I guess it was because I grew up with Michael Caine as the star of such fantastic flicks as Jaws: The Revenge and Blame it on Rio that it took me awhile until I really understood why everyone thought he was such a genius. For me, the revelation came about 10 minutes into Sleuth, by far one his best performances. Guardian reports that two of Caine's early works are getting the HD treatment. In honor of Caine's upcoming 75th birthday, Zulu and The Italian Job will be re-mastered and aired on Britain's Sky Movies for television.

Released in 1964, Zulu was the story of outnumbered British soldiers battling Zulu warriors at Rorke's Drift. This was Caine's first starring role in the true-life story (albeit with some creative license) as Lt. Gonville Bromhead. The Italian Job is the more famous of the two films. Peter Collinson's caper about a plan to steal Turin gold starred Caine as master thief Charlie Croker. It was another iconic role for Caine, who was already the epitome of Swingin' London. It also led him to some his most famous roles in the 1970's including Get Carter and Sleuth.

Expect to see a lot of retrospectives in the coming year as Hollywood continues to reformat their back catalogs for HD. For movie lovers it comes as a relief that these classics are being preserved for future generations. According to Sky Movies' Ian Lewis: "Watching a classic title re-mastered in HD is like viewing a restored painting." Luckily, Caine was a little more pragmatic about some of the downsides of HD resolution: "I love HD ... of course, it's very unforgiving, especially on young beautiful ladies, but thank God I'm old, I don't care."