March 14, 2006

FFC Must-Owns

As you may have noticed, some of our DVD reviews have started appearing with an "FFC Must-Own" logo [left] embedded in the text. Apropos of the previous thread, this is an attempt to highlight the crème de la crème of the 1700+ titles we've covered since the dawn of the format, similar to DVD Talk's Collector's Series label. Any DVD containing a four-star film that has scored grades of A- or higher in two of the three tech categories (Image/Sound/Extras) is eligible, and I hope I don't sound like that reductive textbook at the beginning of Dead Poets Society, as by no means do we consider these to be absolute measures of quality. The reason the letter grades were brought into it is to let you know that these particular versions are more or less definitive until the next thing comes along, be it HD-DVD or Blu-Ray or Cronenbergian bioports. I haven't finished going through our archives yet but so far the following DVDs have received a 'must-own' certificate:

About Schmidt
Aguirre: The Wrath of God
Alien Quadrilogy
Blue Velvet
Citizen Kane
Cobra Verde
The Evil Dead
Evil Dead II
Ghost World
The Grapes of Wrath
A History of Violence
The Incredibles
The Iron Giant
The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
Marathon Man
Mulholland Drive
North by Northwest
Once Upon a Time in America
Once Upon a Time in the West
The Ox-Bow Incident
Punch-Drunk Love
The Tales of Hoffmann
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
West Side Story
Wonder Boys

Some surprises, to be sure, and of course not all library essentials are created equal. And we only recently started reviewing Criterion DVDs, so our endorsement should only be interpreted as just that, lest you take the above to be some kind of grocery list.


Alex Jackson said...

The American Astronaut
American Movie
Day of the Dead
Fahrenheit 451 + The Man Who Fell To Earth
The Godfather Trilogy
House of Flying Daggers
Near Dark
Spirited Away
Sunset Boulvard
Taxi Driver
Unforgiven + A Perfect World

Anybody else find some titles needing to be accredited?

Er, should probably get back to work on my review.

Rachel said...

G-d, I loved The American Astronaut.

Jared said...

Which version of "The Man Who Fell To Earth" the Anchor Bay one has an amazing DTS track but the Criterion Collection one has better video quality and costs a little more, but it comes with the book.

And now I own "A History of Violence" and yeah it is a must own, one of the best single disc sets i've seen.

Jefferson said...

Bill: If I jump through an Amazon link on your site, wishlist the title, and don't buy it until later, does that still count as a purchase as far as your merchandising agreement with Amazon? Just curious.

Alex Jackson said...

We reviewed the Anchor Bay one. We've just barely begun recieving Criterions again.

Bill C said...

Yeah, I think in the case of Man Who Fell..., both versions have their virtues. Anchor Bay one's been taken off the market, if memory serves.

Alex: Thanks for that legwork.

Jefferson: Not sure about the wishlist scenario (nothing relevant in their dusty Affiliate FAQ that I can see), but my guess is that Amazon only counts it if you make an immediate purchase or at least drop the item in your shopping cart.

Alex Jackson said...

Found other titles! I'll try and stop after this.

Black Hawk Down
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Die Hard: Five Star Collection
The Elephant Man
Finding Nemo
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Rushmore (Buena Vista)
Silence of the Lambs (MGM Special Edition)
Waking Life

Surprise, the Buena Vista's bare-bones release of Rushmore is quite a safe bet. Bill says that music on the 5.1 track sounds better than it does on the film's soundtrack CD.

Best single disc platter? In my relatively uninformed opinion I'd have to go with Elite's Millenium Edition of Night of the Living Dead.

Bill C said...

I may actually go back and downgrade Rushmore, simply because it's non-anamorphic while the Criterion is 16x9-enhanced.

The Elite NotLD is smashing. For the record, here's what got stamped last night:

The American Astronaut
Day of the Dead
Do the Right Thing
Near Dark
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

Bill C said...

Your Armond White quote for the day:

"Let Viggo Mortenson rehash the tired clichés of fantasy and thrillers. Moviegoers with hearts, minds and eyes know that Paul Walker is a more significant movie icon."

I can almost hear Walter's head exploding.

Jack_Sommersby said...

Ah, yes, Bill. I had just got through reading if-it's-Spielbereg-it's-untoucahble White's 3-paragraph review of nonsensical bollocks. This is the guy who detests Tom Cruise and Samuel Jackson yet will give them a break if they're in a film by one of his beloved directors (Cruise in Minority Report and Jackson in In My Country).

Jared said...

Man, Viggo Mortensen was fucking awesome in his whacky character roles in Carlito's Way and Psycho '98 before he even did Lord of the Rings and his incredibly underappreciated work in A History of Violence solidifies him even further, he just needs to avoid stuff like Hidalgo which wasn't even as bad as everybody said it was. Paul Walker however is WORSE than everybody says he is bro, his movies are a chore to watch dude. I still haven't been been subjected to Eight Below and Running Scared, 2 Fast 2 Furious was enough to do me in, and then I saw part of Into The Blue while my dad was watching it, uggh....

Jack_Sommersby said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jack_Sommersby said...

Just re-watched Carlito's Way yesterday, and, yeah, Mortensen is dynamic in just that one scene he had. However, I don't think he's gotten nearly enough credit as the gold-digger cad in A Perfect Murder. Man, co-star Michael Douglas had to act his socks off to keep from being blown off the screen by 'ol Viggo.

Jared said...

"I've got fucking diapers man!"

Man, it's hard to out scene-chew Al Pacino

James Allen said...

Holy shit, Bill. I would've thought your Armond White quote was a joke if i didn't just see the article myself just now. You really do never know with that guy.

"Director Frank Marshall understands Walker’s charm and frames it right, along with Jason Biggs’ less glamorous but no less companionable and ethical presence as Shepherd’s sidekick."


Scott Weinberg said...

Good idea! Your next project should be "Chaw's Greatest Beatdowns," because nobody savages a movie like WC do. "Thousands dead; teen angst survives" is still one of the most inspiring movie reviews I've ever read. ;)