blu-raysI was properly wowed the first time I heard a videotape played back through a stereo VCR. (It was The Princess Bride.) I invested more money than I could afford in laser discs (at least some of the big covers still look cool, and I can watch Han shoot first.) I have hundreds of DVDs stacked up in my closet. And, increasingly, movies have become available to stream or download from the good old Internet. So I've resisted the impulse to jump into the Blu-ray pool, which has been difficult since I write about new Blu-rays every other week at this very site.

Quite unexpectedly, though, a Blu-ray player has entered my life, and I feel like a blushing, middle-aged bride. My first Blu-ray experience was The Fifth Element, which looked stunning; I quickly got wrapped up in the eye candy dancing across the screen. The Dark Knight followed soon thereafter, and then, on the recommendation of Cinematical's Todd Gilchrist, I rented Speed Racer, which sent me into insulin shock (AKA image overload).

Todd also recommended the original King Kong, while Scott Weinberg suggested that I forget about newer flicks and pick up Jason and the Argonauts to see the real potential of the format. Other friends have suggested Planet Earth, Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen, Public Enemies, Chungking Express, Sin City, and Red Cliff.

As always, I'm limited by time and finances, so I'm leaning toward renting newer releases and buying (selectively) classics, ranging from Stagecoach to Forbidden World. What was the first Blu-ray that you saw? And what do you recommend for a Blu-ray virgin?