Top 10 Movie Scenes to Demo your Home Theater

You finally got that shiny new HDTV or Blu-Ray player over the holiday to finish out your home theater. Now invite the friends over and flex your tech with these Top 10 Movie Scenes to demo your home theater equipment. Get your popcorn ready!

A good demo scene should be a spectacle of sight and sound. Something that catches the essence of why we love the movies, and assures us of our tech purchases. The scenes compiled here aim to do just that in a few minutes. You want the best source for your demos, so make sure you're popping in Blu-Rays. The quality on DVD or streaming just doesn't stack up. So read on, and add a few of these titles to your Blu-Ray collection.

10. King Kong

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Chapter 38, 1:50:02 - 2:00:40
This is the fantastic sequence of Jane trying to escape the jaws of a couple hungry T-rex's. Enjoy reference quality sound as King Kong comes to the rescue in one of the movie's most dramatic scenes. It's been a while since I saw this movie, and this 10 minute section was more great than I remembered. Do yourself a favor and check it out again on your new setup.

Also check out this scene...

  • Brontosaurus stampede: Chapter 31, 01:24:19 - 01:29:19
  • 9. House of Daggers

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    Chapter 3, 11:10 - 19:14
    If you haven't seen this movie it's worth checking out for the drum and beans scene listed here. What the movie lacks in video quality conversion, it more than makes up for in audio, and story. Marvel at your surround sound setup as the beans bounce from drum to drum across your room.

    8. Iron Man

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    Chapter 14, 1:45:16 - 1:48:54
    The climatic battle scene between Iron Man and Obediah is another great battle scene. This time the characters are in full iron armor so you can enjoy the sharp sounds of metal as they clash. The great visuals as they maraud through the night-lit cityscape will also showcase your video contrast.

    While you have the disc out you may want to play these two great scenes as well...


    • Escape from cave in Mark 1 suit: Chapter 5, 38:36 - 40:53

    • Desert battle to save hostages: Chapter 10, 1:17:24 - 1:19:26

    7. Casino Royale

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    Chapter 2, 10:25 - 19:00
    Beautiful cinematography is at work in this Parkour chase between James Bond and the criminal. Amazing colors and action keep us glued to our seats until the explosive end.

    Also check out the intro scene for great blacks and film grain effects. The animation sequence that follows also serves as a test for your sets color and pattern handling.


    • Intro: Chapter 1, 00:33 - 06:51

    6. Live Free, Die Hard

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    Chapter 33, 1:51:21 - 1:56:38

    Nobody quite does it like John McClane and this latest installment to the Die Hard franchise really brought it. The film is loaded with ridiculous action sequences that'll strap you to your seat. This scene features an F5 Fighter Jet going against John McClane in a Big Rig truck. Explosions, Jets, Trucks, Oh my!

    If that one left you begging for more also check out these scenes...


    • Tunnel and Helicopter scene (classic): Chapter 15, 41:04 - 45:09

    • Shootout as McClane arrests Hacker: Chapter 5, 11:31 - 15:16

    5. The Dark Knight

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    Chapter 20, 1:15:12 - 01:22:25

    The Dark Knight is one of my favorite films, and this is one its most intense scenes. Shot with IMAX cameras, this scene will take up your whole screen and really come to life. You'll feel the rattle and boom of your subwoofer as the Tumbler speeds through the tunnel; and the wide shots of the city will have you crushing those blacks.

    Other scenes of note...


    • Opening sequence with bank robbery: Chapter 1, 00:53 - 06:22

    • Skyhook scene with great full-screen aerial shots: Chapter 9, 35:17 - 37:39

    4. Mr. and Mrs. Smith

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    Chapter 18, 1:11 - 1:15:10

    This is the scene where a full battle breaks out in the Smith's home. The audio will surround you with the sharp shrieks of shattering glass and ricocheted bullets. The video presents a great test for your contrast and blacks. It also doesn't hurt that Mr. and Mrs. Smith are both pleasing to the eye.

    3. The Matrix

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    Chapter 30, 1:45:18 - 1:51:29

    In this scene Neo and Trinity infiltrate a building to save Morpheus. You see the classic dodging bullets scene, and are held is suspense as the helicopter crashes into the side of the building. After all these years, still an absolute thrill!

    The gunfight in the lobby with Neo & Trinity is a classic and still fantastic as well...


    • Lobby Gunfight: Chapter 29, 1:41:04 -1:44:03

    2. Master and Commander

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    Chapter 4, 08:45 - 11:53

    The audio in this film is remarkable, and it's so good in the opening battle scene you'll smile ear to ear. I'm guessing after you watch this scene, you'll be hooked and end up watching the whole movie. This film went a little under the radar when released, bring it home tonight and realize the reason you got surround sound.

    This scene is also great to play while you have the disc in the player...


    • Against the Acheron: Chapter 31, 1:50:09-1:57:04

    1. Transformers: Dark of the Moon

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    Chapter 17, 1:50:00 - 1:59:58

    This is a long sequence of action, but its worth it. From the aerial shots of the gliders as they fly through the city, to the building splitting apart. Visuals are bright and crisp, and audio is mixed in amazing 7.1 to bring to life all those robotic transformer sounds. This is Michael Bay at his finest, enjoy!

    *Grab the 3D version coming out the end of this month if you have 3D capability.

    Hope you enjoy these scenes at your home, and let us know what your favorite demos are in the comments.