If the excitement surrounding your new Blu-ray player and home theater system has worn off, and you only use your huge flat screen to watch Sunday football, perhaps a quick Blu-ray reminder is in order. It’s time to put your unused Blu-ray technology to good use and revisit the worlds of sci-fi, fantasy, music and more through a few must have Blu-ray discs and box sets.
With the holiday season (aka Christmas) around the corner, we’ve compiled a list a must have Blu-rays that will blow you away. If they don’t blow you away, use the following list of Blu-ray discs and collections as a last minute gift guide for anyone else whose Blu-ray player is collecting dust.
Check out our list of must own Blu-ray discs that will blow you away:
Planet Earth: Special Edition
The Planet Earth: Special Edition is a great addition to your home entertainment collection, especially on Blu-ray with all 11 episodes of the BBC nature series in blistering color and fully immersive surround sound. The 6-disc set spans 550 minutes of well documented nature on the planet with narration by Sir David Attenborough. The best aspect of watching Planet Earth on Blu-ray is that you actually feel like you’re on the Serengeti chasing an antelope or in the deep jungles of New Guinea with the various birds of paradise.
Planet Earth: Special Edition is a must have for any nature lover in the family or for those who just want to show-off the capabilities of their home entertainment system.
Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Episodes I-VI)
Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray is the ultimate collection for any sci-fi geek who can recite dialogue at will from all of the Star wars films. In this Blu-ray case, fans get three additional discs of Star Wars extras and specials. The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and Attack of The Clones sound amazing on Blu-ray in DTS audio and the other THX options. In addition to the six discs with each film, Star Wars fans get to enjoy two discs of Empire archives that i9nclude deleted and extended scenes, cast interviews, artwork, and more. If that wasn’t enough Star Wars Blu-ray goodness, the ninth disc in The Complete Saga contains eight documentaries devoted to the fans, the makings of all Star Wars movies, and more.
The Star Wars films alone on Blu-ray are enough to own The Complete Saga. However, with a galaxy full of supplemental content, Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Episodes I-VI) on Blu-ray is a must own collection. For sci-fi geeks, this one’s a no brainer!
The Ultimate Matrix Collection
The Matrix is one of the most popular sci-fi franchises in movie history, available on Blu-ray in The Ultimate Matrix Collection. The Matrix set consists of seven discs of content from all three Matrix films plus The Matrix Revisited and the animated collection called The Animatrix. The remaining two discs in The Ultimate Matrix Collection give fans a ton of bonus material, from new commentaries, interviews, and previews of The Matrix video game to featurettes, behind the scenes, and more matrix goodies.
The enhanced visual and audio components of the Matrix trilogy on Blu-ray make The Ultimate Matrix Collection a must have for any serious collector. Especially since The Matrix was made for a technology like Blu-ray when it was first released in 1999.
Michael Jackson: This Is It
As far as music Blu-rays go, Michael Jackson: This Is It should be the first concert related disc you try out on your home theater system since Michael Jackson and Blu-ray technology were meant for each other. A shining example of just how great The King of Pop really was before his death in 2009, Michael Jackson: This Is It proves that the many tabloid headlines surrounding Jackson were false. This Is It is an amazing Blu-ray time capsule that showcases one of the most prolific entertainers of all time as he prepares for his final 50 date concert tour.
Since This Is It sounds nearly flawless on Blu-ray, it perfectly preserves the music of Michael Jackson. In fact, This Is It makes it feel as though Michael jackson is still alive and in your living room, as you watch the King of pop go through rehearsals for the biggest concert event that never happened.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Two-Disc Edition Blu Ray + DVD/Digital Copy Combo)
Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the most recent film in the Planet of the Apes franchise, hits Blu-ray and DVD on December 13. with Rise of the Planet of the Apes Two Disc Edition on Blu-ray, fans get Blu-ray and digital, High Definition versions film plus tons of simian related extras, including 11 deleted scenes, a feature devoted to the genius of Caesar actor Andy Serkis, mythology of the Apes, a featurette on breaking the boundaries of motion capture, scene breakdowns, character concepts, cast and crew commentaries and more. On Blu-ray, viewers will experience Rise of the Planet of the Apes in full DTS Surround Sound as well as the Oscar worthy performance of Andy Serkis as the chimp Caesar.
The disc itself says it all, “The action is epic on Blu-ray!”
Star Trek: Original Motion Picture Collection
For cool Star Trek space adventures from 1979 to 1991, Star Trek: Original Motion Picture Collection on Blu-ray is the quintessential sci-fi set for both Trekkies and casual fans of the classic movie franchise. Seriously, it doesn’t get much better tham this for sci-fi fans, especially if you’re Star Trek over Star Wars. Star Trek: Original Motion Picture Collection includes all six Star Trek films remastered, with The Wrath of Khan fully revamped with a 7.1 Dolby TrueHD audio. The seventh disc of the Star Trek: Original Motion Picture Collection is the Enterprise of bonus content since it contains The Captains’ Summit, a 70 minute roundtable with the cast filmed exclusively for the Blu-ray set. The Original Motion Picture Collection on Blu-ray also features tons of BD Live extras as well.
Boldly take your Blu-ray geared home theater system to somewhere it’s never been before.
Avatar (Three-Disc Extended Collector’s Edition + BD-Live)
If you’re looking to own the highest grossing film of all time, it’s best that you grab Avatar: Three Disc Collector’s Edition, which looks incredible on Blu-ray in 1080p. In addition to Avatar, the movie, home viewers receive over eight hours of extra bonus content across three discs.
Disc one serves up three versions of Avatar – the original theatrical cut, the collector’s extended cut (16 extra minutes), and special edition re-release (8 extra minutes) plus the option to remove objectionable language via Optional Family Audio. Disc two takes a filmmaker’s journey that contains all Avatar related bonus material, including never before seen deleted scenes, the Capturing Pandora documentary, screen tests, visual effects, a Message from pandora, and more. Disc three called Pandora’s Box is dedicated to the alien world of Pandora, with a comprehensive guide to the planet, a deconstruction of seventeen scenes during production, Avatar archives, and the BD Live portal Pandora.
To enjoy the biggest money making film in history, Avatar: Three Disc Extended Collector’s Edition on Blu-ray is the only choice.
The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy Extended Editions
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy was great on DVD, but astounding on Blu-ray. If you really want to see what director Peter Jackson had in mind for the franchise, The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy Extended Editions on Blu-ray is THE must own set for fans of the J.R.R. Tolkien adaptations. The fifteen disc set includes all three LOTR films – The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King – in their extended versions plus over twenty six hours of bonus material that cover everything you want to know.
Although much of the content on The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy Extended Editions can be found across all releases on DVD, the extra features are the selling point to owning this massive in-depth set. The films are on Blu-ray, with Special Features on DVD. However, for those who like to wait to see how Blu-ray shakes down on future releases, the digital copies expire on June 26, 2012. Until all bonus content is released on Blu-ray, this is the best LOTR set available.
Harry Potter: The Complete 8 Film Collection
Although the Harry Potter DVDs and Blu-rays will be under moratorium by Warner Bros. after December 29, Hogwarts fans can still get all Harry Potter films on Blu-ray in one purchase with Harry Potter: The Complete 8 Film Collection, which includes each Harry Potter film in crisp 1080p with Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1.
This complete Harry Potter set is perfect to test the limits of your Blu-ray home theater system since it’s a “film only” set. Many believe that a more comprehensive Harry Potter collection will be released after the moratorium is lifted. For now, however, this is a must own for Harry Potter fans.
Inception: Two Disc Edition
Directed by Christopher Nolan following the success of The Dark Knight, Inception on Blu-ray is the perfect movie to keep on giving as a movie experience. Inception: Two Disc Edition features the film in 1080p and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 plus a slew of mind-bending bonus material, including a featurette on dreams with actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt and leading dream researchers, a behind the scenes feature on the stunning imagery and landscapes within Inception, a animated prologue of the film called The Cobol Job, and a lot more for Blu-ray fans looking to go deeper into the film.
If you loved Inception in theaters, Inception: Two Disc Edition on Blu-ray is truly a Blu-ray dream world worth visiting and revisiting like the characters in the film itself.