I have a lot of friends that ask me about the deal with Blu-Ray and whether it is worth switching over formats or is it all a big money grab by the companies? Well let’s get one thing strait IT’S ALL A MONEY GRAB. But saying that, if you are a serious film enthusiast and are in search for the best looking, highest quality video media available then Blu-Ray is probably worth investing in starting now with new release movies or old stuff you’ve wanted to own. I’ve viewed over 400 Blu-Rays at this point and they are all superior quality to any DVD prints.
You still must be choosy as a consumer. Some studios have released Blu-Rays with 5 year old HD masters ( Ridley Scott’ s Gladiator is a serious offender in this category. it looks terrible and unlike the theater viewing of the film. Where the visuals were much more detailed) HD mastering has improved so much in the last 5 years. which is why companies are already “double dipping” ( putting out an early cheaper transferred version of a film with no extras for a low price, then a few years later releasing a upgraded new transferred extra special edition and putting a $30 price tag on it. Usually coinciding with release of a remake or sequel in the theater) sometime it’s worth it for me to spend $5 or $10 dollars on a barebones(no special features) Blu-Ray movie to be able to see it in the best format available ASAP, knowing full well I will most likely replace it when a better updated disc arrives. for most of you this is probably stupidity at its highest level. I totally agree.
The 15 Blu-Ray Discs on this list are all of superior quality and far surpass the view experience of any DVD versions or old theater prints (I’ve seen almost all of these multiple times on 35mm prints at midnight shows and I was blown away by the visual quality of the discs versus those viewings) . If you lucky enough you might catch a viewing of these on a new printed digitally cleaned 35mm or 70mm print, but that is probably unlikely unless you like in L.A. Or New York. Each Blu-Ray after viewing I had to immediately play again to soak up the viewing ecstasy of seeing some of my favorite fiction and non-fiction jump off the screen as if I was seeing it for the first time. I WAS SOLD. here’s #12 to #10
- 12. Dark City: Director’s Cut (Director Alex Proyas) 1998- First off this an art direction spectacle alone, then throwing in a mysteries story with a weird sci fi twist which hold great wait for me. after they took out the clunky voice of at the start of the theater cut with other improvements but now as great as taking out the explanation of the whole picture in the first minute. now we as an audience wake up with the character inside the mystery finding out thing as he does. much more engaging than just telling us the end before we are ever aloud to get involved. Really Dark City is ahead of his time with the comic book like feeling, logic and world. also it doesn’t hurt to have great actors taking the subject very seriously. One of the most underrated movie of all time. at a budget of $27 million dollars the scope is incredible. if you like mysteries of adult type sci fi movie. this is a jewel for you to discover if you haven’t already.
- 11. CLOSE ENCOUNTER OF THE THIRD KIND:30th Anniversary Ultimate Edition(director Steven Spielberg) 1977- Well, if it’s been awhile since you’ve seen this, it really deserves another view on Blu-Ray. You all 3 versions of the film- the original theater release 1977 -the special edition 1980 re release with added footage, most notably the inside of the alien ship at the end of the film with Dreyfuss – and the final cut 1998 is another tweeked version taking out the added “inside of the alien ship” scenes and leaving other pieces in. In all Close Encounters is one of the most amazing FX movies in history without one frame of CG work. The whole thing was optically shot, meaning it was all made and physically shot in front of a camera not made inside a computer. The Alien mother ship at the end is still breath taking even when you are expecting it. The Blu-Ray image was clean, crisp and almost unbelievable that it was shot in the 70’s. This edition is hands down the best video presentation available, all 3 editions and a bundle of extras. Video Geek Heaven.
- 10. FIGHT CLUB:10th Anniversary Edition(Director David Fincher) 1999- Any David Fincher movie is worth watching multiple times. He’s always able to build a world that is so layered, interesting and believable but yet so unlike the real world. He is a master at that “dramatic movie world” that can collapse on you if you don’t know how to play away from the obvious pit falls of a dramatically creating a universe in any situation. He always beautifully walks a fine line between story and technical execution. Fight Club as a movie is fun, crazy and even if you do know the twists and turns, I find the detail in even the sets worth a look again and again. pulling out more and more details during every viewing. hands down Fight Club’s Blu Ray presentation pops off the screen with all the deep blacks and all the atmosphere of a great theater viewing. A must study for all students of film. Actually, everything Fincher is worth multiple viewings. A must own for all.
Till Next Time.