What's new

Press Release WHV Press Release: The Exorcist 50th Anniversary Edition (4k UHD Combo) (Blu-ray) (1 Viewer)

Colin Jacobson

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2000
Messages
13,328
Perhaps, but for a film like The Exorcist, it's totally unnecessary. Anyone who DOESN'T have some idea of what to expect from this movie, that's had "87 skillion home video releases" and has been a part of pop culture for decades, is living under a rock and probably not part of the target audience. ;)

Clearly WB hopes that they can find a new audience.

We all got exposed to movies we never heard of - and still do.

I see old movies all the time that I never heard of until their BD or 4K release.

Sure, we know of "Exorcist", but I'm sure there are lotsa younger people who aren't.

Will any of these people buy the 4K period, much less due to the cover?

No idea, but I disagree there's no new audience to be mined here.
 
  • Insightful
Reactions: PMF

Colin Jacobson

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2000
Messages
13,328
The disc is going to spend more of its life on my shelf than playing on my screen. I'd prefer it have decent packaging art for that part of the ownership experience.

Do you shelf your movies with the cover out?

Not asking snarkily. Assume 99.9% of people shelve movies spine-out, not cover-out, in which case the cover doesn't matter.
 

PMF

Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 6, 2015
Messages
6,008
Real Name
Philip
The disc is going to spend more of its life on my shelf than playing on my screen. I'd prefer it have decent packaging art for that part of the ownership experience.
Answer me this. Would one have dismay over ownership of a newly struck 35mm print just because it was housed in a dented silver octagon can?

Yes, I would lean towards an agreement with the aesthetic of JoshZ; nonetheless, I’ll take a superior 4K/UHD transfer in lieu of inferior artwork, any day of the week.

“The plays the thing” - Wm. Shakespeare
 
Last edited:

dpippel

Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems
Supporter
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2000
Messages
12,444
Location
Sonora Norte
Real Name
Doug
Will any of these people buy the 4K period, much less due to the cover?

No idea, but I disagree there's no new audience to be mined here.
If WB really thinks the cover art on this release is going to "mine" any significant amount of new sales in a niche (4K) within a niche physical media market by trying to target a customer demographic that hardly buys physical media at all in any form, well, OK then. I think they've got another thing coming.

I'd also bet my bottom dollar that the vast majority of buyers who purchase this title are going to be people just like us.
 

Colin Jacobson

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2000
Messages
13,328
If WB really thinks the cover art on this release is going to "mine" any significant amount of new sales in a niche (4K) within a niche physical media market by trying to target a customer demographic that hardly buys physical media at all in any form, well, OK then. I think they've got another thing coming.

I'd also bet my bottom dollar that the vast majority of buyers who purchase this title are going to be people just like us.

Who knows what the bean counters think?

Anyway, my point was more that I suspect WB believes they can find an audience for "Exorcist" beyond folks who've seen it/know it.

And they clearly figured that cover would help.

I don't claim to agree. Just saying I suspect that was the thought process.
 

Jeffrey D

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2018
Messages
5,407
Real Name
Jeffrey D Hanawalt
I just went back to page 1, and peeked at the cover. While I don’t think it’s a big deal what the artwork looks like, I do agree with everyone here that say it’s hideous.
 

Robert Crawford

Crawdaddy
Moderator
Patron
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
68,790
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
Who knows what the bean counters think?

Anyway, my point was more that I suspect WB believes they can find an audience for "Exorcist" beyond folks who've seen it/know it.

And they clearly figured that cover would help.

I don't claim to agree. Just saying I suspect that was the thought process.
I don’t think such an audience exists because I would be surprised if any horror fan regardless of age hasn’t already seen this movie.
 

SuperClark

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 15, 2022
Messages
465
Real Name
Clark
'Wait till they get a load of me'
1695652556646.png
 

JoshZ

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 26, 2012
Messages
2,430
Location
Boston
Real Name
Joshua Zyber
Yes, I would lean towards an agreement with the aesthetic of JoshZ; nonetheless, I’ll take a superior 4K/UHD transfer in lieu of inferior artwork, any day of the week.

Yes, ultimately, if those were the only two options, I would agree. I own quite a few Blu-rays with bad cover art because the choice was either that or don't own the movie.

However, with The Exorcist specifically, I already have two copies of the Blu-ray on my shelf (intitial Digibook + Complete Anthology collection box set) and I was frankly pretty satisfied with the transfer on that disc the last time I watched it. Combine that with the controversy over the 4K edition's color changes, and my strong belief this title is certain to be reissued in different packaging eventually anyway, I'm really not feeling any need to rush out and buy this new copy. I can wait and see what comes in the future.

The bad cover art is not the only factor leading to that decision, but it sure doesn't help.
 

Kaskade1309

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2020
Messages
4,732
Real Name
S
FWIW, here's what I shared in another form (and I realize this is going to get under the skin of Josh and some others here, if read at all):


Yeah, looks like a cool release if a bit overdone and unnecessary (just IMO....and I'm a diehard fan).

Here's the issue I have with all these subsequent deluxe issues of this title: I get that there are collectors out there who want more than the discs and basic packaging, but there are also diehard videophiles who wished Warner Bros. would have taken this opportunity to clean up a lot of problem areas in this film to render it a genuine be-all, end-all edition in terms of video quality (of course, like the hundreds of Halloween releases, they wouldn't be able to make reissue money then). And we'd be willing to pay for a vastly improved video transfer, (relatively) regardless of what it cost.

This film always had issues with the original film stock and they were never fixed in any format improvement chain, from VHS to DVD to Blu-ray and now to UHD Blu-ray (apparently). The first major issue is that initial zoom-in on the Georgetown townhouse in the beginning, which collapses into a soft, ISO camera noise mushy mess as the frame continues the zoom. The next is the sequence with Karras when he goes to visit his mother at her New York apartment, which never looked good no matter what format I watched it in -- towards the end of the scene, when he's about to leave her place, the screen is swarmed with a noisy grain (might even be noisy macroblocking) that's really offputting (this can be tamed, but not eliminated, by making sure a display's sharpness control is set properly; in my case, I leave my Samsung's sharpness slider on "0," which adds no oversharpening and is the correct setting in the Movie picture mode I watch discs in, but I still clearly see it).

The next problem area for The Exorcist is when the priest is bringing the flowers to the church; this sequence always looked twitchy and noisy, but it was probably the principal photography. Another scene that stands out to me is the one in which the doctors are talking to Chris about Regan near the staircase; there's a twitchy, swirling noise/grain pattern that really needs to be cleaned up at this point.

I've always said this film needs -- and absolutely deserves -- a complete top-to-bottom restoration to fix problems in the original prints and scans, and that rabid fans would be willing to pay for such an effort. The problem is that it would probably cost far too much for Warner engineers to undertake this, making them have to charge a lot for the discs and thus cutting their profits, which I suppose I can understand in some way. However, they're already charging for those giant box sets in 4K, such as the one you picked up, and it's basically for the extras -- I'm willing to bet diehard Exorcist fans who want the best possible video transfer would be willing to pay, again to a certain point, for a TOTALLY remastered version (which, from all accounts thus far, isn't this 4K release).

I understand that Friedkin used extremely grainy photography during the filming and that the picture is a victim of the horrible filming techniques of the 70s, such as the soft-ish out-of-focus approaches, but there are definitely areas that need a cleanup.

On top of that, we have the horrible, cheap-way-out U.S. releases in slipcase and steelbook variants that boasts terrible artwork, the slipcase in particular shouting "cash grab" what with its thrill-robbing, Christmas color-coated image of a possessed Regan and her infamous throat bulge. I understand the original iconic artwork for this film -- with Merrin arriving outside of the townhouse -- is redundant at this point and even kind of boring, but it just WORKS. I could deal with the 30th or 35th (or was it 40th?) anniversary U.S. Blu-ray with the image of the stairs on the front, but that's pushing it -- there's NOTHING like the original theatrical poster art for this film.

It's for these reasons -- as well as some others, including reviews I've read that suggest the HDR treatment is all over the place on this transfer, from overuse in certain scenes to a complete oversaturation during the final exorcism sequence that renders the picture almost purple -- I am holding on to my original U.S. digibook Blu-ray from around 2010 or so. It has the legendary artwork plus the two cuts of the film on separate discs, in addition to a cool book that has some great information in it (I learned that Jason Miller had passed by reading its pages) as well as a leaflet containing a message from Friedkin himself.

The whole thing just screams "more premium" than the basic U.S. releases, which feel like a cheap cash grab, as I said, based on pressure Warner was feeling from fans asking for this 4K release for some time.

1695676763830.png



1695676776744.png



I could write a book -- no pun intended -- about the audio of this film, specifically the track given to the Extended Director's Version (which used to be called The Version You've Never Seen; it's actually more of a WRITER'S cut because Friedkin put it out to appease Blatty after Warner Bros. came to him and pushed a theatrical re-release around 2000 with the footage Blatty wanted); let me just say this: when The Version You've Never Seen was released theatrically, the audio was reworked to include incredible new surround elements that took this film to a whole new level, especially compared to the old mono and 5.1 mixes on previous DVD versions.

When the DVD of The Version You've Never Seen came out, the audio was encoded (at least in the U.S.) in Dolby Surround EX, and I will tell you -- I have NEVER experienced The Exorcist like this. From the opening Iraq sequence where you could hear all the diggers talking and yelling all around you to the jet plane flyover in the surround channels during the aforementioned townhouse zoom-in, and from restored vocals during Chris' dinner party scene from certain characters to a climatic moment when Merrin shakes Karras' hand before the exorcism and the demon bellows "MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRINNNNNNNNNNNN!" loudly from the surround right speaker, the film was totally transformed.

In fact, it's one of the reasons I gravitate to the extended version -- the audio is just so much better than on the theatrical cut, which sounds like glorified mono in comparison.

Now, for the Blu-ray release, Warner encoded this new surround track for the extended version as DTS-HD Master Audio 6.1 (basically 5.1 with an EX flag, like on the DVD) and the effect was pretty much the same. The theatrical version got a DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix that, as I stated, sounds flat and center-oriented in comparison (it probably uses the basis of the previous 25th Anniversary DVD's Dolby Digital 5.1 remix from the mono stems).

Anyway, if the Dolby Atmos mix on the extended cut of the 4K is based on this awesome remix, it's GOTTA kick arse; on my system, because we're not set up for Atmos, these tracks are played back in Dolby TrueHD 5.1, but my guess is that The Exorcist's Atmos/TrueHD mix would still sound amazing in my room, especially considering how impressed I was with Enter the Dragon's Atmos/TrueHD track on the UHD Blu-ray (compared to the Dolby Digital remix on the 25th Anniversary DVD).
 

Colin Jacobson

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2000
Messages
13,328
I don’t think such an audience exists because I would be surprised if any horror fan regardless of age hasn’t already seen this movie.

You think all the teens and 20-somethings who flock to modern horror movies have seen "The Exorcist"?

I don't. I suspect tons have never even heard of it.
 

Colin Jacobson

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2000
Messages
13,328
Younger horror fans? Yes, I think a large percentage have seen it. The standard young person who just sees a scary movie on Friday night? Nope.

Younger "serious" horror fans, sure - but I think there's a much broader swath of "horror fans" out there.

The "standard young person" you mention is a horror fan as well.
 

Ronald Epstein

Founder
Owner
Moderator
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
67,472
Real Name
Ronald Epstein
Now $14.99 at Amazon. Hoping it goes to $9.99.



I vowed not to buy this shitty release

However, I will give in if the price drops to $9.99, which is highly plausible considering the other WB 4k price drops.

The situation is, that I only have the theatrical cut on digital. I want the extended Director cut. First, it's impossible to find on Apple TV if you already own the theatrical version. Looking at Cheap Charts, it currently costs $15 to own.

So, it's a race to ownership: If the disc drops to $9.99, I'll buy it. If the digital drops to $4.99, that will be my preferred purchase method.

I'll throw out the Slipcover and look to download, print, and replace the artwork with whatever alternative is floating around. For example:


the_exorcist__1973____4k_ultra__wb100__cover_by_stephen_fisher_dfm5n0c.jpg
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Sign up for our newsletter

and receive essential news, curated deals, and much more







You will only receive emails from us. We will never sell or distribute your email address to third party companies at any time.

Latest Articles

Forum statistics

Threads
357,861
Messages
5,144,765
Members
144,500
Latest member
Visible-Effect69192
Recent bookmarks
0
Top