You won’t be surprised to see a release from The Criterion Collection on our list of favorites. In fact, when narrowing such a list down to a final ten it’s difficult not to want to include every Criterion release from the year. Then again, we’ve got an entirely separate list for that. We do, however, want to highlight the very best of them — and perhaps highlight one of the very best and most influential films of all-time. Akira Kurosawa’s 4-hour feudal epic has never looked so good and it’s never been surrounded by such depth of extras as it is in this release. It gives new life to the concept of comprehensive. Significantly cheaper than a college-level film studies class and perhaps even more rewarding, this set is not to be ignored. Else you may find yourself on the wrong end of a Toshiro Mifune attack. – Neil Miller
I pimped this already in my DVD column as well as a stand alone review, but goddamn this set is just so perfectly designed that I’m including it here too. The first bionic hero remains the best as Lee Majors stars in this TV hit from the mid to late seventies, and it receives fantastic treatment with this collection from TimeLife which is easily the best designed/packaged box set of the year. The cool and practical case features a lenticular image on the cover and an audio chip that plays dialogue and music when opened, and includes six DVD hard-cases inside, one for each of the five seasons and one for additional extras. The episodes are digitally restored and look as good as can be expected. The box set isn’t cheap, but if you or someone you know is a big huge enormous fan of the show this is a must-have release. –Rob Hunter
Six years we followed along, patiently waiting to see how the turbulent exploits of Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sawyer and John Locke would turn out. Six years of anxiety as Tuesday nights came and went. Six years of “BOM! Lost!” And what do we have to show for it? The answer is out there, amongst the divided masses that make up The Island’s extended population. What is clear is that the journey was incredible — even the parts that didn’t feel so incredible — and the attention to detail put into Lost was wonderful throughout. Its fitting then that the entire series was given such a neat, imaginatively designed box set full of hidden treasures. Because like the show itself, the box may not contain all of the answers we wanted, but we sure couldn’t help but open it. – Neil Miller
Horror films all around the world have a friend in this UK based label, and it’s evident in even a small sampling of Arrow’s *all region* releases this year. Mario Bava’s A Bay Of Blood, Lucio Fulci’s City Of the Living Dead, and Dario Argento’sInferno are just a few of the titles they’ve remastered and released on DVD and Blu-ray, and they’re interested in more than just the best video and audio. Arrow is renowned for including tons of extras both on the discs and with the packaging itself. And I haven’t even mentioned their greatest release of the year… they just put out the Japanese classic, Battle Royale, on remastered DVD and Blu-ray filled with extras. Both the film and the package are things of beauty. Next year’s roster is already looking just as impressive with Argento’s Deep Red, Fulci’s The Beyond, and the Chris Makepeace classic, Vamp. Okay, maybe classic is a strong word choice, but I guarantee that Formica has never looked better. –Rob Hunter
There are plenty of Blu-ray releases still on the table that you desire to cross off your want list in the near future (Star Wars, anyone), but how many of those properties might also occupy a spot on your bucket list, as well. The Alien Anthology is one of those sets, one of those franchises that have teased fans since the dawn of high definition. How many four-movie sets can you get that include a film each from Ridley Scott, James Cameron, David Fincher and Jean-Pierre Jeunet? How many Blu-ray sets include multiple versions of classic sci-fi films that altered your universe when you first saw them? How many sets include a film from 1979 that is so spectacularly remastered that you’d believe that it was a 2010 release, if you didn’t know better already? There is only one. There can be only one. – Neil Miller
Finish your shopping and be sure to join us for the rest of the 2010 Year in Review.