- Author John Steward
- Published November 8, 2013
The best five Blu-rays for a massive TV
People often pour scorn on colourful movie blockbusters. “There’s no plot!”, they cry. “Where’s the art?” These people clearly don’t have a big telly.
There are few things more awesome than watching multi-million-dollar eye-candy for the first time on a huge screen. Now ULTRA HD and OLED TVs are here, huge is compulsory. Here are five films that’ll make the most of that massive screen acreage…
The plot is ludicrous. The acting is rubbish. It stars Shia LaBeouf (but co-stars Megan Fox; swings and roundabouts). Do we care? Nope. You can rely on Michael Bay to deliver action-movie bombast at its finest, and here he serves up well above-par fare. Fast action, bright, vivid colours and jaw-dropping CG effects combine to make perhaps the ultimate blockbuster experience. The gorgeously varied colour palettes, pin-sharp detail and fantastic slow-mo close-ups make it incredible in regular Full HD. But watching it upscaled on a big UHD display will, er, transform your experience.
Star Trek (2009)
JJ Abrams’ triumphant reboot of the decades-old franchise shows what creator Gene Roddenberry would’ve done if he’d had modern tech at his disposal. Like Super 8, Star Trek uses a vibrant set of primary colours for its palette – exactly the kind of thing that brings a big screen to life. And that’s before we’ve touched on the breathtakingly expansive space-scapes. Sure, these look good on a 32in display – but scale that to double the size in ULTRA HD and the detail of the individual stars, nebulae and glimmering ships can almost convince you that you’re floating among it all.
Another JJ Abrams vehicle, this time in conjunction with no less than Steven Spielberg. This cross between Stand By Me and ET makes the most of Abrams’ penchant for lens flare and slow panning shots – and believe us, the bigger the display, the better the effect. Detail is sky-high in this flick, with the 1979-era props looking for all the world like they’re brand new. And the train-crash scene near the beginning seems to pop out of the screen. It’s rare that we’ve been speechless while watching a movie but this film did the job.
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Set in 1805, this film is opposite to Transformers in almost every way. There’s less Shia LaBeouf, for one thing. Set-piece action scenes are scarce, and there’s not too much in the way of fast-paced, display-testing sequences either. What you do get, though, are amazing shots of vast seas and skies – with all the minute wave and cloud detail that comes with them. The planks of the ships’ decks, the fabric of uniforms and the moody night-time shots are truly absorbing on a large screen. And when the cannon balls (and chunks of deck and sail) start flying, you’re in for a proper treat.
Any of the Lord of the Rings films
We can’t recommend any single film from the trilogy – they’re all spectacular. Big panning shots of Rohan, Rivendell and The Shire are crowd-pleasers on any screen and you’ll be wowed. But it’s the little things that stand out on a massive display – individual arrows in a salvo; the chinks of light on armour; the detail under Gollum’s skin. It all jumps out, life-size, to draw you in. And the battle scenes – oh, the battle scenes. Thousands of orcs and humans clashing, seen from above. It’s awesome in the truest sense of the word.
John Steward is assistant production editor of What Hi-Fi? Sound & Vision.
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