Wicker Man (1973) Blu

Discussion in 'High Definition' started by Risky1975, Apr 6, 2013.

  1. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    So, is this playing in anyone else's area?

    I just saw it listed at a downtown theater. Now, what made it interesting is that it's not a one-off screening, like most of the other Halloween revival. It's playing six times a day!
    http://www.fandango.com/gaslampstadium_aaeet/theaterpage
    I'm pretty sure it's not a 35mm print, but I bet it's a DCP. Better than DVD/Blu.
     
  2. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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    It sounds like it won't even be comparable to the 3-Disc UK set then. Unless that's incorrect or just incomplete... it'll be missing quite a few bonus features. It just really sounds like it'll be a single disc... Lionsgate generally goes the cheap route.

    The Final Cut looks great restored in HD, but it's nice to have the original Theatrical Cut (which also looks great) in HD as well. The Director's Cut looks like crap though.

    As for the Amazon links, I'm not sure who's giving you shit about them? It's probably because of the Amazon referral link, since this forum also has one to use to help Dave pay for the hosting costs.
     
  3. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

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    From digging around and looking at reviews it appears that the extended director's cut is presented in SD on the UK release. What's the point of that?

    I don't care about the truncated theatrical cut. And I already have the soundtrack CD and several different SD versions of the long cut. So for me at least the U.S. version will have to do. The pre-order price is down to $14.99 at Amazon. I can't justify an extra $30 to import the UK version just for lossless audio on the long cut.

    Hopefully the U.S. transfer is the same. If it is that's all I need.
     
  4. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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    I don't know why the Director's Cut was just an SD upscale. Perhaps the elements just weren't there for that cut, or striking a 3rd HD transfer for that cut was deemed superfluous. It does have the audio commentary however. It's there for completists sakes anyway...and the audio commentary is great.

    If the US specs are accurate, it won't have the following extras that are on the UK release:

    Burnt Offering: The Cult of the Wicker Man documentary
    Robin Hardy Interview
    '79 Christopher Lee & Robin Hardy Interview

    So it may be missing about 1½+ hours of those features, plus the lack of the commentary. If you have the UK "Director's Cut" DVD release from 2009, you'll have those already though.

    The gold metallic foil Sip Cover on the UK release is quite beautiful. Zavvi's SteelBook seems like no big loss now.
     
  5. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the run-down Kat. The 3-disc 2006 Studio Canal release definitely includes the Burnt Offering documentary, the commentary, and a Hardy/Lee tandem interview (said to be from 1973) that runs about 20 minutes (in lousy video quality). I think it's the same interview that's described as being from 1979 on the Blu.

    I guess they are using the inferior quality of the extra prologue scenes to justify the decision to present the director's cut in SD. But with that being the case I don't have nearly enough motivation to go to the expense of importing the 3-disc UK Blu-ray. A (relatively) bargain-priced, barebones HD release will cover me here.
     
  6. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    I just saw the "Final Cut" on Sunday night (in a theater!). I think it's now my favorite version of the film. It's sort of a combination of the theatrical and so-called director's cut. The final cut opens with Sgt. Howie in church, but wisely omits the scene of him getting the letter. Willow's dance is later in the film, same as the director's cut, although that's never been a major issue with me (as long as we see naked Britt, it's all good!). The only thing I questioned was the scene where Lord Summerisle brings the young man to Willow (which is fine), but then asks her if she's prepared for the sacrifice in two days (gives away way too much).

    The quality of the non-theatrical cut scenes is still quite grainy. Will the theatrical cut be on the US Blu-Ray (in HD)? Bruce's post seems to indicate it won't. I think I'd probably stick with the theatrical, at least for introducing people to the film.
     
  7. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the details on this cut Paff. Most of the summaries I saw suggested it started just like the theatrical cut. I'm really looking forward to seeing this. I think Willow's dance works much better later in the film. Howie's tortured reaction seems over-the-top and unmotivated in the theatrical version. After another full day of torment it's more believable.

    Speaking of Britt's dance, here's a question I've never seen addressed or answered. I've heard the talk that Rod Stewart supposedly objected to Britt Eklund's nudity--which is why such an obvious body double was used for the full-body rear shots. But why would he (or she) be okay with showing her chest but not her butt? That seems to be the opposite of conventional thinking.

    Back on point. I have mixed feelings about the earlier appearance of Lord Summerisle. In almost every other situation I'd say more Christopher Lee is an improvement. But his intro is a lot more dramatic in the theatrical cut. The longer build-up makes his sparring with Howie seem that much more dramatic. Their first meeting has to be the best scene of Lee's career.
     
  8. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

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    And right after questioning the body double rear shots I see that she was pregnant during filming. It's mentioned on the IMDB trivia page.
     
  9. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Seriously, I'm ok with either placement of Willow's dance. In the theatrical, it seems like a good initial test, in the directors/final cuts, it's a final test.

    But yeah, that Summerisle/Howie scene is just great to watch

    Howie (angrily): I am here to obtain permission to exhume Rowan Morrison's body!
    Summerisle (calmly): I was under the impression I'd already given it.
     
  10. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

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    For those who have Comcast, Fearnet on demand currently includes the theatrical cut of The Wicker Man in HD. I only watched the first few minutes. But it looks to be a legit hi-def presentation--not an upscaled version.
     
  11. bruce h

    bruce h Editor - CINEMA ARCANA

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  12. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

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    I am probably going to get the UK Blu as it comes with the three versions but I would like to see an A/V comparison with the UK set.
     
  13. buck135

    buck135 Kanamit

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    That's the version I received for Xmas. I haven't watched it yet, though I'll try and get to it soon.
     
  14. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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    The UK set is definitely the best version to get. Not only does it include the three versions, but includes more special features, and also the soundtrack CD.

    The Final Cut transfer is sourced from an identical StudioCanal master, so I doubt there'll be too much difference between the two there.
     
  15. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

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    Thanks Katatonia
     
  16. bruce h

    bruce h Editor - CINEMA ARCANA

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  17. bruce h

    bruce h Editor - CINEMA ARCANA

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  18. Shannafey

    Shannafey Don't Monkey With Me!

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    I just ordered it. Have to get it after all the commentary and reviews.
     
  19. Shannafey

    Shannafey Don't Monkey With Me!

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    Watched it last night. Fantastic transfer and I do like this cut more than the theatrical. That being said, I've never seen the director's cut. I really like the placement of Willow's dance in this version. It does make more sense.
     

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