When it comes to watching movies there are a lot of folks that have picked up Blu-ray players and might not be using the Blu-ray player to actually play Blu-ray films. This can be for many reasons. All of the Blu-ray players on the market will play normal DVDs and some of them will upscale those normal DVDs to near HD quality.
That means your plain old DVD that you rent or buy will look almost as good as an HD film in theory. The reality is that the larger the screen on your TV, the bigger difference you will notice between near HD, 720p, and 1080p HD films. For instance, I can tell little difference between a 720p movie and a 1080p movie on my 50-inch plasma in the living room. However, if I go up to my media room with a projector and a 120-inch screen 720p is noticeably less clear than a 1080p film and upscaled DVDs look downright fuzzy at times.
If you have been using your PS3 or another Blu-ray player to play the films you rent down at Red Box or a local video store because you are too cheap to spring for the extra money for the Blu-ray, you are really missing out. The audio on Blu-rays is much better, if you have the AV receiver to decode it, and the image quality is much better than any upscaled normal DVD.
Over the last few months, I have taken to purchasing movies on Blu-ray that I watch rather than renting them from my local Red Box or Blockbuster kiosk. I know that it will take me at least a week to return a film because I forget about them. With a Blu-ray rental at $2 or so per day, on rental ends up costing me half of what I can buy the film for.
And, the Blu-rays look so much better. If you own a Blu-ray player or are thinking of buying one just to upscale your normal DVDs for your HDTV you really owe it to yourself to try a Blu-ray and see what you are missing when it comes to the image and sound quality. If your TV is really large or if you use a projector you are really missing out. Check out my list of the best Blu-ray films out there below and they will all go perfectly with your Blu-ray player.
1. Tangled - I take my kids to see a lot of films and generally I end up playing a game on my iPhone until the movie is are over. Tangled on the other hand was a film that I really liked as much as my kids did. It has great imagery and the story line is a lot of fun. This movie will hit Blu-ray this week and will be available. I like this film and will certainly be buying it and the movie has both the DVD and Blu-ray version on one disc for $19.99.
2. Lord of the Rings Trilogy - Of all the films I have ever seen, the Lord of the Rings trilogy is right up there with Star Wars and Indiana Jones flicks for me. If you are a fan of the Tolkien books or the films, you really need the trilogy on Blu-ray. These are easily some of the best films made and are perfect for adding to your Blu-ray catalog. You can buy these films for $83.99 in a box set.
3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 - If you are a Harry Potter fan, this flick has to be in your collection. I haven't seen this film, but I have seen most of the older flicks. As the actors aged in real life and in the film series the action got more intense as did the scary aspects. My kids didn’t really like to watch the films after the second flick. If you do buy just be sure you watch it before you let your kids watch alone.
4. The Fighter - One of the more popular films that has hit theaters in the last few months was the Fighter. This flick comes with both the Blu-ray and DVD versions along with a digital copy for your mobile devices. The flick will cost you $22.99, but you can watch it just about anywhere.
5. The Walking Dead - This is hands down one of the best series on TV. I watched every episode of the show from its airing Halloween night last year until it wrapped up and they were all fantastic. The zombies are spooky and at times I couldn’t believe that something that intense and graphic was on TV. This is a great series and if you haven't seen The Walking Dead and you like horror/zombies you need this Blu-ray.
6. Bambi - Disney knows how to get you to cough up the green for its films. It releases flicks on Blu-ray and then removes them from the market after a while. I bought this flick for my kids and I will say the film isn't as good a resolution as newer films on Blu-ray. I guess that is to be expected from a film this old even when put on Blu-ray and remastered. Still, Bambi is an iconic children's film and will continue to be so it deserves a place in your library.
7. Tron: Legacy/ Tron: The Original Box set - This film is up for pre-order at the time of writing this list. This box set gets you the 3D version of Legacy, the normal Blu-ray version, the DVD version along with a digital copy all on the same disc. Legacy will be a classic film and was a great flick to watch and having both it and the original on one box set is great. You can pre-order now for release on April 5 2011 for $49.99.
8. Inception- This is one of those films you have to watch more than one time. The first time around things are confusing and once you watch it again you start to notice things that you missed the first time out. This is a graphically interesting movie with a great story line that will be one of those films you want to watch repeatedly.
9. 300 - This is one of my favorite films of all time. I own it on Blu-ray and it makes a great addition to your library of flicks. That said the way the film was made has grain to it so you don’t get the same HD quality with this flick that you get from other films on Blu-ray. The grain is part of the effect of this film in some scenes.
10. Unstoppable - The people that cut the preview reels for this movie should be fired. I skipped it at the theater because it looked stupid. I got bored one night and rented it on PPV in 1080p and it was an excellent movie. Don’t judge this flick by the trailers; it is very good and worth a watch. It is also great looking in 1080p resolution.