The Blu-ray format has been around since 2006 and in the decade plus since, countless films have been released in glorious high definition. New favorites, old classics and niche films have all found their way to Blu-ray. However, there are still some films that, for whatever reason, remain stuck in 480p mediocrity on DVD. Now this isn’t a big deal for something like A Night at the Roxbury or Beverly Hills Ninja, movies I’d like to see get the high-def treatment but do not need it. But there are films that are visually stunning, full of beauty and color and craft that demand to be seen in the best way possible, that still aren’t on Blu-ray.
Now I know many people are signaling the death knell of physical media as streaming takes over but there is still merit in tangible formats. High definition on Blu-ray still looks better than high-def streaming and that’s before we even get into the better audio. And as evidenced by the various articles telling us what’s coming and going from the streaming services every month, you can’t always access the movies you want when you want them on streaming. Physical media circumvents those problems. There is also now the new UltraHD Blu-ray format that benefits those with 4K TVs, offering even higher resolution and incredible high dynamic range color. But there are some films that still haven’t even made the jump to regular old HD that need to do so. Blu-ray, UltraHD, either, both, I’ll take whatever I can get.
The following films are feasts for the eyes but they are currently being starved for resolution. Although you may be able to find some of these films to watch digitally, many of them aren’t available on free streaming, and even then you can tell you are not watching a high-definition transfer. Some have been released overseas but due to region coding of Blu-ray discs, importing one that will work on your player is a dicey prospect. So with that in mind here are 10 films that are not yet available on Blu-ray in the U.S. but need to be.
While promoting Annihilation, director Alex Garland revealed that another possible adaptation of his novel, The Beach, might be in the works. It remains to be seen if Garland himself will be tackling it now that he’s made the jump to filmmaker or if someone else will do it. But as it stands now the only film version of Garland’s novel is the 2000 Danny Boyle adaptation starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The actor was coming off the success of Titanic when he did this film and it is remarkable that it still isn’t available on Blu-ray. The film was shot on location in Thailand and this paradise would really translate well to the high-def format with its lush, bright colors. It is kind of shocking that a film starring such a name actor and from an Academy Award-winning director is still only available in such an old format but that’s where we are. Perhaps if the novel is adapted again, that will spur a Blu-ray release of the original to create some name recognition.
The Prince of Egypt
This was Dreamwork’s first traditional animated film and it is basically an adaptation of the Book of Exodus from the Bible. It features the Oscar-nominated music of Hans Zimmer and positively lush animation. The Prince of Egypt featured traditional animation by artists who had worked for Disney, as well as computer-generated imagery. The combination makes for a stunning film that really captures the scope and power of the story. Everything from the building of Egyptian temples to the plagues to the parting of the Red Sea is conveyed with fluid and majestic animation. Interestingly, The Prince of Egypt is one of several Dreamworks Animation films that are still awaiting the Blu-ray treatment, including Chicken Run, The Road to El Dorado and Over the Hedge. Dreamworks Animation seems to have neglected its earlier films in making the jump to high-def, but hopefully that gets remedied soon and this jaw-dropping film gets the release it deserves.