Happy Feet (Warner HD DVD). Looking bizarrely realistic at times, the creatures of Happy Feet seem to almost come off the screen, their bodies are so three-dimensional. Each figure is incredibly detailed, with individual feathers and fur hairs visible. And it's not just birds and beasts.
Layer Cake (Sony Blu-ray Disc). Kicking off with a bang - an explosion that rips from front to back as an armored van is blown open - this 2004 pre-Casino Royale Daniel Craig movie takes us on a historical journey through the London underworld.
Open Season (Sony). This Blu-ray Disc's picture, shot digitally in high-def and authored with MPEG-4 compression, is incredibly three-dimensional and realistic. Boog the bear's fur looks like you could reach out and stroke it, and other objects look extremely solid.
(Paramount) Clint Eastwood's cinematic debunking of wartime heroism makes for a terrific home theater experience. The clear, crisp, and bright DVD picture has depth and detail to burn, even in the many nighttime scenes. Although the combat images are tinted like old photographs, bursts of orange flames cut through the sea of green and brown when the big guns blast.
Although Martin Scorsese has drawn some compelling performances out of his cast - particularly Mark Wahlberg, who rises to the challenge as never before - The Departed lacks the visual flair of the director's other works.
Black Hawk Down (Sony). Finally, it all comes together on one high-def disc: incredibly detailed 1080p images and stunningly clear, uncompressed PCM 5.1-channel surround sound. A sea of fine lines in Sam Shepard's face adds authenticity to his portrayal of the commander of the mission, and his skin tones look utterly natural.