Short Ends and Leader's 10 Best DVDs of 2010
Instead of going for the outright and the obvious, the PopMatters film blog picks 10 terrific DVDs that are far from easy. Why? Because easy is just that... and these choices are far from the norm. Watch for our site-wide best DVD feature when we return to full publication next week.
This could have been SO easy. In the last 12 months alone, Disney released gorgeous Blu-ray transfers of certified classics like Fantasia and the landmark Beauty and the Beast. We got the Complete Lost box set (also in high definition), the Vengeance Trilogy, the Alien Anthology, and anniversary editions of Rocky Horror and Back to the Future. Criterion keeps chucking out of the classics, from Night of the Hunter and Mystery Train to an unbelievable collection covering the rise of independent film in Hollywood circa the '60s (America: Lost and Found). So we could have quickly browsed through our bulging home video collection, culled the name dropped mainstream hits from the handful of decent digital packages in 2010 and called it quits. We'd be kicking back, having a brew, and waiting for the wares of 2011 to underwhelm us.
Instead, Short Ends and Leader made a conscience decision to avoid the truly commercial and recognizable. Who wants to read a list made up of names every other website is championing. Sure, when push comes to punishment, we admit our fondness for the new three disc Avatar: Extended Edition release or the stunning high def Seven Samurai from Criterion. Obvious selections make for obvious lists, and no need to read further. Simply Google the billions of film-based websites and the same old suggestions will clog up your aesthetic. Hopefully, with this compilation of 10 terrific DVDs (and Blu-rays), you will find something unusual or unheralded, a title to tempt your already overflowing media shelves. There will be a couple that raise an eyebrow or two (we are indeed suckers for the occasional standard), but for the most part, it's another look beyond the basic.
Why? Because easy is not fun. Easy is not enlightening. Easy is just that - easy...and our choices for 2010's Best DVDs are anything but, beginning with: