Blu-Ray Makes the Grade

As long as there has been home video, there have been beloved movies–2001, Dersu Uzala, Lawrence of Arabia–that I had no interest is seeing on any living room format. Now, with Blu-ray discs, I’m taking that back.

I bought a Blu-ray player a while back, and one of the first movies I rented was 2001: A Space Odyssey. I’ve loved this picture since I was 14, and I’ve always been something of a purist about it. To get the full effect, you have to see this Cinerama release not only in 70mm, but in 70mm on a giant, curved screen.

I haven’t seen it that way since 1974. In recent years, the best I could do was 70mm at the Castro, which is still a very good way to see it–better than Blu-ray, of course.

But the Blu-ray was surprisingly good. So good, in fact, that I have since bought it. I have a 50-inch HDTV, which helps, and I sit relatively close to it. The shuttle docking to the Blue Danube worked as it should, providing both immense spectacle and fascinating detail.

When Dersu Uzala and Lawrence of Arabia come out on Blu-ray, I’ll probably buy them, as well. I can no longer claim that certain movies aren’t worth watching at home.

For more on what Blu-ray can do, see my article The 10 Best Movies to Show Off Your Home Theater.