Almost 40 years ago, “Citizen Kane” became the first Criterion Collection release on LaserDisc. (I assume the furious clicking sound I now hear is from many millennials and Zoomers googling what the hell LaserDisc was.) And as Criterion moves into the realm of the latest and greatest physical media, 4K UHD, “Citizen Kane” is making its triumphant return.
Today, Criterion announced its first slate of 4K UHD releases that will begin in November and continue to grow in the months following. And yes, in keeping with tradition, the first 4K disc is none other than Orson Welles’ legendary film, “Citizen Kane.” But those who already own “Citizen Kane” on the various other releases through the years might also be interested in seeing what else Criterion has up its sleeve. And as you might expect, the first round of 4K UHD releases is chock full of must-buys.
Allen and Albert Hughes‘ breakthrough film, “Menace II Society,” is joining “Citizen Kane” as are Jane Campion’s Academy Award-winning “The Piano,” David Lynch’s “Mulholland Dr.,” Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s “The Red Shoes,” and Richard Lester’s “A Hard Day’s Night.” We are still awaiting Criterion’s full announcement, which will break down the variety of extra features that will be included with each release. However, this lineup of films is a great showcase of Criterion’s commitment to the classics and making sure they’re available in the best possible format.
As is typically the case with 4K UHD releases, each of these films will also include a Blu-ray as part of the combo, with select films presented in Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos. If you’re a home theater nerd, like myself, this is music to your ears. As mentioned, the first slate of films will be released in November.