Holiday Heap O' Hi-Def Growing... And Growing

Many long-rumored HD releases have been officially announced into fact in recent weeks, and since other news has been slower this week I thought we'd play some catch up.

A number of the summer's bigger hits are coming and as with the cases of the Die Hard and Spider-Man, the new films are being used as a launching point to release entire franchises to HD. Accompanying Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix to both Blu-ray and HD DVD December 11th, is a very deluxe box set featuring all five films released so far in the series (also in both formats).

Also from Warner this November, 2007's Ocean's 13 will be joined by its predecessors, Ocean's 11 and Ocean's 12 on both Blu-ray and HD DVD. As with Order of the Phoenix, consumers will be offered standalone purchase of the new release film, Ocean's 13, but can only get the previous entries in the gift set containing all three.

On the format agnostic front, New Line is stepping in with dual format release of Hairspray (John Travolta version, not Divine unfortunately) in November, followed in December by the least anticipated sequel in years: Rush Hour 3.

While Blu-ray releases for the holidays have gotten a ton of deserved press, HD DVD has some exclusive of its own worth noting. Starting off on October 16th is the summer's Transformers from Paramount. In November Shrek the Third (and least, IMO) hits stores. Universal also gets into the act in November with the Adam Sandler/Kevin James comedy I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, followed by Bourne Ultimatum on December 11th.

But some of the exclusive studios for Blu-ray have answered. In addition to releasing Cars, Pixar is bringing Ratatouille to Blu-ray in November. Fox is stepping up with The Simpsons Movie in December, which will be joined by Sony's surprise hit Superbad. Disney is bringing the third season of the hit TV show Lost in December, and MGM is bowing Werner Herzog's Rescue Dawn in November.

I've probably missed a few, but the point is that if you're into hi-def on a disc, you better start budgeting now!