ben d banana wrote:
They'll probably take awhile to even roll out any 1.33 discs in either format
This is a very important point, Ben; I'm glad that you brought it up, as it had slipped my mind. Indeed, this initial year will more than likely see mostly films shot in color
@ 1.85:1 and 2.35:1 from the 70s onwards, but mostly films from the last 10 years. Which black and white Academy film will be the breakthrough HD/BR release? We already have excellent/great releases of Casablanca, Citizen Kane, Sunset Blvd., The Day the Earth Stood Still, White Heat, On the Waterfront
, etc, so it will take HD editions of High Noon, It's a Wonderful Life, The Best Years of Our Lives, The Big Sleep, Brief Encounter, Double Indemnity, Paths of Glory, Seven Samurai
, etc or unreleased straight-to-HD titles like Ace in the Hole, Letter from an Unknown Woman, The Earrings of Madame de..., The Magnificent Ambersons, The Uninvited
, etc, to really get things going. Otherwise, HD/Blu-Ray will just become a format for Big, Modern 'prestige' films to showcase their visual fireworks and surround sound sonic soundscapes.
In the late 90s, DVD seemed to be moving toward being such a format, but once Criterion got on board and started working their magic, things began to change and now black and white classics from the 40s and 50s are treated to deluxe 2-disc sets just as modern films are and as cult horror films from the 60s and 70s are - even silent films! We really are spoiled rotten right now, so it is understandable as to why we are so anxious about these new formats.
Big-selling prestige Studio films from the 60s and 70s, ie Lawrence of Arabia, 2001, Planet of the Apes, The Great Escape, The Godfather I & II, Jaws
and of course, Star Wars
would obviously break the levee, but it will remain to be seen how soon those crown jewels are brought out, how good they will actually look and if the previous extra features are ported over.
Of course, even if these famous titles are released, isn't it going to feel like a labour re-purchasing them? We all currently have the mindset of griping for new
releases of films not released yet, but if HD took off, it would be like starting over again and elusive titles like If...
might get buried even deeper amongst the releases of films that already have HD video masters available.
God damn my pessimism!