Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Best DVD of 2006?
When Blogcritics asked me to contribute to a critics' round-up as to their picks of the best DVd of 2006, I was both honored and perplexed. Here's why.
Attempting to single one DVD as the "best" of all the hundreds released is a daunting task at best, and one with which I'm not entirely comfortable.There are feature film releases, music releases, indies, documentaries and on and on and on. Brothers of the Head made my list, as did
John Fogerty's The Long Way Home. There were plenty of disappointments, too--need I mention Fantastic Four?
I finally came to the conclusion that "best DVD" does not necessarily equate with "best movie." A DVD resurrects the original work, often becoming an entity that stands on its own. You have to consider packaging, bonus features, A/V options and aspect ratios, in addition to entertainment value.
All that being said, I have to go with Pirates of the Carribean 2: Dead Man's Chest. I'm talking the 2-Disc Special Edition, mind you. The holographic slipcover alone has provided me with hours of enjoyment. And with over five hours of bonus features, most of which focus on the technical aspects of making the movie, it's a package that film fans can't resist.
The movie itself is presented in 16:9 aspect ratio and Dolbly 5.1 surroundsound, which is the only way a current release should be seen. Not that this movie aspires to "art"--it's a romp, full of Chaplin-esque sight gags and double entendres. Jack Sparrow is a glam rock star version of an 18th century pirate and the villainous Davy Jones, half-man, half-octupus, may be the creepiest rogue (visually speaking) ever put to film. The Carribean scenery is luscious, contrasting nicely with the murky undersea world of the eternally doomed crew of Davy Jones.
It's all played for laughs, and despite its cliffhanger ending, Dead Man's Chest ranks with the swashbuckler films of the forties for pure entertainment value. It's not the best film of the year by any means, but it is the best movie. It's popcorn thrills all the way.
Given that we buy DVDs mainly to kick back after a long day, or to enjoy during the weekend,
I have to say you'd be hard-pressed to find a better choice than Dead Man's Chest.


Anonymous said...


The Long Way Home
(1997) NR

Through interviews with holocaust survivors, newsreel footage, letters, journals and news reports, this Oscar-winning documentary chronicles the hardships faced by the European Jews freed from ... Read More

The Long Way Home
(1998) NR

Tom Gerrin (Jack Lemmon), a retired Kansas cabinetmaker, moves in with his son, Ken, and daughter-in-law, Bonnie, after the death of his wife. Pretty much on autopilot, Tom just seems to be waiting ... Read More

Roger Hodgson: Take the Long Way Home: Live in Montreal
(2006) NR

Supertramp co-founder Roger Hodgson -- one of rock 'n' roll's most familiar voices -- puts on an energetic show before an appreciative Montreal crowd in this concert video.

Ray Ellis said...

Better make that four DVDs with that name. I was referring to John Fogerty's concert video of the same title,, which I reviewed earlier in 2006.

But thanks for the info about the other three discs.