My top 10 and honorable mentions, what's on your list

Discussion in 'DVD' started by ChristopherBlig, Jan 25, 2006.

  1. ChristopherBlig

    ChristopherBlig Stunt Coordinator

    Apr 17, 2003
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    Here's the big list, the moment you've all been waiting for and even though we're a month into 2006, it's good anytime and here it is:

    1) The Fly 2 Disc Collector's Edition- With the always reliable David Cronenberg at the commentary helm and a killer documentary that goes through all range of emotions, this long awaited release is the big one worth it's weight in gold and it shows with all the makings of and a killer transfer and one of the best movies of the 80s or any decade.

    2) All of the Twilight Zone Definitive Editions- Forget all the previous TZ sets that came out before. This amount of great storytelling, class, and everything that replicates a great trip to the Museum of Television and Radio are all here (including highlights from a seminar from that very place on Season 5) Proof positive of how a TV Show should be brought onto DVD.

    3) Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession 2 Disc- In my opinion, the best documentary I viewed in 2005 and has the best impact with repeat viewings and a killer commentary to match. With a new familiarity of hidden treasures shoulder to shoulder with great ones and a nice helping of extras on disc 2 along with a replication of the Z Channel Magazine, this warrants the best packaging of any DVD making for one of the best releases of this year as well.

    4) Point Blank- It has taken a while for this classic to arrive on DVD and what a way to arrive with a great replication of the poster on the cover plus a great commentary by two great directors and a wonderful transfer for any film of the sixties.

    5) Dick Cavett Rock Icons/ Ray Charles Collection/ John and Yoko- Move over, late night chatters!!! The classic talk show from the late 60s and 1970s is a blueprint of how a talk show should be properly released on DVD with episodes in it's entirety replacing a standard clip reel of highlights plus some present day interviews with the man himself and when it comes to great wit and humor, he still has it!!!

    6)(tie) F For Fake/The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou: Criterion Collection- Two forgotten from audiences 30 years getting not only great transfer treatment from the good people at Criterion but the extras on both display two great movies and a second disc that match if not exceed their hidden treasure greatness and they both get better with each viewing.

    7) The Big Red One The Reconstruction 2 Disc- The reediting of a classic 1979 Samuel Fuller film does better justice thanks to the great treatment by Warner Bros. plus more extras than you can shake a stick and cigar at.

    8) Major Dundee/Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia/The Getaway- Another great year for the Peckinpah movies even with the smallest of extras, they all add an extra bite and each title compliments one from the other and add their own unique touches all around.

    9) Batman Begins 2 Disc- I know this is a little more exclusive than most of the DVDs out there but the second disc along with one of the best comic book movies in quite some time has great features and a killer flick to match putting hope that Batman has returned in a big way and DVD has the right ingredients to display the Caped Crusader.

    10) Simpsons Seasons/Family Guy Volume 3/Stewie Griffin:The Untold Story- A lot of laughs to be had and all seasons released of these shows along with a few odds and ends with the great names continue to bring the animated series to a forefront this year with great commentaries and featurettes and moments to cause any viewer to laugh at the most random time.

    Honorable Mentions: Year of the Dragon, Casino 10th Anniversary, I Heart Huckabees 2 Disc, SCTV sets, Dirty Mary Crazy Larry, Race With The Devil, Electra Glide In Blue

    Well there you have it, the year of 2005 comes to a close and another great year for films and television shows and the like on DVD

    Have fun in 2006 and beyond
  2. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

    Sep 19, 2002
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    What is on Disc 2? I saw it on cable and it looks like the second disc isn't at Netflix.

    I liked the film, wanted to love it, but felt there was too little of the Z Channel on it. There were no promos, coming attractions, Z channel ads, etc.

    The magazine sounds interesting though. It made me want to read it.
  3. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

    May 16, 2001
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    Georgia (the state)
    Real Name:
    Patrick McCart
    1. The Harold Lloyd Comedy Collection

    Finally, we get a mostly complete collection of Lloyd's major films in fully restored and uncut form. Not only that, they're beautifully remastered and given appropriate orchestral scores (from Robert Israel, with a handful from Carl Davis). Then, select films are given fun commentaries. There's also endless featurettes, home movies, newsreels, and other misc. material. The films themselves are often hilarious (especially Haunted Spooks, Safety Last, High and Dizzy, The Freshman, and Speedy). What's great is that twenty-five films are in the box set, for only around $80 combined (I got it for $53 on a sale). Finally, the big three (Lloyd, Keaton, and Chaplin) have a near complete selection of essentials to see on DVD.

    2. The Forgotten Films of Fatty Arbuckle

    Probably passed under a lot of people's radar, but this is one of the most important releases in 2005. 32 films are featured, all beautifully remastered and given appropriate scores. It doesn't repeat much from the 2-disc set of Arbuckle and Keaton films released in 2001 (it only repeats Coney Island, with a superior print and score), but offers plenty of his Keystone films (including some with Harold Lloyd and Charlie Chaplin co-starring!) and even one of his surviving features. The main extras are commentaries for a lot of the films. A few also have a 2nd score. The set is around $40 cheapest, but it's worth it. Arbuckle's career was unfairly tampered with and he probably would be part of the big FOUR alongside Lloyd, Keaton, and Chaplin if it wasn't for the scandal.

    3. F for Fake: Criterion Collection

    One of the best movies I never knew about. On a hunch, I decided to pick up the DVD mainly because it was made by Orson Welles. It's not like he's directed any bad movies, anyways. Well, it's one of my favorites now. Criterion's presentation is flawless, considering the piecemeal form of the movie. The extras are excellent, since they put the film into perspective. The Orson Welles "lost films" documentary is great, as is the serious Elmyr de Hory one. Clifford Irving's interview is interested, as is the Howard Hughes conference. The commentary is fun, though I need to listen to it again. The trailer is interesting, even if it's from a VHS source.

    4. The Alfred Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection (Universal)

    While all fourteen of the films were previously available on DVD, we can finally get them in a cheaper, somewhat improved overall box set. There's a mix of great and lesser films, but it's an essential item. In terms of great films, we get Shadow of a Doubt, Rope, Rear Window, Vertigo, Psycho, and The Birds. I personally think The Man Who Knew Too Much is one of his best, although not quite as great as stuff like Vertigo, Psycho, and Strangers on a Train.

    The best thing about this set is the amount of effort put into the remastering. We finally get to see Vertigo and Psycho in 16x9, with excellent quality. We also get Vertigo's barely-existing mono track. The remastering varies... The Man Who Knew Too Much is virtually unwatchable. Some have subtle improvements. Rear Window and The Birds lose the blurriness and blockiness from their old releases. Both look "transparent" in terms of being adapted to digital video. Most of the others have much better color timing, less dirt and scratches (especially Shadow of a Doubt), and better compression. The bonus disc isn't much besides the Psycho and The Birds documentaries... but the Masters of Cinema interview is great. I like how all Hitchcock wanted to talk about for influences were German silents.

    5. The Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 3

    Lots of my favorites (Robin Hood Daffy, Porky Pig's Feat, Easter Yeggs, Hillbilly Hare, Duck! Rabbit! Duck!, Wackiki Wabbit, Porky's Romance, Pigs in a Polka, Super-Rabbit, Daffy Duck and Egghead, Falling Hare, Draftee Daffy, and An Itch in Time) and all looking just as stunning as the previous two volumes did. The extras are very interesting this round, too.

    6. The Wizard of Oz: 3-Disc Special Edition

    Perfection. Honestly, if WB left anything out of this release, I'd like to know about it. Probably the most complete DVD package I've seen.

    7. King Kong Collection (tin version)

    King Kong, Son of Kong, and Mighty Joe Young finally in pristine and uncut form. Kong's documentaries make the package perfect. The Merian C. Cooper doc (by the great documentarian Kevin Brownlow) is superb, as is Wingnut's feature-length doc on Kong itself.

    8. Unknown Chaplin

    Just a facinating documentary on Charlie Chaplin, his working methods, and the footage he never used. Besides being one of many great Kevin Brownlow documentaries, I was really amazed by how well the presentation looked and sounded. Apparently, no remastering was required since the original 1983 video masters were made so well. While some clip sources could be better now (really only City Lights), it looks great. The extra interview with Brownlow is facinating... not to mention he mentions how important it is to see comedy on the big screen (he even notes the irony of saying that on a DVD interview!)

    9. Unseen Cinema

    Just a great collection of nearly 200 avant-garde/amateur films. If you liked the Treasures from American Film Archives sets, you'll love it. Highlights include hand-painted Norman McLaren films (including a stunning film, "Spook Sport"), The Hearts of Age (Orson Welles's first film), The Life and Death of a Hollywood Extra, several Slavko Vorkapich montage sequences, and plenty of early Kinetescope and Edison films from the turn of the century.

    10. Ben-Hur: 4-disc SE

    Mainly for the stunning remaster of the film - finally has better color, sharpness, framing, and frame stability. Cleaner, too (the old release had dirty splices often). I specifically love the inclusion of the slightly superior silent version.

    Honorables: Casino: SE, Raging Bull: SE, The Blues Brothers: SE, The Muppet Show: Season 1, Sin City: SE, Pickpocket (Criterion), The Aviator (LBX SE), Toy Story: SE, The High and the Mighty, Jaws: SE, The Cat Returns (surprise like!), Columbia's uncut/complete Batman serials, Bullitt: SE, Spaceballs: SE, Bringing Up Baby, The Life Aquatic (2-disc SE), Bambi, and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

    Oklahoma! was a waste of $20 for me, though. Fox should be ashamed of such an awful release.

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