Best Blu-ray discs to show off your home theater - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Best Blu-ray discs to show off your home theater

By Ryan Waniata


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Black Panther review

We allknow you didn’t just build an incredible home theater so you could have it all to yourself all the time. You’re itching to show it off any chance you get, and that’s perfectly natural. After all, if your subwoofer(s) shakes the art right off the walls when the action picks up but nobody but you is there to see, hear, and feel it, did it actually happen?

Nah, you’ve got enough big fish stories; best to show off your awesome creation with your friends and family. But what do you show it off with? What movies will best displayyour TV’s incredible contrast, color, and resolution? What flick will kick your subs into overdrive and light up every single channel of surround, immersing you in a dizzying swirl of hard-core digital cinema soundscape?

That’s what this list is all about. There’s no way we could put all the greats in here that would just take too long. But we do have our favorites, and we’re eager to share them with you and explain why they make such great demonstrations. Trust us when we tell you, these Blu-ray picks have got what it takes to make your system shine and turn your guests green with envy.

Movies

Black Panther

A megahit for Marvel and an outstanding success by any means, Black Pantheris a departure from what we’ve seen in superhero films recently, as well as a reminder of why we love them in the first place. Helmed byCreed director Ryan Coogler and based on a script by Coogler and Joe Robert Cole,Black Panther takes place in the fictional African nation of Wakanda, a beautiful setting which serves as a perfect backdrop to the film’s jaw-dropping action sequences. This disc is worth it for the film’s spectacular car chase sequence alone, but thankfully it offers much more.

CodecResolutionAspect RatioOriginal Aspect RatioEnglish
MPEG-4 AVC (23.80 Mbps)1080p2.39:12.39:1DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

Available from:

Amazon

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

The Star Wars franchise is no stranger to overzealous fans, with some so disappointed in the film that they started a campaign to remake the movie. We, on the other hand, liked it quite a bit, and if you fall into that camp, this is a perfect Blu-ray for your home theater. With lightsabers, space battles, and other the other things you associate with Star Wars,The Last Jedi also has a few surprises and tricks up its sleeve. If you need one more bit of proof that this disc will give your home theater a workout, we’ll give it to you in three words: Supreme Leader Snoke.

CodecResolutionAspect RatioOriginal Aspect RatioEnglish
MPEG-4 AVC (30.90 Mbps)1080p2.39:12.39:1DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

Available from:

Amazon

Pacific Rim: Uprising

Giant robots fighting giant monsters. There’s a good chance that the very concept of Pacific Rim franchise along has you looking to purchase this for your home theater, regardless of whether or not you sawPacific Rim: Uprisingin the theater. While the movie may not be the sucker punch that the first one was, the sheer level of spectacle has increased to the point that it may be difficult to keep from cheering during some ofPacific Rim: Uprising‘s more knock-down, drag-out sequences, and that’s a very good thing.

CodecResolutionAspect RatioOriginal Aspect RatioEnglish
MPEG-4 AVC1080p2.40:12.39:1Dolby Atmos,Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

Available from:

Amazon

The Revenant

Not only isThe Revenantthe film that finally put an Oscar for Best Actor in Leonardo DiCaprio’s hands, it’s a visually stunning and emotionally powerful film that also earned awards for Best Director and Best Cinematography. Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki’s iconic natural lighting and uninterrupted single-take shotsmeld with Alejandro Irritu’s brilliant visionfor anengrossing atmosphere that takes you back to the harsh life of the American frontier in 1823. The film seesfrontiersman Hugh Glass (DiCaprio) embark on a journey of vengeance and survival through breathtaking vistas that show off the raw beauty of the American wilderness like few films before it.

CodecResolutionAspect RatioOriginal Aspect RatioEnglish
MPEG-4 AVC (26.00 Mbps)1080p2.39:12.39:1DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

Available from:

Amazon

Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road

Director George Miller returns to the Mad Max franchise in a glorious way with 2015’sMad Max: Fury Road. Starring Tom Hardy as the iconic Max Rockatansky and Charlize Theron as the mutiny-happy Imperator Furiosa, the film follows up on thedeserted world reeling from the effects of a nuclear holocaust from the original franchise (miraculously) without skipping a beat. When the film released worldwide during the spring of 2015, theater-goers gushed at itsover-the-top action sequences, captivating cinematography, and unique art direction. It’sno wonder a sizable amount of Oscar buzz started flowing immediately following its release;Mad Max: Fury Road is a must-own for anyone with even a decent home theater setup.

CodecResolutionAspect RatioOriginal Aspect RatioEnglish
MPEG-4 AVC (24.88 Mbps)1080p2.40:12.39:1Dolby TrueHD 7.1, Dolby Atmos

Available from:

Amazon

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

best blu ray movies guardians vol 2

The follow-up to the surprise hit following Marvel’s space-trekking hero team,Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is just as fun, colorful, and full of death-defying stunts as the original. And since this one casts the resurgent Kurt Russell as Star-Lord’s dad, some might say it even exceeds its predecessor — we’ll leave that for greater minds than ours to decide. What we can say is that this film is a feast for the eyes and ears, from the impressive practical effects like Drax’s scarred skin to CGI mind-benders like an entire squad of golden aliens chasing down our heroes in remotely powered ships, this one is sure to please all of your cinematic senses.

CodecResolutionAspect RatioOriginal Aspect RatioEnglish
MPEG-4 MVC1080p2:39:1, 1.85:12.39:1DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1

Available from:

Amazon

Avatar

Avatar 3D Blu-rayThis “holy grail” of 3D cinematography is the culmination of over 10 years of painstaking perfectionism by its creator, James Cameron. The movie was reportedly a near all-consuming effort for the director towards the end and helped spawn the modern 3D revolution. Like Cameron’s previous work, Titanic, it was also one of the most expensive movies ever made, due in part to the pioneering of brand new 3D cinematography for the film. The gamble paid off, resulting in the highest grossing movie of all time upon release, and the most impressive 3D Blu-ray experience on the market.

CodecResolutionAspect RatioOriginal Aspect RatioEnglish
MPEG-4 MVC1080p1.78:12.39:1, 1.78:1DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

Available from:

Amazon

Kubo and the Two Strings

Kubo and the Two Strings is an emotionally resonant film about a young boy, Kubo (Art Parkinson), who joins two animal protectors — Monkey (Charlize Theron) and Beetle (Matthew McConaughey) — on a quest through feudal Japan to retrieve an ancient set of armor once worn by his deceased father.While the story is whollyencapsulating, Kubo is also a stop-motion animation marvel, with a fluidity and charm that seems almost as magical to behold as its plot.Watching the movie in an ideal home theater setting provides an opportunity to appreciate the meticulous craftwork of the painstakingly created models and animation, while thesweeping soundtrack underscores it all perfectly.

CodecResolutionAspect RatioOriginal Aspect RatioEnglish
MPEG-4 AVC1080p2.39:12.39:1DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Available from:

Amazon

2001: A Space Odyssey

2001 5

It’s pretty hard to make a list like this without including this quintessential iconof sci-fi classics. Stanley Kubrick’s haunting vision of space exploration in the not-so-distant future is nearly as stunning today as it was upon its release in freaking 1968 – the same year the Beatles released The White Album, for reference. The Blu-ray release is heralded as an expert re-master. The multiple shots of the gleaming space station against the cold black void lays down the gauntlet for any HD display, and the infamous theme music has never been more sweeping. Be sure and get that subwoofer ready for the movie that invented the ‘sound of space.’

CodecResolutionAspect RatioOriginal Aspect RatioEnglish
VC-1 (13.39 Mbps)1080p2.20:12.20:1LPCM 5.1 (48kHz, 16-bit),Dolby Digital 5.1

Availablefrom:

Amazon

The Martian

MartianBluRay1

Ridley Scott’s 2015 rendition of Andy Weir’s science fiction novel The Martian was every bit the definition of a spectacle. Filmed in Jordan’s Wadi Rum valley, Scott deftly created a life-like version of the red planet which allowed viewers to feel almost as stranded as Mark Watney himself. Thrilling, funny, and expertly written, The Martian initially seemed like an experience that could only be done correctly by gazing at a 70-foot screen inside a massive surround sound theater. That is, until the Blu-ray (and 4K) release hit store shelves in 2016. Gorgeous hardly scratches the surface when describing the physical release of this cinematic masterpiece, as each dust storm, Hab explosion, and white-knuckled rocket launch absolutely engulfs the viewer. Few releases pull off a picture as crystal-clear, oraudio as booming asThe Martian; simply put, this is a must-own.

CodecResolutionAspect RatioOriginal Aspect RatioEnglish
MPEG-4 AVC1080p2.40:12.39:1DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1

Available from:

Amazon

Television

Of course, movies aren’t the only way to get your home theater running on all cylinders. We’ve also thrown in two of our favoriteTV Blu-rays that will punch your system’s throttle, and dazzle the senses.

‘Planet Earth II’

best blu ray movies planet earth ii

An iconic series that changed the paradigm of “nature films,”Planet Earth II is just as powerful as the first series, and in many ways (thanks to improved camera techniques) is superior. Just like the original, this heralded collection takes you through a striking exploration of every environment our home planet has to offer, with snow-capped fly-bys, excursions through jungles teeming with wildlife, and countless shades of beautiful blue water that will leave viewers in sheer awe. As breathtaking as anything you can put on your screen, some things are simply worth having on disc. This is one of them.

CodecResolutionAspect RatioOriginal Aspect RatioEnglish
MPEG-4 AVC (29.99 Mbps)1080p1.78:11.78:1DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 16 bit)

Available from:

Amazon

Game of Thrones

best blu ray movies game of thrones season 7

The series pulled from the pages of George RR Martin’s epic saga, A Song of Ice and Fire, has already reached classic status, matched only by theominous Sopranos as the most popular show of all time in the HBO catalog. The Blu-ray video transfers are nothing short of exquisite, matched with brilliantly produced soundtracks that bring this strange realm of dragons, sex, and bloodlust barreling off the screen and into your entertainment room. As we wait for the final chapter, it’s a good time to take another trip through the most recent, most epic season.

CodecResolutionAspect RatioOriginal Aspect RatioEnglish
MPEG-4 AVC1080p1.78:11.78:1Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Dolby Digital 5.1

Available from:

Amazon

Nature

Nature

Since 1982, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) has wowed withthis fantastic one-hour documentary program which dives into the environments of Earth’s animals and the ecosystems around them. On TV for an astounding 31 seasons (totaling 521 episodes),Nature’scurrent iterationis as much of a spectacle of presentation as it is of longevity. As such,the Blu-ray release of this incredible series is one truly worthy of marvel. As each unique environment graces the screen, viewers are left with their jaws on the ground, easily swept up by the sheer majestyof planet Earth. Moreover, due to the release’s crystal clear HD audio, a proper surround system makes the experience of watchingNatureeven more immersive.

CodecResolutionAspect RatioOriginal Aspect RatioEnglish
MPEG-4 AVC1080p1.78:11.78:1Dolby TrueHD 5.1

Available from:

Amazon

Africa

Need more breathtaking wildlife footage narrated by David Attenborough? BBC’sAfricamini-seriesis just what you’ve been looking for. The six-episode series takes you across the entire continent, into jungles, deserts, coastal biomes, and the Savannah, and caps with a look into the future of Africa’s rapidly shifting environments. You’ll get all the crisp, high-quality naturefootage and lifelike audio your eyes and ears can handle.

CodecResolutionAspect RatioOriginal Aspect RatioEnglish
MPEG-4 AVC1080p1.78:11.78:1Dolby TrueHD 5.1

Available from:

Amazon


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