Weekend Roundtable: “Holy Grail” Blu-ray Wish List – 2012 Edition

This year has seen (or will see shortly) the Blu-ray releases of numerous big-ticket catalog titles that people have long clamored to own in high definition. In September alone, we’ll get the Alfred Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection, the complete ‘Indiana Jones’ series, the remaining James Bond films, and ‘Titanic’. Before the end of the year, we’ll also receive the likes of ‘E.T.’, ‘Finding Nemo’, Universal’s classic monsters, ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ and more. With that in mind, what “holy grail” titles are you still waiting to see released on Blu-ray?

Aaron Peck

I’ll go a little out of the norm here and pick a TV show. What’s worse is that this particular TV show might not even be able to be transferred to Blu-ray all that well considering its original source. Still, I’d love to have the complete series of ‘The X Files’ on Blu-ray with the kind of painstaking restoration that went into ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’. I’m a huge fan of television on Blu-ray, and ‘The X Files’ is one of my favorite shows ever, so it’s only natural that I’d want the two to meet at some point. Now, I understand that ‘The X Files’ comes from a less than desirable video source, so if there’s absolutely no way that Fox could make it happen and make it look good, then seasons 1-3 of ‘Arrested Development’ should help to ease my pain.

Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)

I want a complete high-definition Studio Ghibli collection as much as anyone, but you and I both know that’s more or less an inevitability. For the sake of this discussion, I think I’ll stick to movies that I have little-to-no expectation will ever find their way to Blu-ray.

I’d love to see underappreciated, left-of-the-dial ’80s comedies likes ‘UHF’, ‘Return of the Killer Tomatoes’, and ‘One Crazy Summer’ get proper high-def releases. I’m one of eight people on the planet who genuinely loves ‘Josie and the Pussycats’, and maybe Universal will fill cutout bins with that movie one of these days. There aren’t nearly enough werewolves on Blu-ray, and bringing out ‘Ginger Snaps’ (heck, why not the whole trilogy while you’re at it?) would help even things out. I clearly have a taste for schlock, and the South Korean 3D ‘King Kong’ knockoff ‘A*P*E’ and the futuristic disco-musical ‘The Apple’ fill that bill.

I know that this is really general, but I wish that you could bank on TV shows that air in high-def to find their way onto Blu-ray. ‘Parks and Recreation’, ‘Community’, ‘Children’s Hospital’, ‘New Girl’, and ‘Pretty Little Liars’ (Sssshh! Don’t tell anyone I watch that!) are still heading exclusively to DVD, and that’s no fun for anybody. Oh, and I’d cheerfully open up my wallet to buy ‘Party Down’, ‘Veronica Mars’, ‘Arrested Development’, ‘A Nero Wolfe Mystery’, and ‘The Middleman’ again if they somehow scored releases on Blu-ray. I’d especially flip if ‘The Outer Limits’ could get the same otherworldly special edition treatment that ‘The Twilight Zone’ did.

Brian Hoss

I was fortunate enough to import ‘Ghost in the Shell: Innocence – Absolute Edition’ when it was first released, and thereby managed to get a copy with both Dolby TrueHD 6.1 and DTS-HD MA 6.1 tracks. Getting the ‘Ghost in the Shell’ television series is another matter. Blu-rays of the series in its original episode format (rather than the consolidated and truncated movie versions) exist, but even at a combined cost of over a $1,000 for 52 episodes, the Blu-rays don’t have English subtitles or lossless audio.

Warner Bros., I want to replace my ‘Batman: Mask of the Phantasm’ DVD with a Blu-ray that has some special features. Even the HBO First Look “Behind the Mask” EPK would be nice to have. Paramount, it’s past time for a Blu-ray of ‘Witness’. Skip the remake, and get this movie a decent Blu-ray.

Mike Attebery

As I’ve posted many times in the Roundtable now, I’m still holding my breath for a Blu-ray release of an 11-year-old catalog title: ‘Wonder Boys’. With this week’s release of ‘The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, I think that just about every Curtis Hanson film, save for ‘In Her Shoes’, has now hit Blu-ray. ‘Wonder Boys’ is more than deserving (and certainly more deserving than ‘In Her Shoes’, even if Shirley MacLaine is great in that). Can I please get a little 1080p Grady Tripp?!!

Tom Landy

You know what? I honestly can’t think of anything big left on my high-definition wish list. All of the remaining hold-outs either arrived or are Blu-ray bound in 2012 – from ‘Jaws’ and ‘E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial’, to the ‘Indiana Jones’, classic Universal monsters and Alfred Hitchcock box sets. So, my mind is seriously drawing a blank right now. I guess I’ll go with the complete ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’ series – although, in all honesty, I predict that’s going to be a very long wait.

M. Enois Duarte

With the ‘Indiana Jones’ collection, the Hitchcock set and the Universal monsters box set already coming, I’m having a really hard time thinking of any “holy grail” titles, except for maybe more cult material like ‘Krull’ or something. If I really think about it, I’d love to see a Hammer Horror collection. I can pick up a few scattered titles overseas and some in the States with okay transfers, but what I want are fresh new masters of all the classics in one big collection. That would be awesome. And since we’re also seeing lots of Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger lately, how about some Jason Voorhees as well? A ‘Friday the 13th’ collection would be nice too.

Josh Zyber

The last time we did this topic in early 2011, I wished for a complete ‘Twin Peaks’ collection. That’s still high on my list, even though HD streaming versions of the show (and a pretty good import Blu-ray for ‘Fire Walk With Me‘) have come available in the meantime.

Failing that, I’m also still jonesing for more Fellini in high-definition. I’ve seen the director’s masterpiece ‘La dolce vita’ a couple times in 35mm, but have refused to watch the existing sub-par DVD edition. A quality Criterion Collection restoration would convince me to finally watch the film in my own home theater.

Those are the titles we still eagerly await on Blu-ray. What are your “holy grails”? Tell us in the Comments.


  1. Drew

    As others have pointed out, all of the traditional “Holy Grail” titles have either been released or announced for release in the near future. (‘Dial M for Murder’ 3D is my personal “Holy Grail” title, and I’ll have it in a few weeks). So, there really aren’t any titles that I think any of us are dying to own.

    With that said, I would love to own a Criterion copy of ‘La dolce vita’. And more embarrassingly, I would love it if ‘She’s the Man’ would get the blu-ray treatment.

    I wouldn’t mind completing my ‘Bad Boys’ set, and wish that the sequel would finally be released on blu-ray.

    There are a few others that I think of from time to time. If I remember them, I’ll comment again.

  2. EM

    Original original Star Wars trilogy.

    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon with theatrical English subtitles.

    Reasonably priced singleton releases of Raiders of the Lost Ark and Bride of Frankenstein.

    Original Night of the Living Dead for Region A.

    As for stuff not yet or not about to be released in any form, The Iron Giant tops my list. The Haunting and The Innocents sound good too.

    • Chaz

      The Iron Giant has been out on DVD for some time, it just got a newer re-release not that long ago, you said stuff not yet or not about to be released in any form? So besides Bluray, yes the Iron Giant has been out in another form

  3. Drew

    ‘The Iron Giant’ is another one I wish for.

    Also, I can’t believe that I didn’t — and that nobody else did either — bring up ‘Aladdin’.

    It was just discussed in a post from last week. I think that ‘Aladdin’ and ‘The Little Mermaid’ are two literal “Holy Grail” titles, that needed to be released 6 months ago! At least!

  4. Shayne Blakeley

    I’d still kill several family members for Buffy and Angel releases (yes I know that won’t happen.) The Stuff, The Doom Generation, The remaining Nightmare on Elm Street sequels (I’m aware of the import box, but from what I’ve heard it’s pretty substandard and I don’t particularly want to buy the first three yet again.) The Garbage Pail Kids, From Beyond, Howard The Duck, Creating Rem Lezar, the John Waters catalog, Fear of a Black Hat, The Forbidden Zone, the original Night of the Demons, The Wizard, The Toxic Avenger, An American Tail, the Disney animated Robin Hood. Pretty much the same titles I was begging for last time.

    • Shayne Blakeley

      For the record, I realize that most if not all of the titles on my list could never look very good, but I’d be happy with even a small upgrade, maybe a few features and not having to hold onto the DVDs anymore. Hell with Buffy I’d be happy with a “play-all” function and the supplements together in one place.

      • Shayne Blakeley

        Huh, I just went back to the last Holy Grail post, it hadn’t dawned on me that 8 of my picks came out since. That’s not too shabby, maybe there is hope!

  5. Drew


    Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. How did everyone miss those two?! I know we all want them very much!

  6. JM

    I would like a box set of all the Mamets, please.

    A Life In The Theater, The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Verdict, About Last Night, Hill Street Blues: A Wasted Weekend, The Untouchables, House of Games, Things Change, The Play on One: The Shawl, We’re No Angels, Performance: Uncle Vanya, Homicide, The Water Engine, Glengarry Glen Ross, Hoffa, A Life In The Theater ’93, Vanya on 42nd Street, Texan, Oleanna, American Buffalo, The Edge, The Spanish Prisoner, Wag The Dog, Ronin, Lansky, The Winslow Boy, Lakeboat, State and Main, Hannibal, Heist, Spartan, Edmond, Redbelt, The Unit, Lost Masterpieces of Pornography, The Dog, Inside the Actor’s Workshop, Two Painters, and the Untitled Phil Spector Biopic.

    I also need Seinfeld, Bowfinger, Bad Boys 2, and Charlie Wilson’s War.

  7. I would also love X-Files on Blu-ray, but I know it probably won’t happen. X-Files has faded in popularity compared to Star Trek of course, so I don’t see them doing a TNG type of restoration, which is what it would need.

  8. JM

    Lawrence of Arabia, Ed Wood, Fantastic Voyage, Mulholland Drive, On The Waterfront, The Right Stuff, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Rashômon, Nosferatu, Roman Holiday, Wild Strawberries, A Boy and His Samurai.

      • EM

        I’m pretty sure Herzog’s Nosferatu is from 1979…but on the other hand, I’m not sure which Nosferatu she means.

        • JM

          ‘Nosferatu’ (1922), from Dark Horizon’s “Top 250 Films Not On Blu-ray, Volume III.”

          Since I haven’t seen all the pre-1979 movies yet, I’m still netflixing my way through film history.

    • trk2

      Big thumbs up for The Right Stuff. Behind Lawrence of Arabia, that’s the movie I have most wanted on blu-ray.

  9. Alex

    A seemingly little-known but critically-acclaimed film called “Hope and Glory”. It would be interesting to see how it’s done, because I believe the original theatrical sound (and this is in 1986) was done in Mono.

  10. Bergman’s MGM titles like Persona, Shame and Hour of the Wolf. After watching the Criterion releases of his other films in stunning HD, it makes MGM’s cruddy DVDs look even worse ( I’d list The Virgin Spring, Wild Strawberries, etc. as well, but I’m sure Criterion will roll them out eventually).

    Agnieszka Holland’s visually beautiful version of The Secret Garden. Tarkovsky’s Stalker and Mirror. If not blu-ray, then at least better quality DVDs. A copy of Evil Dead 2 that doesn’t suck.

    The complete works of Hirokazu Koreeda. Criterion released a fantastic edition of “Still Walking”, but most of his other films (Afterlife, Maborosi) were dumped to piss poor DVDs that are now OOP in the US.

    Werckmeister Harmonies, Nosferatu, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, La Dolce Vita, and WILLOW.

  11. Vince

    I second for Persona. Touch of Evil in Region 1,Badlands (only Malick not on BD),Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Kurosawa’s Dreams, Ride the High Country, Quiet Man…

  12. Drew


    You’re naming a lot of titles that have been out for quite a while, or have been announced for release in the near future. You can buy classy, American, region A (or region free), 1080p/24 versions of many of the titles you listed. You should look into it. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

  13. Ryan

    Just animated movies for me….
    The rest of Pixar’s catalogue
    Little Mermaid
    Emperor’s New Groove
    The Iron Giant

    I can’t think of any live action ones that I absolutely neeeeed on blu

  14. This is a great year, including the forthcoming (limited) release of the 1990 Tom Savini remake of Night of the Living Dead. I’m still anxious to get: The Black Hole, Mulholland Drive (so I can retire my HD-DVD), Burnt Offerings, The Keep, Carnival of Souls, Spider Baby, Phantasm series, Knightriders, Martin, The Dark Half, Twin Peaks (series), Fire Walk With Me (with deleted scenes), From Star Wars to Jedi: The Making of a Saga, Golden Voyage of Sinbad, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, The Last Man on Earth, and to fill the holes in my Ann-Margret collection, how about a nice box set of: The Swinger, Bus Riley’s Back in Town, Kitten With a Whip, and Once a Thief.

  15. Cowbear

    All That Heaven Allows, American Gigolo, Cabaret, Death On The Nile, Far From Heaven, The Great Race, Imitation Of Life, Mommie Dearest, Nashville, Perdita Durango, Rebel Without A Cause, The Thief Of Bagdad and Titus for starters. Hercules, Hercules Unchained and absolutely any other Italian sword and sandal movies. Animation-wise and not mentioned yet The Jungle Book, The Road To El Dorado and Flushed Away would be nice.

  16. Cal

    For me, I desperately want to see The Iron Giant on Blu-Ray. One of the last great American traditionally animated films.

  17. Scott H

    TRUE LIES Cameron what’s taking so long! There’s like 4 different versions of T2 on bluray, why not TL and the Abyss. Also I want Iron Giant, Aladdin, and a better restoration of the first two TMNT movies with actual special features, no games. Oh and a region a release of A Very Long Engagement please, one of my favorite foreign films.

    • Pyronaut

      I also think that The Abyss should have already been released on Blu Ray, and I wouldn’t mind True Lies as well while they’re at it.
      I’ve heard rumblings that Cameron is working on the Abyss release and it’s coming out n 2013, and being so busy with Avatar 2/3 I can see why this is taking a while. Still, it should have been done even before work on Avatar 2/3 started.

      While I think that the first two TMNT movies looked alright enough for their age, some actual special features on the BR discs would have been nice.

  18. There’s a ton of old science fiction and fantasy movies I’d like to see, but I’m going to go for one of those least likely to ever happen…

    Babylon 5 – It basically needs the same treatment as Star Trek TOS. The cruel irony is tha B5 was filmed with widescreen and HD in mind even back then, but for budget, etc., all the effects were rendered out in SD 4×3. So while even the widescreen DVDs look great for non-effects shots (since they did at least use the proper footage for the DVDs for those parts), any shot that includes an effect is blurred/pixely zoomed-in 4×3.

    If someone could go back and re-do all the effects, it would simply look amazing, I’m sure!! Babylon 5 has always proved extremely successful with the home video market, but Warner Bros never-ever want to spend any money on it. (Heck, when they made the one-off Lost Tales (A sort’ve B5 spin-off), Straczynski did it on a terribly low budget on the condition that they give him a bigger budget for later ones if it was a success. It was more than enough of a success and they still wanted to cut the budget even more!! So he just told ’em where to go).

  19. motorheadache

    1) The Star Wars trilogy. The real one.

    2) True Lies. One of my favorite Ahnold films and you can’t even get an anamorphic DVD yet.

    3) A Special Edition of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. The Director’s Cut, if possible, and at least all of the special features that I know currently exist– deleted scenes and director’s commentary.

  20. William Henley

    There are some great lists out here already. I am all for Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Robin Hood, The Land Before Time, True Lies, An American Tale are all musts for me as well.

    I for one, and I may be alone on this, want to see the Dune and Children of Dune miniseries. However, I am sure the popularity of the show is going to prevent this – while it was filmed on 35mm, my understanding was that all visual effects were done in SD. As the majority of the show is visual effects shots, you couldn’t just upconvert like you did on Firefly, and I am willing to bet that a TNG style restoration is just going to be too costly.

    I am happy to see that Disney is STARTING to release some of their movies, such as Hocus Pocus and Dick Tracy. I am still waiting on Mary Poppins, Flight of the Navigator, Parent Trap, Summer Magic, The Three Lives of Thomasina, and The Gnome Mobile.

    Also wanting DS9, Voyager and Enterprise.

  21. Bryan

    Wow – I thought I was the only person left on the planet willing to admit to really liking “Josie And The Pussycats”. Would love to see that one on Blu-Ray some day…

  22. John

    Two movies that I love as not quite holy grail but are two of the only DVD’s i still have left.

    PCU and Empire Records