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The Reel Less Traveled

December 20, 2007|KEVIN CRUST

To fully appreciate the elaborate history of director Ridley Scott's visionary "Blade Runner," we fortunately did not have to sit through the tumultuous filming or arduous studio machinations that led to its original release or the 25th anniversary "final cut" that hit theaters this fall. That's what DVDs are for.

Although you may already own multiple versions of the movie, one of the most prescient, influential science-fiction films ever made, it's more than understandable if you covet the five-disc "Ultimate Edition" released this week in multiple DVD formats.

It's an estimable task getting through the nine hours of material (more if you watch with all the various commentaries) and one you probably won't want to tackle in a compressed time frame. Of the five discs, the most indispensable are, naturally, the ones containing the "Final Cut," which reflects Scott's definitive version and is complemented by three separate commentary tracks; the excellent, comprehensive documentary "Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner"; and perhaps most intriguing of all for aficionados, the film's "work print," a very different, rawer version from any you've previously seen.

The disc with the film's previously released incarnations and another dubbed the "Enhancement Archive" full of more making-of featurettes and promotional materials can be relegated to reference.

-- Kevin.Crust@latimes.com

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