The Essential Blu-ray

Surrounded by stacks of DVD cases, I realize that the amount of films I have purchased over the years is, in a word, ridiculous. As the technological world transitions to Hi-Definition as the new standard, I’m faced with making the same transition within my existing film collection.

This will expensive, and in some cases will not actually yield a better movie-watching experience for me. It’s causing me to be a little picky with which films I repurchase, and more selective with new titles than I normally would be.

If you have a large film library, or if you don’t see the immediate benefits of Blu-ray, you probably have the same problem. To help you along, I’ve made a list.

Want to impress your friends with your new home theater? These are are the films you’ll need.

5. Pirates of the Caribbean ā€“ Curse of the Black Pearl

Even though this is by no stretch of the imagination a great film, it is however one of the best looking in HD, with deep, rich colors and tons of detail. The sound is top-notch as well, easily rivaling a theater experience if you have the right sound gear.

4. Casino Royale

Although this is not my favorite Bond film, it’s a lot of fun, and it is something of a treat on Blu-ray. The opening credit sequence is razor sharp, and from that moment on, the visual presentation never fails to impress. The only down-side? Most of the special features, including the Chris Cornell music video, are in Standard Definition. Still, you should have it on your shelf.

3. Blade Runner

One of my favorite films, and insanely influential, Blade Runner gets the treatment it deserves with a Collector’s Edition that is second to none. The new transfer of the film looks astonishing, the remix of the soundtrack will leave you slack-jawed, and there are enough special features to keep you busy for a very long time.

2. Nine Inch Nails ā€“ Beside You In Time

Admittedly, this is a niche title. Either you’re a fan, or you’re not, but you cannot deny that the presentation of this concert film is the best we’ve seen for home release. Options galore, special features I’m STILL discovering, and closed captioning so we can finally figure out the more esoteric lyrics, you can’t miss this if you even casually listen to Reznor’s music. Again, it suffers from having some extras in Standard Definition, but I can easily forgive it given the quality of the main feature.

1. Planet Earth

Have you ever wondered if Hi-Definition was truly a quantum leap in quality? Wonder no more; one minute of Planet Earth in HD will change the way you look at your television. If you have an HD set, you’ll be glad you shelled out the money. If you don’t, you’ll donate blood and sell a kidney to get one. Yes, it’s that good. And hey, everyone loves nature shows, right?

This is the first in a planned series of articles wherein The Bastards share with you their five ‘Essential’ picks for technology. If there is something you feel we missed, or would like to add your owns picks, feel free to add comments.


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