20 September 2006

My Top 5 DVDs of All Time

I wrote the following as a sample for a job I didn't get. It's the sort of thing many people seem to post on their blogs, so I thought I might as well offer it up for your edification.

It is, admittedly, somewhat constrained by the limited number of DVDs I've actually watched, and in particular bothered with the extras for.

My Top 5 DVDs of All Time
(in 50 words each)

Firefly: The Complete Series (4-disc boxed set)
Tragically cancelled before its time, Joss ‘Buffy’ Whedon’s space-opera Western was the cleverest, funniest, most stylish TV sci-fi in years. Experience all 14 episodes along with featurettes, deleted scenes, an outtakes reel that’s actually funny, and commentaries from actors and crew so witty, warm and articulate you’ll hate them. Glorious.

I Claudius (5-disc boxed set)
Roll over Rome – Derek Jacobi stars as the Emperor Claudius in ten hours of the greatest BBC drama ever made. Where else would you see Blackadder’s Nursie as a poisoner, or Christopher Biggins playing Nero? Features include documentaries, actors’ favourite scenes and an interactive genealogy of that nice Caesar family.

Jam (2-disc set)
Christopher Morris’ unnerving sketch comedy of dead babies and psychotic doctors comes complete with its fuzzier late-night remix, Jaaaaam. Each episode plays in yet another alternative format, such as a ‘ffwd version’ or ‘quadrilateral lava lamp version’. If you missed the day Kilroy lost his mind, then welcome… in Jam.

Minority Report (2-disc set)
Tom Cruise stars as a ‘pre-crime’ cop on the run, after being fingered as a future murderer. The extras disc goes overboard with design sketches, storyboards, biographies and no fewer than 17 featurettes, with menus in the film’s own hands-on interactive graphics style. The movie’s not at all bad, either.

Doctor Who: The Beginning (3-disc boxed set)
Sinister, giggling William Hartnell abducts two of his granddaughter’s teachers in his time-machine, in Doctor Who the way it was meant to be. These first three stories bring us cavemen, insanity and eerie machine-people called ‘Daleks’. The best of many bonuses brings long-deleted historical story Marco Polo to partial life.

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