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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'William Friedkin's Cruising')

Directed by William Friedkin
USA 1980

 

Academy Award-winner William Friedkin (The Exorcist, The French Connection) directs Al Pacino as an undercover cop pitched into New York s seedy underbelly in Cruising available for the first time on Blu-ray in a brand new director-approved transfer.

New York is caught in the grip of a sadistic serial killer who is preying on the patrons of the city's underground bars. Captain Edelson (Paul Sorvino) tasks young rookie Steve Burns (Pacino) with infiltrating the S&M subculture to try and lure the killer out of the shadows but as he immerses himself deeper and deeper into the lurid underworld, Steve risks losing his own identity in the process.

Based on reporter Gerald Walker's novel of the same name, Cruising was the subject of great controversy at the time of its release and remains a challenging and remarkable movie to this day, with Pacino's haunted lead performance as its magnetic centrepiece.

***

New York City detective Steve Burns Al Pacino receives orders from Captain Edelson Paul Sorvino to solve a series of brutal murders in the gay community. Steve scours the gay bars that caters to same-sex sadomasochism in a desperate attempt to solve the crime. As he infiltrates the scene, he slowly comes loose from the moorings of his own reality, and an innocent victim is tortured by the cops in an effort to exact a confession. The story is based on actual murders that took place between 1962 and 1979. The film gained considerable publicity because of the controversial subject matter while censor argued between an X and R rating for the feature.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: February 8th, 1980

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC vs. Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Cover

  

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:41:40        1:41:53.982 
Video 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.29 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 39,223,485,996 bytes

Feature: 30,325,300,800 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.67 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1), DUB: Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0)

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3297 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3297 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbpss

Subtitles English, Spanish, French , None English (SDH), None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by director William Friedkin
• Featurette: The History of Cruising
• Featurette: Exorcising Cruising
• Theatrical trailer

DVD Release Date: September 18th, 2007

Keep Case
Chapters: 25

 

Release Information:
Studio:
Arrow

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 39,223,485,996 bytes

Feature: 30,325,300,800 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.67 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

NEW Audio commentary with Mark Kermode and William Friedkin

Archival audio commentary by William Friedkin
The History of Cruising archival featurette looking at the film s origins and production (21:05)
Exorcizing Cruising archival featurette looking at the controversy surrounding the film and its enduring legacy (22:31)
Original Theatrical Trailer (3:29)


Blu-ray Release Date:
August 19th, 2019
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Arrow Blu-ray (August 2019): Arrow have transferred William Friedkin's powerful film Cruising to 1080P Blu-ray. It is cited as a "Brand new restoration from a 4K scan of the original camera negative, supervised and approved by writer-director William Friedkin". It appears to be another revisionist enhancement of the film's original colors and brightness with extremely vibrant reds (boat in opening scenes and in store windows), greens (Central Park trees and bushes) and yellows (taxi cabs). It has shows some imperceptible low-frequency edge-enhancement in a few scenes and digitization from those manipulations flattening certain visuals. I don't fault Arrow as they have no history of this - and my guess is that it was not the source - but the director's wishes in the process of brightening the video presentation, however I don't know positively. But the 4K scan produces a significantly sharper image and flesh-tones warm to more normal hues via the 1080P resolution. I would say that overall, it does look dramatically improved over the DVD, but as to a replication of the original theatrical appearance - one can only speculate. I was, nonetheless, blown away by the dynamic image presentation.

NOTE: 40 more full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray captures (including two subliminal cuts) for Patrons are available HERE.

NOTE: "Cruising has been exclusively restored by Arrow Films and is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 with 5.1 sound. This new restoration was fully supervised and approved by Director William Friedkin. The original 35mm camera negative was scanned in 4K resolution at Warner Brothers/MPI.
Picture grading and image processing was supervised by William Friedkin and performed by Bryan McMahan at Roundabout Entertainment. The 5.1 mix was supervised by William Friedkin and remastered by Aaron Levy at Smart Post Sound. Picture restoration was completed at Silver Salt, London. Warner Brothers/MPI: George Feltenstein, Ned Price, Hali Abdullah, Kristen Andrews, Bob Bailey, Jason Keller Roundabout Entertainment: Bryan McMahan, Vincent Pirozzi Smart Post Sound: Aaron Levy, Wayne Gordon Silver Salt Restoration: Anthony Badger, Steve Bearman, Mark Bonnici, Lisa Copson, Simon Edwards, Tom Wiltshire Special thanks to William Friedkin for his generous participation in this project.
"

On their Blu-ray, Arrow offer the option of a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround bump or a linear PCM 2.0 channel track (24-bit) - both in the original English language. The uncompressed tracks exemplify the film's audio and score by Jack Nitzsche (The Crossing Guard, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Personal Best, 9 1/2 Weeks) and (uncredited) Egberto Gismonti sounding a bit deeper with crisp dialogue advancing over the lossy Dolby of the DVD. The surround has some separations in the club sequences which also have music; Three-Day Moon performed by Barre Phillips, Heat of the Moment and Pullin' My String by Willy DeVille, Herbal Scent by Tom Browne, Shakedown by Rough Trade plus Boccherini 's notable Passa Calle (Allegro vivo) taken from "La musica notturna delle strade di Madrid": Op. 30 n. 6 (1780) Quintettino for two violins, viola and two violoncellos in C major (G. 324). It sounds rich and immersive - augmenting the film's edge-of-seat suspense Arrow offer optional English subtitles on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

We get a marvelous audio commentary with Mark Kermode and William Friedkin where the director is quite frank about many facets of the production including the 50+ attempts to get an 'R' rating which Friedkin agrees that should have been 'X', how he felt Pacino was one of the more unprepared actors that he worked with (also talking about Brando having lines taped to other actor's foreheads), James Franco's 2013 film, Interior. Leather Bar that dealt with the missing 40 minutes from Cruising that, I think, Friedkin stated was simply male pornography. He also talks about, in some scenes that he wised that Richard Gere was in the lead because he found his onscreen personality has a desirable and mysterious 'ambiguous' quality. It is excellent - they discuss the subliminal cuts and much more. Supplements also include the previous commentary by director Friedkin. He doesn't over-do the narration (although he does a fair bit) and he brings up extensive details probably unknown to many excepting the producers of the film. He talks about the actual historical events behind the plot. He is good to listen to, his memory is sharp, and he has a kind of controlled enthusiasm in his voice. I think this still has value. Repeated are also two archival 20 minute featurettes on the 'Making of...' (The History of Cruising and Exorcising Cruising) that look at the film s origins and production and at the controversy surrounding the film and its enduring legacy. Input is included from many associated with the production - certainly far better than the usual - worth the indulgence even if you have already seen them years ago.

William Friedkin was in his prime as a director and brilliantly captured something here in Cruising. It is fascinating on many levels - a haunting and, at times, terrifying, film experience that speaks extensively through its imagery. While he is mostly noted for The Exorcist, To Live and Die in L.A. , Sorcerer and The French Connection this guy was one of the world's best filmmakers in the 70s and 80s and Cruising, buried by much of its controversy, should be included as another example of his mastery of the medium. It's a film I am thrilled to own on Blu-ray... despite the revisionist colors. Even for those stalwart about the 'manipulation' - the newer commentary alone makes this a must-own, imo.

Gary Tooze

 


Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

 

Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray


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

 

1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC  TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC  TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC  TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC  TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC  TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC  TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC  TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

Box Cover

  

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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