Bonus Points: DVD Reviews

Scanning the DVDs of 2006

Matthew McConaughey in one of the year's best DVDs, the Criterion Collection's version of
Matthew McConaughey in one of the year's best DVDs, the Criterion Collection's version of "Dazed and Confused." (Criterion Collection)

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By Jen Chaney
washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 2, 2007; 12:00 AM

Was 2006 the year DVDs lost some of their luster?

I'm not sure. But I do know that out of the many, many releases I watched, very few offered special features that excited me much. In fact, when I peruse the myriad titles I reviewed, I find it difficult to deem even a handful worthy of a year-end top 10 list.

Of course, that's not to say the past 365 days were completely devoid of home video happiness. To prove just that, I've compiled this look at the most noteworthy DVDs and DVD moments of 2006.

Most Extensive Bonus Point: The production diaries on "King Kong: Collector's Edition." After watching Peter Jackson's three-hour-and-seven-minute epic, viewers clearly needed nearly three hours of behind-the-scenes footage. And if that wasn't enough, the three-disc Deluxe Extended Edition was released in November, satisfying even greater appetites for the big ape.

Most Nostalgia-Inducing DVDs: A tie between "Sesame Street: Old School Volume 1: 1969-1974" and "The Best of the Electric Company." It's hard to decide which causes more of an elementary school flashback: hearing Ernie sing "Rubber Duckie" or grooving to Morgan Freeman's rendition of the Easy Reader theme song.

Funniest DVD: It doesn't come close to seasons one or two, but "Chappelle's Show: The Lost Episodes" delivered plenty of legit laughs, particularly in the unaired sketches and deleted scenes.

Most Eye-Catching, If Unnecessary, DVD Packaging: A tie between the leather T-birds jacket that comes with the "Grease: Rockin' Rydell Edition" and the file cabinet that houses all 35 DVDs in the "Homicide: Life on the Street -- Complete Series Megaset."

Most Welcome DVD Arrival: The Criterion Collection of "Dazed and Confused," which kicked the box-set butt of Universal's previous, lame release. With a documentary, extensive audition footage, an engaging commentary by director Richard Linklater and more, this stands as my favorite DVD of the year.

Most Welcome DVD Arrival, Part Two: Both "Ferris Bueller's Day Off: Bueller, Bueller Edition" and "Pretty in Pink: Everything's Duckie Edition," both proof that it is possible to issue a John Hughes teen movie on DVD with decent extras. I'm still holding my breath for a better "Breakfast Club."

Strangest DVD Moment: "Wonder Showzen: Season 1" overflows with sublime freakiness. But the weirdest part of the DVD may be the commentary track for the episode "Diversity," which consists of nothing but trippy alterna-rock by PFFR, a band that counts "Showzen" creators Vernon Chatman and John Lee among its members.

Most Sawyer-ific Bonus Point: The montage on "Lost: Season Two" that strings together Sawyer's many barbs and references to literature and pop culture. Don't say we didn't mention it, Chewie.

Most Obscenities for Your Dollar: It's no surprise that the foul language flies during "An Evening With Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder."

Most Random DVD to Cross My Desk: There were so many, but the one that most captured my attention was "Who Made the Potatoe Salad?," a straight-to-DVD comedy starring Jaleel White, otherwise known as Urkel from TV's "Family Matters." I never had a chance to watch it, so who knows? It could be the best movie ever to misspell the word potato in its title.

On DVD This Week: "Snakes on a Plane" and more.

For more on new DVDs, visit washingtonpost.com's DVD section.


© 2007 The Washington Post Company

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