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Films I want on HD DVD

HD DVD

Just for laughs, I thought I’d compile a list of movies that I’d dearly love to see released on HD DVD, either because the current standard definition release is particularly poor, or because the film is particularly visually stunning and could especially benefit from the increased resolution, or just because I love the film in question. I’ve also listed the relative probability of each title seeing the light of day on my high definition format of choice.

  • Amelie. Owned by Miramax (Disney) in the US. Disney are currently committed to Blu-ray, although they have shown no open hostility to HD DVD, and indeed executives have been quoted as saying that they expect to eventually release titles for both formats. In the UK, the rights are owned by Momentum, a division of Studio Canal, who have committed to HD DVD in Europe. Likely.
  • American Beauty. Owned by DreamWorks, whose titles will from now on be distributed by Paramount, who support both HD DVD and Blu-ray. Likely.
  • American Psycho. Owned by Lions Gate, who so far have released titles for Blu-ray. This particular title was announced for an October 17th release, but was recently delayed until “early 2007”, apparently because Lions Gate are switching to VC1 as their codec of choice. Nothing has been publicly announced yet, but it is generally acknowledged that Lions Gate are preparing to go dual-format, so are likely to support HD DVD before the end of 2006, and intend to release all their Blu-ray titles on HD DVD as well. In the UK, the film is owned by Entertainment In Video, who, judging by the pre-orders at Play.com, intend to support both formats. Possibility.
  • An American Werewolf in London. Owned by Universal, who are HD DVD exclusive. It has been announced as an HD DVD/SD DVD combo, with a street date of November 28th 2006. Definite.
  • The Bird with the Crystal Plumage. Owned by Blue Underground, who have yet to announce any HD plans, but, like most independent labels, are likely to go with HD DVD due to the lower cost and lack of monopolisation by Sony. Possibility.
  • The Birds. Owned by Universal, who are HD DVD exclusive. Likely.
  • Blade. Owned by New Line, who intend to release for both HD DVD and Blu-ray starting in early 2007. Likely.
  • A Bug’s Life. Owned by Disney, who are currently committed to Blu-ray, although they have shown no open hostility to HD DVD, and indeed executives have been quoted as saying that they expect to eventually release titles for both formats. Possibility.
  • A Clockwork Orange. Owned by Warner, who release for both formats. This title is one that Warner have confirmed that they intend to release, but no date has been given yet. Definite.
  • Crash (Cronenberg). Owned by New Line, who intend to release for both HD DVD and Blu-ray starting in early 2007. Likely.
  • Deep Red. Owned by Anchor Bay, who have yet to announce any HD plans, but, like most independent labels, are likely to go with HD DVD due to the lower cost and lack of monopolisation by Sony. Possibility.
  • The Descent. Owned by Lions Gate, who so far have released titles for Blu-ray. Nothing has been publicly announced yet, but it is generally acknowledged that Lions Gate are preparing to go dual-format, so are likely to support HD DVD before the end of 2006, and intend to release all their Blu-ray titles on HD DVD as well. In the UK, the film is owned by Pathé, who have committed to HD DVD in Europe. Likely.
  • Dial M for Murder. Owned by Warner, who release for both formats. Likely.
  • Don’t Look Now. Owned by Paramount, who support both HD DVD and Blu-ray. In the UK, the title is owned by Studio Canal, who have committed to HD DVD. Likely.
  • Eyes Wide Shut. Owned by Warner, who release for both formats. This title is one that Warner have confirmed that they intend to release, but no date has been given yet. Definite.
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Already available from HD DVD from Universal, and constitutes a massive improvement on the SD releases from both Universal and Criterion. Available now.
  • Finding Nemo. Owned by Disney, who are currently committed to Blu-ray, although they have shown no open hostility to HD DVD, and indeed executives have been quoted as saying that they expect to eventually release titles for both formats. Possibility.
  • Frenzy. Owned by Universal, who are HD DVD exclusive. Likely.
  • Gangs of New York. Owned by Miramax (Disney) in the US. Disney are currently committed to Blu-ray, although they have shown no open hostility to HD DVD, and indeed executives have been quoted as saying that they expect to eventually release titles for both formats. In the UK, the rights are owned by Entertainment In Video, who have sided with Blu-ray and are releasing it in November. Possibility.
  • Hannibal. A co-production by MGM and Universal. MGM owns the rights in the US, while Universal owns them in Europe. Fox, who are currently a Blu-ray exclusive studio and unlikely to budge until Blu-ray crashes and burns, now own MGM’s catalogue, so the title is unlikely to see a US release in the near future. In the UK, however, it is a distinct possibility. Likely.
  • Home Alone. Owned by the HD DVD-phobic Fox, who are currently a Blu-ray exclusive studio and unlikely to budge until Blu-ray crashes and burns. Unlikely.
  • The Incredibles. Owned by Disney, who are currently committed to Blu-ray, although they have shown no open hostility to HD DVD, and indeed executives have been quoted as saying that they expect to eventually release titles for both formats. Possibility.
  • The Indiana Jones Trilogy. Distributed by Paramount, who support both HD DVD and Blu-ray. However, given that the rights are held by the Fox-friendly LucasFilm, who took forever to release them in standard definition, it seems unlikely that they will be released soon. Unlikely.
  • Inferno. Owned by Anchor Bay, who have yet to announce any HD plans, but, like most independent labels, are likely to go with HD DVD due to the lower cost and lack of monopolisation by Sony. Possibility.
  • The Iron Giant. Owned by Warner, who release for both formats. Likely.
  • Kill Bill. The rights to the original theatrical versions of Volumes 1 and 2 are owned by Miramax (Disney). Disney are currently committed to Blu-ray, although they have shown no open hostility to HD DVD, and indeed executives have been quoted as saying that they expect to eventually release titles for both formats. The rights to the uncut, single-film “The Whole Bloody Affair” version, however, are owned by The Weinstein Company, who are committed to both formats. Likely.
  • Kingdom of Heaven. Owned by the HD DVD-phobic Fox, who are currently a Blu-ray exclusive studio and unlikely to budge until Blu-ray crashes and burns. This director’s cut is currently announced for release on Blu-ray on November 14th 2006. Unlikely.
  • Lady and the Tramp. Owned by Disney, who are currently committed to Blu-ray, although they have shown no open hostility to HD DVD, and indeed executives have been quoted as saying that they expect to eventually release titles for both formats. Possibility.
  • The Last of the Mohicans. Owned by the HD DVD-phobic Fox, who are currently a Blu-ray exclusive studio and unlikely to budge until Blu-ray crashes and burns. Unlikely.
  • Lilo & Stitch. Owned by Disney, who are currently committed to Blu-ray, although they have shown no open hostility to HD DVD, and indeed executives have been quoted as saying that they expect to eventually release titles for both formats. Possibility.
  • A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin Owned by Media Blasters, who have yet to announce any HD plans, and, given their general lack of regard for quality, are unlikely to do so for some time. Unlikely.
  • Lost in Translation. Owned by Universal in the US, who are HD DVD exclusive. In the UK, the rights are owned by Momentum, a division of Studio Canal, who have committed to HD DVD in Europe. Likely.
  • Léon. Owned by Columbia Tristar (Sony) in most territories, so you can rule that one out. However, the rights in Germany are owned by Kinowelt, who have yet to make any announcements either way, while the Japanese rights are owned by Paramount, who support both HD DVD and Blu-ray. Possibility.
  • May. Owned by Lions Gate, who so far have released titles for Blu-ray. Nothing has been publicly announced yet, but it is generally acknowledged that Lions Gate are preparing to go dual-format, so are likely to support HD DVD before the end of 2006, and intend to release all their Blu-ray titles on HD DVD as well. Possibility.
  • Monsters, Inc. Owned by Disney, who are currently committed to Blu-ray, although they have shown no open hostility to HD DVD, and indeed executives have been quoted as saying that they expect to eventually release titles for both formats. Possibility.
  • Moulin Rouge! Owned by the HD DVD-phobic Fox, who are currently a Blu-ray exclusive studio and unlikely to budge until Blu-ray crashes and burns. Unlikely.
  • Mulholland Dr. Owned by Universal in the US, who are HD DVD exclusive. Un Europe, the rights are owned by Studio Canal, who have confirmed that they will be releasing it in early 2007. Definite.
  • Naked Lunch. The rights are split across various companies in different territories. Criterion, who struck a deal with distributor 20th Century Fox, currently releases on DVD in the US, but it is not clear whether this deal would cover high definition distribution as well, and in any event they have made it clear that they intend to sit the format war out. In the UK, the rights are owned by Optimum, a division of Studio Canal, who have committed to HD DVD in Europe. Likely.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas. Owned by Touchstone (Disney), who are currently committed to Blu-ray, although they have shown no open hostility to HD DVD, and indeed executives have been quoted as saying that they expect to eventually release titles for both formats. Possibility.
  • North by Northwest. Owned by Warner, who release for both formats. This title is one that Warner have confirmed that they intend to release, but no date has been given yet. Definite.
  • The Omen. Owned by the HD DVD-phobic Fox, who are currently a Blu-ray exclusive studio and unlikely to budge until Blu-ray crashes and burns. Unlikely.
  • Opera. Owned by Anchor Bay, who have yet to announce any HD plans, but, like most independent labels, are likely to go with HD DVD due to the lower cost and lack of monopolisation by Sony. Possibility.
  • Panic Room. Owned by Columbia Tristar (Sony), so you can rule that one out. No chance.
  • Phenomena. Owned by Anchor Bay, who have yet to announce any HD plans, but, like most independent labels, are likely to go with HD DVD due to the lower cost and lack of monopolisation by Sony. Possibility.
  • Pinocchio. Owned by Disney, who are currently committed to Blu-ray, although they have shown no open hostility to HD DVD, and indeed executives have been quoted as saying that they expect to eventually release titles for both formats. Possibility.
  • Rear Window. Owned by Universal, who are HD DVD exclusive. Likely.
  • Rosemary’s Baby. Owned by Paramount, who support both HD DVD and Blu-ray. In the UK, the title is owned by Studio Canal, who have committed to HD DVD. Likely.
  • Se7en. Owned by New Line, who intend to release for both HD DVD and Blu-ray starting in early 2007. Likely.
  • Sex and Lucía. Owned by Palm Pictures in the US and Tartan in the UK, neither of whom have announced their intentions regarding the HD formats. Unlikely.
  • The Silence of the Lambs. Owned by Fox, who inherited MGM’s catalogue, and are currently a Blu-ray exclusive studio and unlikely to budge until Blu-ray crashes and burns, so the title is unlikely to see a US release in the near future. Unlikely.
  • Sin City. Owned by Dimension (Disney), who are currently committed to Blu-ray, although they have shown no open hostility to HD DVD, and indeed executives have been quoted as saying that they expect to eventually release titles for both formats. Possibility.
  • The Stendhal Syndrome. The US rights are a bit of a wasteland. Troma officially holds them, but the master they own is nothing more than a standards converted VHS dupe. In Europe, the rights are split across various companies, none of whom have yet announced any HD plans. Unlikely.
  • The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. Owned by Paramount, who support both HD DVD and Blu-ray. This title is one that Paramount have confirmed that they intend to release, but no date has been given yet. Definite.
  • Suspiria. Owned by Anchor Bay, who have yet to announce any HD plans, but, like most independent labels, are likely to go with HD DVD due to the lower cost and lack of monopolisation by Sony. I suspect that, if Anchor Bay do jump aboard the HD DVD train, this will be one of the first titles they announce. Possibility.
  • Swimming Pool. Owned by Universal in the US, who are HD DVD exclusive. In France, the film is owned by Pathé, who have committed to HD DVD in Europe. Likely.
  • Tenebre. Owned by Anchor Bay, who have yet to announce any HD plans, but, like most independent labels, are likely to go with HD DVD due to the lower cost and lack of monopolisation by Sony. Possibility.
  • The Three Colours Trilogy. Owned by Miramax (Disney) in the US. Disney are currently committed to Blu-ray, although they have shown no open hostility to HD DVD, and indeed executives have been quoted as saying that they expect to eventually release titles for both formats. In the UK, the rights are owned by Artificial Eye, who have yet to announce their HD intentions. Possibility.
  • Toy Story. Owned by Disney, who are currently committed to Blu-ray, although they have shown no open hostility to HD DVD, and indeed executives have been quoted as saying that they expect to eventually release titles for both formats. Possibility.
  • Toy Story 2. Owned by Disney, who are currently committed to Blu-ray, although they have shown no open hostility to HD DVD, and indeed executives have been quoted as saying that they expect to eventually release titles for both formats. Possibility.
  • V for Vendetta. Owned by Warner, who release for both formats. It has been announced with a street date of October 31st 2006.Definite.
  • What Have You Done to Solange? Owned by Media Blasters, who have yet to announce any HD plans, and, given their general lack of regard for quality, are unlikely to do so for some time. Unlikely.
  • Where Eagles Dare. Owned by Warner, who release for both formats. Likely.
  • Wolf Creek. Owned by The Weinstein Company, who are committed to both formats. This title is one that The Weinstein Company have confirmed that they intend to release, but no date has been given yet. Definite.

When you break it all down, it actually looks like a pretty impressive list.

Update, October 6, 2006 01:52 PM: It turns out that Optimum has been acquired by the HD DVD-friendly Studio Canal, making the release of Naked Lunch a possibility.

Update, October 6, 2006 05:08 PM: Entertainment In Video are not supporting HD DVD after all, so Gangs of New York has been demoted from “almost definite” to “possibility”.

Update, October 19, 2006 02:06 PM: V for Vendetta has been confirmed with a release date of October 31st 2006.

 
Posted: Monday, October 02, 2006 at 1:57 PM | Comments: 10
Categories: Animation | Cinema | DVD | HD DVD

 
Comments

1.

Interesting.
Dial M for Murder is a Warner title not Universal isn't it? In any case it still means it is likely to appear on HD-DVD.

It's a pity some of my most anticipated films for HD are Sergio Leone's Dollars trilogy (MGM therefore Fox although Paramount released the first two on SD-DVD in Germany so maybe there's hope), Lawrence of Arabia (Columbia), Heaven's Gate (MGM), Alien (Fox), Dressed to Kill (MGM) and frankly vast swathes of the Fox and MGM catalogues (thankfully less so Columbia/Sony although there are still a lot of significant titles) too numerous to mention. There are still many, many Warner, Paramount and Universal and small distributor titles I am anticipating which would keep me happy until Blu-Ray hopefully capitulate though.

Posted by: , October 2, 2006 3:38 PM

2.

Ah yes, you’re right about Dial M - my mistake. Let’s put it this way: pretty much Hitchcock’s entire catalogue is split between Warner and Universal, so with any luck they’ll show up on HD DVD at one point or another.

The MGM situation is very frustrating. Apparently Warner came extremely close to getting the rights and were outbid by Sony by a very small amount.

Posted by: Whiggles, October 2, 2006 3:46 PM

3.

Wow, imagine Suspiria in HD. May would also be a great choice, considering the sd-dvd is one of the better low budget horror releases. I would add Rosemary's Baby and Psycho(the R1 edition out now isn't even anamorphic)

Posted by: aw, October 3, 2006 3:30 AM

4.

The edition of Psycho that comes in the Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection is actually anamorphic. It’s not perfect, but it’s a big improvement on its predecessor.

Posted by: Whiggles, October 3, 2006 10:37 AM

5.

I would really like to see Vidocq, since it was the first mainstream movie shot entirely with digital camera (yes, even before SW:Episode One, and btw, the camera was the same Lucas used)

As far as I know, the digital master was high definition from the beginning - can't remember if 1920*1080, but probably higher - so releasing it on HD support should be an easy matter.

Posted by: MCP, October 4, 2006 9:57 PM

6.

Ok, actually Vidocq was shot digitally before Episode Two, my lapsus. And the camera was Sony HDW-F900.

Posted by: MCP, October 6, 2006 4:10 PM

7.

Kinowelt seems to be going with HD-DVD. HD-DVD releases of their versions of BASIC INSTINCT and THE FOG (Carpenter's) are due out in December. The audio on both is listed as "Deutsch, Französisch (DTS-HD Hi-Resolution Audio 5.1), Englisch (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1)." Anyone have any idea what the differences is between DTS-HD Master Audio versus DTS-HD Hi-Resolution Audio? I'm guessing that the English one was what they were supplied with when they got the HD master and the German and French ones might have been created by them.

Posted by: eric cotenas, November 14, 2006 12:52 PM

8.

From the DTS web site:

DTS-HD Master Audio is capable of delivering audio that is a bit-for-bit identical to the studio master. DTS-HD Master Audio delivers audio at super high variable bit rates -24.5 mega-bits per second (Mbps) on Blu-ray discs and 18.0 Mbps on HD-DVD - that are significantly higher than standard DVDs . This bit stream is so “fast” and the transfer rate is so “high” that it can deliver the Holy Grail of audio: 7.1 audio channels at 96k sampling frequency/24 bit depths that are identical to the original. With DTS-HD Master Audio, you will be able to experience movies and music, exactly as the artist intended: clear, pure, and uncompromised.

DTS-HD High Resolution Audio can deliver up to 7.1 channels of sound that is virtually indistinguishable from the original. DTS-HD High Resolution Audio delivers audio at high constant bit rates superior to standard DVDs—-6.0 Mbps on Blu-ray discs and 3.0 Mbps on HD-DVD to produce outstanding sound quality. It is capable of delivering up to 7.1 channels at 96k sampling frequency/24 bit depth resolution. It allows content creators to deliver rich, high definition audio on movies where disc space may not allow for DTS-HD Master Audio.

Basically, Master Audio is the best of the best, whereas High Resolution Audio has a lower maximum bit rate. Broadly speaking, though, the technologies seem to be more or less the same.

Great that Kinowelt is on board, by the way. They certainly own a fair number of films that would otherwise be Blu-ray titles.

Posted by: Whiggles, November 14, 2006 2:28 PM

9.

you should revisit the post in 2009 and look at which of these are now available :)

Posted by: Dom, March 12, 2009 3:19 PM

10.

You know, that’s not a bad idea at all. Perhaps something I can get round to once I’ve got this bloody PhD chapter in the can.

Posted by: Michael Mackenzie, March 12, 2009 3:53 PM

Comments on this entry and all entries up to and including June 30th 2009 have been closed. The discussion continues on the new Land of Whimsy blog:

https://www.landofwhimsy.com

 

 
 
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