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A view from the Blu (-ray) on DVDBeaver by Leonard Norwitz

 

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The Omen Collection [Blu-ray]

 

(Richard Donner, Don Taylor, Graham Baker & John Moore, 1976)

 

 

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 by Leonard Norwitz

 

Studio:

Theatrical: 20th Century Fox

Blu-ray: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

 

Disc:

Region: A

Runtime: 111, 10

Chapters:

Size: 50 GB

Case: Lightweight Gatefold Case, with Slipcover

Release date: October 7th, 2008

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1 & 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p

Video codec: AVC

 

Audio:

English DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio, Original Mono. Dub: Spanish & French DTS 5.1

 

Subtitles:

English & Spanish

 

Extras:

• (CLICK separate titles - hyperlinked- for full Blu-ray reviews)

 

 

The Films: We have to hand it to Catholicism for owning and perpetrating the copyright on Satanism and all that it spawns. In my time the first mainstream film to take the subject seriously was Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby from 1968, based on Ira Levin's bestseller from the previous year. It wasn't about the baby so much as the mother played by a very young (23) and translucent Mia Farrow. The movie ended with the birth and our imagination about its likely future. The Exorcist, William Friedkin's very popular horror film about the demonic possession of a child arrived in all its gory in 1973. The first Omen movie came into being five years later.

 

 


The idea for the trilogy, according to producer Harvey Bernhard, came immediately on the heels of the first movie. In the first movie, Damien, unbeknownst to his adoptive parents, is born of Satan and a jackal. Damien is later recognized for who he is by various protectors close to home and elsewhere, and by clerics, an archeologist and others who attempt to cut him off at the knees before he takes his proper place as the Antichrist. The good guys lose each time – big! In Omen III: The Final Conflict, Damien has reached maturity but must face his nemesis, the reborn Messiah.

The Omen Collection contains John Moore's 2006 remake of the original movie. Sticking very close to that script, I felt it sufficiently different in tone to warrant a look.

One thing I rather enjoyed puzzling out, especially as it pertains to the two sequels, is that once it is clear that Satan can do anything, that he seems to be more interested in writing a screenplay than watching his back. So, in the beginning of Omen II, Bugenhagen is buried in an excavation where he has discovered the true identity of the Antichrist. His burial is no accident. Yet, nine years later, it is permitted that the wall is exhumed sufficiently intact and brought to Chicago so that a curator can identify Damien once again.

A pattern about choice and circumstance begins to emerge, consistent with the acts and rules by which the Christian God, Satan and humankind play: namely, that all is foreordained and that humans must act out their parts in the Grand Plan. However pulpish The Omen movies are, they all recognize this and exploit it for all its worth. Conversely, only Omen III ends weakly by fulfilling the prophecy of the Second Coming.


 

FOR SPECIFIC IMAGE, AUDIO and SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL DETAILS PLEASE SEE THE Hyperlinked individual Blu-ray reviews:

 

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)

 

 

 

 

Bottom line: 6
Considering the price of this collection, the presentation is inexcusable. That said, the discs themselves are all very good in terms of both image and sound. It's nice that the first two movies retain the original mono option. At the moment, only the first movie is available separately, so the "Collection" is the only option for any of the other movies in HD. For what it's worth, my opinion about the remake is higher than the general critical reaction. For me, the only "loser" in the set is Omen III.

Leonard Norwitz
October 9th, 2008

 

 





 

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