Last year I bought a Blu-ray DVD player by Panasonic. It is a good player, but unlike later players, it does not support an internet connection (lately I’ve started seeing Blu-ray players for around $129, so they are finally dropping in price). After I got it, I joined Netflix and was able to pay an extra $1 per month to get Blu-ray DVD’s (later they increased this to $3 per month for the 2-at-a-time plan that I usually do, so I didn’t do it). So I have seen some Blu-ray movies and they are impressive-looking on my big TV. But I have never bought a Blu-ray movie, mostly because they are just too expensive. Most of the DVD’s I buy are less than $10 after they have been out a while and I will get entire seasons of TV shows I like for less than $20, but Blu-ray movies have been around $25, even for older movies.
This summer, the Pixar/Disney movie, Up, came out. It got good reviews and I kept meaning to see it, but never got around to it. The DVD came out the day before my birthday, so I thought it would make a good birthday present to myself, and Walmart had it for only $20.
The Blu-ray version of the movie has 4 disks. One disk is the Blu-ray version of the movie with some extras. Disk 2 is also Blu-ray with some additional extras about making the movie. The third disk is a regular DVD version of the first disk, which is pretty neat in case I want to lend the movie to someone who doesn’t have a Blu-ray player. The 4th disk is a “digital copy” of the movie that can be unlocked and imported in to iTunes. That’s a pretty neat idea, though I don’t know if my nano would play a movie (I don’t see why not, but it would be awfully tiny, so I think I’ll wait until I get a Touch).
One of the extras that is included on the main disk is a set of calibration screens that help you set up your TV and home theater system to get the most out of watching the DVD. There are screens for setting brightness, contrast, balancing the surround speakers, etc. There are some games, but I think I need an internet connection for those.
The movie itself was good. Not really a silly movie like Toy Story or The Incredibles. It seemed almost a little too serious, but it gives the movie some emotional depth. The DVD extras really add a lot to the movie as you get to see the real place the movie was set in and the Pixar animator that the little boy is based on. They also point out things about the characters that I had missed. Also there was a featurette with Dug, a goofy talking dog from the movie, showing a side story about him that happened concurrently with the movie. I thought it was better than the sort of sad Pixar short with the stork (also included) that I am guessing they showed at the beginning of the theatrical release.