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