October 17, 2010
| by Arlen Schweiger
You can almost teach a filmmaking course based on this week’s best Blu-ray releases.
We’re talking some giants here, and it should be tremendous seeing their work in high-definition, the most pristine copies of these films we’ve seen yet. As evidence, your honor, I offer you: Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now and Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai.
If that ain’t a classic cinema history trifecta, I don’t know what is. Aside from the masterful storytelling, for your home theaters you get a bit of everything in this visual feast. Some black and white from Psycho and Seven Samurai. Traditional Academy 1.37:1 aspect ratio on Samurai, so hopefully you have some masking in place to make that B&W imagery pop even more. Full HD frame 1.85:1 aspect ratio and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround-sound track from Psycho. And superwide CinemaScope 2.35:1 aspect ratio for Coppola’s dark Apocalypse Now, so hopefully you have a nice constant image height setup to immerse yourself in that one.
Oh and the “Full Disclosure” edition of Apocalypse Now also includes the fascinating documentary Hearts of Darkness, which chronicles the rigorous and problematic schedule the filmmakers had to endure just to get Apocalypse out in theaters.
Plus, on top of all that, we get a couple of dazzling looking and great-sounding flicks from Baz Luhrmann—Moulin Rouge and William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet. They’re worth it to see Nicole Kidman and Claire Danes in even more stunning HD, of course, but also as a couple of innovative and very different works of art, in case you missed either the first time around.
Click here to view our Top 10 Blu-ray Releases for October 19. Here’s the full schedule for the week (schedule and slideshow synopses courtesy of Blu-ray.com):
The Assault Girls
Beethoven: Symphony No. 5
Best of Europe: Beautiful France
Best of Europe: Belgium and Holland
The California Kid
Civil War Battlefields
The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos
D-Day: Code Name Overlord
Eden of the East: The Complete Series
Guadalcanal: The Island of Death!
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (ultimate edition)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (ultimate edition)
How to Train Your Dragon
The Howling Trilogy (The Marsupials III / The Rebirth V / The Freaks VI)
Joe Bonamassa: Live from The Royal Albert Hall
Living with the Dead
The Michael Schenker Group: The 30th Anniversary Concert - Live in Tokyo
Night of the Demons
Predator Collection (Predator / Predator 2)
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
The Six Wives of Henry Lefay
Tears to Tiara
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross: The Social Network Soundtrack
Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl
Video Games Live: Level 2
William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.