Blu-Ray For Valentine’s Day

We put together our list of the 10 greatest romance movie available on blu-ray for Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we thought it appropriated to nominate our selections for the best Romantic/Romantic comedies available in the Blu-ray DVD format. There are a few favourites missing, such as Four Weddings and a Funeral, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, An Affair to Remember, When Harry Met Sally, just to name a few, but they have yet to get the Blu-ray treatment. So here’s Cybershack’s 10 greatest romantic movies on Blu-ray..

10: The Graduate (1967)
A must see for every adolescent male whose ever had a fantasy about being seduced by an older woman. Part straight comedy, part black comedy, The Graduate was arguably Mike Nichols’s best work and put an otherwise awkward looking Dustin Hoffman on the road to super stardom. Much kudos has to go to Anne Bancroft laying the subtle, but caustic, Mrs Robinson, who seduces a naïve Hoffman, who ends up falling in love with her daughter. Nichols managed to get believable performances out of both his leads, that in other hands, could have gone disastrously wrong.

Famous Quote: Dustin Hoffman: “Mrs. Robinson, if you don’t mind my saying so, this conversation is getting a little strange.”

Blu-ray Content
Video: Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Extras: Commentaries by director Mike Nichols and actors Dustin Hoffman and Katherine Ross. Four featurettes; plus original screen trailer.

9: Sense and Sensibility (1995)
SensefinalJane Austin was born over 200 years ago, yet her stories are still popular fare amongst film makers and playwrights with a plethora of them committed to celluloid over the past 20 years. This is one of the better ones, and garnered an Academy Award for Emma Thompson for her screenplay, and high praise for director Ang Lee. At just over two hours long, it tells the tale of the Dashwood sisters, who have been left in much reduced circumstances when their father dies and leaves his estate to his son by his first marriage. The other son is not in a sharing mood, so it is up to the sisters to marry into money so their ambitions can be realised. What follows is an exploration of early 19th century mores and values told in a funny, yet enchanting manner.

Famous Quote: Elizabeth Spriggs: “If I do not have the three of you married before michaelmas, it will not be my fault.”

Blu-ray Content
Video: 11.85:1
Audio: English PCM 5.1
Extras: Audio commentary by Actress/Screenwriter Emma Thompson; deleted scenes; photo gallery; trailers

8: Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

BonnieandclydefinalA strange one to include, but at its heart a romance, albeit under unusual circumstances. Arguably this movie started the New Hollywood director-driven movies by the likes of Mssers Coppola, Spielberg, Scorsese, Bogdanovich and Lucas. It tells the story of 1920’s gangsters Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, and while the story might be about how they robbed banks, it’s theme is a love story. Both Faye Dunaway’s sassy Bonnie Parker, and Warren Beatty’s take on Clyde Barrow, are outstanding, as the hapless pair of robbers criss cross over the American mid-west looking for the perfect score. Of course, we all know how it ends, but the getting there is what makes this movie. Michael Pollard and Gene Hackman are also exemplary in supporting roles.

Famous Quote: Faye Dunaway: “Well, um, would you know what kind of car this is?”
Michael Pollard: “This is a 4-Cylinder Ford Coupe.”
Faye Dunaway: “No, this is a stolen 4-Cylinder Ford Coupe.”

Blu-ray Content
Video: aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and encoded in VC-1
Audio: monaural, 192Kbps Dolby Digital soundtrack
Extras: Doco on the real Bonnie and Clyde; audio commentary; deleted scenes; featurettes

7: The Princess Bride (1987)
PrincessbridefinalBased on the book of the same name, this movie has a cult following amongst cinephiles who like their movies and bit left of centre. Technically a romantic comedy – but more in the Monty Python variety as opposed to Benny Hill slapstick – this movie is full of smart witticisms and sharp dialogue. Robin Wright plays Princess Buttercup who after losing his first love to pirates is kidnapped by a bunch of misfits just after she has agreed to marry the horrible Prince Humperdinck. What follows is a rollicking yarn that only the likes of director Rob Reiner could pull off with the help of screenwriter (and author of the book of the same name) William Goldman. All actors deliver their lines with aplomb and if you think this is some soppy love story deigned for the romantic at heart, you’ll be sorely disappointed.

Famous Quote: Mandy Patinkin: “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”

Blu-ray Content
Video: 1.85:1 aspect ratio
Audio: DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack
Extras: Directors’ commentary by director Rob Reiner and writer William Goldman; featurettes; trailer

6: Pretty Woman (1990)
Pretty-woman-finalA sleeper hit at the time, this was the movie that propelled Julia Roberts to megastardom, while giving Richard Gere a second lease on life in a career that had virtually stalled. Gere plays rich playboy Edward Lewis who hires down-on-her-luck prostitute Vivian Ward to be at his beck and call over a week while he in town on business. Over the next few days they form a bond that is stronger than just money, and slowly fall in love despite their different backgrounds and personalities. Sure, you have to try real hard to suspend disbelief, but somehow they pull it off. Ok, so this does have cheesy ending, but unlike those of similar genre, this one just works. Roberts won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Academy Award. Look out for a cameo by Jason Alexander in his pre-Seinfeld days – if he hadn’t made his name as Jerry’s sidekick, he could have made a great B-grade bad guy.

Famous Quote: Julia Roberts to Richard Gere: “Listen. I appreciate this whole seduction scene you got going on here. But let me give you a tip. I’m a sure thing.”

Video: 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Extras: Audio commentary; gag reel; wrap party; featurette; music video

5: Ghost (1990)
GhostfinalA sentimental favourite, made all the poignant by the recent passing of lead actor Patrick Swayze, Ghost revived the unknown ‘other’ Righteous Brother’s (Bobby Hatfield) career for about five minutes due to the song Unchained Melody. Similar to Pretty Woman in style, Ghost tells the story of Sam Wheat who is happily in a relationship with Molly Jensen (Demi Moore). However, he unknowingly steps on a work colleague’s toes, which leads him to be cut down in the prime of his life while being robbed on the way home from the theatre. Now a Ghost, Sam cannot move onto the next life while his spirit is troubled by why he has been killed. He enlists the help of charlatan medium Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg in an Academy Award-winning gig), who helps bridge the gap between Sam and Molly, and helps solve the mystery of his death.

Famous Line: Patrick Swayze: “It’s amazing, Molly. The love inside, you take it with you. See ya.”

Blu-ray Content

Video: 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic
Audio: TrueHD 5.1 Surround
Extras: Audio commentary; three featurettes; trailer; photo gallery

4: Grease (1978)
GreasefinalEpitomising 1950s America in one of the most popular musicals of them all, Grease started life as a Broadway musical before making a phenomenal transformation to the big screen. Telling the story of recently arrived Aussie immigrant, the squeaky-clean Sandy Ollsen, and her romance with rocker bad-boy Danny Zuko, Grease ticked all the right boxes. Camp, but not over the top acting, a corny romantic plot, and of course the music, made it the highest grossing movie of 1978, as well as the highest grossing musical of all time. For our own Olivia Newton-John it would the apex of a short-lived theatrical career, while male lead John Travolta would do a couple more pics before devolving into a stew of mediocre fare before Quentin Tarantino revitalised his movie-pulling power with Pulp Fiction. Grease was the word indeed.

Famous Quote: Michael Tucci: “When a guy picks a chick over his buddies, something’s gotta be wrong. Come on, guys let’s go for some pizza.”

Blu-ray Content
Video: Compressed at 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC codec, aspect ratio of 2.35:1.
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Extras: Commentary; interviews with cast; deleted/alternate/extended scenes; half a dozen featurettes including a cast reunion

3: Gone With the Wind (1939)

GonewiththewindfinalA epic in every sense of the word, Gone With the Wind was responsible for many a heartache and worry for producer David O Selznick, who from the start was beset with doubts about the director, casting and overall production. Somehow it all managed to come together to beget one of the most beloved movies of all time. Clark Gable as the raffish Rhett Butler and Vivien Leigh as the conniving Scarlett O’Hara were both perfectly cast. It rates as one of the best ever made, thus the truckloads of Academy Awards it received when it was released. Sometimes over dramatic by today’s standards, it still deserves its spot in the top five of this list.

Famous Quote: Clark Cable: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

Blu-ray Content
Video: Remastered; 1.37:1 aspect ratio
Audio: Restored monaural soundtrack along with a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 remix.

Extras: A whopping 19 hours of extras in the blu-ray anniversary issue including documentaries; shorts; trailers; audio commentary; featurettes.

2: Titanic (1997)
TitanicfinalWith a budget that equalled the GDP of many third-world countries, Titanic the movie almost went the way of the ship, but thanks to an excellent marketing plan, and with a never-say-die director in the form of James Cameron, it went on to become the biggest grossing movie of all time (until recently surpassed by Cameron’s Avatar). Kate Winslet plays Rose Bukater, a woman who is setting off to America and about to marry the insufferable Cal Hockley (Billy Zane) for his money. Deciding that marrying Hockley is a fate worse than death, she decides to top herself by jumping from the top deck of the Titanic only to be saved by working class lad Jack Dawson. And so the romance begins. Cameron took a lot of risks making this, the budget just being one of them. But it paid off handsomely, and left the cinema-going public with one of the greatest love stories ever put on celluloid.

Famous Quote: Leonardo DiCaprio (on boarding the ship): “We are the luckiest sons of bitches in the world, you know that?”

Blu-ray Content
Video: 1.33:1
Audio: Dolby Digital
Extras: Commentary by James Cameron; musical video of My Heart Will Go On; cast interviews; deleted scenes

1: Casablanca (1942)
Casablancafinal1001Arguably the greatest love story of them all, not just due to all the planets aligning throughout the production process, but also taking into consideration the time it was filmed. When you think this was shot in 1941 just before the US had entered World War II, where the outcome of said conflict was far from decided, it was a brave piece of cinema. Humphrey Bogart is at his best as bar owner Rick Blaine, while did Ingrid Bergman ever play a better part as the love-lorn Ilsa Lund? The story is great, the casting and directing superb, while the screenplay has to one of the best of all time. A cliché often bandied around by any piece of art is that it “stands the test of time”. This is one occasion where the words fit the saying.

Famous Line(s): Humphrey Bogart: ” Play it, Sam. Play As Time Goes By” and “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world she walks into mine.”

Blu-ray Content
Video: VC-1 1.37:1
Audio: DD 1.0 English mix
Extras: Commentaries; two documentaries; deleted scenes; outtakes; featurettes