It's funny, no matter the brilliance of new hardware, so much depends upon the soft side of things, on coding. Example: I watched Ocean's 13 on HD-DVD. It looked dreadful. The image was grainy, and the colors were off, way off. The first time Al Pacino entered the frame, I thought his character had been in a tanning-booth accident (seriously), because his face was all orange!
In contrast, I just now watched the first two minutes of the HD-DVD version of Bladerunner. What a picture! I swear it looks better than anything I saw in the cinema. Crystal clear, sharp, perfect, living color. Everything you could hope for, for the most visually rich of all movies since Metropolis.
It is weird about Bladerunner: three decades on, it still has not been matched in design and visual depth and beauty. How can this be?
What I really love about Bladerunner is the huge cityscapes, exemplified by the first two minutes. That huge model of future L.A., with thousands of tiny window lights. And the detailed buildings, like the immense Tyrell Corporation building (with the slanted side buildings). If that building was real it would house maybe 200,000 people. And the design of it is just beautiful and intricate.
Update: Apart from the visuals, my opinion is that the "magic ingrident" of the film is Mr. Rutger Hauer and his amazing delivery of his lines. His pauses are genius. "Men? ... Police... men?"
And of course those lines themselves.
"All those moments/will be lost in time/like tears in rain."
Has Hauer done anything else as great as this?