Top 10 Blu-ray Releases of 2009 – Staff Picks

Top 10 Blu-ray Releases of 2009 - Staff PicksWe thought it would be a fun idea, here at Why So Blu, if a few of us writers got together and wrote a conglomerate review of what we each thought our Top 10 Blu-ray releases of the year were in 2009.  I know the anticipation and speculation must be running rampant through your veins right now so without further ado and anymore unnecessary words let’s get down to business and see what we all picked.  Where we had applicable online reviews corresponding to our selections we also included those links.  Happy reading to you all and please do chime in below to let us know what you think.  Whether you disagree or agree we want to know!


 Brian White

Brian White


For my below top ten list of 2009 Blu-ray releases I used the following formula to weed my personal collection down to 15 top choices.  First off, I pretty much went by the quality of the film itself and how much I either enjoyed it or was moved by it.  There were not a lot of great films in 2009, but the inclusion of certain catalog titles on the Blu-ray format added to the peer pressure I was feeling.  Next, being the Blu-ray connoisseur and critic that I am I further extracted the titles down by comparing not only the technical aspects of the release such as the video/audio presentations, but also the supplemental package values that each disc potentially exhibited to consumer conscious shoppers.  And then came the very painful decision making process on eliminating the extra five titles to trim my list down to a slim ten.  It was not an easy decision to make by any means, but nevertheless here we go… 

10. King Kong (2005) – How could you not pay attention to this big furry fellow in glorious 1080P?  The A/V feat of mammoth proportions was a great kickoff for Blu-ray in 2009!  My online review of the Blu-ray release can be found here.

9. Star Trek – Beam me up Scotty to the Blu-ray format where I became an instant fan of Spike TV’s 2009 Scream Awards movie of the year.  Shhh…I am only a closet Trekkie. 

8. Braveheart – There’s no denying this catalog title’s Blu-ray presence this year.  William Wallace and gang have never looked finer in their Scottish kilts.   Be careful how closely you watch or you just may see a few jewels in 1080P that you did not were not expecting to.

7. Quantum of Solace – I love this film!  The second installment in my favorite 007 lineup is back with a vengeance.  That’s right folks…Bond is back…bigger, badder and meaner than ever.  James is dressed to kill and out for revenge on this gorgeous looking Blu-ray transfer.  For the complete Blu-ray story check out my online review here.

6. Slumdog Millionaire – I can’t tell you how upset I was when this movie took the Oscar last year.  That is until I saw this touching tale of hope, unbridled love and desire on the Blu-ray format.  The movie pulls at your heartstrings and never lets you go as you see every drop of sweat under the Indian sun.  Check out my full Blu-ray review over here.

5. Crank: High Voltage – How could the filmmakers ever pull off a worthy sequel to one of Blu-ray’s finest premier titles?  Well, that’s easy!  You use the same formula and push the boundaries of modern day filmmaking and over-the-top stunts even further.  Because of the high-def source material, this film naturally translates well onto the Blu-ray format.  My electrifying full Blu-ray review can be found here.

4. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra – Easily one of the best Blu-ray transfers of 2009.  I may be biased because it stars my beloved Sienna Miller as the seemingly evil Baroness, but wow does this film ever deliver a thunderous action punch in your Blu-ray player.  Although the supplemental package is not up to snuff here, I believe the action packed nostalgic thrill ride alone is enough to warrant the bang for your buck.  Check out the full review I wrote over here.

3. District 9 – If this touching tale of how humans mistreat the alien race living in the slums of District 9 does not move you, then perhaps the stellar A/V presentation of this Blu-ray will have you screaming for more!  District 9 is easily one of the best films from 2009 and now it can be found on the best format possible for your repeated viewing pleasure.  That’s a win-win situation in my book! 

2. Sin City  – Jessica Alba in 1080P!  What more can I say?  OK…I get the picture.  There’s obviously more to the Sin City Blu-ray release other than Jessica Alba, but you can’t argue she’s not a bonus perk of this disc.  Never has a graphic novel been more true to its source material than the production of Sin City, available now for the first time on Blu-ray.  The inky blacks and smudges of vibrant color are nothing short of an orgasm waiting to happen for your eyes.  

1. Fight Club: 10th Anniversary Edition – One of my favorite films ever made has now found its permanent home on the Blu-ray format and the catalog title has never looked and sounded better.  The very impressive Blu-ray transfer Fox put out had me falling in love all over again with this modern day cult classic.  If you are a fan of the film, throw out your DVD now and pick the Blu-ray up today.  You will not regret it!  I promise.  My full Blu-ray review of the film can be found here


 Gregg Senko

Gregg Senko

From cartoons to documentaries to a few classics, 2009 witnessed the release of some great productions on Blu-ray.  My #10-ranking was a toss-up as the aerial footage-only documentary Home was slightly edged out.  If you get a chance, I highly recommend that film, narrated by actress Glenn Close, which focuses on our planet’s physical makeup and the affects of humans have on it.  Nevertheless, this is a well-varied list, all worthy of additions to any home library.

10.  Fanboys – A lighthearted, fun ride filled with laughs, true friendship and Star Wars.

9.    An American in Paris – Musicals aren’t typically my thing, but Gene Kelly’s brilliance on the streets of France in fully restored high def is awesomely entertaining.  My full Blu-ray review can be found here.

8.    G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra – Hasbro’s military in full live action looks and sounds great.  The battles are simply eye-popping.  Now if only the movie had acting. 

7.    The Hangover – The year’s best comedy made for a beautiful transfer to 1080p.

6.    Discovery Channel Shark Week: The Great Bites Collection – The only thing longer than the title is the amount of footage.  The underwater shots of nature’s most intriguing fish look amazing and the education is something for the whole family.

5.    Hulk vs. – Two great animated films where the green gamma behemoth takes on Wolverine in one fight fest and Thor and Asgard in the other.  Check out my Blu-ray review here.

4.    Wonder Woman – This animated origin-telling tale covers all you need to know about DC’s most heralded heroine.  It’s comedic, dramatic and filled with action.   Lasso up the Blu-ray review over here.

3.    The Kite Runner – The best-selling novel of life in Afghanistan makes for an impressive transition to film and Blu-ray.  Find out why I think so highly of this Blu-ray over here.

2.    Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – My favorite film of 2009 brings the action home with the grand visuals and audio that can only be found on Blu-ray (unless of course you have your own IMAX theater).  Roll out!

1.    Braveheart – Aye lad, the only thing that can topple some car-changing bots are a band of woad-smeared, sword-wielding, kilt-wearing Scots.  This 1995 epic made a grand entrance on Blu-ray in 2009 and certainly did not disappoint.  It’s ironic that Irish bagpipes dominated the music of a Scottish film, nevertheless, the Uillean (pronounced ill-inn) pipes have never sounded better in surround sound. 


 Adam Ambro

Adam Ambro

In no particular order, below is my top ten of 2009.


 The Man Who Fell To Earth

-The insert essay inside the Blu-ray says it all:

“Science-fiction drama, western, love story, metaphysical mystery, satire of modern American-The Man Who Fell to Earth is the most beguiling of the films that…established Nicolas Roeg as a mainstream heir to such 1960s experimentalists as Alain Resnais, Jean-Luc Godard, and Chris Maker.” -Loving the Alien by Graham Fuller


The Seventh Seal 

-Another classic film, with every scene centered around death, is beautifully transferred for a new generation.  The cat and mouse game played between Death and the protagonist playing a game of chess has been parodied in films such as Bill & Ted, and more recently (500) Days of Summer, but the original source material is of course the best.


An American in Paris

-Gene Kelly had fun, and it was never more apparent than in this classic musical.  The music of Ira Gershwin serves as the pulse of this magical tale of love and fear.  And Kelly’s cinematic brilliance is showcase as he convinced the studio to allow the final twenty minutes of the film to be completely silent, and the narrative told through his dance.  Sometimes, words are completely unnecessary. 


 Gone With The Wind

-Another classic from 1939, (the greatest year in cinema) one would not think that a movie seventy years old could look as if it were made today.  But even with a running time of four hours, this romantic, fun, dramatic film is still as powerful today as it was so many years ago.


 Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete

-A sequel to one of the greatest video games was never released as a video game, but instead as an animated movie.  This film is so much fun.  Over-the-top action speeds this piece along, and a true fan of the game will not be disappointed with the final product.



-One of the most iconic films was released with one of the most iconic Blu-ray box sets.  Inserts, special features, miniature movie posters are all just icing on this glorious cake.  While the movie clocks just under two hours, the bonus features on this masterful disc will have you astonished at the enchantment of Casablanca for days on end.


 Inglourious Basterds

-My personal favorite film of ’09 is just as “glourious” on Blu-ray as it was in theaters.  The transfer is glamorous, from the beautiful Diane Kruger, to the (spoiler alert) beautiful demise of Adolf Hitler.  The film plays like a rubber band, slowly being pulled until it finally snaps with the brilliantly absurd ending.  This is a must own.


 District 9

-A complete surprise to many, this film is easily one of the greatest sci-fi films to be released within the past twenty years.  The film is a tour de force of former-producer-turned-actor Sharlto Copley, whose frantic search for a cure to his alien infection soon becomes bigger than himself, and his transformation culminates as the savior of another species.


 Pierrot Le Fou

-Jean Luc-Godard.  The French New Wave.  Jean-Paul Belmondo.  Anna Karina.  Robbery.  Passion.  Lust.  Love.  Death.  Simply put, this film is absolutely phenomenal.  A true work of art, a stream of consciousness piece in the vein of the American Beat writers of the 1950s. 


The General

-My personal favorite Blu-ray release of 2009.  Buster Keaton proves that even after 85 years, the quality and enjoyment of his films are better than most current releases today.  A 12 minute introduction by Orson Welles is the only worthy special feature on this disc, but once viewed, it can easily be seen why Keaton was the greatest actor of the silent era.



From all of us here at Why So Blu, thank you for your support in 2009!  We look forward to kicking even more a#$ in 2010!  Have a great New Years!


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6 Responses to “Top 10 Blu-ray Releases of 2009 – Staff Picks”

  1. Gregg

    Adam, kudos to you for probably the best researched list on here. Delving deep into the film vault to educate readers with these classics now on Blu-ray keeps these movies from being forgotten.

  2. blu jay

    –what about ‘Heat’?
    –thnx mightily for the Buster Keaton nod.
    –Brian, ‘run rabid’?? ya mean foaming at the mouth or rampant??
    –you guys critiquing each other’s pix reminds me or reporters standing around interviewing each other on a dull news day–incestuous.

  3. Gregg

    “Heat” was a good movie but I cannot get over the fire fight after the bank heist. How Val Kilmer gets away was a bit far-fetched. Bullets were flying all over and there were cops at every turn. That climactic battle brought the film down a notch for me.

  4. Brian White

    Thanks for the comments BJ…While I do love the film “Heat,” the A/V technical presentation is just not up to snuff to warrant inclusion on this list.

    I was just sad that I could not include “The Hangover” because of weak audio and my Halloween favorite “Trick ‘r Treat.”

  5. blu jay

    if you thought Val Kilmer getting away was far fetched, what about all the rest of that stuff in all those far-fetched pictures you guys picked?? geez! (actually i was kind of sorry –am not a Val Kilmer fan…).

    And yes, Star Trek stories are full of worm holes, ‘Q’, time travel,the Borg, etc. That’s the way we like em…

    Fave Halloween movie: “The Nightmare Before Christmas”. Wanna see Tim Burton’s take on “Alice in Wonderland” or “Through the Looking Glass” whichever it’s called, with Depp etc.–due out in March i think. Disney and the other films have done bad things with that great story.

  6. Gregg

    Yes, especially in animated comic book movies, you are right; it is far-fetched…but it’s supposed to be. Viewers suspend disbelief based on the film’s content. If you watch Star Wars, you expect a guy wielding a lightsaber to be able to jump 30 feet in the air. If you are watching Heat, you expect one man that is surrounded by police amidst a gun fight to either get shot or arrested, not make it out.