Released last year to tie-in with the arrival in cinemas of its long-awaited sequel, Ridley Scott's Philip K. Dick adaptation starring Harrison Ford gets a 4K HDR outing. Now 35 years old, Blade Runner has lost none of its charm, even if its attempts at mixing film noir tropes with dystopian sci-fi don't always come off smoothly. Icy cool, extravagantly designed and with a spine-tingling Vangelis soundtrack, it's a film no collection should be without.
Picture: For this 2.40:1 Ultra HD presentation, Warner Bros has used the 4K digital intermediate, approved by Ridley Scott, first struck ten years ago for the film's debut Blu-ray release, and then given it an HDR regrade. And, overall, image quality is delightful, making for a marked improvement. Set design, VFX and the fabulous modelwork are some of the more obvious beneficiaries of the uptick in sheer pixel info, while HDR proves a good foil for Scott's visual ambitions, used here not only to pick out the movie's various neon flourishes and bursts of flame, but to draw out greater subtlety from its darkest corners and interiors.
It's not, however, the pristine visuals some may hanker for. Film grain is heavy at times, and the mix of elements, resolution scans (some material done at 8K) and film stocks employed in stitching The Final Cut together can result in shifts in image quality. Detail levels can falter in some shots; one of Sean Young is even out of focus. But these are source issues rather than an encoding problem.
Picture rating: 4.5/5
Audio: Pleasingly, the UHD platter houses a brand-new Dolby Atmos remix, replacing the 5.1 TrueHD mix of before. And, although the soundmix can feel stark on occasion, it's a worthwhile upgrade, bringing greater clarity and depth to environments and pushing the electronic score to new, room-filling depths.
Audio rating: 4.5/5
Extras: Compared to the comprehensive 30th Anniversary Collector's Edition Blu-ray, this 4K release pales in terms of extra features. All you get are the 2007 introduction to The Final Cut by Scott and a trio of commentary tracks.If you want everything else, you'll have to pick up the £50 UHD Special Edition boxset. As well as the 4K version of The Final Cut, this also houses 1080p presentations of the Theatrical, International, Director's Cut and Workprint versions, plus the feature-length Dangerous Days documentary and other extras.
Extras rating: 2/5
We say: This movie has never looked or sounded better, but jettisoning quality extras is annoying.
Blade Runner: The Final Cut, Warner Bros. Ultra HD Blu-ray & All-region BD, £28
HCC VERDICT: 4/5
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