But, are they really worth re-investing your money to replace their DVD counterparts? To decide this, consider the following:
- Does the value of the disc and experience you will get from seeing it in high-def equal the price? If you have an HDTV, you are probably someone who appreciates the high-def experience, otherwise you wouldn't have spent $1200 or more on that 42", or (in my case), a 58" monstrocity. However, this doesn't mean you should fork out tons of cash for the heightened experience. Walmart and Amazon offer plenty of titles at extremely fair prices ($8 for Hero, Hellboy, Memento, etc), but be careful you're not getting a lower-quality product for that grerat price. Even though the new Lord of the Rings Extended Edition is only $39.99 (today only at Fry's), there are so many issues with the transfer of that series (new colors and a filter applied to the entire transfer) that the $10 cheaper price tag might not be worth it.
- Does the film have all the special features included in your original DVD? If you own more than 30 titles, you know that they came with a varying amount of documentaries, deleted scenes, etc. Some older titles (1999-2005) came with just the film. Today, there are many versions of your film available. Do you research before committing to a buy - does the new version contain every feature and more that appears on your original DVD? Check places like Amazon and http://www.blu-ray.com/ for confirmation.
- Determine if this version is a good transfer. In the case of The Godfather Restoration set, Coppola had to complete a transfer using several diffent master prints due to the age of the film. In the case of Star Wars IV-VI, Lucas' decision to alter the master prints has left them permanently damaged, the result of which is a 1080p release that really isn't a 1080p release. Forking out $40-$90 for these is gonna be tough, regardless of whether it's got 15 discs and a shiny ring inside. On the other end, when I purchased the extended cut of Stargate for a mere $5 at Target, the flaws in that transfer did not matter as the overall release was pretty good. Again, research is the order of the day.
- Beware of Hollywood 'Double-Dipping.' This is a tactic designed to make you buy multiple copies of the same release over a period of time. Iron Man 2 saw more releases of this type than should be allowed: 'limited release' steelbook, steelbook molded in the shape of IM's helmet, standard release, DVD release, blah blah blah. Clerks celebrated their 15th annivesary by simply slapping the 10-year content from 'X' and coverting the film to Blu-Ray. For $8, not a bad purchase; for $8.01, no...
I already have three of you: why do you task me so??
I'm heading off to Walmart to check out their $8 bin again. Hopefully, I can nail a transfer with a slipcase!