Here we are my fellow fiends, the granddaddy of them all the Exorcist, and on Mother Bleeping Blu Ray to boot! I was excited to say the least. I saw the movie with my folks at 3 yrs old (not recommended), read the book at 12, and bought a copy on good old VHS at 13, and in 2000 on DVD the extended version. Hell I was even one of the schmucks that laid down 12 bucks to see the theatrical re-release just to see the Crab Reagan come down the stairs. To put it lightly I am a fan of William Peter Blatty's creation, and Freidkin's interpretation. I love the Exorcist, and arguably it is as American as Grandma's Apple Pie. If you don't know the battle between Pazuzu/Captain Howdy and Father Lancaster Marin, than perhaps Disney.com is more your realm as a reader!
This is a not a horror story! I repeat this is not a horror story, and if Mr. Blatty is reading this, this is for you. This is a story of redemption, of losing everything, and suddenly finding the balls to get up and fight anyway against an opponent stronger, smarter, and way out of your league. (See Rocky I-VI) When Ms. McNeal asks the faithless, battered, and scared Father Damien Karras if he daughter is going to die, his faith, and courage as not just a Priest but a man rages back and he returns to face the Demon alone saying "no she will not die". I will not say more, as this film has been seen, and analyzed by more talented than I, and I will not spoil this Black Rainbow for those who have not seen it, but after I go over the Video/Sound you will consider this a must have for you Blu-Ray Collection.
Video: 4.5 stars out of 5
William Friedkin did a phenomenal job on restoring a 35 yr old plus film to astounding quality. My only complaint though small is the hazy 1970's look as the town of Georgetown is shot from an over head view. The Hi-Def format makes this really noticeable. The Iraq shots were clean, crisp, and you can really almost feel the dry, hot wind in your face as Marin faces the Pazuzu Statue. The Blacks were reasonably deep, and depressing, but the gray atmosphere of Father Karras's Mother's small apartment really aids in bring a despair that is felt by son and mother alike. Of course the war of Good and Evil really come to an incredible sharp display of ugly (intentional) green and filthy hues. Even the "pea soup" used as vomit looked extremely real.
Really impressive for a 35 year old film, holy smokes!
Audio: 5 out of 5
Folks, directors, and all others: This is what sound editing is all about. The HD 6.1 mix captured everything. I mean everything! The vague conversations to the side during the film shooting sequence, the gym scene where Karras is tearing the hell out of a heavy bag, Noise is what makes movies realistic folks. Not perfect pristine soundstage planning, but noises and people are what sell realism. The Blu-Ray remaster of this film really bring everything out, especially the Infamous phone ring, and the incredible subway scene. Unreal, simply well done.
I can't say enough, yet I have. Stop what you are doing, and get this performance form Max Von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn, and see if you can pick out Blattey's small cameo.