I've yet to see Ben-Hur, but I WILL hunt it down and review it for my site.
I recommend both Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
(the 1925 silent version), and Ben-Hur
(the 1959 William Wyler remake). I saw the epic remake first and never thought in a million years that the silent version could be as good but it was. To my surprise it was every bit a epic and enthralling (big budget sets and all). I love them both equally and really hope the 1925 version is restored and included on this Blu-ray set.
I must note that the old DVD set included all three films (1907, 1925, and 1959), so chances of them appearing on Blu-ray are good. I can't recommend the original 1907 Ben-Hur
. If you must, watch it only for historical purposes, but don't expect a good movie (it only runs 15 minutes).
Citizen Kane I am writing the review for it. I personally loved the film, especially the narrative. But I label it as the art house film of the classic film era because its so experimental I wouldn't be surprised if people doesn't care for it.
I liked it when I first saw it. I was impressed with the makeup and story telling but wasn't sure why some insist it's the greatest movie ever made. Then I watched the two-hour documentary that was on the DVD: The Battle Over Citizen Kane
. I gained a whole new perspective on the movie, learning all about William Randolph Hearst (who I'll admit I'd never heard of), and the controversy surrounding the film (all of which was common knowledge to the audience at the time). I re-watched it recently with that new perspective and enjoyed it far more then my first viewing, especially since Orson Welles (The Lady from Shanghai, The Third Man, Touch of Evil
) and Joseph Cotten (The Magnificent Ambersons, Shadow of a Doubt, Gaslight, The Third Man
) have become two of my favorite actors. It'll never hold up to it's reputation of being the greatest movie ever made, so in many ways it's damned to always disappoint, but I still found it very enjoyably.
I personally felt that the DVD's picture quality was amazing. Equal to or greater then Casablanca
's restoration. There was some issues with the DNR (where's the rain) but I'm sure Lowry is making a new restoration that will look even better (without the problems). Can't wait for the Blu-ray.
If you want a good movie told in a similar style as Citizen Kane, I recommend the 1946 adaption of Ernest Hemingway's The Killers.