Tim Burton James Cameron George Lucas
*More coming soon!*
*Coming soon!*
*Coming soon!*
*Coming soon!*
*Coming soon!*

DVD REVIEWS

DVD has changed the way people watch movies, mostly for the better. There's now an overwhelming choice of movies available with great picture and sound quality, and many also have hours of fascinating behind the scenes features. However, one of the most annoying habits of greedy movie studios is to release several versions of popular films (usually a barebones or extras light version, followed by a two-disc special edition and then sometimes a super-duper multi-disc special edition).

In the reviews below, I've tried to advise people on the best version of a DVD available (which isn't always on Region 1 - multi-region DVD players are therefore a wise investment). I tend not to recommend DVDs with no extras, unless it's a must-own film and there's no special edition likely to appear in the near future. I've also only reviewed DVDs I personally own or have watched, which is why there might be some classics missing. As for Blu-Ray, I'm staying away from that for now. Plain old DVDs are more than enough for me.

Titles A-B
Titles D-F
Titles G-I
Titles J-L
Titles M-O
Titles P-R
Titles S-U
Titles V-Z

The Abyss (1989)

James Cameron's underwater masterpiece remains one of the best DVD presentations in its two disc edition. Aside from including two versions of the film (the theatrical release and the much-improved special edition) it has a wealth of behind the scenes material that the viewer could get lost in for days. The best of the features is Under Pressure - a warts and all documentary chronicling the troubled production.

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eight Dimension (1984)

Virtually the definition of a cult film, this is great fun and it's a shame the sequel promised at the end never came about. The R1 DVD has some neat features (including an alternate opening with Jamie Lee Curtis) and an audio commentary, though the joke of the filmmakers treating everything as if it actually happened soon wears thin. It also has special features for Nuon players (I still haven't figured out what those are).

The Adventures of Indiana Jones

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) -awkwardly renamed Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark on the case - remains the best of the trilogy (now a quartet) but the sequels are both fun. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) is a little darker and more gruesome (it famously ushered in the PG-13 rating with its heart-ripping gore) while Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) is basically a big daft spoof that treats the characters like jokes.

The extras, especially the comprehensive docs, are good, but there could have been more (such as a commentary). Be sure to avoid the UK version which has the heart-ripping from Temple of Doom cut out. The newer special edition versions have different extras from the original boxset, but it's not worth double-dipping unless you're a diehard fan. There's also a boxset which includes Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), but the fourth film is a take it or leave it prospect.

A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

Steven Spielberg's much-maligned attempt to carry on Stanley Kubrick's legacy is flawed but still one of the most interesting sci-fi films of recent years. The extra mainly focus on the technical side of the film, but are good value.

Alien Quadrilogy: Alien (1979), Aliens (1986), Alien³ (1992), Alien:Resurrection (1997)

The first film was a masterpiece. The second was great ass-kicking fun. The third an interesting failure. The fourth was bland (despite a script from Joss Whedon). But together they make a fascinating series and one of the most extensive DVD box sets ever released.

Each film has two versions available via seamless branching and audio commentaries from key participants. It's interesting to finally see the longer version of Alien 3, though the lack of David Fincher's involvement is disappointing. There's also a bonus disc of random featurettes. The set is so good they made up a word that doesn't exist (quadrilogy?!) The original Legacy box set had a few extras not available on the quadrilogy, but not enough to make it worth owning both versions.

An American Werewolf in London (1981)

John Landis' perfect mix of horror and comedy is still the greatest werewolf movie ever made, with a transformation sequence that has yet to be equalled. The R1 special edition is the best, as it includes an amusing commentary by David Naughton and Griffin Dunne, some featurettes and outtakes.

The Amicus Collection

Nobody did cheesy horror better than the British studios of the sixties and seventies, and Amicus was one of the best. This coffin-shaped R2 boxset includes several of their classic anthology films, as well as two less impressive efforts. All the films have audio commentaries and there is a sprinkling of featurettes, too.

Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1965) is the first and probably the best of the bunch, despite the misleading title. Five strangers on a train are told their fates in five tales that range from the horrorfic to the comedic. An excellent cast, including Alec Guinness and Donald Sutherland, makes up for a predictable ending.

The House That Dripped Blood (1970) is another anthology tale, though the stories aren't quite as successful (and despite the title, there is a complete lack of gore).

Asylum (1972) has an interesting premise (a doctor has to interview four patients to discover which one is the former head doctor) but again the individual stories are a mixed bag.

And Now the Screaming Starts (1973) is a campy but watchable periord horror film.

The Beast Must Die (1974) is a ridiculous blaxsploitation horror, most notable for its cheesy device of asking the audience to guess who the werewolf is at the end.

The Amityville Horror (1979)

Not a great film but this "true" story is worth owning for horror fans and the two disc R2 version has a nice set of extras, including an audio commentary by parapsychologist Dr. Hans Holzer and numerous docs (you can only get these on the R1 box set).

Amityville 3-D (1983)

A lesser effort in a series that was admittedly never that great to begin with. But worth getting if you can find the UK 3D version, which also has a commentary by Kim Newman and Stephen Jones.

And Now the Screaming Starts - see the Amicus Collection

Angel Heart (1987)

An intriguing film from Alan Parker with a Satanic twist. There's an R1 special edition with more extras, but it misses the book from the UK version. Either way, you get an audio commentary by Alan Parker and several featurettes.

Arachnophobia (1990)

One of the great monster movies, though the DVD only has a trailer and featurette (and only on the R1 edition).

Army of Darkness (1992)

The silliest of the Evil Dead films, but no less enjoyable for it. The two disc edition from Anchor Bay has both versions of the film, along with a featurette, audio commentary and deleted scenes.

Asylum - see the Amicus Collection

Austin Powers - International Man of Mystery (1997)

The first movie remains the best, with a plot eerily similar to Demolition Man. The DVD is packed with great features, including some funny deleted scenes and a commentary. The R1 edition is missing the infamous Christian Slater scenes for some reason, though.

Back to the Future Trilogy (1985, 1989, 1990)

A great trilogy that actually works like a proper serial - each sequel follows on directly from the previous one. The first is the best, but Part II has one of the most delightfully complex time travel plots ever attempted in a Hollywood film. Part III is less ambitious, but still lots of fun, especially for western fans.

There's a good variety of extras spread across the three films. Including audio commentaries, tons of featurettes and deleted scenes. No footage of Eric Stoltz as Marty (before he was fired), though. The newest DVD of the first film includes a few extra features, including video from the now sadly defunct ride at Universal.

Batman (1989)

This 2-disc special edition is one of the best produced Tim Burton DVDs. Disc 1 offers a stunning new transfer of the movie. Also included on this disc are the memorable trailer for the film, and an audio commentary by Burton. While the commentary has his usual periods of silence and fumbling over words, it is both interesting and amusing. It's just a shame he couldn't share the commentary with one of cast members, since Burton seems to offer more insight when he's chatting to someone else on commentaries. The film itself, while having dated perhaps more than any other Burton film (particularly with the cheesy model work and Prince music), remains an enjoyable blockbuster, that paved the way for comic book movies to be taken seriously.

Disc 2 is where the real meat of the bonus material lies, and any Batman or Burton fan will be entertained for hours. First up is Legend of the Dark Knight: The History of Batman. This is a fun little documentary that traces Batman's 60+ year history, from comics to TV to the big screen. It has interviews with such comic book luminaries as Frank Miller (author of the seminal The Dark Knight Returns) and, surprisingly considering his public feud with Burton, Kevin Smith! While it's disappointing that no footage or interviews from the Adam West show are included, this is a pretty comprehensive chronicle of Batman.

Next up is a short but interesting interview with the late creator of Batman, Bob Kane, on the set of the film. After that you'll find the Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight, an incredible three-part documentary that runs over an hour in total. This covers every single aspect of the production you could wish for, from the ten year struggle to get the film made, through to casting and filming in England, right up to the film's advertising hype and incredible success. It's great to hear nearly all the cast and crew reminisce about the film (although it's a shame there are no new interviews with Michael Keaton). The real coup is getting the notoriously publicity-shy Jack Nicholson to talk about the film, and his comments add real entertainment value.

If you're not exhausted after that, you'll also find The Heroes and Villains Profile Galleries, offering some more history and interviews on the major characters in the film, as well as the Beyond Batman documentaries, which take a look at various aspects of the production, including the production design and music, in more depth. Rounding out the disc are three hilarious Prince music videos and an animated storyboard sequence featuring an intriguing look at how Robin was initially conceived to be introduced in the film. This sequence even has Mark Hamill as the voice of the Joker! It's slightly disappointing that there's no actual deleted scenes, although you do catch a glimpse of one in the documentaries, where Batman encounters a little girl during one of his fights.

Overall, this is an outstanding DVD for a flawed, but important, film that belongs in every film fan's collection.

Batman Returns (1992)

Still my favourite Batman film. There, I said it. Tim Burton's audio commentary is sparse but entertaining. You can really feel that he has a more personal connection with this sequel compared to the first film. You only get one of the film's two trailers on the first disc, but it's hard to complain when there's so many other great extras.

And disc 2 is where you'll find them. First up is a vintage documentary, The Bat, the Cat and the Penguin, hosted (for no particular reason) by Robert Urich. This is more entertaining than the usual making-of's. Even better is Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight Part 4. This offers a retrospective look at the production, with nearly everyone involved offering some insight. It even tackles such controversial subjects as Sean Young's attempt to get cast as Catwoman by breaking into the studio in costume (the actress gracefully offers her thoughts on the experience) and the parental backlash against the film when it was released. While it's not as in-depth as the documentaries for the first film (and the lack of any new interviews with Michael Keaton or Michelle Pfeiffer is disappointing) this is still a very well-produced feature.

You'll also find profiles of the heroes and villains of the film, the Beyond Batman Documentary Gallery, which examine the production design, costumes, make-up, visual effects and music, and the Face to Face music video from Siouxsie and the Banshees. Overall, this is a great DVD for an underrated masterpiece.

Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973) - see Planet of the Apes Evolution boxset

Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)

A reworking of The Magnificent Seven (itself a remake of Seven Samurai) set in space, this remains one of the best films produced by Roger Corman, and the surprisingly good special effects have been reused in countless other Corman productions. Extras on the R1 DVD include two commentaries and a trailer.

The Beast in the Cellar (1971) - see The Tigon Collection

Beneath the Planet of the Apes - see Planet of the Apes Evolution boxset

The Beast Must Die - see the Amicus Collection

Big Fish (2003)

One of the best of Tim Burton's recent films almost comes close to the emotional power of Edward Scissorhands. There are some good extras, including a commentary from Burton moderated by Mark Salisbury and several featurettes. It's disappointing that there're no deleted scenes, especially as one of them (Edward chasing a pig) is featured so prominently in the making of documentary. Also available in a collector's edition with a booklet, magnet and film cell.

Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

The last of John Carpenter's classic films is just about the most insanely fun movie ever. Hard to believe it was a flop when it first came out. The two disc DVD is packed with extra features including a reliably entertaining commentary from Carpenter and Kurt Russell, deleted scenes and an original featurette.

Black Christmas (1974)

The first modern slasher movie (reportedly a big influence on John Carpenter's Halloween) still holds up pretty well to this day. The ending will leave many frustrated, but the film is genuinely creepy, especially when we hear "Billy's" phone calls. Avoid the remake, which has hot girls but nothing more. U.S. special edition has some good extras, including interviews with the late director. The Canadian one has even more.

Blade Runner (1982)

One of the most influential sci-fi movies ever made remains a triumph, even though some audiences can't handle the lack of humour and likeable characters. The latest DVD has four versions of the film (five if you get the five disc version with the workprint) and extras that will keep you busy for days, including several audio commentaries and a nearly 4 hour documentary. Personally, I still prefer the original cut, narration and all.

Blood on Satan's Claw (1970) - see The Tigon Collection

The Body Stealers (1969) - see The Tigon Collection

Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)

Francis Ford Coppola's lavish retelling of the classic tale is one of the most gorgeous horror movies ever made. The strong performance by Gary Oldman in the lead makes up for the hamminess of the supporting cast (and Keanu Reeve's English "dude").

The two disc R1 collector's edition has the best extras, including commentary from Coppola, several docs and deleted scenes. The original UK version has a different documentary, though.

Brazil (1985)

Terry Gilliam's film is flawed but interesting, and the epic 3-disc Criterion edition is a must own for any film fan. It has a commentary by Gilliam and several featuettes on the troubled production. It even includes the "happy" version of the film suggested by the studio.

Carrie (1976)

The first Stephen King adaptation remains one of the best. The DVD has some good extra features, including a featurette on the ill-fated musical stage version and several other extensive docs.

Cat's Eye (1985)

Underrated Stephen King anthology. The DVD has a commentary by the director but not the deleted prologue which explains the cat's mission unfortunately.

Children of Men (2006)

This excellent book adaptation is one of the best dystopian sci-fi films ever made. Be sure to get the special edition which has several interesting featurettes and brief deleted scenes.

Christine (1983)

John Carpenter's adaptation of the King novel is entertaining but unremarkable. The DVD is good value: tons of deleted scenes, three featurettes and a commentary by Carpenter and star Keith Gordon.

Christopher Reeve Superman Collection: Superman: The Motion Picture (1978), Superman II (1980), Superman III (1983), Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)

The hard to find Ultimate Edition of this set includes Superman Returns and several bonus discs, but if you're on a budget you're better off getting the Christopher Reeve collection which has bonus-packed versions of the first four films as well as the long-awaited Richard Donner cut of Superman II.

Superman: The Motion Picture includes two versions, both with commentaries and a third disc with a feature length documentary in three parts ( "Taking Flight: The Development of Superman" Documentary, Making Superman: Filming the Legend" Documentary and "The Magic Behind the Cape" Featurette), screentests and deleted scenes. The fourth disc has a vintage featurette and old Superman cartoons.

Superman 2 includes the original version as well as the Donner cut. The theatrical version actually makes more sense, as Donner's cut recycles the ending from the first film. Again, there're commentaries on both versions and featurettes and deleted scenes.

Superman III and IV understandably only get one disc each, though they still have commentaries and some deleted scenes.   The deleted scenes on Superman IV are even more hilariously bad than the film itself, including a take on Bizarro that's even more bizarre than usual. All in all, a must-own set.

Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

A well made if somewhat hollow adaptation of the first of the Narnia books. Three versions are available with a variety of extras, but the best bet for fans if they can find it is the out of print four disc edition which basically copies the format of the Lord of the Rings extended editions. It includes a commentary, extensive behind the scenes stuff on the film and a feature length doc on C.S. Lewis.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

Steven Spielberg's first extra-terrestrial film is frankly much better than E.T. The 30th anniversary ultimate edition has three different versions of the film and a new featurette, but misses some of the deleted scenes from the earlier 2 disc DVD, so take your pick. Both versions have the feature length making of. The 30th anniversary edition also includes a 64-Page Scrapbook and "A View from the Above" Version Comparison Poster with Original Theatrical Poster Replica on the Back.

Company of Wolves (1984)

Wonderfully dreamlike (and erotic) werewolf fairytale from Neil Jordan. The R2 DVD has an audio commentary and booklet and comes in a fancy case.

Conan: The Complete Quest

Conan the Barbarian (1982) is slightly better than Conan the Destroyer (1984) , though both are fun nonsense. The double bill edition has some good extras on the first film, including an audio commentary with Arnie and the director, a documentary and deleted scenes. Some of the R2 versions have slightly more extras, but the UK version is cut.

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972) - see Planet of the Apes Evolution boxset

Contact (1997)

Robert Zemeckis' wonderful adaptation of Carl Sagan's book is the kind of intelligent sci-fi we don't see more of from Hollywood unfortunately. This was one of the early DVD releases, but is still packed with some great features. It has three commentaries and several featurettes on the special effects.

Damien: Omen II (1978) - see The Omen Collection

Dark City (1998)

Imaginative sci-fi film from the director of The Crow shares many similarities with The Matrix, which was filmed on the same sets less than a year later. The original New Line Platinum DVD had some good extras, including two commentaries, one with Roger Ebert. There's also a frustratingly tricky game, To Shell Beach. Be advised that there's a director's cut available, too, which keeps most of the original features and adds some featurettes.

The Dark Crystal (1982)

Wonderfully designed muppet fantasy. The 25th anniversary 2-disc DVD had some good extras - The World of Dark Crystal documentary, two other featurettes, deleted scenes and audio commentary by Brian Froud.

Dark Star (1974)

John Carpenter's first feature (a reworking of his short film) does wonders with its small budget. It spoofs 2001 and also makes a good companion piece with Alien (also written by Dan O'Bannon). All the DVD are sparse on extras, but the R1 and R2 do include the original shorter version of the film (Carpenter's preferred version)

Dawn of the Dead (1978)

The best of George Romero's zombie saga is still one of the most influential horror films ever made. There are several versions available with good extras (including audio commentaries and the excellent Dead Will Walk documentary), but the four disc version is undoubtedly the best, with three different versions of the film.

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

This classic film is in a different league from other 50's sci-fi movies and is still relevant to this day (forget the shockingly bad remake). The original R1 DVD has a commentary from director Robert Wise, a lengthy documentary and more. The R2 disc has an extra featurette - A Warning and an Ultimatum. There was also a two-disc special edition releasd in 2008 with even more features.

The Dead Zone (1983)

David Cronenberg's film remains one of the best Stephen King adaptations, with a fantastic and sensitive performance from Chis Walken in the lead. The R2 Sanctuary edition has a unique commentary and booklet, while the newest R1 version has a variety of featurettes. Take your pick.

Delicatessen (1991)

French filmmakers Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet 's first feature film together is a superb black comedy set in a post-holocaust France. The R1 or R2 special edition includes a commentary and a few other features. The French version has more extras, but is not English-friendly

Donnie Darko (2001)

Mindbending time travel tale that justifiably earned a cult following. The original DVD had some great extras, including two commentaries and deleted scenes, and there is also a director's cut available.

Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

Stanley Kubrick's brilliant black comedy is a must watch for any film fan. The 40th anniversary edition has all the extras you could want, including featurettes on both the film and the political climate when it was made.

Dr. Terror's House of Horrors - see the Amicus Collection

Dune (1984)

David Lynch's flawed but fascinating adaptation of Frank Herbert's book has gained something of a cult following since its initial failure. The production design is amazing and the cast suitably eclectic.

You can buy the theatrical and extended TV version (the latter of which Lynch tooks his name off) separately or together in the R1 special edition, which also has deleted scenes and extra features not available on the previous releases. The UK R2 special edition only has the theatrical version, but it has some unique extras (including a short interview with Frank Herbert), so a true fan may want to own several versions.

Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Tim Burton's masterpiece deserves a more comprehensive DVD, but it's still a must own. The commentaries (one by Burton, the other by Danny Elfman) are both worth a listen. The featurette is less than five minutes long and rather cheesy, especially the introduction which asks random people on the street if they know who the title character is. There are also some soundbites taken from the same interviews in the featurette. Two trailers are included, both of which give too much of the story away, though the second trailer at least captures the tone of the film slightly better.

Ed Wood (1994)

The long-delayed Region 1 DVD of the classic Oscar-winning film features a stunning array of extra features. One of the highlights is the audio commentary, with contributions from Tim Burton, Martin Landau, writers Scott Alexander and Larry Karazewski and more. The fact that it's shared with other people makes this one of the more informative commentaries on any of Burton's DVDs.

The deleted scenes are entertaining (including an easter egg where Ed gets the idea for Dr. Acula), and the making of documentaries are brief but informative, especially the one focussing on the use of the theremin in music. There's even a truly bizarre music video featuring Vampira! The R2 version doesn't have the deleted scenes, but you get a feature on transvestitism instead. Take your pick.

The Empire Strikes Back (1980) - see Star Wars Trilogy

Escape From New York (1981)

Another John Carpenter classic with tons of extras on the two-disc special edition. The audio commentary with Carpenter and Kurt Russell is typically entertaining, and there's also one with the late Debra Hill. The second disc has some brief featurettes and the original opening sequence. You also get a Snake Plisskin comic in the case. Whatever you do, avoid the sequel.

Escape From the Planet of the Apes (1971) - see Planet of the Apes Evolution boxset

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

Despites its popularity, this film ranks way down on my list of Steven Spielberg's best. The three disc version has some great extras, though, including both versions of the film (the original and the new version with unnecessary CG and walkie-talkies replacing guns) and numerous featurettes and documentaries. Be aware it is out of print, though.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Wonderful mind twister of a movie, with great performances from Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet. Available in two different versions just to confuse things. The original release has an audio commentary, two featurettes, deleted scenes and a music video, and that ain't bad.

Event Horizon (1997)

Underrated, stylish and very scary sci-fi chiller. The two-disc SE has some good extras, but the three hour version Paul Anderson promised for years is not on the disc. Apparently the footage was lost in a mine or somewhere, which is hard to believe as the film is only ten years old! You do get an audio commentary, tons of featurettes and some brief deleted scenes, though.

The Evil Dead (1981)

The first in the series isn't as fun as its sequels, but is still a must see for anyone interested in low budget horror filmmaking or "video nasties". The Book of the Dead is the best looking version available, though the ultimate edition has more extras. With either one, you get audio commentaries, trailers and documentaries.

Evil Dead 2 (1987)

The best of the trilogy is insanely fun and bloody. Again, the book of the dead version is the best, though the limited edition tin is well worth owning. Either way, you get an entertaining commentary and some featurettes.

The Exorcist (1973)

This horror classic has dated badly and lost its shock value, but is still worth watching. There are several worthwhile editions, including the 25th anniversary special edition and the "version you've never seen" . The vanilla version holds a special place in my heart as the first DVD I ever owned (before we even had a player!)

Fantastic Planet (1973)

Wonderfully trippy French animation about a race of aliens treated as pets by their giants masters. The original R1 DVD includes some short films from the same director, while the 35th anniversary edition has a documentary.

Field of Dreams (1989)

The Kevin Costner movie it's ok to like. Even if you're not a fan of baseball, the story of a man reconciling with his dead father is irresistible. The two disc anniversary DVD has lots of great extras, including audio commentary, deleted scenes and a special feature on the location where the film was shot which has become a Mecca for baseball fans. It does miss out on the doc from the original DVD release, though.

The Fifth Element (1997)

Luc Besson's most entertaining film is a big, daft, colorful French sci-fi farce. The two disc DVD has tons of extras and the UK version even comes in a taxi cab slipcase. It includes an audio commentary by a bunch of people you've never heard of, and tons of featurettes.

The Fly (1986)

David Cronenberg's masterful remake is available in a stunning 2 disc DVD that includes one of the longest and most comprehensive documentaries ever made about a film. You also get an audio commentary from the director, deleted scenes and much more.

The Fly 2 (1989)

Not bad sequel has almost as many extras as the first film. It has an audio commentary, deleted scenes and several featurettes. "The Fly Papers: The Buzz on Hollywood's Scariest Insect" is a good documentary on all "The Fly"-films

From Dusk Til Dawn (1996)

Two films in one, with a typical Tarantino criminals on the run first half followed by an insane vampires (that act more like zombies) on the loose second half. Both parts are very fun, though some viewers were unable to get over the shift in tone. Ends with one of the great all time lines: "Psychos do not explode when sunlight hits them. I don't give a fuck how crazy they are." The original two disc collector's edition (if you can find it) has tons of extras, including Full-Tilt Boogie (a fascinating feature length doc on the film), a rare commentary with Tarantino (and Robert Rodriguez), footage cut by the MPAA and more.

Galaxy Quest (1999)

The best Star Trek film in recent years isn't actually a Star Trek film. Aside from spoofing the genre, Galaxy Quest is a fun sci-fi adventure in its own right, with surprisingly likeable   characters. It's a shame they never made a sequel. The DVD has a featurette and some deleted scenes.

Ghostbusters (1984)

The classic spooky comedy from 1984 still holds up well to this day. Bill Murray gets all the best lines, but the whole cast seem to be having fun. The original DVD has some great extras, including a video commentary (where you see a silhouette of the contributors throughout the movie), deleted scenes and several featurettes. Beware, a deluxe edition looms on the horizon.

The Green Mile (1999)

Frank Darabont's extremely faithful adaptation of Stephen King's serialized story is pretty much the closest you can get to a novel on screen. The two disc DVD has some great extras, though the commentary covers much of the same territory as the retrospective doc and the film is annoyingly spread over two discs. You also get two deleted scenes (something Darabont doesn't normally like to show) and numerous featurettes. It doesn't quite match the director's previous Stephen King prison movie, but it's a fine adaptation none the less.

Gremlins (1984)

Joe Dante's classic monster movie is twisted Xmas fun. The special edition has two commentaries, additional scenes and a short featurette. The Gremlins 2 - The New Batch is worth owning too.

Groundhog Day (1993)

Another classic Bill Murrary comedy with a great premise. Be sure to get either of the special editions, which include director commentary, docs and more.

Halloween (1978)

John Carpenter's groundbreaking film is still the best the slasher genre has to offer. There's the UK special edition which includes the TV version of the film with extra scenes and a featurette, or the R1 25th anniversary edition DVD which has some other extras.

Haunted House of Horror (1969) - see The Tigon Collection

Heavy Metal (1981)

Based on the famous sci-fi magazine, this anthology is one of the best adult animated movies ever produced. The DVD has a few cool extras, including a commentary, the rough cut of the film and deleted scenes.

Hellboy (2004)

A fun adaptation of the comic from Guillermo Del Torro. The two disc version has two audio commentaries, deleted scenes and more featurettes then you can shake an oversized fist at, but the three disc director's cut is the one for fans to get.

The Hidden (1987)

Classic low budget sci-fi thriller about a good alien (Kyle MacLachlan) pursuing a bad alien body hopper. The DVD only has an audio commentary and effects footage, but is still a must own.

Highlander (1986)

The first and only good one of the series overcomes the miscasting of the two leads (a Frenchman playing a Scot and a Scotsman playing a Spanyard?) and has a great villain in Clancy Brown. The first DVD release had a commentary, but as usual a better one came along later (the UK edition has new commentary and doc, the R1 has a Queen bonus music CD and videos).

The Hills Have Eyes (1978)

The original film remains one of Wes Craven's best and makes a good companion piece with the surprisingly effective remake. The R1 two disc version has tons of good extras, including commentary, alternate ending and two documentaries. The UK version has a different documentary, American Nightmare.

House (1986)

Another horror series where the first (which has little connection to the sequels) remains the best. Not much extras aside from a commentary and making of, but worth owning.

The House That Dripped Blood - see the Amicus Collection

The Howling (1981)

Joe Dante's werewolf movie isn't quite as good as An American Werewolf in London (released the same year), but is still a classic. The DVD is packed with fun extras, including commentary, documentaries and deleted scenes.

The Incredibles (2004)

One of the best Pixar films and a must see for any old school comic books fans. Any of the two disc DVDs will do, but avoid the R3 edition, which misses the easter eggs. Either way, you get two audio commentaries, a couple of Pixar shorts, deleted scenes and various featurettes.

Independence Day (1996)

Yes, it's complete bollocks. But it's entertaining bollocks. And the two disc DVD has tons of extras. You get two audio commentaries, the original ending where Randy Quaid joins the final battle in a bi-plane and tons of featurettes.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) - see The Adventures of Indiana Jones

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) - see The Adventures of Indiana Jones

Interview With the Vampire (1994)

A fine adaptation of the book, with Kirsten Dunst giving her career best performance as a childlike vampire. The Special Edition has a commentary from Neil Jordan and more.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

For my money, the best (and creepiest) version of the story. The original DVD had a commentary but there's a better one out now.

The Iron Giant (1999)

Another animated classic from Brad Bird that was criminally underappreciated by audiences. The special edition has an audio commentary and lots of featurettes and deleted scenes.

Jacob's Ladder (1990)

Underrated psychological horror from Adrian Lyne that predated the similar The Sixth Sense. The R1 DVD has some good extras, including commentary, making of documentary and three deleted scenes.

Jason and the Argonauts (1963)

The best of Ray Harryhausen's fantasy epics has some stunning stop-motion work, especially with the skeleton fight at the end. The R2 DVD has The Ray Harryhausen Chronicles documentary and a Ray Harryhausen interview by John Landis

Jaws (1975)

Steven Spielberg's seminal movie still works just as well today, even when the admittedly fake looking rubber shark takes center stage in the last act. Be sure to get the 30th anniversary edition with a feature length documentary and tons of other extras, including deleted scenes and a photo journal.

Jurassic Park (1993)

The first film in the trilogy is still the most stunning use of CGI effects in history, despite all the computer generated marvels we have seen since. A definite example of how less is more. The first film has several featurettes and it's also available in a box set with the sequels that includes a bonus disc of extras, but only the first film is really a must own.

King Kong (1933)

Of the three versions of the film, the original is of course the best. It was the first adventure movie made in Hollywood that wasn't based on existing material. The collector's edition (also available in a tin) is a must own. It has an audio commentary, a feature length making of and Peter Jackson's and WETA workshop's recreation of infamous lost spider pit sequence.

King Kong (2005)

Peter Jackson's remake has many flaws (which the even longer extended edition does little to correct) but it's still impossible to not see the love for the original that he poured into the remake. The extras features on the three disc version are numerous, if not quite as impressive as those for the LOTR extended editions. You get audio commentary, tons of deleted scenes and a making of doc that's almost as long as the film. The 2-disc DVD also has unique extras, just to piss off collectors.

Krull (1983)

Classic 80's fantasy nonsense, with a rousing score. The extras on the DVD are entertaining, including a featurette, a slideshow of the Marvel comic adaptation and a commentary which includes some amusingly negative comments from Lysette Anthony.

Labyrinth (1986)

Another 80's classic, featuring a gorgeous young Jennifer Connely and David Bowie and his amazing crotch. Oh, and a bunch of endearing Muppet-like characters. The original DVD had the very good Inside the Labyrinth documentary, but the 2 disc R1 DVD has more features and a commentary from designer Brian Froud.

The Last Starfighter (1984)

More 80's awesomeness where a guy fulfills every video game addicts dream - he gets recruited to fight alien bad guys for real. Some interesting special features, including audio commentary and an early test for a CG X-Wing during the doc!

Legend (1985)

Ridley Scott's dark fantasy isn't really successful, but it has some great visuals and a superb villain in Tim Curry as Satan . . . I mean Darkness. Tom Cruise (before he got his teeth fixed) plays the bland hero. The R1 ultimate edition has boatloads of extras, including two versions of the film - the directors cuts and US theatrical cut with Tangerine Dream score. You also get an audio commentary, documentary, deleted scenes and more.

Little Shop of Horrors (1986)

Fun bigscreen version of the musical of the film. If you can find it, the ultra rare recalled edition with original ending would make a highly prized addition to any DVD collection. Even the Frank Oz-approved version still has director's commentary, outtakes and a featurette.


The Lord of the Rings Trilogy: The Fellowship of the Ring
(2001), The Two Towers (2002), The Return of the King (2003)

Little needs to be said about Peter Jackson's epic adaptation of Tolkien's trilogy except that if you don't own it, you need to. The 4 disc extended editions are obviously the best, but the theatrical versions are worth owning, too, especially as they get some unique extras. There's also a third edition of the trilogy with both versions of the films and a new doc. Take your pick. Either way, you'll have days of stuff to watch.

The extended edition of FOTR is probably the best of the bunch, deepening an already epic film. TTT has the most filler of the three films (understandable, since it only adapts about half of the book) and the extended edition does little to help that, although it does add some great scenes. ROTK has some important extra scenes (including the demise of Saruman and the Mouth of Sauron that both should have been in the film), but also takes away some of the suspense of the theatrical version, by showing Aragorn win over the army of the dead and take the ship with them.

The Lost Boys (1987)

One of Joel Schumacher's best films is the ultimate teen vampire flick. And it introduced the partnership of the two Coreys! Be sure to get the two disc version, which includes a commentary, retrospective documentary, deleted scenes and more.

Mary Poppins (1964)

Classic Disney film full of memorable songs and Dick Van Dyke's "mockney" accent. The 40th Anniversary edition is chock full of extras, including a musical reunion with the stars, audio commentary, making of and those games you always get on Disney DVDs. There's also a 45th anniversary edition, but it has little in the way of new extras.

Mars Attacks (1996)

Tim Burton's underrated alien satire is hillarious whenever the Martians are on screen and has some groundbreaking CGI animation. Badly in need of a special edition DVD but still worth owning.

The Matrix Collection: The Matrix (1999), The Matrix Reloaded (2003), The Matrix Revolutions (2003), The Animatrix (2003)

The first film was good but overrated, while the sequels were a semi-interesting mess. But if you're a diehard fan it's worth getting the 10 disc ultimate collection which has tons of extras.

Each film has two audio commentaries - one by some pretentious philosophers and the second by several critics who basically take the piss out of the films more and more as the trilogy progresses (which is more entertaining than most commentaries). The elusive Wachowski Brothers are nowhere to be heard.

The Matrix Revisited basically has lots of behind the scenes filler. The extras features with the sequels are different from the standalone releases, so fans may want to get both.

The Animatrix is arguably more successful than the movies, with some great animated shorts, especially The Second Renaissance. It's annoying to have to watch these and play the videogames to understand the sequels, though.

The Roots Of The Matrix cover the philosophy and science. There's also "The Burly Man Chronicles" documentary and way too many featurettes.

"The Zion Archive" has all the leftover stuff, including the legendary trailer for the first film.

Men in Black (1999)

Barry Sonenfeld rips off Tim Burton again with this slight but very enjoyable sci-fi comedy. The best part is the out of this world final shot. Be sure to get the limited edition if you can find it, with more behind the scenes features than you can shake a neuralizer at, including audo commentary, alternate scenes, featurettes and a scene editing workshop.

Monsters Inc. (2001)

Probably the best Pixar film after Toy Story, the two disc version is a must own. It includes the obligatory commentary, Pixar shorts, games and a ton of featurettes, from both the human and monster perspective.

The Monster Squad (1987)

"Wolfman's got nards!" The long-awaited DVD release of this classic 80's horror comedy has tons of extras, featuring most of the now-grownup kid cast. It has two audio commentaries, a feature length retrospective documentary and deleted scenes.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Arguably the best of the Python films, and the two disc version has lots of extras, including two commentaries, follow the killer rabbit feature (a spoof of The Matrix extra feature) documentaries and general silliness. There's also an Extraordinarily Deluxe Three-Disc Edition, but let's not buy it, it's a silly DVD.

Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979)

The only official Python film to receive a Criterion edition, this is slightly less funny than the Holy Grail, but has a stronger (and more controversial) storyline. The only real fantasy element is the hillarious scene where Brian is rescued by space aliens. It has two commentaries some deleted scenes and a Python documentary. The newer Immaculate Edition has a unique doc.

Near Dark (1987)

Great western vampire flick from Kathryn Bigelow. The 2 disc special edition has some nifty extras, including commentary, a comprehensive documentary and deleted scenes.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Tim Burton's perennial classic is a must own. Just be sure to get the 2-disc special edition, which also includes Burton's first two short films - Vincent and Frankenweenie.

The making of documentary is brief but informative. It does have an unintentionally amusing moment where director Henry Selick falls victim to over explaining stop motion ("You move the character a little bit, take a picture. Move it a little bit, take a picture. Move it a little bit . . . etc.") You also get a commentary from Selick, Burton and Danny Elfman, the original poem read by Christopher Lee, a tour of the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland and some deleted animation where we see Burton's head being used as a hockey puck.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

The first Freddy movie has some great extras. The film still has a stupid ending, though. If you're a diehard nightmare fan, then you might want to get The Nightmare Series Encyclopedia box set , which includes the first seven films as well as a bonus disc of labyrinthine extras.

The newer two disc version of the first film has two audio commentaries, featurettes about the making of the film and New Line Cinema's horror movies, plus alternate endings.

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

There are more editions of George Romero's classic zombie film than you can shake a stick at, including colorized and reedited versions. But the best version for extra features is the Millennium Edition. It has two audio commentaries, plus some short featurettes.

The Omega Man (1971)

Classic Chuck Heston dystopian sci-fi movie with some nice extras (introduction, featurette and trailer). Probably the least faithful adaptation of I am Legend, though. Also available in a R2 double bill with Soylent Green.

The Omen Collection: The Omen (1976), Damien: Omen II (1978), Omen III: The Final Conflict, Omen 4: The Awakening (1991), The Omen (2006)

The original film is the only one that can really be called a classic, but even with the ludicrous sequels and almost shot for shot remake, it's worth owning the box set just for the amazing wealth of extras.

The first film has two audio commentaries and a whole bunch of documentaries and featurettes. The first two sequels have audio commentaries while the remake has a few more features. Omen 4: The Awakening has no extras and is a pretty crappy TV movie with a female Damien.

Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (1985)

Tim Burton's first feature is still possibly his most fun and rewatchable film. The DVD doesn't have a lot of extras, but the commentary by Burton and Paul Reubens is worth owning the disc for alone. You also get some fun deleted scenes

Pinocchio (1940)

Perhaps Disney's best animated film, this classic has scared kids for generations. The R2 Special Edition has games and featurettes but a Platinum edition with different extras was released in 2009.

Piranha

Joe Dante's amusing spoof of Jaws and other nature gone wild films is a lot better than most other Roger Corman "classics". The R1 DVD has a commentary, behind the scenes footage and some bloopers/outtakes.

Planet of the Apes Boxset: Planet of the Apes (1968), Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970), Escape From the Planet of the Apes (1971), Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972), Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)

The films pretty much decrease in quality from the classic original to the laughable fifth part, but the box set, whether it's the Evolution or the later monkey head one, is well worth owning, especially for the feature length Behind the Planet of the Apes doc. The original film is also available in a 2 disc 35th anniversary edition

Planet of the Apes (2001)

One of Tim Burton's worst films, an ill-advised remake, is still watchable and has an amazing array of extras on the 2-disc version. The only thing missing is the Fox special that was shown at the time of the release. It has audio commentaries from Burton and Elfman, enhanced viewing mode, eight documentaries, extended scenes and even an insert which attempts to explain the time travel in the film.

Plan 9 from Outer Space

Ed Wood's "masterpiece" is a must own for connoisseurs of bad movies. The standard release includes a two hour retrospective. There's also an "off-color" version available with commentary and different extras.

Predator (1987)

Arnie vs. an alien predator in this classic action movie. Any of the 2 disc special editions will do. You get a commentary, making of, featurettes, special effects footage, deleted scenes, and even some Easter eggs.

Predator 2 (1990)

No Arnie, but this underrated sequel is still worth watching, and it sets up the much later Alien vs Predator (which unfortunately wasn't as cool as it sounded). Some surprisingly good extras on the 2-disc version, including two commentaries and tons of featurettes.

The Princess Bride (1987)

Rob Reiner's adaptation of William Goldman's novel remains one of the great fairytale romance adventures of all time. Terrifically funny, yet serious enough to make you actually care about the characters. The only bad thing about the film is that there are so many different versions to taunt the collectors. The 2-disc Dread Pirate/Buttercup edition is the best, with audio commentaries from Reiner and Goldman, as well as lots of featurettes. Avoid the 20th anniversary edition unless you're a completist. It has a couple of new features but drops most of the older ones.

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) - see The Adventures of Indiana Jones

Re-Animator (1985)

Superb horror comedy that was released unrated because of the intense (and even sexual) nature of its gore. Be sure to get the latest R1 two disc edition from Anchor Bay, which even includes a green reanimator highlighter. It also has two audio commentaries, a 70 minute doc, interviews and extended and deleted scenes.

Repo Man (1984)

Alex Cox's best film pretty much defines cult and features a superb cast. The Anchor Bay tin limited edition has a commentary, soundtrack and booklet, but the later Universal collectors edition has some extra featurettes.

Return of the Jedi - see Star Wars Trilogy

Return of the Living Dead (1985)

"Send more paramedics!" Zombie movies don't come much more fun than this, and there are two special editions of the film to choose between (the older one has a glow in the dark cover, audio commentary and a featurette, while the newer collector's edition has more features)

Robocop (1987)

The original is far superior to the sequels, and comes in a Criterion edition or a two disc 20th Anniversary Collector's Edition , either of which are well worth owning. There's also a box set which includes the not bad Robocop 2 and the pretty worthless Robocop 3.

The Criterion and the SE both include the gorier director's cut. The former has an Audio Commentary and some minor extras. The 20th anniversary edition has a different commentary, "Flesh And Steel: The Making Of RoboCop" documentary, 1987 Featurettes and Deleted Scenes.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

Everyone's favourite transvestite sing-a-long has great replay value and there are lots of fun features on the 25th anniversary edition. It includes an audio commentary, multi-view theatre experience (where you get to watch the film as if you were with an audience), VH1 behind the music, deleted musical scene and more,

The Running Man (1987)

Somewhat faithful adaptation of the Richard Bachman (aka Stephen King) sci-fi story, though obviously the addition of Arnie raises everything to the level of cartoon. The special edition has some interesting features, especially docs on how well the film predicted the future (or should I say our present, where freedoms shrink and reality TV becomes ever more mindless). It also has two audio commentaries and a trailer.

Scanners (1981)

One of David Cronenberg's early classics, best known for the infamous head exploding scene. The R2 DVD has an excellent documentary on Cronenberg and a shorter one on the film and is also available as a box set with the in-name only sequels

Scream (1996)

Wes Craven's slick and witty slasher film briefly revitalized the genre, though like many of his films it has a silly ending. Most editions of the DVD have some good extras, though the gorier directors cut is available on Korean and German DVDs. Even with the standard DVD, you get an audio commentary, behind the scenes footage, and red and green band trailers.

The Secret of NIMH (1982)

Don Bluth's dark and adventurous cartoon puts nearly every Disney film from the last 25 years to shame. The family fun edition has the most extras, though they aren't that great aside from the audio commentary.

Serenity (2005)

Joss Whedon's big screen version of the quickly cancelled TV show Firefly was, unsurprisingly, not a big hit, but has justifiably developed a cult following. It has all his trademarks, from the quick fire wit to the killing off of characters the audience cares about (why Wash? Damn you Joss!). The original release had plenty of extras but the two disc R1 has even more. Either way, you get director commentary, deleted scenes, outtakes and featurettes.

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg's love letter to zombie films (especially Romero's Dead series) manages the rare feat of working equally well as a comedy and a horror film. The UK R2 DVD has tons of great features, including several commentaries (one from the zombies), several featurettes, deleted scenes and even an explanation of the plot holes in the film.

The Shining (1980)

Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of Stephen King's novel was famously derided by the author, yet remains one of the most beautifully shot and thought-provoking horror films of all time. The two disc version has a commentary and several featurettes. Be sure to get the US DVD which is around 30 minutes longer.

Shrek (2001)

When it came out, Shrek was a wonderful spoof of Disney fairytales. By the third film, many found the joke had worn thin, but the original remains a classic and the 2-disc DVD has some of the most fun features on any film, including a revoice studio where you can dub over the characters, and other games. You also get several featurettes, audio commentary, and a technical goofs gag reel.

Silent Running (1972)

Charming sci-fi film, though the plot doesn't make much sense if you think about it. The adoreable robots will brake your heart. The R1 has Audio commentary with director Douglas Trumbull and actor Bruce Dern, a making of documentary and several featurettes.

Sin City (2005)

Robert Rodriguez's adaptation of Frank Miller's hardboiled graphic novel is pretty much a living comic book on screen. Be sure to get the extended edition, which is chock-full of extras. Original release only has one featurette.

Sleepaway Camp (1983)

Classic cheesy 80's horror, with an ending so fucked-up it has to be seen to be believed. The DVD has an insightful audio commentary. The UK version has the scenes that were cut from the film as an extra.

Sleepy Hollow (1999)

Tim Burton's homage to Hammer Horror is lots of fun, at least until it gets bogged down in a complicated and not very interesting mystery subplot. The DVD has a commentary and some standard making of docs. No deleted scenes unfortunately (most of Christina Ricci's dialogue ended up on the cutting room floor, which may be a good or bad thing depending on your point of view).

Snakes on a Plane (2006)

The film that became infamous for the internet community hyping it and insisting that Sam Jackson say "I've had it with these muthafuckin' snakes on this muthafuckin' plane!" Unfortunately, the same people who hyped the film months before its release forget to see it when it was finally released, which is a shame as it's one of the most fun nature gone wild movies of recent years.

The DVD has some good extras, though it would have been interesting to see the PG-13 version of the film before the studio decided to add more sex, gore and swearing for the hardcore fans. It does have audio commentary, gag reel, deleted scenes and some featurettes.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1938)

Disney's first feature length movie remains the one all their later films are judged by. The two disc Platinum edition has tons of extras, and there's a limited edition R2 release which also includes a book. The R1 has a longer doc, though. Either way, you get an audio commentary from Walt Disney (nice of him to come back from the dead), games and documentaries, deleted scenes, premiere footage and more.

Soylent Green (1973)

Another Chuck Heston dystopian sci-fi that makes a good double bill with The Omega Man. Has an audio commentary, two featurettes and trailer.

Spider-Man (2002)

Sam Raimi's long-awaited take on Spidey is very much a film of two halves, with the origin story in the first half being far more successful than the cartoonish action of the second half. Despite that, it deserved its success by staying very true to its source for the most part. The two disc edition has two audio commentaries, making of featurettes, screen tests, gag/outtake reel and more. Also available in a deluxe edition with an extra disc .

Spider-Man 2 (2004)

The sequel is better than the first, with improved effects and a more complex villain. Also available in an extended edition . The original two disc release has two audio commentaries (Tobey Maguire sits in with Sam Rami instead of Kirsten Dunst this time), blooper reel, a 12 part documentary, featurettes and more.

Stargate (1994)

Roland Emmerich's first hit film after several low budget sci-fi efforts is a fun if unremarkable adventure that led to a long-running TV series that many consider superior to the film. Be sure to get the original 2 disc ultimate edition if you can find it. It has the director's cut, audio commentary and a couple of featurettes.

Starman (1984)

John Carpenter's moving film is basically ET for adults, with Jeff Bridges and Karen Allen giving superb performances. The R2 special edition has commentary from John Carpenter and star Jeff Bridges, making of featurette and, rather strangely, a music video with Bridges and Karen Allen.

Starship Troopers (1997)

Paul Verhoeven's OTT spoof of the Robert Heinlen novel has become more relevant to the current political climate than ever. As is often the case, the best version is now out of print. The two disc version has two audio commentaries, various documentaries and featurettes, deleted scenes, screentests and more

Star Trek the Motion Picture (1979)

The first Star Trek movie has always been something of a snoozefest, though Robert Wise's director's cut does improve things slightly, and the DVD has some good extras. You get an audio commentary, various documentaries (including one about the aborted Phase II series) deleted scenes and more.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

The Wrath of Khan is a much cheaper film than the original (and it shows) but thankfully it's also much more exciting, and closer in tone to the original series. The 2-disc director's cut DVD has the best extras, including audio commentary, several featurettes and cast interviews.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)

Many consider this the best of the movies, and it's certainly the funniest, with Kirk and crew set loose in modern day San Francisco. On the 2-disc DVD you get an audio commentary with Nimoy and Shatner, featurettes on all aspects of the film and 1986 interviews.

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)

The worst Star Wars film has some great extras that make the DVD a must own for even disappointed fans.

The audio commentary is interesting, if a bit technical. The Beginning documentary is a very entertaining warts and all examination of the making of the film. The disagreement over whether Jake Lloyd was the best choice for Anakin after the audtions (though he was certainly better than one of the kids, who couldn't outact cardboard) and the muted reaction to the first rough cut are particularly interesting. The documentary ends with the highpoint of the whole endeavour (the first midnight screenings of the film) before the inevitable fall. Beware, the doc is censored on the UK DVD due to Rick McCallum's swearing.

The deleted scenes are of mixed quality. While it's good that the filmmakers took the effort to complete the scenes, effects and all, it's easy to see why many of them were cut.

You also get music videos, trailers and some easter eggs.

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)

This is where the prequels got back on track and the fun, and darkness, returned. It's still a flawed film, but the non-stop excitement of the last forty minutes makes up for all the embarrassing love scenes. The extras are good, especially the deleted scenes, though it lacks a comprehensive documentary like on the TPM DVD. Avoid the cut UK DVD, which misses a headbutt. As usual, you get a commentary, lots of featurettes, web docs and many trailers.

Star Wars Episode IIII: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

It's ironic that the best of the prequels gets the worst DVD treatment. The deleted scenes are incomplete (the scene where the Jedi escape into the fuel tanks on Grievous's ship has rough animatics instead of finished effects) and the documentary, Within a Minute, has an intriguing idea but soon becomes tiresome. It would have been much better to include a documentary examining the impact of the final Star Wars movie, rather than one focusing on such a narrow area of the film. You get a commentary and lots of featurettes, music videos, etc. But one hopes Lucas will release an extended edition of the film one day. More input from the actors would be nice, too.

Star Wars Trilogy: Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)

It's hard to complain about this boxset of the classic trilogy, especially the awesome Empire of Dreams documentary. However, it is missing deleted scenes and vintage making of docs that will no doubt turn up on a future superduper box set. If you want the original "untainted" versions of the films , they're also available. In the boxset you get an audio commentary on each film (nice to see Carrie Fisher take part - the actors were missed on the commentaries on the prequels), several featurettes (The Legacy of Star Wars doc with various filmmakers influenced by Star Wars is interesting), easter eggs and more.

Supergirl (1984)

A guilty pleasure, this big screen outing for Superman's cousin features an adorable Helen Slater in the lead and an eclectic supporting cast. The limited edition Anchor Bay DVD has some great extras, including two versions of the film (extended international version and even longer directors cut), commentary and a lengthy making of.

Superman: The Movie (1978) - see Christopher Reeve Superman Collection

The Terminator (1984)

James Cameron's classic film still holds up pretty well compared to the sequel which cost almost 100 times as much to make. The R1 special edition, includes input from Cameron and, as always with his films, some very intriguing deleted scenes. The R2 ultimate edition has a few more extras. Either way, you get a couple of docs and trailers, too.


Terminator 2: Judgment Day
(1991)

This supremely entertaining sequel is pretty much a textbook lesson in how to make a crowdpleasing, jawdropping action epic. The ultimate and extreme editions both have unique extras and a true fan would own both.

The Ultimate edition has three versions of the film: the Theatrical Cut, the Special Edition Cut and the Special Extended Edition (accessable only as an Easter Egg). It also has an audio Commentary with 26 Members of the Cast And Crew; several featurettes, including "The Making of T2: 3-D: Breaking The Screen Barrier" featurette; deleted scenes and more

The Extreme edition has the Theatrical Cut and Special Edition Cut; a new Audio Commentary with Director/Writer/Producer James Cameron and Co-Writer William Wisher Jr.; Interactive Mode (with Visual Commentary and Behind-The-Scenes Footage) and a new 1080p24 high-resolution Windows Media version of the "Theatrical Cut".

The Thing (1982)

John Carpenter's underrated remake is quite possibly his most brilliant film, with unrelenting suspense and monster effects that have yet to be bettered. The commentary by Carpenter and Kurt Russell and feature length documentary are both very entertaining.

THX 1138 (1971)

George Lucas's first feature remains his most interesting film in many ways, with a unique vision of the future. The long-awaited DVD release includes a "director's cut" (the digital enhancements are less obvious than in the Star Wars special editions) and lots of great extras, including commentary by Lucas and Walter Murch, a documentary on American Zoetrope, Lucas's original student short that inspired the film and more.

TheTigon Collection

A mixed collection of British horror, though Witchfinder General and Blood on Satan's Claw make it worthwhile. You also get a featurette about Michael Reeves - the talented director of Witchfinder General who died too young - several audio commentaries, including one on Blood on Satan's Claw by the comedy team The League of Gentlemen, and other featurettes on Tigon and its influence.

Witchfinder General (1968) is a classic with a great performance by Vincent Price as the inquistor.

The Body Stealers (1969) is campy nonsense about alien invaders.

Haunted House of Horror (1969) is not much better, and sounds cooler than it is.

Blood on Satan's Claw (1970) is an amusing and creepy gothic tale.

The Beast in the Cellar (1971) is a misleadingly titled film about a maniac on the loose.

Virgin Witch (1972), on the other hand, is just what it sounds like - a trashy horror with lots of nudity.

Time Bandits (1981)

Terry Gilliam's second solo directorial effort remains one of his most fun films. The Criterion edition has an audio commentary, though the Divimax edition from Anchor Bay has more extras, including The Directors feature on Gilliam and interview with Gilliam and Michael Palin.

Total Recall (1990)

Arnie saves Mars in a sci-fi adventure that is equally ludicrous and ingenious. Be sure to get the SE with audio commentary from Arnie and Verhoeven, documentary and other extras, available in a limited edition metal Mars case.

Toy Story (1995)

Pixar's first feature film is still possibly their most fun, thanks to a witty script by Joss Whedon. The sequel is almost as good. The ultimate toy box is the best collection of the two films, though the 10th anniversary edition of the first film has some more extras.

In the Toy box you get the Pixar shorts "Tin Toy" and "Luxo Jr.",   Audio commentary by the filmmakers, The Making of "Toy Story", Introductions by the filmmakers, The History of "Toy Story", Deleted animation, Guide to hidden jokes and more

The 10th anniversary edition adds "The Legacy of Toy Story" -featurette, "Filmmakers Reflect" -featurette, "Designing Toy Story" -featurette and more. Take your pick.

Transformers the Movie (1986)

Before Michael Bay got his grubby mitts on it, Transformers was an awesome 80's cartoon that led to an even more awesome animated feature with tons of loud heavy metal songs and Orson Welles as a freakin' planet! There are too many different editions of the film on DVD to list, but the 20th anniversary is the best one.

You get two Audio commentaries, Autobot Matrix of Knowledge (fun facts and trivia pop-up track), Scramble City episode with commentary, "Death of Optimus Prime" featurette, "Cast and Characters" featurette, Transformers Q & A w/ dirctor Nelson Shin, story consultant Flint Dille and voice actress Sue Blu and more.

Tremors (1990)

A fun monster movie that led to a long-running series. As usual, the first film is by far the best, but the sequels are amiable enough and the Attack Pack is good value for money.

The Extras on the first film are Making Of documentary, outtakes, Featurette and Theatrical Trailers.

Tron (1982)

This cult classic was the first extensive use of computer animation in a film and its plot touched on many of the same themes as later films such as The Matrix. Plus it spawned one of the most awesome arcade games ever. Be sure to get the 20th anniversary 2 disc edition, which includes commentary, featurettes on every aspect of the production and deleted scenes.

Twelve Monkeys (1995)

Possibly Terry Gilliam's finest film where, for once, his insane vision is matched by a tightly plotted screenplay. The cast is excellent and the ending tragic yet entirely appropriate. The DVD has a very revealing documentary and audio commentary.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Stanely Kubrick's masterpiece got a long-awaited two disc edition in 2007. No sci-fi fan should be without it. It includes excellent featurettes on the production of the film and its legacy.

V for Vendetta (2005)

Awesome adaptation of the Alan More graphic novel with the storyline neatly tied into the post 9/11 world. Be sure to get the 2-disc, which includes a making of featurette and several other features on the film, the graphic novel and the real Guy Fawkes.

Videodrome (1983)

One of David Cronenberg's most disturbing films is available in an excellent Criterion edition with two audio commentaries (including one from James Woods and Debbie Harry), several docs, unedited videodrome footage and a vintage fear on film roundtable discussion from 1982 between filmmakers David Cronenberg, John Carpenter, John Landis, and Mick Garris about censorship, special effects makeup, and horror cinema. Long live the new flesh!

Virgin Witch (1972) - see The Tigon Collection

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

Classic mix of live action and cartoon that helped revitalize the animation genre. Roger Rabbit was popular enough for three short films to follow, but then his career hit the rocks and he hasn't been seen since. Be sure to get the two disc Vista edition, even though the film is censored (Jessica Rabbit's infamous crotch flash and a few other brief shots have been removed or altered). It includes all the Roger Rabbit shorts, several docs and an audio commentary.

Willow (1988)

George Lucas's enjoyable if unremarkable attempt to do a Lord of the Rings had some groundbreaking effects (including the first use of morphing) and the DVD has some nice extras, including audio commentary by actor Warwick Davis, "Willow: The Making of an Adventure" featurette and "From Morf to Morphing: The Dawn of Digital Filmmaking" featurette

X-Men (2000)

Bryan Singer's first attempt at a comic book adaptation has a somewhat disjointed feel but it was the first Marvel film that really worked. The 1.5 edition includes additional scenes and tons of extras, including Audio Commentary by Singer, "Enhanced Viewing Mode" with 17 'Behind-The-Scenes' featurettes, 6 Deleted Scenes (with Optional Commentary by Singer) and lots of featurettes.

X2 (2003)

This even better sequel adds Nightcrawler to the mix as well as more action and character development. The two disc edition is the one to get. It includes audio commentary, lots of featurettes and deleted scenes.

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Classic fantasy musical may not faithfully adapt the books, but remains an enchanting experience. The original special edition had some good features, while the three disc collector's edition has archival footage that will keep you entertained for days. Be aware, there is also a 70th anniversary edition.

Yellow Submarine (1968)

The film of the album is one of the classics of animation, even if it doesn't feature The Beatles except in a live action prologue. Most versions have commentary and featurette, though the R1 commentary is missing one of the participants.

   

 

 

Site Directory / Home / Contact the Webmaster
Original site concept by Arran McDermott. Design by Melanie McDermott, 2006.
All articles and text copyright Arran McDermott unless otherwise noted.
All images are the copyright of the studios that produced the movies and are kindly used without permission.