"No one can see every release during the entire calendar year - so we hope our lists can introduce and expose some of the many lauded DVDs and Blu-rays that surfaced during 2011. You may find some unique surprises. We don't discriminate based on regional limitations or broadcast standards. Expanding the borders of your digital entertainment horizons has always been the primary goal of this website. We always appreciate your suggestions and contributions."

DVDBeaver

 

DVDBeaver are proud to announce our voting results for DVD and Blu-ray of the Year - 2011. We've done our best to help expose some of the important, and often clandestine, digital packages that surfaced in the last 12 months.

 

So, another year has passed. The SD-DVD format continues to survive and thrive in a niche market of desirable (if over-priced) made-for-demand discs and vintage cinema that doesn't have the marketability to aspire to the newer format. So, with DVD being more scattered and clandestine than Blu-ray - it gives the poll selection variety much more interest. I know I'll be spending time investigating the participant's DVD choices - even more than the Blu-ray. The new format continues to surprise and impress with its film-like quality. It remains the best time in history to be a film fan and Home Theater owner. Big thanks ALL who participated and, as always, to Adam Lemke for his stalwart efforts in producing the Poll results - both in organization, formatting and tallying. We dedicate this Poll to his infant daughter Clara!      

 

Balloters (click name to access votes):

 

Steve Aldersley       Thomas Bauer      Noel Bjorndahl     Richard Burt

 

   Simón Cherpitel         Anthony Clarke       Thomas Clay       Angelo Columbus

Eric Cotenas        Jordan Cronk           Thomas Friedman

Stuart Galbraith      David Hare        Peter Hoskin      Peter Hourigan

 Klemi Juhani         Craig Keller       Adam Lampe      Lynn Lascaro        Adam Lemke       

Tom Mahaffey        Gregory Meshman      Leonard Norwitz       George Papamargaritis       

Luc Pomerleau          Raymond       Jonathan Rosenbaum        Bill Routt  

    Per-Olaf Strandberg           Gary Tooze             Troy Weets

James White          Ross Wilbanks         Nick Wrigley 

The Totals (click to access)

TOP 25 in Total

THE TOP TEN DVDs OF 2011              11th - 21st

THE TOP TEN Blu-rays OF 2011              11th - 28th

 Label Results        Best Cover Design

     Best Audio Commentary       Best Extras

Guilty pleasures        Jeers

NOTE: Legend:

'' is a clickable link to the DVDBeaver review

'BUY from Amazon!' is a clickable purchase link to Amazon

'BUY from YesAsia!' is a clickable purchase link to YesAsia

'Click to access Warner Archive' is a clickable purchase link to The Warner Archive

 

 


Steve Aldersley
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Top Blu-ray Releases
1. Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994) Lionsgate/Miramax; A BUY from Amazon!
2. Blue Velvet
(David Lynch, 1986) MGM; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
3. The Double Life of Veronique
(Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1991) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
4. Three Colors: Blue, White, Red
(Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1994) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
5. Amelie
(Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001) Lionsgate/Maramax; A
BUY from Amazon!
6. Jackie Brown
(Quentin Tarantino, 1997) Lionsgate/Miramax; A
BUY from Amazon!
7. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
(Hayao Miyazaki, 1984) Walt Disney; A
BUY from Amazon!
8. The King's Speech
(Tom Hooper, 2010) Anchor Bay; A
BUY from Amazon!
9. 12 Angry Men
(Sidney Lumet, 1957) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
10. Midnight in Paris
(Woody Allen, 2011) Sony Pictures Classics;A
BUY from Amazon!


Comments:
It was almost impossible to decide on my favorite Blu-ray releases for 2011. Should I rank them in order of enjoyment or importance, or the quality of the release? I decided to go for overall enjoyment and include the releases that made me happiest over the course of the year. My selections were dominated by catalogue releases with only two new films making the Top 10. Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown were long overdue and replaced my import versions. Blue Velvet included almost an hour of lost footage. Perhaps the most beautiful of those included were the Kieslowski selections. They deserved the Criterion treatment and I was thrilled to pick up all four on release day. My biggest wish for 2012 is to see a lot more Studio Ghibli releases on Blu-ray. I’m holding off on the imports for now, with the exception of Optimum’s Arrietty Collector’s Edition which will feature a British voice track not available on the eventual US Disney release. I would like to thank Criterion for another wonderful year and also mention Artificial Eye for offering such good Region B alternatives for many of the same titles. Here, in alphabetical order, are the other titles worthy of mention from those that I have seen this year: 127 Hours; Alien Anthology; Au Revoir Les Enfants; Bambi; The Bicycle Thieves; Blood Simple; Blow Out; Broadcast News; Certified Copy; Dumbo; The Hustler; Kes; The Killing; The Lady Vanishes; Laputa: Castle in the Sky; The Lion King; Lolita; Lord of the Rings (Extended Editions); Memento (10th Anniversary Edition); Source Code; Taxi Driver; The Tree of Life; True Grit (2010)..


 

Thomas Bauer
SD-DVD
1. ReBoot: The Definitive Mainframe Edition
(Dick Zondag, 1994) Shout! Factory; R1 BUY from Amazon!
2.
The Italian Crime Collection (Fernando di Leo, 1972-1976) Raro Video; R0 BUY from Amazon!
3. Eclipse Series 25: Basil Dearden's London Underground
(Basil Dearden, 4 Discs) Criterion; R1 BUY from Amazon!
4. Race With The Devil/Dirty Mary Crazy Larry: Double Feature
(Jack Starrett, 1975) Shout! Factory; R1BUY from Amazon!
5.
Eclipse Series 28: The Warped World of Koreyoshi Kurahara (Koreyoshi Kurahara, 5 Discs) Criterion; R1 BUY from Amazon!
6. Roger Corman's Cult Classics Sword And Sorcery Collection
(Various, 2 Discs) - Shout! Factory; R1 BUY from Amazon!
 

Comments: For non-Blu-ray releases the world is pretty much divided between Eclipse and Shout! for me. The Corman movies are so very bad, and at the same time so much fun to watch visually, in terms of performance, and in terms of commentary. The only reason Sword and Sorcery collection is up there is because I haven't seen the Lethal Ladies collection. The Fernando Di Leo collection is one of the prizes, a ceaselessly entertaining and provocative bunch of films. Closest to my heart is the Reboot collection, a series I watched when my kids were small. Now the kids are 20-something and we've revisited the series, and guess what? Those short little shows are as entertaining and fun as they were then, maybe even more so. As always, Eclipse is reliable for the art house fare. Many films of great importance are ignored by me as I'm more concerned with the joy I got from the film, for whatever reason, and somewhat limited by region and budget; most of my viewing this year was done on blu, with great pleasure.


Top Blu-ray Releases
1
. The Double Life of Veronique (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1991) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
2. Kes (Ken Loach, 1969) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
3. Three Colors: Blue, White, Red (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1994) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
4. Carlos (Olivier Assayas, 2010) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
5. Le Cercle Rouge (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1970) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
6. Pale Flower (Masahiro Shinoda, 1964) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
7. Island of Lost Souls (Erle C. Kenton, 1932) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
8. The Last Circus (Álex de la Iglesia, 2010) Magnolia, A
BUY from Amazon!
9. Bellflower (Evan Glodell, 2011) Oscilloscope Laboratories, ALL
BUY from Amazon!
10. Stake Land (Jim Mickle, 2011) Dark Sky Films, A
 BUY from Amazon!


Comments:
This was the year of Kieslowski and Malick for me. Only reason not mentioning Tree Of Life is I'm waiting for a better version. To revisit Kieslowski's films have been nothing short of transcendent, and I hope for Decalogue on blu with extras someday. The four Kieslowski films released this year have enriched my life. Carlos was monumental: visually splendid and breathtaking. It was wonderful to see Le Cercle Rouge looking so good. It was wonderful, after waiting almost ten years, to see Island Of Lost Souls. The Last Circus and Bellflower were revelations in story and visuals, not always easy to watch, but thrilling and different. Stake Land is special, and everyone who liked either The Road or Winter's Bone might want to check this one out. An understated highlight was Kes, a wrenching and gentle portrait of such deceptive simplicity and overwhelming beauty. Seeing it on television when I was boy and seeing it now all these years later was eye-opening. I now want to see everything by Ken Loach. Thank you Criterion! And thanks to Gary for the resource to explore more fully.

 


Noel Bjorndahl

Woodford, NSW, Australia

Top 10 SD-DVD Releases
1. Laila (George Schneevoigt, 1929) Flicker Alley; R1 BUY from Amazon!
2. Colossal Youth (Pedro Costa, 2006), Masters of Cinema; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon!
3. Valerie (Gerd Oswald, 1957) MGM Limited Edition; MOD BUY from Amazon!
4. Treasures 5: The West 1898-1938 (Various, 3 Discs) Image; R0 BUY from Amazon!
5. Jean Harlow: 100th Anniversary Collection (Various, 7 Discs) Warner Archive; MOD BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive
6. Man in the Shadow (Jack Arnold, 1957) Universal Vault; MOD BUY from Amazon!
7. Gaumont Treasures Vol 2: 1908-1916 (Various, 3 Discs) Kino; R1 BUY from Amazon!
8. Java Head & Tiger Bay (Thorold Dickinson and J Walter Ruben, 1934) Optimum; R2 PAL BUY from Amazon!
9. The Letter (Jean De Limur, 1929) Warner Archive; MOD BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive
10. Stars in My Crown (Jacques Tourneur, 1950) Warner Archive; MOD1 BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive
 

Comments: 'Runners-up: Remastered prints of I Love Melvin (Don Weis), Four Daughters/Daughters Courageous (Michael Curtiz-both remastered in the Four Daughters Movie Series Collection), and The Breaking Point (Michael Curtiz)-not remastered, but a decent print. These are all from the Warner Bros Archive. I'm in two minds about investing so much in way overpriced DVD-Rs and don't approve of the cynicism in marketing them this way but my desire to see these films in upgraded prints invariably does me in.

Blu-Ray
1. Sweet Smell of Success (Alexander Mackendrick, 1957) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
2. La Signora Senza Camelie (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1953) Masters of Cinema; B
BUY from Amazon!
3. The Great White Silence (Herbert Ponting, 1924) BFI; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
4. Island of Lost Souls (Erle C. Kenton, 1932) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
5. Coeur Fidele (Jean Epstein, 1923) Masters of Cinema; B
BUY from Amazon!
6. Mildred Pierce (Todd Haynes, 2011) Warner Bros UK; B
BUY from Amazon!
7. Boudu Saved From Drowning (Jean Renoir, 1932) Park Circus; B
BUY from Amazon!
8. The Ten Commandments (Cecil B DeMille, 1956) Paramount; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
9. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011) Fox; A
BUY from Amazon!
10. Before the Revolution (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1964) BFI; B
BUY from Amazon!
 

Comments: Deep End (Skolimowski-BFI), Fanny and Alexander (Bergman-Criterion), Smiles of a Summer Night (Bergman-Criterion), Identification of a Woman (Antonioni-Criterion), Ben-Hur (Wyler Limited Edition), The Egyptian (Curtiz-Fox), Orpheus (Cocteau-Criterion), The Complete Jean Vigo (Criterion), 12 Angry Men (Lumet-Criterion).

 


Richard Burt
Florida, USA
Top SD-DVD Releases

1. The Iron Horse (John Ford, 1925) Masters of Cinema; R2 PAL BUY from Amazon!
2. Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection (Various, 10 Discs) Vivendi; R1 BUY from Amazon!
3. Stranger On The 3rd Floor (Boris Ingster, 1940) Odeon; R2 PAL BUY from Amazon!
4. The Prowler (Joseph Losey, 1951) VCI; R0 BUY from Amazon!
5. A Man Vanishes (Shohei Imamura, 1967) Masters of Cinema; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon!
6. Hammett (Wim Wenders, 1982) StudioCanal; R2 PAL BUY from Amazon!
7. The Princess of Montpensier (Bertrand Tavernier, 2010) MPI; R1 BUY from Amazon!
8. La Ville Louvre (Nicolas Philibert, 1990) Artificial Eye; R2 PAL BUY from Amazon!
 

Top Blu-ray Releases
1. Three Colors: Blue, White, Red (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1994) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
2. Pale Flower (Masahiro Shinoda, 1964) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
3. Blow Out (Brian De Palma, 1981) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
4. Citizen Kane - 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition Amazon Exclusive (Orson Welles, 1941) Warner; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
5. Island of Lost Souls (Erle C. Kenton, 1932) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
6. Herostratus (Don Levy, 1967) BFI; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
7. Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010) Artificial Eye; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
8. L'âge d'or (Luis Buńuel, 1930) BFI; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
9. White Material (Claire Denis, 2009) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!


Simón Cherpitel
Orinda, California
USA
Top SD-DVD Releases

1. The Magnificent Ambersons (Orson Welles, 1942) Warner; R1 BUY from Amazon!
2. Stars in My Crown (Jacques Tourneur, 1950) Warner Archive; MOD1 BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive
3. The Mountain (Edward Dmytryk, 1956) Olive; R1 BUY from Amazon!
4. The Incredible Shrinking Man (Jack Arnold, 1957) Universal; R1 BUY from Amazon!
5. The World, the Flesh & the Devil (Ranald Macdougall, 1959) Warner Archive; MOD BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive
6. The Cobweb (Vincente Minnelli, 1955) Warner Archive; MOD BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive
7. Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (Fritz Lang, 1956) Warner Archive; MOD BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive
8. While the City Sleeps (Fritz Lang, 1956) Warner Archive; MOD BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive
9. Ulzana’s Raid (Robert Aldrich, 1972) Universal Vault; MOD BUY from Amazon!
10a. Perry Mason: Season Six, Vol. 1 (Various, 4 Discs) Paramount; R1 BUY from Amazon!
10b. Perry Mason: Season Six, Vol. 2 (Various, 4 Discs) Paramount; R1 BUY from Amazon!

 

Comments: Regarding commentaries, extras, etc, the 9 theatrical movies above have one thing in common: they do not anything! All are bare bones, and the majority are even sans English subtitles. Although the DVD format is not yet in danger of suffering the same fate as VHS did only a few years ago, there were so few 2011 releases on DVD only, that I’m found myself lucky to have enough to make a good Top 10 list--mainly thanks to Warner Archive, whose titles make up half the list, all of them slightly better quality copies than the bootlegs I’ve had for years. The Magnificent Ambersons is probably the most awaited NTSC release, yet apparently only available as part of the Citizen Kane Blu-Ray package on Amazon. Stars in My Crown is probably the sweetest western ever made, in which not a single shot is fired. The Mountain features one of Spencer Tracy's finest, most humane performances, & with the original VistaVision photography of the Alps will definitely be beautiful if ever released on Blu-Ray. The Incredible Shrinking Man is Universal’s solo release from a 5-movie package which began as a Best Buy exclusive some years ago. The World, the Flesh & the Devil, which appeared the same year as On the Beach, has the 3 remaining people on earth roaming the deserted streets of NYC. The Cobweb is one of Minnelli's best WS spash-color melodramas with an omnibus cast playing surprisingly interesting games in a mental hospital. Beyond a Reasonable Doubt & While the City Sleeps are Fritz Lang's final 2 USA films, both somewhat lighter in tone than his earlier noirs & endearingly enjoyable---"Doubt" is a special shocker when seen the first time. Ulzana's Raid has Burt Lancaster dying a good death in a Cavalry vs. Indian action pic, which has a similar sense to the director's WWII drama Attack! 17 years earlier. Finally, Perry Mason is a DVD package of one of the greatest, most enduringly watchable of all TV series.
 

Top Blu-ray Releases
1.
The Ten Commandments (Cecil B DeMille, 1956) Paramount; ALL BUY from Amazon!
2.
The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011) Fox; A BUY from Amazon!
3. Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958) Masters of Cinema; B
BUY from Amazon!
4. Once Upon a Time in the West (Sergio Leone, 1968) Paramount; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
5. The Big Country (William Wyler, 1958) MGM; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
7. Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich, 1955) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
8. Twelve Angry Men (Sidney Lumet, 1957) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
9.
Sweet Smell of Success (Alexander Mackendrick, 1957) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
10.
Three Colors: Blue, White, Red (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1994) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!

 

Comments: The Ten Commandments is perhaps the most visually beautiful movie ever made, and the packaging of the 'gift' set is perhaps the kitschiest ever created, with a holographic cover of the Red Sea parting and the discs tucked inside a pair of plastic mini-commandments tablets. The Tree of Life is the only new great film in a year ridiculously fraught with classic films too numerous to limit to ten. Thus, I've made my list with titles which are the most spectacular showcases for Blu-ray, or those which give the most significant upgrade in extras or image quality over the earlier DVDs. Unlike the top DVDs, all the films are so well-known & highly regarded as to require no explanation. Significantly, as 6 of the DVDs come from 1955-1959, so do 6 of the Blu-rays, which I believe is evidence that the decade from 1952 to 1962 was cinema's real 'golden age'.

 


Anthony Clarke
Australia
Top Blu-ray Releases
+ 1 DVD
1. Meet Me In St Louis
(Vincent Minelli, 1944) Warner; ALL BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive
2. My Life as a Dog
(Lasse Hallstrom, 1985) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
3. Topsy-Turvy
(Mike Leigh, 1999) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
4. The Complete Jean Vigo
(1930-33) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
5. All About Eve
(Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950) 20th Century Fox; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
6. Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Vol. 1
(Various; 3 Discs) Warner; ALL BUY from Amazon!
7. Moonstruck
(Norman Jewison, 1987) MGM; A BUY from Amazon!
8. Tom and Jerry Golden Collection
(Various) Warner; ALL BUY from Amazon!
9. Amacord
(Federico Fellini, 1973) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
10. The Boyfriend ( Ken Russell, 1970) Warner Archive; MOD BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive


Thomas Clay
UK
Top SD-DVD Releases
 
1. Colossal Youth (Pedro Costa, 2006), Masters of Cinema; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon!


Comments: A top DVD release in 2011 feels like a contradiction in terms. Eureka's Colossal Youth stands out, offering an excellent film in its original PAL format at a reasonable price.


Top Blu-ray Releases
1. The Music Room (Satyajit Ray, 1958), Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
2. Senso (Luchino Visconti, 1954), Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
3. La Signora Senza Camelie (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1953) Masters of Cinema; B
BUY from Amazon!
4. Le amiche (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1955) Masters of Cinema; B
BUY from Amazon!
5. Identification of a Woman (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1982), Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
6. Boudu Saved From Drowning (Jean Renoir, 1932) Park Circus; B
BUY from Amazon!
7.
Meet Me In St Louis (Vincent Minelli, 1944) Warner; ALL BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive
8. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011) Fox; A
BUY from Amazon!
9. Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986) MGM; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
10. Solaris (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1972) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!

 

Comments: The Music Room must surely come first, a cutting-edge restoration from Criterion reversing decades of archival neglect. Yet the year belongs to Antonioni, and three releases that I never expected to see on Blu-ray (more please!). A good year for Renoir too, I've chosen Boudu sauvé des eaux over La rčgle du jeu simply because its surviving nitrate elements have been more giving to the blu-ray format. In comparison to the above, there's little surprising or risky about Fox's The Tree of Life, and yet the film of the year in reference quality is something I can't ignore. Ditto the technicolor marvel of Meet Me in St. Louis in HD, Criterion's solid Solaris and Blue Velvet's flaming nipples of lore. Last but not least, the return of Visconti's glorious Senso.
 


Angelo Colombus
Round Lake, Illinois
USA
Top SD-DVD Releases

1. The Garden of the Finzi-Contini (Vittorio De Sica, 1970) Arrow; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon!
2. The Magnificent Ambersons (Orson Welles, 1942) Warner; R1 BUY from Amazon!
3. Two in the Wave (Emmanuel Laurent, 2010) Lober; R1 BUY from Amazon!
4. Araya (Margot Benaceraff, 1959) Milestone; R0 BUY from Amazon!
5. The Ernie Kovacs Collection (Various, 6 Discs) Shout! Factory; R1 BUY from Amazon!
6. Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection (Various, 10 Discs) Vivendi; R1 BUY from Amazon!
 

Top Blu-ray Releases
1. Citizen Kane - 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition Amazon Exclusive (Orson Welles, 1941) Warner; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
2. The Conversation (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974) Lionsgate; A
BUY from Amazon!
3. The Ten Commandments (Cecil B DeMille, 1956) Paramount; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
4.
Amacord (Federico Fellini, 1973) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
5. Barry Lyndon (Stanley Kubrick, 1975) Warner; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
6. Once Upon a Time in the West (Sergio Leone, 1968) Paramount; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
7. Tron Legacy (Joseph Kosinski, 2010) Walt Disney; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
8. I Clowns (Federico Fellini, 1970) RaroVideo; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
9. The Illusionist (Sylvain Chomet, 2010) Sony; A
BUY from Amazon!
10. Buster Keaton Short Films Collection (Buster Keaton, 1920-1923) Kino; A
BUY from Amazon!


Eric Cotenas

CineVentures Blog

Sacramento, CA, USA

Top 10 SD-DVD Releases

1. The Italian Crime Collection (Fernando di Leo, 1972-1976) Raro Video; R0 BUY from Amazon!
2. Legacy (Karen Arthur, 1975) Scorpion Releasing; R0
BUY from Amazon!
3. Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008) Olive Films; R1
BUY from Amazon!
4. A Quiet Place in the Country (Elio Petri, 1968) MGM; MOD 
BUY from Amazon!
5. To Be Twenty (Fernando Di Leo, 1978) Raro Video; R0
BUY from Amazon!
6.
Colossal Youth (Pedro Costa, 2006), Masters of Cinema; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon!
7. Women in Prison Triple Feature (Various, 2 Discs) Panik House/Synapse; R0
BUY from Amazon!
8. Night of the Demon (James C. Wasson, 1980) Code Red; R0
BUY from Amazon!
9. The Lethal Ladies Collection Volume 1 (Various, 2 Discs) Shout Factory; R1
BUY from Amazon!
10. Cold Fish (Sion Sono, 2010) Vivendi; R1
BUY from Amazon!

 

Comments:  Readers who are familiar with the many of the titles on my cult-heavy top ten lists here will probably ask why I left this title off and that title, and surely this title is more deserving than that one. As I said before: DVD is not dead yet, and this year more so than last I found that I did not have time to see nor could I afford all of the desirable titles not sent for review. I’ll be catching up with several in the New Year. I’m already behind on Radley Metzger and Jess Franco (and more from both in 2012), I’m ashamed that I haven’t seen Criterion’s THREE COLORS set, so many Shout Factory Roger Corman releases…

 

Top Blu-ray Releases
1. The Dorm that Dripped Blood (Jeffrey Obrow and Stephen Carpenter, 1982) Synapse; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
2. Horror Express (Eugenio Martin, 1972) Severin Films; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
3. Guilty of Romance (Sion Sono, 2011) Eureka Video; B
BUY from Amazon!
4. The Strange Case of Angelica (Manoel De Oliveira, 2010) Cinema Guild; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
5. Camille 2000 (Radley Metzger, 1969) Cult Epics; ALL
BUY from Amazon!

 


Jordan Cronk
Top 10 SD-DVD Releases

1. Late Mizoguchi: Eight Films, 1951 - 1956 (Kenji Mizoguchi, 8 Discs) Masters of Cinema; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon!
2. Eclipse Series 26: Silent Naruse (Mikio Naruse, 3 Discs) Criterion; R1 BUY from Amazon!
3. Eclipse Series 28: The Warped World of Koreyoshi Kurahara (Koreyoshi Kurahara, 5 Discs) Criterion; R1 BUY from Amazon!
4. American Dreams / Landscape Suicide (James Benning, 1984 & 1986) Film Museum; R0 PAL
5. Zhao Liang: 3 films documentaires (Zhao Liang, 2000 - 09) INA; R2 PAL
6. A Man Vanishes (Shohei Imamura, 1967) Masters of Cinema; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon!
7. Ne change rein (Pedro Costa, 2009) Cinema Guild; R1 BUY from Amazon!
8. Histoire(s) du Cinema (Jean-Luc Godard, 1998) Olive Films; R1 BUY from Amazon!
9. Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008) Olive Films; R1 BUY from Amazon!
10. Our Beloved Month of August (Miguel Gomes, 2008) Second Run; R0 PAL Click to access Warner Archive BUY from Amazon!
 

 

Top Blu-ray Releases
1. The Terrorizers (Edward Yang, 1986) Sony Music Group; ALL
BUY from YesAsia!
2.
The Music Room (Satyajit Ray, 1958), Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
3.
Pale Flower (Masahiro Shinoda, 1964) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
4. Kuroneko (Kaneto Shindo, 1968) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
5.
Senso (Luchino Visconti, 1954), Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
6. Tokyo Drifter (Seijun Suzuki, 1966) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
7. Branded to Kill (Seijun Suzuki, 1967) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
8.
Three Colors: Blue, White, Red (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1994) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
9.
La Signora Senza Camelie (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1953) Masters of Cinema; B BUY from Amazon!
10.
Le amiche (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1955) Masters of Cinema; B BUY from Amazon!


Thomas Friedman

Tallahassee, Florida, USA

Top Blu-ray Releases
1. Fanny and Alexander (Ingmar Bergman, 1982) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
2. Kind Hearts and Coronets (Robert Hamer, 1949) Optimum; B
BUY from Amazon!
3.
Sweet Smell of Success (Alexander Mackendrick, 1957) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
4. Some Like It Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959) MGM; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
5.
My Life as a Dog (Lasse Hallstrom, 1985) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
6. The Name of the Rose (Jean-Jacques Arnaud, 1986) Warner; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
7. The Hustler (Robert Rossen, 1961) Fox; A
BUY from Amazon!
8. The Bridge on the River Kwai – Standard Edition (David Lean, 1957) Sony; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
9. The Manchurian Candidate (John Frankenheimer, 1962) MGM; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
10 .The Lady Vanishes (Alfred Hitchcock, 1938) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
 

Comments: Fanny and Alexander is a Bergman masterpiece, that I consider among the greatest film ever made and Criterion, as always, has done the movie proud. I could have easily done a top ten Criterion list. The dominance of that label is stunning and they always seem to do it right. Other films that could easily have made this list include Criterion’s Amarcord, Mikado, Topsy Turvy and The Four Feathers, among others. Optimum impressed with The Lavender Hill Mob and Whiskey Galore. And one near miss that should be mentioned is the Sherlock Holmes Complete Collection on MPI; it’s just great if you are into quality “B” movies. Consisting of 12 movies filmed with different directors over a six or seven year span, it’s a bit uneven, but the very good ones are splendid indeed.


Stuart Galbraith IV

Kyoto, Japan

Top 10 SD-DVD Releases
1.
Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection (Various, 10 Discs) Vivendi; R1 BUY from Amazon!
2. The Honeymooners – Lost Episodes, 1951-57 – The Complete Restored Series (Various, 15 Discs) MPI; R1
BUY from Amazon!
3.
Araya (Margot Benaceraff, 1959) Milestone; R0 BUY from Amazon!
4. Housekeeping (Bill Forsyth, 1987) Columbia Classics; MOD
BUY from Amazon!
5. Park Row (Samuel Fuller, 1952) MGM; MOD
BUY from Amazon!
6. Galaxy Express 999 (Rintaro, 1979) Eastern Star; R1
BUY from Amazon!
7. Cloudburst (Francis Searle, 1951) MGM; MOD
BUY from Amazon!
8. Detroit 1-8-7 – The Complete First Season (various, 4 Discs) ABC; R1
BUY from Amazon!
9. Visions of Eight (Ozerov, Zetterling, Penn, Pfleghar, Ichikawa, Forman, Lelouch, and Schlesinger, 1973) Olive Films; R1
BUY from Amazon!
10. Upstairs Downstairs – 2011 (Euros Lynn & Saul Metzstein, 2 Discs) BBC Worldwide; R1
BUY from Amazon!
 

Comments: The movie is the thing. Forget those umpteenth reissues packed mostly with recycled extras. Boutique labels and manufactured-on-demand DVD-Rs offered lots of great, new-to-DVD titles this year, from long-requested favorites like Housekeeping to real finds like Araya and Cloudburst.
 

Top Blu-ray Releases
1.
Buster Keaton Short Films Collection (Buster Keaton, 1920-1923) Kino; A
BUY from Amazon!
2. The Guns of Navarone (J. Lee Thompson, 1961) Sony; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
3. The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection (Various, 5 Discs) MPI; A
BUY from Amazon!
4.
The Ten Commandments (Cecil B DeMille, 1956) Paramount; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
5. Mysterious Island (Cy Endfield, 1961) Twilight Time; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
6.
Horror Express (Eugenio Martin, 1972) Severin Films; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
7.
Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Vol. 1 (Various; 3 Discs) Warner; ALL BUY from Amazon!
8. Genevieve (Henry Cornelius, 1953) VCI; A
BUY from Amazon!
9. The Killing w/ Killer’s Kiss (Stanley Kubrick, 1955-56) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!

Comments: Predictably, Criterion will feature on most Top, but Kino is releasing lots of great silent and early-talkie films while boutique labels like Twilight Time, VCI, Raro Video and Severin all deserve a round of applause for their early Blu-ray efforts.

 


David Hare

Sydney, Australia

Top 10 SD-DVD Releases
1. Mysteries of Lisbon (Theatrical and Television editions) (Raul Ruiz, 2010) CLAP; R2 PAL
2. Stars in My Crown (Jacques Tourneur, 1950) Warner Archive; MOD1 BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive
3. The Letter (Jean De Limur, 1929) Warner Archive; MOD BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive
4. Yolanda and the Thief (Vincente Minelli, 1945) Warner; MOD BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive
5. Woman on the Beach (Jean Renoir, 1947) Warner Archive; MOD BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive
6. Landmarks of Early Soviet Film (Boris Barnet et al., 1924-1930) Flicker Alley; R1 BUY from Amazon!
7. Mollenard (Robert Siodmak, 1938) Gaumont; R2 PAL No Subs BUY from Amazon!
8. Antoine et Antoinette (Jacques Becker , 1947) Gaumont; R2 PAL No Subs BUY from Amazon!
9. Dainah la Metisse (Jean Gremillon, 1932) Gaumont; R2 PAL No Subs BUY from Amazon!
10. The Constant Nymph (Edmund Goulding, 1943) Warner Archive; MOD BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive

 

Comments: The Ruiz is the film of the year although I really have to bracket it with two other masterpieces – Le Quattro Volte and Von Trier’s staggering Melancholia. A year that can give us three such masterpieces can only give one hope. Of course the Ruiz SD will undoubtedly be supplanted by the forthcoming Blu Ray edition next year. For the rest my list is dominated by VOD - Warner Archive this year, in particular several titles pressed from virtually mint vault prints. The Tourneur is a sublime film, one of his greatest. The Jeanne Eagels The Letter directed by the unheralded Jean de Limur is revelatory, for her and for de Limur’s own considerable skill in multi camera takes for her two big set pieces which he films as effective single long performance takes with multiple shot montage for dramatic impact. The Yolanda print looks like a mint vault IB. The print finally lifts this (to me) very problematic musical to an at least visually arresting level. The estimable Flicker Alley continues to sideswipe expectations with these wonderful early cinema boxes. The recently restored House On Trubnaya is a fine addition to the growing collection of Barnet (and Otsep/Ozep) becoming legally available outside the previously limited p2p world. Gaumont continues to knock me out too with its VOD service and its less frequent SD (and more frequent Blu) releases. Becker’s very early and largely unseen Antoine et Anoinette is in mint condition and it displays the director in peak form with his not-so-little domestic bittersweet comedies of married life. No subs so you have to learn French or learn how to rip discs, demux and remux in an srt you can find from somewhere in the ether. Same goes for Dainah a butchered early masterpiece from Gremillon which despite losing half its length in cutting plays miraculously well as a mysterious dreamlike tragedy with echoes of Othello and the poetico-lyrical surrealists – one of Grem’s loveliest pictures. I haven’t sighted the WBA of Constant Nymph but I know it from a recent TCM HD broadcast which was completely mind blowing. One of Goulding’s best pictures if not the very best. Korngold’s finest score and the picture very much weaves and rolls with it. The score seems inseparable from the mise en scene. Just as miraculously the print looks virtually new – it was pulled from circulation around 60 years ago and hadn’t been screened again until this year.


Top Blu-ray Releases
1. Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958) Masters of Cinema; B BUY from Amazon!
2.
The Complete Jean Vigo (1930-33) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
3.
La Signora Senza Camelie (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1953) Masters of Cinema; B BUY from Amazon!
4. A Man Escaped (Robert Bresson, 1956) Gaumont; B
BUY from Amazon!
5. Le Quattro Volte (Michelangelo Frammartino, 2010) Kino Lorber; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
6. Ben-Hur (William Wyler, 1959) Warner; ALL
BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive
7. You Only Live Once (Fritz Lang, 1937) Eagle Pictures Italia; B
BUY from Amazon!
8. An Affair to Remember (Leo McCarey, 1957) Fox; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
9. Yi Yi (Edward Yang, 2000) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
10. Design for Living (Ernst Lubitsch, 1933) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!

 

Comments: The MoC Touch of Evil now gives the world this most definitive edition of every conceivable version and AR format for Welles’ last great American picture. By including both Academy and 1.85 matte it has the unique distinction of paying respect to the generation of cinephiles, like myself who have long fought to get back the open matted prints to maintain a preferred compositional balance with the “regulation” widescreen 1958 mask. (It’s all about Metty and headroom after all.) Stunning transfers and encodes. Same goes for Criterion’s Vigo disc which is quite simply perfect. The Bresson has to be mentioned simply by virtue of being the first Bresson to come out in the new format. It’s also my own favorite Bresson. Contrary to some reviews I think the encode looks completely beautiful Frammartino’s pantheistic masterpiece is sublimely rendered in the Lorber disc. It is also one of the very greatest movies of spirituality which can still reach the most committed atheist. The Ben Hur is Warner and the technical team at their technical peak. AGAIN. It’s also one of the best beefcake pictures ever made (Only Cottafavi’s Hercules conquers Atlantis can beat it) and I can’t believe Charlton wasn’t also in on screenwriter Gore Vidal’s homo-text in the reunion scene with Stephen Boyd. Youou Only Live Once for the great picture it is. The transfer seems to belong to Studio Canal and the fact the image is very very slightly pinched (or looks like it is to me) may account for it not being released outside Italy. But I feel obliged to mention it for the sake of the movie itself. Criterion’s YiYi seems now to be a definitive presentation via the most recent restoration of the print, and I hope it is a harbinger of even more restored prints of the remainder of Yang’s work coming to Blu Ray. The McCarey is simply a favorite movie, and this (and also the splendid All About Eve) is a gorgeously rendered version of this wonderful film, down to the slight case of Scope mumps. It’s never looked better.

Peter Hoskin

The Spectator, www.spectator.co.uk

London, UK

Top 10 SD-DVD Releases

1. Treasures 5: The West 1898-1938 (Various, 3 Discs) Image; R0 BUY from Amazon!
2.
Colossal Youth (Pedro Costa, 2006), Masters of Cinema; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon!
3. The Color of Pomegranates (Sergei Paradjanov, 1969) Second Sight, R0 PAL
BUY from Amazon!
4. Wind Across the Everglades (Nicholas Ray, 1958) Wild Side Video, R2 PAL
BUY from Amazon!
5. The Strange World of Gurney Slade (Anthony Newley & Alan Tarrant, 1960) Network, R2 PAL
BUY from Amazon!
6. Jackson County Jail/Caged Heat (Michael Miller/Jonathan Demme, 1976/74) Shout! Factory, R1
BUY from Amazon!
7. Szindbád (Zoltán Huszárik, 1971) Second Run; R0 PAL
BUY from Amazon!
8. Blood on the Moon (Robert Wise, 1948) Odeon Entertainment; R0 PAL
BUY from Amazon!
9. Here's a Health to the Barley Mow (Various, 1912-2005) BFI; R0 PAL
BUY from Amazon!
10. The Halfway House (Basil Dearden, 1944) Optimum; R2 PAL
BUY from Amazon!

 

Comments: Okay, officer, you can have my confession: I haven't actually sat through all of the fifth ‘Treasures from the American Archives’ set yet. But I've seen enough to know that it's one of the most outstanding releases of the year. The accompanying ‘programming notes’ alone deserve some sort of award, but throw in the films themselves, along with the context provided by a bucketload of commentaries, and you really do have a totemic piece of work. These Treasures sets always were an example of DVD at its best, and this latest is no exception. As for my other choices, Blood on the Moon deserves a special mention. It may not have a pristine transfer, nor any extras, but it's also typical of Odeon Entertainment's ‘Hollywood Studio Classics’ line in being inexpensive, interesting and ever so entertaining. A Golden Age film fan could do much worse than invest in the other titles released under that banner (The Big Sky, Cobra Woman, Berlin Express, etc); particularly if they live in the UK and don't want to import more expensive versions from abroad..

Top Blu-ray Releases
1. The Great White Silence (Herbert Ponting, 1924) BFI; ALL BUY from Amazon!
2.
Island of Lost Souls (Erle C. Kenton, 1932) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
3.
Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958) Masters of Cinema; B BUY from Amazon!
4.
Fanny and Alexander (Ingmar Bergman, 1982) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
5. Alice in Wonderland: 60th Anniversary Edition (Clyde Geronimi et al, 1951) Walt Disney Studios; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
6. The Complete Humphrey Jennings: Volume One (Humphrey Jennings, 1934-40) BFI; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
7. Whisky Galore! (Alexander Mackendrik, 1948) Optimum; B
BUY from Amazon!
8. A Day In the Life (John Krish, 1953-64) BFI; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
9.
The Killing w/ Killer’s Kiss (Stanley Kubrick, 1955-56) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
10.
Kes (Ken Loach, 1969) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!

Comments: Forgive me, but... Britannia rules the Blu Rays. Over half of my hi-def selections are directed by British filmmakers, and half of those released by the BFI. At the top sits The Great White Silence, which is a miracle of film and of film restoration. As David Attenbrough's recent series Frozen Planet attests, the Antarctic is a stunning subject for our cameras; but I doubt anyone will ever capture it as movingly as Herbert Ponting did a hundred years ago, during that final Scott expedition. The extras on the BFI disc help amplify my favourite theatrical release of 2011 into my favourite home video release too.


Peter Hourigan

Brunswick, Australia

Top 10 SD-DVD Releases

1. Mysteries of Lisbon (Theatrical and Television editions) (Raul Ruiz, 2010) CLAP; R2 PAL
2. Max Davidson Comedies (Leo McCarey et al., 1927-1931) Edition Filmmuseum R0; PAL
BUY from Amazon!
3. Der Tiger von Eschnapur / Das indische Grabmal (Fritz0, 1959) Masters of Cinema; R2 PAL
BUY from Amazon!
4.
The Prowler (Joseph Losey, 1951) VCI; R0 BUY from Amazon!
5. If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle (Florin Serban, 2010) Film Movement; R1
BUY from Amazon!
6. Two Weeks in Another Town (Vincente Minnelli, 1962) Warner Archive; MOD
BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive
7. Archipelago (Joanna Hogg, 2010) Artificial Eye; R2 PAL
BUY from Amazon!
8. Landmarks of Early Soviet Film (Boris Barnet et al., 1924-1930) Flicker Alley; R1 BUY from Amazon!
9. Ken Loach at the BBC (Ken Loach, 6 Discs) BBC; R2 PAL
BUY from Amazon!
10.
Treasures 5: The West 1898-1938 (Various, 3 Discs) Image; R0 BUY from Amazon!

 

Comments: Number 1 position has to go to the set with BOTH cuts (both brilliant) of Mysteries of Lisbon. Other listings recognize the cultural/entertainment value of the contents. The placing of Fritz Lang’s Indian Epic acknowledges a commentary that adds enormous value to a less than wonderful film. And the last three positions are such important sets.

Top Blu-ray Releases
1. Nostalgia For the Light (Patrizio Guzman, 2010) Icarus; A BUY from Amazon!
2.
The Strange Case of Angelica (Manoel De Oliveira, 2010) Cinema Guild; ALL BUY from Amazon!
3. Howl (Jeffrey Friedman 2010) Oscilloscope; A
BUY from Amazon!
4. The Tempest (Julie Taymor, 2010) Touchstone; A
BUY from Amazon!
5. The Arbor (Clio Barnard, 2010) Verve; B
BUY from Amazon!
6. Taking Off (Milos Forman, 1971) Carlotta; B
BUY from Amazon!
7. Meek’s Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2010) Oscilloscope; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
8.
Le Quattro Volte (Michelangelo Frammartino, 2010) Kino Lorber; ALL BUY from Amazon!
9.
Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010) Artificial Eye; ALL BUY from Amazon!
10. Autumn Afternoon/Hen in the Wind (Yasujiro Ozu,1962/1948) BFI; B
BUY from Amazon!

Comments: Generally, good transfers of films that meant a lot to me.

 


Klemi Juhani
Turku, Finland
Top 10 SD-DVD Releases

1. Szindbád (Zoltán Huszárik, 1971) Second Run; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon!
2. A Man Vanishes (Shohei Imamura, 1967) Masters of Cinema; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon!
3. Eclipse Series 26: Silent Naruse (Mikio Naruse, 3 Discs) Criterion; R1 BUY from Amazon!
4. The Cigarette Girl of Mosselprom (Yuri Zhelyabuzhsky, 1924) Kino; R0 BUY from Amazon!
5. The Garden of the Finzi-Contini (Vittorio De Sica, 1970) Arrow; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon!
6. Red Psalm (Miklos Jancso, 1972) Second Run; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon!
7. Eclipse Series 28: The Warped World of Koreyoshi Kurahara (Koreyoshi Kurahara, 5 Discs) Criterion; R1 BUY from Amazon!
8. Secret Beyond the Door (Fritz Lang, 1947) Exposure Cinema; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon!
9. Schloss Vogelöd (F.W. Murnau, 1921) Masters of Cinema, R0 PAL BUY from Amazon!
10. Raffaello Matarazzo's Runaway Melodramas (1949-1955, 4 Discs) Criterion; R1 BUY from Amazon!
 

Comments: The first run was nice, but Second Run is my favorite.
 

Top Blu-ray Releases
1. The Music Room (Satyajit Ray, 1958), Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
2. The Ballad of Narayama (Shôhei Imamura, 1983) Masters of Cinema; B
BUY from Amazon!
3. Deep End (Jerzy Skolimowski, 1970) BFI; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
4.
Coeur Fidele (Jean Epstein, 1923) Masters of Cinema; B BUY from Amazon!
5. Ladri di biciclette (Vittorio de Sica, 1948) San Paolo; B
BUY from Amazon!
6.
The Great White Silence (Herbert Ponting, 1924) BFI; ALL BUY from Amazon!
7. The Phantom Carriage (Victor Sjöström, 1921) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
8. The Birth of a Nation (D.W. Griffith, 1915) Kino, ALL
BUY from Amazon!
9. Ashes and Diamonds (Andrzej Wajda, 1958) Arrow, ALL
BUY from Amazon!
10.
Boudu Saved From Drowning (Jean Renoir, 1932) Park Circus; B BUY from Amazon!
 

Comments: Only one Kino on my list, that's a surprise to me.

 


Craig Keller
Princeton, NJ, USA

Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

Top 10 SD-DVD Releases of 2011
1. Histoire(s) du Cinema
(Jean-Luc Godard, 1998) Olive Films; R1 BUY from Amazon!
2. Ne change rein
(Pedro Costa, 2009) Cinema Guild; R1 BUY from Amazon!
3.
Park Row (Samuel Fuller, 1952) MGM; MOD BUY from Amazon!
4. Smilin' Through
(Frank Borzage; 1941) Warner Archive; R1 BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive
5.
Woman on the Beach (Jean Renoir, 1947) Warner Archive; MOD BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive
6. The David Susskind Show "Open End" interview with Jerry Lewis: A Frank and Candid Conversation, July 16, 1965
(Koch; R1) BUY from Amazon!
7. Putty Hill
(Matt Porterfield; 2010) Cinema Guild; R1 BUY from Amazon!
8a.
Landmarks of Early Soviet Film (Boris Barnet et al., 1924-1930) Flicker Alley; R1 BUY from Amazon!
8b. Eclipse Series 26: Silent Naruse
(Mikio Naruse, 3 Discs) Criterion; R1 BUY from Amazon!
9.
Stars in My Crown (Jacques Tourneur, 1950) Warner Archive; MOD1 BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive
10a.
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (Fritz Lang, 1956) Warner Archive; MOD BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive
10b.
While the City Sleeps (Fritz Lang, 1956) Warner Archive; MOD BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive
 

Blu-ray
1.
The Complete Jean Vigo (1930-33) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
2.
Citizen Kane - 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition Amazon Exclusive (Orson Welles, 1941) Warner; ALL BUY from Amazon!
3.
The Strange Case of Angelica (Manoel De Oliveira, 2010) Cinema Guild; ALL BUY from Amazon!
4. French Cancan
(Jean Renoir, 1955) BFI; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
5. The Birth of a Nation
(D.W. Griffith, 1915) Kino, ALL
BUY from Amazon!
6. Way Down East
(DW Griffith, 1920) Kino; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
7.
I Clowns (Federico Fellini, 1970) RaroVideo; ALL BUY from Amazon!
8.
Identification of a Woman (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1982), Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
9.
Carlos (Olivier Assayas, 2010) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
10. The Horse Soldiers
(John Ford, 1959) MGM; A
BUY from Amazon!
 


Adam Lampe

Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

Top 10 SD-DVD Releases
1. The Magnificent Ambersons (Orson Welles, 1942) Warner; R1 BUY from Amazon!
2.
Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection (Various, 10 Discs) Vivendi; R1 BUY from Amazon!
3.
The Prowler (Joseph Losey, 1951) VCI; R0 BUY from Amazon!
4.
Der Tiger von Eschnapur / Das indische Grabmal (Fritz0, 1959) Masters of Cinema; R2 PAL BUY from Amazon!
5.
Szindbád (Zoltán Huszárik, 1971) Second Run; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon!
6. Eclipse Series 30: Sabu! (Various, 3 Discs) Criterion; R1 BUY from Amazon!
7. Raffaello Matarazzo's Runaway Melodramas (1949-1955, 4 Discs) Criterion; R1 BUY from Amazon!
8. Ingrid Bergman: Three Film Collection (Various, 1936-1940) Kino; R1 BUY from Amazon!
9. Red Psalm (Miklos Jancso, 1972) Second Run; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon!
10.
Eclipse Series 28: The Warped World of Koreyoshi Kurahara (Koreyoshi Kurahara, 5 Discs) Criterion; R1 BUY from Amazon!
 

Comments: That The Magnificent Ambersons didn’t receive a bells and whistles Blu-ray release only reinforces its status as a broken successor to Citizen Kane, even though individual sequences within the film often surpass Welles’ first masterwork. It’s great to have a decent copy of the film, but it deserves a more meticulous release. Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection is worth getting for those who already own the 21 disc UK collection because of the improved transfers, but its focus is on Laurel & Hardy’s talkie period, so you’ll need to retain the 21 disc set for the silent shorts. Second Run continues to carry the torch for Eastern European cinema. Istvan Szabo’s Apa and Maria Saakyan’s The Lighthouse were also essential SD purchases from Second Run this year.
 

Blu-ray
1.
Citizen Kane - 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition Amazon Exclusive (Orson Welles, 1941) Warner; ALL BUY from Amazon!
2.
Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958) Masters of Cinema; B BUY from Amazon!
3.
Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich, 1955) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
4.
The Double Life of Veronique (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1991) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
5.
Sweet Smell of Success (Alexander Mackendrick, 1957) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
6.
Three Colors: Blue, White, Red (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1994) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
7.
The Complete Jean Vigo (1930-33) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
8. Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976) Sony; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
9.
Branded to Kill (Seijun Suzuki, 1967) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
10.
The Big Country (William Wyler, 1958) MGM; ALL BUY from Amazon!
 

Comments: 2011 – for me, the year of the upgrade. The financial pain of slowly replacing the majority of my DVD collection with Blu-ray has mostly been alleviated by the quality of the new format. Watching Sweet Smell of Success, Branded to Kill and The Big Country in these latest releases is like seeing the films for the first time. On top of that is the increased capacity on Blu-ray for extras, no better illustrated than by Masters of Cinema’s Touch of Evil.

 


Lynn Lascaro
Long Beach, California
U.S.A.

Top 10 SD-DVD Releases
1. Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection (Various, 10 Discs) Vivendi; R1 BUY from Amazon!
2. The Ernie Kovacs Collection (Various, 6 Discs) Shout! Factory; R1 BUY from Amazon!
3. Queen Of Blood (Curtis Harrington, 1966) MGM Limited Edition; MOD
BUY from Amazon!
4. Cosmic Journey (Vasili Zhuravlyov, 1936) Video Dimensions; R1 BUY from Amazon!
5. Galaxy Express 999 (Rintaro, 1979) Eastern Star; R1 BUY from Amazon!
6. The Music Lovers (Ken Russell, 1970) MGM Limited Edition; MOD BUY from Amazon!
7. Mexican Spitfire 8-Movie Collection (Leslie Goodwins, 1939-1943) Warner Archive; MOD BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive
8. Incident In An Alley (Robert E. Kent , 1952) MGM Limited Edition; MOD BUY from Amazon!
9. Atomic City (Jerry Hopper, 1952) Olive Films; R1 BUY from Amazon!
10. The Quatermass Xperiment (Val Guest 1955) MGM Limited Edition; MOD BUY from Amazon!
 

Comments: DVD lived large this year with some great titles and collections. The Ernie Kovacs and Laurel & Hardy collections were most important for content long unavailable, restoration and entertainment.

Blu-ray
1. Cul-de-sac (Roman Polanski, 1966) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
2. 10th Victim (Elio Petri, 1965) Blue Underground; A
BUY from Amazon!
3. Obsession (Brian De Palma 1976) Arrow Video; B
BUY from Amazon!
4. The Egyptian (Michael Curtiz, 1954) Twilight Time; A
BUY from Amazon!
5. Mysterious Island (Cy Endfield, 1961) Twilight Time; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
6. Planes Trains and Automobiles (John Hughes, 1987) MGM; A
BUY from Amazon!
7.
Tokyo Drifter (Seijun Suzuki, 1966) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
8. Hereafter (Clint Eastwood, 2011) Warner; A
BUY from Amazon!
9. Jackie Brown (Quentin Tarantino, 1997) Lionsgate/Miramax; A
BUY from Amazon!
10. The Conversation (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974) Lionsgate; A
BUY from Amazon!
 

Comments: The excitement on Blu-ray this year was in the favorite titles from a few decades ago. While the medium most famously lends itself to stunning copies of high def photography; the clarity of classics became my hobnob. Movie scores that never sounded so good at home could be enjoyed with your back to the screen especially with isolated soundtracks from vendors like Arrow and Twilight Time. As economy drives the movie audience away from hard copies and into downloads; the market continues in the direction of specialty producers and consumers.


Adam Lemke www.moviemiser.com

Syracuse, NY, USA

Top 10 SD-DVD Releases

1. The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover (Larry Cohen, 1977) MGM; MOD BUY from Amazon!
2. The Prowler (Joseph Losey, 1951) VCI; R0 BUY from Amazon!
3. Police, Adjective (Corneliu Porumboiu, 2009) Artificial Eye; R2 PAL BUY from Amazon!
4a. I Killed My Mother (Xavier Dolan, 2009) Network; R2 PAL BUY from Amazon!
4b. Heartbeats (Xavier Dolan, 2010) MPI; R1 BUY from Amazon!
5. Cold Weather (Aaron Katz, 2010) MPI; R1 BUY from Amazon!
6. On Tour (Mathieu Amalric, 2010) Artificial Eye; R2 PAL BUY from Amazon!
7. Bill Cunningham New York (Richard Press, 2010) Zeitgeist; R1 BUY from Amazon!
8. Bloody Birthday (Ed Hunt, 1981) Severin; R1 BUY from Amazon!
9. Leap Year (Michael Rowe, 2010) Axiom; R2 PAL BUY from Amazon!
10. Trail of the Screaming Forehead (Larry Blamire , 2007) 4 Digtial; R2 PAL BUY from Amazon!
 

Comments – DVD seems like a waste of money these days, but I can’t help myself, as many of these films have been on my radar for years. My #1 selection is a less than stellar transfer, but what a joy seeing this overlooked masterpiece getting some sort of treatment. The Prowler, Police Adj, and On Tour all would have been better served on Blu-ray – it’s a shame to see them pushed to DVD. The brilliant Xavier Dolan never got much distribution in theaters, but the young Cannes phenom can be discovered on the home format, and is worth seeking out.

Blu-Ray
1.
The Music Room (Satyajit Ray, 1958), Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
2. Amer (Hélčne Cattet & Bruno Forzani ) Anchor Bay; ALL 
BUY from Amazon!
3. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010) New Wave; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
4. The Woman (Lucky McKee, 2011) Revolver; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
5. A Separation (Asghar Farhadi, 2011) Artificial Eye; B
BUY from Amazon!
6.
The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011) Fox; A BUY from Amazon!
7. Road to Nowhere (Monte Hellman, 2010) Monterey; A
BUY from Amazon!
8.
Barry Lyndon (Stanley Kubrick, 1975) Warner; ALL BUY from Amazon!
9. The Great Dictator (Charles Chaplin, 1940) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
10. Confessions (Tetsuya Nakashima, 2010) Third Window; A
BUY from YesAsia!
 

Comments: Having recently become a parent, 2011 was for me the year that I really depended on the home video format to stay in touch with contemporary cinema. So many recent masterpieces were enjoyed not in the theater, but on the comfort of the couch, in the dazzling hi-def of my 70-inch screen, and in retrospect, it wasn’t all that bad! My #1 pick was simply a revelatory screening, easily the best film I saw all year, and holy shit what a gorgeous restoration. I’ll savoir it for years. Here’s hoping for more major new films from Criterion, as this re-issue of catalogue titles is beginning to wear on me.
 


Tom Mahaffey

Troy, Michigan, USA

Top 10 SD-DVD Releases
1.
The Prowler (Joseph Losey, 1951) VCI; R0 BUY from Amazon!
2. A Blonde in Love (Milos Forman, 1965) Second Run; R2 PAL
BUY from Amazon!
3. Strip-Tease (Jacques Poitrenaud, 1962) Mondo Macabro; R1
BUY from Amazon!
4. Inferno (Francesco Bertolini, 1911) Cineteca Bologna; R2 PAL
5. Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune (Kenneth Bowser, 2011) First Run; R1
BUY from Amazon!
6. Inspector Bellamy (Claude Chabrol, 2009) IFC; R1
BUY from Amazon!
7.
A Man Vanishes (Shohei Imamura, 1967) Masters of Cinema; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon!
8. Elizabeth Taylor Warner Archives Classics Collection (Various, 5 Discs) Warner Archive; MOD
BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive
9.
Jean Harlow: 100th Anniversary Collection (Various, 7 Discs) Warner Archive; MOD BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive
10. Lon Chaney Warner Archives Classics Collection (Various, 6 Discs) Warner Archive; MOD
BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive
 

Top Blu-ray Releases
1.
All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950) 20th Century Fox; ALL BUY from Amazon!
2.
An Affair to Remember (Leo McCarey, 1957) Fox; ALL BUY from Amazon!
3.
The Last Circus (Álex de la Iglesia, 2010) Magnolia, A BUY from Amazon!
4.
Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958) Masters of Cinema; B BUY from Amazon!
5. Dogtooth (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2010) Kino; A
BUY from Amazon!
6. The Misfits (John Huston, 1961) 20 Century Fox; A
BUY from Amazon!
7.
Obsession (Brian De Palma 1976) Arrow Video; B BUY from Amazon!
8.
Le Quattro Volte (Michelangelo Frammartino, 2010) Kino Lorber; ALL BUY from Amazon!
9. Boccaccio ’70 (Fellini, Monicelli, Visconti, De Sica, 1962) Kino Lorber; A
BUY from Amazon!
10.
Island of Lost Souls (Erle C. Kenton, 1932) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
 


Gregory, Meshman

Atlanta, GA USA

Top 10 SD-DVD Releases
1.
Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection (Various, 10 Discs) Vivendi; R1 BUY from Amazon!
2.
The Prowler (Joseph Losey, 1951) VCI; R0 BUY from Amazon!
3.
Landmarks of Early Soviet Film (Boris Barnet et al., 1924-1930) Flicker Alley; R1 BUY from Amazon!
4.
Araya (Margot Benaceraff, 1959) Milestone; R0 BUY from Amazon!
5. America, America (Elia Kazan, 1963) Warner; R1
BUY from Amazon!
6.
Raffaello Matarazzo's Runaway Melodramas (1949-1955, 4 Discs) Criterion; R1 BUY from Amazon!
7.
The Ernie Kovacs Collection (Various, 6 Discs) Shout! Factory; R1 BUY from Amazon!
8. A Film Unfinished (Yael Hersonski, 2010) Oscilloscope; R1
BUY from Amazon!
9.
The Breaking Point (Michael, Curtiz, 1950) Warner Archive Collection; Region 0 BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive
10. 99 River Street (Phil Karlson, 1953) MGM Limited Edition; MOD
BUY from Amazon!
 

Top Blu-ray Releases
1.
Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958) Masters of Cinema; B BUY from Amazon!
2.
Three Colors: Blue, White, Red (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1994) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
3.
The Complete Jean Vigo (1930-33) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
4. Santa Sangre (Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1989) Severin; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
5.
Island of Lost Souls (Erle C. Kenton, 1932) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
6. The Killing w/ Killer’s Kiss (Stanley Kubrick, 1955-56) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
7.
Coeur Fidele (Jean Epstein, 1923) Masters of Cinema; B
BUY from Amazon!
8.
The Music Room (Satyajit Ray, 1958), Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
9.
Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986) MGM; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
10.
Once Upon a Time in the West (Sergio Leone, 1968) Paramount; ALL
BUY from Amazon!


Leonard Norwitz   http://lens-views.com/

San Jose, CA

Top Blu-ray Releases

1. Downton Abbey: Season 2 (Julian Fellowes, 2011); Universal International; Region-All BUY from Amazon!
2. Doctor Who: Series 6
(Created by Steven Moffat, 2011); BBC Warner; Region-All BUY from Amazon!
3.
Ben-Hur (William Wyler, 1959) Warner; ALL BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive
4.
The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011) Fox; A BUY from Amazon!
5.
Fanny and Alexander (Ingmar Bergman, 1982) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
6. The Stool Pigeon
(Dante Lam, 2010) Well Go; A BUY from Amazon!
7. The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall
(Andrew Lloyd Webber/Cameron Mackintosh, 2011) Universal UK; Region-All BUY from Amazon!
8.
Citizen Kane - 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition Amazon Exclusive (Orson Welles, 1941) Warner; ALL BUY from Amazon!
9. Jane Eyre
(Cary Fukinaga, 2011) Universal; Region-All BUY from Amazon!
10. HANNA
(Joe Wright, 2011) Universal; Region-All BUY from Amazon!

Comments:

I think we can agree that the bloom is starting to fade from the rose - and that this is a good thing. Blu-ray transfers are showing fewer instances of transfer issues; classic and silent films are showing up in greater numbers. What more can we ask? More of the same, I guess. What this means for a Ten Best List is that we need to find more inventive criteria for inclusion.

These are the Blu-ray titles I found to be the most involving in the medium and that I thought would have a particularly high rewatchability factor. In part, that’s why two television series, both from the U.K., are at the top of my list. I was handing high fives every few minutes to both the second season of Downton Abbey (even more than the first) and the most recent series of Matt Smith incarnation of The Doctor. The fact that these series have as good or better picture quality than others just as good in their way (Mad Men 4 and Dexter 5, to name two that come immediately to mind) is just one factor in their favor.

If you haven’t already discovered it, Downton Abbey is a kind of upscale Upstairs Downstairs: the locations (Highclere Castle), production values, the writing, the performances, the themes - every aspect of the show is richer. The second season, which completed its run on ITV-HD just this past November 6 revisits the same ground as that memorable fourth season of Upstairs Downstairs, and by my reckoning does it better, to wit: the Great War and its effects at the home front. This can be painful viewing, and couldn’t be more timely.

As for Doctor Who, what can I say but that this is a series has that has little business being alive, let alone fascinating. Do you realize that just about every episode since the beginning of time has roughly the same arc: The Doctor is separated from his companions who, in turn, get in life-threatening danger - as does The Doctor, if such can be said of an immortal - and by the end of the episode, things are set right. Usually. More or less. There are many who have not been able to let go of their feelings of hurt and betrayal for the loss of David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor, nor embrace the manic gyrations and speech of a young Matt Smith (he’s not yet 30) - thank heavens for subtitles! - but I have to say this latest series is a real page turner and relentlessly inventive in the bargain. And, in my experience, Series Six has the most fascinating and most endearing character the Doctor has come across in his 47 years of travels on the small screen (made all the larger since 2009 thanks to HD broadcast): Idris (Suranne Jones), the title character in an episode smartly titled “The Doctor’s Wife.” It was written, by the way, by Neil Gaiman in his first outing for the series. Let’s hope for more of similar quality.

Two titles, Citizen Kane and Fanny and Alexander, are perhaps the best of a growing number of classic films lovingly transferred to Blu-ray this year - with a special mention to Criterion for including the television version and the bonus features in high-def for the Bergman movie as well. Add to this short list, Ben-Hur, and not only for the chariot race. You can just feel the heat and the dust as well as the taste of regret that Stephen Boyd must have felt for being passed over in favor of Hugh Griffith.

In The Tree of Life, Terrence Malick seems to have made the film that Kurosawa thought he was about in his Dreams; Criterion outdid themselves for one of the best soundtracks of the year. The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall is a late entry from the U.K. Gorgeous to look at, it is all the more astonishing when you realize it is staged in the same venue as Hitchcock’s Man Who Knew Too Much. Once we grasp that idea, we ask: how did they get such sound from such piss-ant microphones at the side of their heads. By leagues, the best Phantom on disc.

The Stool Pigeon scores in every department: story, performance, picture and sound quality and inventive action directing - this in a field where most settle for bigger explosions, more gunfire and longer and crashier car chases. Cary Fukinaga’s Jane Eyre definitely has its detractors, but I found it engaging on all fronts. An excellent example of what high definition can do. HANNA may only be a slightly better than your routine thriller, but it made my list for two reasons: 16 year old Saoirse Ronan and a phenomenal score and sound design by The Chemical Brothers.

 


George Papamargaritis

UK, Greece

Top 10 SD-DVD Releases
1. Theo Angelopoulos Vol. 1 (4 Discs) Artificial Eye; R2 PAL
2. Araya (Margot Benaceraff, 1959) Milestone; R0 BUY from Amazon!
3. Eclipse Series 26: Silent Naruse (Mikio Naruse, 3 Discs) Criterion; R1 BUY from Amazon!
4. Szindbád (Zoltán Huszárik, 1971) Second Run; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon!
5. A Man Vanishes (Shohei Imamura, 1967) Masters of Cinema; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon!
6. The Color of Pomegranates (Sergei Paradjanov, 1969) Second Sight, R0 PAL BUY from Amazon!
7. *Landmarks of Early Soviet Film (Boris Barnet et al., 1924-1930) Flicker Alley; R1 BUY from Amazon!
8. Zvenigora and Arsenal, Alexander Dovzhenko, Mr Bongo, R2 BUY from Amazon! BUY from Amazon!
9. The Prowler (Joseph Losey, 1951) VCI; R0 BUY from Amazon!
10. Adua & Her Friends (Antonio Pietrangeli, 1960) Raro Video; R1 BUY from Amazon!

 

Top Blu-ray Releases

1. Fanny and Alexander (Ingmar Bergman, 1982) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
2.
Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958) Masters of Cinema; B BUY from Amazon!
3. The Rules of the Game (Jean Renoir, 1939) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
4.
Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich, 1955) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
5.
Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986) MGM; ALL BUY from Amazon!
6. Deep End (Jerzy Skolimowski, 1970) BFI; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
7.
Dogtooth (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2010) Kino; A BUY from Amazon!
8.
*The Music Room (Satyajit Ray, 1958), Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
9.
The Strange Case of Angelica (Manoel De Oliveira, 2010) Cinema Guild; ALL BUY from Amazon!
10.
The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011) Fox; A BUY from Amazon!

 

*Adjustment inclusions not counted in the final tally


Luc Pomerleau

Gatineau, Québec, Canada

Top 10 SD-DVD Releases

1. The Prowler (Joseph Losey, 1951) VCI; R0 BUY from Amazon!
2.
Secret Beyond the Door (Fritz Lang, 1947) Exposure Cinema; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon!
3.
Eclipse Series 26: Silent Naruse (Mikio Naruse, 3 Discs) Criterion; R1 BUY from Amazon!
4. America, America (Elia Kazan, 1963) Warner; R1
BUY from Amazon!
5.
The Iron Horse (John Ford, 1925) Masters of Cinema; R2 PAL BUY from Amazon!
6. Park Row (Samuel Fuller, 1952) MGM; MOD
BUY from Amazon!
7. The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond (Budd Boetticher, 1960) Warner Archive Collection; MOD
BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive
8.
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (Fritz Lang, 1956) Warner Archive; MOD BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive
9.
Eclipse Series 30: Sabu! (Various, 3 Discs) Criterion; R1 BUY from Amazon!
 

Comments: Blu-Ray having become my default choice when a title is released in both formats, I could not quite make up a full list of SD titles this year. I even included some DVD-R releases, despite my reservations about the format and the often inflated prices. At least they allow for some neglected titles by established directors like Losey, Boetticher and Lang to finally be widely available to the viewing public. Naruse proves to be as fascinating a director in his early years as in his better-known mature titles. As for Sabu, I can't invoke the nostalgia factor since I barely remember seeing "The Jungle Book" previously; it was an enjoyable, but dated, discovery.
 

Blu-ray
1.
Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958) Masters of Cinema; B BUY from Amazon!
2.
The Complete Jean Vigo (1930-33) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
3.
Sweet Smell of Success (Alexander Mackendrick, 1957) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
4. Orpheus (Jean Cocteau, 1950) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
5. Alice (Jan Svankmajer, 1988) BFI; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
6a. Le Beau Serge (Clause Chabrol, 1958) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
6b. Les Cousins (Claude Chabrol, 1959), Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
7.
Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich, 1955) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
8.
Island of Lost Souls (Erle C. Kenton, 1932) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
9. The Naked Kiss (Samuel Fuller, 1964) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
9b. Shock Corridor (Samuel Fuller, 1963) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
10.
Before the Revolution (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1964) BFI; B BUY from Amazon!
Comments: Touch of Evil tops my list despite offering just about the same combination of extras as the 2008 SD; the bump in image quality is of course an important factor, but it's the inclusion of different aspect ratios for two of the film's versions that makes this a true cinephile's dream and a shining example of the potential of DVDs and BDs for us lovers of cinema, opening up endless hours of comparisons and discussion. The Vigo and Cocteau packages are also worthy of similar superlatives as far as cinephilic value. The abundance of extras at times elevated some releases well beyond the intrinsic value of the film itself (the Aldrich and the Kenton). Conversely, excellent films did not make my cut because of the relative paucity of worthwhile extras (Zazie dans le Métro, The Makioka Sisters). In some cases, reissues with no significant added features as compared to the SD editions meant that titles like Citizen Kane or The Manchurian Candidate were not selected. The Fuller and Chabrol twofers were impossible to separate since in each case both films illuminate each other at a crucial phase in the filmmakers' careers
.

 


Raymond

Top SD-DVD

1. Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection (Various, 10 Discs) Vivendi; R1 BUY from Amazon!
2. Skidoo (Otto Preminger, 1968) Olive; R1
BUY from Amazon!
Comments: Yikes. It's getting tough to find DVD only releases, but both of these were very worthwhile.


Blu-ray
1.
Buster Keaton Short Films Collection (Buster Keaton, 1920-1923) Kino; A BUY from Amazon!
2.
Island of Lost Souls (Erle C. Kenton, 1932) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
3.
L'âge d'or (Luis Buńuel, 1930) BFI; ALL BUY from Amazon!
4. Beauty and the Beast (Jean Cocteau, 1946) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
5.
Santa Sangre (Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1989) Severin; ALL BUY from Amazon!
6-10 are in no particular order
The Killing w/ Killer’s Kiss (Stanley Kubrick, 1955-56) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
The Ten Commandments (Cecil B DeMille, 1956) Paramount; ALL BUY from Amazon!
Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976) Sony; ALL BUY from Amazon!
Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich, 1955) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
The Four Feathers (Zoltán Korda, 1939) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
 


Jonathan Rosenbaum

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Top SD-DVD

1. Miklós Jancsó Box Set (1964, 1967, 1969) Second Run; R2 PAL BUY from Amazon!
2.
One Day In The Life Of Andrei Arsenevitch (Chris Marker, 1999) Icarus Films; R1 BUY from Amazon!
3.
Landmarks of Early Soviet Film (Boris Barnet et al., 1924-1930) Flicker Alley; R1 BUY from Amazon!
4. Falstaff/Chimes at Midnight (Orson Welles, 1965) Cornerstone Media; R2 PAL
BUY from Amazon!
5.
Histoire(s) du Cinema (Jean-Luc Godard, 1998) Olive Films; R1 BUY from Amazon!
6. The Hunter (Rafi Pitts, 2010) Artificial Eye; R2 PAL
BUY from Amazon!
7.
Ne change rein (Pedro Costa, 2009) Cinema Guild; R1 BUY from Amazon!
8. Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench (Damien Chazelle, 2009) Cinema Guild; R1
BUY from Amazon!
9.
Late Mizoguchi: Eight Films, 1951 - 1956 (Kenji Mizoguchi, 8 Discs) Masters of Cinema; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon!
10.
The Ernie Kovacs Collection (Various, 6 Discs) Shout! Factory; R1 BUY from Amazon!
Comments:
Eclipse Series 25: Basil Dearden's London Underground and Zoltŕn Huszŕrik’s Szindbád on Second Run, are also worthy of special notice.
 

Blu-ray
1.
The Complete Jean Vigo (1930-33) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
2. Carl Th. Dreyer: Elsker Hverandre/Love One Another & Glomdalsbruden/The Bride of Glomdal (Various) Danish Film Institute, ALL
3. Poetry (Lee Chang-dong, 2010) Kino Lorber; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
4.
Senso (Luchino Visconti, 1954), Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
5.
The Strange Case of Angelica (Manoel De Oliveira, 2010) Cinema Guild; ALL BUY from Amazon!
6. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (Steven Spielberg, 2001) Warner; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
7. Matinee (Joe Dante, 1993) Carlotta Films; B
BUY from Amazon!
8.
Deep End (Jerzy Skolimowski, 1970) BFI; ALL BUY from Amazon!
9.
Coeur Fidele (Jean Epstein, 1923) Masters of Cinema; B BUY from Amazon!
10. Smiles of a Summer Night (Ingmar Bergman, 1956) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!

 


Bill Routt

Balwyn, Victoria, Australia

10 Favorite Blu-ray and DVD combined
Christmas in July (Preston Sturges, 1940) Universal; R1 BUY from Amazon!
Coffret Albert Capellani (4 Discs, 1906-1921) Pathe; R2 PAL BUY from Amazon!
Daguerreotypes (Agnes Varda, 1976) Cinema Guild; R1 BUY from Amazon!
The Killing: Complete Season One (Birger Larsen, 2010) Arrow; R2 PAL BUY from Amazon!
Landmarks of Early Soviet Film (Boris Barnet et al., 1924-1930) Flicker Alley; R1 BUY from Amazon!
M -- Further Restoration 80th Anniversary (Fritz Lang, 1931) Universum; B BUY from Amazon!
Giorgio Moroder Presents Metropolis: Special Edition (Fritz Lang, 1927) Kino; A BUY from Amazon!
The Prowler (Joseph Losey, 1951) VCI; R0 BUY from Amazon!
The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond (Budd Boetticher, 1960) Warner Archive Collection; MOD BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive
War and Peace (Sergei Bondarchuk, 1967) Artificial Eye, R2 PAL BUY from Amazon!
Comments: Alphabetical order. A lot more DVD-only titles than I would have thought. I have resorted to alphabetizing because, aside from Daguerreotypes (which is special on any list), they all interest me just about the same (that is, not as much as I would like). Perhaps I ought to have added The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec and the Eclipse Set 30 (Sabu!), but I won't be looking at either of those until Christmas with the grandchildren. I spent a lot of this year watching anime, and I guess it shows with the holes in my lists. I know I ought to have listed Usagi Drop: Episodes 1-11, but that seems to be available only from Malaysia right now.


Per-Olof Strandberg

Helsinki, Finland

Top SD-DVD Releases

1. Theo Angelopoulos Vol. 1 (4 Discs) Artificial Eye; R2 PAL


Blu-ray Releases
1.
Deep End (Jerzy Skolimowski, 1970) BFI; ALL BUY from Amazon! L
2.
The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011) Fox; A BUY from Amazon!
3. Last Tango in Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972) MGM; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
4.
The Complete Jean Vigo (1930-33) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
5.
Three Colors: Blue, White, Red (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1994) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
6.
Coeur Fidele (Jean Epstein, 1923) Masters of Cinema; B BUY from Amazon!
7. Everyone Says I Love You (Woody Allen, 1996) Atlantic Film; B
8. Les Cousins (Claude Chabrol, 1959), Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
9. Broken Flowers (Jim Jarmusch, 2005) Universum Film; ALL

10. Vive L'Amour (Tsai Ming Liang, 1994) Sony Music; ALL
BUY from YesAsia! BUY from YesAsia!


Gary Tooze

Toronto, Canada

Top 10 SD-DVD Releases

1. Treasures 5: The West 1898-1938 (Various, 3 Discs) Image; R0 BUY from Amazon!
2. The Prowler (Joseph Losey, 1951) VCI; R0 BUY from Amazon!
3. Raffaello Matarazzo's Runaway Melodramas (1949-1955, 4 Discs) Criterion; R1 BUY from Amazon!
4. The Girl (Fredrik Edfeldt, 2009) Olive Films; Region 1 BUY from Amazon!
5. Larks on a String (Jirí Menzel, 1990) Second Run; Region 0 PAL BUY from Amazon!
6. Araya (Margot Benaceraff, 1959) Milestone; R0 BUY from Amazon!
7. The Scar/ Hollow Triumph (Steve Sekely, 1948) Koch Media; Region 2 PAL BUY from Amazon!
8. Rope of Sand (William Dieterle, 1949) Olive Films; Region 1 BUY from Amazon!
9. Dark Days (Marc Singer, 2000) Oscilloscope Laboratories; Region 0 BUY from Amazon!
10. The Breaking Point (Michael, Curtiz, 1950) Warner Archive Collection; Region 0 BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive

 

Comments: I didn't intentionally try to diversify but I am happy with the selections leaning to noir-esque but also having Silent Era, Czech new wave, an important documentary, rarely seen Italian melodramas and a penetrating, modern Swedish arthouse, drama. What am I missing? At least a dozen Warner Archive MODs, more Eclipse would have been too easy to add and more. But I am so intrigued by the diversity on the Poll page. I'll have happy SD-DVD hunting for months and months.

 

Top Blu-ray Releases

1. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011) Fox; A
BUY from Amazon!
2. Three Colors: Blue, White, Red (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1994) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
3.
Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958) Masters of Cinema; B BUY from Amazon!
4. 12 Angry Men (Sidney Lumet, 1957) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
5. The Scent of Green Papaya (Anh Hung Tran, 1993) Lorber Films; Region A
BUY from Amazon!
6. Meek’s Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2010) Oscilloscope; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
7. The Music Room (Satyajit Ray, 1958), Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
8. Coeur Fidele (Jean Epstein, 1923) Masters of Cinema; B
BUY from Amazon!
9. Citizen Kane - 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition Amazon Exclusive (Orson Welles, 1941) Warner; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
10. X-Men: First Class (Matthew Vaughn, 2011) 20th Century Fox; Region A
BUY from Amazon!

 

Comments: I may be addicted to Malick's The Tree of Life - watching it multiple times - marveling at the pristine visual and aural quality. It ranks, on my Top Blu-ray list, as only one of four titles that were 'new' movie experiences for me in 2011 - admittedly a poor year for modern theatrical releases. 1080P allowed me to revisit and reinterpret efforts by master filmmakers Welles, Satyajit Ray, Kieslowski, Tran, Lumet and many more that I was too absent-minded to add to the list. I struggled with my Guilty-Pleasure pick this year (was also leaning to Rise of the Planet of the Apes) but X-Men: First Class won out.

 


Troy Weets

Fargo, North Dakota, USA

Top 10 SD-DVD Releases

1. Face To Face (Ingmar Bergman, 1976) Olive Films; R1 BUY from Amazon!
2. Theo Angelopoulos Vol. 1 (4 Discs) Artificial Eye; R2 PAL
3. Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008) Olive Films; R1
BUY from Amazon!
4. The Lighthouse (Mariya Saakyan, 2006) Second Run; R0 PAL
BUY from Amazon!
5. Eclipse Series 29: Aki Kaurismaki’s Leningrad Cowboys (Aki Kaurismaki, 1989-94) Criterion; R1
BUY from Amazon!
6.
A Film Unfinished (Yael Hersonski, 2010) Oscilloscope; R1 BUY from Amazon!
7.  Late Mizoguchi: Eight Films, 1951 - 1956 (Kenji Mizoguchi, 8 Discs) Masters of Cinema; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon!
8. One Day In The Life Of Andrei Arsenevitch (Chris Marker, 1999) Icarus Films; R1
BUY from Amazon!
9. The Kremlin Letter (John Huston, 1970) Eureka Video; R2 PAL
BUY from Amazon!
10. Eclipse Series 30: Sabu! (Various, 3 Discs) Criterion; R1 BUY from Amazon!
Comments: This year saw a drastic drop off in my DVD purchasing. The titles on this list probably comprise over a quarter of my total DVD purchases for the year. The upside is that the ones that did make it my way this year were of the utmost quality and many of them were also quite nice surprises. I was extremely happy to finally see Face To Face on DVD, and have really enjoyed Olive Films output on both DVD and Blu-Ray this year. Along with Oscilloscope, and the stalwarts like Criterion and MoC, they have really been digging deep into the vaults to unearth some great treasures. As much as I hope that this can continue, I would really like to see more of these titles get released on Blu-Ray. Every one of the studios listed above except for Second Run are already in the Blu-Ray market, and there is no real reason that these great films shouldn’t move that way going forward.


Blu-ray
1. Marketa Lazarova (Frantisek Vlacil, 1967) National Film Archive; B

A Magnificent (English-friendly) Blu-Ray release that belongs on every cinephile’s shelf.
2. The Sacrifice (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1986) Kino; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
A very nice upgrade from the DVD and it is always nice to see Tarkovsky in high-def. Here’s hoping for more in 2012!
3.
Three Colors: Blue, White, Red (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1994) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
It was a tough call between this and Fanny And Alexander from Criterion, but I ultimately leaned toward this one because it was new to their catalogue. Amazing package of three of the best contemporary films ever made.
4.
Before the Revolution (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1964) BFI; B BUY from Amazon!  
BFI delivers again with a great year of obscure and unearthed films from all corners of the world. This Bertolucci is one of my favorites and the transfer and booklets from BFI are second to none.
5. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (Jalmari Helander, 2010) Oscilloscope; A
BUY from Amazon!
What a surprise this film was! I fully expected some cheap B-Movie type of viewing and was blown away by a film with great heart. This has definitely made its way onto our perennial Christmas viewing list, and it should be on yours too!
6.
Nostalgia For the Light (Patrizio Guzman, 2010) Icarus; A BUY from Amazon!
A very contemplative and mind-opening film that looks all the more stunning and impacting in high-def. Patricio Guzman is a very overlooked filmmaker and deserves a much wider audience.
7. Whisky Galore! (Alexander Mackendrik, 1948) Optimum; B
BUY from Amazon!
My absolute favorite of the Ealing comedies. Optimum have done a great job in restoring so many of these classic films and delivering them on Blu-Ray, and if you’re looking for a place to dive in, look no further than this gem. A comic masterpiece.
8. Rapture (John Guillermin, 1965) Twilight Time; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
I had never even heard of this film before Twilight Time’s Blu-Ray release, but given their stellar treatment of The Egyptian and Mysterious Island I took a gamble. I was very glad that I did as it was such a revelation. Pick up your copy soon, as they only issue 3000 of these Blu-Rays, and once they go, they are very hard to find.
9. The Ballad of Narayama (Shôhei Imamura, 1983) Masters of Cinema; B
BUY from Amazon!
Imamura’s film is such a beautiful and poetic one that I for one am very grateful to own it in such a wonderful package. I am also eagerly anticipating their 2012 slate, with films like Punishment Park and Two-Lane Blacktop already scheduled (and that’s just January!), its shaping up to be a great year already.
10. Rififi (Jules Dassin, 1955) Arrow Academy; RB
BUY from Amazon!
Arrow is one of the companies that really started to shine in 2011 as well. They started an offshoot called Arrow Academy and have already graced us with wonderful editions of classics like Ashes and Diamonds, Bicycle Thieves, and this one, which looks and sounds absolutely wonderful. Their supplemental packages are top notch as well.
 

Comments: First of all, I once again limited my Top 10 Blu-Ray selections to one per studio, as there are far too many great Criterion, BFI, and Masters of Cinema titles out there, and they would no doubt monopolize my list. -- What a great year for classics on Blu-Ray. It has been an absolute joy to be able to revisit some of my all-time favorites in stunning new transfers. I think it also very important to note the emergence of a few of the newer studios like Olive Films (new to Blu-Ray anyway), Oscilloscope and Twilight Time who have all emerged as quality distributors knocking on the door of the standard-bearers at Criterion and Masters of Cinema. Everyone should also do whatever it takes to track down the Blu-Ray of Marketa Lazarova from the Czech National Film Archive. If you haven’t seen the great Second Run DVD that has been out for a few years, or you are just looking to upgrade, it is one of the most wonderful viewing experiences I have ever had, and well worth the trouble in tracking it down! One last thing: I would like to beg Kino to please release Tarkovsky’s Stalker on Blu-Ray in 2012… after the great upgrade to The Sacrifice, and Criterion’s Solaris, I can only dream of one day being able to watch this film in 1080p!

 


James White

Film Restoration & Remastering Consultant, UK
Top 10 SD-DVD
1. Hotel Terminus (Marcel Ophuls, 1988) Icarus Films; R1
BUY from Amazon!
2.
Szindbád (Zoltán Huszárik, 1971) Second Run; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon!
3. Park Row (Samuel Fuller, 1952) MGM; MOD
BUY from Amazon!
4.
Secret Beyond the Door (Fritz Lang, 1947) Exposure Cinema; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon!
5.
Eclipse Series 25: Basil Dearden's London Underground (Basil Dearden, 4 Discs) Criterion; R1 BUY from Amazon!
6. Taxi Zum Klo (Frank Ripploh, 1980) Peccadillo; R2 PAL
BUY from Amazon!
7.
Treasures 5: The West 1898-1938 (Various, 3 Discs) Image; R0 BUY from Amazon!
8. Here's a Health to the Barley Mow (Various, 1912-2005) BFI; R0 PAL
BUY from Amazon!
9. The Strange World of Gurney Slade (Anthony Newley & Alan Tarrant, 1960) Network, R2 PAL
BUY from Amazon!
Comments: A great year for lost classics and underground discoveries, but 2011 was also yet another year in which Nicholas Ray’s “The Lusty Men” still hasn’t appeared in any form, which is just wrong.
 

Blu-ray Releases
1. Silent Running (Douglas Trumbull, 1972) Masters of Cinema; B
BUY from Amazon!
2.
A Day In the Life (John Krish, 1953-64) BFI; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
3.
Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976) Sony; ALL BUY from Amazon!
4.
Coeur Fidele (Jean Epstein, 1923) Masters of Cinema; B
BUY from Amazon!
5.
Deep End (Jerzy Skolimowski, 1970) BFI; ALL BUY from Amazon!
6.
Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958) Masters of Cinema; B
BUY from Amazon!
7. La Piscine (Jacques Deray, 1969) Park Circus; B
BUY from Amazon!
8.
Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich, 1955) Criterion; A
BUY from Amazon!
9. Alice (Jan Svankmajer, 1988) BFI; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
10.
Obsession (Brian De Palma 1976) Arrow Video; B
BUY from Amazon!
Comments: The BFI’s plan to begin releasing Humphrey Jennings’ complete output on Blu-ray got off to a lovely start with Volume 1 this year. This would have made my list if I had more room, along with Sweet Smell of Success (Criterion), La Signora Senza Camelie (MOC), Blow Out (Criterion) and The Lickerish Quartet (Cult Epics).

BUY from Amazon!


Ross Wilbanks

Charlotte, NC, USA

Top 10 SD-DVD Releases

1. The Films of John Smith (1975-2007) LUX; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon!
2. The Films of Joyce Wieland (1963-1986) Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre & Cinémathčque Québecoise; R0 NTSC BUY from Amazon!
3. The Ernie Kovacs Collection (Various, 6 Discs) Shout! Factory; R1 BUY from Amazon!
4. Raffaello Matarazzo's Runaway Melodramas (1949-1955, 4 Discs) Criterion; R1 BUY from Amazon!
5. Eclipse Series 28: The Warped World of Koreyoshi Kurahara (Koreyoshi Kurahara, 5 Discs) Criterion; R1 BUY from Amazon!
6. Mysteries of Lisbon (Theatrical and Television editions) (Raul Ruiz, 2010) CLAP; R2 PAL
7. Szindbád (Zoltán Huszárik, 1971) Second Run; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon!
8. Landmarks of Early Soviet Film (Boris Barnet et al., 1924-1930) Flicker Alley; R1 BUY from Amazon!
9. Siegfried A. Fruhauf - Exposed (1998-2010) Index; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon!
10. American Dreams / Landscape Suicide (James Benning, 1984 & 1986) Film Museum; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon!
Comments: Add Female Comedy Teams and Max Davidson Comedies and just about anything else that Edition Filmmuseum puts out.

BUY from Amazon!


Nick Wrigley
England

Top SD-DVD Releases

1. Red Psalm (Miklos Jancso, 1972) Second Run; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon!
2. Eclipse Series 26: Silent Naruse (Mikio Naruse, 3 Discs) Criterion; R1 BUY from Amazon!
3. Szindbád (Zoltán Huszárik, 1971) Second Run; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon!
Comments: I hardly saw any DVDs in 2011. The Eclipse boxsets are stacking up though, as are the Second Runs, I'm going to have to set aside a lot of time in 2012 for catching up. I really love the Eclipse sets and the Second Run releases.
 

Blu-ray Releases
1. Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno (Serge Bromberg and Ruxandra Medrea, 1964) Flicker Alley; A
BUY from Amazon!
2.
The Killing w/ Killer’s Kiss (Stanley Kubrick, 1955-56) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
3.
The Music Room (Satyajit Ray, 1958), Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
4.
Sweet Smell of Success (Alexander Mackendrick, 1957) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
5.
Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich, 1955) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon!
6.
The Great White Silence (Herbert Ponting, 1924) BFI; ALL BUY from Amazon!
7.
The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011) Fox; A BUY from Amazon!
8. Road to Nowhere (Monte Hellman, 2010) Monterey; A
BUY from Amazon!
9. French Cancan (Jean Renoir, 1955) BFI; ALL
BUY from Amazon!
10.
Citizen Kane - 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition Amazon Exclusive (Orson Welles, 1941) Warner; ALL BUY from Amazon!
 

Comments: These are just the ones I enjoyed the most. I've not had time to watch much this year.
Could've done without all the tat with KANE and a Blu-ray of AMBERSONS instead, for half the price. I wish Warners would pull their finger out and get as good as they were 5 years ago. The Warner Archive Collection is a treat, but they're neglecting the Blu-ray market. The BARRY LYNDON and LOLITA Blu-rays were pretty weak. Soooo many of their films require a Criterion touch, and a loving, scholarly approach -- particularly stuff languishing, like BADLANDS. There's a whole market crying out for Warner films presented on Blu-ray with the presentational skills of Criterion.

 

 

 

 

Top 25 Total
1.
Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958) Masters of Cinema; B BUY from Amazon! 840
2.
The Prowler (Joseph Losey, 1951) VCI; R0 BUY from Amazon! 760
3.
Three Colors: Blue, White, Red (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1994) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon! 680
4.
The Complete Jean Vigo (1930-33) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon! 512
5.
The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011) Fox; A BUY from Amazon! 450
6.
Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection (Various, 10 Discs) Vivendi; R1 BUY from Amazon! 441
7.
The Music Room (Satyajit Ray, 1958), Criterion; A BUY from Amazon! 385
8.
Szindbád (Zoltán Huszárik, 1971) Second Run; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon! 336
9.
Island of Lost Souls (Erle C. Kenton, 1932) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon! 315
10.
Citizen Kane - 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Ed. Amazon Exc. (Orson Welles, 1941) Warner; ALL BUY from Amazon! 294
11.
Eclipse Series 26: Silent Naruse (Mikio Naruse, 3 Discs) Criterion; R1 BUY from Amazon! 270
12.
Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich, 1955) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon! 266
13.
Sweet Smell of Success (Alexander Mackendrick, 1957) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon! 252
14.
Landmarks of Early Soviet Film (Boris Barnet et al., 1924-1930) Flicker Alley; R1 BUY from Amazon! 245
15.
Coeur Fidele (Jean Epstein, 1923) Masters of Cinema; B BUY from Amazon! 238
16.
Araya (Margot Benaceraff, 1959) Milestone; R0 BUY from Amazon! 180
17.
The Ten Commandments (Cecil B DeMille, 1956) Paramount; ALL BUY from Amazon! 165
18.
Deep End (Jerzy Skolimowski, 1970) BFI; ALL BUY from Amazon! 160
18.
The Strange Case of Angelica (Manoel De Oliveira, 2010) Cinema Guild; ALL BUY from Amazon! 160
18.
Treasures 5: The West 1898-1938 (Various, 3 Discs) Image; R0 BUY from Amazon! 160
19.
A Man Vanishes (Shohei Imamura, 1967) Masters of Cinema; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon! 150
20.
The Ernie Kovacs Collection (Various, 6 Discs) Shout! Factory; R1 BUY from Amazon!  140
21.
Colossal Youth (Pedro Costa, 2006), Masters of Cinema; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon! 132
21.
Fanny and Alexander (Ingmar Bergman, 1982) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon! 132
22.
Raffaello Matarazzo's Runaway Melodramas (1949-1955, 4 Discs) Criterion; R1 BUY from Amazon! 125
22.
Eclipse Series 28: The Warped World of Koreyoshi Kurahara (Koreyoshi Kurahara) Criterion; R1 BUY from Amazon! 125
23.
The Killing w/ Killer’s Kiss (Stanley Kubrick, 1955-56) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon! 115
24.
The Great White Silence (Herbert Ponting, 1924) BFI; ALL BUY from Amazon! 112
24.
La Signora Senza Camelie (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1953) Masters of Cinema; B BUY from Amazon! 112
25. Park Row (Samuel Fuller, 1952) MGM; MOD
BUY from Amazon! 108   

 

 

THE WINNERS - DVD

 

First Place with 760 pts – is Joseph Losey's The Prowler. by VCI (?!?). Webb Garwood (Van Heflin) is a cynical policeman who believes that success comes from lucky breaks. Responding to a... prowler complaint at the home of Susan Gilvray (Evelyn Keyes), he is immediately attracted to her and her wealth. He returns to check up on Susan, and they begin an affair, conducted while listening to her husband William (Emerson Treacy)'s all-night radio program. Feeling guilty, Susan ends the relationship, but Garwood remains obsessed. He pretends to be a prowler on the Gilvray property so he can respond to another police call. Drawing William outside, he shoots him and makes it appear accidental. When Garwood manipulates Susan's confusion about the shooting, she buys his story, and the lovers marry. However, upon discovering that Susan is pregnant too soon, they flee to give birth in secret, but eventually Susan learns the devastating truth. Intense performances by Heflin and Keyes bring alive this story of a prowler who preys on a woman's loneliness while also representing the forces of authority who literally screw those they are supposed to serve.

     

 

 

Second Place with 441pts – is Vivendi's DVD package of Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection. Laurel & Hardy were one of the most critically acclaimed comedy teams of early American cinema. Their films produced by Hal Roach during the 20s and 30s defined their legacy, and are now available for the first time in a one comprehensive 10-DISC COLLECTION! This set contains films from Hal Roach library such as The Music Box (Academy Award® Best Short Subject), Brats, Hog Wild, Chickens Come Home, Sons of the Desert and Way out West to name a few. A special bonus disc features entertaining never before seen interviews from Dick Van Dyke, Jerry Lewis and Tim Conway, insightful commentaries, additional films and original trailers.

.

    

 

 

Third Place with 336pts – is Second Run's DVD of Zoltán Huszárik's Szindbád. This lavish Hungarian film chronicles the exploits of a Magyar Casanova in the early years of the 20th century. Sensual Szindbad (Zoltan Latinovitz) leaves behind broken hearts and fond memories when he moves from one woman to another. Some of them, overwhelmed by their tragic attachment, seek to have him join them in a suicide pact, others carelessly toss their lives away. He remains fundamentally untouched, but he finally gets his comeuppance at a grand dinner in a fine restaurant. The headwaiter confides in him at great length about troubles he is having with his wife, who was one of Szindbad's conquests. ...Sinbad ( Szindbád ) ( Szindbad ).

.

          

 

 

Fourth Place with 270pts – is Eclipse Series 26: Silent Naruse. Mikio Naruse (Floating Clouds, When a Woman Ascends the Stairs) was one of the most popular directors in Japan, a crafter of exquisite melodramas, mostly about women confined by their social and domestic circumstances. Though often compared with Yasujiro Ozu and Kenji Mizoguchi for his style and treatment of characters, Naruse was a unique artist, making heartrending, brilliantly photographed and edited films about the impossible pursuit of happiness. From the outset of his career, with his silent films of the early thirties, Naruse zeroed in on the lives of the kinds of people—geisha, housewives, waitresses—who would continue to fascinate him for the next three decades. Though he made two dozen silent films, only five remain in existence; these works—poignant, dazzlingly made dramas all—are collected here, newly restored and on DVD for the first time, and featuring optional new scores by noted musicians Robin Holcomb and Wayne Horvitz.

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Fifth Place with 245pts – Flicker Alley's Landmarks of Early Soviet Film.During the 1920s, Soviet documentary and fiction films were financed by the State and their fledgling directors converted their lives from theater, engineering, painting and journalism to the practice and theory of a revolutionary cinema devoted to showing the achievements and aspirations of the new Socialist society. Each of the eight seminal feature-length films in this remarkable set repays several viewings; all are new to DVD. They are Sergei M. Eisenstein s last silent and seldom seen Old and New (1929), which attempts to bring visual poetry to the collectivization of agriculture; Dziga Vertov s Stride, Soviet (1926), which transformed a commissioned work of Soviet achievements in Moscow into a highly experimental film; Victor Turin s Turksib (1930), a stirring chronicle of the building of the Turkestan-Siberian railway, and an inspiration to the British and American documentary film movements of the 1930s...

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 In for 6th with 180 points is Margot Benaceraff's brilliant Araya on DVD from Milestone. Shown at Cannes in 1959, the year after Venezuela's last dictator Marcos Perez-Jimenez was overthrown, the documentary... inadvertently highlights the kind of exploitation of the poor that can lead to rebellion. While the dictator escaped to Miami with $13 million, salt workers were piling up mounds of salt on the flat sands, making barely enough money to keep them in arepas and black beans. Between the hot, tropical climate and the sores on their feet, the job these workers do every day is excruciating. Yet the lives of the fishermen and salt workers in this documentary are shown in the context of planned, upscale development, something of a disservice to the larger picture.

         

 

 

7th Place: Treasures 5: The West 1898-1938 with 160 points. Treasures 5 presents the American West as it was recorded and imagined in the first decades of motion pictures. Among the 40 selections are Mantrap (1926), the wilderness comedy starring Clara Bow in her favorite role; W.S. Van Dyke’s legendary The Lady of the Dugout (1918), featuring outlaw-turned-actor Al Jennings; Salomy Jane (1914), with America’s first Latina screen celebrity Beatriz Michelena; Gregory La Cava’s sparkling Old West–reversal Womanhandled (1925); Sessue Hayakawa in the cross-cultural drama Last of the Line (1914); one-reelers with Tom Mix and Broncho Billy, Mabel Normand in The Tourists (1912), and dozens of other rarities.

 

          

 

 

8th Place with 150pts – is A Man Vanishes from The Masters of Cinema in the UK. Oshima Tadeshi is one of the 91,000 citizens to disappear into thin air yearly in Japan. A film crew has selected the seemingly average case of this seemingly average man - a plastics salesman from the country taken in by his employers as family - case as their focus and find several possible reasons as to why he might have disappeared, but no definitive answer. He had embezzled a substantial sum of money from his company two years before, but it had been paid back by docking his paycheck and he was not fired. Could he still be stricken by guilt? In addition to his fiancee Yoshie (nicknamed "The Rat" by the filmmakers) who has joined the film crew to find him, he had a mistress who might have gotten pregnant by him. There is also the suspicion of a secret relationship between Oshima and Yoshie's timid older sister Sayo (a failed geisha), and inquiry into this thread reveals that not everyone is quite who they present themselves to be in front of the camera.

 

       

 

 

In Ninth with 149pts – is The Ernie Kovacs Collection In the infancy of any medium, there will be some who realize its potential well before anyone else. Ernie Kovacs was such a visionary, and between 1951 and 1962 he broke rules that hadn’t even been made yet and created a language that is now taken for granted. The Ernie Kovacs Collection includes six DVDs and over 15 hours of programs that span the all-too-brief but brilliant television career of this hugely influential comic artist, from his earliest local morning shows in Philadelphia through his NBC prime-time shows and the ABC specials that represented the peak of his offbeat humor and creative experimentation with the medium. The Ernie Kovacs Collection is a treasure trove of comedy from television’s original genius, most of it unseen for over 50 years.

 

 

Tenth Place with  132pts – is Pedro Costa's Colossal Youth. Many of the lost souls of Ossos and In Vanda’s Room return in the spectral landscape of Colossal Youth, which brings to Pedro Costa’s Fontainhas films a new theatrical, tragic grandeur. This time, Costa focuses on Ventura, an elderly immigrant from Cape Verde living in a low-cost housing complex in Lisbon, who has been abandoned by his wife and spends his days visiting his neighbors, whom he considers his “children.” What results is a form of ghost story, a tale of derelict, dispossessed people living in the past and present at the same time, filmed by Costa with empathy and startling radiance.

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11th - 21st

 

11)Raffaello Matarazzo's Runaway Melodramas (1949-1955, 4 Discs) Criterion; R1 BUY from Amazon! 125
12).
Eclipse Series 28: The Warped World of Koreyoshi Kurahara (Koreyoshi Kurahara) Criterion; R1 BUY from Amazon! 125
13) Park Row (Samuel Fuller, 1952) MGM; MOD
BUY from Amazon! 108

14) The Magnificent Ambersons (Orson Welles, 1942) Warner; R1 BUY from Amazon! 87 pts
14) Theo Angelopoulos Vol. 1 (4 Discs) Artificial Eye; R2 PAL 87 pts
15) Stars in My Crown (Jacques Tourneur, 1950) Warner Archive; MOD1 BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive 84 pts
16). Mysteries of Lisbon (Theat and Television editions) (Raul Ruiz, 2010) CLAP; R2 PAL 75 pts
17) Histoire(s) du Cinema (Jean-Luc Godard, 1998) Olive Films; R1 BUY from Amazon! 57 pts
17) Secret Beyond the Door (Fritz Lang, 1947) Exposure Cinema; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon! 57 pts
18) Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008) Olive Films; R1 BUY from Amazon! 54 pts
19) Ne change rein (Pedro Costa, 2009) Cinema Guild; R1 BUY from Amazon! 51 pts
19) Red Psalm (Miklos Jancso, 1972) Second Run; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon! 51 pts
20) Late Mizoguchi: Eight Films, 1951 - 1956 (Kenji Mizoguchi, 8 Discs) Masters of Cinema; R0 PAL BUY from Amazon!  48 pts
21) The Italian Crime Collection (Fernando di Leo, 1972-1976) Raro Video; R0 BUY from Amazon! 38 pts
     

       

BLU-RAYs OF THE YEAR

   

First Place with 840 pts – is Welles' enigmatic Touch of Evil. Touch of Evil begins with one of the most brilliant sequences in the history of cinema; and ends with one of the most brilliant final scenes ever committed to celluloid. In between unfurls a picture whose moral, sexual, racial, and aesthetic attitudes remain so radical as to cross borders established not only in 1958, but in the present age also. Yet, Touch of Evil has taken many forms. The film as released in 1958 was certainly compromised from Orson Welles’ vision, but a lengthy, arresting memo written by Welles to studio heads in 1957 – taking issue with a studio rough-cut – had some influence on a subsequent preview version shown to test audiences (and rediscovered in the mid-1970s) as well as the 1958 theatrical version. Forty years later, in 1998, Universal produced a reconstructed version of the film that takes into meticulous account the totality of Welles’ memo, and ostensibly represents the version of the film that most closely adheres to his original wishes.

      

 

 

Second Place with 680pts – is Criterion's 1080P transfers of Kieslowski's Three Colors: Blue, White, Red  - This boldly cinematic trio of stories about love and loss, from Krzysztof Kieślowski was a defining event of the art-house boom of the 1990s. The films are named for the colors of the French flag and stand for the tenets of the French Revolution—liberty, equality, and fraternity—but that hardly begins to explain their enigmatic beauty and rich humanity. Set in Paris, Warsaw, and Geneva, and ranging from tragedy to comedy, Blue, White, and Red (Kieślowski’s final film) examine with artistic clarity a group of ambiguously interconnected people experiencing profound personal disruptions. Marked by intoxicating cinematography and stirring performances by such actors as Juliette Binoche, Julie Delpy, Irčne Jacob, and Jean-Louis Trintignant, Kieślowski’s Three Colors is a benchmark of contemporary cinema.

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Third Place with 512pts – is Criterion's The Complete Jean Vigo. Even among cinema’s legends, Jean Vigo stands apart. The son of a notorious anarchist, Vigo had a brief but brilliant career making poetic, lightly surrealist films before his life was cut tragically short by tuberculosis at age twenty-nine. Like the daring early works of his contemporaries Jean Cocteau and Luis Buńuel, Vigo’s films refused to play by the rules. This set includes all of Vigo’s titles: Ŕ propos de Nice, an absurdist, rhythmic slice of life from the bustling coastal city; Taris, an inventive short portrait of a swimming champion; Zéro de conduite, a radical, delightful tale of boarding-school rebellion that has influenced countless filmmakers; and L’Atalante, widely regarded as one of cinema’s finest achievements, about newlyweds beginning their life together on a canal barge. These are the witty, visually adventurous works of a pivotal film artist.

      

 

 

Fourth Place with  450pts – is Terence Malick's 2011 masterpiece The Tree of Life. The long front lawns of summer afternoons, the flicker of sunlight as it sprays through tree branches, the volcanic surge of the Earth's interior as the planet heaves itself into being--you certainly can't say Terrence Malick lacks for visual expressiveness. The Tree of Life is Malick's long-cherished project, a film that centers on a family in 1950s Waco, Texas, yet also reaches for cosmic significance in the creation of the universe itself. The Texas memories belong to Jack (Sean Penn), a modern man seemingly ground down by the soulless glass-and-metal corporate world that surrounds him. We learn early in the film of a family loss that happened at a later time, but the flashbacks concern only the dark Eden of Jack's childhood: his games with his two younger brothers, his frustrated, bullying father (Brad Pitt), his one-dimensionally radiant mother (Jessica Chastain). None of which unfolds in anything like a conventional narrative, but in a series of disconnected scenes that conjure, with poetry and specificity, a particular childhood realm. The contributions of cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki and production designer Jack Fisk cannot be underestimated in that regard, and it should be noted that Brad Pitt contributes his best performance: strong yet haunted.

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Fifth Place with 385pts – is Satyajit Ray's The Music Room on Criterion Blu-ray. With The Music Room (Jalsaghar), Satyajit Ray brilliantly evokes the crumbling opulence of the world of a fallen aristocrat (the beloved actor Chhabi Biswas) desperately clinging to a fading way of life. His greatest joy is the music room in which he has hosted lavish concerts over the years—now a shadow of its former vivid self. An incandescent depiction of the clash between tradition and modernity, and a showcase for some of India’s most popular musicians of the day, The Music Room is a defining work by the great Bengali filmmaker.

        

 

 

Sixth Place with  315pts – is Erle C. Kenton's 1932 classic Island of Lost Souls. A twisted treasure from Hollywood’s pre-Code horror heyday, Island of Lost Souls is a cautionary tale of science run amok adapted from H. G. Wells’s novel The Island of Dr. Moreau. In one of his first major movie roles, Charles Laughton (The Private Life of Henry VIII) is a mad doctor conducting ghastly genetic experiments on a remote island in the South Seas, much to the fear and disgust of the shipwrecked sailor (Richard Arlen) who finds himself trapped there. This touchstone of movie terror, directed by Erle C. Kenton (House of Frankenstein), is elegantly shot by Karl Struss (The Great Dictator), features groundbreaking makeup effects that inspired generations of monster-movie artists, and costars Bela Lugosi (Dracula) in one his most gruesome roles.

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Seventh Place with 294pts is the 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Ed. Amazon Exc. of Orson Welles Citizen Kane. Orson Welles’ timeless masterwork is more than a groundbreaking film. Presented here in a magnificent 70th anniversary digital transfer with revitalized digital audio from the highest quality surviving elements, it is also grand entertainment, sharply acted and superbly directed with inspired visual flair. Depicting the controversial life of an influential publishing tycoon, this Best Original Screenplay Academy Award Winner (1941) is rooted in themes of power, corruption, vanity—the American Dream lost in the mystery of a dying man’s last word: “Rosebud.”

     

 

 

Eighth Place with 266pts is Kiss Me Deadly, Robert Aldrich's hard-edged, stylistically innovative adaptation of the Mickey Spillane novel, features what may be the most violent and unsympathetic private eye in the history of cinema. As Mike Hammer, Ralph Meeker is like a bull in a china shop, lurching haphazardly from one deadly encounter to the next, often employing the same brutal tactics of the criminals he's pursuing. But as the plot of Kiss Me Deadly unfolds, Hammer goes from being just a cheap hood who specializes in divorce cases to serving as an unwitting accomplice in the retrieval of a mysterious box that holds "the great whatsit."

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Ninth Place with 252pts – is Alexander Mackendrick's Sweet Smell of Success on Criterion Blu-ray. In the swift, cynical Sweet Smell of Success, directed by Alexander Mackendrick, Burt Lancaster stars as the vicious Broadway gossip columnist J. J. Hunsecker, and Tony Curtis as Sidney Falco, the unprincipled press agent Hunsecker ropes into smearing the up-and-coming jazz musician romancing his beloved sister. Featuring deliciously unsavory dialogue, in an acid, brilliantly structured script by Clifford Odets and Ernest Lehman, and noirish neon cityscapes from Oscar-winning cinematographer James Wong Howe, Sweet Smell of Success is a cracklingly cruel dispatch from the kill-or-be-killed wilds of 1950s Manhattan.

    

 

 

Tenth Place with 238pts – is Jean Epstein's Coeur Fidele on Masters of Cinema Blu-ray. Jean Epstein's Coeur fidčle [True Heart] established the great French filmmaker as one of the most inventive directors of the (then still silent) art form. A pared-down tale of a barmaid oppressed by an exploitative foster family who attempt to push her into the arms of an unscrupulous regular-about-town, Marie's heart (exuberantly vivified by Gina Marčs) belongs, as far as she's concerned, to the tenderly blank Jean (Léon Mathot)... Coeur fidčle drives its simple story (which, with its infamous and exhilarating 'carousel sequence', helped pave the way for the narrative tradition of such Murnau masterworks as Sunrise and City Girl) on into the realm of what might be considered an early incarnation of French poetic realism all while still anticipating Epstein's magical, post-surrealist, later works.

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11th - 28th

 

11. The Ten Commandments (Cecil B DeMille, 1956) Paramount; ALL BUY from Amazon! 165
12.
Deep End (Jerzy Skolimowski, 1970) BFI; ALL BUY from Amazon! 160
13.
The Strange Case of Angelica (Manoel De Oliveira, 2010) Cinema Guild; ALL BUY from Amazon! 160
14.
Fanny and Alexander (Ingmar Bergman, 1982) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon! 132
15.
The Killing w/ Killer’s Kiss (Stanley Kubrick, 1955-56) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon! 115
16.
The Great White Silence (Herbert Ponting, 1924) BFI; ALL BUY from Amazon! 112
17.
La Signora Senza Camelie (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1953) Masters of Cinema; B BUY from Amazon! 112

18. Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986) MGM; ALL BUY from Amazon! 76 pts
19. The Double Life of Veronique (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1991) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon! 75 pts
20. Pale Flower (Masahiro Shinoda, 1964) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon! 69 pts
20. Senso (Luchino Visconti, 1954), Criterion; A BUY from Amazon! 69 pts
21. Buster Keaton Short Films Collection (Buster Keaton, 1920-1923) Kino; A BUY from Amazon!  63 pts
22. Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976) Sony; ALL BUY from Amazon! 48 pts
23. Obsession (Brian De Palma 1976) Arrow Video; B BUY from Amazon! 39 pts
23. Once Upon a Time in the West (Sergio Leone, 1968) Paramount; ALL BUY from Amazon! 39 pts
24. Le Quattro Volte (Michelangelo Frammartino, 2010) Kino Lorber; ALL BUY from Amazon! 36pts
25. Boudu Saved From Drowning (Jean Renoir, 1932) Park Circus; B BUY from Amazon! 30 pts
25. My Life as a Dog (Lasse Hallstrom, 1985) Criterion; A BUY from Amazon! 30 pts
26. Nostalgia For the Light (Patrizio Guzman, 2010) Icarus; A BUY from Amazon! 30 pts
27. Horror Express (Eugenio Martin, 1972) Severin Films; ALL BUY from Amazon! 28pts
27. Meet Me In St Louis (Vincent Minelli, 1944) Warner; ALL BUY from Amazon! Click to access Warner Archive 28pts
28. Before the Revolution (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1964) BFI; B BUY from Amazon! 27pts

 

 

 

Label Results

Top 5 Labels (Criterion & Masters of Cinema excluded)
1. BFI
2. Warner Archive
3. Shout! Factory
4. Oscilloscope Laboratories
5. Blue Underground


 

Best Cover Design:

The Naked Kiss & Shock Corridor (Criterion) Original artwork by Daniel Clowes

 

 

 

 


Best Audio Commentary

 

 

David Kalat for Masters of Cinema -- Fritz Lang Indian Epic

 

 

Best Extras

Aside from Criterion most labels decided to cut-back/eliminate extra features in 2011 or simply rehash DVD to Blu-ray -- this was evident in our poll results which found not a single extra receiving more than one mention. Is this the end or will 2012 bring something of note?
 


Guilty Pleasures

Just about every title from Shout! Factory - which was like a course in Roger Corman and the greatness of his contributions to the B-movie genre.

 

Jeers
1. My Fair Lady transfer flop.
2. One Eyed Jacks joke release.
3. Made on Demand Discs price point out of whack -- $9.99 and no high please.
4. Straw Dogs UK transfer could get the film banned all over again.
5. Blu-rays priced ridiculously higher than DVDs.

 


 

 

Have a fabulous 2012!

 





 

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Gary Tooze

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