As I was watching a transfer of my Blade Runner VHS the other day it occurred to me that every release that I have seen of this film has had significantly different color timing.
Now I have never seen the criterion laserdisc so i have no idea what that one looks like but between the Embassy VHS, the '97 Director’s Cut DVD, and the archival cuts included in the box set, the colors vary wildly between each transfer.
I have never seen any version in a theater so I have no point of reference on that front, but as I was watching the VHS transfer I noticed a few scenes that looked significantly different than any subsequent transfer, most notably the scene when Deckard and Bryant were screening the replicants.
in the VHS the coloring was heavily shifted towards brown and the light reflection on Bryant’s head was orange, whereas the colors in all other transfers including the 1992 Director’s Cut (which has more of a red orange shift than any other transfer) lean much more heavily towards blue with the light reflections being white.
What I’d really like to know is which color timing is the most accurate to the original theatrical release. personally i’m kind of partial to the look of the first director’s cut DVD although I know that it is generally regarded as a horrible transfer and is probably nowhere near accurate but it was the first version I saw and is the look I most associate with the film.
My primary computer is down at the moment but when it is back up and running I can do screen captures to demonstrate what I am talking about if anyone is interested.
Other notable differences I spotted in the VHS:
-The Tree in the opening Ladd Company logo is gray rather than green.
-The part at the beginning when Deckard is ordering food, the lights behind the Asian guy are orange rather than white.