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Ladies and Gentlemen, the Class of 2006...

Now that Lynchmania has died down around here (with a gigantic THANK YOU to all who turned out for the signing!!), we've finally assembled our special rental section with all our staff's favorites from last year. Come on in and see what we picked (or at least what we'll admit to in a public forum). I'm posting my list here in the hopes my much more cultured and articulate co-workers will follow suit (but you can too).

Disclaimer: A list of favorite DVD releases from any particular year always includes movies that were released theatrically the year before that. Make sense? Here's an example: Brokeback Mountain was one of my favorite films of 2005. It came out on DVD on April 4th, 2006, and therefore is eligible to be on the Favorites "06 list. Same goes for such staff favorites as Hustle &Flow and The Constant Gardener (both came out on DVD in Jan. '06). We also count everything we got new in the store, so if we brought in ten Mr. Wizard's World DVDs or a VHS tape of news bloopers from 1990, those are eligible for the lists.

Star Wars Trilogy: Theatrical Versions: What a relief it is to have the original Ewok celebration on DVD. I plan to incorporate it into my celebrations in 2008 when the Bush regime finally comes to an end.

Dave Chappelle's Block Party: Inspirational concert film featuring Mos Def, Common, Erykah Badu, The Fugees and others, brought to you by Michel Gondry and Dave Chappelle.

An Inconvenient Truth: That poor animated polar bear gets me every time.

Police Squad: The Complete Series: TV series that gave birth to the Naked Gun trilogy. Only six episodes long, but rich in comedy.

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby: The DVD features Ricky and Cal's public service announcements, some of which caused me to snort with laughter.

Saturday Night Live: The Best of Saturday TV Funhouse: Includes commentary tracks from Mr. T and Ladysmith Black Mambazo you need to hear.

R.E.M.: When the Light is Mine: Videos and other rarities from their IRS years (that's Chronic Town to Document). Rent this one to celebrate R.E.M.'s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame later this year.

Best of the Electric Company, Vol. 1 &2/Sesame Street: Old School: Warning: May cause nostalgia overload and/or surface long forgotten childhood memories.

West Wing: The Complete Seventh Season: The last season was the best post-Sorkin and did a fine job of capturing the chaos of a presidential campaign. I think the finale would have been stronger if Mr. Sorkin would have come back to write it, but I still sobbed as President Bartlett looked out the plane window. While the actual season is great, I wish the DVD had some meatier extras like a decent retrospective or at least a tribute to the late John Spencer. Brokeback Mountain: A two-disc special edition will be out on the 23rd, making it eligible for this list next year, too!

Because I like making lists, here are my favorite theatrical releases of 2006:

Children Of Men The Departed Borat Talladega Nights Dave Chappelle's Block Party The Queen Shut Up and Sing An Inconvenient Truth Volver Pan's Labyrinth Casino Royale Science Of Sleep