We all have our favorite movies that we have to have in our collection in the best possible condition available. With blu-ray around, we are able to see these movies in as good and sometimes better quality than they were originally screened in theatres. The format has been around for about five years now and there are still some movies that have yet to come out on blu-ray, despite popularity and demand for the product. In some ways that has been a good thing because sometimes a movie just gets the DVD transfer slapped on a blu-ray disc and they company calls it a day. With the availability of 7.1 Dolby and lossless audio codecs, along with IMAX-level resolution capable on blu-ray, we want to see our favorite movies get the “proper” treatment before we spend our hard earned money (again). Here are ten films (in no specific order) near and dear to my heart that I feel need said proper treatment.
One of the greatest movies to ever come out of Disney Pixar studios, The Incredibles has to come to blu-ray. Even the DVD release was fantastically done and Disney even included a THX optimizer in the package to make sure you got the best experience you could at the time. Done right, scenes like Dash running from the flying saucers will blow your mind on a 240Hz HDTV. The only other thing I would ask for is that they make a 2-disc set again and pull a Cameron – keep all the extras from the DVD and put any new content on a second disc and use the first disc for the movie only to maximize the picture and sound. Honestly, I’d love for them to do that for every film on this list.
So, you have a highly celebrated actor like Bob Hoskins at your disposal….what to do, hmmmm. I KNOW! Let’s make him co-star with a cartoon rabbit with a speech impediment that makes Porky Pig sound normal. Sounds like a disaster but Roger Rabbit was an instant classic and I do not know anyone that doesn’t like this film. This was not only a great movie but a technical triumph for its time, seamlessly blending animation with live action and making it look not only believable but sensible. You felt like Toon Town could really exist and you wanted to go there. These days it is showing its age a little bit, but that is what things like digital remastering and blu-ray are for, right?
“Dead. All dead in Shimoda.” The haunting words of a dead village girl welcome you to one of the greatest anime features ever, Ninja Scroll. You have your unwilling hero, Jubei, who ultimately just wants to be left alone so he can eat rice balls on his journey facing the Eight Devils of Kimon, an aptly named group of horrific ninja. The most normal guy from the group was a blind dude that would make Zatoichi look like an amateur. As great as this movie is, the DVD is just ugly. Colors bleed and visually the whole thing needs an overhaul. A perfect example would be the original Ghost In The Shell. Looked like crap on DVD and Manga Video got down and dirty cleaning it up for the Ghost In The Shell 2.0 blu-ray release. Hell, I am writing a letter to them right now hoping they do the same with my boy Jubei. If you want to do the same, contact them here.
Chris Latta is rolling in his grave. Before you all go “Whooooooooo?,” he’s the guy who voiced the original Starscream and Cobra Commander. Between the digital feces that primate director Michael Bay flings at us and the fact that this movie is not on blu-ray, how can he rest in peace. While I must admit that the 20th anniversary DVD that came out was such a sigh of relief from the original disc release, it is still only a sigh. What looks great there can still look better. Yes, I am greedy. Yes, I am asking for a lot, but that is what fans do. We ask for more, especially when it is something that could be easily accomplished. I had the original DVD when I bought the anniversary and the quality difference is like day and night. Take the next step and bring this to blu-ray. Maybe then Michael Bay will actually watch this movie and say “What the fuck have I been doing?”
I only count this as one flick since the movies tell one story. I promise not to go on a rant of Lucas bashing and all that good stuff. I am just going to restate the obvious: These movies need to be on blu-ray yesterday. So I lied, I am gonna do a small amount of bashing because there has been some word of this release and Lucas say that he can only do it with the special editions. I not only cry foul, I am calling bullshit. You took the originals and added your awful scenes to it, so take the originals and clean that up for blu-ray. No one cares who shot first, no one wants Hayden Christensen anywhere near episode VI and the Ewoks were bad enough – take your Gungan scene and shove it up your ass. That said, please hurry up and get these movies out on blu-ray and don’t try to rape our pockets doing so just because you know we will buy it like the sheep that we are.
I am going to catch a lot of hell for the following statement: This movie was never meant to be in English. As much as the English voices mostly suck in the Street Fighter IV game, the English dub of this movie is absolutely terrible. Voices do not fit, the music, while it is cool, has no place in any of these scenes and we’re adults who want this film the most; gives back our shower scene dammit. That said, this is another anime that suffers from color bleed and just shows its age. This movie is by no means oscar-winning or any kind of feat of movie magic. It is just a guilty pleasure for the Street Fighter fans and we want the original movie restored to its niche greatness. Please remember to keep the original Japanese version and then you can add the crappy American version for the few people that like that trash.
It’s a shame that there are fans of this movie who still don’t know of and/or have never seen The Whole Bloody Affair, which is Kill Bill as one movie instead of the two volumes it was broken up into. I myself need to watch it again as only the theatrical editions are truly fresh in my mind. Fans were initially overjoyed when Kill Bill was announced for blu-ray. Then they were let down by not only getting the broken up version, they got the exact same product as the DVD. No remaster on the video or audio; no extras past what was on the DVD; in essence, nothing. There was no reason to purchase the blu-rays if you had the DVDs. Tarantino is a movie asshole and I mean that in a positive way. He is OCD about what he gives to the public so I have to wonder what is going on with this release. He knows we want it and I would hope to think that he wants to give it to us since it was his original vision. Time will tell and hopefully all our crying and bitching will produce something we will want to spend our dough on.
Just looking at the poster makes me hear that music. If you do not know what I am talking about, stop. Stop right now and go to Best Buy or Netflix or I don’t care – Rich will back me that seeing this movie and experiencing it’s wonderful violence is prerequisite for MTR membership. In my book this movie made Arnold Schwarzenegger. Before he was known for one liners, he was known for “high adventure,” and this gem needs the full blu-ray rubdown, complete with happy ending. How many movies give you The Terminator, Darth Vader and Vigo the Carpathian all in one shot? None, save Conan, that’s how many. This movie is like a rite of passage into manhood and it needs the proper rite of passage into the digital age. Time for it to teach a whole new generation of young men how to crush their enemies, see them driven before them and hear the lamentation of their women.
In August of 2011, this movie will be 30 years old. It is definitely time for it to be touched up and enter the blu-ray format. The last time it was released on disc was 2003 and that was based off a version made in 1999. This film I will tell you, will look dated no matter what they do with it. It is from a totally different era of art and animation, but it’s the animation along with the music that make it so great. They bother to really make the characters move and speak the way a real person would. Columbia Pictures is owned by Sony, so I would really love to see them work some magic and make this movie look great again. A flick so awesome that 27 years later a cartoon character gets high just to spend time with Taarna (see movie poster). It’s hard to even buy that kind of homage.
They were on a mission from God; I’m on a mission to see them in action in high definition. It’s a musical, it’s a comedy and it’s the quintessential chase movie for any and all 80s babies. Family Guy has copied their chases at least twice; even Redman and Method Man have done them homage in their videos. I’d honestly take this over the whole Star Wars trilogy. The last movie to star John Belushi was an instant classic and one of the only Saturday Night Live movies to be worth watching. This one is already 30 years old and we need this one to be updated.
As with any of my editorials, this is purely my opinion and is not necessarily that of the rest of the MTR staff. That said, I challenge any of them to give valid reasons contrary to any of these above picks. I can go on and on for days but I wanted to keep it at a solid 10 (and couldn’t even get that right), so here are some other mentions, most of which were initially mentioned by Rich – please feel free to comment on any of these and add your own suggestions.
HONORABLE MENTIONS (click for more info):