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DVD Talk Forum Select Forum Area...Forum Home--------------------DVD TalkDVD ReviewsDVD HardwareHD TalkInternational DVD--------------------DVD Bargains DVD Exchange Hot DealsStore Forum--------------------Book TalkComic Book TalkMovie TalkMusic TalkTV TalkVideo Game Talk-------------------- Tech Talk OtherSports--------------------FeedbackSearch-------------------- Forum Home Resources DVD Price SearchCustomer Service #'sRCE InfoLinks Columns var xyz = ' =Date&reviewType=All&searchText=';function d(e, z) var sb = document.getElementById('sb');var px = document.getElementById('px');if(e.id == '') sb.value = 'Search ' + e.innerHTML; else sb.value = e.id;var t = px.getElementsByTagName('A');for(var i = 0; i Search: HD TalkUnbiased Coverage Of All Things HD: HD-DVD, Blu-Ray and Beyond HD Holiday Guide Main Warner Bros Turns Blu Top HD Discs of 2007DVD Talk's Top High Def Discs of 20072007 was a great year for high definition nuts. The format war spurred both HD DVD and Blu-ray to ever more glorious heights. Each tried to outdo the other with cheaper players, more features, and better and better discs. The consumer was treated to a bevy of offers for free discs, either packaged with decks or through buy one get one free sales. All of this allowed us to get some amazing discs in both formats, and there have been so many. Looking back on the year, I would have to say that Warner Bros. and Disney consistently released high quality sets. Warner Bros. lead the way in releasing its back catalog. Disney went the extra mile to give their titles premium releases. Here at DVD Talk, we've compiled a list of what we feel are the best discs for each format, as well as a separate list of titles released on both formats. Keep in mind that these aren't the only discs worth getting, but these represent the best in visual and aural quality, special features, or all three.Note: All the blurbs are written by Daniel Hirshleifer except where otherwise noted.HD DVD ExclusivesHD DVD proved from day one that top notch video and audio quality was not a problem. Who could forget seeing Serenity for the first time? Over the course of 2007, the format pushed its next gen special features, such as web connectivity and PiP commentaries. We also got a big shock from this camp when Paramount and Dreamworks announced HD DVD exclusivity.1. Transformers(Dreamworks // $39.99 // Reviewed by Daniel Hirshleifer)Transformers was Paramount's big gun of the year, raking in the dough at the box office. This was the studio's first major title since going HD DVD exclusive, and they hit the ball right out of the park. The video transfer was completely faithful to the original theatrical presentation, and the room-shaking sound proved that you don't need lossless to blow your audience away. Even more than that, the disc was packed with exclusive features that simply could not be done on DVD (or, at the time, Blu-ray). From a picture-in-picture commentary to a slew of content available to download through the player, Transformers stands as one of the most advanced and impressive packages yet released on either format.Audio Features: Dolby Digital Plus 5.12. Hot Fuzz(Universal // $39.98 // Reviewed by Daniel Hirshleifer)In a world where lawlessness is the rule, there's only one salvation: The Fuzz. Okay, that's not really how Hot Fuzz presents itself, but it might as well. The movie is a loving homage and merciless parody of big budget action orgies, brought to you by "The guys who've watched every action movie ever made." Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright hit a home run and make a movie that is both relentlessly hilarious and completely thrilling. The HD DVD is just as good, with both sound and picture brimming with detail and glistening with clarity. As if that weren't enough, Universal throws in extra after extra, most of which weren't available on the corresponding DVD release, including three extra commentaries. The movie didn't do much business here in the States, but you can rectify that by putting it on your shelf.Audio Features: Dolby Digital Plus 5.13. Heroes: Season One(Universal // $99.98 // Reviewed by Daniel Hirshleifer)Heroes was a bona fide television phenomenon, reeling in viewers week after week with tales of disparate people who possess amazing powers. Universal knew what a hit they had on their hands, and made it a top of the line set on HD DVD. Aside from being able to see the show in HD and hear it in high resolution audio, the big draw was a set of exclusive special features not on the DVD. These included video commentaries, web-enabled content, and U-Control, Universal's catch-all name for its interactive HD features. While the set is a bit pricey, the added value content makes it worth a look. Audio Features: Dolby Digital Plus 5.14. Shaun of the Dead(Universal // $29.98 // Reviewed by Adam Tyner)Between the two next-gen formats, we're getting Shaun of the Dead, both the original and the remake of Dawn of the Dead, and Romero's Day of the Dead all in the space of a couple of months. Toss in last year's Land of the Dead and the kinda-sorta-not-really-zombie-flicks in the Evil Dead series on HD DVD and Blu-ray, and it's a great time to be a home theater nut who takes entirely too much pleasure in watching hordes of the undead devour the living. Shaun of the Dead is a blood-spattered valentine to George Romero, standing out not just as a hell of a comedy but one of the all-time best zombie flicks. The HD DVD looks and sounds fantastic, and even if the extras are the same as the last go-around and aren't as comprehensive as the British release, there are still plenty of bells and whistles to chew on.-Adam TynerAudio Features: Dolby Digital Plus 5.15. Star Trek: Season One(Paramount // $194.99 // Reviewed by das Monkey)Star Trek is my first love. I watched many other series prior, and some were appointment viewing, but Star Trek is the first one that ever spoke to me in any meaningful capacity, the first time I genuinely cared about a television show. I've owned these episodes in so many incarnations, seen them in so many venues, that I wonder when it will ever get old. Over 40 years strong and the answer remains ... "not yet". There's a quality to these episodes that never stops entertaining me, a sense of wonder about the universe, a hope for the future that never wavers, and a belief in mankind that gives us more credit than we likely deserve. Much of the social commentary remains relevant still today, and the dynamic between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy is pure gold. To say the remastered versions of these episodes are incredible is an understatement, and it is thrilling to see them presented with such vibrance and clarity. Not every episode in this season represents the best of the show, and I do have a few minor complaints with the menu structure and mastering choices; but this is close to a must-own for any fan of this franchise, and on content alone, we're looking at a "Highly Recommended" title knocking on the door of "Collector Series".-das MonkeyAudio Features: Dolby True HD 5.1, Dolby Digital Plus 2.06. Jet Li's Fearless(Universal // $39.98 // Reviewed by Daniel Hirshleifer)I've never been a big fan of Jet Li, but Fearless surprised me in the best possible way. Jet Li's performance was nuanced and subtle, and the film itself was meditative and thoughtful. Of course, it's still littered with fantastic Hong Kong fight sequences, so the eye candy never lags. The image on the HD DVD is easily one of the best that you'll find on any disc, with nary a flaw and several moments that will drop your jaw. The Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 mix is the perfect complement, with plenty of atmosphere. While Jet Li is still a big name on these shores, this movie may have passed under the radar. This is the best way to discover it for yourself.Audio Features: Dolby Digital Plus 5.17. The Bourne Ultimatum(Universal // $39.98)While The Bourne Ultimatum wasn't as strong as its two predecessors, it still packed quite a punch, both artistically and at the box office. Universal has lavished the HD DVD with a transfer that perfectly replicates Paul Greengrass' signature dirty, jerky style. But even better than that is the sound, which is so immersing that it will have you watching your back to make sure the CIA isn't on your tail. Like so many of its new releases, Universal ups the value of the HD DVD by offering many of its special features in high definition, as well as several interactive components to enhance the experience. Ultimatum may not be the best Bourne film, but it is one of the best HD DVD titles of the year.Audio Features: Dolby True HD 5.1; Dolby Digital Plus 5.18. Inside Man(Universal // $29.98 // Reviewed by Adam Tyner)Inside Man is further proof that a movie can be commercially successfully without mindlessly pandering or being cartoonishly over-the-top. Its final reel doesn't quite live up to everything offered throughout the rest of the film, but Inside Man is a smart, sensationally well acted movie, confident enough in the strength of its writing and performances that it doesn't need to resort to the usual thriller clichÃs to establish a taut, tense atmosphere. The quality of the presentation lives up to the lofty expectations swirling around these high-def formats, and although the extras are light and somewhat uneven, there's just enough substance for them to warrant a look.-Adam TynerAudio Features: Dolby True HD 5.1; Dolby Digital Plus 5.19. Anchorman(Dreamworks // $29.99 // Reviewed by Ian Jane)Anchorman is currently the pinnacle of Will Ferrell's career. Never again he has been able to combine the sublimely absurd with such skill and panache, nor has he again been able to assemble a cast of comedy superstars as he does here. Easily on the level of some of the best SNL alumn projects, including Wayne's World and The Blues Brothers, Anchorman is uproarious from beginning to end. The only downside to this disc is that Wake Up, Ron Burgundy!, a film made from outtakes and deleted scenes, was not included. Other than that, you get a disc with a ton of special features, HD picture, and, oh yeah, one of the best comedies of the decade.Audio Features: Dolby Digital Plus 5.110. Pride and Prejudice(Universal // $29.98 // Reviewed by Adam Tyner)These next-generation formats have struggled with moving copies of their catalog titles, and yet online sales of Pride and Prejudice have greatly outpaced quite a few of the usual action and sci-fi blockbusters. Part of this may be because gearheads are trying to involve their wives and girlfriends in their hobby -- or maybe even just using this most recent adaptation of Jane Austen's timeless novel of romance and self-discovery as an excuse to justify buying a shiny new HD DVD player. Some of these men may grouse at the idea of sitting through a two hour period romance the way I initially had, but they may be surprised by how engaging and exceptionally well-made Pride and Prejudice is. This HD DVD boasts an aural and visual presentation that's nearly as exceptional as the film it accompanies, and although many of the extras on the disc are light and insubstantial, the strength of director Joe Wright's audio commentary more than makes up for it.-Adam TynerAudio Features: Dolby True HD 5.1, Dolby Digital Plus 5.1Blu-ray ExclusivesBlu-ray had a slow start in 2006, but thanks to the continuing efforts of Sony and Disney, managed to take the lead in sales every week of 2007. And not only that, but the quality of discs has continued to rise, and with the advent of new technology profiles, Blu-ray is quickly closing the technological gap it has with HD DVD. Sony's Playstation 3 has continued to be the top selling player, but high profile consumer electronics companies such as Panasonic have made attractive players that are getting ever cheaper. With all of that, the real treat is still the content.1. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest(Disney // $34.99 // Reviewed by Daniel Hirshleifer)Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest single-handedly brought Blu-ray back from the brink. While several strong discs had been released prior to Dead Man's Chest, the lingering stink of Blu-ray's poor start couldn't be swept away. Disney changed all that, putting out a two-disc set of such excellence that it could not be denied. The picture and sound quality blew away anything that had been seen to date, and garnered almost unanimous praise from critics and audiences alike. All of the special features from the DVD had been ported over, and brand new interactive features were made just for this edition. Even though it's been seven months since Dead Man's Chest was released on Blu-ray, it still stands as the crowning achievement of the format to date.Audio Features: PCM Uncompressed 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.12. Ratatouille(Disney // $34.99 // Reviewed by Daniel Hirshleifer)Disney really brought their A game to the table this year, releasing wave after wave of stellar discs. Ratatouille was one of the best. My personal favorite film of the year, Ratatouille comes with a transfer so rich in depth and detail that the film's director, Brad Bird, said he couldn't tell the difference between the Blu-ray and a 2K presentation. When you add in the fact that there's over an hour of footage and an entire Bird commentary not available on the DVD, you get one of the best Blu-ray discs of this year.Audio Features: PCM Uncompressed 5.1; Dolby Digital 5.13. Close Encounters of the Third Kind(Sony // $49.95 // Reviewed by Adam Tyner)It's a watershed moment for these high definition formats that one of Steven Spielberg's most colossal, enduring successes has arrived on Blu-ray, and Sony has spared no effort in ensuring that Close Encounters of the Third Kind would stand out as one of the most compelling releases on the format. Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a film that means a lot to me, continuing to stir some of the same awe and wonder in me despite having seen it time and again for decades, and I'm thrilled to see it arrive on Blu-ray in an immaculate package that matches its timeless charm. Close Encounters of the Third Kind is among very, very few releases on either next-generation format that I'd point to as essential.-Adam TynerAudio Features: Dolby True HD 5.1, DTS-HD MA 5.14. Cars(Disney // $34.99 // Reviewed by Adam Tyner)This is the definitive release of Cars that Pixar's legions of fans have been waiting for, boasting a reference quality presentation and a tremendous assortment of extras. No, Cars doesn't rank with the best of Pixar's efforts to date, but it still stands strong as one of the best animated movies of the past few years, and it's finally gotten the lavish release it deserves on Blu-ray.-Adam TynerAudio Features: PCM Uncompressed 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.15. Superbad(Sony // $43.95 // Reviewed by Daniel Hirshleifer)Superbad had me laughing from beginning to end. It's a great story about growing up and getting laid. Jonah Hill and Michael Cera were perfect for their roles, but even they pale in comparison to the comedic powerhouse that is McLovin'. Sony knew what kind of cult hit they had on their hands, and carefully crafted this two-disc Blu-ray set with them in mind. From the penis drawing backgrounds to the hours upon hours of gut-busting special features, Superbad's reputation will only grow thanks to this release.Audio Features: Dolby True HD 5.1, PCM Uncompressed 5.16. Casino Royale(Sony // $38.96 // Reviewed by Joshua Zyber)I was set to hate Casino Royale. I hadn't enjoyed a Bond film since Goldeneye and I thought that Daniel Craig just didn't fit in as the world's greatest secret agent. But gosh darn it, I couldn't have been more wrong. Casino Royale blew me away, and immediately entered the pantheon of the great Bond films (along with From Russia With Love, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, The Spy Who Loved Me, and Goldeneye). In fact, I loved the film so much that its release on Blu-ray is what spurred me to buy into the format in the first place. So how could I not include it on the list of the year's best Blu-rays? This isn't a placeholder, though, as the disc has stellar picture and sound, and several features in high definition. Shake up a couple of martinis and enjoy the meaner, grittier James Bond.Audio Features: PCM Uncompressed 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.17. Halloween(Starz / Anchor Bay // $29.98 // Reviewed by Daniel Hirshleifer)A true horror classic, Halloween was one of Anchor Bay's first entries into the high def world, and it is a winner. The Blu-ray is worth it alone for the image transfer, which is the best I've ever seen the film look. It's got an insightful commentary by John Carpenter, Debra Hill, and Jamie Lee Curtis, and an impressive retrospective documentary. It's about time we get to see "the night HE came home" in glorious high definition.Audio Features:PCM Uncompressed 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital 1.08. Rescue Dawn(MGM // $39.98 // Reviewed by Adam Tyner)Rescue Dawn, Werner Herzog's adaptation of his own documentary Little Dieter Needs To Fly, is an unconventional but compelling piece of work, with great performances by Christian Bale, Jeremy Davies, and Steve Zahn. Fox, eschewing its standard practice of dumping substandard transfers onto barebones discs for their Blu-rays, has actually ported over all of the DVD features and added more on top. The commentary by Werner Herzog is good enough alone to warrant a purchase, but there is so much more to see. One of the very few unquestionably high quality releases from Fox.Audio Features: DTS-HD MA 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.19. Weeds Season Two(Lions Gate // $39.99 // Reviewed by Daniel Hirshleifer)Weeds is a thoroughly addicting show (or it was until the train wreck of the third season), and season two took everything that was great about season one and piled on even more. Mary Louise Parker is simply sublime as the happy homemaker turned pot queenpin, and Zooey Deschanel makes a memorable and demented appearance, as well. There's a ton of content here, enough for a two-disc set, and the price is more than reasonable. Just be sure to bring some snacks, as you're liable to get the munchies.Audio Features: PCM Uncompressed 7.1, Dolby Digital EX 5.110. Volver(Sony // $38.96 // Reviewed by Mitchell Hattaway)For decades, Pedro Almodovar has been forging his own unique cinematic vision, and each new entry in his catalo


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