The Best DVDs of 2008

My picks for the best DVD release of 2008 are now up at MSN.

Here’s my number ten pick:

10. “The Dark Knight: Two-Disc Special Edition”: “The Dark Knight,” the second film in Christopher Nolan‘s character reboot of the masked avenger, is the best of the superhero movies of the year, a pulp tragedy with costumed heroes and villains taking the roles of mythic gods and monsters and with an urban noir aesthetic to the melodrama. The DVD delivers just the kind of featurettes on stunts and special effects that fans love in a smart, sharp little package. To give credit where it’s due, the deluxe editions of “Iron Man” and “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” are even more impressive packages, with a surfeit of behind-the-scenes material and imaginative supplements delivered by enthusiastic filmmakers. But while they get points for creativity, “The Dark Knight” is the better film. Needless to say, the Blu-ray editions of each are the stuff that Blu-ray dreams are made of.

And my number five TV pick:

5. “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: The Complete Series”: For four years, Robert Vaughn and David McCallum were TV’s coolest cold warriors: Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin, top agents of U.N.C.L.E. (the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement, of course). Hatched in the era of James Bond and “The Manchurian Candidate,” the show mixed espionage plots and high-tech gadgetry with a trace of sardonic humor and the continental charm of Vaughn’s dashing Solo. The entire run is creatively packaged in a box set designed as a secret agent attaché case, and Warner fills it with the kind of supplements more often associated with James Bond films: hours of featurettes, bonus interviews and the funky ephemera that the cult show inspired.

For the rest of the picks – all ten movies DVDs, five TV sets and one Blu-ray disc – just follow the link to MSN 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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