back to article Ten... best Blu-ray movies of 2011

If you’ve recently migrated to Blu-ray, or are already a dyed-in-the-wool evangelist, you’ll doubtless have developed an uncontrollable compulsion to build a collection of 1080p platters. But what releases deserve your attention? To provide answers of a sort, I’ve compiled this invaluable (and not at all off-the-cuff) guide to …

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  1. sandisk1
    Thumb Down

    WTF

    I started wondering at the 1st page, the two listed films were arguable but possibly put up as self-parody. Then I went through the rest of this rubbish list. There is 1 David Lean movie plus 9 worthless promo Blu-rays that were lying around the office. The surreal moment was #10. Are you kidding me?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'd like to think

      That it's a review actually separating content from quality for once.

      Generally I know what the film is, I have my own taste and know what I enjoy and what I don't. The information that's always missing is, whether the transfer makes it stunning, or makes it look like it was filmed by a drunken monkey with the microphone dipped in a bucket of frogs!

      The top film in a review like this could have been spice world for all I care, if it was the best quality blu-ray. I got a set of discs free with my player, not something many people would consider very good, it wasn't until I'd bought a couple myself that I realised why they'd been packaged, because they showed off blu-ray quality, not because they were any good.

    2. P Zero
      Alert

      I don't think these reviews are what you think they're about.

  2. Peter Galbavy
    Trollface

    LOTR, but only if you like green...

    Strange how no "mainstream" (read: bought and paid for) reviews mention the horrendous green tinting to the FOTR EE Blu edition. Odd that, and the way that a replacement programme is rumoured for after the US holiday season - after the sales have all been rung through.

  3. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Tangled

    I'd also add the criminally neglected 'Tangled' from Disney to the list - a beautiful transfer of a gorgeous looking movie.

  4. Anon the mouse

    Was this list limited to the easily available blu-rays or exclusives (read lockedin)as well. Megamind is the far superior Bluray to despicable me. Better plot/story/graphics and 3D :)

  5. Greencat

    Bit early...?

    Still have about 10% of the year to go in my neck of the woods. Still if Christmas comes earlier each year, why not year's best lists.

    Otherwise I quite like the unashamedly geeky nature of this list.

  6. Suburban Inmate

    May I humbly recommend Ink (2009)

    http://www.doubleedgefilms.com

    It is one of my trio of all-time favourite films. An independent masterpiece made on a shoestring in Colorado by a husband and wife team. Shot in HD, then spent 14 months in post with plenty of rotoscoping, to pump up the visials to make this a real work of art, with a soundtrack to match.

    But most of all it is the story, which reveals its depth and sophistication through repeated viewings. Intelligent, original, and beautiful.

    The creators deliberately released it for p2p download, and there is a good article about that on the site. I downloaded, loved and purchased. You'll likely do the same.

    Yeah, I'm a fanboi for this film. I have the signed Blu-Ray. :)

  7. DangerousQ
    Thumb Down

    Epic Fail! Dr Who and Tron, WTF

    Dr Who, mediocre bbc tosh,

    Fringe season 3 was the nest thing on tv ever (until Game of Thrones came out, BluRay in the new year we hope!)

    Try watching some proper drama with plot lines that aren't tired and predictable.

    Tron, best picture quality, ha, polished turd more like.

    RE: Afterlife, not a bad film but Sanctum was a far better example of 3D at work and it had a plot.

    but wtf still reeling from Dr Who,

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Avatar

    I have chosen my icon.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Dr. Who? What? You mean the Amy and Rory Show. The last season was tripe. When supporting characters over shadow the lead you have a casting problem. Matt Smith is/was the worst Dr. ever. But River Song . . . is the greatest!!!

    2. Citizen Kaned

      really?

      season 3 vanished up its own arse IMO. season 1 & 2 were amazing. season 3 just didnt seem as well written.

  9. Eric Crippen

    Original Trilogy

    I laughed at that part. I still don't know how they can legally sell them as the originals when they clearly aren't. My angst has nothing to do with the visual/sound quality, but the overall reduction of Vader to a whiny little bitch.

  10. Neily-boy

    what a god awful selection of films

    I know that the image quality is what you are trying to convey with these choices, but if they are pure pish on every other front, they are not choices you could recommend to anyone.

    I don't know what year they were released but I watched all the following BluRays this year and as well as looking cinematographicaly ( is that a real word?) beautiful, they have a story and or acting performances that makes them worth watching:-

    How to Train Your Dragon

    La Haine

    I Saw the Devil

    The Town

    The Fighter

    Leon

    Frost/Nixon

    Mesrine

    Megamind

    Inception

    Others that are older releases that are a "must see" for BluRay are

    Mongol

    Memories of Murder

    City of God

    Pans Labyrinth

    The lives of others

    Felon

    The White Ribbon

    The Chaser

    The Good, the Bad, the Weird

    Slumdog Millionaire

    1. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: what a god awful selection of films

      They're rated as Blu-ray Discs, not as films. That's another article entirely.

      1. Neily-boy

        What on earth?.

        If your intention is to put people off the BluRay format, then I apologise, your choices were correct. I didn't list the best films I'd seen this year, I listed ten films that could be recommended to people as BluRay discs worth watching. For example, "The Town" is certainly only a fairly good film, but the long shots of Boston look amazing in the high definition format and are an example of why this film may not be worth your consideration on DVD, but certainly is on BluRay.

        1. Citizen Kaned

          town = tosh

          IMO anyway. ive seen hundreds of films this year and so many rank above that movie. far too overrated...

          1. Neily-boy

            Come on then..........

            ............it's time to put up or shut up!

            I had the balls to put up alternative recommendations for Blurays that were worth watching, instead of solely venturing criticism (I did that too obviously). You've watched "hundreds" of films this year and from your moniker, you obviously fancy yourself as a film buff, so lets hear the experts suggestions for 10 Blurays the public should consider for their viewing pleasure?

            1. Citizen Kaned

              erm... ok...

              take a chill pill...

              for starters (these arent the best BR films but i enjoyed them more than the town)

              dale and tucker vs evil (well worth a watch if you havent seen it)

              source code

              adjustment bureau

              all i was saying is that i was disappointed with the town, maybe because i heard how excellent it was. character building is fine if you dont think the main characters are just tossers who deserve what they get

              i would say im a film buff. i have hundreds of BR disks and thousands of DVDs and a £5k home cinema system. i dont really watch TV but i do like my films, so i feel that i can say if i dont like a movie or it is overrated.

              1. Shakje

                @Citizen Kaned

                I know everyone has their own film choices etc. but I was really disappointed by the Adjustment Bureau, and Source Code was kind of spoiled by it being blatantly obvious what the "twist" was about half an hour in (when she first mentions that they need a certain condition it's not a huge leap of the imagination). AB would have been good 15 years ago, but post-Matrix, post-Inception it just felt a bit weak all round, as if it was aping them without having any of the equivalent visual thrills or action sequences. I actually think that Jumper was a better, similar film, let down by Haydn Christensen being boring in everything he's appeared in. Source Code was far better, and the premise was more enjoyable, but I'd probably have enjoyed it being longer and having a little more of the action outside of the train. The way it was it kind of made me think of playing one of the CoD BLOPS levels over and over again. Saying that, I'd say again that I enjoyed it.

      2. JEDIDIAH
        Devil

        Some people just miss the point...

        Yeah, this is about how the title exploits the BD format. It's not about how good the content is.

        Given how good the DVD9 transfer of Revenge of the Sith was, I am not surprised that Lucasfilm did well with the BluRay transfers. Still not buying them though. I want theatrical releases. That goes for all of the films in question. If you're not going to give us the original trilogy in it's pristine form, at least give us a pristine version of the special editions.

        Those movies need version numbers before you can sort out anything.

  11. Camilla Smythe Silver badge

    So...

    Not available in 405 line grey and lighter grey with visible vertical scan lines and mono-phonics...

  12. Patrick Evans
    FAIL

    Proof that the medium ain't all that

    Off those ten releases, there's only one I'd bother to watch, and it's not Tron.

    What are you trying to prove, that Blu-Ray is as big a white elephant as 3D?

  13. thomas newton
    WTF?

    after finding out the Star Wars parts iv-vi

    were mastered from the 8 year old transfers from the last dvd release, are you having a laugh? or have you lot at el reg just been bunged by the beardy tit?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ...so what?

      It all boils down to the quality they were transferred in. If it was 4K then it shouldn't be a problem. Blu-Ray is not THAT high def.

  14. Matt Devney
    Trollface

    Hmm...

    For the record, I quite like most of the content listed here, for a variety of reasons.

    [sarcasm] You know, I reckon that if I watched any of these films in normal DVD and then in BD my only possible response would be "Oh my god! What have I been watching all these years? I must replace all my collection now! Such a fool, a FOOL I have been to be wasting my time with this crap that I've subjecting my eyes to all this time!" What I certainly WON'T be saying is "Hmm... can't really notice the difference in average viewing conditions. Well, looks like I can continue with my current viewing and *ahem* SPENDING patterns without worrying or wasting disposable income then!" [/sarcasm]

    And so on and so forth. BD is slightly better but this collection of best ten 'best' don't sway me that it's gob-smackingly different. I'll wait until there's no choice except BD (or its replacement).

  15. ShelLuser
    Pint

    Bad approach IMO

    Call me old fashioned if you want but I think there are some movies which should never have been released on Blu-Ray (even though I kinda have a weak spot for the format; Java based and all..). In many cases it takes away the magic instead of adding up to it. The same as Lucas trying to "re-do" his Star Wars movies because "that's what I had intended". Sure, all good and well, but that's not exactly what the fans lived through. What about their (childhood) memories ?

    I think blue-ray is a wonderful medium, but not very suitable for older movies. Sure; back then the details weren't as crisp as they could have been, when looking at certain scenes you couldn't read the description of every dial on the control panel just when the evil villain was about to press the big red button. And now we can. Sure.

    Yet that lack of detail brought its own level of experience as well. Why take it away ?

    My stance on the matter: "Things do not have to /be/ perfect in order to be perceived /as/ perfect".

    I have an LCD TV in my living room. I have my old CRT (100Hz even) tv in the bedroom. I'm a nut when it comes to animation. And right now I'm going over my old "Masters o/t Universe" DVD collection (all 4 boxes :-) (I don't care about the 'new' stuff)). This weekend my gf stays overnight at my place. 'tis evening, we're not ready to sleep so I turn on the dvd...

    Instant hit for the both of us... Sure; the quality may be "inferior" on a technical level; but this is how we both remembered those cartoons and now we get a re-run of experiences from many years ago.

    It may not be perfect, but it sure was perceived as such.

    As such; my stance; leave blu-ray for the modern (computer animated) movies and keep the rest on dvd.

    1. Citizen Kaned

      its not all about the visual though...

      dont forget BR has 7.1 uncompressed sound. which on a good system is much better than DVD quality audio. its like comparing CDs/vinyl to low bitrate MP3s.

    2. Steve Coffman

      I beg to differ

      "I think blue-ray is a wonderful medium, but not very suitable for older movies." I disagree - most film footage that has been well preserved still has more resolution than what the BD format can muster, and with digital color restoration there are a lot of older films that have benefited from the conversion. However, if you have a movie that's on some old, scratchy 16mm stock, then unless some serious digital restoration is done, then no it won't help. However, since most of the older movies being converted are usually classics or well known movies they are in many cases cleaned up or restored for their release on Blu-Ray. The studios aren't going to spend the money to do that for the average older or B-grade film though.

      1. Magnus_Pym

        Agree. In the same way that it became possible to amplify an electric guitar to music hall levels without distortion, doesn't mean it should be done.

        Early rock and roll was played that way to fit the playback from a 7 inch vinyl disc. If they new it was going onto a different format the original artist would have done it differently.

        Would Wonderful Life be improved by making it less nostalgically old school?

  16. Mike Brown

    close but no

    tron in 3d is why 3d was invented. yes the plot is non existant, yes the characters are flat and without development, but the visuals and the sound are stunning, even more so when watched in 3d

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The picture quality on Tron must have been outstanding for anyone to stay awake long enough to notice.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In this comment section - lot's of people that didn't understand the review.

  19. JDX Gold badge

    @DangerousQ

    Now go back and read what the article was ABOUT.

  20. BatCat
    Thumb Up

    Sucker Punch

    Yeay! Someone else on the planet that actually gets Sucker Punch. I was starting to think it was just me...

    1. Alien8n Silver badge
      Alien

      Saw it in the cinema and actually really enjoyed it. Okay the plot is totally insane but the whole point is that it's meant to be several short films mirroring what's happening in the real world. And the ending to the film really was unexpected. Watch it for what it's meant to be, a series of stunning visual and audio short stories loosely connected. And if it starts making any sense have yourself checked in at you nearest mental institute straight away.

  21. zebthecat
    Flame

    Get the point of the article but...

    ...does this mean we all should watch some seriously shit films so that we can appreciate the technical prowess of Blue Ray?

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