Ed Driscoll

Time For Warner

Look for loads of cool Warners Brothers DVDs in 2006, according to the Digital Bits, including several titles sure to please dedicated Kubrickologists like myself:

Look for 4 new Stanley Kubrick SEs including 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), A Clockwork Orange (1971), The Shining (1980) and the original unrated version Eyes Wide Shut (1999). Each will include new documentaries and never-before-seen footage blessed by the Kubrick Estate (although don’t look for deleted scenes – Stanley himself never wanted them released).

But the most wanted Warners title may not be out until 2007:

And finally, here’s a bit of news that’s going to get a lot of you excited (and I made a point to specifically ask about this title, believe me)… Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982) is currently on track for release as a multi-disc special edition in time for its 25th anniversary in 2007. The release is far from certain (as usual, there’s a lot more that I can’t post about this title yet – think of the old saying, “Loose lips sink ships”), but Warner says that work is proceeding, most of the key players are involved and things are “looking good” for release next year. We’ll see.

It can’t come soon enough: I watched my DVD copy of Blade Runner this weekend, and as one of the first discs released in that format in 1997, it’s truly showing its age, especially since remastering has come so far since then.

Incidentally, something else I noticed while revisiting Blade Runner. while the production design still holds up, I was really surprised, how poorly its expository scenes were edited, in virtually every scene where there’s background info that moves the story along. Notice that so much of it was delivered in long shots, where the actors’ mouths ca barely be seen (such as when Sebastian takes Pris up to his apartment, and when Harrison Ford’s Deckard character leans on the Egyptian in a fez to find Zora’s location). Or, in during the scene in which Bryant tells Deckard the number of “skin jobs” on the streets, notice that so much of this information is spoken during cutaways to Deckard.

Clearly, this was a case of trying to salvage the film in the editing room, perhaps after initial preview audiences were confused by the film’s action. (Hence the original addition of narration, as well.) Critics, used to regularly seeing films with this sort of editorial tune-up work are likely to spot it immediately and instinctively think “uh-oh, this one’s a turkey”, which may be why so many panned the film initially.