This Week in Home Entertainment Releases

January 16, 2018

Blade Runner 2049
2049Synopsis:
Officer K (Ryan Gosling), a new blade runner for the Los Angeles Police Department, unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. His discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former blade runner who’s been missing for 30 years.

Special Features:

  • Designing the World of Blade Runner 2049 (21:55)
  • To Be Human: Casting Blade Runner 2049 (17:15)
  • Prologue – 2022: Black Out (15:45)
  • Prologue – 2036: Nexus Dawn (6:31)
  • Prologue – 2048: Nowhere to Run (5:49)
  • Blade Runner 101 – Blade Runners (1:33)
  • Blade Runner 101 – The Replicant Evolution (2:07)
  • Blade Runner 101 – The Rise of Wallace Corp (1:50)
  • Blade Runner 101 – Welcome to 2049 (2:04)
  • Blade Runner 101 – Joi (2:21)
  • Blade Runner 101 – Within the Skies: Spinners, Pilotfish, and Barracudas (1:23)

A sequel to a cult classic, Blade Runner 2049 didn’t score big numbers at the box office but was acknowledged as one of the critical darlings of last year. Much like the original, the sequel featured awe-inspiring cinematography of a Los Angeles we’d never seen before, this time a polluted wasteland. This near three hour sci fi epic is helmed by Denis Villeneuve, one of the most ambitious filmmakers working today. Other projects of his include Enemy, Prisoners, Sicario, and last years Best Picture nominee Arrival.

A film of this magnitude deserve to be analyzed time and time again and thanks to the home entertainment release it’s an option. The release is packed with goodies which include a 22 minute video showing how Villeneuve and his team brought the futuristic LA to life. The video shines a spotlight on different departments, acknowledging the hard work that was invested by hundreds of crewmembers. it’s exciting to see Gosling, Ford, and the rest of the cast discuss their experiences onset and how they kept their composure working on a project this big. Harrison Ford comparing the productions of the original and the sequel is compelling as he talks about the similarities and differences between working with Ridley Scott and Denis Villeneuve.

Another great feature is To Be Human: Casting Blade Runner 2049 which profiles all the actors as they discuss their experiences with the original film and why they were passionate about the sequel. They discuss working with other cast members and how they were able to land the role. Villeneuve goes into great detail about the characters and why the specific actors fit the role perfectly.

Also on the bonus features are the three prologues that were released on the internet ahead of the films theatrical release. For those that haven’t seen them, these short scenes helped to give added context to the story told in the film. It’s a nice way of adding even more meat to the Blade Runner cannon.

There’s a series of short videos where cast and crew discuss notable characters, locations, or props in the film. They’re quick videos that offer up information as to why Villeneuve wanted them and how he and his team managed to execute it.

Primary audio on the Ultra HD is available in English Dolby Atmos (a mix that is 7.1 TrueHD compatible). Additional audio options include English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 5.1 Descriptive Audio, and French and Latin Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital. The Atmos mix features extraordinary clarity, dynamics, and atmospheric immersion. From the very first moments of the film, as Officer K soars high over the California solar fields, there’s a ominous, rhythmic quality to the soundtrack. The sound of his Spinner’s passage has real bite. Upon his return to LAPD headquarters, there’s an oppressive sonic tension to his baseline test (this film’s equivalent of the Voight-Kampff), which takes place in a tiny white cell – you can hear the tonal quality of the space all around you. The bass channel provides a heavy foundation for the mix, while the height channels fill in overhead constantly with cues both subtle and lively. Even something as simple as the sound of falling rain, as K and Joi interact on the rooftop of their apartment block, impresses here. This is a magnificent soundscape and a phenomenal Dolby Atmos experience. Note that optional subtitles on the UHD are available in English (for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing), French, and Latin Spanish for those who need them.

Overall, this is a superb home entertainment release which benefits from in depth special features and top tier audio and video transfer.

Blade Runner 2049 is available on 4K, Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray, DVD, and streaming services as of January 16, 2018.

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