Home theater is really picking up. It seems that people no longer want to stand in line at theaters to buy tickets, buy food, and then again to have your ticket ripped, only to find out that the only two seats together are in the front row. People would rather drop a couple grand right now and be treated to the privacy and luxury of their own theater instead of putting that money into the pockets of the huge theater business.
You’ve got your new home theater projector and you want to take advantage of its 1080p full HD capabilities with the most impressive movies ever released on blu-ray. Lucky for you, I just spent a bunch of time building a list of the first 20 blu-rays you need to pick up. Seriously, hours picking these movies and putting them in an appropriate order all for your benefit. Granted, this list may be personal preference, but I’m usually right. Also, as you will notice right away, this is by no means the best 20 movies in the world, just the best 20 to watch in 1080p on a massive screen. I bet you can guess a few of them, but I bet there’s a few you have never heard of either. Without further ado, let’s get this list under and then over with.
Yeah, I don’t care which one you watch, they were both God awful films. The two films were absolutely unbearable for a reviewer to sit through for so many reasons but they did get one thing right. The visuals are absolutely stunning and basically benchmark the whole digital special effects industry. I just hate these movies so much.
Stardust has to be my favorite fantasy movie of late and possibly all time. It is paralleled only by the incredible “Princess Bride” in my mind and is on this list because I absolutely love the world it takes me to. There’s just something about a fantasy movie with the attention to special effect detail. It makes me feel all tingly inside.
This one also makes me feel all tingly inside too but for other reasons. Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange” is in my opinion a cinematic masterpiece that deserves to be seen on the big screen over and over again. This film doesn’t boast insane special effects, but it dies contain some of the best and trippiest pictures ever put to film. It’s absolutely beautiful.
It seems that people either love this film or walked out in the first 20 minutes. I am on the love side, let me assure you. Already being a big fan of the novel, I was waiting eagerly and patiently all year for this one. I was so excited to see it that I dragged the wife through the dodgy end of Patras while we were travelling in Greeece. If you’re on the hate side, you still have to admit that it is one of the most visually stimulating films of the year.
This is probably one of my favorite animated films of all time. The art team at SquareEnix rivals anything at Pixar. They are capable of producing absolutely jaw dropping imagery that is studied the industry over. There’s really nothing that comes even close to the fight scenes in this movie, they are absolutely brilliant. I’ve included a video of the movie below seeing as this is one of the less popular ones on the list, I figured a few people wouldn’t have seen it.
Blade Runner is a movie that I thought about for months after watching it for the first time. I absolutely love this movie because of the themes and future settings that are the backbone of this movie. Themes in this movie shadow very closely the premise of the Ghost in the Shell series, of which I am a large fan as well. Harry Ford is pretty awesome too; I don’t think there’s a SF role he couldn’t do.
J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek is easily my favorite of the series and you’d be hard pressed to find anyone say different. He breathes new life into the dying franchise with this incredible story and does it with style. I’m not a very big Abrams fan either. I haven’t liked anything he’s done in the past so I wasn’t holding out much hope for this. He really shows his film making talent and puts beautiful images on the screen with some of the best special effects in Hollywood.
A classic tale about a not so factually correct Roman gladiator, but hey, it looks cool. I think the thing that sets this movie apart from every other ancient Roman movie is the sets. You actually fell like you are back a couple thousand years cheering with the rest of the public in the stands of the Colosseum. The fight scenes are indeed incredible, but I think the real visual pleasure is the setting and sets created for this landmark movie.
The Wizard of Oz was my favorite movie when I was a kid. I loved the surprise ending; I just thought that it was so tricky. I also loved all the characters because I guess it appealed to me back then. If you want a real visual adventure, boot up the projector, roll up a fatty, and put on Dark Side of the Moon. It will absolutely blow your mind.
Sin City is another one of those love it or hate it movies. I really love Sin City because it’s less of a movie than it is a moving comic book. Robert Rodriguez does such an incredible job at transferring these classic Frank Miller stories to a new medium and he sets the stage for future projects of the sort. Watching Mickey Rourke pound some guys face in while being covered in blood has never looked so beautiful.
300 uses the same green screen technology as Sin City did but for another Frank Miller novel. Zack Snyder pulled it off miraculously and it was only his second movie. Granted, 300 lacks plot, it’s basically just fight after fight, but it is also one of the masterpieces of modern cinematography.
Apocalypse now is often regarded as one of the best films of all time. It’s one of those films that everyone has seen time and time again and is perfect for leaving running sans audio just as something visual and beautiful to look at. The scene where Sheen is coming out of the water right before he meets with Brando sticks in my mind as one of the most beautiful moving pictures ever made. I guarantee you too have a piece of this movie forever burned onto your brain somewhere.
Another Japanese film that the masses may not have seen. The animation in this film puts Hollywood techniques to shame it is so beautiful. Most of the scenes are drawn by hand and then enhanced with digital backgrounds and other little tweaks so it is a mixing of old and new animation techniques. Below, I’ve posted my favorite scene in the movie which is an absolutely stunning parade.
Another Kubrick masterpiece is 2001. This is another movie that you can just throw on without the audio and be pleased by it. Last time I threw a party I just put it on all my televisions, monitors and my projector, people kept commenting about how they liked it. I think of it kind of like a fish tank, fun to look at but doesn’t need to make noise. It’s also a lot cheaper…
Truth is, I finished this list then remembered about this movie. I really couldn’t leave it out seeing as it truly is one of the best representations of the second world war ever put on film. The audio in this film is at least as stimulating as the incredible visuals. Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg really left nothing untouched and truly created a masterpiece with this film. The two would get together later as well for the HBO series “Band of Brothers” which parallels “Saving Private Ryan” in every way, but gives us a much longer story line. This is clearly one of the greatest achievements in cinematic history. I didn’t want to push Transformers out of the list or get rid of anything else, therefore, you are left with two #7′s. Deal with it.
You knew it was going to be on here but maybe you didn’t know which one I was going to pick. With this franchise, though, you really can’t pick a single movie. The plot wouldn’t be complete with just one of them and neither would the experience. These movies are much better with the sound pounding as hard as your neighbors will let you pound it. Make sure that you have the volume up when the thousands of orcs are charging in battle at the rest of the middle-earthlings. This is some absolutely beautiful film making.
The Fifth Element is the classic “take pictures of how your projector performs” movie because of it’s beauty. The colours are so vivid and the settings so beautiful and unreal. This is the reason I give Bruce Willis credit and I believe one of the best science fiction films of all time.
Oh yeah, this douche is gonna put The Dark Knight in his list cause everyone else did. While it is probably the single most hyped movie of all time, some of it is justified. Heath Ledger gave us the performance of his life and I think actually drove himself mad for this role. I think Bale was in this movie too but can’t quite remember. Like it or not, The Dark Knight has it all: fight scenes, fast cars, incredible heights, explosions, and Maggie Gyllenhaal!
You don’t need the music in this film per se, but it does really add to the eerie and surreal setting. Baraka is a film of cinematographic excellence and relies almost entirely upon that. Even though no words are spoken during the length of the film, it does have a fairly strong theme. It manages to show us the effect that humanity has on Earth from a gorgeous point of view but warns us about what we are headed for. These are some of the best pictures of our world and civilization ever put on film. If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend you watch it.
I liked Blue Planet more than I liked Planet Earth, so what. All you have to do is throw on “The Deep” and put it on repeat because there is nothing as incredible as some of the creatures discovered when we send humans somewhere they’re not supposed to be. This series is so inspiring and educational because of the beauty the photographers are able to capture. I can’t say enough about it.
You didn’t see it in the rest of the list. You feared it might be number one, but was hoping I would put something else here. Too bad. There’s nothing quite like the feeling I get when I throw Empire on a “140 screen and crank the volume. It makes me feel like the first time I saw it. Oh, and this doesn’t include episodes I-III; I deny the fact that they ever happened.
I’m sure I’ve upset some fanboys out there so if I forgot something that you definitely think deserves to be on the list, or some piece of grabage that needs to be off it, leave a comment.