Originally Posted by Josh Z
Whoever told you that is a fool. Discs 1 and 2 are literally the same discs as before, unchanged in any way. The only differences are the packaging and a new third disc of additional bonus features.
I actually read that via an online review portal, much like the one you write for, High Def Digest; the author had stated he felt as if something
simply looked better in this new release as compared to the digibook edition...I'll try to dig the site up if I can remember where I read it...
But it's good to know that this new edition contains the same discs from the digibook release, meaning because I don't want the extras that have been included (as comprehensive as they seem) I don't have to go ahead and double dip here...
It's a grainy movie. It was photographed that way. The only way to get rid of the grain would be to smother it out with Digital Noise Reduction, which will also remove picture detail and leave the whole thing looking like the hideous "Ultimate Hunter Edition" of Predator.
The first release of Predator
on Blu-ray remains one of the most notorious titles for "bad picture quality" in the history of the format's launch, whether they're catalog titles or new blockbuster releases -- is this "Ultimate Hunter Edition" the second subsequent release? I am actually in that camp of those that prefer a bit of noise smoothing to get rid of heavy dollops of grain at the expense of some detail, as crazy as that sounds...I actually read your Home Theater Magazine
review (I do some reviewing myself) of that trilogy of Kubrick films that came out on Blu and noted your comments about Clockwork Orange
and how this newer release, even though the film had shown at the Cannes Film Festival recently sporting a new high definition master, was "unfortunately" based on the older, dated master from the title's first release on Blu-ray (the one with the default lossy Dolby Digital track and PCM options, no Master Audio, the version which I personally own). I agree with some of what you said in that review, though I didn't think the "digital tampering" of the image to remove some noise and such was distracting at all, and I actually liked the pumped up, more contrast-y look Warner gave that release...
As for The Exorcist
, I am aware this is a grainy, noisy piece of original film material -- Friedkin's film stocks were often times overrun with these kinds of "abnormalities" as I like to call them for this title, and the resulting grain-ridden frames are all over the place in this film...the sequence in which the priest is walking to the church with the flowers (which is bathed in a twitchy coating of video noise/grain), the aforementioned sequence in Karras' mother's apartment (this sequence, in the blacks department, looked atrocious on every DVD version and looks just as horrible on the Blu-ray with flashing, macroblocking blacks and unstable video noise littering the background of the sequence even in the shadows) and some elements during the final exorcism set. Where the transfer really strutted its stuff, on the DVD AND Blu-ray, was in the opening Iraq sequence when the camera closes up on Max Von Sydow's face and hands...actually, that whole sequence is riddled with incredible detail and texture, especially given that this is a film as old as I am.
That being said, I am unfortunately one of those home theater enthusiasts that you would like to tie to a stake and beat to death with a steel crucifix because I happen to prefer a smoother, more grain-free look to film -- that's why I said I was in the (minority) camp of those Exorcist
fans that feel the whole master could use a good scrubbing and reminting from top to bottom...and THAT I would replace my digibook edition for...