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Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Theonionavclub.com Best DVDs Of The Year - Buffy Season 6 is #2

Thursday 6 January 2005, by Webmaster

1. The Battle Of Algiers (Criterion)

With the War On Terror raging without an end in sight, Gillo Pontecorvo’s masterpiece remains the most urgent and relevant movie of the day, and it was made nearly four decades ago. Criterion’s three-disc reissue restores the film’s newsreel verisimilitude without sacrificing its texture, and the special features not only provide historical context on the struggle between French occupiers and Algerian terrorists, but also bring its lessons up to date. To that end, former counterterrorism expert Richard A. Clarke, who recently played a central role in the 9/11 hearings, participates in a fascinating roundtable on the connections between Pontecorvo’s film and Gulf War II.

2. Buffy The Vampire Slayer: The Complete Sixth Season (Fox)

Buffy fans generally feel the show peaked with seasons two and three, but its sixth season plays like one long, dark night of the soul, connecting the supernatural with the human more poignantly than ever. The "Big Bad" has never been less threatening-it’s just a few geeks gone wild, really-but the battle-weary Scooby Gang, mired in a never-ending fight against evil, manifest their angst through black witchcraft, desultory sex, and an overwhelming sense of doom. The candy-colored musical episode ("Once More, With Feeling") is an obvious high point, but even that ends in what may be the series’ saddest revelation.

3. The Rules Of The Game (Criterion)

Though now considered a classic, second only to Citizen Kane on most "best of" polls, Jean Renoir’s stinging class critique was released to scandal in 1939, causing such an uproar that one man tried to light the theater on fire. Renoir was forced to cut the film from 94 to 81 minutes after opening day, and the film wasn’t reconstructed to its current 106-minute form for another 20 years. Vive la différence: The two-disc DVD includes a revelatory side-by-side comparison between the shortened 1939 release and its 1959 restoration. What emerges is the film’s poetry and underlying humanity, which was crudely frittered away in the editing room.

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