The powers that be behind the release of movies onto Blu-ray definitely made up for last week’s lackluster pickings with a very solid group of arrivals this week.
Sci-fi fans get to rejoice most this week with the highly anticipated arrival of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Sure, we’ve seen The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and the Oscar-winning Return of the King played to death in upscaled HD on TNT and TBS, but here we get the true 1080p high-definition releases. That means full CinemaScope 2.40:1 aspect ratio as Peter Jackson filmed it, and dynamic DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. (Click here to view our slideshow of Top 10 Blu-ray releases for this week.)
We can’t wait to drool over the lavish New Zealand green and snowy vistas, along with all of the mega battle scenes, especially for those of you who have a full CinemaScope screen and anamorphic lens setup.
Also out this week is the complete series of Battlestar Galactica. While sci-fi is at its heart, this much-acclaimed series also throws in cultural and political statements that make it thought-provoking for just about any viewer. Having it on high-def Blu-ray is a perfect way to check it out if you missed its original airings on broadcast TV.
If those newer releases aren’t enough sci-fi for you, go back a quarter of a century and check out Dennis Quaid in Dreamscape, an underrated but intriguing flick from 1984 that was one of the first PG-13 releases (though according to Blu-ray.com it has since been bumped to R).
Of course, we can’t forget that baseball season opened this week, and what better way to celebrate than indulging in another screening of the Robert Redford classic The Natural, only this time in HD. Play ball!
Here’s the full release schedule for this week (schedule and slideshow synopses courtesy of Blu-ray.com). Note that there are many Blu-ray double-dips this week, now out as BD+DVD combo packs:
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call, New Orleans
Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series
The Big Gay Musical
Blood Ties: The Complete Series
The Delightful Forest
Five Minutes of Heaven
Flight of the Intruder
The Heroic Ones
The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy
The Lord of the Rings (animated)
Lords of Dogtown
Madonna, Sticky & Sweet
The Thomas Crown Affair
War Eagle, Arkansas
Yosemite National Park
New DVD+BD Combo Releases:
A Bridge Too Far
Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
The Last Waltz
Out of Time
Planet of the Apes (2001 version)
Rollerball (2002 version)
The Usual Suspects
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Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.