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I've seen this film so many times, in three different variations now, that I'm not sure where to start. At the beginning I guess. My dad showed me this film when I was around 13, I wasn't quite sure what had happened, but I knew I liked it. But I don't think I watched it again for another five years, when I was in art school. One of my friends insisted on watching it over and over, which I had no problem with. Blade Runner is one of those rare movies, that no matter how many times I see it, it always seems fresh. There's so much to look at, so many details, that you're always noticing new things about the film. We were watching the original cut, the one with the narration, I've seen it so many times, that I still hear it when watching the versions without.

In 1997 I bought my first DVD player, and Blade Runner: The Director's Cut was the very first DVD I bought to go along with it. I watched it quite a few more times in that form, grew used to the new changes. Around the same time I saw it for the first time on the big screen, when they did a revival show, at the best theater in Seattle, the Cinerama. I bought and read the book Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner, a must read for any Blade Runner fanatic. I've read the original novel Do Android Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick, a wonderful book, that truly only shares the dystopian view of the future and a cop chasing down rogue androids; if you want to expand the Blade Runner universe, again, a must read.

So yeah, I'm a fan.
I easily place it among my top five films; if it weren't for The Matrix, I'd call it my all-time-favorite sci-fi film. I believe it's a masterpiece in every sense of the word. Beautifully crafted from top to bottom; from the set and costume design, to the gorgeous, dark photography; superbly written, great naturalistic dialogue, great acting, and top notch direction by Ridley Scott. At a time when everyone was trying to remake Star Wars, Scott and team set out on a completely different sci-fi idea, creating a new view of the future, and influencing a whole new set of filmmakers.

I was ecstatic when the long rumored Final Cut made it's way to DVD. And after watching it, I must say it's the best version of the film yet. It's not drastically different than the Directors Cut, there are only a few different cuts here and there, mostly in reference to Deckard's being an android himself; they extended Deckard's dream of the unicorn, which pays off by Gaff leaving him an origami unicorn at the end; saying that he knows his dreams and what he really is. The other big editing change, is when Zhora is killed by Deckard and she goes crashing through the glass store front; in previous versions it was obviously a stunt-man in a wig, now, it looks like actress Joanna Cassidy all the way through. The most noticeable change about the film is the way it looks.

It looks brand new, no more dirty prints, it is clean and gorgeous like it was shot yesterday, instead of 25 years ago. Some of the effects are slightly improved, not in a "look at me" kind of way like the new
Star Wars films, but subtle, keeping with the original look of the film. My only problem with this new version of the film, is that it does pretty much spell out that Deckard is an android himself. I always liked that the original cut left the idea vague, leaving the decision up to the viewer. Scott has taken that decision away. He does that through the unicorn dream and the fact that at one point in the film, you see every androids eyes glow red, which Deckard's do when he's in his apartment with Rachel. Something that may have happened in the original cut, but I always missed, and is now pretty blatant.

One problem I've always had, is that if Deckard is a android, why is he so weak? He is constantly getting beat up by all the Nexus-6's he's tracking down. If the cops went to the trouble of getting an android to do their hunting, wouldn't they want him to keep the advantage of strength and quickness. It's a small quibble, and it gives me something to discuss with the other die-hard
Blade Runner fans. All in all, I'm very happy with the Final Cut and the DVD set. It's something I will treasure for a long time, and hope will introduce the film to a whole new generation of fans. - Grade: A+

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