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DVD Shopping Bag: The Exorcist on Blu-ray

You will believe

By Robert T. Trate     October 12, 2010
Source: Mania.com

The Exorcist is now on Blu-ray
© Warner Home Video


Last week, The Exorcist (both Extended and the Original Version) joined the ranks of many fine other Warner Brothers Collector’s Editions. If only Warner Brothers Home Video would go all out like this with every title. They would set a new standard for Blu-rays. While this version may not support the big box like Gone With the Wind or The Wizard of Oz (see review), it does however have all the incredible ear marks that made Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest (see review) one of the best Blu-rays to date.
The Exorcist:
As the box clearly states, it is “the scariest film of all time”. The Exorcist is not a horror movie though. Yes, there are scary parts in the film. If you look closer however, you’ll see that it is actually a detective story. Here there are two men in search of a little girl’s soul. These unorthodox yet completely believable detectives, Father Merrin (Max Von Sydow) and Father Karras (Jason Miller) have to solve a web of lives and face the devil himself to save a little girl (Linda Blair) who they have never known. This is a film for the ages and not just another creature feature.
The Exorcist Today?:
Could this film have been made today? The extended cut with its 132 minute run time make it an immediate no. The two hour theatrical cut would also mean very little turn over time at the theater. Again the studio would have cut the hell out of it. Lt. Kinderman (Lee J. Cobb) would have been the first thing to go. Does the film really warrant a do nothing police detective? Father Merrin and Father Karras would more than likely be rolled into one character. A priest with issues that has lost his faith would be the one called in. Hollywood’s thinking today would have even made him related to Regan as to give us yet another tie to the story, a cheap one. The incredibly long and drawn out scientific methods would be cut down to a montage. Finally, Reagan would have been a bratty kid and in essence got what she deserved. No, The Exorcist today would have been a quick and meaningless horror movie.  
The Blu-ray:
It is an incredible Blu-ray transfer, color timed by the cinematographer, and worthy of the upgrade. So flawless in its execution, was Warner Brothers that it looks as if the film was shot yesterday. If there is to be a single flaw it may lay in what the Blu-ray highlights as the make-up effects of the day. Max Von Sydow’s make-up on DVD and VHS never actually appeared to be make-up. If you didn’t first see the film in 1973 then you just assume that Sydow is the old man we have always known. His aging is a true testament to the creative process in how similar he looks today to the character he played was he was 44. The Blu-ray points out many of the power marks on his face as well as the additional wrinkles and lines. Linda Blair’s make-up, on the other hand, is just as freighting and horrific as it was the first time. However, now it is ten times more shocking.
The Blu-rays are both packed with original special features from 2000 edition and new On-Set production reels unearthed for the first time. The outtakes, interviews and off camera moments will make any fan of the film overjoyed. The best of which is hearing Linda Blair explain her own faith and that if she would have been raised in a house that believed in god she may not have been able to make the film. To her, the devil was just another monster.
Final Thoughts:
Warner Brothers has created another perfect Blu-ray. The Exorcist isn’t going to look better than this, well at least until the next format arrives. As I mentioned earlier, I believe the film to be more of a detective story yet it is still one of the scariest films of all time. The Exorcist is the great movie to embrace the fall season and prepare you for Halloween.
Top 5 Picks of the Week:
1. How to Train Your Dragon (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
2. Roger Corman Drive-In Collection
3. Lethal Weapon 1 & 2 [Blu-ray]
4. Dexter's Laboratory: Season One
5. Wolverine and the X-Men: The Complete Series [Blu-ray]
Arn: The Knight Templar [Blu-ray] Starring Joakim Nätterqvist, Sofia Helin, Stellan Skarsgård
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Bangkok Adrenaline [Blu-ray] Starring Daniel O Neill, Praya Suandokmai, Gwion Jacob Miles
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Black Dolemite: B.O. Rudy Ray Moore Starring Rudy Ray Moore
Carnies Starring Doug Jones, Reggie Bannister, Chris Staviski
Four Boxes Starring Justin Kirk, Terryn Westbrook, and Sam Rosen
The Girl From Cortina Starring Vanessa Gravina
Jonah Hex (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) Starring Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, and Megan Fox
Jonah Hex
Kung-Fu Master Starring Bryan Leung and Yuen Biao
Language of the Enemy Starring Eion Bailey, Linda Hardy, F. Murray Abraham
Lethal Weapon 1 & 2 [Blu-ray]
Leaves of Grass Starring Edward Norton, Susan Sarandon, and Tim Blake Nelson
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Red Dragon [Blu-ray] Starring Anthony Hopkins, Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes
Samurai Vendetta Starring Raizo Ichikawa
Three Kings [Blu-ray] Starring George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube
Dragon Ball Z Kai: Saiyan Set [Blu-ray] Starring Justin Cook, Sean Schemmel, Christopher R. Sabat
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Dexter's Laboratory: Season One Starring Christine Cavanaugh, Allison Moore, Jeff Bennett
Essential Bugs Bunny Starring Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam
GI Joe: Countdown for Zartan
He-Man & She-Ra Christmas Special Starring John Erwin, Alan Oppenheimer, Linda Gary, and Lana Beeson
It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie
Wolverine and the X-Men: The Complete Series Starring Wolverine & X-Men
Wolverine and the X-Men: The Complete Series [Blu-ray]
The Hangover (Extreme Edition) [Blu-ray] Starring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis
The Hangover (Extreme Edition)
Criterion Collection
The Darjeeling Limited (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] Starring Owen Wilson, Adrian Brody, Jason Schwartzman
The Darjeeling Limited (The Criterion Collection)
The Magician (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] Starring Max Von Sydow and Gunnar Bjornstrand
The Magician (The Criterion Collection)
Astro-Zombies M3: Cloned
Brain Dead Starring Joshua Benton, Sarah Grant Brendecke, and David Crane
Coffin Rock Starring Sam Parsonson, Lisa Chappell, and Robert Taylor
Crucible of Terror Starring Mike Raven
Deep Blue Sea [Blu-ray] Starring Thomas Jane, L.L. Cool J, Michael Rapaport
The Director's Cut Starring Jonathan Patrick Moore, Mollie King, and Melanie Munt
Doghouse Starring Danny Dyer and Stephen Graham
Gamera: Guardian of Universe & Gamera: Attack of [Blu-ray] Starring Gamera and Miki Mizuno
Lost Boys: The Thirst Starring Corey Feldman, Tanit Phoenix, Jamison Newlander
Lost Boys: The Thirst (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)
Mega Piranha [Blu-ray] Starring Paul Logan and Barry Williams
Mega Piranha
Puppet Master Starring Paul Le Mat and William Hickey
Puppet Master 2 Starring Colin Bernsen
Puppet Master 3: Toulon's Revenge Starring Guy Rolfe, Richard Lynch, and Ian Abercrombie
Rare Cult Cinema Starring William Shatner, Adam West, Matt Dillon, and Glenn Ford
Roger Corman Drive-In Collection Starring Bruno Ve Sota
S&Man (Sandman) Starring Carol J. Clover
Light Blast Starring Erik Estrada, Ennio Girolami, Michael Pritchard
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer [Blu-ray] Starring Billie Mae Richards, Burl Ives, Paul Soles
The Original Christmas Classics (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer / Santa Claus is Comin' to Town / Frosty the Snowman / Frosty Returns) [Blu-ray] Starring Burt Ives and Fred Astaire
2012: Supernova [Blu-ray] Starring Brian Krause
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Dark Lurking Starring Bret Kennedy, Ozzie Devrish, and Tonia Renee
Dreams & Shadows Starring James Russo, Shawn-Caulin Young, Yoshi Ando
How to Train Your Dragon (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Dragon Double Pack) [Blu-ray] Starring Jay Baruchel and Gerard Butler
How to Train Your Dragon (Double DVD Pack)
How to Train Your Dragon (Single Disc Edition)
Trancers Starring Tim Thomerson
Trancers 2 Starring Tim Thomerson
Trancers 3 Starring Tim Thomerson and Andrew Robinson
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Angel: Complete Series Starring David Boreanaz, Alexis Denisof, and J. August Ruchard
C.S.I.: Miami - The Eighth Season Starring David Caruso, Emily Procter, Adam Rodriguez, and Rex Linn
Commish: The Complete Series Starring Michael Chiklis, Kaj-Erik Eriksen, Theresa Saldana
The Dead Zone: The Complete Series Starring Anthony Michael Hall, John L. Adams, Kristen Dalton
Dollhouse: The Complete Second Season Starring Eliza Dushku and Harry Lennix
Dollhouse: Season Two [Blu-ray]
Ghost Whisperer: The Fifth Season Starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, David Conrad, Camryn Manheim
Greatest American Hero: Season Two (4pc) Starring William Katt, Don Cervantes, Michael Pare, and Robert Culp
Renegade: Complete Series Starring Lorenzo Lamas, Branscombe Richmond, Fred Williamson
The Tudors: The Final Season Starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Henry Cavill, Anthony Brophy
Ghost Whisperer: Complete Series Pack Starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, David Conrad, Camryn Manheim
Robert Trate writes two weekly columns for Mania the DVD Shopping Bag and the Toy Maniac. Robert also participates in a pod cast that reviews movies, comics and celebrates all things geek. Check it out at You’ve Got Geek on You.com.


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Hobbs 10/12/2010 8:32:55 AM


Are you a bit cynical about Hollywood making the Exorcist today?  I enjoyed reading that part.  Who knows for sure..usually it depends on who in involved in the project and how big of a budget they have.  More likely than not your version of what would happen today would be correct. 

I don' t own this and don't plan to but I'm glad to read WB did the transfer to blu-ray correctly.

lracors 10/12/2010 9:14:01 AM

Let's see a horror film today done in a style to let you have some character development... get to really actually care about them... and... not utilize bucket's of blood... i don't see hollywood doing that.

You forgot the romantic twist... as Mom would be hotter and the priest buffer.  They would have a shirt abs flexing scene, as the priest would take his vomit stained shirt off.

Miner49er 10/12/2010 1:55:31 PM

I admit, I still haven' seen Exorcist, except for ths spoofs on SNL and in Scary Movie 2. I think I'll finally rent it Halloween weekend this year.

fft5305 10/12/2010 2:58:12 PM

There's no way the same movie would be made today.  Modern moviemakers don't know how to make a scary, suspensful horror movie. They only know how to make "horror" movies that utilize guts and gore in place of genuine thrills and chills.  Ugh.

Betenoire 10/13/2010 7:16:09 AM

Gamera on BD?

Yes please.



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