There are thousands of movies that haven’t made it to hi def formats yet. And even if every movie was available in hi def would you be able to afford them all? My DVD collection is loaded with great movies that I will probably never get around to purchasing in HD DVD or Blu-ray.
However, viewing standard DVDs on a high definition monitor is not all that bad. There are some standard def movies that just look great in high definition. Here are a few that have exceptional up-upscaling (or up-converting) qualities:
Saving Private Ryan
The quality of this film is superb. It must have something to do with the graininess and contrast of the original print, because I can’t imagine a 1080p disc looking that much better.
Most animated films look fine upscaling. In particular, Shrek, with its vibrant colors looks just great. I believe illustrations tend to scale better because of the limited amount of information in color depth and detail.
Last King of Scotland
There was something about this footage that just scaled nicely. The graininess and contrast of the original film held nicely, and viewing this movie from the appropriate distance looked close enough to high def.
The Fountain has a sort of pre-CGI look to it anyway. Meaning, it looks like it could have been made in the 80’s. Up-scaling this film to a hi def TV didn’t seem to make much of a difference. Sure you could see some pixilation, but not enough to make you say “Hey, I wish I bought this in hi definition”.
The best of the MI series in my opinion. This film has a nice quality and for a disc that was released 1996 holds up real well on a hi def monitor.