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Blu-ray box set review: Blade Runner: 30th Anniversary Collector's Edition

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Blade Runner: 30th Anniversary Collector's Edition

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In 2012, Warner Home Video released "The 30th Anniversary Collector’s Edition" Blu-ray box set of "Blade Runner," a three-disc high-definition counterpart to 2007’s "Blade Runner - Ultimate Collector's Edition" DVD set.

Judging from the list of product details (see the DVD/BD Set Features section below), the 2012 Blu-ray disc (BD) version presents the same content as the DVD edition. The only differences between the two sets are the audio-visual format, the packaging, the number of discs, and the distribution of the Special Features among the discs.

Packaging

The packaging of "Blade Runner: The 30th Anniversary Collector’s Edition" differs from its DVD counterpart in several ways.

Unlike the "Blade Runner - Ultimate Collector's Edition," the number of discs in the BD edition is three, not five. This allows Warner Home Video to pack the BDs in a Digi-Book case. Disc One, which contains the 2007 "Final Cut" of "Blade Runner," is ensconced in a single-disc slot in the book’s frontispiece.

Discs Two and Three, which contain the 1982 original and international theatrical versions, 1992’s Director’s Cut, and the rare “workprint” edition, fit in overlapping disc holders in the inside of the back cover.

Between the covers, there is an illustrated book which features conceptual art, storyboards, sketches, and a handful of behind-the-scenes photographs taken on the set. There is, however, no text other than designs for on-screen logos "and camera shot descriptions on the storyboards.

This, obviously, is different from the DVD set’s packaging, which was designed to resemble a briefcase carried by Harrison Ford’s "Blade Runner" character, an ex-cop named Deckard.

DVD/BD Set Features:

Disc One

RIDLEY SCOTT'S ALL-NEW "FINAL CUT" VERSION OF THE FILM

Restored and remastered with added & extended scenes, added lines, new and cleaner special effects and all new 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio. Also includes:

Commentary by Ridley Scott

Commentary by executive producer/co-screenwriter Hampton Fancher and co-screenwriter David Peoples; producer Michael Deely and production executive Katherine Haber

Commentary by visual futurist Syd Mead; production designer Lawrence G. Paull, art director David L. Snyder and special photographic effects supervisors Douglas Trumbull, Richard Yuricich and David Dryer

Disc Two

DOCUMENTARY DANGEROUS DAYS: MAKING BLADE RUNNER

A feature-length authoritative documentary revealing all the elements that shaped this hugely influential cinema landmark. Cast, crew, critics and colleagues give a behind-the-scenes, in-depth look at the film -- from its literary roots and inception through casting, production, visuals and special effects to its controversial legacy and place in Hollywood history.

Disc Three
1982 THEATRICAL VERSION

This is the version that introduced U.S. movie-going audiences to a revolutionary film with a new and excitingly provocative vision of the near-future. It contains Deckard/Harrison Ford's character narration and has Deckard and Rachel's (Sean Young) "happy ending" escape scene.

1982 INTERNATIONAL VERSION

Also used on U.S. home video, laserdisc and cable releases up to 1992. This version is not rated, and contains some extended action scenes in contrast to the Theatrical Version.

1992 DIRECTOR'S CUT

The Director's Cut omits Deckard's voiceover narration and removes the "happy ending" finale. It adds the famously-controversial "unicorn" sequence, a vision that Deckard has which suggests that he, too, may be a replicant.

Disc Four

BONUS DISC - "Enhancement Archive": 90 minutes of deleted footage and rare or never-before-seen items in featurettes and galleries that cover the film's amazing history, production teams, special effects, impact on society, promotional trailers, TV spots, and much more.

Featurette "The Electric Dreamer: Remembering Philip K. Dick"

Featurette "Sacrificial Sheep: The Novel vs. The Film"Philip K. Dick: The Blade Runner

Interviews (audio) Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

Cover Gallery (images)

The Art of Blade Runner (image galleries)

Featurette "Signs of the Times: Graphic Design"

Featurette "Fashion Forward: Wardrobe & Styling"

Screen Tests: Rachel & Pris

Featurette "The Light That Burns: Remembering Jordan Cronenweth"

Unit photography gallery

Deleted and alternate scenes

1982 promotional featurettes

Trailers and TV spots

Featurette "Promoting Dystopia: Rendering the Poster Art"

Marketing and merchandise gallery (images)

Featurette "Deck-A-Rep: The True Nature of Rick Deckard"

Featurette "--Nexus Generation: Fans & Filmmakers"

Disc Five

WORKPRINT VERSION

This rare version of the film is considered by some to be the most radically different of all the Blade Runner cuts. It includes an altered opening scene, no Deckard narration until the final scenes, no "unicorn" sequence, no Deckard/Rachel "happy ending," altered lines between Batty (Rutger Hauer) and his creator Tyrell (Joe Turkell), alternate music and much more. Also includes:

Commentary by Paul M. Sammon, author of Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner

Featurette "All Our Variant Futures: From Workprint to Final Cut"

The 30th Anniversary Blu-ray Edition

Disc One:

Blade Runner The Final Cut (2007)

Disc Two:

Blade Runner Original Theatrical Cut (1982), International Theatrical Cut (1982), Director’s Cut (1991)

Disc Three:

Blu-ray Special Features: The rare Workprint Feature Version, Dangerous Days documentary, HD stills gallery with more than 1,000 archival images.

(All of the DVD extra features added to the movies themselves appear in the appropriate films’ Blu-ray discs.)

My Take

One of the best things about box sets such as "Blade Runner: The 30th Anniversary Collector’s Edition" is that you can own multiple versions of the same movie inexpensively . Unlike, say, 2011’s "Star Wars: The Complete Saga," you are not limited to one arbitrary version of the movie. In this set you can watch different iterations of Deckard’s dogged quest to track down six replicants in 2019 Los Angeles.

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