88th Annual Oscar Winners On Blu-ray Disc

The 88th annual Academy Awards, honoring the best films released in 2015, is now history. The ceremony was held on Sunday, February 28th, 2016 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood.

Oscars are awarded by the membership of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to a select group of films in several categories covering acting, writing, music, cinematography, sound, and other technical skills.

Find out the winners of the Oscars presented in 2016 that are now available, or coming soon to Blu-ray, and why they make great additions to your Blu-ray Disc collection for home theater viewing.

1
Spotlight

Spotlight - Blu-ray Disc
Spotlight - Blu-ray Disc. Image courtesy of Amazon

Spotlight took the top honor as Best Picture, along with Best Original Screenplay.

Featuring an ensemble cast that includes Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, and Stanley Tucci, Spotlight focuses on the Boston Globe's investigative reporting of child molestaton involving priests in the Catholic Church.

In the tradition of films like All The President's Men, Spotlight is a film that illustrates the power of good journalism, while providing a great movie going experience with great acting and pacing. For more on the film, read a review of the theatrical version by Sheila O'Malley at Roger Ebert.com

Spotlight is available on Blu-ray Disc, DVD, and Digital HD.

2
Mad Max Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road -2D Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD Package
Mad Max: Fury Road -2D Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD Package. Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Although it didn't win Best Picture (it was nominated though), or any of the acting awards (no nominations there), George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road took the 88th annual Oscars by storm with 6 Oscars, grabbing up all of the major technical awards (with the exception of Cinematography, where it was also nominated), including: Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, Best Make-Up and Hair Styling, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Film Editing.

Of all the films that won an Oscar this year (2016), this is one film that really puts your home theater to test. Featuring intense action, amazing stunt choreography and both practical and digital special effects, as well as a thundering soundtrack, this film is great viewing experience.

The Blu-ray Disc version features both a Dolby Atmos and Dolby TrueHD soundtrack, and is also available in both 2D and 3D.

Theatrical Version Review - Blu-ray Disc Review

3
The Revenant

The Revenant - Poster
The Revenant - Poster. Image courtesy of Amazon

Although the The Revenant was nominated for Oscars in 12 categories, it only ended up grabbing 3 wins (but they are major ones): Best Cinematography, Best Director (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu), and Best Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio).

It interesting to note that Inarritu won the previous year's Best Director Oscar for Birdman, and Leonardo DeCiparo won his first Best Actor Oscar.

Set in the 1820's, The Revenant is a tale of a mountain man that is left for dead by his partners after being mauled by a bear, only to survive through a harsh winder, and make his way back to exact revenge on of those that deserted him.

The film features both intense drama and, through its excellent cinematography, takes you to wide open expanse and harshness of the old mountain west.

For more on this film, read a review of the Theatrical Version by Brian Tallerico of Roger Ebert.com

The Revenant is expected to be released both on Blu-ray and Ultra HD Blu-ray on April 19, 2016.

4
The Big Short

The Big Short - Blu-ray Disc
The Big Short - Blu-ray Disc. Image courtesy of Amazon

The Big Short, received 5 nominations, but only grabbed one Oscar, best Adapted Screenplay.

Combining an excellent script with a strong ensemble cast, including Christian Bale, Steve Carrell, and Ryan Gosling, The Big Short takes a complex subject (the, collapse of the housing market that was a big part of the "great recession") and delivers both a meaningful and entertaining film.

For more details on the film, read a review of theatrical version by Glenn Kenny of Roger Ebert.com.

The Big Short has a Blu-ray Disc release date of March 15, 2016

5
The Danish Girl

The Danish Girl - Blu-ray Disc
The Danish Girl - Blu-ray Disc. Image courtesy of Amazon

The Danish Girl is very mature film about one of the first known cases of gender reassignment and features excellent acting performances by both Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander.

Both Redmayne and Vikander were nominated for Oscars in the Acting and Supporting Acting Categories, but despite his gender-bending performance as Einar Wegener/Lili Elbe, Redmayne lost out to Leonardo DiCaprio's performance in The Revenant. However, his co-star, Alicia Vikander did pick up the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

If you are one who appreciates a good film that deals with the exploration of human relationships, The Danish Girl is an excellent choice on Blu-ray.

For more on this film, read a review of the theatrical version from Variety

6
The Hateful Eight

The Hateful Eight - Blu-ray Disc
The Hateful Eight - Blu-ray Disc. Courtesy of Amazon

What can I say: Quentin Tarantino, ensemble cast (including Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Roth, and Bruce Dern), and great 70mm film cinematography. However, the Oscar that The Hateful Eight received, was it was honored for at the 88th Academy Awards was the excellent music provided by legendary film composer, Ennio Morricone (Best Original Score).

In addition, Jennifer Jason Leigh was nominated for Best Supporting Actress, but lost out to Alicia Vikander for her performance in The Danish Girl.

If you are a Quentin Tarantino fan, definitely add this your Blu-ray Disc collection (available starting on March 19, 2016).

For more perspective on this latest effort by Quentin Tarantino, read a review of the theatrical version from Aint It Cool News

7
Inside Out

Inside Out - Blu-ray Disc
Inside Out - Blu-ray Disc. Image courtesy of Amazon

Since the advent of 3D-Animation, the animated film category has become increasing popular, and Disney/Pixar has been on the forefront. So, it is no surprise that this year's Best Animated Film Oscar Winner is Inside Out.

Inside Out features both excellent animation, and intelligent script (the film was also nominated for best original screenplay), exploring a child's developing emotions.

8
Ex-Machina

Ex-Machina Blu-ray Disc
Ex-Machina Blu-ray Disc. Image courtesy of Amazon

One real surprise at the 88th Annual Academy Awards was the Oscar given to Ex-Machina  for Best Visual Effects.

This film is not as "spectacular" as the other big-budget nominated films in this category, such as Max Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, and Star Wars: A Force Awakens. However, on a modest budget of $15 million, Ex-Machina features a very calculated, and effective use of visual effects to depict the conflict between natural and artificial intelligence through AVA a sentient cyborg played by Alicia Vikander (who, ironically, won the best supporting actress Oscar for her performance in The Danish Girl).

Also, in addition to its outstanding use of Visual Effects, the film is also first on Blu-ray Disc to include a DTS:X audio soundtrack.

9
Room

Room - Blu-ray Disc
Room - Blu-ray Disc. Image courtesy of Amazon

The film Room centers on the story of a young woman, and her 5-year old Son, held captive in a small 10x10 foot room by a devious man, known only as "0ld Nick". Over the course of years away from the outside world, "Ma" has to create a nurturing and stimulating environment for herself and her young son. However, after years of frustration "Ma" devises a plan for escape that actually works, but now she, and her son, are faced with a new danger - The outside world.

For her performance as "MA", actress Brie Larson was awarded the Oscar for Best Actress.

Also, it must be noted that her main co-star, young Jacob Tremblay, was also acknowledged by Motion Picture Academy as a featured presenter on the Oscar telecast, but was not nominated for an Oscar.

For more on the film, Read a review of the theatrical version from Variety.

10
Bridge of Spies

Bridge of Spies - Bu-ray Disc
Bridge of Spies - Bu-ray Disc. Image Courtesy of Amazon

Steven Speilberg and Tom Hanks take on the Cold War with a historically-based story involving spies and secret prisoner-swap negotiations.

In the film, Mark Rylance plays Soviet KGB spy, Rudolf Abel, who is a key element in the story. For his performance, Rylance was awarded the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

If you like cold war intrigue, with a lots of twists and turns, Bridge of Spies would be good movie to consider on Blu-ray Disc.

Although this film only grabbed one Oscar for Best Actor, it was nominated in 5 additional categories, including: Production Design, Sound Mixing, Original Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Picture.

For more on the story, read a review of the theatrical version from Aint It Cool News.