Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sean’s Top 10 Blu-rays of 2010

December 22nd, 2010 by Sean Ferguson
Making a Top Ten list of Blu-rays was a lot harder than I thought it would be.  The fact that there’s so many excellent releases that I haven’t seen yet just made it even harder because I know a lot of them would be on my list.  So I decided to make a list of the Top 10 Blu-rays that I’ve seen and most likely reviewed, and another list of Blu-rays that I really want to see and would most likely would have been included in this list if I had seen them.  I want to make it clear that this order may not necessarily reflect the order that I would rate my love for the movies.   Instead, I decided to rate them based on a variety of reasons including: my affection for them, their audio/video quality, and what kind of special features that were offered.  Adding up all of those factors resulted in the following list:

Top Ten Blu-rays of 2010 that I’ve Seen

10.  The Goonies 25th Anniversary Box Set – One of my favorite movies of the 80s and I was very excited to get this on Blu-ray.  Although the audio/visual qualities were an improvement over the previous DVD release, they weren’t as good as I had hoped but that was made up by a bunch of cool extras.  A reproduction of the Empire Magazine that covered the reunion of the cast and a game are just some of the goodies in this box set.  Goonies never say die!
You can read my review of this here.

9.  Sherlock Holmes – As a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes and Robert Downey Jr.  in general, this movie didn’t have to work too hard to win me over.  Not only is this true to the characters, this updated take on Holmes and Watson benefits from the great casting of Downey Jr. and Law.  With Guy Ritchie’s inventive take on Holmes’ thought processes and his atmospheric look at London, this movie is fantastic and it looks and sounds great on Blu-ray.  My only complaint is that there should have been more extras.
You can read my review of the movie here.

8. Star Wars – The Clone Wars Season 2 – Most people that read this site regularly know that I am a huge fan of Star Wars.  I love all of them including the prequels (yes there’s good stuff in them) and also all of the recent animated versions as well.   The Clone Wars is the latest CGI effort from Lucasfilm that takes place between Episode II and III and it’s a great show.  The first season had some questionable episodes, but Season 2 is light-years better than the first one.  Now on Blu-ray and looking and sounding as good as it should and without the annoying pop-ups from TV!  I just wish there had been more extras.  The Star Wars movies are coming up next and I can’t wait!

7. The World at War – The World at War is without question, the definitive historical documentary account of World War II.  The scope and breadth of this documentary series is unparalleled as it covers events from 1933 through the war’s end in 1945.   After a costly and painstaking restoration effort, this is the wonderful result.  This is a must own for any history buffs.  The series looks better that it ever has and probably ever will again.  This is my favorite historical documentary series.
You can read my review of this series here.

6.   Beauty and the Beast – This is one of Disney’s biggest hits and was also the first animated movie to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture.  The Blu-ray looks and sounds amazing and there’s a lot of good extras on the disc as well.  This timeless tale spawned Broadway musicals, multiple records, and helped open a new chapter in the Disney Renaissance.
You can read my review of this movie here.

5.  Saving Private Ryan – Easily the most realistic and harrowing depiction of war ever made, this masterpiece by Steven Spielberg is even more spectacular on Blu-ray.  The attack on Omaha Beach is breathtaking and the explosive sonic experience this disc offers is worth the cost of the movie alone.  This is the movie that kick-started a nation into remembering and honoring those that served during WWII and the Blu-ray is simply amazing.
You can read Gregg’s review of this movie here.

4.  The Lord of the Rings Trilogy – This trilogy would most likely would have been at the top of my list but the lack of serious extras and the extended editions dropped it down a few pegs on the list.  Without a doubt, the Lord of the Rings trilogy is some of the finest movie making ever put to film.  Armed with an incredible cast and the perfect director in Peter Jackson, these movies took ambition to a new level and made fantasy movies respectable in society and with the Academy Awards.  Next year the top spot will most likely be a fight between the Star Wars movies and The Lord of the Rings Extended Edition Trilogy for the #1 spot.
You can read my reviews for the three movies here, here, and here.

3.  The Toy Story Trilogy – There’s no question that Pixar puts out first rate movies and Blu-ray releases and this trilogy is one of them.  All three of these movies are fun for the whole family and contain more heart and character development than almost any other Hollywood release.  By the third movie, we’ve grown so attached and invested in these characters that it can break your heart when they are put in jeopardy.  The Blu-rays are perfection as far as audio and visuals go like most of the releases from Disney/Pixar.  They’ve set the standard for CGI animated movies.
You can read my review of Toy Story 3 here.

2.  Deadwood – The Complete Series – Through Deadwood, creator David Milch wanted to explore how a lawless community becomes a civilized society.   The way that he explores that concept is both original and admirable.   Using a heightened, colorful language that is both coarse and intellectual, Milch exposes the West as it really was without a Hollywood sheen.  The roles are perfectly cast especially Ian McShane as the evil and erudite Al Swearengen and Timothy Olyphant as the hot-headed but fair Seth Bullock.  This is a great set and I loved the extras.
You can read my review of this set here.

1.  The Sound of Music – It was a tough call on the last five of my list but not only is this a fantastic movie, it’s also a perfect example of how to restore a film for high definition.  This movie’s audio and video were restored frame by frame and this movie looks and sounds  better than it ever has.  In addition, the abundance of extras provided for this release needs some special mention as well.  This Blu-ray received a perfect rating from me and the amount of care and attention that 20th Century Fox lavished on this movie has earned my admiration and helped earn its place as the #1 Blu-ray on my list for this year.
You can ready my review for this here.

Blu-rays  I Haven’t Seen Yet (And Probably Would Have Been On My List)
  1. The Back to the Future Trilogy
  2. The Alien Anthology Set
  3. The Twilight Zone Seasons 1 &2
  4. Inception
  5. Rocky Anthology Set
If you’d like to purchase any of these fine movies please click below:


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