100 Best Blu-Ray Discs Best Interactivity
Watchmen Director’s Cut
Maximum Movie Mode? And how! Warner’s take on the running PiP is an immersive compilation of massive amounts of meaningful material that’s seamlessly woven into Watchmen. Fans get to see the original comic art that inspired the film, loads of behind-the-scenes footage, and interviews that contrast the making of the film with the finished product.
300 The Complete Experience
300’s initial release was a bit of a disappointment on Blu-ray. However, Warner followed that with The Complete Experience, offering one of the best PiP features of the format yet. The disc lets you take multiple paths through the film and gives you side-by-side comparisons with the blue screen production footage plus tons of production insight and trivia. The Digi-Book release breaks it all down, making the daunting amount of information easy to navigate.
Hot Fuzz Ultimate Edition
Universal is one of the few movie studios that has embraced Blu-ray’s Bonus View capabilities. Nearly every release features some interactive goodie. One of our favorites is the “Fuzz-O-Meter” trivia track on Hot Fuzz. It’s filled with behind-the-scenes information and trivia, including multiple references to the movies it spoofs. It also includes a storyboard comparison, BD-Live connectivity, and a D-Box code to synchronize the onscreen action with your integrated chair.
Lost The Complete Fifth Season
The producers of Lost try to push the boundaries of the BD-Live experience with the Lost: The Complete Fifth Season boxed set. In the “Lost University” feature, you can enroll in a series of online video lectures about topics related to the show like time travel, philosophy, and jungle survival. For each course you pass, you get to unlock more advanced classes. It’s a pretty neat idea, and it’s a lot more interesting than most BD-Live features to date.
Sleeping Beauty 50th Anniversary Platinum Edition
The Sleeping Beauty Blu-ray experience starts with a Living Menu system that changes in real time based on the viewer’s location, time of day, and current weather forecast. It also has a streaming PiP with Pixar’s John Lasseter and film critic Leonard Maltin. From there, BD-Live steals the show. Users can chat with other connected viewers through Disney’s BD-Live network with their cell phones or PDAs onscreen in real time, play a Movie Challenge Trivia game, and much more.
Star Trek The Original Series Seasons 1–3
Along with a meticulous restoration, the special effects were updated for Star Trek with fantastic results. Using seamless branching, you can switch back and forth between the original and new effects. Additional interactive features include Bonus View content on select episodes, with trivia, text commentary, and video clips. Finally, it has an “Interactive Enterprise Inspection,” which offers a unique exterior tour of the Enterprise by boarding a shuttlecraft and inspecting different aspects of the ship.
The Bourne Trilogy
Chat, personal commentaries, video commentaries, pop-up facts, GPS, games; you name it, this Blu-ray has it. Universal put Blu-ray’s interactivity to the test with this boxed set and delivers some of the most in-depth and interesting production features to date. Each disc makes full use of the format’s PiP capabilities, with plot details, character info, and cast and crew video commentaries. You’d be hard-pressed to find a richer interactive set!
The Ultimate Matrix Collection
Back during the format war, Warner Brothers broke new interactive ground with its InMovie Experience feature on selected HD DVD titles. After the war ended, that content came to Blu-ray as well. The Ultimate Matrix Collection remains one of the best examples of this. A constant stream of PiP interviews and making-of info grace all three movies in the set. It’s a more convenient and engrossing way to view the material than to watch a bunch of individual featurettes.
Fight Club 10th Anniversary Edition
(20th Century Fox)
Fight Club has four commentaries, and while that’s great, it’s also old school. New to this Blu-ray is an interactive sound mixing section with Ren Klyce. It also includes an unbelievably cool and invaluable PiP search function, only available in the disc’s Insomniac Mode. “I Am Jack’s Search Index” indexes the mass of extras by topic. It’s innovative, daring, and hilarious. This is the treatment you hope for when one of your catalog faves hits Blu-ray.