Viewer’s notes: ‘Blade Runner’ in 4K is a must-see

Semler at the Cinema features Brandon Semler’s thoughts on the world of film, including reviews, think pieces, previews and more.

The depth of Ridley Scott’s neon noir landscapes in 1982’s “Blade Runner” take on new life when watched on a 4K television in UHD.

Normally, differences in contrast and format of films only do so much for me. A film’s direction and story exclusively make or break my interest (not too interested in the frames-per-anything). But upon rewatching the sci-fi classic, it seems there are treasures in each frame that could only be unearthed by advanced technology in the distant future.

What a trippy notion.

“Blade Runner” is a film I didn’t catch up with until last year in anticipation of Denis Villeneuve’s “Blade Runner 2049.” I know, I’m trash. Upon this re-watch, the depth and detail of Scott’s work towers. From the dusty light shooting out of windows in dark, smoky rooms, to small transports soaring the width of building-sized advertisements, the details emerge with clarity in UHD.

The higher frame rate also makes me far more appreciative of the old way of filmmaking. The use of miniatures and other practical devices create a feeling of authenticity that just seems foreign in 2018. Scott and cinematographer Jordan Cronenweth’s vision is made to feel so close, so touchable, it makes the falling rain cold and the replicant punches painful.

So, moral of the story, I highly recommend it.

Also of note, “Viewer’s Notes” will be a short, first-person series within this blog about something film-related that I’m interested in. It could be anything. So these entries are not reviews. However, just for fun, I will present my status for “Blade Runner” (1982).

Status: Strongly Recommend

Surprised? You shouldn’t be.

Brandon Semler can be reached at, or on Twitter @BrandonSemler.

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