March 30, 2010
| by Arlen Schweiger
Robert Downey Jr. has certainly been enjoying a nice resurrected career lately, whether it’s a starring role like Iron Man or great ensemble roles like Tropic Thunder. Iron Man helped push the high-def Blu-ray format along with its reference-quality audio and video, and we can only hope for the same when the sequel comes out soon. For now, though, we get another solid Downey arrival in HD as Sherlock Holmes comes to Blu-ray this week.
This one could have easily been made into a flop, tackling a huge literary figure and being recreated as a period piece on film. Thankfully under the direction of Guy Ritchie and featuring Downey along with Jude Law and Rachel McAdams, who’s seemingly in just about every new release these days, the movie worked. And all of that costume design and action ought to look pretty sweet on Blu-ray. (Click here for a slideshow of our top Blu-ray picks for the week.)
Unfortunately when it comes to movies there’s not a whole lot else to chew on this week. The next best releases fall under the nature/travel category, and as such should present stunning demo-quality images for your big screen.
The team at IMAX, which is almost Pixar-level with its consistency of jaw-dropping visual imagery, gives us Under the Sea this week for an inspiring look at beautiful aquatic life. From National Geographic we get Big Sur: Wild California for an amazing view of this coastal mecca and inhabitants such as sea otters, condors and mountain lions. And from PBS there’s Nova: What Darwin Never Knew to help explain some of nature’s evolutionary mysteries. A job more suited for science geeks than Sherlock Holmes, no doubt.
If you need something for the kids, there’s always Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel to drive you nuts.
Here’s the full release schedule for this week (schedule and slideshow synopses courtesy of Blu-ray.com):
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel
The Baader Meinhof Complex
Big Sur: Wild California
Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2
The Diary of Anne Frank
Giuseppe Verdi: La Traviata at La Scala
I Sell the Dead
IMAX: Under the Sea
Lehar: The Merry Widow
Nova: What Darwin Never Knew
Ouran High School Host Club: The Complete Series
Tromeo and Juliet
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.