Posted Fri Apr 30, 2021 at 02:12 AM PDT by Matthew Hartman
With new films slowly sliding back into recently reopened movie theaters - I myself caught Mortal Kombat for my first theater experience since The Rise of Skywalker - the studios are still relying on catalog titles to prop up their 4K UHD Blu-ray release slates. As such, March and April were decent but overall tepid months with only a couple of heavy hitters. On the other hand, May is a whole new game of cricket. You want classics on 4K UHD Blu-ray? We've got classics on 4K UHD Blu-ray! You want an action-packed fan-favorite from 20th Century Studios? We've got an action-packed fan favorite from 20th Century Studios! You want more excellent boutique label releases? Those will be blowing your hair back this month too - May is a nice big expensive month leading us into June... which will also be a big expensive month too!
Let's get to it -
A genuine fan-favorite and by many considered to be Tim Burton's finest film - Big Fish is making a welcome appearance on 4K. The 1080p Blu-ray was terrific for its time, but this visual marvel should look stunning with HDR.
After Dracula, before Jonny Mnemonic and The Matrix - Keanu Reeves proved his action acting chops with Jan de Bont's high-octane thriller Speed. The Blu-ray has been a pretty limp-looking addition - even if the DTS mix is great - so this Native 4K edition is a welcome upgrade. PLUS it also marks an exciting return for Disney's rebranded 20th Century Studios to the 4K Ultra HD Format!
Speed is also getting a Best BuyExclusive 4K UHD Blu-ray release and well... the inside art is kinda cool? Considering the classic poster art hasn't appeared since DVD I'd have loved to see that work represented on a mat-black SteelBook.
While some of the DC animated movies can be a bit hit and miss, more often than not they're worth the time you give them and with the colorful animation stylings tend to make worthy 4K releases.
What's become pretty common for these DC Animated releases is Best Buy will ultimately offer fans a little collector's figurine. Is that worth the extra few bucks? That's up to you to decide.
Now that Spiral: From the Book of Saw aims to reboot the franchise, Lionsgate is giving fans a fresh new look at the James Wan original with a brand new native 4K digital intermediate! While this was a low-budget gem, I'm looking forward to revisiting this ahead of the new film. Time will tell if the rest of the franchise will hit 4K or not.
Lionsgate is also dropping an exclusive SteelBook with a plastic slipcover to Best Buy. Considering the price is only a couple bucks more, this is the better way to go if you're a rabid Saw fan!
The classic family favorite is coming to 4K. While this may be a headscratcher for some considering the age of the film and the animation for the era - remember - even Toy Story saw a worthy improvement in clarity and color saturation with HDR, and we expect to see something of the same here.
Considering the price point is practically identical to the standard release, why not go big? Originally believed to be a Best Buy exclusive, it looks like Target will also be offering this one, at least online.
With F9 finally hitting movie theaters this summer, the first film that started it all oh so long ago gets to celebrate it's birthday with a 20th Anniversary SteelBook edition.
What's the difference between this The Fast and the Furious 20th Anniversary SteelBook and the other The Fast and the Furious 20th Anniversary SteelBook? Swag and a few extra bucks. Ask yourself how much character cards and booklets are worth if you're going to pick this one up.
Last Action Hero is one of those movies you're either a huge fan of - or it's just not your thing. Perhaps a bit too meta for its time, it was a notable box office dude right after Schwarzenegger's mega-hit Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Over the years this one has developed a cult following and has long needed a worthy upgrade after several lackluster Blu-ray releases. If you're weird and don't want this awesome SteelBook release, the Standard Edition drops June 15th
Another Universal back catalog classic with a sad history of dodgy home video releases is getting the long-deserved 4K UHD Blu-ray upgrade. Animal House is a hilarious comedy and should look and sound great on the format!
And true to form - Universal is dropping an attractive SteelBook option for fans and considering the lower price point, like Shrek, it's an easy one to add to the collection!
This is a bit of an odd one - not the film, by all accounts it's wonderful - but Disney announced this title, but we have not been able to locate any pre-orders for the May 18th release frame, thus no pre-order button. As soon as it's up for pre-order or if the release date changes we'll update our listings and this release guide.
Severin Films already nailed their first 4K UHD Blu-ray outings with Perdita Durango and The Day of the Beast - so we have high hopes for this Jodorowsky classic! If there's ever a director whose films would look amazing on 4K UHD - even if it doesn't have HDR would be Jodorowsky. On top of the film in 4K and 1080p, you're getting a ton of bonus features including the film's trippy soundtrack on CD!
George Roy Hill's comedy caper The Sting is genuine classic 70s Hollywood at its best featuring icons Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and Robert Shaw. Like Animal House, this is another fan favorite with a pretty mediocre home video history. Now with a new 4K restoration, we're hoping this is a visual delight.
If you're a SteelBook fan, this is another no-brainer. Universal is doing right with The Sting, Animal House, and Shrek by offering attractive SteelBook releases without charging an arm and a leg extra for the privilege of deluxe packaging. This is another easy one worth the pre-order.
After several release delays for reshoots - Doug Liman's Sci-fi opus hit during a pandemic. Haven't seen it myself yet, but by all accounts, it's visually interesting but still a mess. I know folks who loved it and hated it so it's a bit of a toss-up - maybe rent before you buy?
Lionsgate is hitting it again with another great-looking SteelBook with a plastic slipcover, but the price and the movie itself may keep some collectors from jumping.
After several delays - Arrow Video's Django 4K UHD + Texas Adios Blu-ray set is finally hitting shelves! A favorite of ours - we would have been happy with a special edition Blu-ray, but to get Django on 4K is even better. We've had this on pre-order for ages now so it's almost weird to believe it's finally coming out! Like all Arrow 4K releases, this will probably sell out fast so get that pre-order in while you can.
A genuine Hollywood classic, My Fair Lady is a musical delight and we can't wait to see this one in full Native 4K with HDR. Rex Harrison's sweaters are sure to look incredible!
Already previously released on 4K as part of the Alfred Hitchcock 4K Collection - this solo release features the classic poster artwork and - hopefully - the disc should have the correct mono audio mix without needing to send in for a replacement. But if you already have the full Hitchcock set, there's nothing new here.
This one already got a solo Best Buy Exclusive SteelBook when the Alfred Hitchcock Collection came out on 4K - now Universal is issuing a new one which I dare say is the classier release. If you didn't already pick up the collection set, make room for this SteelBook on your shelf.
J.J. Abrams' member berries-fueled tribute to 80s Steven Spielberg movies comes to 4K UHD Blu-ray sourced from a new Native 4K Digital Intermediate with Dolby Vision HDR. This should be a damn impressive A/V upgrade over the previous 1080p Blu-ray.
Here's another great SteelBook option for collectors that isn't a retail exclusive. And just for a couple of bucks more, if you're a fan of the movie this is an easy pickup.
Like Psycho - The Birds was already previously available with the Alfred Hitchcock 4K Collection. This release isn't all that stunning considering it doesn't reference some of the classic poster art. That's why it's nice to see Universal dropping a SteelBook for this one. If you don't have it yet, this is a terrific looking disc and worth the pickup.
Now, I wasn't planning on picking up a solo release of this since the box set is already sitting on my shelf, but this SteelBook is hard to pass up. I love they used the classic poster art for the cover. Plus the price point ain't half bad either.
This action sci-fi classic starring Kirk Douglas and Martin Sheen lands on 4K thanks to Blue Underground in a huge 4K UHD Blu-ray + Blu=-ray + CD soundtrack set with lenticular cover. Every Blue Underground release thus far has been a picture-perfect release with impeccable A/V presentations. Needless to say - we're VERY excited for this one!
After already hitting Blu-ray for a bit, this underappreciated war drama is coming to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with a new Director's Cut release. This was a hell of a film that I would have loved to see in theaters, but a new 4K release is welcome!
That does it for this month! As I said, May is going to be a damn expensive month with a bunch of essential and fan-favorite flicks coming to the format for the first time. And this doesn't say anything about the EU imports we hope to cover. We've heard rumblings that Zack Snyder's Justice League should be hitting 4K in May - while we don't have a U.S. release date, it does look like the U.K. is getting it at the end of the month. Heat is also expected to hit 4K in Germany in May - but no pre-order or official announcement has hit anywhere yet so we'll keep an eye out!
Obviously, all of these titles and release dates are subject to change. Some could get shifted, new ones could still be announced. If any changes happen we'll update our listings and this article ASAP.
Thanks again for the pre-orders! Your orders help keep our little operation up and running.
- The HDD Team
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