Since my first wishlist of 4k upgrades was published there have been quite a few titles that made it to Ultra HD Blu-ray including the Star Wars franchise (really just wanted the original series), war movies Apocalypse Now and Full Metal Jacket, and classics such as Lawrence of Arabia and Taxi Driver, to name a few.
But there are so many more titles that would be great to have in 4k with HDR — either on Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc (preferably) or at least in Digital 4k. A sound upgrade to Dolby Atmos is also a nice addition, although multi-channel audio often seems superfluous with some of the more classic films pre-Dolby cinema.
I’ve already mentioned desirables such as American Graffiti, Avatar, Kill Bill, and Gravity in past articles, so, here are ten more movies for the studios to get working on (in no particular order).
Minority Report (2002)
A groundbreaking movie from Steven Spielberg that inspired other films and writings not only in concept but in technology as well, Minority Report would look incredible in 4k resolution with HDR to boost the color of the sci-fi thriller that doesn’t seem that far from reality. It’s also a movie with a great soundtrack by John Williams and Oscar-nominated Sound Editing that could be a candidate for an Atmos upgrade over previous DTS-HD 5.1 mixes.
Children of Men (2006)
Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men was nominated for three Academy Awards including Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, and Best Cinematography (Emmanuel Lubezki). It’s one more film that I’d love to see in 4k/HDR. The movie was innovative in many ways including the use of single-shot scenes like the riveting moment when an explosive destroys a coffee shop right behind Clive Owen’s character Theo Faron. The soundtrack is a mix of different genres of music and is combined with impressive sound design that would be great upgraded to Atmos for a more immersive audio experience.
I love this movie based on the comic book Hellblazer from DC Comics. Keanu Reeves stars as the demon-hunter John Constantine who has terminal lung cancer and is destined for hell because of his attempted suicide. The innovative cinematography by Philippe Rousselot would look amazing in 4k resolution with HDR. And, the orchestral compositions by Brian Tyler and Klaus Badelt paired with really great sound design already offer impressive audio in 5.1, but could be expanded to 7.1 and Atmos.
We rank Alien as one of the best Ultra HD Blu-rays of all time. The film took on new life in 4k as details in shadow areas were revealed with HDR expanding the color depth. The second film in the franchise, Aliens, could benefit from the same restoration and 4k digital remaster. The movie is another sci-fi classic by James Cameron who wrote the screenplay and directed it. The imagery from cinematographer Adrian Biddle and soundtrack from James Horner certainly make for a quality 4k disc. And, the Oscar-winning sound effects from Don Sharpe could be a new experience in Atmos.
We’ve heard many comparisons made of Matt Reeves’ The Batman to the dreary color palette and settings of Se7en aka. Seven, but has anyone thought about how Se7en may have been inspired by Detective Comics stories? Regardless, David Fincher’s masterpiece starring Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman is a very dark film from cinematographer Darius Khondji that would likely benefit from the expanded color range of HDR. However, the chilling audio with music score by Howard Shore is already a great mix in DTS-HD MA 7.1 on previous Blu-ray editions and doesn’t necessarily need an upgrade.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction is regarded by many as the director/writer’s best achievement in filmmaking, having earned a total of seven Oscar nominations including a win for Best Original Screenplay (shared with Roger Avary). I put Pulp Fiction behind the Kill Bill diptych in terms of a 4k upgrade (that’s just me), but Pulp Fiction (and any Tarantino films for that matter) would be on my pre-order list. Shot in 35mm on Arriflex and Panavision cameras, the negatives would surely reveal a wide breadth of detail and color depth that could be brought out in a new 4k remaster with Dolby Vision. Update: Paramount is releasing Pulp Fiction on 4k Blu-ray Dec. 6, 2022. Buy on Amazon
In the Mood for Love (2000)
Recognized by many critics as one of the greatest films of all time, Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love is a visually stunning film with cinematography by Christopher Doyle and Mark Lee Ping Bing that would only be enhanced further by the expanded color range of HDR. The music score by the late Michael Galasso underscores this tense, emotional drama that already sounds great in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. Criterion has handled the DVD and Blu-ray editions of In the Mood for Love (which was recently released in the Wong Kar-wai Collection on Blu-ray), so maybe now that the company has started releasing Ultra HD Blu-rays there will be a single 4k disc edition some day. Update: A 4k Blu-ray is dated for release Nov. 1, 2022, from Criterion. Order on Amazon
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
Stanley Kubrick’s intense thriller Eyes Wide Shut starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman already looks and sounds great on Blu-ray Disc (1080p/5.1), but a 4k restoration could deliver even more detail to the dramatic imagery from cinematographer Larry Smith and the music score by Jocelyn Pook. Many of Kubrick’s other films have been remastered in 4k (including a 3-Film Collection on 4k Blu-ray), so why not have his last film also on Ultra HD Blu-ray?
With sweeping abstract landscapes encompassing the cryptic scenery aboard a Russian space station, Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris (1972) created its own niche in the science fiction genre that would look and sound fantastic on 4k Blu-ray. The imagery from cinematography Vadim Yusov is gorgeous, and along with a chilling soundtrack by Eduard Artemyev create an atmospheric dramatic masterpiece that could really be a home theater must-own.
Werner Herzog’s tale about a crazed Irishman who dreams of building an opera house in the Amazon city of Iquitos gives guerrilla filmmaking a new name. The director/writer/producer is famous for pulling a 320-ton steamship up a densely-forested hill to move it to an adjoining river. Filmed in 35mm on Arriflex cameras, the footage in Fitzcarraldo is nothing short of remarkable, so much so that a 4k restoration from the original negatives could likely deliver a tremendous amount of detail never seen before in previous presentations.
Want to read more? Check out last year’s wishlist of 4k Blu-rays!