical artists and the score is just fantastic. Dolby TrueHD sounds much better than the typical Dolby 2.0 soundtrack found on previous releases and the Vangelis score is more fuller, delivering low-frequency satisfaction and mids and highs are clear and crisp.
- As far as HD is concerned, this is one of the best HD releases I've seen and is rated accordingly. Is this an HD Reference title? Well, I'd say yes it is but with a small caveat. Blade Runner takes place mostly in dim and dark environments, and on many HD releases, the shadows are where a lot of grain can be seen. Blade Runner in HD does a very good job at keeping grain to a minimum (due to the nature of the type of film used), however, we do not have a significant amount of daylight scenes for a true comparison to other HD formats, and thus, I cannot justify a rating of 10. But don't let this stop you from purchasing this set. Since most of you are probably already going Blu-ray, be sure to purchase the Blu-ray version. For those who still have HD DVD players (like myself), grab the HD DVD version.
Overall, this HD release is still in the top tier of HD titles to purchase for your expanding collection. Considering the amount of time the film does reside in low-light and utter darkness, the characters and scenes do have a generous amount of detail not seen in previous non-HD versions. Trust me. You will be impressed.
Another important distinction from previous versions of Blade Runner, are the absence of specks and artifacts which plagued it throughout the film. Blade Runner in HD demonstrates what a studio can come up with, if a team is given ample time to restore the film.
- Blade Runner seems to raise more questions during its nearly two-hour presentation than it seems to solve. Initially regarded as something to avoid, twenty-five years later Blade Runner is now sought after as a reference for Film Noir fans. Blade Runner is a multi-layered cinematic experience which is a staple amongst movie collectors, and is also a basis for many films which try to come close, but fail.
I probably cannot convince you enough to see Blade Runner in HD (High-Definition). This review is for the HD DVD version, but the Blu-ray version is just as good as the same VC-1 encode is present. The 5-Disc HD DVD version of Blade Runner is still available without the added accessories from many online retailers. If you specifically want the HD DVD version with the Deckard briefcase, you will probably need to purchase it on eBay or Amazon. I recommend Amazon.
- This release has one of the most extensive collections of extras available for a single title (over 8 hours of commentaries and featurettes). The amount of information available at the touch of your remote about Blade Runner is simply exhaustive. Fans of this film will be entertained for quite some time. Trying to watch the entire set of extras in one sitting would be challenging. However, since there is so much discussed by those involved with the film, be sure to pace yourself. In my particular case, I can watch the extras over and over and still get new information about Blade Runner.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED PLUS
Blade Runner is one of those movies released in the 80's which seems to find more significance several decades later. Sometimes a true classic--something of extreme value and quality, is only recognized far into the future. What we do know is Blade Runner would certainly have not received this kind of treatment if it was not warranted. It certainly was, and those who only watched Blade Runner on previous DVD versions and television will enjoy the film as never before.