Thursday, June 5, 2008

Dangerous Days

So I just got the Blade Runner 4 disc special Final Cut... Thing yesterday. For free mind you, thanks to our wonderful buy 2 get the 3rd free DVD sale. So I watched the movie through and they did change some stuff, and all of the changes were definitely for the better. If you've only ever seen the original theatrical release, well, its hugely different from that. But if you're someone like me who has largely watched the Director's Cut, there are still some differences you will be able to notice I think. Longer shots with Edward James Olmos' character Gaff for instance with his wonderful made up language (Which he made up almost entirely by himself according to the special features disc). And they finally fixed the bird scene! Yeah, you know what I'm talking about, the one tiny scene in the film that sticks out like a sore thumb of "Oops, we forgot to finish this properly". So much better now.

So after I watched the movie I decided to watch the special feature disc, which, I didn't realize sticking it in, was 4 hours long. But it was very interesting. Like even the parts I didn't think I was going to find interesting like the set design and stuff was really interesting. The most interesting stuff was the different forms the story took and some of the scenes they didn't include. For example one of the original opening scene ideas that came about was somewhere entirely outside the city that Harrison Ford's character, Deckard, went to in order to "retire" an older model replicant that was living on a farm out there. And it sounded interesting, but by comparison to the movie they finally made.... It would have felt completely different. Like it would have been about the detective who "retired" Replicants, whereas the final version was about that, but also about a vision of the future and the questions about synthetic life and what makes us human. Yeah, so very different original concept. They had also originally intended to cast at least one of the two replicants who you hear about dying but you never get to see. They were going to use a girl who had tried out for Priss, but was too slight to fit the bill of someone who could believably fight Ford. So they were going to have a sort of death scene for her, but time and budget constraints denied the possibility. I'm not sure if it would have helped or hindered the film in the end actually. Apparently one problem was that people didn't get it, which is a big reason the original version had the weird sort of film noir voice over. Its good for the first time you watch it if you aren't in to deep or artsy movies, because it helps you understand what is going on (Like a tutorial mode for a video game). But after you watch it through once with the voice over, I'm not sure why you would watch it like that again, especially since the ending is completely tacked on and different. And really the only voice over bit that I ever remember being useful was the comment made about Gaff's gutter speak or "City Speak" to explain that this guy doesn't speak English, he speaks a weird mash up of languages. I have a feeling that I'd be as frustrated with it as Harrison Ford and the other people who were nay-saying it in the documentary if I watched it through again with the voice over.

Oh, I'm also like 10 times more impressed with the visual effects and such after watching the documentary and realizing nothing is digital. I had forgotten that it came out in 82. It doesn't look like it came out in 82. Also, the visuals are probably better than you could get with CG anyway. You know how it is, you can always tell that something is CG. Matte paintings all the way my friend. Ha, I remember seeing some in Halo 3 and being like "Yes, a painted background! Awesome!" Probably the main reason why I like Final Fantasy 7 and the other 2 late 90's Final Fantasies is that they use paintings as their backgrounds a lot. It just has a detail that you almost always lose with full 3D games. I mean, nowadays we're getting to the point where surroundings are that detailed, like I expect FFXIII to totally floor me visually, but I will always have a spot in my heart for matte paintings... Or entire set paintings. But anyway, the point I was trying to make was that a whole heck of a lot of what was possible with Blade Runner was made possible because of matte painting and a really skilled modeling crew.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is.... You should watch the final cut of Blade Runner. I dunno, NetFlix it or something.

No comments: