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. -

July 25: On this day in 1834 Samuel Taylor Coleridge died of heart disease at the age of sixty-one.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Paradise and Elsewhere

Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.

Pastoral

When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).