For any who don’t know, I’m a hardcore Blade Runner fan. While I never got to see it from start to finish when it was released in the 80’s, when I finally saw it on DVD some time ago, I was hooked and mesmerized by its beautiful visuals, an even more amazing soundtrack, and of course the slow but deep sci-fi story it presented. While fans like me had prayed and hoped for a sequel, most of us pretty much gave up on ever seeing one come to light. Well I’m glad we were wrong because it’s finally here in Blade Runner: 2049, and I can happily say that while it does have some slight faults, it was well worth the wait thanks to surpassing the original in every way, especially with this 4K UHD with HDR release.
It looks like I’m not alone in loving this movie, as Chris Pandolfi wrote a great review on it that you can read for all of the plot details and more from when he saw it in theaters. Needless to say I completely agree with everything in his review and then some, as once again I was mesmerized by the hardcore sci-fi here, the gorgeous visuals and cinematography, and the freaky but fitting soundtrack by Hans Zimmer who seems to be going through some kind of “industrial music” phase with his later work. The only gripes I had with the film is that it felt as though parts were missing, as it tends to just go from one scene or location to another with no explanation of how Ryan Gosling’s character figured out how or why to get there. It doesn’t help that I learned not long before watching this that director Denis Villeneuve had originally made a four-hour cut of the movie, so it makes me wonder if the parts that would shed light on how Gosling’s character knew how to get from here to there were cut out of the film.
Moving on, the film looks and sounds absolutely phenomenal on 4K UHD Blu-ray with HDR color and Dolby HD audio. Words don’t do justice on just how great the visuals and audio are here, as this UHD Blu-ray makes the perfect movie to test out the power of your 4K home theater setup. Everything comes through detailed and crystal clear, which enhances the already perfect cinematography and eerie soundtrack. I’m also happy to say the special features are just as fantastic, as I’m glad they included the cool “Prologues” that were released on YouTube not long before the movie released. There’s “2022: Black Out” from director Shinichiro Watanabe of Cowboy Bebop fame that gives viewers some background on the infamous Black Out incident in the film’s universe. “2036: Nexus Dawn” that’s directed by Ridley Scott’s son Luke goes into Jared Leto’s Wallace character and how he took over making Replicants, and lastly there’s “2048: Nowhere to Run” which is my favorite and shows off Dave Bautista’s Sapper Morton character and how he became a rogue Nexus 8 replicant. “Designing the World of Blade Runner 2049” features cast and interviews that goes into making of the bleak-looking world in the film, “To Be Human: Casting Blade Runner 2049” shows viewers how the cast came about, including the major and smaller roles that come together to make something special, wrapping up the extras is “Blade Runner 101” that combines six very short featurettes that give little glimpses into different aspects of the creation of the film.
Blade Runner: 2049 is already my favorite sci-fi film going into the year, and is definitely one of my top picks of all time. Here’s hoping some sweet day we’ll get a director’s cut that will flesh out the parts that feel missing and will make this masterpiece even better. But until then, if you loved the original film and have a good 4K setup to showcase all of the gorgeous visuals and audio this movie contains, then hop in your spinner and fly off to pick up a copy as you won’t be disappointed.