DVD LET­TER­BOX

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv - MICHAEL BODEY

I’ M al­ways wary of com­pil­ing year- end lists of the best and worst of any­thing. I’ m shy Not that about spout­ing an it’ s opin­ion, in­formed or oth­er­wise; rather, pre­sump­tu­ous to be­lieve any­one can prof­fer ob­jec­tive, let alone de­fin­i­tive, picks.

What­ever, here are the best DVDs of 2007. Ac­tu­ally, they are my picks and they have as

I’ ll much author­ity as an In­dian pace­man, but be will­ing to take your email cor­re­spon­dence this month on any­thing I missed ( or any other is­sues, ques­tions or com­ments).

I ’ ll First, ven­ture to of­fer what ap­pears to be an ob­jec­tive opin­ion of three of the best DVD

I’ m con­tra­dict­ing sets of the year. Sure, I ’ m not

Blade my­self, but alone in putting the Run­ner Ul­ti­mate Col­lec­tion , Twin Peaks: The De­fin­i­tive Gold Box Edi­tion and Planet Earth on the top shelf in the tro­phy room for 2007.

The first two are lov­ing re­turns to a film and a TV se­ries that were in­stant clas­sics. Their direc­tors, Ri­d­ley Scott and David Lynch re­spec­tively, de­vote great at­ten­tion and love

Blade Run­ner given a to their reis­sues, with spec­tac­u­lar restora­tion and re­mas­ter from its orig­i­nal ma­te­ri­als. And among the nine hours of ex­tras are some real de­lights, in­clud­ing a

film’ s star- stud­ded de­bate on the mer­its.

Planet The third great pack of the year is

BBC’ s Earth , a stun­ning ad­di­tion to the nat­u­ral his­tory col­lec­tion. This is a se­ries for keeps and one, if you pick it up in Blu- ray or HD- DVD, that will quickly jus­tify the shekels you spent on that new high- def­i­ni­tion TV.

Among other col­lec­tions, I par­tic­u­larly en­joyed the Pixar Short Film Col­lec­tion, which had a lu­cid run through the de­vel­op­ment of 3D com­puter an­i­ma­tion that led to, or

Toy com­ple­mented, such Pixar clas­sics as Story and Find­ing Nemo. The Stan­ley Kubrick Spe­cial Edi­tion Col­lec­tion from Warn­ers was also top- notch.

On TV, the first se­ries of He­roes was a more co­gent thing on DVD, par­tic­u­larly with its oo­dles of ex­tras. The ninth, and fi­nal, sea­son

Se­in­feld was a keeper, and lo­cally the of most re­cent Kath & Kim sea­son had some lovely im­pro­vised ex­tras.

Of the block­buster films, a few picks stood out with DVD edi­tions that went the ex­tra mile, namely Bo­rat , Knocked Up, The De­parted , 300 and Die Hard 4.0 . All bar 300 are solid films, al­beit par­tic­u­larly blokey ones, given solid, in­for­ma­tive or just plain en­ter­tain­ing DVD treat­ment, while 300 was a vis­ually cap­ti­vat­ing film with DVD ex­tras that il­lu­mi­nated its cre­ation. And the lucky among you might even have seen me this sum­mer in

Bo­rat my lime green mank­ini taken from the spe­cial edi­tion.

didn’ t Films that peo­ple see in cine­mas but which re­main worth a look on DVD in­clude Stranger than Fiction , This is Eng­land , The Lives of Oth­ers and the Swedish weepy still chug­ging along in a cou­ple of grate­ful cine­mas, As it Is in Heaven . But this is all to my taste and rather

There’ s per­func­tory. so much seem­ingly

didn’ t ter­rific prod­uct I even get to this year,

’ in­clud­ing the re­mas­tered Monty Python s Fly­ing Cir­cus box set.

And de­spite all this, a quick squiz at global DVD re­leases shows that Aus­tralia re­mains a DVD waste­land, par­tic­u­larly for art- house

I’ m fare. Some of the best US re­leases that hop­ing will ar­rive here in 2008 in­clude Billy Wilder’ s

Ace in the Hole , Not Just the Best of the Larry San­ders Show, The Film Noir Clas­sic Col­lec­tion , some clas­sic an­i­ma­tion col­lec­tions and Ford at Fox ; and it would be

Cri­te­rion’ s lovely if more of cat­a­logue made it to th­ese parts.

The Bourne Ul­ti­ma­tum ( Uni­ver­sal, M, $ 39.95) A crack­ing thriller star­ring a cred­i­ble, if sur­pris­ing, ac­tion hero, Matt Da­mon. The ex­tras are just as scin­til­lat­ing as the film.

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