We’ve all heard about the glory of HD, 1080p television. The way you can see a film better that you ever thought possible. The glory of home programming is so appealing, it’s frequently blamed for the decline in theatrical grosses. However, there are those who fail to see that Blu-ray really looks that much different than a regular DVD (the cheap looking releases of films like Footloose and Near Dark do little to counter that outlook). However, armed with a 1080p television and the right Blu-ray disc, the true glory of full-HD programming is hard to ignore. If you need some suggestions for films that really show HD in all its glory, these six discs are excellent places to start.
6) Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Films with gorgeous visual effects really give your blu-ray player and HD TV chance to pop, and this film with its expertly realized monsters and supernatural worlds has some of the most gorgeous images to grace a blu-ray disc. The blacks are beautifully inky and the contrasting vibrant colors are dazzling. The image is clear and sharp, with no evidence of digital noise reduction (a process that diminishes grain, but makes the actor appear waxy and mannequin-like). DNR is something of which to take note, as it is often the major difference between a beautiful blu-ray and a film that looks falsely pristine.
5) Game of Thrones: Season 1
You might think that a program designed to be watched on regular television would not benefit from the full 1080p HD upgrade. Sometimes, you’d be right. However, when it comes to HBO’s gloriously bloody, epic, fantasy series, you’ll be amazed at the flawless detail on-screen. The colors are vibrant and natural, the blacks look like dark, ominous pools of oil, and the actors’ skin tones and appearance are natural and stunning. HBO always does great work with their blu-ray releases, and GoT’s richly visual world is no exception.
Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi brain teaser, Inception, features a world of upside down buildings, car crashes, and other stunningly realized dream imagery. The blu-ray ensures the image is sharp, crisp, and defined, but there is no evidence of life-robbing digital noise reduction. The colors are as rich an alluring as a multi-colored ocean, and the film’s soundtrack is stunningly clear as well. It’s a brilliant film with a flawless blu-ray presentation.
When it comes to Pixar films, there’s no real wrong blu-ray choice (as far as picture quality and sound quality are concerned). Blu-rays really make animation films look gorgeous, and Walle-E‘s gorgeous visuals, both on abandoned Earth and the space-trekking cruise ship provide for beautifully vibrant, primary colors and stunningly crystal-clear images. You’ve never really seen Wall-E until you’ve seen it on Blu-ray.
Black and white films also really benefit from the HD upgrade, and Casablanca’s gorgeous visuals show you why. The black and white cinematography looks like liquid silver on the screen, with stunning, dark shadows, and gorgeous, shrouded in mystery and nostalgia, images of its two charismatic leads.
Jaws’s stunningly ground-breaking blu-ray may be the gold standard against which all other Blu-rays will be judged and found wanting. The film was lovingly restored through a painstakingly extensive process, and it shows in every frame of the film. The sunny beach scenes look natural and well-defined, the nighttime waters look appropriately ominous and black. Everything about the film’s image is perfect., and the remastered soundtrack is stunningly heightened. If you only ever buy one blu-ray, this should probably be it.
So, what do you think, guys? Are there other blu-rays you think are even more gorgeous? Do you like our picks? Do you hate them? Let us know in the comments!