Ultra-high-definition has allowed audiences the chance to see older films in a new way. Some of these aesthetical touchups end up getting pulled off better than others, perhaps giving fans the feeling of watching their favorite movie for the first time.
Even still, there are cult favorites and Hollywood hits that still haven’t been given the proper remastering treatment. Redditors know which films’ sound and visuals they want to see updated, though, and they find that option far preferable to the narrative being outright redone.
The Original Star Wars Trilogy (1977-1983)
The original Star Wars trilogy is one of the most beloved of all time, but fans are very specific about what they want. It’s doubtful Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, or Return of the Jedi will ever be remade, and if they are fans will be upset, but they’d feel the opposite about remastered versions of the unaltered cuts. They would also be thrilled with new bonus features because unknown details about Star Wars: A New Hope are seemingly endless.
As Hallowed_Grave put it, “When Disney bought Lucasfilm and 20th Century, I honestly thought they would do a box set for the (unaltered) Original Trilogy. All of that hope got shot down when Kathleen Kennedy mentioned they had no intention to release it back in 2019.” Fans have been waiting a long time to get the unaltered versions of these three films, and the last time they were released was on DVD in 2006. It’s time for an update to at least 1080p if not 4K.
Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)
The Harry Potter films received excellent, 4K HDR editions in 2017. However, while the color spectrum received a boost, the special effects themselves were left untouched. For the most part, the films still look phenomenal, but some effects-driven moments in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone haven’t aged very well.
One Redditor brought up the series when looking for remastering suggestions, saying, “…there is a huge gap between the first movie and the final movie in terms of CGI. I don’t want to see the series remade…but it would be nice to have some consistency in the CGI.” The franchise has a rabid fanbase, very few of whom would want to see the saga remade. Even still, not many of them would deny that Voldemort’s appearance in Sorcerer’s Stone looks a little silly.
First Blood (1982)
The Rambo films’ home media releases have been a mixed bag. Each film has a unique look, mostly because of drastically increasing budgets, with the first installment holding a fairly low budget. Now that the five-movie saga has concluded with Rambo: Last Blood, the question is whether or not the franchise will be rebooted. According to at least one Redditor, the well-aged First Blood would be better off with some deserved TLC instead.
Lotrug started a thread to find out what movies deserve a remaster, and they provided First Blood as their specific example, saying, “I watched Rambo 1 earlier this week and the sound in this movie is horrible. And I don’t mean quality is bad, I mean gunshots and stuff like that, is really bad…Imagine that movie with awesome M16 sound. Fighting scenes are funny because of the sound….”
The Keep (1983)
Rights issues with Tangerine Dream’s score have long kept Michael Mann’s The Keep from receiving a legitimate DVD or Blu-ray in the United States. The last time it received a studio release was on laserdisc and VHS. But the film has a devout following who have settled for Youtube screenings, yet even that available version isn’t the 3.5-hour director’s cut fans have yearned for.
Hallowed_Grave brought up the cult classic, writing, “The Keep – I highly doubt we’ll see any kind of version on the Blu-ray format. The closest we got is the Australian DVD release (unless you count the ongoing fan restoration).”
Fight Club (1999)
David Fincher’s Fight Club hasn’t yet received a 4K re-release, and Redditors are convinced it’s time for that to change. Fincher’s quotable and visually stunning film received a solid Blu-ray release in 2009. Notable for its fake-out, Never Been Kissed menu screen, the film could still use a more modern transfer.
TheCheshireCody wants one particular aspect updated: the sound mix. In their words: “Fight Club. Especially with a great Atmos sound mix.” It’s inevitable that Fight Club will receive another release, and an improved sound mix is likely. However, the likelihood of it being remade is slim. The film is a unique product of its time, and it’s difficult to imagine it being any more well-cast.
The Abyss (1989)
The 2000 Special Edition DVD is still the definitive home media release of The Abyss. It’s an odd fact, especially considering director James Cameron has no issue with making his films look the best they can. According to Empire, there was even a time when a Blu-ray transfer had been prepared, but then Disney acquired Fox and it was shelved.
One Redditor, TheLivingEnd1884, brought up Cameron’s film as one worthy of an update: “The Abyss is my holy grail. It’s apparently being worked on but I’m not holding my breath.” The Ed Harris movie is clearly beloved by the Redditor, so it stands to reason that they’d much rather see it remastered than remade.
Lady In White (1988)
Lady in White was a late ’80s horror movie featuring Lukas Haas (The Revenant, Witness) as a young boy who starts seeing the ghost of a murdered classmate.
The cult-classic horror film received a surprising amount of Redditor love. Thatjoshuafrost brought up the movie then said “Great little ghost movie from my childhood.” AngelOfOutcasts then brought up a specific edition of the film: “Scream Factory released this a couple of years back on Blu, the only issue is that it’s OoP….” While it wasn’t one of Scream Factory’s best releases of 1980s movies, it is the only U.S. Blu-ray release. Unfortunately, it also costs over $100, so no matter how the next release looks, it’ll at least be cheaper. Other, similar films have been released over the years, so there’d be little point in remaking Lady in White, but it could still use an audio-visual update.
Hoodwinked! was a mid-aughts family film that served as a modernized retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. While it did better with critics than its reviled sequel, the low-budget Hoodwinked! was widely criticized for its cheap animation.
On a thread looking for movies in need of a remake, one Redditor brought up the poorly-reviewed kid flick, but there was a catch. 2781727827 was blunt in their assessment of the film’s needs: a remaster, not a remake. “Does it need changes to dialogue or casting? No. It more needs a remaster so that it doesn’t look like absolute s***. Improve the animation quality.”
Panic Room (2002)
Even though David Fincher’s Panic Room was a star-studded box office success, it’s never seen a Blu-ray version. The special edition DVD is loaded with bonus features, but the film itself could use a fresh coat of paint.
Several Redditors brought up their disappointment with its availability in an antiquated format. Seekup41, for instance, said, “Panic Room needs some new release treatment.” TheItalianJob1969 then replied with “Yes! Why isn’t it on Blu-ray yet??!!” Fincher’s film would be better left as an early ’00s narrative. It was released when panic rooms were becoming popular, so remaking it for modern audiences would remove its timeliness. However, a touched-up home media release has been a long time coming.
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