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post #61 of 78 Old 10-28-2013, 04:25 PM
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By the way... The Exorcist II is one of the most F'd up films I have ever seen. Truly insanely bad on so many levels, but with an obvious mega budget (for the time). Certainly worth seeing once.

I love the trailer for it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFspymGVZLY

John Boorman's Exorcist II: The Heretic ends up on many "Worst Films of ALL Time" lists when they pop up, and is regularly regarded as one of the worst projects ever put to celluloid, up there with stinkers like Grease 2...

The belief, at the time, by Warner executives was that the original was so successful and effective, the public would accept ANYTHING as a sequel; I applaud them for trying to explore the "Pazuzu mythos" and where the demon came from and such, but Richard Burton was just awful in his role as the priest attempting to investigate the elements surrounding Merrin's death while the whole "mind joining device" angle that suggested Reagan (a sexy-looking Linda Blair in the sequel!) was still inhabited by bits of Pazuzu was sheer stupidity. Without Exorcist II, though, we wouldn't have known what the name of the demon was, whether it was the "devil himself" or not or what Merrin's history with the demon constituted (his first encounter with it in Africa, etc.), though I suppose it could have all been left to imagination...

Instead of a horror film, though, what we got was a kind of National Geographic-esque psychadelic trip that you need to be stoned out of your gord to understand -- from the strange bleeping, chanting score to the dream-esque sequences in which we're riding the wings of Pazuzu across Africa, the whole thing was downright strange...

In many ways, William Peter Blatty's Exorcist III and his novel upon which it is based, Legion (I read it), plus Renny Harlin's prequel, Exorcist: The Beginning are better attempts at "expanding" the Exorcist story, with Exorcist III exploring the Karras-is-still-possessed angle and The Beginning going back to a young Merrin's exposure to the evil in Africa, when he first unearthed the demon further explaining his "reaction" to seeing the statue head in the first film's opening Iraq dig sequence. I wasn't sure I bought Stellan Skarsgaard as a young Merrin though...

Don't get me started on the OTHER prequel that was subsequently shot down by Morgan Creek execs but which eventually found its way to DVD years later, Dominion: Prequel to The Exorcist, which was a beyond-weird telling of the "younger Merrin" story but without the shock and awe of Harlin's demonic-oriented prequel...rolleyes.gif

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post #62 of 78 Old 10-28-2013, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Matt_Stevens View Post

I've not purchased any Blu-Ray for this film yet.

If you are happy with the Warner snapper cased version of the DVD for The Version You've Never Seen, hold on to that -- the first Blu-ray, in my opinion, doesn't really up the ante enough in any department (especially the DVD's awesome Dolby EX remix) over the DVD of the extended cut.

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post #63 of 78 Old 10-28-2013, 06:48 PM
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The extended cut worked fine, aside from Friedkin's insertion of the ridiculous CGI devil faces. I wonder if Friedkin was trying to sabotage the extended cut with them when he first released it. He now seems perfectly happy with the longer cut, after its success at the box office and on home video.

Exorcist II: The Heretic is one of the most mismanaged sequels in Hollywood history and an abomination that should have never made it past the script stage.
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post #64 of 78 Old 10-28-2013, 07:07 PM
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The extended cut worked fine, aside from Friedkin's insertion of the ridiculous CGI devil faces. I wonder if he is was trying to sabotage the extended cut with them when it was first released it. He now seems perfectly happy with the longer cut, after its success at the box office and on home video.

For the most part I agree and I actually prefer the "Version You've Never Seen"/Director's Cut if merely for the technical improvements in terms of some audio and video elements (of course "improvements" can be argued here by purists, but...); still, beyond the CGI demonic additions, the extended ending in which Kinderman walks off with Dyer which makes the film feel really, really long and drawn out but also ties up their friendship which is explored thoroughly in Blatty's Exorcist III and which I have been talking about there are some elements that just seem unnecessary on that longer cut. Case in point, the "reworked" opening WB logo/new intro that showcases the Georgetown house and the statue, which many fans feel was completely unnecessary and adds nothing to the pacing or buildup of dread...
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Exorcist II: The Heretic is one of the most mismanaged sequels in Hollywood history and an abomination that should have never made it past the script stage.

It has found its rightful place in "Worst Films of All Time" lists consecutively, up there with, as I said, complete bombs like Grease 2; in my opinion, the correct sequence in a collection goes from Friedkin's Exorcist masterpice right to Blatty's Exorcist III, based on his own Legion novel...

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post #65 of 78 Old 10-29-2013, 12:14 PM
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I'm the weirdo who likes Grease 2 more than Grease 1. Of course, that's probably because I never much liked Grease 1 to start, and young Michelle Pfeiffer >>>>>>>>>> middle-aged high-schooler Olivia Newton John. Objectively, they're both terrible movies. smile.gif

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post #66 of 78 Old 10-29-2013, 02:26 PM
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I'm the weirdo who likes Grease 2 more than Grease 1.

Oh NO....you DIDN'T just state that... frown.gif

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post #67 of 78 Old 10-29-2013, 02:48 PM
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I watched the extended cut the other night. I agree the extra scenes are not really necessary, but I didn't mind watching them at all and kind of liked them in a way as the movie felt a little fuller. I agree with what was said about the superior video and especially audio. Really good track. It's nice having both versions though. However, I'm told the color timing of the theatrical is off in the actual exorcism scene as it was not blue originally? (I think the blue adds to the atmosphere for sure.)

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post #68 of 78 Old 10-30-2013, 08:29 AM
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On the Blu-rays, both the theatrical cut and the Director's Cut have the same "supercharged" 5.1 remix. (The packaging claims that the DC has a 6.1 track, but it doesn't.) Neither has the original mono mix. Aside from the obvious content changes, the video quality looks basically the same between the two editions as well.

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post #69 of 78 Old 10-30-2013, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

On the Blu-rays, both the theatrical cut and the Director's Cut have the same "supercharged" 5.1 remix. (The packaging claims that the DC has a 6.1 track, but it doesn't.) Neither has the original mono mix. Aside from the obvious content changes, the video quality looks basically the same between the two editions as well.

Interesting, I didn't know that. I wonder why they didn't just use branch seaming like Blade Runner?

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post #70 of 78 Old 10-30-2013, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by DavidHir View Post

Interesting, I didn't know that. I wonder why they didn't just use branch seaming like Blade Runner?

After the Digibook release with both versions of the movie, Warner later released a separate standalone copy with just the Director's Cut. They wanted to be able to sell them separately.

A poster on another forum claims that the Director's Cut Blu-ray does actually have 6.1, but my OPPO player and receiver both report 5.1. There may be an authoring issue here.

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post #71 of 78 Old 10-30-2013, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by DavidHir View Post

Interesting, I didn't know that. I wonder why they didn't just use branch seaming like Blade Runner?

After the Digibook release with both versions of the movie, Warner later released a separate standalone copy with just the Director's Cut. They wanted to be able to sell them separately.

A poster on another forum claims that the Director's Cut Blu-ray does actually have 6.1, but my OPPO player and receiver both report 5.1. There may be an authoring issue here.
Your player is not reading the flags correctly. The director's cut BD is in a 5.1 DTS-HD MA ES configuration, which should decode as 6.1 channels on a full DTS decoder. It's such a rare flag on Blu-ray that I suspect many manufacturers don't implement it on their players.
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post #72 of 78 Old 10-30-2013, 04:34 PM
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I watched the extended cut the other night. I agree the extra scenes are not really necessary, but I didn't mind watching them at all and kind of liked them in a way as the movie felt a little fuller. I agree with what was said about the superior video and especially audio. Really good track. It's nice having both versions though. However, I'm told the color timing of the theatrical is off in the actual exorcism scene as it was not blue originally? (I think the blue adds to the atmosphere for sure.)

Let me break a couple of things down here, David, because this is a title I'm very familiar with in its varying incarnations on home video...

The "superior audio and video" you speak of began their life on the VERSION YOU'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE's DVD release in which Warner went back and digitally restored some video elements while restoring the film, as a whole, per the whole Friedkin/Blatty creative fiasco AND remixed the sound into Dolby Digital EX. This version, which has become "The Extended Director's Cut" on the Blu-ray variants, was essentially ported over from the already-excellent DVD release of this cut for the first (and now, apparently according to Josh and some others, the 40th Anniversary release) "digibook" Blu-ray release, keeping intact everything that made that DVD release great including the audio and video updating. I have to disagree, however, with one of Josh's sentiments regarding the Blu-ray's "supercharged audio remixes" being the "same" on both the Director's and Theatrical cuts...unless I am mistaken, the Blu-ray version of the Original Theatrical Version carries a DTS-HD Master Audio track that is VASTLY different from the one stemmed from the Extended Director's version; they're not the same. The audio on the Theatrical Version I believe was sourced from a Dolby Digital 5.1 remaster of the film's ORIGINAL mono soundtrack stems found on some previous DVD re-releases PRIOR to the release of THE VERSION YOU'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE...

That said, even on Blu-ray, you can CLEARLY tell there is a soundtrack "difference" between the Theatrical's DTS Master Audio mix and the Extended Director's DTS Master Audio mix...the Theatrical version's track is stuffy in comparison, and remains in the front three channels primarily, even during sequences that would suggest ambient surround movement/activity...in fact, to my ears, the track seems almost mono-like in presentation for a good deal of the run time, coming mainly from the center channel. The Master Audio track on the DIRECTOR'S cut, however, retains that "supercharged" mix from the VERSION YOU'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE's DVD release (on the DVD, the track was in Dolby Digital EX) and to me remains the more engaging, aggressive, involving and downright moving track in which to accompany the film's shocking visuals. Of course, the THEATRICAL version's audio is more in line with the film's origins and would be the "purist's approach."

As for your question about the color timing in the exorcism sequence, yes, this sparked some debate a la the Dean Cundy/Halloween fiasco...apparently, some tweaking went on by which the cold blue hues during that scene had been altered to look different, much to the dismay of diehard fans; that could be a debate and discussion for a whole other thread though...eek.gif

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post #73 of 78 Old 10-31-2013, 11:07 AM
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Your player is not reading the flags correctly. The director's cut BD is in a 5.1 DTS-HD MA ES configuration, which should decode as 6.1 channels on a full DTS decoder. It's such a rare flag on Blu-ray that I suspect many manufacturers don't implement it on their players.

I investigated this some more last night, and you're correct. The track is encoded as 5.1 with a matrix flag for a sixth channel. The menu on my OPPO Blu-ray player (bottom of the following image) reports this as 5.1, while the menu on my receiver (the middle portion) says "3/3/.1". The theatrical cut disc says "3/2/.1".


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I have to disagree, however, with one of Josh's sentiments regarding the Blu-ray's "supercharged audio remixes" being the "same" on both the Director's and Theatrical cuts...unless I am mistaken, the Blu-ray version of the Original Theatrical Version carries a DTS-HD Master Audio track that is VASTLY different from the one stemmed from the Extended Director's version; they're not the same. The audio on the Theatrical Version I believe was sourced from a Dolby Digital 5.1 remaster of the film's ORIGINAL mono soundtrack stems found on some previous DVD re-releases PRIOR to the release of THE VERSION YOU'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE...

That said, even on Blu-ray, you can CLEARLY tell there is a soundtrack "difference" between the Theatrical's DTS Master Audio mix and the Extended Director's DTS Master Audio mix...the Theatrical version's track is stuffy in comparison, and remains in the front three channels primarily, even during sequences that would suggest ambient surround movement/activity...in fact, to my ears, the track seems almost mono-like in presentation for a good deal of the run time, coming mainly from the center channel. The Master Audio track on the DIRECTOR'S cut, however, retains that "supercharged" mix from the VERSION YOU'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE's DVD release (on the DVD, the track was in Dolby Digital EX) and to me remains the more engaging, aggressive, involving and downright moving track in which to accompany the film's shocking visuals. Of course, the THEATRICAL version's audio is more in line with the film's origins and would be the "purist's approach."

Is there a specific scene where this stands out to you? I'll be honest that I was paying a lot more attention to the theatrical cut than the extended cut during this viewing.
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As for your question about the color timing in the exorcism sequence, yes, this sparked some debate a la the Dean Cundy/Halloween fiasco...apparently, some tweaking went on by which the cold blue hues during that scene had been altered to look different, much to the dismay of diehard fans; that could be a debate and discussion for a whole other thread though...eek.gif

While there may possibly have been some revisionism in the colors during a few scenes, there's nothing nearly as objectionable as the "pastel" nonsense Friedkin inflicted on the first Blu-ray copy of the French Connection, which he had threatened to also do to The Exorcist until Owen Roizman bitchslapped him.

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post #74 of 78 Old 10-31-2013, 12:20 PM
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Let me break a couple of things down here, David, because this is a title I'm very familiar with in its varying incarnations on home video...

The "superior audio and video" you speak of began their life on the VERSION YOU'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE's DVD release in which Warner went back and digitally restored some video elements while restoring the film, as a whole, per the whole Friedkin/Blatty creative fiasco AND remixed the sound into Dolby Digital EX. This version, which has become "The Extended Director's Cut" on the Blu-ray variants, was essentially ported over from the already-excellent DVD release of this cut for the first (and now, apparently according to Josh and some others, the 40th Anniversary release) "digibook" Blu-ray release, keeping intact everything that made that DVD release great including the audio and video updating. I have to disagree, however, with one of Josh's sentiments regarding the Blu-ray's "supercharged audio remixes" being the "same" on both the Director's and Theatrical cuts...unless I am mistaken, the Blu-ray version of the Original Theatrical Version carries a DTS-HD Master Audio track that is VASTLY different from the one stemmed from the Extended Director's version; they're not the same. The audio on the Theatrical Version I believe was sourced from a Dolby Digital 5.1 remaster of the film's ORIGINAL mono soundtrack stems found on some previous DVD re-releases PRIOR to the release of THE VERSION YOU'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE...

That said, even on Blu-ray, you can CLEARLY tell there is a soundtrack "difference" between the Theatrical's DTS Master Audio mix and the Extended Director's DTS Master Audio mix...the Theatrical version's track is stuffy in comparison, and remains in the front three channels primarily, even during sequences that would suggest ambient surround movement/activity...in fact, to my ears, the track seems almost mono-like in presentation for a good deal of the run time, coming mainly from the center channel. The Master Audio track on the DIRECTOR'S cut, however, retains that "supercharged" mix from the VERSION YOU'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE's DVD release (on the DVD, the track was in Dolby Digital EX) and to me remains the more engaging, aggressive, involving and downright moving track in which to accompany the film's shocking visuals. Of course, the THEATRICAL version's audio is more in line with the film's origins and would be the "purist's approach."

As for your question about the color timing in the exorcism sequence, yes, this sparked some debate a la the Dean Cundy/Halloween fiasco...apparently, some tweaking went on by which the cold blue hues during that scene had been altered to look different, much to the dismay of diehard fans; that could be a debate and discussion for a whole other thread though...eek.gif

Thanks for the info! I'm going to A/B some scenes from the theatrical and the extended.

I'm a bit more biased to the extended version only because the first time I ever saw The Exorcist was when it was released to the theaters as "The Version You've Never Seen" back in 2000. Right then and there I felt it was the best horror movie I ever saw and still feel that way today.

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post #75 of 78 Old 11-04-2013, 01:37 PM
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I investigated this some more last night, and you're correct. The track is encoded as 5.1 with a matrix flag for a sixth channel. The menu on my OPPO Blu-ray player (bottom of the following image) reports this as 5.1, while the menu on my receiver (the middle portion) says "3/3/.1". The theatrical cut disc says "3/2/.1".


Is there a specific scene where this stands out to you? I'll be honest that I was paying a lot more attention to the theatrical cut than the extended cut during this viewing.
While there may possibly have been some revisionism in the colors during a few scenes, there's nothing nearly as objectionable as the "pastel" nonsense Friedkin inflicted on the first Blu-ray copy of the French Connection, which he had threatened to also do to The Exorcist until Owen Roizman bitchslapped him.

Hey Josh,

You mean comparing the two cuts on the Blu-ray release(s)? This would be a LONG list for me -- for starters, there's the opening Iraq sequence in which on the Theatrical cut the audio appears to boast no movement across the rear stage whatsoever and seems confined to mainly the center channel. On the Director's cut, this sequence (as well as on the aforementioned "Version You've Never Seen Before"'s DVD release) is exploding with added ambient effects, throwing voices, shouting diggers, clanging of tools and other sounds all over the surrounds in a rather aggressive fashion.

Actually, before we get to that scene -- the opening "WILLIAM PETER BLATTY'S THE EXORCIST" title sequence, if you listen carefully, is accompanied by a deep wallop of bass as the muslim chanting begins and the scene fades into the "Northern Iraq" sequence on the Director's Cut....on the Original Theatrical, this doesn't exist at all. Moving forward from there, here are more jarring differences between the DTS-HD Master Audio tracks for the Director's Cut and the Theatrical version:

- The airplane flyover after the demon supposedly "escapes" from Iraq as Merrin watches the statue and the scene fades into the Georgetown townhouse closeup: As this scene unfolds, there is an incredibly realistic panning effect in the rear channels (sourced from the DVD's awesome Dolby EX master) in which a jet plane flies overhead; on the Theatrical version, this doesn't exist.

- The first scene in which Chris is in her bed reading her lines for the "Crash Course" film she's making in Washington and the way in which Pazuzu, the demon, enters the house for the first time: In the Director's Cut, this sequence is incredibly detailed in directional effects, throwing the noises of the demon in the attic this way and that over our shoulders, rendering the movement of the sequence very realistic; the Theatrical version's audio keeps the noises in the center channel only, even when they're clearly coming from BEHIND Chris (Burstyn).

- There's the part when Karras (Jason Miller) is waiting for the subway train to go to New York and visit his mother: In the Director's Cut, the train whooshes by him in a stunningly loud manner, racing accurately deep into the left surround channel over our shoulders, and echoing out as if you're really standing in a real desolate subway station. This doesn't happen via the Theatrical version's audio.

- A big difference between the audio tracks comes when Karras sits with "Father Tom" in the Georgetown campus bar...on the Director's Cut, the audio becomes aggressive and encompassing, making us feel as if we're REALLY there with the two priests in that watering hole, surrounded by yelling, partying Georgetown students. In the background, the Allman Brothers' "Ramblin' Man" is loud and clear, and we can even DISTINCTLY hear a female yell out, in one of the surround channels, "WAIT -- THIS IS MY FAVORITE PART OF THE SONG!" The addition of this audio cue was amazingly effective; in the Theatrical version, the scene is flat in comparison with the Allman Brothers song barely registering through the center.

- Before the final exorcism takes place (on the Director's Cut) and Merrin (Max Von Sydow) first arrives at the MacNeil house, there is the bellowing --loudly -- of the demon from the right surround channel to the left of "MEEEEEEEEERRRRRINNN!!!!"

- When Karras throws himself out Reagan's bedroom window at the end, the Director's Cut is accompanied by a stunning breaking glass audio effect absent on the Theatrical version, and when Karras finally hits the ground below, the Director's Cut explodes into voices screaming and yelling from every direction as the crowd circles around the dead priest and Dyer reads him the last rights; on the Theatrical release, this scene contains no such ambient surround audio of crowd noises and yelling.

These are all primary examples of the differences between the two tracks , but there are plenty more.

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post #76 of 78 Old 11-04-2013, 01:47 PM
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Thanks for the info! I'm going to A/B some scenes from the theatrical and the extended.

I'm a bit more biased to the extended version only because the first time I ever saw The Exorcist was when it was released to the theaters as "The Version You've Never Seen" back in 2000. Right then and there I felt it was the best horror movie I ever saw and still feel that way today.

No problem for the info; I would be very interested to hear your thoughts regarding the difference in audio tracks on these two cuts, and to see if you found similar differences like the ones I outlined to Josh in the above post. If the FIRST time you experienced this film was during the 2000 re-release in theaters, the comparison between the two versions makes for an eye-opening activity. This has always been one of my all-time favorite films and as much as I understand diehard purists preferring the original cut, I always go back to the Extended Director's version for its technically improved elements (picture and, specifically, sound) as the "added" CGI work and underlying score tack-ons don't really bother me or take me out of the story, as many fans complain about. wink.gif

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post #77 of 78 Old 11-05-2013, 10:14 AM
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Thanks, IntelliVolume. If I can find some time in the near future, I'll try to check out some of those scenes.

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post #78 of 78 Old 11-05-2013, 11:20 AM
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Thanks, IntelliVolume. If I can find some time in the near future, I'll try to check out some of those scenes.

You're welcome.

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