We’ve been waiting (and asking) the team at The Criterion Collection when they would release their first titles in 4k. Today, the company announced six films including Citizen Kane (
Nov. 23 Updated to Jan. 12, 2022), Menace II Society (Nov. 23), The Piano (Jan. 25, 2022) Mulholland Dr. (Nov. 16), The Red Shoes, and A Hard Day’s Night would introduce their 4k distribution.
Criterion says each title will release to an Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack with a 4k disc and Blu-ray Disc containing special bonus features.
Some of the films (more details to be announced in November) will be presented with Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio. Confirmed: Citizen Kane (Dolby Vision and uncompressed monaural soundtrack); Mulholland Dr. (Dolby Vision w/DTS-HD MA 5.1); Menace II Society (Original 2.0 surround soundtrack in DTS-HD MA).
The Criterion Collection has been restoring quite of few of their library titles in 4k, so it makes perfect sense to extend the disc releases on Ultra HD Blu-ray.
Among the six titles announced for Criterion’s first slate of UHD BDs, David Lynch’s Mulholland Dr. and Richard Lester’s A Hard Day’s Night were recently restored in 4k and pressed to 1080p Blu-ray with DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. An Atmos soundtrack would be an upgrade (if you want to call it that) to each of those movie’s existing 5.1-channel mix.
Other examples of restored films primed for UHD BD release include Uncut Gems that just hit stores on Blu-ray with Dolby Atmos from a new 4k transfer. Other titles such as Love and Basketball, Deep Cover, and Fast Times at Ridgemont High were also restored in 4k for 1080p Blu-ray.
It also seems to make sense that Criterion’s streaming channel (now hosting over 2,600 titles) start offering content in 4k, possibly with HDR and/or Dolby Atmos, although likely not with the same titles releasing to physical media at the same time.
Editor’s Note: Love and Basketball, Deep Cover, and Fast Times at Ridgemont High were not restored for “Ultra HD” Blu-ray. It was just a typo.