Even if the difference between ‘the final cut’ and the ‘director’s cut’ is minimal it was still worth releasing because, in the DVD version at least, it both looks and sounds better than ever. I’ve probably seen the film 15 times in its different versions and can still enjoy the narrative.
Scott’s new version is more gory than the others; the explicitness of the violence was an issue in 1982 but is fairly standard now. What makes Scott’s vision stand out is the amazing detail in the mise en scene; the scenes are cluttered with detritus making real Philip K Dick’s kipple.
The other thing I noticed even more, in this version, was Rachel’s doll-likeness. The blacks seem blacker so when she’s standing behind Tyrell all you can see is her head. She is literally disembodied.
One of the masterpieces of modern cinema just got slightly better.
NB My Film Note: Blade Runner is available here.