UPDATED: Blu-ray Wish List: John Woo's The Killer

UPDATE: This is exciting news indeed for all fans of Hong Kong cinema: John Woo’s seminal work The Killer will be hitting blu-ray on March 30 courtesy of Vivendi and their Dragon Dinasty label. Let’s hope this one lives up to the high expectations out there!

It’s been a while since I wrote a Blu-ray wish list feature, but as we commence this new year, I felt compelled today to revisit it simply because of the wonder and hope that it brings me when I start pondering the idea of seeing some of my favorite movies on high definition.

As I began to narrow my list of films for this article, I started looking for seminal works that could potentially help usher in a new wave of releases for Asian films on Blu-ray. I did not have to look very hard. In my previous Wish List article, I referenced a classic film that stood at the top of the Asian crime genre, a film so influential that it helped define the rules for countless action films (and video games) that followed–not to mention turning a director and actor pair into pop culture phenomena of their own.

That movie is John Woo’s The Killer.

Released in 1989, the Chow Yun Fat vehicle is today one of the greatest and most beloved action movies of all-time. But the film is not just about the creativity of its bullet ballets and inspired action set-pieces, it is also a labor of love, and it is that sense of dedication and artistry that permeates every frame. Each shot is crafted to perfection and each movement coordinated with a purpose. This is the kind of film I want to see on Blu-ray.

Blu-ray Release Prospects: Average -> It is hard to imagine a film of this stature not get some kind of 20th anniversary treatment on home video, and it is this fact that gives me the most hope for a Blu-ray version to be released in 2009. Not to mention the fact that John Woo has just successfully resurrected his ailing career with the Red Cliff movies. Of course, I could be totally wrong, and the suits making these kinds of decisions may pass on the idea–but that, to put it bluntly, would be a killer mistake.

* * *

Blu-ray Wish List Explained: It’s fair to say that at this junction in the growth of Blu-ray, the slow trickle of new Asian Blu-ray releases can sometimes feel unbearably slow. But as we begin to see a trend towards day-and-date DVD and Blu-ray release dates (or close to it) for new movies, we can start to find great new titles like Warlords and Red Cliff getting the HD treatment. In our Wish List feature, our aim is to shine a light on upcoming theatrical releases or noteworthy catalogue titles that we think would rock on Blu-ray. And we also provide a score on a scale of 1 to 4 (Poor > Average > Good > Excellent) to give our opinion on the chances of that movie actually making it to Blu-ray.

What is on your Asian Blu-ray Wish List? Drop us a line or comment and tell us about it. The more buzz and demand we put out, the easier the decision to release these titles on Blu-ray becomes for the movie companies involved.