10 Best DVDs of 2006
Rad Bennett's Top 10 of 2006 Best Picture and Sound on DVD
1. Forbidden Planet (Ultimate Collector's Edition; Warner, 2 discs). The brilliant, colorful transfer banishes thoughts of all the washed-out versions we've had to endure. Extras include a second movie, an episode of the Thin Man TV show, and several excellent documentaries.
2. Rome: Season 1 (HBO, 6 discs). This TV miniseries had production values usually reserved for feature films. All the treachery is given historical perspective through a set of exceptional extras.
3. King Kong (2005, Deluxe Extended Edition; Universal, 3 discs). The impeccably detailed video and audio are reason enough to praise this release, but you also get a boatload of extras, including 40 minutes of deleted scenes.
4. Lady and the Tramp (50th Anniversary Edition; Disney, 2 discs). One of the most beloved animated films is now completely restored, and it looks and sounds better than ever. Voluminous extras inform and entertain.
5. King Kong (1933, Collector's Edition; Turner, 2 discs). Housed in a sturdy tin box as part of the three-disc King Kong Collection (with Son of Kong and Mighty Joe Young), this release features the original ape in a sharply detailed transfer. Period and contemporary extras will tell you all you ever needed to know about Kong.
6. V for Vendetta (Special Edition; Warner, 2 discs). The antiestablishment movie to end all antiestablishment movies, in a state-of-the-art transfer. Most important extra (on Guy Fawkes) clarifies the plot.
7. The War of the Worlds (1953, Special Collector's Edition; Paramount). Vibrant colors are restored and scratches eliminated in this A+ transfer. Extras include Orson Welles's famous radio version.
8. A History of Violence (Platinum Series; New Line). A beautiful transfer - and the comprehensive documentary on the making of the movie shows how director David Cronenberg works, rather than just praising him.
9. Howl's Moving Castle (Disney, 2 discs). This set gives you the choice of an English dub with big-name actors or the more subtle Japanese original. Either way, you get an eye-popping transfer of Hayao Miyazaki's latest magic.
10. Carnevàle: Season 2 (HBO, 6 discs). Set in the Dustbowl of 1943, this fascinating TV series (now inexplicably canceled) presents a riveting, apocalyptic battle between good and evil. The widescreen transfer is pristine; commentaries and documentaries fill in the background.