The summer of 1982 has long been celebrated as a magical time for genre films.
Yes, it’s difficult to believe that Blade Runner, E.T. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, The Road Warrior, Tron, and The Thing all came out thirty years ago, but they did, all within months of each other, and again, it was a great time to go to the movies all summer long.
And as you could guess, there’s a Blade Runner 30th anniversary BluRay hitting shelves on October 23, and as we recently reported on TG, the deluxe package will include five different versions of the film, including the film’s work print, two behind the scenes books on the film, and a little model of the spinner, or the flying cars you saw throughout the film. You’ll also be able to look at over 1,000 stills of the film in hi-def, and it can all be yours for $65.
Much like Star Trek, it’s indeed amazing the second life Blade Runner’s had since its initial release. Even for a futuristic movie it was very ahead of its time, and like The Thing, it didn’t find an audience and start developing a following until it came out on home video and cable. What’s also probably the strongest evidence of its impact is how much you can see Blade Runner’s influence all over today’s movies.
Interestingly enough, Warner Brothers put together a trailer for the 30th anniversary version, and the site GiantFreakinRobot points out that it’s “familiar footage mixed with decidedly 21st century trailer techniques and clichés,” and it’s funny to think a vision of the future that’s thirty years old feels more futuristic today, while a lot of futuristic movies today look painfully dated in their own time.
As Robot’s David Wharton also points out, “Even three decade later, Blade Runner looks better than 90% of the movies in theaters right now. How many other films from 1982 have aged even half as well as [Ridley] Scott’s SF noir classic…As far as I’m concerned, he could have retired after Blade Runner and still been considered one of the best filmmakers of all time.”
I’ve always loved what Andrew Niccol, the writer / director of Gattaca and screenwriter of The Truman Show, said about movies that become classics in time, that the real reviews for movies come five to ten years after they’re released. And as Peter Bogdanovich (The Last Picture Show) once put it, time can be a filmmaker’s best friend. Like we’ve seen with Blade Runner, The Thing, and Scarface, just to name a few, cable, home video, and now BluRay and streaming has given so many movies a chance to live on and be rediscovered.
I’m sure Blade Runner’s fans will be out in force for this anniversary edition. Sure the fans probably have it several times over on every new home video format that came along, but as long as technology keeps improving, and movies can be spit polished and shined up to the tiniest degree, like detailing your Rolls Royce with Q-Tips, the fans will keep buying it, and love every digitally improved minute of it.