Blade Runner

Let us stipulate from the outset that you are not the kind of person in the market for the "Five-Disc Ultimate Collector's Edition of Blade Runner," which comes in a miniature briefcase and contains more versions of this 1982 classic of science fiction cinema than a whole squadron of tasked replicants could watch without their android eyes glazing over. You might, nonetheless, have fond enough memories of this noirish tale of rogue humanoids and the loner who hunts them to invest, at a considerably lower price, in the two-disc 25th-anniversary set that includes "The Final Cut" version of Ridley Scott's avowed chef d'oeuvre, as well as a 3 «-hour documentary on the making of the film. You get a seminal and influential bit of futurism, with its tight allegorical treatment of human identity, in a visually and aurally pristine version, "tweaked" by Scott himself and layered with three different sets of commentary. It's claimed that new scenes and SFX have been interpolated, but the impact, so far as I could tell, is minimal. The real hot juice lies in the documentary on disc two. Exhaustive, intimate, obsessive, sampling all the main historical creators and many commentators, unsparing of flaw or foible, this exegesis begins to resemble the tortured visionary notebooks of Philip K. Dick himself, as if the author of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the ultimate fount of Blade Runner, had reached out from beyond the grave to imprint his personality on all the participants, effecting a final revenge for any liberties taken with his novel. -

April 17: "In less than three years, both GM and Chrysler would be bankrupt, and a resurgent Ford would wow Wall Street..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.