PS3's 20 best Blu-rays
12th Dec 2010 | 17:00
In part one we covered the first ten of the best Blu-rays currently available for the PS3.
In part two we're going to list ten of the absolute best Blu-ray offerings on the market. These would not only make great gifts this Christmas but are also essential part of any Blu-ray collection.
No Country For Old Men: The Coen Brothers' razor sharp characters deserve a razor sharp picture transfer. Here they get it, in one of the most highly detailed Blu-ray pictures we've ever seen.
From every strand of Chigurh's ludicrous hair to the unflinching detail on seeping leg wounds, 1080p finds immense subtlety in the Coens' deceptively simple style.
Price: £8.85 (Amazon)
Blade Runner: Final Cut: Ridley Scott's lavishly re-mastered final cut is Scott's definitive cut, cleaned up to the extent that it could easily pass for a brand spanking new film. Sure, there are newer sci-fi films that will show off your Blu-ray capabilities better, but most pale when compared to Ridley Scott's epic.
Price: £9.99 (Amazon.co.uk)
Back to the Future: 25th Anniversary: Two of the best action comedy sci-fi blockbusters ever committed to film (er, and the goofier Part 3) get a reverential Blu-ray treatment.
The transfer itself brings us the films in glorious detail, revealing sight gags and quirky asides lost in standard definition. Okay, a few of the special effects don't cope so well with such an unflinching eye for detail, but it all adds to the charm.
The trilogy really shines in its special features, in particular the Michael J Fox-free footage.
Price: £22.99 (Amazon.co.uk)
District 9: When it comes to CG heavy films, uber-definiton really separates the wheat from the chaff. If the real and the fake don't naturally intertwine, Blu-ray will reveal it.
Director Neill Blomkamp passes the test with flying high-def colours - the real Johannesburg and the not-so-real alien mothership above are near inseparable, blending together to brilliant effect in this raw sci-fi breakout hit.
A particular shout out to the DTS-HD MA soundtrack - a swirling 5.1 mix that engulfs the room and pulls you right into the heart of the sprawling alien shanty town. Buy it if Avatar is too saccharine for you.
Price: £9.99 (Play.com)
Quantum of Solace: Since its release, Quantum of Solace has been one of the discs of choice for in-store display demos.
Yes, a picture and sound quality so damn sexy it outweighs the negatives of Daniel Craig's grimacing mug. Marc Foster's take on Bond is a little hurried and lacks the effortless cool of Casino Royale, but his visual eye - specifically in the desert hotel finale, and the spectacular open-air Opera scene - is unmatched by any previous Bond director.
Alternatively, snap up the Casino Royale Deluxe Edition for roughly £10 at most online stores.
Price: £10.99 (HMV)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind: This Blu-ray transfer captures the detail so well it's like being back in 1977, standing on set beside Spielberg as Dreyfuss wigs out with a plate of mash.
It helps, of course, that the film is every bit as charming now as it was back then. The transfer received Spielberg's blessing - if it's good enough for the Beard, it's good enough for us.
Price: £10.99 (Zavvi)
Avatar: In 2009 James Cameron redefined the visual cinema experience. In 2010, he redefined the visual home cinema experience. Avatar's Blu-ray is nothing short of phenomenal, boasting such a sense of physical depth as to negate the need for 3D wizardry.
Yes, his narrative riff on Dances With Wolves is a little wiffly-piffly, but Pandora's vibrant jungles and spectacular action clashes are what Blu-ray was invented for. If you pick one disc to show the power of high-def movie presentation to your pals, make it Avatar.
Price: £27.99 (Play.com)
Star Trek: It's a Blu-ray Jim, but not as we know it. Star Trek's presentation has all the crisp discipline of a neatly turned out Starfleet cadet. The Enterprise looks wondrous in 1080p, letting you get a proper eyeful of minute computer console details and enjoying Chris Pine's rugged five o'clock shadow in a way DVD owners simply can't.
If the image 'prospers', the package 'lives long' thanks to a rich set of bonus features. A playful commentary with Abrams and the writers gives you a good excuse to wallow in the visuals twice in a row and comprehensive 'making ofs' cover everything from planet building to the fate of Red Shirt Guy. Beam it up.
Price: £10.99 (HMV.com)