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February 1, 2016

5 Movies to Christen Your New Home Theatre System


We took an informal poll the other week, asking 44 Charles residents which store in the Manulife Centre they visit most. Bay Bloor Radio came up a lot. And it wasn’t that people were necessarily there to buy they just liked walking around, checking out the tech and dreaming about what their living rooms could be with a little BBR love.

One guy we spoke to actually got his wish this past Christmas and said he spent a good day figuring out what to watch first. He settled on Platoon, a fine choice. It got us thinking about what we’d choose. It’d have to be something that made use of the whole package: breathtaking visuals complemented by a perfectly mastered audio score.

Here’s where we netted out:

Inception (2010)

Meticulously crafted for surround sound, Inception’s soundtrack is a work of art that can stand on its own merit. Coupled with mind-bending sets and visual effects, this is an intense experience, even on repeated viewing.

Just hearing the movie’s name is enough to trigger that iconic rumbling BWWWAAAAMMMMMM. And depending on where your speakers are, your neighbours will enjoy Hans Zimmer’s score as much as you will.

86% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes / 8.8 on IMDB

Spirited Away (2001)
This Japanese animated classic will squeeze every drop of colour our of your screen. The stirring orchestral score will span the full range of your speakers. And a crystalclear 4K screen will reveal director Hayao Miyazaki’s commitment to detail in each frame.

There’s an English-language version of this movie, but we prefer the original Japanese version with subtitles. It’s easy enough for kids of all ages to follow along.

96% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes / 8.6 on IMDB

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

One of the last films to capture the true golden age of Hollywood style, every shot feels like a work of art as it follows Peter O’Toole across the deserts of North Africa.

Sony recently restored and re-mastered its picture into stunning 4K resolution. But Maurice Jarre’s powerful soundtrack, performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, needed no such love. It was awesome then and it’s awesome now.

99% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes / 8.4 on IMDB

Gravity (2013)

If you have a 3D TV, this is the movie you want to start with. It’s one of the few films that truly benefits from the third dimension  you’ll feel like you’re right alongside George Clooney and Sandra Bullock.

But the movie is just as impactful with a conventional screen, especially those pushing the limits of resolution. Coupled with Steven Price’s rich soundtrack, it blends audio effects and music to instil the same adrenaline-pumping effect of director Alfonso Cuarón’s free-floating cinematography.

97% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes / 7.9 on IMDB

Star Wars – Episode Three: A New Hope (1977)

DA…d’d’DA…!

There’s no greater sound in film history.

94% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes / 8.7 on IMDB

Of course, there are plenty of films beyond these five that deserve serious consideration. Wall-E (2008), Avatar (2009), Life of Pi (2012) and Max Max: Fury Road (2015) come to mind.

And remember, while DVDs are fine for run-of-the-mill set-ups, you’ll want Blu-Ray for mostly everything you build at Bay Bloor Radio. To paraphrase Luke Skywalker, “If you’re going in, go in full throttle.”