Yet another “Blade Runner” release is in stores this week, marking the film’s 30th anniversary.
“Blade Runner: 30th Anniversary Collector’s Edition” (Warner/Blu-ray, 1982; R for violence, profanity, nudity, sex; $34.99, five versions of the film, deleted/alternate scenes, audio commentary, introductions, screen tests, trailers/TV spots; 40-page book packaging). How have I reviewed thee, let me count the times? Sorry, I can’t keep track. Let’s just call this my umpteenth review of Ridley Scott’s “future noir” tale of a cop (Harrison Ford) tracking down a group of replicants (androids) hiding out in an gloomy, rainy, neon-lit Los Angeles.
Whether the film has worn me down by the sheer number of times I’ve seen it in its various incarnations or whether it has actually improved with both age and filmmaker Ridley Scott’s incessant tinkering, is a subjective judgment, of course. But I did enjoy watching it this time around, as well as some of the voluminous documentaries. As I’ve said repeatedly, however, the visual impact of the effects and sets still trumps the story. Though a fine supporting cast helps (Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Daryl Hannah, Joanna Cassidy).
If this three-disc set still isn’t enough for you, there is also a four-disc set out there with a 72-page art book and three more audio commentaries by Scott and others who worked on the film, $64.99.
“4 Movie Collection: Hollywood Hits: The Last Detail/Avalon/Gardens of Stone/Birdy” (Mill Creek, 1973-90, R/PG, two double-sided discs, $9.98). This collection of cheaply repackaged films includes three R-rated dramas with military themes, and the excellent PG-rated “Avalon,” a wonderful film of a multigenerational family in Baltimore with a great cast. “Birdy” is an offbeat look at a traumatized Vietnam War veteran (with Matthew Modine and Nicolas Cage), “Gardens of Stone” is an antiwar movie set at Arlington’s burial grounds (with James Caan) and “The Last Detail” has sailor Jack Nicholson taking a side trip while transporting a prisoner.
“4 Movie Collection: Hollywood Hits: The Freshman/Wholly Moses!/Vice-Versa/A Fine Mess” (Mill Creek, 1980-90, PG, two double-sided discs, $9.98). These comedies include one that’s terrific, “The Freshman,” with Matthew Broderick and, sending up his “Godfather” persona, Marlon Brando; as well as the better-than-average body-switch farce “Vice Versa,” with Judge Reinhold and Fred Savage; and two clunkers, the biblical spoof “Wholly Moses!” and the very silly “A Fine Mess,” with Ted Danson and Howie Mandel.
“4 Movie Collection: Hollywood Hits: Micki & Maude/Hanky Panky/There’s a Girl in My Soup/Modern Romance” (Mill Creek, 1970-84, R/PG-13/PG, two double-sided discs, $9.98). “Micki & Maude” is a funny bigamy farce with Dudley Moore, “Hanky Panky” has Gene Wilder in a Hitchcock-style spoof and the other two are R-rated sex comedies, “There’s a Girl in My Soup,” with Peter Sellers and Goldie Hawn, and “Modern Romance,” an early Albert Brooks film that is occasionally amusing but more often shrill.
“4 Movie Collection: Hollywood Hits: Saving Silverman/Little Black Book/Hexed/Life Without Dick” (Mill Creek, 1993-2004, R/PG-13, two double-sided discs, $9.98). Nothing worthwhile in this set; all four films are terrible examples of raunchy modern would-be romantic comedies that fail on every level.
“Deep Rising”/“The Puppet Masters” (Mill Creek/Blu-ray, 1998/1994; R for violence, language; $9.98). Treat Williams stars in “Deep Rising,” a pretty silly monster movie about a luxury liner attacked by hijackers who discover it has already been disabled by tentacled undersea monsters, while “The Puppet Masters” stars Donald Sutherland and is a pretty good sci-fi thriller in the vein of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.”
“Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” (Universal/Blu-ray + DVD + Digital, 2012; R for language, sex, drugs, violence; two discs, $34.98, audio commentary, featurettes, bloopers). Steve Carell and Kiera Knightly make an unlikely odd couple in this road movie about two people who, upon learning a 70-mile-wide asteroid is about to collide with Earth, decide to help each other track down loved ones. (Also on DVD, $29.98.)
“Magic Mike” (Warner/Blu-ray + DVD + Digital, 2012; R for sex, nudity, language, drugs; two discs, 35.99, extended dance scenes, featurette). Channing Tatum stars in this yarn about male strippers. (Also on DVD, $28.98.)