A must-own set for film fans and ideal entertainment in preparation for this year’s Academy Awards ceremony, the Best Picture Essentials 10-Movie Collection includes an array of landmark films, each of which earned the prestigious Best Picture Oscar. Ralph Potts reviews its Blu-ray release from Paramount Home Entertainment.

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The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:


Extras:


Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

88



Details:

Studio and Year: 1927, 1964, 1972, 1983, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2007
MPAA Rating: NR, G, PG-13, PG, R
Feature running time: 1518 minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 1.33:1, 1.85:1, 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English 5.1 Uncompressed Audio, English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1, Spanish/French/English Mono,
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French, Portuguese
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslett, Tom Hanks, Sally Field, Robin Wright Penn, Gary Sinese, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Wes Bentley, Chris Cooper, Ralph Fiennes, Kristin Scott Thomas, Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe, Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Clara Bow, Charles “Buddy” Rogers, Debra Winger, Jack Nicholson, Shirley MacLaine, Jeff Daniels
Directed by: Various
Music by: Various
Written by: Various
Region Code: A

Release Date: March 23, 2021


"10 Best Picture Winners in One Package"


Synopsis:
A must-own set for film fans and ideal entertainment in preparation for this year’s Academy Awards ceremony, the Best Picture Essentials 10-Movie Collection includes an array of landmark films, each of which earned the prestigious Best Picture Oscar.


My Take:

Revisit 10 of the most celebrated films in cinema history, together for the first time, in the Best Pictures Essentials 10-Movie Collection. Included in this set are the following:

• Wings (1927)
• My Fair Lady (1964)
• The Godfather (1972)
• Terms of Endearment (1983)
• Forrest Gump (1994)
• The English Patient (1996)
• Titanic (1997)
• American Beauty (1999)
• Gladiator (2000)
• No Country For Old Men (2007)

Wings: With World War I afoot, David Armstrong (Richard Arlen) and Jack Powell (Charles "Buddy" Rogers) join the military with an eye toward flying American fighter planes. They leave behind Mary Preston (Clara Bow), a local girl who's in love with David but committed to Jack. Dispatched to France as newly minted pilots, the men take to the skies in one of the war's climactic air battles, and as frantic Mary longs for the safe return of both men, one pays the ultimate price for his bravery.

My Fair Lady: Based on the Broadway musical, which was adapted from the George Bernard Shaw play Pygmalion, My Fair Lady follows disheveled cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle (Hepburn) as she meets arrogant, misanthropic phonetics expert Henry Higgins (Harrison), who believes accent and tone of one’s voice determines a person’s prospects in society. Apprehensive of Eliza’s thick working-class accent, Higgins bets his companion Colonel Pickering (Hyde-White)that, within six months, he could transform Eliza into a proper Victorian lady and could pass her off as a duchess at an embassy ball. The feature film includes revered musical numbers such as “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly,” “The Rain in Spain” and “Get Me to the Church on Time,” among many more.

The Godfather: Popularly viewed as one of the best American films ever made, the multi-generational crime saga The Godfather (1972) is a touchstone of cinema: one of the most widely imitated, quoted, and lampooned movies of all time. Marlon Brando and Al Pacino star as Vito Corleone and his youngest son, Michael, respectively.

Terms of Endearment: Widow Aurora Greenway (Shirley MacLaine) and her daughter, Emma (Debra Winger), have a strong bond, but Emma marries teacher Flap Horton (Jeff Daniels) against her mother's wishes. When the marriage grows sour due to Flap's cheating, Emma eventually splits from him, returning to her mother, who is involved with a former astronaut (Jack Nicholson). Soon, Emma learns that she has terminal cancer. In the hospital, supported by Aurora, she tries to make peace with Flap and her children.

Forrest Gump: Slow-witted Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) has never thought of himself as disadvantaged, and thanks to his supportive mother (Sally Field), he leads anything but a restricted life. Whether dominating on the gridiron as a college football star, fighting in Vietnam or captaining a shrimp boat, Forrest inspires people with his childlike optimism. But one person Forrest cares about most may be the most difficult to save -- his childhood love, the sweet but troubled Jenny (Robin Wright).

The English Patient: The sweeping expanses of the Sahara are the setting for a passionate love affair in this adaptation of Michael Ondaatje's novel. A badly burned man, Laszlo de Almasy (Ralph Fiennes), is tended to by a nurse, Hana (Juliette Binoche), in an Italian monastery near the end of World War II. His past is revealed through flashbacks involving a married Englishwoman (Kristin Scott Thomas) and his work mapping the African landscape. Hana learns to heal her own scars as she helps the dying man.

Titanic: James Cameron's "Titanic" is an epic, action-packed romance set against the ill-fated maiden voyage of the R.M.S. Titanic; the pride and joy of the White Star Line and, at the time, the largest moving object ever built. She was the most luxurious liner of her era -- the "ship of dreams" -- which ultimately carried over 1,500 people to their death in the ice-cold waters of the North Atlantic in the early hours of April 15, 1912.

American Beauty: A telesales operative becomes disillusioned with his existence and begins to hunger for fresh excitement in his life. As he experiences a new awakening of the senses, his wife and daughter also undergo changes that seriously affect their family. Critically acclaimed, this film won Oscars for Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Film.

Gladiator: Director Ridley Scott’s triumphant Gladiator is an unparalleled combination of vivid action and extraordinary storytelling that earned five Oscars® including Best Picture. The stunning historical epic follows Maximus Meridas, the brave general who was forced into slavery, emerged a gladiator, and defied an empire.

No Country For Old Men: Acclaimed filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen deliver their most gripping and ambitious film yet in this sizzling and supercharged action-thriller. When a man stumbles on a bloody crime scene, a pickup truck loaded with heroin, and two million dollars in irresistible cash, his decision to take the money sets off an unstoppable chain reaction of violence. Not even west Texas law can contain it. Based on the novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Cormac McCarthy, and featuring an acclaimed cast led by Tommy Lee Jones, this gritty game of cat and mouse will take you to the edge of your seat and beyond - right up to its heart-stopping final act.

Ten memorable films from some of the most acclaimed directors in motion-picture history come together for the first time ever in the Best Pictures Essentials 10-Movie Collection. It goes without saying that I am a fan of each and, with the exception of Wings, have seen them numerous times.

When I received the press release for the Best Pictures Essential 10-Movie Collection I was pleased to see the titles chosen for inclusion grouped together for the first time. Having previously reviewed nearly all of them I was very interested in The English Patient, Terms of Endearment, and Wings which I didn’t previously own on Blu-ray.

These 10 unforgettable films feature star-making and award-winning performances from actors including Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger, Jack Nicholson, Tom Hanks, Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, Kristin Scott Thomas, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Javier Bardem, and more.

The overall film rating that will include all of the films in this collection. For those that want to read my reviews of the previously released Blu-ray offerings (that I have covered) in this collection, you can do so at the following links:

My Fair Lady Blu-ray Spotlight

The Godfather

Forrest Gump

Titanic

American Beauty

Gladiator

No Country for Old Men

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.



Audio: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)



    • Dynamics:
    • Low frequency effects:
    • Surround Sound presentation:
    • Clarity/Detail:
    • Dialog Reproduction:
    • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA


Video: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)



    • Resolution/Clarity:
    • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
    • Color Reproduction:
    • Fleshtones:
    • Compression:


Best Pictures Essentials 10-Movie Collection comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless multi-channel sound.



Bonus Features:

  • Legacy Bonus Material
  • Digital Codes for each Film




Final Thoughts:

This collection comes to Blu-ray from Paramount Home Entertainment featuring solid high-definition audio/video, legacy bonus material and a digital code for streaming them. For fans of these films, it’s convenient to have them housed in one collection that takes up less space (if that’s important to you). Since these are identical to the previous releases there would be no other benefit to purchasing this release. If there are titles contained that you don’t already own and want, this is certainly worth considering.








Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman color calibration software and Portrait Displays C6 HDR2000 colorimeter from Portrait.com)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7706 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Oppo BDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/Roomie Remote V6 Universal Remote Control
SVS Ultra Tower Speakers (Gloss Finish)
SVS Ultra Center Channel (Gloss Finish)
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Niles Audio In-Ceiling/In-Wall Series Speakers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems