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Updated with more thoughts and pics!!! VENICE FILM FESTIVAL: Mastidon’s First Reaction To BLADE RUNNER: THE FINAL CUT!

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. I’m so excited to start hearing feedback from spies about this one. It’s been in the works for so long now, and the guys who produced this project are pretty much the most passionate DVD producers I’ve ever met. It’s great knowing that its release is being handled with festival appearances and a theatrical run before it’s given the deluxe home video treatment at Christmas. When BLADE RUNNER came out in 1982, it was not treated well. Not by anyone. The idea that it’s finally getting its due now, 25 years later, feels like vindication for any of the fans of the film from that initial release. Venice sounds like it’s been an interesting line-up so far this year. They’re flipping out for SLEUTH (which I saw here in LA last night), and they’re flipping out for LUST, CAUTION (which I’m dying to see), but if I were there, I would have made BLADE RUNNER a priority. Check this first reaction out:

Hey guys, Its 3:15 am and I just got back from watching the premier of Blade Runner - The Final Cut. I'm way too tired to write a real review but wanted to give you the scoop on some key things before I crashed for the night. More details and photos to follow tomorrow. ****WARNING - Nothing but SPOILERS follows**** Ok, so the cast and crew arrived late for their own premier. When I mean the cast and crew, of course Ridley Scott, Rutger Hauer, Daryl Hannah, and Cmdr Adama himself Edward James Olmos. With special appearance in the crowd by Richard Gere. Unlike the other premiers I have attended, Ridley Scott made a speech! He thanked Venice for letting him show his film a second time as the original version was shown there in 1982. He then went on to say how that wasn't really his version as that was a much longer discussion and that the version about to be shown was his original vision for the film. In true geek fashion, several members of the crowd applauded during the opening credits of the film much to the dismay of the rest of the audience who tried in vein to shush them. Venice = digital theater = un-f***king believable! The sound is now full surround with the cars zooming past and the flames shooting in the air. If you are in one of the few cities where it is airing, you have to catch it just for the opening sequence. In short, almost every scene in the film has been touched. The most noticeable changes are subtle. Objects and people added where they weren't before. This isn't a "new version" with never before seen footage but more of the old version update with today's technology. The super-structures never looked better. Lots of more flying cars. And familiar scenes with one or two extra seconds. Pris's death was longer and more violent which I believe is the same as the International cut. The Unicorn dream was there. No voice-overs. Which I am in the minority where I say I disagree with that. I think the voice-overs really made it a film noir. The single biggest change I caught was that all of the replicants including Rachael at some point had the same blank glare in their eyes that you see in the owl or what you usually get from a picture of a dog or cat. What about the ending you ask? I wish I had news that there was some super new ending. Alas, it is the same as the directors cut where the film ends with the close of the elevator door. All and all, a wonderful restoration of the original film. Unlike what Lucas did with the Star Wars Special Editions, the changes are subtle enough where you can enjoy them. Good night from Venice, -Mastidon

And after a little time to sleep on it, Mastidon returns with some additional thoughts and pics from the premiere! Enjoy them both!

Hi Guys, Attached to this email are several photos from the premier. Use any or all of them as you like. Ok, so now I have slept on it. Its been just over 10 hours since the film ended. I've read the talkbacks so far and as no surprise to me, everybody has an opinion on Blade Runner. Love it or hate it, we all have our opinions on this film. I personally love it and feel privileged to have been one of the first people to view its final version. ****BEWARE Nothing but SPOILERS follows**** Some clarification from last night:

1. There have been rumored to be at least 5 or 6 different endings to the film over the years. The video game version had something like 15 different endings depending on how you played it. My point was that it is an ending we have already seen in the directors cut, not that its bad. 2. I meant to point out that the hospital seen is NOT there. Wish it was. 3. I'm sorry but I can't remember if Gaff sat in on the briefing. I also believe it was not there but don't hold me to it. 4. I'm fairly certain blue sky has been replaced. But once again, was not looking for that. Sorry. 5. In my review I mentioned the emptiness in the eyes of the replicants. This was not true in Roy at the end. There was a long close-up on his eyes. Almost as if he found a soul while remembering the things he has seen. As I mentioned before, the biggest changes are the addition of more objects and people into the scenery. Lots more of the car driving and flying around. Also, there is the addition of a few seconds here such as Pris looking for a place to "hide" before J.F. finds her. There is really nothing that jumps out at you as a new scene just a touch more to old ones.

Now on to the point that needs to be dealt with and is the cause of much anger. Is he or isn't he a replicant? Clearly Ridley Scott thinks he is. However in Deckard's defense of being human, at no point in the film did he have that same empty glare in his eyes. My vote - he is a replicant that found a soul, just like Roy. As a big fan of the film, I had pre-ordered the Briefcase on DVD. After watching the screening, I'm going to cancel that order. Why? Because the only one I should buy is the Briefcase on HD DVD of course! If after seeing this at a digital cinema, and you still don't want the HD version, get yourself checked out as you might just be a replicant. -Mastidon

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