Are all the releases of this title on Blu-ray the same? Do they share the same transfer? I know there was a digibook of the title put out by Warner Bros. some time ago, plus some special edition-esque DVDs with a supposed “remastering,” but there are bare bones versions of the Blu-ray floating around out there for cheap, and I wanted to know if all the releases of this film on Blu share the same video transfer.

My original Warner flipper DVD of this title — even though it’s anamorphic — looks atrocious on a larger screen, so it’s one of the titles I was looking to upgrade, hopefully within this Halloween season.

Anyone know if Poltergeist looks the same on all Blu-ray releases?

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Malcolm R

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I can't say for sure, but from what I've read there has only been one HD transfer of this film dating back to 2008, so any blu-ray release likely has the same transfer.

For some reason, it's never been given much attention on HD formats.
 

Colin Jacobson

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As far as I know, "Poltergeist" got one transfer and any re-releases just reissued the same old disc.

It could use an update - hopefully as a 4K disc!
 
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Kaskade1309

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Thanks for the replies, everyone; I guess I'll just order that bare bones disc via Best Buy's site...they have it for pretty cheap.
 

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I was thinking...

You know what this visionary masterpiece -- that still entertains like few other haunted house tales can to this day -- from Hooper and Spielberg needs? The Scream Factory treatment. Back to the original film element vaults to strike a clean new master to work from; if ever a title from that era deserved that treatment, it's this.

Surprisingly, Scream/Shout put out the two sequels in Collector's Edition Blu-rays, and they were MGM properties too; wonder why they haven't picked the original up to rework.
 
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Malcolm R

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Yeah, I've never understood why the sequels seem to get more attention than the original. I'm not sure if there's some rights issue with the original that gets in the way? I know the directorial controversy comes up once in a while (was it Hooper? was it Spielberg?) but I wouldn't think that would be a deal-breaker for a new release.
 
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Kaskade1309

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Yeah, I've never understood why the sequels seem to get more attention than the original. I'm not sure if there's some rights issue with the original that gets in the way? I know the directorial controversy comes up once in a while (was it Hooper? was it Spielberg?) but I wouldn't think that would be a deal-breaker for a new release.
Couldn't agree more, Malcom, and you're probably right about the rights issues -- as it stands, that seems to be the reason why there hasn't been any real special features about the making of this seminal film on previous DVDs and Blus.

I own the two sequels on an MGM Double Feature DVD, and as much as I like them, I never got around to picking up the Scream Blu-rays; maybe someday, but the original needs some love. I mean, how many times has Sony re-released Ghostbusters, even now in the UHD format?
 
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I don't have the Scream! discs, but I did pick up a double-feature blu-ray of parts II and III at some point. I don't believe I've watched it, so I'm not sure of the quality. Might have to pull it out as part of the current Scary Movie Challenge. :emoji_scream:
 
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JoshZ

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I last watched Poltergeist on Blu-ray maybe eight years ago. My memory of it was that it looked... OK. Not great, not terrible. And that was a couple projectors ago. I'm sure it could use a fresh scan of the elements and some clean-up.
 
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Kaskade1309

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I don't have the Scream! discs, but I did pick up a double-feature blu-ray of parts II and III at some point. I don't believe I've watched it, so I'm not sure of the quality. Might have to pull it out as part of the current Scary Movie Challenge. :emoji_scream:
Yeah; I noticed there was a double feature Blu-ray...but MGM put this out, no?

Probably a port-over of the Double Feature DVD I own:

1601931694040.png
 

Kaskade1309

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I last watched Poltergeist on Blu-ray maybe eight years ago. My memory of it was that it looked... OK. Not great, not terrible. And that was a couple projectors ago. I'm sure it could use a fresh scan of the elements and some clean-up.
No doubt, Josh; good to hear from you here!

Did you ever review this for Home Theater Magazine?

On a side note, I read that back-and-forthing about the whole debacle over The Thing on Blu-ray on some site; boy did that get nasty quickly. Glad to see you survived it!

I know you had mentioned in your Home Theater review of Clockwork Orange -- the single-disc original Blu release before the digibook introduction -- that you didn't care for the transfer there, but as I stated on this very site a few times, I honestly don't have an issue with it (I suppose a subject for another time).

But to that end, it's true that Warner has a reputation for putting out so-so Blu-ray transfers of some of these older catalog titles; sometimes it just seems like a porting over of the DVD master. Looks like that may be the case with Poltergeist, but with some rough cleaning up that may have been done; all I know is that my original flipper DVD -- which dates back to the format's launch give or take -- while anamorphic looks like crap right from the get-go. That opening title sequence which pans over the Cuesta Verde neighborhood is riddled with artifacts and all kinds of print damage, and while it improves as it goes on, I'm just going to replace that disc with the Blu.

Interestingly enough, I was recently re-reading your review of Escape From New York (BD) in an old issue of Home Theater I still have; you referenced the MGM Special Collector's Edition DVD release of that seminal Carpenter title from '04 or so, which I own and LOVE (I won't sell the package because I like it so much, especially with its High Definition Film Scan and reworked Dolby Digital track), and I agree that MGM should have included at least THAT DVD in the Blu-ray package.

Of course, Scream/Shout put out their own release of the title, along with the requisite steelbook re-release...
 

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Yeah, I've never understood why the sequels seem to get more attention than the original. I'm not sure if there's some rights issue with the original that gets in the way? I know the directorial controversy comes up once in a while (was it Hooper? was it Spielberg?) but I wouldn't think that would be a deal-breaker for a new release.
Warner Bros. has the rights to the original, MGM controls the sequels.
 

Ethan Riley

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As far as I'm concerned, the blu fixed a lot of problems the old dvds had (crooked opening titles, for one) and a couple other issues. It is not a presentation release. The film deserves the best.
 

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I was thinking...

You know what this visionary masterpiece -- that still entertains like few other haunted house tales can to this day -- from Hooper and Spielberg needs? The Scream Factory treatment. Back to the original film element vaults to strike a clean new master to work from; if ever a title from that era deserved that treatment, it's this.

Surprisingly, Scream/Shout put out the two sequels in Collector's Edition Blu-rays, and they were MGM properties too; wonder why they haven't picked the original up to rework.
Warner Bros. has the rights to the original, MGM controls the sequels.
This hasn't stopped WB licensing titles to Shout/Scream Factory, though. It's a high-profile title for WB though, but given the state of physical media now, I could imagine them giving it to a boutique label.
 
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Did you ever review this for Home Theater Magazine?
No, I did not formally review the Poltergeist Blu-ray. As I recall, I watched the disc with my niece, who had never seen the movie.

My tenure at HTM was fairly short. Surprised anyone remembers it. :)
 

Colin Jacobson

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This hasn't stopped WB licensing titles to Shout/Scream Factory, though. It's a high-profile title for WB though, but given the state of physical media now, I could imagine them giving it to a boutique label.
I suspect WB wants to pursue a 4K. Just a guess, but I think that's the logical next step...