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The RAH finest classic and catalog high definition releases of 2007


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#1 of 10 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted January 01 2008 - 06:19 AM

While the selection of the top quality releases of the year is a very personal thing, especially when it comes to content, listed below are those titles that I find to be of both highest technical quality as well as essential viewing for those who have moved bravely forward into the HD and BD arena.

The top classic and “catalog” releases of 2007 on HD and BD

Releases of special note:

Blade Runner – WB - HD & BD
Close Encounters of the Third Kind – Sony - BD
That’s Entertainment Collection – WB - HD & BD
Planet Earth – BBC – BD & HD

The best of the rest (in no particular order):

Die Hard – Fox - BD
The Sting – Universal – HD
The Wild Bunch – WB - HD & BD
Top Gun – Paramount - HD
Wyatt Earp – WB – HD & BD
A Room with a View – BBC – BD & HD
A Few Good Men – Sony – BD
The Shining – WB - HD & BD
2001: A Space Odyssey - WB - HD & BD
Bullitt – WB - HD & BD
The Patriot – Sony - BD
Dog Day Afternoon – WB – HD & BD
Battle of the Bulge – WB - BD & HD
The Road Warrior – WB – BD & HD
Scent of a Woman – Universal - HD
What Dreams May Come – Universal - HD
Erin Brockovich – Universal - HD
Deliverance – WB – BD & HD
Elizabeth – Universal - HD
Full Metal Jacket – Re-mastered – WB - HD & BD
Eyes Wide Shut – Unexpurgated – WB - HD & BD
Face / Off – Paramount - HD
Reservoir Dogs – Lions Gate- BD
The Usual Suspects – Fox - BD
The Getaway – 1972 – WB HD & BD
Seven Years in Tibet – Sony - BD
Donnie Brasco – Sony - BD
The Fifth Element (Re-mastered) – Sony - BD
Bram Stoker’s Dracula – Sony – BD
From Hell – Fox – BD
Edward Scissorhands – Fox – BD

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#2 of 10 OFFLINE   David Wilkins

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Posted January 01 2008 - 07:06 AM

It's interesting to have your opinion, especially when several of these titles have received a thrashing, not only here, but on many on-line forums and web sites.

At the risk of sounding like a kiss-ass: your opinion is highly valued, and your posts eagerly anticipated.

#3 of 10 OFFLINE   Chris S

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Posted January 01 2008 - 03:22 PM

I haven't seen the That's Entertainment Collection but I fully agree with the remainder of your top 4 picks. I find it very telling to see WB take so many of your top overall picks. They really have done a great job this year with their HD releases and have my pick for studio of the year.
DVD & Blu-ray - It's all about the movies!

#4 of 10 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted January 01 2008 - 03:32 PM

Everyone's eyes are slightly different, and yield a slightly different final result on our brains function in both visual and aural media.

Add to that the tuning and setup to each monitor, selection of cabling, switcher or receiver, amplifier and selection of speaker system, along with that setup in placement, cross-over, etc. and you've got a pretty good horse race.

If we wish to add more, we can add the training of one's eyes and the sensitivity and / or knowledge of digital artifacts vs. film related anomalies...

To make matters even more difficult, two people can sit side by side, and view precisely the same image and come away with different results.

I find it easier and more to the point to work with people whose eyes are tuned similar to mine.

But as far as people on line having different opinions?

That's what makes these discussions both interesting as well as equally frustrating.

Like finding film reviewers with whom one agrees most of the time, one may find it best to view a number of discs and find the people who relate to them similarly, using that as a basis.

RAH

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#5 of 10 OFFLINE   Vincent_P

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Posted January 01 2008 - 05:07 PM

Interesting that you included every Kubrick title except A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. What did you find lacking in it that led you to omit it from this list?

Vincent

#6 of 10 OFFLINE   Paul_Scott

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Posted January 01 2008 - 11:35 PM

for me, 2007 was a better year in hindsight for HDMs than it seemed as it was unspooling. The only titles that made it out this year that I would unhesitatingly think of as among my 'can't live without', all time favorites were A Room With A View and Close Encounters- and I was very happy- thrilled actually- with how both turned out.
In that light, 2006 was by far a better year for me as there were over 6 times as many discs I would categorize like that.

On the other hand, 2007 was full of movies I'd taken for granted for a long time now and forgotten just how beautifully crafted and entertaining they were. Blade Runner was in that category, as was Road Warrior, The Shining, The Sting, Erin Brockovich, The Getaway, Die Hard, Bullitt, The Fifth Element, Amongst others.
None of these made me jump up and down around the room when they were first announced, yet I ended up enjoying them all greatly- in many cases, much more than I expected.
It ended up being quite a solid year after all.

The only conspicuous absences I can find in Roberts list are Viva Las Vegas and Pride And Prejudice...both release I felt were stellar by any criteria.

#7 of 10 OFFLINE   Paul Borges

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Posted January 02 2008 - 07:26 AM

Mr. Harris, any comments on the following movies? Do you think they should also be in your list?

Rio Bravo
Jailhouse Rock
Viva Las Vegas
Children of Men

#8 of 10 OFFLINE   Craig_Ehr

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Posted January 02 2008 - 07:55 AM

Thank you as always for your insightful commentary.

Though I certainly understand you are incredibly busy and your time is most valuable, I would like to make a few requests if I may:

#1, "A few words about...™" commentary on the topic of 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' on BD as it was the only one of your four "releases of special note" for 2007 which did not receive such treatment.

#2, "A few words about...™" 'Viva Las Vegas'. I can only presume that you have merely not had time to spend with this stellar title on HD (or perhaps Elvis is just not your bag?) I too was surprised to not see it among your list for 2007.

#3, Post your "A few words about...™" thread as a sticky on the HD software forum in addition to doing so in the SD software area, especially considering the vast majority of your commentaries are in regards to HD titles anyhow.

Thanks again so much for your efforts!

#9 of 10 OFFLINE   Ed St. Clair

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Posted January 03 2008 - 08:15 AM

Thanks for sharing.
Happy New Year, RAH!
Movies are: "The Greatest Artform".
HD should be for EVERYONE!

#10 of 10 OFFLINE   Adam Barratt

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Posted January 03 2008 - 02:36 PM

Paul, Children of Men wouldn't be included on the list as it isn't a catalogue title.

Adam