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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'Omen I' or 'Omen I: The Antichrist' or 'Omen I: The Birthmark' or 'The Birthmark')

directed by Richard Donner
USA 1976

Now my eldest can be a real little devil sometimes, but I never had the problems of ambassador Thorn. All joking aside - although I am not a big horror fan this is probably my favorite of that genre. The 70's brought a few more intelligent scare efforts than had ever been seen before with The Omen, The Exorcist, The Shining and some others my feeble brain can't recall at this time.

 

In The Omen director Richard Donner gets a little heavy at times with close-ups and the bombastic score but it is perfectly fitting and timed to the mood of the particular scene - that's what makes it a horror. On the performances - there aren't many Peck films where I don't extol his efforts and I've been enamored with Lee Remick since The Long, Hot Summer (1958). Add to that some amazing support from Leo McKern, David Warner et all. So although all those pieces fit with adept cohesiveness - it's the David Seltzer, extensively researched, script that I would champion to the hilt. It actually helped define a new sect of the genre - the 'religious-horror' - see - The Seventh Sign (1988) and Michael Mann's The Keep (1983) although The Exorcist coming out 3 years earlier deserves more credit I suppose. Seltzer's screenwriting turned an absurd premise into a most plausible one for all who viewed it. The good thing about this film is that it holds up so well - it's as thought-provoking and creepy as the first time I saw it over 25 years ago. Perhaps being that old it can rightly be identified as a classic. Very fitting in my opinion. This is a great film - despite, or rather 'regardless of', being a horror film. Don't let that deter you from viewing.

Gary Tooze

 

Theatrical Release: June 25th, 1976

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison: 

20th Century Fox (Special Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. 20th Century Fox (2-Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. 20th Century Fox Region 'A' Blu-ray

 

1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT

2) 20th Century Fox (2-Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) 20th Century Fox - Region 'A'  Blu-ray RIGHT

 

DVD Box Cover

Distribution

20th Century Fox (Special Edition)

Region 1 - NTSC

20th Century Fox (2-Disc Collector's Edition) Region 1 - NTSC

20th Century Fox

Region 'A' - Blu-ray

The FOUR Blu-rays comprise Fox's The Omen Collection on Blu-ray which includes The Omen (1976), Omen 2: Damien (1978), Omen 3: The Final Conflict (1981) and The Omen (2006)

               

Review of the entire collection:

  

Runtime 1:50:52 1:50:56 1:51:02

Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.67 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.94 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Feature 23.6 Gig, Dual-layered 1080P, Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC encode

2.35:1

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate : 20th Century Fox (Special Edition)

Bitrate: 20th Century Fox (2-Disc Collector's Edition)

Bitrate: Fox (Blu-ray)

NO BITRATE GRAPH FOR Blu-ray YET!

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English  Mono), DUBs: French  Mono) English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 1.0), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 1.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0) English DTS HD Master 5.1, English (mono), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 1.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0)
Subtitles English, Spanish, None English, Spanish, None English, Spanish, Chinese (traditional and simplified), Korean, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox (Special Edition)

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by director Richard Donner & editor Stuart Baird

• 666: The Omen Revealed

• Jerry Goldsmith on the Omen Score (Love Theme, Damien to Church Dog Attack, 666 and Mrs. Baylock)

• Featurette: Curse or Coincidence

• Theatrical Trailer

DVD Release Date: September 4th, 2001
Keep case

Chapters 36

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox (2-Disc Collector's Edition)
 

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by director Richard Donner & editor Stuart Baird
• Commentary by director Richard Donner & writer/director Brian Helgeland
• Featurette: Curse or Coincidence
• Jerry Goldsmith on the Omen Score (Love Theme, Damien to Church Dog Attack, 666 and Mrs. Baylock)
• Theatrical Trailer
Disc 2:
• Introduction to the special edition of Omen by director Richard Donner
• 666: The Omen Revealed
• The Omen Legacy
• Deleted Scene - Dog Attack with commentary by director Richard Donner and & writer/director Brian Helgeland
• David Seltzer on Writing the Omen
• An Appreciation: Wes Craven on THE OMEN
• Still Gallery
 

DVD Release Date: June 20th, 2006
Double Slim Keep Case

Chapters 36

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Feature 23.6 Gig, Dual-layered 1080P, Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC encode

 

 

Edition Details:
• Commentary by director Richard Donner & editor Stuart Baird
• Commentary by director Richard Donner & writer/director Brian Helgeland

• Commentary by film historian Lem Dobbs, Nick Redman and Jeff Bond

• Isolated Score Track

• Richard Donner on The Omen on HD! (14:36)

• The Omen Revelations - BonusView with Trivia Track

• Introduction to the special edition of Omen by director Richard Donner

• Deleted Scene - Dog Attack with commentary by director Richard Donner and & writer/director Brian Helgeland

• 666: The Omen Revealed (46:34)

• David Seltzer on Writing the Omen

• An Appreciation: Wes Craven on THE OMEN
• Featurette: Curse or Coincidence (6:19)
• Jerry Goldsmith on the Omen Score (Love Theme, Damien to Church Dog Attack, 666 and Mrs. Baylock)
• Theatrical Trailer
• The Omen Legacy (1:41:37)
• Still Photo Gallery
 

DVD Release Date: October 7th, 2008
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters 36

 

Comments NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Fox Blu-ray - October 08': I don't know why, but I wasn't expecting a lot from this new transfer - surprisingly I was actually quite pleased with the way it turned out. This 32-year old film easily surpasses the previous SD-DVD editions with a color scheme that supports the 'CE' over the 'SE'.  Detail is extensively improved and colors, especially skin tones seem more correct. The image has a tightness that was refreshing considering The Omen's age. The speckles that existed in the CE are gone and this looks like a brand new film. Grain is visible to varying degrees and hopefully the screen captures below can bear out the improvement in 1080P with Fox using the MPEG4-AVC encode. I should state that my edition is part of the 4-disc Collection (which we will be reviewing shortly), not the individual release.

Audio gets a desirable bump to Lossless DTS HD Master 5.1 (and still keeps a mono option). Jerry Goldsmith's original score for The Omen is one of the more memorable in horror film history. Aside from the orchestral background we have two specific pieces written by him - "Ave Satani" and "The Piper Dreams" with the former being undeniably haunting and perfectly suited to the deep sense of suspense and mystique of the netherworld that is permeated in the narrative by Donner. There is a wonderful featurette in the extras and you can actually access the Isolated Score Track with this new Blu-ray. It is also covered a lot in the new, third commentary. It really comes to life in HD and adds another element of foreboding to the film - one I had not felt previously. Top marks. There are optional subtitles offered.

Extras appear to include all the past featurettes, deleted scenes and 2 commentaries - plus some new stuff - notably a new, third, commentary with film historians Lem Dobbs, Nick Redman and Jeff Bond. They cover a bit from the previous two discussions but also impart quite a lot of new information and the trio seem to work well together relating how this was the beginning of a new era of the horror genre with much on Goldsmith's score. We also have 15 minutes with Richard Donner on The Omen in HD as well as the aforementioned isolated score. Although not mentioned on the digipak the extensive The Omen Legacy (running 1:41:37) is still there.

I have always been high on this film (easily the best of the 4 'Omen' feature films made) and this Blu-ray does it justice. It looks and sounds great and there are more extras than any fan could have hoped for - if you include the commentaries as separate supplements - you have over 8 hours of extraneous stuff to indulge in. This Blu-ray is highly recommended! 





 

***

ON THE SD-DVDS: I'm usually criticizing these new 'super' editions for:

1) Their labelling - since the original releases in 2001 was called 'Special Edition' - this new edition had to be called 'Collector's Edition'

2) Improving the supplements excessively and the image indiscernibly.

BUT this is a different case - Fox have really done a great job with the transfer and the difference in colors can easily be seen. The balance on the new release is far superior (check skin tones below) and detail is also a notch advanced. We can also see the original release to be a shade cropped on all 4 sides - mostly the sides. I might not have found the old edition's brightness boosting excessive but alongside the 2-disc Collector's Edition it certainly looks that way now. In fact it's all better - they have added a very adept second commentary - shuffled the extras a little (all 5 are repeated with only 3 or 4 'new' supplements). Overall, I'm most happy with the new image which really establishes this 2-disc, along with the cheaper price tag, as a warranted purchase. Yes, you bet we recommend! Great film, great looking, solid extras. There is also a 5.1 track that sounded very good, although not 'knock your socks off' good, just adept and buoyant at the right times.

NOTE: I guess I should complain about something - the new menus are extravagant and damaging to the intelligent expression of the film. The more obvious 'horror effects' (in this case a shaky camera) were not necessary in the film and have no place in the animated menus. Ridiculous bitching on my part -> most certainly.    

 - Gary Tooze

 


Menus/extras

 

Blu-ray

 



(20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. 20th Century Fox (2-Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC RIGHT)

 

Disc 2 of the 'Collector's Edition'

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) 20th Century Fox (2-Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) 20th Century Fox - Region 'A'  Blu-ray BOTTOM

Subtitle Sample: Not exact frame - can't obtain Blu-ray grab with subtitles yet!

 

 

 


 

1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) 20th Century Fox (2-Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) 20th Century Fox - Region 'A'  Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 


 

1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) 20th Century Fox (2-Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) 20th Century Fox - Region 'A'  Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 


 

1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) 20th Century Fox (2-Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) 20th Century Fox - Region 'A'  Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 


 

1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) 20th Century Fox (2-Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) 20th Century Fox - Region 'A'  Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 


 

1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) 20th Century Fox (2-Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) 20th Century Fox - Region 'A'  Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) 20th Century Fox (2-Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) 20th Century Fox - Region 'A'  Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) 20th Century Fox (2-Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) 20th Century Fox - Region 'A'  Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 



Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: 20th Century Fox 2-Disc Collector's Edition / Blu-ray
Menu: -

 
DVD Box Cover

Distribution

20th Century Fox (Special Edition)

Region 1 - NTSC

20th Century Fox (2-Disc Collector's Edition) Region 1 - NTSC

20th Century Fox

Region 'A' - Blu-ray

The FOUR Blu-rays comprise Fox's The Omen Collection on Blu-ray which includes The Omen (1976), Omen 2: Damien (1978), Omen 3: The Final Conflict (1981) and The Omen (2006)

               

Review of the entire collection:

  




 

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Gary Tooze

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