Classic Movies That Need A 4K Release

So many classic movies are being released in 4K, yet a lot of essential titles are MIA, even if many feel tailor-made for the format.

Fight Club

Here at JoBlo, we love physical media – ESPECIALLY 4K discs. To a lot of us, the 4K revolution has really given some of our favourite movies new life, with the format allowing us to see pristine versions of classic films that come the closest to presenting them in a way that allows us to experience them the way first run audiences did when they came out. While DVD and Blu-ray were both great for their time, 4K is miraculous, with movies like The Crow looking better in this format than they have since their original theatrical runs. One of the reasons is that the people doing the 4K restorations usually go back to a movie’s negative to make it look as good as it can, and the people restoring these films are passionate (even if some efforts have been controversial).

Yet, some of our favorite movies still aren’t available in 4K. Granted, some, such as Se7en, are on the way (and sound like they will be worth the wait), but it’s been radio silence on some legit classics. Here are five movies we think are begging for a 4K release.

Fight Club

Fight Club (1999):

David Fincher’s Fight Club was one of the biggest titles of the DVD era. Its extras-loaded two-disc special edition was a favourite of any serious collector who grew up in that era (it’s still a favourite of mine). While it has a fine-looking HD transfer, it’s crying out for a 4K restoration, especially with it celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. However, Fincher is known for his exacting standards as far as the presentation of his movies goes on home media, and with him currently busy with the Se7en restoration, we might have to wait a while for this one.

boogie nights 4k

Boogie Nights (1997):

Paul Thomas Anderson is a director whose films are curiously underrepresented in 4K. You’d think his most recent movie, Licorice Pizza, which was shot in 70mm, would have been released in the format, but no dice. The only Anderson movies out in 4K are The Phantom Thread and Punch Drunk Love. One would think There Will Be Blood would have gotten a release in the format, but so far, one hasn’t surfaced. For me, the movie of his that’s begging for a 4K release is his classic Boogie Nights. Anderson experimented with a lot of different film formats when making it, with the movie shot in 35mm, but the adult film sequences are shot in 16mm and on analog video. I’d also love to see an updated version of the classic group commentary track recorded in 1998 for the laserdisc to be included, with people like Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, Don Cheadle and Mark Wahlberg giving their thoughts on the film close to thirty years after the fact. I’d also LOVE to see Magnolia in 4K.

Kill Bill 4K

Kill Bill (2003)

Last year, Lionsgate announced that they were prepping 4K editions of volumes 1 and 2 to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Quentin Tarantino’s epic. So far, neither has a street date, although it’s possible that QT, now that he’s no longer making The Movie Critic as his 10th (and final film), might be finally taking the opportunity to release The Whole Bloody Affair. One can only hope, but surely, Kill Bill in 4K would be glorious.

Children of Men

Children of Men (2006)

Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men is one of the most celebrated movies of the 2000s, but like a lot of the director’s work, it’s yet to get the 4K treatment. Cuaron is a home theatre enthusiast, so it’s likely that any release would benefit from both him and DP Emmanuel Lubezki being involved. Gravity is on the way pretty soon, so we may also get a Children of Men redux, which would be great considering what a visually stunning movie it is.

The new episode of the Playing with Fear video series looks back at the video games that were based on the first Terminator movie.

The Terminator (1984)

James Cameron’s sci-fi classic is celebrating its 40th anniversary this fall, and the hope is that the film will get a slick UHD release. The buzz is that Cameron is working on it, although to some, that may come with a big asterisk next to it, as his recent AI-assisted restorations of Aliens, The Abyss and True Lies have been among the most controversial 4K upgrades of all time. If The Terminator makes it to 4K this year, will it be overly sweetened? Only time will tell, but I’ll still buy it regardless of the tinkering.

What other movies do you think deserve a 4K release? Let us know in the comments!

About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.