Review Detail

9.1 17 10
FanMix June 29, 2014 8628
(Updated: March 29, 2018)
Overall rating
Audio/Video Quality
Audio Editing
Visual Editing
Before I get into this, I'll give some context. I don't really like Blade Runner that much. I think it's good, but not great. I appreciate it, but I believe it to be overrated and unnecessarily slow-paced. It's one of my brothers favourite films and, as a result, I have seen either the final cut or the directors cut countless times, both with him, on my own and with a variety of other people. I always go in with an open mind, and always come out with the same opinion: the film looks beautiful, it sounds beautiful and the story is pretty good - but it has some big issues with pacing. On that note, I'll start with the NARRATIVE:

This was a big issue for me, particularly in the first act. I get that the focus is being brought more onto the replicants, but for me this didn't work. Deckard still felt like the main character, just ill developed. Origami man was well cut, but Rachel wasn't. Naturally, she can't be removed completely because she kills off one of the replicants, but then again, if you can't cut something completely, and what you're choosing to remove is going to damage the narrative, then you either need to work a way around it or leave it untouched.

In regards to the pacing... I find it interesting that even though this has been cut down to nearly half the length, it's still drags. However, I'm a firm believer that length has very little to do with pacing or keeping a viewer's attention. This might seem like a strange example, but allow me to go on a brief tangent:

The other day I was talking with someone about Elton John. I'm very familiar with his work, whereas they were only familiar with his hits. They said his best song was Tiny Dancer, I disagreed. I'm not sure what his best song is, but I labelled Funeral for a Friend as better. Now, Tiny Dancer is 4 minutes long, and Funeral for a Friend is 10. We each played our chosen song to each other, and of their own accord, the other person stated that they couldn't believe funeral for a friend was as long as it was, whereas they got bored of tiny dancer quite quickly and said that it "was a lot longer than they remember". Why is this? I believe that Tiny Dancer has a very basic structure and it milks one particular section for far too long towards the end of the song, whereas Funeral For A friend, although long, builds just right, balances dynamics well and never overstays it's welcome on any one section.

What's my point? Structure is everything, and length is overrated. Cutting something down will not automatically improve the pacing, and if you're going to make the decision to reorder the narrative, you have to be supremely careful - especially if you are already familiar with the film, because you always run the risk of assuming things make sense and losing the ability to perceive how the film will come across to new or less familiar viewers.
For me, things were slow from the start of the edit simply because we're switching between several different characters without developing any of them properly. The audience doesn't know who they're rooting for, they don't know where they stand or where to settle. The start of the movie is incredibly important; it builds a foundation for the rest of the film to rest upon and if done improperly, nothing that follows, no matter how good, can have as much impact as intended.

Now, regardless of the above, I did enjoy the edit (sort of). I found the first act frustrating and slow, began to settle back in for the middle act (despite Rachel's appearance) and very much enjoyed the last act - chiefly due to the combination of nice, streamlined editing, the black and white filter complementing the cinematography and everything else that's great and already present in the film.

Audio/video quality for this seemed pretty good to me, especially for a DVD. Black and white was a nice touch as well; there were definitely scenes that were far too dark, but likewise there were also moments where it complemented the cinematography beautifully. I particularly enjoyed the end sequence with Roy and Dekard - the silhouettes, shadows and rain all looked great.

Visual and audio editing were both excellent. The only time I noticed something off was right at the beginning of the film where we transition from the opening shots to Priss. I wouldn't go as far as to say that it was jarring, but it felt a little awkward and unnatural to me. Something in the audio sounded unbalanced, and this combined with some ill placed shots of Priss had me shuffling in my seat. Thankfully, the rest of the editing that followed was wonderfully done.

A final thought:

I feel like there are people on here that only want "alternative" edits that alter the narrative but keep the pacing, and people that feel the need to speed the film up to the pace of a thriller. I don't agree with either of these. I like the atmosphere of the film, but I still think it's too darn slow. I'd like to see a light edit that retains the wonderful score from Vangelis, makes good use of the gorgeous visuals, retains the narrative of the Final Cut (I haven't seen the original... yet) and yet still manages to improve the pacing. I believe it can be done, and I really don't think anything radical is required. I'd like to watch some more of the edits that are around, but it may well be that I end up doing one of my own...
Was this review helpful? 1 0