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7 April, 2008 / Erik

The Blu-List

With the format war over and reports of sales of BD players and software spiking upwards, I think it’s only fair that Future Threat give you some form of assistance as you may wander into the waters of high-definition wonder. I present you with yet another re-occuring segment here at FT: the Blu-List!

The purpose of the Blu-List is to provide you with the essential discs, worthy upgrades, and titles that are just fine on old DVD. As you may know, a Blu-ray Disc player will up-converter your existing DVD library, making them look just dandy on a high-def TV. If you don’t have a high-def TV, don’t bother with Blu-ray until a movie comes along you absolutely want, but is only available on BD.

So, let’s start with the players. As I’ve mentioned before, you’ll want to wait until summer (at the earliest) as the final BD spec will appear on players. If you simply can’t wait and have the cash, pick up a PS3. It does all the blu-ray magic, is upgradeable, and lets you play Grand Theft Auto IV.

Some basic info about discs. It involves numbers. Here, there be geekery. Some early titles are only available at 1080i resolution. Now, this might not mean much to anyone but the AV geek (like me), but it means these discs will be prime candidates for double-dipping down the line. Remember all those early DVDs Warner Bros released in 1998? They looked liked crap and were all replaced with better editions. Blu-Ray. Rinse. Repeat.

Current Releases:

The Fugitive: I’m sure you’ve all seen that great fake NBC More You Know clip where Jim from the Office reminds everyone just how great the Fugitive is. It really is that great of a film. Truly. It’s been kind of forgotten and Warner’s older DVD edition does it no favors. A completely worthy upgrade. Extras? Who cares! This is one of those movies that would be marred by extras (in fact, the DVD extras were pretty lousy).

The Road Warrior: I don’t own the Road Warrior. I love it to pieces, but the DVD edition leaves so much to be desired. Coming soon to my home, a BD copy. Not that I require an extra, but it has a new commentary from director George Miller.

Coming soon to Blu-Ray is a set that really tipped the scale for me. I waited for the format war to end and a really explosive package to appear to get me to even start looking at BD players. That set will arrive in June in the form of the Dirty Harry Ultimate Collection. All five films, loads of extras and silly tchockeys (including Harry Callaghan’s badge) and a hardcover book. Most importantly, it will feature Sudden Impact in high-def glory. I love Sudden Impact. Possibly more than the original Dirty Harry. In Sudden Impact, Eastwood beats everybody to the punch by making the first Dirty Harry parody. The film features the most foul-mouthed criminal mother hen in major motion pictures, Harry’s signature line, the best dog ever in a crime movie, and a police captain who actually says to Callaghan, “I’d like to fire you … but you get results.” Also, Pat Hingle in another loathsome authority figure role. This is the giddiest, most over-the-top film in the series and possibly Eastwood’s best directorial outing. Yeah, I said it. Forget all his thoughtful dramas and Oscar worthy output. This is Eastwood cashing the check and making a film not at all concerned with parochial notions of quality or art. Therefore, a true work of genius.

I’ve noticed all of these films are released by Warner Bros. That’s no accident as they’ve learned a great deal about disc format in the ten years of DVD. Makes up for that truly abysmal release of Blade Runner in 1997.

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3 Comments

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  1. Dave / Apr 7 2008 6:21 pm

    Dude, there’s also a little movie called THE SIXTH DAY coming out on Blu Ray tomorrow.

    http://www.amazon.com/6th-Day-Blu-ray-Wendy-Crewson/dp/B00133KHBK/ref=sr_1_23?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1207621222&sr=1-23

    Don’t fight it. The cover features Arnold getting a glaucoma test.

  2. Aimee / Apr 14 2008 2:08 pm

    So wait…are you saying the blu-ray will make my dvds look good? I’m confused. I figure blu-ray prices will come down as the year goes on. I’m saving up….will most likely end up with a PS3, but we’ll see. The gameage on that system blows for the time being.

  3. Erik / Apr 16 2008 12:22 pm

    Yeah, Blu-Ray Players upscale standard DVDs, so they’ll look quite good.

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