Blu-ray Essentials

Wall-E on Blu-ray
Wall-E on Blu-ray

I recently wrote up a kind of Blu-ray 101 – an introduction to the format and a list of stand-out discs for the essential library – for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. It went live on Tuesday. February 17. Here’s a few of my picks:


WALL-E (Disney): Pixar’s robot love story is a joyous and gorgeous work of animation, and it practically leaps off the screen on Blu-ray. The picture is crisp and rich, the color iridescent and the sound mix a marvel of subtlety and aural depth. Beyond the movie, the supplements are magnificent, and the Blu-ray exclusive picture-in-picture video commentary is the best use of that technology I’ve seen yet.

THE DARK KNIGHT (Warner) / IRON MAN (Paramount): The second film in Christopher Nolan’s reboot of the “Batman” franchise made use of Imax cameras, the high-definition peak for film, for select scenes — the first studio feature to do so. Blu-ray is the closest you’ll get to that Imax experience on home video. “Iron Man” has no Imax scenes but, like “The Dark Knight,” features impeccably mastered image and sound.

ZODIAC: DIRECTOR’S CUT (Paramount): David Fincher shot this 2007 feature on state-of-the-art digital video. On Blu-ray, the stellar grain-free image is so sharp and pristine, it’s unreal.

The complete feature and the rest of the picks can be found at the Seattle P-I online here.

Author: seanax

I write the weekly newspaper column Stream On Demand and the companion website ( I'm a contributing writer for Turner Classic Movies Online, Keyframe, Independent Lens, and Cinephiled, and the editor of Parallax View ( I've written for The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The Seattle Weekly,, Senses of Cinema, Asian Cult Cinema, and Psychotronic Video, among other publications, and I am a contributing editor to Parallax View. I currently live and work in Seattle, Washington, with my two cats, Hammet and Chandler.

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