Gregg’s Top 10 Blu-rays of 2011

So many Blu-rays, so little time. If I bought every disc I wanted to see this year, I would’ve gone broke before the summer ended. There were some great releases that didn’t make my list such as Swingers, Attack the Block, and True Blood: Season 3. Then there were the sure-fire films I thought would make the list but missed by a mile, like a really bad video transfer of Gettysburg and an extras-less Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Who releases a big budget feature on Blu-ray with no extras??  Anyway, I’d have to say this was probably the most difficult top ten Blu-ray list I ever had to assemble as it underwent many changes throughout the year, most over the course of the last week. Now that 2011 is just about said and done, here are my favorite picks of the year…



10. Tie!  No, that’s not the name of the movie.  There’s actually a stalemate for the 10th position.  I just couldn’t bring myself to axe one of these from my list so it inadvertantly became a top 11.  Leave it up to me to complicate things.

I Spit on Your Grave – This film was a remake of the 1978 version based around an innocent female who faces horror beyond belief at the hands of her male attackers.  Revenge is the name of the game and this holy hell ride displays it in an unparalleled gripping  and graphic manner. I just wish it had more extras.


Platoon – What I feel is the second greatest movie covering the Vietnam conflict (Full Metal Jacket being my #1) came to Blu-ray in 2011.  This Oliver Stone classic with its notable cast made for an impressive transfer to 1080 and contained a heap of featurettes.





9.  Being Human: Season 1 – The series has been revamped in a Canadian/U.S. version (originally of British origin) for the Syfy Channel…and it rocks.  A vampire, a werewolf and a ghost are all roommates in the same house.  Sound silly?  Think again.  With an occasional bout of humor, this show delivers drama as its primary genre.  The disc extras are slim but the show is grand, doing exactly what True Blood isn’t; staying focused.




8. Rise of the Planet of the Apes – I have never been a big fan of this franchise, but director Rupert Wyatt brought us this incredible piece of work this year.  The movie refused to dabble in the realm of hokey that other films have become known for.  The Blu-ray comes with a digital copy, high def extras and one bad ass, emotionally-driven film.  Andy Serkis and the FX team outdid themselves.




7.  The Big Bang Theory: Season 4 – I’m still trying to figure out which one of these comic book-loving, sci-fi guys I am, but I know one of them is me…and the other cast may even have some parallels with a few of the staffers here on WSB.  Season 4 was arguably the best one yet while making an equally impressive transition to Blu-ray with some enjoyable special features.




6.  Dexter: Season 5 – Quite possibly the greatest show on television (IMO), Dexter kept up the hype in season 5.  It didn’t quite have the punch of season 4, but wasn’t far off either.  Michael C. Hall retains his title as America’s favorite dark passenger as Julia Stiles guest stars. I just wish there were better extras on these discs.




5.  African Cats – There are a ton of lion and cheetah documentaries out there.  Here is arguably the best one.  Samuel L. Jackson narrates this Disney creation which has some of the most stunning African wildlife imagery captured on film.  The pristine picture quality and clever credits only magnify the exemplary content.




4.  X-Men: First Class – Though the movie displayed a somewhat altered origin of the mutant super team, it was still portrayed impressively, contained a great cast and included a nice helping of decent extras.




3.  The Crow – This film was previously released via import Blu-ray, but it became official in the States in 2011 (stay clear of the Walmart version as it does not come with the digital copy).  The picture quality made for a great transfer to high def and the film remains as riveting for me today as it did when I was in high school.  R.I.P. Brandon Lee.




2.  Dances With Wolves – Long overdue on its release to Blu-ray, we receive the director’s cut featuring additional footage to an already amazing piece of work.  I’m not a fan of westerns, but this film is just too profound to not like.  Eat your heart out Avatar fans.  Here’s the real movie.




1.  Star Wars – Three words:  Christmas in September.  Ah, the changes.  Ah, the blaspheming.  Some of the “updates” are welcomed.  Some are tolerable.  Some didn’t need to be there.  Regardless, we have all drooled in anticipation over George Lucas’ brilliance to finally arrive on Blu-ray and now that it’s here, I feel like a kid again.  It did not disappoint (just remove that damn CGI song and dance in Jabba’s palace).




Honorable Mention

Irish dance made its way to Blu-ray for the first time in 2011 on not one, but two different titles.  The first was the documentary titled Jig.  However, I’m not paying $35 for a one-disc Blu-ray feature, so I never did get a chance to see that.  Either way, the age-old art form wasn’t going to escape this article.  Mr. Flatley, take it away…

Lord of the Dance – The most successful touring production of all time comes to Blu-ray in the form of the at-home version of LOTD in 3D that was in theaters during the week of St. Patrick’s Day (though the Blu-ray is not 3D…thankfully).  Michael Flatley is a little older, but the lad’s still got some kick left in his step.  Hell, if I’ll be able to dance half as well at age 52 as he does, I will be ecstatic.  The only thing keeping this Blu-ray from making the list was its omission of multiple numbers from the actual live show.










12 Responses to “Gregg’s Top 10 Blu-rays of 2011”

  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    So with 3 (most likely 4) people with Star Wars as their No. 1 – I guess we can declare it Blu-ray of the Year as far as Why so Blu is concerned.

  2. Gregg


  3. Will Santana

    Surprised Miral or 13 Assassins didnt even make anyone’s Honorable Mention list

  4. Brian White

    Well I’m glad to see ISOYG got some love as well as a higher finish for Apes than I thought.
    I think it’s unanimous. We can say that SW is the #1 Blu-ray of 2011…PERIOD…across the board…here and abroad. Let’s agree on that. What say you Gerard? You catching what I’m dropping?
    I really really need to pick up The Big Bang Theory. Need it! Perhaps a Christmas gift for me. Any takers?

  5. Aaron Neuwirth

    I haven’t forgotten about 13 Assassins;)

  6. Gregg

    Asian film?

  7. Aaron Neuwirth

    A samurai epic that is comparable to Kurosawa. the last 45 minutes is one of the best action sequences of the last decade.

  8. Gerard Iribe

    I’m surprised the Being Human U.S. version is on this list. I knocked out all 3 seasons of the UK version and thought those were EPIC.

    I refuse to watch the U.S. release.

  9. Brian White

    Frankly I’m surprised to hear you say that Gerard since you are doing just that with Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

  10. Gregg

    Alright, 13 Assassins is going on my must-see list. To Gerard, I may give the UK version a watch some day, but for now, to say I’m content with the US/Canadian version is an understatement.

  11. Sean Ferguson

    I figured Lord of the Dance, Dances With Wolves, and The Big Bang theory would be on here, but I was surprised by some of them. I’m glad you decided to check out African Lions after all and liked it. The biggest surprise for me was that Glee isn’t on here. It’s also good to see that you are a member of the good taste club with Star Wars at #1 where it belongs! This is a good eclectic list!

  12. Gerard Iribe

    Brian, that’s different. Why? Because you’ve got David Fincher on the helm. And I haven’t seen the original films, so I have nothing to compare them to. I remember reading Gregg’s initial review when he saw them on the network. I was curious, but noticed that the BBC ones were already available, so I went with those.