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My Most Wanted Blu-ray Upgrades

by Grethiwha

Created 07/13/12

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I've discovered many films through the Criterion Collection, and while sometimes I try to limit myself watching to films that have already-released or announced blu-ray editions, so I'm not tempted to double dip with these $40 purchases, often I don't - I see films that are in the collection that are so good I can barely contain my impatience for them to get announced for blu-ray. In a couple cases I couldn't control it, and bought the DVD.

I've listed these in order simply of how much I want them on blu-ray, which takes into account a number of factors like how much I like the films themselves, how good I think they'll look, whether I already own them, and probably other more subconscious things like whether I think they're "obvious" and should have been released already.

So these are the ones I'm waiting MOST impatiently for. Try to excuse the fact that they're bloody all Japanese. I'm just really into the golden age of Japanese cinema, and that's the niche of mine that Criterion primarily satisfies.

  • If High and Low gets a blu-ray release, I believe this similar, but in my opinion even better Kurosawa/Mifune film should have a release not far behind. It's one of Kurosawa's absolute masterpieces, his best film not on blu-ray, and I'm sure it would look fantastic!

  • Three more Kurosawa films, all of which I consider amongst his ten best, making them amongst my 100 favourite movies of all time. All masterpieces sorely missing on blu-ray.

  • Most of all I want this for Samurai Rebellion – that's one of the best Criterion films not on blu-ray yet – but Sword of the Beast is also fantastic and Kill! is pretty great too. I haven't seen Samurai Spy yet – but this box set is just so my kind of thing - I'd be ecstatic if the whole thing got put out on blu-ray.

  • I made the decision years and years ago now to hold out on watching these two films, as well as The Quiet Duel, Dersu Uzula, and Rhapsody in August, until they came to blu-ray. My logic was, Kurosawa was clearly a sure bet for blind-buys, and surely it wouldn't be too long before all his films were upgraded, so it would be more rewarding to wait and experience his films for the first time in HD. Well, I'm still waiting to watch these films...

  • I thought this film was excellent, but I believe I'll like it even more the second time, now that I understand what the director was going for with the three different styles the film switches between (and if I can watch it without the ridiculous English narration that makes Mishima's English voice sound like Ray Liotta's). But the main reason for this film's inclusion: It's among the top 10 (or even 5) most visually stunning films I've seen. It's almost tragic that this film got it's Criterion release so shortly before Criterion adopted Blu-ray; the DVD edition is supposedly one of the best overall packages Criterion has put out. But this film needs high definition.

  • Out of the "Three Films by Hiroshi Teshigahara" DVD boxset, only Woman in the Dunes was upgraded, and yes, that's the masterpiece of the lot – but where are Pitfall and The Face of Another? All three films are fantastic and stylish and visually very interesting, and deserve to make it to blu-ray.

  • Yes, more excellent Kurosawa films...

  • This is perhaps my favourite film of all time. So I had to buy the DVDs. And I've also bought the recently-released Region B blu-ray set from Arrow in the UK. But I will buy it again if Criterion releases it on blu-ray, of course I will! That's how much I love this film!

  • These are two of the best Japanese horror films ever, and yes, they were released in the UK in some pretty nice (Region B-locked) editions, which I own now, but they still deserve to be upgraded!

  • A non-Japanese film! Yes, in the years since I first made this list, Criterion's actually upgraded a number of films from my wishlist, and at last I have room for something that isn't Japanese! Although Fanny and Alexander is one of my favourite films, and I've seen many of his films, I'm not a huge Ingmar Bergman fan. Looking at his black and white stuff... I love the visual style, I love the way he brings that period to life, I think Max von Sydow is pretty cool... There's all this potential, but then what? His films are slow and introspective, and to be honest I find them kind of boring. The Virgin Spring is not boring. It's a sick film that lives up to how cool Bergman's aesthetic is, and Max von Sydow is a badass in it! It almost feels more like it was directed by Kurosawa than Bergman, which, depending on which of Criterion's two favourite filmmakers you prefer, could be a bad, or a very good thing.

4 comments

  • By AP
    October 13, 2012
    08:35 PM

    Cracking list! These should all be high priorities to upgrade, especially the first four and, well, all the others. Criterion, are you listening?
    Reply
  • By Janez
    January 02, 2014
    08:07 PM

    A small addition to the list. Kurosawa's "Dreams" should be added to the blu-ray wish list. Hoping to see it announced soon.
    Reply
    • By Grethiwha
      February 11, 2014
      07:15 PM

      I can't add Dreams as Criterion never had it (and, heh, it's sorta covered by my #10 choice) – but yes, Dreams is quite probably Kurosawa's greatest audio-visual experience, and that's a blu-ray that needs to happen.
  • By Criterion11
    November 16, 2015
    09:06 PM

    Another film-- The Hit directed by Steven Frears
    Reply