The DVD Filter

Army of ShadowsPhoto: Courtesy of the Criterion Collection

Battlestar Galactica: Seasons 2.0 & 2.5
The most politically provocative—and kinkiest—show in space. NR; $69.98.

Music and Lyrics
As a washed-up pop star, wiggling in too-tight pants, Hugh Grant is gloriously shameless. PG-13; $28.98.

The Painted Veil
Don’t miss Edward Norton as a not-so-selfless doctor in China, just because this film got lost in the Oscar shuffle. PG-13; $27.95.

Kidman as Arbus; Downey as Bigfoot. R; $27.98.

Catch & Release
After this, maybe Jennifer Garner should consider using an alias again. PG-13; $28.95.

Cagney & Lacey: Season 1
These lady flatfoots paved the way for Carla Gugino and Mariska Hargitay. NR; $39.98.

Deliver Us From Evil
Amy Berg’s extreme close-up of a pedophile priest. NR; $27.98.

The best reviewed film of 2006 was not The Queen but a movie released in 1969 to jeers: Jean-Pierre Melville’s stunning drama of the French Resistance, Army of Shadows. Now this masterpiece gets a Criterion DVD treatment that deserves those same kind of raves. Most of the extras—including a 1944 documentary short shot on the front lines and archival video interviews with Resistance veterans—are potent reminders of the era’s history, but the best bits explain how painfully personal this film was for the director, a man rightfully known for recherché thrillers (Le Samouraï, Le Cercle Rouge). In one interview, Melville describes how he began with Joseph Kessel’s novel and hints at how he made something much more strange: “I have created a retrospective reverie, a nostalgic pilgrimage back to a period that profoundly marked my generation,” he recalls. “On October 20, 1942, I was 25 years old … I had experienced three years of army life—including one year of war—and two in the Resistance. That marks a man, believe me. The war period was awful, horrible, and … marvelous!” NR; $39.95.

The DVD Filter