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Blade Runner 2049: The Lifespan Cut:
Blade Runner 2049: The Lifespan Cut:

There were three spots where BR2049 Lifespan Cut really worked for me: the trimmed furnace discovery scene, the inspired use of “Rachael’s Song” from the original BR soundtrack album, and the pulsing yellow light in K’s apartment, which was a nice touch.

Unfortunately, a handful of good moments didn’t add up to an enjoyable experience for me. I was immediately put off by the opening scene being sped up (and the audio pitched back down to sound more like the original pitch), which was obvious in aerial shots of the solar farms, or in images like the crawling maggots or the garlic pot steam. Other scenes seemed sped up, as well.

The colour filters to pump up contrast and saturation weren’t my cup of tea, which is fine, but what irked was the inconsistent use of these filters. For example, in K’s flight back into LA from the farm, there are flash frames without the filters. Certain shots in the scene have filters applied, and then others don’t, for no reason I could discern. This was distracting. (Perhaps the editor has cleaned up this aspect since I viewed the release, I don’t know. The same goes for video quality, which was lacking in the version I watched.)

Another major change is the use of Vangelis tracks from the original Blade Runner. These are well inserted into the soundtrack, but they took me out of the movie because they’re so closely connected to the original. For example, “Memories of Green” has the perfect woozy sound for Rachael and Deckard drinking, but the sound doesn’t connect to Joi in the rain. And neither do these two scenes really resonate with each other when they get to share the same piece of music.

Cuts in audio and video are seamless. This edit is almost 30 min shorter than the theatrical, so you do get nearly the same movie in a shorter run time. Where all the little trims were made, I generally couldn’t tell.


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