Cover Story: Watch This

Giving the Ultimate Complete Collector's Edition DVD (Vol. 1)

Nov 29, 2006 at 2:06 pm

· For your Dad, who still talks about Ursula Andress' bikini in Dr. No, give JAMES BOND ULTIMATE EDITIONS VOL. 1, 2, 3, 4. All 20 Bond films are spread across four editions, each featuring a smorgasbord of extras, including commentary from several of the series' directors and even a former Bond, Sir Roger Moore. Other option: Forbidden Hollywood Collection, Vol. 1, which has three restored classics that were altered by the then-new Hayes Code, including a fresh-faced, wonderfully vile Barbara Stanwyck in 1933's Baby Face.

· For your cousin who thinks Borat is the shiznit, give DA ALI G SHOW: DA COMPLEET SEEREEZ. Offers up both seasons of British comic Sasha Baron Cohen's laceratingly funny HBO show, which was the creative birthplace of not only Cohen's dimwitted title character but also a Kazakh journalist named Borat Sagdiev, star of the wildly successful Borat. Other options: Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and Saturday Night Live: Season One.

· For your aunt and uncle who watch those high-minded cable stations (Discovery Channel, History Channel, etc.) when you just want to wallow in an MTV Real World marathon, give AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH. Ah, what might have been!

Al Gore finally comes across as human in a doc that's as fascinating as it is terrifying. Other options: Spike Lee's When the Levees Broke and Who Killed the Electric Car, Chris Paine's investigation into the alternative fuel debate.

· For your 17-year-old brother-in-law with the superhero fetish, give SUPERMAN: ULTIMATE COLLECTOR'S EDITION. This 14-disc set features everything a fan could possibly crave and more: each of the five Superman films (including Bryan Singer's fawning ode to the original) plus an orgiastic mountain of extras. Other option: If budget is a consideration, there's the less pricy yet no less bonus-engorged The Christopher Reeve Superman Collection.

· For Grandma, who still calls movies "pictures," give THE PAUL NEWMAN COLLECTION. This seven-disc set features the big-screen stud in all his 1950s glory: The Left Handed Gun, The Young Philadelphians, Harper, Pocket Money, The Mackintosh Man, The Drowning Pool and Somebody Up There Likes Me, which intriguingly has a commentary track by Newman, Robert Loggia, director Robert Wise, admirer Martin Scorsese and film critic Richard Schickel. Other options: The Marlon Brando Collection, Preston Sturges: The Filmmaker Collection and The Premiere Frank Capra Collection.

· For your co-worker who's an Asian cinema geek, give OLD BOY: ULTIMATE COLLECTOR'S SET. Ultimate is an understatement. Park Chanwook's wild revenge tale goes gaga with extras, a three-disc set pimping a plethora of commentary tracks, making of documentaries and, most curiously, "The Autobiography of Oldboy," a 212-minute video diary from each of the film's 69 shooting days. What's next, Dae-su Oh's severed tongue in a bottle of formaldehyde? Other option: Michael Mann's Miami Vice: Unrated Directors Cut, which employs many an Asian film technique amid its complete retooling of the original series.

· For Mom, who still claims that a certain '60s singer/songwriter might be your real dad, give LEONARD COHEN: I'M YOUR MAN. A bevy of artists — from U2 to Antony and the Johnsons — testify to the deep-voiced poet/singer's impact in this documentary from filmmaker Liam Lynch. Other options: Nirvana: In Utero. (Mom might not dig it, but that just means we can "borrow" it when she's done.)

· For your 5-year-old nephew whose copy of Finding Nemo is begging for mercy, give SESAME STREET: OLD SCHOOL, VOL. 1 (1969-1974). Powered by Jim Henson and Frank Oz's wildly creative puppetry work, this staple of a generation includes episodes from the first five seasons and appearances from guests as diverse as Carol Burnett and Jesse Jackson. Other options: The Best of the Electric Company: Vol. 2 and this summer's animated Disney hit, Cars.

· For your college roommate who believes Europe is the center of the moviemaking universe, give THE DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONIQUE. Loin-rousing French actress Irene Jacob stars in this elegant drama from legendary director Krzysztof Kieslowski. The plush, two-disc Criterion release includes a host of extras, the best of which is an illuminating interview with the director and four of his rarely seen short films. Other options: Bela Tarr's epic Satantango and The Conformist, Bernardo Bertolucci's long-neglected classic.

· For your neighbor who has a small patch of mysterious plants growing in his backyard, give A SCANNER DARKLY. Richard Linklater's deliciously obtuse adaptation of Philip K. Dick's novel is the perfect companion to a night of bong hits and beer. Its rotoscoped images are sure to yield more than a few "Dude, where is my mind?" moments. ©