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David Mullen ASC

Blade Runner: The Final Cut

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Saw this today at the Landmark Cinema, projected using the Sony 4K, though I read that the DCI master was 2K, from the 4K restoration, so I don't know if I saw 4K or 2K-to-4K being projected.

 

Looked stunning, the best I've ever seen the movie look.

 

Now I must admit that over the years, I've seen this movie in all sorts of quality levels and formats. I moved to Los Angeles in August of 1982 to go to UCLA, and caught "Blade Runner" for the first time at the tail end of its run, at the tiny shoebox cinema of the Beverly Center's Cineplex. Not the ideal way of seeing it.

 

Then I used to see it at midnight movie screenings and over at the Beverly Cinema in a beat-up 35mm scope print.

 

Then I saw the 70mm print (off of the original negative) that was discovered in a vault, of a preview audience cut, with a temp music score, the only 70mm print ever made of "Blade Runner", at least in the U.S. The print was duped to 35mm anamorphic and released at the Nuart a year later (and looked "dupey"), and the success of that prompted the "director's cut" that next appeared.

 

Years later I saw this 70mm "preview audience" print at the Cinerama Dome, now pink-faded. I was a little shocked that they were still renting out this print, being one of its kind.

 

The new version looks amazing, and I was glad that the 4K D.I. retained the grain structure of the 5247 film stock, although a few shots looked sharpened, and the efx were less grainy than ever because they went back to the original 65mm composites, pre-duping to 35mm, and scanned those (Trumbull back then would shoot efx in 65mm and then composite them to 65mm and then dupe the finished composite to 35mm anamorphic at an outside facility -- it wasn't until Edlund took over that a 65mm-to-35mm printer was built over there, and used on "2010" and "Ghostbusters".)

 

The black levels of the Sony 4K projector could be better... but it wasn't as distracting as it was when I saw "Dr. Strangelove" there in 4K.

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This isn't really a spoiler -- it's a 25-year-old movie...

 

OK, if according to Ridley Scott, Deckard is supposedly a replicant (hinted at by the unicorn dream)... then why would the Tyrell Corporation design a replicant-hunting cop replicant who is physically weaker than every replicant he goes out to kill??? Deckard gets the crap beat out of him by every replicant he meets except Rachel!

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Oh man I wish I could have seen that! I've never been able to see it in a theater. Do you know if a new print will be making rounds?

 

That's a good point.... maybe Tyrell would purposely do that to make sure their "children" live on in a way? Or could it be that he was a early design that isn't as strong? I guess you can fill in reasons when need be... something in me thinks maybe Ridley did that either without thinking it through or is just trying to screw with people.

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Saw this today at the Landmark Cinema, projected using the Sony 4K, though I read that the DCI master was 2K, from the 4K restoration, so I don't know if I saw 4K or 2K-to-4K being projected.

 

Any way to find out the answer to this?

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This isn't really a spoiler -- it's a 25-year-old movie...

 

OK, if according to Ridley Scott, Deckard is supposedly a replicant (hinted at by the unicorn dream)... then why would the Tyrell Corporation design a replicant-hunting cop replicant who is physically weaker than every replicant he goes out to kill??? Deckard gets the crap beat out of him by every replicant he meets except Rachel!

 

If you were super strong, resilient and the rest compared to everyone else around you you'd start to think about it no ?

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If you were super strong, resilient and the rest compared to everyone else around you you'd start to think about it no ?

 

Since replicants are illegal on Earth, is the Tyrell Corporation selling them illegally to the police and whatnot? Or are they sneaking them into the workforce? But what's the point of making a replicant like Deckard, not telling him that he's a replicant, then making him a replicant hunter?

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Since replicants are illegal on Earth, is the Tyrell Corporation selling them illegally to the police and whatnot? Or are they sneaking them into the workforce? But what's the point of making a replicant like Deckard, not telling him that he's a replicant, then making him a replicant hunter?

 

I was always under the impression he was an older version, before they put the four year life expectancy on the replicants and they used the older models to destroy the newer ones.

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Since replicants are illegal on Earth, is the Tyrell Corporation selling them illegally to the police and whatnot? Or are they sneaking them into the workforce? But what's the point of making a replicant like Deckard, not telling him that he's a replicant, then making him a replicant hunter?

 

Well, one reason I suppose was to make the basis of a good film that happened to transcend most the potential flaws of its internal logic ;)

 

I haven't read the book, however its kind of redundant as we are discussing the film - so, hmmmm - I dont think it would be a far stretch to say that Tyrell Corp probably had its finger in the political pie and could experiment with relative impunity on it replicants by placing them in the wider community to see how far they could go before making the connection that they weren't actual humans ...

 

I suppose if they were worried about the 'candle burns twice as bright' replicants why not make some extra Blade Runners ?

 

Was it actually Tyrell we met at the beginning of the film ? (or a sort of Smithers character :lol: ) I cant remember exactly as I haven't seen it in a few years, but regardless if I recall he seemed like a rather philosophical type, not one to shy away from setting up a voyeuristic game of chess between his creations ...

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I saw it at the Landmark on Saturday... WOW!!!

 

Unlike David, the only way I've seen the film has been on Mexican TV long ago (cropped to 4:3), on the Laserdisc director's cut, the DVD (actually the reason I bought a DVD player back in the day) which looks similar to the Laster disc as it was one of the first DVDs available - and quite compressed, and the original theatrical release years later on the sci-fi channel...

 

So to see on the BIG screen, in 4k projection (whatever the method may be) was a COMPLETELY NEW experience for me - it literally changed the film for me... and it was already on my top 10 films of all time list, but it's truly a film made for the big screen, the Trumblall Scope "Landscapes" are packed with details that before I hadn't ever seen, and a lot of compositions have a lot more going on than you see in the background or foreground and because of this, it changes the pace too ; lot of people I've heard complain about the pace (which I personally love), but now I realize its because people aren't seeing it the way it was intended, because now I felt the shots couldn't be held any less time because there was so much to look at.

 

The ultimate atmospheric movie, because I believe everything -- usually I look at movies today, and the moment I see the wide shot with the big CG composite it takes me out of the story because its too jarring / too artificial / poorly comped, this film is 25 years old, and everything seems seamless - people should pay more attention to doing work like this.

The emotions felt even better conveyed...

 

I guess I'm just ranting ; I loved it !!!

For those in LA , you CANNOT miss it... I hope I can catch it again (Im out of town now) - I heard it will only play for a week, so hurry!!

 

One Question:

Did they add more "Jaguar eyes" that in the original cut, or had I missed how many there are before?

 

Regarding Deckards true origin: I don't think the new cut makes it more or less ambiguois and I like it that way... the things that to me indicate that he might be a replicant are less the unicorn and more the implications of: "I dream the music" , "have you ever retired a human by mistake" , and "...but then again who does"

 

thanks.

 

Best,

 

-felipe.

Edited by Felipe Perez-Burchard

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IF Deckard really is a replicant, maybe he's not a military design like Batty and Zhora. Originally a political liaison? Diplomatic/intelligence service? That could explain the lack of physical prowess and seemingly above-average detective skills.

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I haven't read the book, however its kind of redundant as we are discussing the film -

 

It's been along since I have; but...

 

SPOILER ALERT

 

...Deckard keeps a real goat on the roof of his apartment building.

Rachel, who is as much a sociopath as all the other replicants, pushes it off the roof to spite Dekard, then escapes.

 

Deckard wanders through the desert disspairing. He comes across atortoise and is overjoyed to find an actual living thing.

He picks it up and finds a Tyrell logo on its belly.

 

There's a big difference in the attitude toward the replicants in the book and movie.

Dick saw them as mirrors of the rising number af sociopaths in society, as such replicants are evil.

In the movie they are sympathetic victims.

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The book suggest that the defining human quality, which replicants lack, is empathy. There is a moment in the book where Pris, I think, is pulling the legs off of a spider that suggests her lack of empathy. So ultimately replicants aren't "human" in the book, whereas the movie suggests that they more or less are.

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I've used this film as a reference when trying to convey the importance of sound design to someone unknowing. It is one of the most explicit examples of how to use sound in film. Try watching without it for just one minute.

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My favorite film. Im a huge P. K. Dick fan, the book is quite different. As far as incongruities in the film goes Ill give my own perspective. In the directors cut Deckard is clearly a replicant and Ridley Scott has said as much. There are several clues.

 

The Unicorn Dream, Deckard's "Theme" animal. This is taken somewhat from the book where humans are distinguished from Replicants in their ability to emphasize with one another and animals. They participate in a religion in which they use a machine to share the experience of their Martyr who is stoned to death at the hands of his community. In the film characters are related to animals but not in a literal way. When the Blade Runner at the end makes a match stick Unicorn it suggests an awareness of his designed memories.

 

Similar to this there is the scene between Rachel and Deckard where he exposes her intimate memories and she becomes resigned to her existence. She then turns on Rick and tries to pick holes in him, she plays a tune on the piano which seems familiar to him and lets her hair down like the picture of his relative. She looks nearly identical and this suggests something about the pool of memories which their designers draw from to build the individual.

 

Reflective eyes. The Voight Kompf exposes Replicants by triggering an emotional response and unconscious dilation of the pupil. Several Replicants have reflective eyes in the film, you'll spot it even in the animals. Even Tyrell their "creator" wears reflective glasses which can be read into in a variety of ways. Also when the Replicants arrive on earth they murder the designer of their eyes in his shop. Their is an un filmed scene in the script behind Tyrells bedroom which explored some of his motivations for creating the Replicants.

 

The vulnerability and performance of the human characters compared to the Replicants. Look at the human characters in the film. Genre based caricatures from detective stories or film noir, the Replicants on the other hand behave quite differently. Detached, aloof, cold; nothing really bothers them except death which they seem unable to cope with. Deckard behaves in much the same way as Roy Batty. He fights just as hard to stay alive.

 

The reason I enjoy this film so much is because these are clues to a mystery which the audience is never really asked to participate in. It operates on the level of a novel which is a unique and difficult thing to achieve in a script and while its botched together and feels as if the edit has been abandoned because of the sea of ideas.

 

And doesn't it look good, still stands up today effects and all (even the cables lifting the skycars). Its one of those films which is an entire style and genre all on its own.

 

The book "Future Noir" is a great and detailed read about the production. Contrary to popular belief Ridley Scott was not forced to include the voice over for the theatrical release, it was something he had pushed for a one point. He and the producer were fired at one point in the production but they just continued to show up for work. Yes the Unicorn is from "Legend" and the Theatrical ending is from "The Shining". There was a pan Atlantic stoush between the English crew and American crew during the production.

 

I really encourage fans to have a look at "Future Noir". There is an extra chapter of the book available online which deals with the camera work. Ill try and find a link somewhere in my bloated bookmarks tab.

 

I'm a huge fan, made me want to make films. I cant wait to see and get the new cut.

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I just saw it last night at the Landmark. What a truly humbling experience.

I was noticing so many subtleties to Cronenweth's work that I never would have seen in the 30+ times I've viewed the film before.

 

One Question:

Did they add more "Jaguar eyes" that in the original cut, or had I missed how many there are before?

I noticed that too.

We probably missed them, since the effect is done with lighting. There were many more occurances that were much more subtle (and not noticeable on a DVD), highlighting points in character arcs. Genious...

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I've never seen it, I guess i should go rent it. Is there a special edition DVD or Directors cut DVD out?

 

Do yourself a favor, wait another 2 months, the Final Cut is being released on Blu-Ray, HD-DVD & DVD on 12/18. The current DVD release was encoded back in '97 and isn't even anamorphic. Not the best way to enjoy the movie.

Edited by John Allardice

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Actually the name of the novel is not "Blade Runner" but rather " Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep ?"

 

The problem with all these robot movies is that they are so phony. A good robot movie should use real robot technology or at least base their simulations on real robot technology.

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The word robot is a very loose term. Technically human beings can be considered robots or machines even though they are composed of natural materials like carbon. In Blade Runner the Androids were genetically engineered humanoid life forms. What this means in order to create a movie that no robot has to be built and the only requirment is that actors look like humans but act like robots. My point is that most of the robot movies I see are phony. For the real robot technology I like to visit www.freepatentsonline But the problem with this website is that all the patent submissions although very much state of the art are just a bunch of static drawings that are for the most part incomprehensible because they are not animated and cannot demonstrate motion.

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My point is that most of the robot movies I see are phony.

 

In most robot movies the robots are metaphors.

 

The point of the androids in Dick's book is lack of empathy.

 

& much of the "science" in Dick's books is more akin to magic. The same would go for most science fiction movies. They're basically fairy tales updated with saucermen instead of fairies.

 

Where's the hard science in 'Godzilla' or 'The Mysterians'?

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Hello mr Mullen.

First I just wanna say how amazing your contribution to this forum is. Your enthusiasm in answering complex as well as simple questions is very admirable. Great stuff for those of us stuck in a small european country with a horrible film industry and not much clever film teaching going on.

I was just wondering, what did you think of the alteration Ridley Scott did in the grading for the final cut?

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