I was listening to my favorite morning show the other day and they were complaining about the “commercials” now before the start of the movies. It’s amazing how times have changed. We haven’t been to a movie since the 80s, when we saw Rocky III in the theatre. With the advent of the VCR and now DVDs all of our movie watching is done this way. Love the pause button, no one sitting in front of me, and not having to pay exorbitant prices for the snacks, since I can make my own.The movie theatre does, however, bring back a lot of memories of days gone past.. Going to the movies was a family event and for many teens a “date night” event. Prices were reasonable back then. In addition to indoor theatres we also had the drive-in movies which was a completely different experience.When we were children, the best time to go to the movies was with our friends on Saturday afternoons. We’d take our 10 cents or quarter in later years, to the local theater and get to watch not only a great movie, but those wonderful cliff hanger serials. They always kept us coming back to see how the hero would get out of each chapter’s jam. We didn’t want to miss the next chapter.Of course, some things will always remain the same. We all had to hit the “concession stand” and get our soda, popcorn, Goobers, Raisinettes, and/or favorite chocolate bar to munch on while we watched. When we were young we wanted to sit up front, when we grew older, the further back the better.I can still remember taking my younger brother to the movies on Saturday’s. I paid 50 cents and he got in for free since he was under the age of 12. We were still getting “serials” before the movies, they were a part of the whole experience and plus if you wanted to see the next one you had to go the next week too, and who didn’t. We didn’t want to miss the next chapter of such greats as Flash Gordon, Commando Cody, Dick Tracy, Zorro or Smilin’ Jack to name a few.Hearing about the theatres today, the small screens, crowded theatres, cell phones, the exorbitant prices for snacks, and all the other “things” going on, makes me glad for the “old time movies and television shows” on DVD today. This doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy some of today’s movies and television, we do. However, I will take those “Saturday Matinee Serials” before the main feature over the “commercials” any day of the week.
A few years ago there was a format war between the blu ray disc and HD DVD for which would be the optical disc for high definition films. And the blu ray finally won out in 2008 so until recently many film companies had not released a full catalogue of blu ray movies.This is changing now, and more and more titles are being released everyday, so if you were unsure before whether to actually get a blu ray player, now is the time to think about it.Obviously to watch movies in this format properly you also need to have a television with HD capabilities. But if you already do own a HD TV and a blu ray player or a PlayStation 3, which is capable of playing the discs, you are ready to watch films at home like you have never seen them before.At the moment every new movie, and television shows and concerts for that matter, are coming out on blu rays, but many films should be on the top of your list if you are thinking about having a home collection. Or if you are just looking for titles to rent, these are certainly ones to consider.Its hard to imagine recommending movies that are over seventy years, but the first 3 movies that you should think about are just that, and are movies that belong in any collection no matter the format. The blu rays offer you the opportunity to see them like you never have before, and are by far the highest quality versions ever seen before. The first is Casablanca, and its ultimate collector’s edition should be in everyone’s collection. It might not stand up technically to movies made today, but if you have seen it before you will be gobsmacked by just how much better this copy is than anything seen before.Warner have fully remastered the original print of Gone With The Wind for the Seventieth anniversary edition, and compared to the DVD released a couple of years back, it is a remarkable jump in picture quality. No matter how many times you have seen it before, watching this version is a completely new experience, not to mention the eight hours of special feature, including 3 hours exclusive to this release.Amazingly the third film almost looks like it was made today, so good is the remastering job. The Wizard of Oz looks truly remarkable and it is almost hard to believe it is over seventy years ago that it was made.The Lord Of The Rings trilogy is not quite one movie, but it is one story, and definitely one that is a blu ray must. It is an incredibly made trilogy and there can be no better way of watching this Peter Jackson directed classic.But if you want to watch a movie that would make people rush out to buy a blu ray player, then make sure to get James Cameron’s Avatar. It is an absolute visual feast, and should be on the top of your list.There are many other great movies you really must see this way. Those with incredible special effects and visuals shine the most, like the comic book adapted films like Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and Iron Man. All of these titles come jam-packed with special features too. If you are a fan of the great animation done by Pixar, then you will want to get those too. The high definition really comes alive with movies like Wall-e, The Toy Story trilogy and the excellent Up. If you are buying these titles, look out for the combination packs that include an extra DVD version of the movie.