November 30, 2012 5:34 AM   Subscribe

Early Christmas Present filter: We got a new tv last night. Help us decide on the best movies to watch to "break it in"

Our old TV wasn't crap but the colours were fading and it was getting darker and the contrast wasn't all that and a bag of potato chips. My fiance is insanely meticulous when it comes to our home theatre, calibrating the screen and his surround sound speakers, etc, so our usable-but-not-perfect TV was really getting to him. Last night we got a good deal on a new one (Samsung UN50EH600) so Happy Christmas To Us, we bought it. The difference is absolutely staggering. Our old 42" was utter garbage compared to the picture and quality of the one one. We watched Avatar on Blu-ray last night to see, and yeah... it was incredible. But what else will blow our minds? We will watch just about any genre.

What movies should we watch to really enjoy all our new TV has to offer?

NOTE: We already have the Batman Trillogy on blu-ray ordered, and the whole set of the Harry Potter movies on blu-ray should be arriving any day now (Thank you, Cyber Monday!), so those will be watched once we get them. We're looking for other mind blowing stuff in the interim.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson to Technology (29 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
With the Hobbit coming up in a couple of weeks, rewatch the Lord of the Rings trilogy extended editions on Blu-ray.
posted by inturnaround at 5:40 AM on November 30, 2012

I don't want to start this entire thing as a big thing, but IF -- IF -- you were a fan of Lost, you owe it to yourself to watch the pilot in Blu-ray on a great TV. That show is gorgeous.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 5:41 AM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Pixar movies on Blu-Ray are amazing, especially more recent ones like Ratatouille or Wall•E.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:43 AM on November 30, 2012

Response by poster: We were fans of LOST, that isn't a bad idea!
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 5:43 AM on November 30, 2012

Speed Racer would be amazing on a great TV. I'd probably also watch a ton of animated stuff (Meet the Robinsons, Rango, Up).
posted by specialagentwebb at 5:43 AM on November 30, 2012

Transformers 2 rocked my world in all its Blu-Ray, 120Hz goodness. The sound was phenomenal as well.
posted by Diskeater at 5:44 AM on November 30, 2012

Animated movies in general look really good on Blu-Ray.

If it were me, I'd probably just go for my favorite "epic" sort of movies, like Lord of the Rings, Jurassic Park, The Matrix, etc. (Also, Battlestar Galactica and Firefly, but those aren't movies.) Something I've known and loved for a while and can therefore fully appreciate how damn pretty it looks. Inception is also quite pretty—and, of course, a lot of fun.

There are also some great transfers of old movies to Blu-Ray, although my husband's the expert in that area, so I can't offer suggestions. Blu-Ray.com is a great site for reviews of specific discs, though, if you're ever looking for a specific movie and want to know whether the Blu-Ray is worth it.
posted by cellar door at 5:46 AM on November 30, 2012

I completely agree with specialagentwebb regarding "SpeedRacer". Say what you want about the storyline - but the movie itself is one long techdemo of HD wonder.
posted by alchemist at 5:47 AM on November 30, 2012

If there's a Blu-Ray of "Crouching Tiger," that would be one of my first picks.

If you have kids, "Hugo" comes to mind.

The Blu-Ray of "The Shining" is pretty great.
posted by Currer Belfry at 5:51 AM on November 30, 2012

Speed Racer, trust me on this. I have heard it described as "it looks like what Jolly Ranchers taste like, on ecstasy".
posted by Mizu at 5:55 AM on November 30, 2012

BBC's the Blue Planet and the quasi-documentary Baraka are both available on blu ray if you want to see some nature and people in beautiful hi def.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 5:58 AM on November 30, 2012

I believe there is a blu-ray release of Lawrence of Arabia.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:14 AM on November 30, 2012

Assuming your sound system is also excellent, you will be blown away by "The Tree of Life" by Terrence Malick. If you like it, also get his "Days of Heaven."
posted by jbickers at 6:18 AM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh boy, you should definitely get the whole Planet Earth series and watch it. It is fantastic in blu-ray. I prefer the David Attenborough version, but if you don't mind Sigourney Weaver, the US version will suffice. Seriously, there is tons of absolutely stunning stuff in that series.
posted by Grither at 6:23 AM on November 30, 2012 [4 favorites]

Enthusiastically seconding Planet Earth (and especially the Attenborough version). You will be astounded. Ditto on Speed Racer.
posted by jquinby at 6:30 AM on November 30, 2012

Oh my gosh, Lord of the Rings. The first time I saw it in Blu-ray I shouted "it looks like an effing documentary!!!". The cgi may be a bit dated by now, but its still pretty sweet.
posted by Elly Vortex at 6:37 AM on November 30, 2012

Apocalypse Now Blue Ray Special Edition. Incredible cinematography, vibrant colors, great sound, all supporting an amazingly told story.

(I'm not a fan of the Redux version; the original theatrical release is classic.)
posted by The Deej at 6:45 AM on November 30, 2012

Thirding Planet Earth (UK) and also recommending The Fall (2006). Tough to beat Avatar though. Also, Cloud Atlas when it arrives on Blu-ray in January.
posted by 6ATR at 6:45 AM on November 30, 2012

The Fountain is beautiful, I use it to try out new monitors. Fun fact: the incredible space scenes were done using a high-power microscope and fluids and stuff.
posted by Adamsmasher at 6:52 AM on November 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

Lots of good answers, but I'm pretty sure you need to watch Sin City, which is how I was introduced to Blu-ray and well. Just WOW.
(Warning: very violent.)
posted by Glinn at 7:03 AM on November 30, 2012

Finding Nemo is probably the most vivid colorful film we've ever seen. Everything just pops, and if that was an issue with your last TV, you may really be surprised by it.
posted by markblasco at 7:20 AM on November 30, 2012

Looks like the animated stuff is covered, but I'll toss in Tangled and Brave from Disney.
Anything action related is going to bring out the best; Jurassic Park, The Mummy and The Mummy Returns. Also, the Indiana Jones series came out on BluRay recently.
posted by NoraCharles at 8:01 AM on November 30, 2012

When I went to buy a new TV, the DVD (dating myself I guess) I took was The Fall.
posted by carsonb at 8:17 AM on November 30, 2012

If you have an awesome speaker set-up to go with your new TV, the answer is and always will be Top Gun. Jets buzzing the tower in surround sound!
posted by Weeping_angel at 8:32 AM on November 30, 2012

Thirding The Fall--it's pretty spectacular on a good TV.
posted by lovableiago at 9:15 AM on November 30, 2012

When we finally got our first HDTV earlier this year, which was also 3D capable, my first stop was Hertzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams. I was not disappointed.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 9:54 AM on November 30, 2012

2001 looks great on Blu-Ray as do other Kubrick films. So much detail.
posted by NoAccount at 12:50 PM on November 30, 2012

posted by beccaj at 4:10 PM on November 30, 2012

If like me you have fuzzy memories of Disney films past, the Diamond/Special Editions of films like Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty etc, are absolutely stunning. The effect is compounded by the fact that when you first watched it they were probably much blurrier. It's fascinating to see it in glorious HD.

Tangled and Brave also look ridiculously beautiful in HD.

For visually stunning documentaries, perhaps the BBC's Earthflight, which is about birds! There are fantastic aerial shots of flying with birds. You can get a peek with clips on YouTube.
posted by undue influence at 6:06 PM on November 30, 2012

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