The 10 best movies to show off your home theatre

These great movie scenes pinpoint exactly why your new HDTV, sound system, or Blu-ray player is worth the money.

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Blu-ray-Only Demo — "2001: A Space Odyssey"



Stanley Kubrick made his 1968 space epic with very large screens in mind. Shot in Super Panavision 70 — a format where each frame is more than two and a half times the standard size — it's very much about big images and tiny details.

I refused to watch this film on VHS, LaserDisc, or DVD, but it was the first Blu-ray disc I rented, and then the first one I bought. It's not the sort of action-packed sci-fi we're used to, today. It's slow and stately, with an overture and an intermission. The movie changes plot twice and has an ambiguous ending that people still argue about. But there are reasons it's considered a classic.

Recommended Scene

Chapter 6: A space shuttle (from PanAm airlines, no less) docks with a space station to the musical strains of the Blue Danube. You've got the overwhelming size and spectacle of the rotating station (shown above), the dance between flying objects, the Earth below, and the sky. Then there's all the fine detail: a pen floating in zero gravity, a cockpit control panel, and even people in space station windows. And the last shot is a doozy.

Spectacular Audio

If you've got an HDMI connection between your Blue-ray disc player and your amplifier, pick the PCM soundtrack. Otherwise, stick to Dolby Digital.

Chapter 2: If you want to impress your friends with the sheer power of your sound system, treat them to the huge, loud fanfare from Richard Strauss's "Also Sprach Zarathustra," played over the opening credits.

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The 10 best movies to show off your home theatre

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