Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Sorcerer [Blu-ray]

 

(William Friedkin, 1977)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Paramount Pictures

Video: Warner Home Video

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:01:30.616 

Disc Size: 21,561,184,331 bytes

Feature Size: 21,287,098,368 bytes

Video Bitrate: 17.99 Mbps

Chapters: 18

Case: Digibook Blu-ray case

Release date: April 22nd, 2013

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3824 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3824 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DUB: Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), French, Spanish, none (burned-in for the non-English dialogue)

 

Extras:

Blu-ray presented as a BD Book featuring 40 pages filled with beautiful images and excerpts from the book “The Friedkin Connection a Memoir”. Includes a new and personal forward written by Mr. Friedkin.

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: The plot of William Friedkin's suspense thriller originated with the same Georges Arnaud novel that inspired Henri-Georges Clouzot's French suspense classic The Wages of Fear (1953). Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, Francisco Rabal, and Amidou play four men who, for various reasons, cannot return to their own countries. They end up in a dismal South American town where an American oil company is seeking out courageous drivers willing to haul nitroglycerin over 200 miles of treacherous terrain. The four stateless men have nothing to lose -- and, besides, they'll be paid 10,000 dollars apiece, and be granted legal citizenship, if they survive. The suspense is almost unbearable at times, even outdistancing the tension level of The Wages of Fear in certain scenes. Unfortunately while this film should have been a blockbuster given Friedkin’s preceding films (French Connection & Exorcist) it’s ultimate BO success was hampered by being released one month after Star Wars and arguably by it’s title. This is a fascinating movie with an even more fascinating back story.

 

 

The Film:

The plot of William Friedkin's suspense thriller originated with the same Georges Arnaud novel that inspired Henri-Georges Clouzot's French suspense classic The Wages of Fear (1953). Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, Francisco Rabal, and Amidou play four men who, for various reasons, cannot return to their own countries. They end up in a dismal South American town where an American oil company is seeking out courageous drivers willing to haul nitroglycerin over 200 miles of treacherous terrain. The four stateless men have nothing to lose -- and, besides, they'll be paid 10,000 dollars apiece, and be granted legal citizenship, if they survive. The suspense is almost unbearable at times, even outdistancing the tension level of The Wages of Fear in certain scenes. Sorcerer had all the earmarks of a moneymaker, but this picture bombed for a rather odd and silly reason: its glaringly inappropriate title. Fans of Friedkin's Exorcist may have gone home disappointed that not one sorcerer ever rears its ugly head.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Friedkin's SORCERER is just as gripping and spine-tingling an adventure film as The Wages of Fear and, at times, surpasses the original film with breathtaking photography and a superb use of sound (the scene on the bridge is truly amazing). The musical score by German electronic experimental band Tangerine Dream is brilliant and haunting. The eerie electronic music adds immeasurably to the overall effect of the film, complementing the exotic imagery perfectly. Tangerine Dream has since done dozens of superior scores for films as diverse as RISKY BUSINESS and THIEF (Friedkin once stated that if he had heard the band's music before he finished Exorcist, he would have hired it to do the music for that film as well). While critics bemoan Friedkin and screenwriter Green's changes in the story line and lengthy expository passage (the film runs 70 minutes before the men actually board the trucks), they forget that The Wages of Fear also has a long first half. Both films develop their characters fully. While the French film is more subtle and takes some jabs at the American exploitation of foreign resources, SORCERER retains the French film's social concerns and goes one step further by introducing a revolutionary movement intent on removing the oil company.

Excerpt from TV Guide located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Sorcerer gets a highly anticipated Blu-ray transfer from Warner. Despite the 2-hour film rendered to a single-layered disc with modest bitrate - the image quality looks quite impressive in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio. The transfer is advertised as 'supervised by Friedkin'. Colors are definitely brighter and truer than SD could relate. The jungle-greens are vibrant. There may be a tinge of teal-leaning - not much though. The film has the gritty look of Friedkin's French Connection. Skin tones show some warmth. There are notable film textures and I see no manipulations. I don't know that dual-layering would advance this Blu-ray image extensively more than this. This looks quite good. There is no noise (maybe a tiny amount in the darkest recesses of the night scenes) and plenty of depth visible in the daylight. The film is visually impressive and the Warner Blu-ray seems to have kept pace.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Fabulous audio - the film has the amazing score by Tangerine Dream rendered to Blu-ray via a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a whopping 3824 kbps. There is plenty of depth in the aggression (explosions.) Separations are evident, if never notably crisp but the beautiful moody score goes right through you adding intensity of the film. This is good enough to listen to alone without the video portion. Lotsa power... and grace in the piercing electronic soundtrack. There are optional English subtitles (burned-in for the non-English dialogue) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

No digital supplements but the package comes as part of a Blu-ray Book featuring 40 pages filled with beautiful images and excerpts from the book “The Friedkin Connection a Memoir”. Includes a new and personal forward written by Mr. Friedkin.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Tension, macho violence and atmosphere permeate Friedkin's Sorcerer. This is a helluva film to have on Blu-ray in my opinion. the 1080P picks up the jungle-socked atmosphere significantly better than SD. This adds even more suspense. I wish there were more extras but the digi-book packaging is impressive and the HD, a/v, experience a real keeper. Absolutely recommended! 

Gary Tooze

April 11th, 2014

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

       HIGH DEFINITION DVD STORE     ALL OUR NEW FORMAT DVD REVIEWS

 

 




 

Hit Counter

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

 CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!