Poltergeist BD impressions
A couple of nights back, I watched Warner’s BD release of Poltergeist, which believe it or not was the first time I’d ever seen this horror classic right through (having previously caught the end of it on TV several years back). The debate will, I’m sure, continue to rage over whether Tobe Hooper or Steven Spielberg was the movie’s actual director, but whoever was responsible certainly did a bang-up job. The more obviously Spielbergian elements - a lot of the domestic “wackiness” early on - did grate on me somewhat, and I can’t help feeling that the ending (i.e. everything after the “exorcism” of the house) was tacked on at a later stage, but beyond that it’s a bona fide masterpiece of the genre.
I was also pleasantly surprised by the transfer. This is a really great-looking catalogue title that exceeded my expectations as far as image quality were concerned. It’s not so much that I had any reason to expect it to look bad (beyond the knowledge that an awful lot of Warner titles look decidedly mediocre), but I was relieved to discover that the grain had largely been left alone and that detail levels didn’t suffer beyond the usual aberrations one tends to find with anamorphic lenses. There are some places where I feel it could have been improved, particularly with regard to the compression, which often lets the side down on Warner’s BDs, but overall I’m extremely satisfied with the look of this disc. It certainly compares very favourably to 20th Century Fox’s work on The Omen, a title of similar vintage (give or take a few years), shot using the same cinematographic process and with a comparable overall look. 9/10
studio: Warner; country: UK; region code: ABC; codec: VC-1;
file size: 18.5 GB; average bit rate (including audio): 23.23 Mbit/sec
Posted: Friday, April 24, 2009 at 7:11 PM
| Comments: 4
Categories: BD Impressions
I'm glad you enjoyed the film and thought the transfer was good.
I nominated this a while back for the film grain thread at AVS because i think the transfers very good - Pop in and give it a second vote and i'll put it on the main list this weekend.
Personally i know Spielberg was on the set for the entire making of this film and i feel he influenced Tobe Hooper a lot as there are many Spielberg touches to the film.
I think it's a classic of the genre though and i am a huge horror fan.
Posted by: FoxyMulder, April 24, 2009 11:22 PM
Love those scope compositions. They just don't shoot them like that anymore.
Posted by: Kram Sacul, April 24, 2009 11:24 PM
I haven't seen the whole movie either, but I picked it up for £6.50 at the CD WOW sale last week. I think I got a pretty good deal. :)
Posted by: Paku, April 25, 2009 12:14 AM
From an interview with Zelda Rubinstein (Tangina) at Ain't It Cool from October 2007: https://www.aintitcool.com/node/34266
Quint: There's one thing that I'm really curious about. Being an Austinite I've run into Tobe Hooper and I've talked to him at length about his work on POLTERGEIST and I brought up the big rumor that Spielberg came in to direct it and kind of took over. Tobe was very adamant that he directed the film.
Zelda Rubinstein: I can tell you that Steven directed all six days I was there. I only worked six days on the film and Steven was there. Tobe set up the shots and Steven made the adjustments.
You're not going to hear that from Tobe Hooper, you'll hear it from Zelda, because that was my honest to God experience. I'm not a fan of Tobe Hooper.
Posted by: 4LOM
, April 25, 2009 8:28 AM
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