Blu-Ray DVD Audio & Video Reviews

A question that is always asked once I have completed installing a system is what are the best DVD’s to show off my new theater.  Here is a list of movies that I feel demonstrate the highest quality of audio and video in systems that are set up professionally and correctly.  Using these DVD’s, if you feel you’re just watching a movie versus feeling that you’re actually in the movie then your system needs to be modified or calibrated.  Calibrating the system to the room is extremely important to achieve the suspension of disbelief.

“In order to enjoy such stories, the audience engages in a phenomenon known as “suspension of disbelief”. This is a semi-conscious decision in which you put aside your disbelief and accept the premise as being real for the duration of the story.” (

Please check back as I will be updating this blog with more DVD titles on a semi-regular basis.  If you feel you want to get more out of your system please contact us and we will guide you through the process.

Eric Clapton- “One More Car One More Rider”-This DVD is standard definition not Blu-Ray but has one of the finest DTS audio soundtracks available.  I use this disc on every job I install.  The opening drum beats in “Wonderful Tonight” is a good way to determine if your subwoofer is set up properly.  Each beat should be felt rather then heard.  My favorite section of this track is the last three minutes when a synthesized saxophone is played on a keyboard, turn it up!

Diana Krall “Live in Paris”-  This DVD is standard definition in DTS.  Track #4 “The Look of Love” has outstanding acoustics. 

Eagles “Farewell Tour Live from Melbourne”-  This DVD is standard definition in DTS.  The best tracks are “Life’s Been Good” which opens with great bass, “Hotel California” opens with exceptional saxophone.

Hero-This Blu-Ray will easily confirm if your systems dynamics is up to par.  You should sense concussion in the air in chapter 7at 42 mins. and 54 sec. and the sword should feel like it is passing inches above your head.  Chapter 8 at 52 mins. 30 sec., this scene has incredible video quality and sword play provides a dynamic test of your system, listen to the foot steps on the water at 54 minutes.  

All Pixar Movies-  I have found that all Pixar movies are transferred at the highest standards.  If only all companies could do the same. My favorites are “Toy Story 2”, “Wall-E”, “Monsters, Inc”, and “UP”.

Casablanca-  I believe there are more one liners used in this movie than any other. “Here’s looking at you kid.”  If your TV is properly calibrated to 6503 Kelvin which is the correct setting for color images, black and white movies will not look correct.  The correct color temperature for black and white movies is 5400 Kelvin.  If we set up an input calibrated to 5400 Kelvin  you will see the finest black and white movie ever produced. “Play it again Sam”

Baraka-  The audio in this disc is good, the picture quality is stunning.  The highlights are at 2 mins and 5 sec.; if you have a TRUE high definition TV every individual hair on the monkey should stand out.  You should also see every individual hair on the mans dredlocks at 6mins and 30 sec.  If they seem to be soft and fuzzed together your not seeing the full resolution that is on the disc.  At 33mins and 55sec.  every house should appear as a individual structure, there should be no quivering lines on the houses as the camera pans by them.

The Bourne Supremacy- All three movies in the trilogy have great sound, this movie has the best video transfer of the three. 

Changeling-  Very good picture quality and extremely good DTS soundtrack.

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs–  This film has a good DTS soundtrack with an above average picture.

Resident Evil: Afterlife-  Crisp video throughout movie.  The DTS audio is very dynamic.  Will give sub-woofers a workout.

Knight & Day-  Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz were a big disappointment to me, however the video quality and soundtrack are surprising good SPL during the explosion and gun fire.  Makes you want to ware a bullet proof vest.

Burlesque– If musicals are your thing, this disc is a must buy.  Pristine video and the DTS sound stage is about as good as it gets.  “Express” and “Show me how you Burlesque” have a very powerful vocal performance by Christina Auguilera.   The background sound effects are very realistic and make you feel your in the club with the bartender.  The thunder store sequence is very dynamic. 

Bambi- Video on blu-ray does not get any better than this.  One of the sharpest pictures you will find on blu-ray with unbelievable color and detail without being over saturated.  Still classed as a horror film in my book.  They did a wonderful job in the transfer of the original audio tracks.  If I had one complaint about this disc, is the bass tracks are a little weak.

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