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This is a constant problem I’m having.

I’m referring to old blu-ray releases (eg. pre-2015) of “major” films that could possibly get a 4K release in the future.

I want to buy films like Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Rainman, The English Patient, The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Fugitive etc. but I’m still waiting in case they get upgraded.

What do you do?
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Josh Steinberg

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I tend to pick up things when I’m in the mood to watch them - I’ve stopped collecting solely on the basis of “that’s a nice price” or “I think all collections should have this title.”

If there’s something I want to watch, I’ll buy it. If I feel that there’s likely to be a better edition in the immediate short term, I may choose to rent rather than buy.

I also consider who controls which title when gauging upgrade potential. Armageddon and Pearl Harbor are Disney - less likely to upgrade to physical 4K in the first place, and if they do, more likely than not that it’s an upscale of an existing 2K DI rather than a true 4K master, so probably not much difference between the current BD and a potential 4K release.

English Patient is Miramax, that catalog has changed hands several times and is now with Paramount. None of the previous rights holders has seen fit to do a new transfer so I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one. What exists now may very well be as good as it gets.

Robin Hood and Fugitive are Warner which makes them the likeliest of the bunch to be upgraded but chances aren’t spectacular either. I don’t think there’s much more in terms of detail or color to pull from Robin Hood so a 4K version might look basically the same as what we have now. Fugitive might look slightly better based on newer lenses and film stock used but my recollection is that it was never a beautiful movie so I would think improvement would be incremental rather than revelatory.

Ultimately for me it’s about buying to enjoy so if I feel like revisiting a title I don’t own I’ll either buy it or rent it digitally and watch it while the mood is there.
 

Thomas T

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Life is short (and I'm already at that age). If there's a title that I want, I buy it and watch it now. Why wait for something that may or may not come down the pipeline at some unknown future date? I still buy DVDs because the title is not available on blu ray and I'm not going to sit around and wait till the blu ray comes along. 4K discs are even more of a "niche" item than blu rays and waiting for a catalog item that may never happen rather than enjoying it now is ..... well ;)
 

jcroy

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I tend to pick up things when I’m in the mood to watch them - I’ve stopped collecting solely on the basis of “that’s a nice price” or “I think all collections should have this title.”

Same here.

Over the past few years for me, there's also been an additional factor of watching movies on a basic cable channel or even network tv, and coming to the relization that something turned out to be garbage and/or I watched it so many times on tv that the dvd/bluray/4Kbluray version seems like a waste.
 

titch

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This is a constant problem I'm having.
I'm referring to old blu-ray releases (eg. pre-2015) of "major" films that could possibly get a 4K release in the future.
I want to buy films like Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Rainman, The English Patient, The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Fugitive etc. but I'm still waiting in case they get upgraded.
What do you do?
This year alone, I've upgraded more than 50 blu-rays, which I've purchased since they first started being released. Just this week, I replaced Song Of The Sea and The Secret Of Kells with the new StudioCanal set. And I replaced the StudioCanal Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy blu ray with the UHD. In my library of 5500 titles, I estimate that I've upgraded over 500 titles, since 2007.

It is very rare for me to purchase older titles (pre 2015), as I have purchased most of them on the date of release. So there are a lot of older titles on my shelves, which don't look nice uprezzed and projected in 4K. I am aware of this and I don't purchase older titles now, unless I want them badly. For sure, blu-ray titles released now are almost always well mastered, with far less digital tinkering and compression anomalies than was the case five-ten years ago. So new titles will probably not need upgrading as much. However, for me, life is simply too short to wait around, just in case a UHD or remastered blu-ray might show up in the future. I have purchased Wes Anderson's Isle Of Dogs and The French Dispatch now, because I want to see them (again). There is a strong possibility that Criterion will release them in a few years from now - maybe even in UHD - but if that happens, then I will replace them.
 

Konstantinos

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Armageddon and Pearl Harbor are Disney - less likely to upgrade to physical 4K in the first place
Well, Disney released Speed in 4K so I was hoping they will tackle other blockbusters.
I assume the same applies to Pretty Woman, right? The blu-ray is now very old.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Well, Disney released Speed in 4K so I was hoping they will tackle other blockbusters.
I assume the same applies to Pretty Woman, right? The blu-ray is now very old.

Anything is possible but at the same time it’s always a mystery what Disney is going to do when, so I’m personally less likely to wait it out when it comes to one of their titles. But that’s been the big paradigm shift for me, to switch from buying now with the intention of watching later, to buying only when I’m ready to watch. That may not be the best solution for everyone but it’s made the hobby more manageable for me.
 

OLDTIMER

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I only buy new copies of movies I already own if I'm assured that there will be a worthwhile improvement in quality. A new 4K disc versus a good HD scanning of the same movie is not, to me, a quality improvement. (We are talking about classic movies.)
 

SD_Brian

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I find that the most surefire way to guarantee a better/upgraded version will be released is if I give up on waiting for the upgrade and buy a copy of the old disc. Sometimes you just have to take one for the team. :cheers:
 

Sega

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I pick up what I like to watch. But doing a 4K up-grade on all my DVD's.
No can do. No need. What I buy new. Yes, I get them in 4K. If it's out.
But doing them all over in 4K. Pass on that.
 

Keith Cobby

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As with the transition from DVD to blu ray, I will upgrade favourite films or those which I enjoy their outstanding cinematography, to 4k. Others I watch less often (eg The Great Escape) I will wait for a sale or not bother. There is, as with blu ray, a big difference in the quality of 4k discs, but when you have a good one it is the closest experience to a theatrical presentation. In terms of A/V and the extraordinary breadth of releases, we are living through a wonderful period of home entertainment.
 

Dave Moritz

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I have DVD's I have not gotten around to upgrading to blu-ray and I upgrade straight to 4K blu-ray if they become available. Or I upgrade from HD-DVD since I decided to not buy another used HD-DVD player. Now I am trying to build a more balanced library including older titles but if they are titles I am not really familiar with it at lest needs to be standard blu-ray. I mostly though stick with titles I know I will watch over and over again and am willing to just buy blu-ray on certain titles and other titles I am waiting to upgrade to 4K blu-ray because the plan is to eventually get a 4K projector. But it depends on the title if I really want to upgrade to 4K and it is a good transfer. Example I was hoping the first Pirates Of The Caribbean would be a good candidate to upgrade the blu-ray. But it turns out it was not so I am sticking with the blu-ray and let my system upconvert it. But some titles that I do not have for me are no brainers if they come out on 4K I will just skip straight to 4K blu-ray. But at the end of the day it depends on the title.
 
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CyFactor

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I've started to limit what I upgrade now since some of them have been disappointing. Raiders of the Lost Ark was one of them (I picked up the 4K boxed set). It wasn't any different than the 1080p Blu-ray from what I could tell. I also picked up the Skywalker saga in 4K, Lord of the Rings, Hobbit, Fast & Furious franchise, Back to the Future, Dark Knight, anything Marvel, et. al. I'm to the point now where before I pull the trigger on anything I'll check the reviews, and unless there's a reference level audio and/or video stream for my Panasonic DP-UB9000, I just stick to my digital 1080p library (about 1170 movies and counting) instead of updating the DVD media or watch one of the many streaming services (Paramount+, HBOMax, Disney+, Hulu, Netflix - I sure waste a lot of money on movies LOL!).
 

cinemel1

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I tend to upgrade from blu-ray to 4K favorites or film classics. I’ve been upgrading my Best Picture Oscar winners as they have been released as well as musicals. I find that musicals are the films I re-watch the most and I want them to look their best. I check out the R. Harris reviews as to whether the upgrade is substantial. I’ve been holding off on the Nomadland (BP Oscar winner) to see if the 4K is forthcoming at some point. I got burnt with the Parasite film as it came out via Criterion and shortly after the 4K was released. I’d like to see some classic musicals (Singin’ in the Rain, The Band Wagon, West Side Story (61), etc. in 4K. They are the most rewatched in my collection.
 

Stephen_J_H

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I usually only buy 4K if it's a newer release with a 4K DI, or a classic release from a large format element. I don't see the point of buying 4K of titles where the resolution is likely to be 2K at best, and HDR will either make no difference [best case scenario] or ruin the original aesthetic. I did buy the 4K of It's a Wonderful Life, but that was only because it was actually cheaper than the Blu-ray at Walmart at the time. Still haven't watched the 4K disc yet, as my 4K player and display are in the living room and not with my HT system [I have an Atmos/DTS:X enabled sound bar there], and my HT is currently supporting a 50" Panny 3D plasma. I'll replace it eventually, but we're buying a house right now, so the 3D/4K capable projector is on the back burner until I can tweak my current HT space for same.
 

John Dirk

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For me it's all about the type of content. If it's action or special-effects driven content I want UHD but if it's more cerebral or dialogue driven I can stick with what I have.
 

Brian W.

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I've only had my 4K Blu-Ray player for about six months, and I'm constantly disappointed at what isn't being released on 4K. Especially newer movies, where they release a 4K digital version but only a standard Blu-Ray. Why? Cost, I suppose.

Anyway, if it's a blockbuster or a popular franchise where I think there's a good chance it may be released on 4K disc, I'll probably wait and see. "Star Trek" The Original Series is one that I speculate has a very good chance of eventually appearing in 4K. But, say, "Ordinary People," which just finally made its debut on Blu-Ray, will probably never be released on 4K disc. Same with something like "Sophie's Choice" or "The Andy Griffith Show" or "Kolchak"... it's very unlikely those will ever be released in 4K.

And to be honest, the difference I can see between 4K Blu-Ray and 2K Blu-Ray is slight. It's not like the difference between DVD and 2K Blu-Ray, which is huge. I'll you a story: When I got my 4K player a few months ago, the first disc I popped in was the 4K "Vertigo." Me and my roommate were amazed at the picture -- we were watching that restaurant scene over and over again. We just couldn't believe how incredible and detailed it looked. Then I took the disc out and said... "Oh... you know, we were watching the Blu-Ray version, not the 4K version." LOL
 

Blu Eye

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This is a constant problem I'm having.
I'm referring to old blu-ray releases (eg. pre-2015) of "major" films that could possibly get a 4K release in the future.
I want to buy films like Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Rainman, The English Patient, The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Fugitive etc. but I'm still waiting in case they get upgraded.
What do you do?

I recently watched "The Warriors" which was released in 2008 on Blu Ray (UK) and was astounded at how beautiful it looked.

I personally thought it was a perfect transfer and seriously doubt if it could be improved upon. Never watched it in cinemas on its release though so can't compare it to that. However, to my eye every scene was stunning. A really beautifully shot movie in my opinion and Blu Ray did the movie justice and then some.

My expectations were that the transfer might be substandard so was a nice surprise.

I have purchased quite a few Blu Ray discs lately that have had 4k releases and I'm glad I did considering the money I have saved.

The original Mad Max (UK, 2015 WB release although not quite pre-2015) is an example and again I thought the transfer was brilliant on it. Resolution, detail, colours and grain all looked great to my eye especially considering it was a low budget movie. Seeing grain on a movie is a wonderful sight to behold. To me cinema is grain and many Blu Ray discs beautifully show grain and the movie in all its glory and how the movie should be looked.

Not sure a 4k Mad Max release was justified in the first place. Was it not shot on an inferior type of film due to the small budget???

4k in my opinion is in a lot of cases unnecessary and unless you have a big screen you will probably not even notice the difference from Blu Ray anyway.

The 4k discs I have seen are difficult to discern in quality from previous HD releases. This may be due to only having a 65 inch screen in some cases but to my eye the difference is very subtle apart from superior 4k releases that superseded poor quality Blu Ray releases from botched jobs etc.

For me, if the Blu Ray releases have had favourable reviews I will make the purchase. Exceptions will be made for what I consider masterpieces assuming they are released to positive reviews and the Blu Ray releases were substandard.

My suggestion is to purchase the Blu Ray versions if they have been given the appropriate treatment and forget about the 4k releases.

My guess is once you watch them you will forget about any potential future 4k release.

We have been spoilt with all the releases over the years. There are so many old movies that have been released and look great on Blu Ray in which they have been given a new life that perhaps 20 years ago or more did not seem possible.

The amount of bitching I see by some people complaining about scratches and dirt and other such things baffles me a lot of times.

Trivial matters. Just watch the frigging movie and enjoy it or piss and moan over screenshot pictures of frames from movies showing a minuscule scratch in a corner of a shot which blocks out a leaf from a tree in a western background from a Anthony Mann picture.
 
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tenia

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Some tend to think "oh it's perfect already, I don't see how it could be improved upon". In some cases, it's true. In some cases, it's obvious from the get-go it can, and it should, despite some being impressed for whatever reasons. We saw that with Patton, with The Dark Knight, with Baraka. The Warriors ? It's an older transfer, it doesn't have the film grain it should have, it's probably at least slightly EEd, and the grading is kind of old school pinkish at times. And the 2008 US disc is 1.78 while it should be 1.85.

But overall, it just depends what you're happy with. If you think this BD is good enough, just go with it. If you think a UHD is imminent, just wait and see. In any case, there are enough BD released yearly to fill more than 1 year of movie time.
 

Blu Eye

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The 1.78 ratio is negligible for me despite being a purist.

The UK version has noticeable grain but I did not see it theatrically as I previously mentioned so don't know how much may have been removed for the transfer.

I did not see any pink colour grading on the disc. The colours looked great to my eye and how they should be.

I don't expect 100% fidelity for any release especially at £9.99 - £14.99 a pop.

If I am paying £99 per disc then I might start nitpicking.