After you're lucky enough to pull together the moola to buy the components of a great home theater, you know you'll want to demonstrate its finer points to your buddies.
And let's face it--Goodfellas may be a great film, but it won't have people oohing and ahhing about the fantastic picture and booming surround sound.
I've put together ten titles with spectacular scenery, great action, and aggressive, sub-woofer-heavy surround sound--the perfect movies for showing off your HDTV, sound system, and (if you have one) new Blu-ray player. I've also recommended one or two scenes in each film that will really wow the audience.
The first three--"Baraka," "2001: A Space Odyssey," and "The Dark Knight"--are all shot at least in part in large film formats and vividly show what Blu-ray can do. Consider these strictly BD-only demos.
The next four--"Casino Royale" (2006 version), "Live Free, Die Hard," "The Fifth Element," and "Wall-E"--will impress your friends even on DVD, although the Blu-ray versions will impress them considerably more.
The last three titles--"Chicken Run," "Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark," and "Richard III" (the 1995 version) aren't yet out in Blu-ray, but they show what a DVD can do on a widescreen TV and a good sound system.
Of course, you don't want to buy a disc for one great scene, so I've stuck to good movies--ones that have enjoyed either popular success or rave reviews. Several recent blockbusters are here, but also a cult favorite, a classic, a documentary, and even some Shakespeare. So after you've wowed them with a great scene, you can entertain them with the whole flick.
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