Friday, September 23, 2005

"He says you Brade Lunner!"

Subject: Cinema
While I didn't get to see "Blade Runner" when it was initially released theatrically, I was a quick convert to fandom shortly afterwards. Between screenings at the college theater, and repeated laserdisc rentals, I saw the original cut many times. When the "Director's Cut" was released, I saw that in the theaters the night it opened, then purchased the laserdisc for myself.

It's one of the few laserdiscs I haven't converted to DVD yet, because the DVD release is really just the letterboxed, non-anamorphic, mediocre resolution master from the laserdisc. A proper release apparently was held up in some sort of licensing battle that I can't remember the details of. And even though I still have my laserdisc player hooked up, I haven't actually watched "Blade Runner" for quite a while.

But, just recently, the hi-def channel HDNet aired a brand new transfer. Which I managed to catch with my DVR. And I finally got to watch it.

I like how my system upconverts DVDs; they usually look very good. But this actual hi-def remastering of "Blade Runner" totally knocked my proverbial socks off! It was so crisp, so clear, so vibrant; it was like looking directly at an original 35mm theatrical print! Ridley Scott is famous for a lovingly rich attention to detail in his work, and wow, is it ever so present here! Flawless for a pre-CGI sci-fi film. And with this crisp, clear hi-def transfer, I could see all kinds of detail that I just never really caught before.

So apparently a DVD based on this new transfer is due sometime soon. But I'm not going to buy it. Instead, I think this will be my inaugural purchase for whichever HDTV format finally shakes out as the next defacto standard. And it will be worth waiting for!

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