1. ArgoArgo took top honors as best picture, as well as film editing, adapted screenplay, and film editing at this year's Oscars, and although I though I was up-in-the air as to whether Zero Dark Thirty or Argo should win Best Picture, I was pleased that Argo did end up winning. This film is a great addition to your home theater viewing collection. Director Ben Affleck takes viewers back to the 1979 Iranian Hostage Crises with great visual style and storytelling. According to "those-in-the-know", with few exceptions (such as a change in the climax event), the events detailed in the film are historically accurate. For more on Argo's Oscar as well as the Blu-ray Disc release, read the:
2. Life of PiLife of Pi was one of the most unusual films I have seen. The film received a total of 11 Oscar nominations, and ended up winning four (Best Director, Original Score, Visual Effects, and Cinematography), which was pretty good considering the crowded film of deserving nominees in each of the categories. In an interesting move, Ang Lee won Best Director, but that wasn't enough to push Life of Pi into the Best Picture winner spot - which end up going to Argo (even though Ben Affleck wasn't even nominated for Best Director). In my opinion, these means that competition was really stiff this year.
However, getting back to Life of Pi, this is definitely a must-have movie to add to your Blu-ray Disc collection. Visually the film is stunning, and was actually released in both 2D and 3D - believe me when I say that even though both version look great - 3D is definitely showcased as an excellent storytelling tool. In addition, the Cinematography and Visual Effects wins are certainly deserved as both live action and CGI elements are integrated realistically and seamless. For example, the main supporting character in the film, a Bengal Tiger is either CGI or real - see if you can tell which is which as the film progresses.
In addition, with its excellent soundtrack the film provides a great home theater experience.
Read more about the Movie - Compare Prices for both the 2D and 3D Blu-ray Disc Editions.
3. Les MisérablesHistory, Spectacle, Costumes, Singing! The musical version of the acclaimed literary work and musical arrives on the screen with stupendus glory. The has an impressive cast that includes Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, and even Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bohnam Carter) that alone makes it worth the look. However, that is only beginning. The film won oscars for makeup and hairstyling which makes the characters come alive visually, as well as a well-deserved awad for sound mixing that will definitely give your audio system a good workout. Of special note is the performance by supporting actress Oscar winner Ann Hathaway.
Movie Review by Rebecca Murray, About.com Guide to Hollywood Movies.
4. SkyfallFrom Adele's opening Oscar-winning song to the intensive action and personal relationship between Bond and M, this film is one of the most unusual, if not one of the best Bonds ever. This time 007 is not faced with someone trying to take over the World, but a cut-throat former agent who has gone rogue with only one goal in mind - to kill M for her supposed betrayal of his activities. I won't give away the ending, but this movie has plenty of action sequences that lead up to an important turn of events that will reshape the ongoing Bond film series. In addition - as a semi-spoiler - you will also find out the origin of Moneypenny.
Even though the film did not win an Oscar for best cinematography, it was nominated, and deservedly so, making it a great visual experience for home theater viewing. In addition, get your speakers and subwoofer rev'd up as they will definitely get a workout - the won the Oscar for best sound editing - so you know what that means.
5. BraveIt wasn't that long ago that the Motion Picture Academy struggled to find any worth films to award in this category, but with advances in animation technology, there are now a plethora of animated films released every year that, even if very good, don't even get nominated for Best Animated Film. However, this year's crop were all deserving, but Brave had something special. From the flowing red hair of the lead character, to the detail in both the background landscapes and interior textures, to the perfect voice casting and cutting-edge surround sound mix, Brave definitely deserved its Best Animated film Oscar win, and also deserves a place in a Blu-ray disc collection.
Read my Blu-ray Disc Review.
6. LincolnSteven Spielberg always seems to have a great movie for Oscar consideration and Lincoln is a perfect example. The film features historically accurate production design that takes viewers back to the most trubulent period of the U.S. history, the Civil War and its aftermath. Spielberg weaves the story of Lincoln's efforts to end slavery via constitutional amendment. Although nominated in 12 Oscar Categories (leading all Oscar-Nominated films), inlcuding most acting cateogries, and the director, adapted screenplay, cinematography, costuming, editing, and, of course, original score (by John Williams, of course).
Unfortunately, despite cornering the market on nominations for the 85th annual awards, after the votes were tallied, Lincoln won just two: Best Actor for Daniel Day's excellent portrayal of the 16th President, and production design for accurately recreating the 1860's environment in which the events of the film take place.
For more on the film, read the Review by Rebecca Murray, About.com Guide to Hollywood Movies
Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD - Compare Prices
Four-Disc Limited Edition Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy - Compare Prices
7. Django UnchainedQuentin Tarantino loves movies, loves making movies, and loves hitting you in the face. Django Unchained is a perfect example of his approach. The film takes place in the civil-war era south, centering on a former slave, Django, who partners with white bounty hunter to rejoin and free his still-slave wife by any means necessary.
Featuring both an excellent, thought provoking, script that is also laced with loose use of the infamous 'n' word, along with over-the-top intense action and violence, Tarantino definitely draws us into the inner psyche of his characters. Once you start watching Django Unchained, you can't turn away, even though portions contain over-the-top language and violence will definitely make you uncomfortable.
Django Unchained captured eight Oscar nominations, and though it didn't win in all those categories, it won two interesting awards, Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for the excellent performance by Christoph Waltz, who won the same award for his work in Tarantino's previously released Inglorious Basterds. Also, if you are a true film buff, take note that this movie bucks the trend of filmmakers shooting in digital formats - Tarantino is dedicated to shooting movies on 35mm film.
Read a review of the theatrical version of Django Unchained by Rebecca Murray, About.com Guide to Hollywood Movies.