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Blade Runner 2049

Comparison:

  • Chinese DVD
  • Uncut
Release: Mar 17, 2019 - Author: Mike Lowrey - Translator: Mike Lowrey - external link: IMDB

Blade Runner 2049 – An accomplished sequel to a timeless classic

From the start, Blade Runner 2049 was a risky venture for everyone involved, as the first Blade Runner is an undisputed milestone in sci-fi film history that is still admired by fans today. But director Ridley Scott has always been tempted to dive back into that universe and make another film, even though many cinephiles were alarmed when they thought of Scott's continuation of the Alien series he once created. With Prometheus and Alien: Covenant, the grandmaster set out to explain and demystify that universe, which had always been accompanied by some unsolved mysterious questions that left fans wondering and creating their own answers.

It was ultimately the work on Alien: Covenant that overlapped with the production of Blade Runner 2049 and prevented Scott from directing it himself. In his place, Denis Villeneuve took the seat on the director's chair. The Canadian, who proved his enormous sense for atmospheric material and a hypnotic narrative style with Prisoners, Sicario and Arrival, among others, proved to be the ideal choice here. He directs Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Jared Leto, Ana de Armas and the rest of the cast through a melancholic story about the meaning of life and the definition of humanity, which nevertheless always remains accessible. Embedded in a powerful visual language and a running time of two and a half hours, Villeneuve calls Blade Runner 2049 the most expensive arthouse film in cinema history. He is right and it’s beautiful that something like this still exists today.

Blade Runner 2049 with censored nudity for China, India and Turkey

In the run-up to the production, it was announced to the general relief of the fans that the film would be conceived with an R rating in mind, so no compromises would be made in favor of the more mainstream-appealing PG-13 rating. With a budget of 150 million Dollars, this was already a clear concession to art, because Blade Runner 2049 was only able to collect 92 million Dollars at the US box office, worldwide the whole theatrical run added up to 259 million Dollars.

But not every country was unaffected by censorship. Sony Pictures also produced a version of the film, partly in anticipatory obedience, which does omit almost any nudity. For example, film critics in Turkey reacted rather angrily to this circumstance and did not like Sony's argument that they wanted to take the local culture into consideration. The critics, on the other hand, found it disrespectful towards that very culture and the Turkish cinemagoers that Sony believed they couldn't deal with it. According to the IMDb, this version was also used in India and in China and it also found its way onto home cinema media. The fact that the Chinese market is susceptible to censored Hollywood blockbusters was impressively demonstrated by the case of Logan, as our report shows.

The censored Chinese DVD was compared to the uncut German Blu-ray (both by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment).

 

19 differences, consisting of

15 scenes with alternative images

 4 cuts

 

The original version runs 102.06 seconds or approx. 1 minute 42 seconds longer than the China version.

Alternate material
0:23:46: The naked male corpses that lie on the dissection tables are zoomed in strongly in the China version.
No time difference
Chinese VersionOriginal Version



Alternate material
0:32:44: As K and Luv go down the stairs, you see naked Replicant prototypes on the sides. The China version zooms in here and then cuts the rest of the shot. Why? Because two naked figures appear behind K, which even with the Chinese superzoom could hardly be made unrecognizable without removing K completely from the picture. Also missing is how he looks at a model that is very similar to Sapper Morton.
6,56 sec.

Chinese VersionOriginal Version



Alternate material
0:38:09: The Chinese like to zoom. When the new model falls out of the "plastic bag" and itís naked, Chinese viewers barely see that. Even as Wallace approaches and touches it, the image is immensely zoomed in the China version. The end of the shot is also shortened.
0,96 sec.

Chinese VersionOriginal Version



Alternate material
0:40:04: Not only was the camera shot zoomed in, but the camera movement on the naked model was also shortened. This also means that some of Wallace's monologue is lost: "[We make angels] in the service of civilization. Yes, they were bad angels once, I make good angels now."
8.32 sec

Chinese VersionOriginal Version



Alternate material
0:40:50: The naked model stands in front of Wallace. In China, they zoomed it in so much that you can only see Wallace.
No time difference

Chinese VersionOriginal Version



Alternate material
0:41:15: Wallace stands up and touches the model. In China, they zoomed in again.
No time difference

Chinese VersionOriginal Version



Alternate material
0:41:37: A zoom is used as Wallace stabs.
No time difference

Chinese VersionOriginal Version



Alternate material
0:42:16: It is zoomed as Wallace speaks to Luv and the model stands behind him.
No time difference

Chinese VersionOriginal Version



Alternate material
0:42:27: Zoom as the model falls to the ground.
No time difference

Chinese VersionOriginal Version



Alternate material
0:43:54: Interesting. Sex, which is hinted at in the background as a shadow play, is also missing in the China version and this time in a digital way. In addition to that, there was some zooming so that the prostitutes on the left are not in the picture. This happens throughout the whole scene, including the shot in the corridor. Moreover, in the China version, the shot of Mariette walking was somewhat shortened, but without any clear reason. The erotic gestures in the background were digitally removed, as well.
4.3 sec.

Chinese VersionOriginal Version



1:30:56: The naked Mariette gets up from the bed and walks through the room. Also, the next shot, in which she puts on her bra again, is missing, although there are no bare breasts to be seen.
8,32 sec.



1:36:23: Wow. Even the shot of a large female statue with breasts was completely cut in the China version.
16.16 sec



Alternate material
1:37:18: And another view of "naked" female statues was removed.
6.84 sec.



Alternate material
1:40:57: The camera slowly moves down between two female statues and you can see their bare breasts. The Chinese version zooms first and then cuts early. It sets in again as K looks at the beetle on his hand.
20.24 sec.

Chinese VersionOriginal Version



Alternate material
1:42:09: When K looks up from the beehive, the contour of the naked female statue can be seen in the background. Not in the China version, though.
No time difference


Chinese VersionOriginal Version



2:02:59: The advertising hologram with the naked JOI was cut.
3,28 sec.



2:16:57: Once again the naked JOI hologram has been cut so that the revealing shots canít be seen.
11.6 sec.



Alternate material
2:17:15: Here, the China version zooms in again.
No time difference

Chinese VersionOriginal Version



Alternate material
2:17:33: And another cut when you can clearly see JOI's breasts. She stands up and the view changes to K, who is in front of the display where the naked JOI stands. Here, the China version zooms in now.
15.48 sec.

Chinese VersionOriginal Version