DVD Gift Guide 2008 at the Seattle P-I

My DVD Gift Guide, a very brief survey of the biggest and coolest DVDs for the folks on your Christmas list, was published in the Seattle P-I today. This isn’t a “Best of the Year” list, mind your, nor is it comprehensive, as it was limited by space and by deadline (a lot of worthy titles just weren’t available for review by press time). Given that, here is a thumbnail sketch of a few titles I’d recommend for Christmas.

Blockbusters

Pixar’s magnificent, magical “WALL-E” is one of the best films of the year and one of the most wonderful special-edition DVD releases, with activities for kids and lovingly made behind-the-scenes featurettes for everyone else. If there’s a superhero buff on your Christmas list, the special-edition releases of “Iron Man” and “The Incredible Hulk” (not to mention alt-hero adventure “Hancock”) are very cool, and “The Dark Knight” is due out next week in a deluxe edition. “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” isn’t the best of the series, but completists will want this bookend. “Sex and the City: The Movie” is the chick flick answer to action-movie overkill. On the more cerebral side, Oscar winners “No Country for Old Men” and “There Will Be Blood” and nominees “Into the Wild,”Gone Baby Gone” and (for the Dylan fan in the mix) “I’m Not There” are the kinds of gifts that keep on giving.

"My Blueberry Nights" - a deliriously romantic cult film for the art movie crowdThe cult and the cool

For kids who are too hip for Disney and adults with a taste for the offbeat, think about “Juno.” The feel-good film of pregnant teenager comedies was the indie hit of 2007 and a terrific little DVD. Wong Kar-wai’s English language debut, “My Blueberry Nights,” and Tarsem Singh’s “The Fall,” a vividly visual phantasmagoria of an adventure fantasy, found small but passionate followings. The Coen brothers’ “The Big Lebowski,” the king of modern cult films, is back in an anniversary edition that pays tribute to its fans, and there’s a new director’s cut of Alex Proyas’ 1998 sci-fi noir “Dark City.” There’s both classic and kitsch in “The Classic Sci-Fi Ultimate Collection Volumes 1 & 2,” including the 1957 “The Incredible Shrinking Man.” Tim Burton’s animated musical “The Nightmare Before Christmas” comes with plenty of supplements, but the selling point of the “Ultimate Collector’s Edition” is an exclusive foot-high bust of Jack Skellington: movie with accompanying conversation piece.

Other sections focus on classics, foreign  films, TV sets and Blu-ray releases.

Read the complete piece here.

Author: seanax

I write the weekly newspaper column Stream On Demand and the companion website (www.streamondemandathome.com). I’m a contributing writer for Turner Classic Movies Online, Keyframe, Independent Lens, and Cinephiled, and the editor of Parallax View (www.parallax-view.org).. I’ve written for The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The Seattle Weekly, GreenCine.com, Senses of Cinema, Asian Cult Cinema, and Psychotronic Video, among other publications, and I am a contributing editor to Parallax View.

I currently live and work in Seattle, Washington, with my two cats, Hammet and Chandler.

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