Video & DVD 

So, you're disappointed by the Oscars. Of course you are — what kind of Academy wouldn't even give Memento a nomination? Universal Home Entertainment would like to remind you of some of the Academy's better choices. Although they may not be the best films of their respective years, all the titles in Universal's new Best Pictures collection (All Quiet on the Western Front, The Deer Hunter, The Sting, Out of Africa, The Long Weekend) are terrific movies, and the set has its fair share of special features. Like anything related to the Oscars, though, this box has a little controversy: Why include The Sting only in a pan and scan version, when a letterboxed one is available elsewhere? Ah, well, it's an honor just to be nominated ...

The Criterion Collection is quietly continuing its commitment to the world's greatest filmmakers. Gorgeous editions of Rashomon and Juliet of the Spirits are the latest discs they've released from Akira Kurosawa and Federico Fellini, respectively, making a total of about a dozen Criterion titles from those two giants. The Oscar folks need to come up with some sort of special award for these guys.

There are also the better known mainstream titles that deserve the full Special Edition treatment. Say Anything (20th Century Fox) isn't just a smart teen romance, it marked Cameron Crowe's move from writer to director and John Cusack's transition from comedic performer to serious leading man. The traits we've come to admire in both artists are here in spades.

More by John DeFore



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