One Thing I Love Today: Universal's Blu-ray program to celebrate their centennial is a winner
Why don't more studios celebrate with this kind of dedication?
"The Deer Hunter." "Charade." "To Kill A Mockingbird." Over the last few weeks, it's felt like a bit of an avalanche of titles have been arriving at my house from Universal, all on Blu-ray, all part of their 100th year celebration, and so far, my only question is why more studios don't celebrate their legacies like this.
Universal has gone above and beyond with these releases. I know that some of the films, like "The Blues Brothers," have already been out on Blu-ray, but most of them are new to the format, and the studio appears to be shelling out for some full-scale restorations. I have not yet seen "All Quiet On The Western Front," but I've heard amazing things about the work they did on it, and I can vouch for the "Deer Hunter" transfer, which has never been better.
The sad truth about Hollywood is that as much as they pay lip service to legacy and nostalgia, they are very bad about taking care of their treasures. One only need look at the way the various movie palaces of Los Angeles have been treated over the years to see how little history means to most of these people. Maybe it's because it's a job where there is a high turnover rate and a near-constant game of executive square-dance going on. Maybe it's because the people who work at studios now aren't the ones who made those older films, so there's no emotional attachment. Whatever the case, I've been frustrated by this attitude since I arrived in LA in 1990.
With this 100th Anniversary collection, I now have a pristine Blu-ray copy of "Sullivan's Travels," and I can finally show my wife a copy of "My Man Godfrey" that is actually worth looking at. And while some studios might put out a few films and then be done with it, Universal's going to continue this all year. We're finally getting "Jaws" on Blu-ray this year, thank god, and they're even ponying up for a restoration of the 1931 Spanish-language production of "Dracula." Not just the Lugosi film, but the cult-classic Spanish version, too. That's amazing.
I'm going to review most of these titles individually on my new home video podcast that's starting up soon (it's different than anything we've tried before), but I wanted to point out how great their overall initiative has been today because I look at those titles stacking up on my desk, and I'm amazed by the choices they're making for the Blu-ray treatment as well as how nicely they've handled each transfer so far.
I can get discouraged often, but the entire reason for a column like this is to point out when someone's doing things right, because these are the moments that underscore why I love this industry and these films in the first place. There is something wonderful about putting on a William Powell film and laughing just as hard as audiences must have the first time around, and feeling connected to those audiences, as if time and space don't matter. Film unites us across time, and these Blu-rays deserve to be singled out for just how right they're doing it.
ONE THING I LOVE TODAY appears here every day. Yep. Every day.
Trending Now on HitFix Boards
News From Our Partners
- Podmass: David Sedaris describes his bath time, cicadas are explained, and Wompler returns Interview: Mitchell Hurwitz talks about the resurrection of Arrested Development AVQ&A: What pop-culture family would you want to join?
- Quicksilver in 'X-Men: Days of Future Past': Evan Peters Cast as Magneto's Son 'Poltergeist' Reboot May Actually Be a Sequel Brad Pitt Shocks Fans at 'World War Z' Screening (VIDEO)
- Critics Consensus: Fast & Furious 6 is Certified Fresh Red Carpet Photos with Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Gina Carano and More Video: The Hangover Part III Cast Interviews
- 'Grey's Anatomy' Scoop: 'Callie Isn't A Victim' 'Supernatural's' Surprising Ratings Victory Three Years Later, People Are Still Livid About 'Lost'
- CBS Fall 2013: 'Intelligence' Extended Trailer Evokes 'Chuck' For Grown-Ups Marvel's 'Avengers Assemble': Producers Explain Movie Tie-In, Plus New Clip! 'Hannibal' Review: "Trou Normand"
- The Telefile - Save Me: Lightning Strikes NBC The Telefile - Modern Family: Goodnight, Gracie. Hello, Series Highlight. The Telefile - Critics' Choice Television Awards 2013: Nominees Announced
- The Saturdays Are Sexy Housewives Seeking a 'Gentleman' in New Video Enter for a Chance to See Emblem3 Live on 'Good Morning America!' Bruno Mars Rumored for 'American Idol' Judge Spot
- 'Hangover III': The Reviews Are In! Jennifer Aniston Breaks Bad, Strips Down In 'We're The Millers' Trailer 'Star Wars' Fans Still Love To Hate Ewoks 30 Years Later
They can both use the same character, but will it be worth it?Thursday, May 23, 2013
Michael Cera and Alia Shawkat talk about returning to the roles of loving cousins for 'Arrested Development'Our conversation was an afternoon delightThursday, May 23, 2013
One of the emotional lynchpins of the series discusses the newest filmWednesday, May 22, 2013
Two of the supporting characters from the trilogy weigh in on saying goodbyeWednesday, May 22, 2013