Shilling shilly bang bang

The Alec Guinness Collection
This one is worth price for just THE LADYKILLERS, still a highwater mark for British film comedy. It's so indestructible a work that even that crappy Coen/Tom Hanks remake can't marr it. KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS is justly famous for Sir Alec portrayal of an entire family, but his performance never touches the transcendentally control and presence he later brought to Professor Marcus; this film is available in a superior Criterion edition, but it's the kind of movie that's worth buying twice. The other films in this set are excellent.

Ealing Studios Comedy Collection
I've not seen some of the movies in this set, but the Alexander Mackendrick-helmed ones are superb. [Mackendrick also made THE LADYKILLERS, following that up with the amazing SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS in the U.S., which should put him in your top five most underrated filmmakers.] It's a terribly clumsy description, but WHISKEY GALORE is what I imagine DUCK SOUP would be like if Leo McCarey and the Marx Brothers were British, but shot the film in the same gorgeous areas that John Ford used for HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY.

The Bava Box Set Vol. 1
Five peerless giallos from The Eccentric Grandfather [from the old country, whom your parents never wanted you to talk to at family functions] Of Horror. Uncut and uncensored! I'm lame and lazy; I like BLACK SUNDAY the most, which is like picking SEVEN SAMURAI as your favorite Kurosawa/samurai movie.

Grounded for Life - Season 1
Grounded for Life - Season 2
Grounded for Life - Season 3
Grounded for Life - Season 4
I'm not sure why I enjoy this show so much -- it's definitely a TV sitcom, but the cast is impressively balanced [only the younger children fail to hold their own, which is actually welcome in a field of nauseatingly precocious child characters] and the humor is often edgy and unsentimental [admittedly, by TV sitcom standards]. I think it's the almost surgical precision of the writing; in a show that regularly leapfrogs from one flashback scene to another to a flashback within a flashback, the viewer is never lost, bored or confused. It could easily be that GROUNDED is just a slightly above-average sitcom elevated by its bravura editing, but I still like it.

The Herzog/Kinski Collection
Unconnected to each other as the films are, I think they need to be viewed in the context of Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski's relationship to be fulled appreciated. This set includes all of their collaborations, as well as a fine documentary that fails honorably to put a bow on that work; that story is clearly too big, too intimate, too everything for any film to fully embrace. I'm miffed that the English-version disk of NOSFERATU was dropped for this set, but not enough to actually buy that edition.