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 #9-#7
- 9. DARK KNIGHT (Director Christopher Nolan) 2008- From the opening scene shot in IMAX, to the incredible action scenes and performances, of course led by Heath Ledger’s tour de force performance as the Joker. One of my biggest film world wishes is that we would get to see him return to the role in the third installment, but we will have no such experience. Instead I will be happy that we got one movie that got the character of Joker 100% right. As far as the technical achievements of the film, 3 large scenes shot entirely in the IMAX format, flipping over a full size truck and trailer in the middle of the Chicago streets, blowing up a full size hospital building and not to mention the Hong Kong base jumping scene. I know they weren’t actually aloud to have anyone base jump off the building as first planned, so to me the fact that I know is a composite shot and it looks very close to %100 real to me. Amazing. And of course on the Blu-Ray format the picture pops of the screen, especially the IMAX stuff incredible! A must own for any Blu-Ray collector.
- PLANET EARTH BBC SERIES 2007- When I first pick up this set I had never seen any of the episodes of really heard much about it. Let me tell you if you own a Blu-Ray player you should go and buy this ASAP. If you are going to buy a BR player pick this up along with it. I can not recommend this enough. The picture quality is beyond what you could ever expect from a disc format. Besides the stunning quality of the images, the content is fascinating and down right surprising. I’ve traveled seeing many places and I was blown away by the part of the world seen in the series. Truly a treasure.
- Baraka (Director Ron Fricke) 1992- Baraka is one of those films that can’t really be described in words. Well… because there are no words in the film at all. It’s sort of a documentary on comparisons of human social behavior in regard to environment, as well as visual representations of the many cultures and lifestyles present on our planet. The cinematography is stunning, and the Blu-Ray visual presentation could be one of the best demo discs for the quality possible from the HD format. You litteraly see skin pours in a few scenes, the level of detail is worth the purchase alone. Another must buy. If you have not seen this film I urge you to go out and find it, now. Rent it, buy the DVD if you don’t own a PS 3 or a Blu-Ray player yet. But the 1080p presentation will blow your sock off.
Thanks again everyone for having a look. Now go find a new movie to watch.