Oliver Stone banks on Blu-ray at CES

Director speaks alongside Mann, Luhrmann in Vegas

Oliver Stone should be Blu-ray’s official spokesman.

The helmer issued a plea for film fans to build libraries of Blu-rays at home, calling it the last official piece of hardware consumers will be able to own before film transitions over to digital file formats.

“Blu-ray is about film preservation,” Stone said. “It preserves (films) in a physical form” that consumers will be able to hold like a book or comicbook. Building a collection will make them more valuable just as prices have elevated the value of baseball cards, Stone said.

Stone joined Michael Mann and Baz Luhrmann at Panasonic’s booth on Friday at the Las Vegas Convention Center to discuss the benefits of Blu-ray for filmmakers.

Fox Home Entertainment hosted the event, unspooling clips from the Blu-rays of “The Last of the Mohicans,” the two “Wall Street” pics, “Romeo + Juliet” and “Moulin Rouge.”

Luhrmann summed up how the trio felt by succintly saying, “It’s better.”

Mann said Blu-ray enabled him and his fellow helmers to revisit their projects and improve what didn’t work visually the first time around.

“I go back every opportunity I can to go back and correct every mistake,” Mann said.

But Luhrmann cautioned that you can go to far with the fixes.

“Preservation’s a very interesting thing,” he said. “The power of Blu-ray is so great there is potential to misuse it,” adding that it can easily wind up looking “like your friend had too much surgery.”

Luhrmann cited the recent restoration work done for the Blu-ray of “The Wizard of Oz,” which wound up revealing the strings used to hold up the flying monkeys when the resolution was improved.

Stone said the transition of films to a digital-only format and the ability to watch them on mobile devices in an ever-multi-tasking world, “is very depressing to me. It’s sad.”

Stone also found a historical benefit in recording director commentaries on his films.

“Its the last shot we have to make your piece … and express my opions and pleasures,” he said. “Nobody has to listen to it.”

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