Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner is one of history’s greatest science-fiction films. Based on the short story Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick, the movie initially failed to take flight at the box-office. This travesty was rectified thanks to the good old VHS, and audiences have been falling in love with it ever since. Whilst audiences may have fallen head over heels for it, it’s director however, took a long time perfecting the film and re-crafting it to his exact liking. The result of years of hard work was Blade Runner: The Final Cut, a version which is now available on the newest home entertainment format – 4K UHD Blu-ray.
4K UHD Blu-ray is a fancy new format that delivers superior definition and quality of picture. It makes the picture sharper and so much more lifelike that it’s like the cast are right there in front of you and that you could reach out and touch them. In addition to a sharper image, the technology makes colour far more vibrant, and blacks appear as true black (apparently we’ve only been seeing kind of black before now). The discs also come with a beefed up Dolby Atmos soundtrack (for which you’ll need a compatible surround sound system to hear correctly); this type of audio has been creeping into movie theatres for the last few years and makes for a truly immersive viewing experience. Rather than coming from just the front, back, and sides, audio is thrown all around the viewer, including above and below, and transplants you firmly into the world of the film being presented before you.
The 4K UHD Blu-ray of Blade Runner: The Final Cut has been painstakingly put together, the 4K print having been painstakingly restored from the original film master, and the result is stunning and stupendous. This isn’t just a common up-scaled to 4K version like many other UHD releases, this is a true-remaster that provides a genuine and unmistakable improvement in picture quality. Many out there will have seen Blade Runner countless times already, but trust me, you’ve never seen it quite like this. You’ll see things that you never did before as the resolution and colour is suddenly ramped up, the city-scapes have also never looked quite so breath-taking. The contrast of the black of the buildings against the neon lights is almost blinding, that’s how amazing the quality is. The rain-soaked streets come alive and you’ll be forgiven for believing you are in that car sitting alongside Deckard as he investigates the rebel replicants. As if that wasn’t enough, Blade Runner: The Final Cut sounds simply incredible, that rain sounds like it’s pattering on your ceiling and that score from Vangelis pulsates out of the screen and envelops the room, making the goose-flesh rise.
The film itself is as wonderful and relevant as ever. Harrison Ford shows that he can be more than a cocky show-pony, and Daryl Hannah still shines as Pris. The highlight though is still the performance of Mr. Rutger Hauer. It’s still incredible to think that Hauer wrote most of his own lines, including that very famous ‘tears in the rain’ monologue.
We’ve come a long way from VHS… the 4K UHD Blu-ray is a visual feast popping with vibrant colours and thrilling audio; put simply, this is the only way to properly experience Ridley Scott’s seminal sci-fi.
Blade Runner: The Final Cut is out now on 4K UHD Blu-ray.