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Note: version 1.1 adds a few more seconds of Holden’s shooting and corrects skin tones in several scenes, which were a bit too pink/red in version 1.0.
This edit incorporates the following changes into the Blade Runner Final Cut UHD 4K release:
1.Complete scene by scene regrade mainly to remove or reduce excessive green and teal colors. Also reduced some overexposed whites in various scenes.
2. Reduced the intense shimmer in the bottom part of the opening Los Angeles cityscape scene (the shimmer is absent in the theatrical release, present in the Blu Ray, and even worse in the 4K). The existing blanket of darkness over the city is now expanded and deepened to help hide the shimmer.
3. Lessened the extreme quality/brightness disparity between the first two cityscape VFX shots.
4. With added atmospheric VFX, concealed and softened weird artifacts in the second cityscape VFX shot. These were in the theatrical version and even worse in the 4K Final Cut.
5. Added subtle atmospheric VFX (particles, weather) to enhance several scenes and also to make the Tyrell building, flying cars, and other structures seem less like they were small models on a static movie set and more like they were in a real world. Outdoors there are a lot of dirty particles floating around now. The hockey mask go go dancers are right in the worst of it. Indoor air is filtered.
6. Completely recut and rearranged VERY limited portions of Deckard’s narration from the theatrical version. It actually works quite well. Give it a try. Details below. Or select the alternate audio track with no narration.
7. Reinstated the darker red color for the word Replicant in the introduction.
8. Ver 1.1: From the Blu-Ray HD Workprint added an upscaled few seconds of Holden with a smoking bullet hole in his back. Re-cut the footage so he smashes harder, face first into the desk.
9. During Deckard’s briefing, completely removed Zhora’s dossier. Reduced the briefing footage of Pris slightly and removed Bryant’s comment about Pris’ file. Deckard would have acted much differently if he had perfect headshots of all four of his targets for retirement. It also would have made the Voight-Kampff test irrelevant. The overly perfect setup for Deckard (and expository for the audience) is now gone.
10. Brightened Deckard’s visit in the Tyrell building (“it’s too bright in here.”) Also dimmed the room a bit more for the Voight-Kampff test.
11. Cut the superintendent grunting “Kowalski” as he lets Deckard and Gaff into the room.
12. The unicorn dream sequence is more subtle, now more a part of the scene with Deckard.
13. Cropped out the ceiling part of Deckard’s balcony as he looks below. The openness looks better with the added particles and fog.
14. When Zhora strikes Deckard, cut the delayed reaction so he goes flying.
15. Note: now that this is the first we see of Zhora, it is somewhat questionable at first if Deckard shot a person or a Replicant. This is meant to linger in the viewer’s mind until Byant shows up and answers it with his skin job line.
16. For the fight between Leon and Deckard, removed a few frames that showed the windshield was broken before Deckard landed on it.
17. Same fight scene, new punching and gunshot SFX.
18. Added blood VFX for Leon’s gunshot wound to the head.
19. Trimmed Leon’s front facing reaction after he is shot. The rear reaction shot remains, now with added blood.
20. Trimmed the few seconds after Leon and Deckard fall to the ground.
21. Cut Deckard violently pushing Rachael twice. The moral ambiguity of the protagonist and this scene is already quite apparent without making Deckard into a violent rapist.
22. Included a few deleted shots for the romantic interlude. Upscaled and very brief.
23. Slightly cropped the scene where Sebastian talks about Tyrell playing chess because his mouth wasn’t moving.
24. When Roy and Sebastian seek out Tyrell, the establishing shots of the building and external elevator are now night time, like it is supposed to be.
25. Reinstated the expletive in Roy’s line, “I want more life, fucker.” Trivia: although the center channel in the theatrical release has Roy saying fucker, the side channel fx has the word father reverberating.
26. Re-foleyed when Pris strikes Deckard.
27. Cut Roy’s inserted, odd voiceover after he breaks Deckard’s fingers, “Now it’s my turn.”
About the opening Cityscape scene in the high definition release…
It’s unfortunate the studio took the time and money to clean this footage up so professionally, only to ruin it with an insufficient bitrate (causing the distracting shimmer). Upscaling the Blu Ray here is not a good option because it is very softened / blurry in comparison to the 4K. Upscaling the theatrical release would also have a very noticeable difference in quality with its extensive scratches and dirt. Hiding the shimmer in the N-7 Cut is the least of three evils, so that’s what I did.
NEW, LIMITED NARRATION
Below is the new, complete narration in quotes, reducing and changing it significantly. The theatrical narration was supposed to give a gritty detective noir feel, but most of it was awful expository, not well placed within scenes. This edit allows for a fresh take on limited narration while retiring the scene ruining parts of it.
Outside the noodle stand:
“They don’t advertise for killers in the newspaper. But then I’d rather be a killer than a victim.”
Walking to Gaff’s police car:
“That mishmash of Japanese, Spanish, German, what have you… I didn’t really need a translator. But I wasn’t going to make it easier for him.”
Rifling through Leon’s drawer:
“Whatever was in the bathtub was not human. I didn’t know whether Leon gave Holden a legit address. But it was the only lead I had.”
Looking at Rachel’s dropped photo:
“A mother she never had, a daughter she never was. The report would be routine retirement of a replicant. Anyway… more killing.”
Zhora dead, Leon watching:
“There it was again. Shooting a woman in the back.”
At the end, in the corridor to Deckard’s apartment:
“I don’t know why he saved my life. All I could do was sit there and watch him die.”
REGRADE AND VFX COMPARISON SHOTS
Top image is Final Cut. Bottom image is N-7 Cut.
Note: images are not high resolution, just posted for a quick comparison.