Better than Streaming: Classic film Citizen Kane leads Criterion Collection’s first 4K Blu-ray titles!

Welcome back to this latest edition of the Better than Streaming series! If you are a very avid movie buff or if you are a collector of films released in physical media, notably on 4K Blu-ray, then you should be very delighted to hear the latest news that The Criterion Collection officially announced that it will soon release its first six films in 4K Blu-ray format! The most famous film among them is none than Citizen Kane (starring and directed by the late Orson Welles).

For the newcomers reading this, The Criterion Collection is well-known for publishing important classic and contemporary films from around the world in editions that offer the highest technical quality and award-winning, original supplements.

To put things in perspective about the company’s jump into 4K, posted below is the official announcement of The Criterion Collection and I encourage you 4K Blu-ray collectors to pay close attention. Some parts in boldface…

We’re thrilled to announce Criterion’s first 4K Ultra HD releases, a six-film slate that includes Citizen Kane, Menace II Society, The Piano, Mulholland Dr., The Red Shoes and A Hard Day’s Night. The first of these editions and their special features will be detailed in our November 2021 announcement next week, with others to follow in subsequent months.

The most dazzling debut in cinema history, Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane was Criterion’s first laserdisc release 37 years ago. It now rejoins the library after a long absence, making its first appearance in 4K Ultra HD along with Allen and Albert Hughes’s riveting breakthrough Menace II Society; Jane Campion’s Academy Award–winning The Piano, starring Holly Hunter and Anna Paquin in her breakout role; David Lynch’s Mulholland Dr., a tale of love and jealousy in the city of dreams; Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s singular Technicolor fantasia The Red Shoes; and Richard Lester’s timeless movie musical A Hard Day’s Night, which brought the Beatles’ revolutionary talent and irreverent humor to the big screen.

Each title will be available in a 4K UHD+Blu-ray combo pack including a 4K UHD disc of the feature film as well as the film and its special features on Blu-ray. Select films will be presented in Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos. Stay tuned for more details in our November announcement!

Wow! That’s really exciting news for Criterion collectors and film buffs! I personally have Citizen Kane on Blu-ray and have wondered when will it be released in 4K Blu-ray format. I never saw Menace II Society, Mulholland Dr., The Red Shoes and A Hard Day’s Night. The Piano is familiar to me given the fact that it became controversial here in the Philippines when the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) banned it only to be allowed to be screened as a result of then President Fidel V. Ramos overruling the regulators.

Going back to The Criterion Collection’s 4K Blu-ray lineup, unsurprisingly each title will come in 4K Blu-ray combos (4K Blu-ray disc, Blu-ray disc and additional stuff). The big question is this…will each of those titles’ have native 4K visuals for the 4K Blu-ray discs? As of this writing, the 4K Blu-ray page of Citizen Kane at Blu-ray.com does not indicate if the movie will be in native 4K or upscaled 4K. For me, upscaled 4K is unacceptable!

Let me ask you readers: Are you very excited or at least interested in the initial batch of 4K Blu-ray titles announced by The Criterion Collection? Are you excited to see Citizen Kane in 4K resolution?

For Citizen Kane trivia, here is a video by Minty Comedic Arts. Be warned of potential spoilers…

In ending this piece, here are some short clips and trailers for your enjoyment.

For more entries of my Better than Streaming series of articles, check out my pieces on The Beastmaster 4K Blu-rayThe Transformers: The Movie 4K Blu-rayMortal Kombat 2021 4K Blu-raySpace Jam 4K Blu-rayV: The Original Miniseries Blu-ray (read my retro review), V: The Final Battle Blu-rayHighlander 4K Blu-ray and The Suicide Squad.

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