Sunday, December 7, 2008

How Blu can you get?

This Tuesday, The Dark Knight comes out on Blu-Ray, and it will be the last new release that I'll be getting for some time.  It was one of the movies that I bought the player for in the first place, and for the most part, I only picked up the ones that I had originally intended (not that I had made any promises to myself that I'd keep it at that).

Two of the discs that I recently got I already have on DVD.  One of them was Casablanca, which came as a special giftset.  I'm can be a sucker for collectible stuff, and this one had all sorts of neat goodies including a photo book, postcards of various movie posters, and some content that wasn't available on the previous release.  This actually marks the fourth version of the movie that I've owned.  The first one was the standard DVD, the second was the special edition, and the third was the HD-DVD (which I actually got for free).  I knew that it looks brilliant in HD, and it's a movie that I find myself watching at least a couple of times a year, so I decided to treat myself and pick it up.  There aren't many movies where I'd buy such an extravagent package version of - I mean, I liked I am Legend, but I have no intention of buying that huge, super-deluxe version of it that's coming out this week.  This is Casablanca, after all - a movie that gets better with repeat viewings, as every time I catch something new.

The second one I got was The Godfather, or to be more specific, The Godfather Trilogy.  I had recently watched my DVDs on my HDTV, and I have to say that they looked so bad that it was distracting.  The colors were muddy, the picture was grainy - overall, not a good look.  Sure, it looked just fine on my old 27" TV, but a better TV showed it to be pretty lackluster.  This purchase wasn't just an upgrade from regular DVD to Blu-Ray though.  The movies had been restored to boot - and these restorations are even available on regular DVD.  I can imagine that upgrade alone would be worth it, but a high-def version is like a double-upgrade.  Anyway, I found the whole set for $42 (including shipping) on, and then there's a $10 rebate on top of that.  Just like Casablanca, these are movies that I probably watch about once a year (the first two, anyway).  Seems like a good deal to me.

But what about everything else?  Am I going to upgrade my entire collection?  I doubt it.  The other day I was watching The Shawshank Redemption on regular DVD, and it looked fine.  Sure, there's a Blu-Ray version out there, but I don't want to fork out twenty bucks for it.  Maybe when I can find it real cheap I'll get it, but I'm fine with it for now.  Sure, it doesn't pop like it would in high-def, but the transfer wasn't distracting like The Godfather's was.

Still, that's a movie that I know that I'll watch again and again probably for the rest of my life.  What else do I have?  As I take a quick glance at the collection, is there any chance that I'll get movies like 1408, The Illusionist, and Biloxi Blues on Blu-Ray?  I doubt I would even if I saw them cheap.  Those are all movies that I waited until they were real cheap to get on regular DVD, and while chances are good that I'll eventually watch each one of them again, they're not the kinds of films that I watch at least once a year.

There are definitely some that I will get.  Star Wars comes to mind, as does the Indiana Jones films.  Lawrence of Arabia, The Bridge on the River Kwai, and Citizen Kane would all probably benefit from the high-def treatment.  Evil Dead 2?  Probably not so much.

Besides, I need to save up my money for that eventual The Santa Clause Trilogy box set.  Now THAT'S a set that I'll buy three copies of just so I can have backups!


Anonymous said...

Actually, if you liked the movie, I Am Legend might be a good one for which to get the additional content, since, in my opinion, they kind of botched the story in the released version (or at least compared to how the original story played out). From my unresearched understanding, they altered the ending at the last second because of prescreening audience reactions. Don’t know if the original handles it better, but maybe...

- The Jakes

Lance Christian Johnson said...

Sounds like a renter.

Anonymous said...

You should watch the original The Last Man On Earth with Vincent Price. Good old school stuff. The story in black and white is terrifing and atmospheric. And it comes far more closer to the social criticism of the novel I Am Legend.