October 03, 2010 by Arlen Schweiger
The Blu-ray releases just keep getting better and better. And the great thing is, as exemplified by some of this week’s gems, whether you’ve seen a classic movie dozens of times or maybe are watching it with your children for the first time, it’ll be a vastly different experience in high-def.
Case in point: The Maltese Falcon and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
Was the 1940s Hollywood’s Golden Age? It could certainly be argued. These two Humphrey Bogart flicks are among the finest works of the decade, too, and almost 70 years later we get to hit the refresh on them. For anyone who’s seen the transfer of Casablanca onto HD—whether it was the HD DVD version or the Blu-ray—you’re well aware of the capabilities and stunning black and white images. You’re also well aware of Bogart’s screen presence—you can tell your children that he was like the Pitt or DeCaprio or Clooney of his time—and Falcon and Sierra Madre ought to look jaw-droppingly good in a modern home theater.
Then again, as great as black-and-white transfers can look on Blu-ray, animated movies really turn things up a notch. I’ve already had the pleasure of seeing this week’s release of Beauty and the Beast Blu-ray disc on the 92-inch Elite Screen in my theater room, and can attest to its ... beauty. No, it’s not Pixar-quality Disney animation (that was still a few years away), but it is stunning, and the contrast between lots of dark backgrounds and colorful characters make the images pop even more. This one’s recommended for the kids and adults, and any videophile.
Switching gears, did you catch the airing of Ken Burns’ Baseball: The Tenth Inning on TV last week? If not, you can add the Blu-ray disc to the DVD box set you may already own of the previous nine innings. The extra inning is a mix of controversy and celebration, covering embarrassments like the ‘94 strike and steroid scandal as well as joyous moments like the Red Sox and White Sox ending their years of frustration with World Series titles. Just in time for this year’s playoffs, too.
Click here to view our Top 10 Blu-ray Releases for October 5. Here’s the full slate for the week (schedule and slideshow synopses courtesy of Blu-ray.com):
30 Days of Night: Dark Days
Baseball: The Tenth Inning
Battle of Britain
Beauty and the Beast
Bones: The Complete Fifth Season
Blue Mountain State: Season 1
The Exorcist (extended director’s cut)
Full Metal Panic! Fumoffu: The Complete Series
Home Alone Collection (Home Alone / Home Alone 2: Lost in New York)
The Human Centipede
Journey to Shark Eden
The Karate Kid (2010)
Kurokami: The Animation Vol.3
The Last of the Mohicans
The Last Rites of Ransom Pride
The Maltese Falcon
My Bloody Valentine 3D
A Nightmare on Elm Street
The Oxford Murders
Peanuts Holiday Collection (It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown / Charlie Brown Thanksgiving / A Charlie Brown Christmas)
The Pink Panther 2
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead
The Secret of Kells
Stargate Universe: The Complete First Season
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
UFC: Ultimate Submissions
Vicente Fernandez: Primera Fila
The Year Without a Santa Claus
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Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.
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