September 29, 2009
| by Arlen Schweiger
Home theater, Blu-ray, DVD ... heck, televisions. Our fun video technology of today was a long way off back in 1939. Fortunately, the silver screen of the old-time movie theaters was front and center, and studios were cranking out what would become classic films.
And now thanks to such innovations, we’re able to see them, and hear them, as if 1939 were yesterday. To that end, this week marks the arrival of The Wizard of Oz on Blu-ray, as it celebrates its 70th (70th!) anniversary.
It must have been spectacle enough for viewers back then to see the movie switch from black and white to color ... and while going from VHS to DVD to Blu-ray might not be quite as revolutionary, it should still be pretty stunning to watch in such high resolution 1080p video transfer.
The Ultimate Collector’s Edition box set is a four-disc package that includes digital copy and BD-Live goodies for the Blu-ray discs. There’s even a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround soundtrack, which should make flying monkeys and witches even scarier.
It’s a good thing The Wizard of Oz is being released this week, too, because there’s not much else enticing out there. A&E’s The Universe should make for some eye-popping viewing and is available as a box set series, as well as the complete third season.
Also fun for the kids this week is the animated Monsters vs. Aliens, which gets the full 2.39:1 aspect ratio treatment on Blu-ray. It’s no Pixar movie, but the graphics are still pretty sweet.
Here’s the full list of releases for this week, courtesy of Blu-ray.com:
Away We Go
The Dark Crystal
Facing the Giants
Gala Concert: 300 Years of St. Petersburg
The Girlfriend Experience
Glenn Gould: Hereafter
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
How I Met Your Mother: Season 4
Lies & Illusions
Monsters vs. Aliens
National Geographic Ultimate High-Def Collection
The New York Ripper
Romeo & Juliet (concert performance)
Secrets of the Cross
Snakes on a Plane
Stravinsky: The Rake’s Progress
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
Tchaikovsky: Sleeping Beauty
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003 remake)
Twin Spirits: Sting Performs Schumann
UFC: Ultimate Knockouts 7
The Unit: The Complete Fourth Season
The Universe Megaset
Wagner: The Ring Cycle
The Wizard of Oz
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.