We took votes, we debated those votes, we butted heads. But in the end, all that's left standing is the Amazon.com Movies & TV editors' picks for the Best of 2011... So Far on DVD, Blu-ray, and Instant Video. (Applies to titles released between Jan. 1 and Apr. 30, 2011). Here's a peek at some of our picks:
Tangled (No. 9 for DVD, No. 6 for Blu-ray): Not everyone expected to be delighted by this hilarious take on Rapunzel, but thanks to great comic timing (courtesy of a horse and an oft-used cast-iron pan) and perfectly cast Mandy Moore as the voice of the captured princess who yearns to know what's outside her sheltered world/tower, Tangled became an indelible part of the Disney lore.
Mad Men: Season Four (No. 3 for DVD, No. 5 for Blu-ray): If there's a year this show deserves the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series, it's this season. Jumping off from the previous season's game-changer, the AMC series has reinvigorated itself, and Jon Hamm does his finest acting yet as a man who sinks to his lowest of lows (yet) and makes baby steps toward respecting himself again. (Don't miss the standout episode of the season, "The Suitcase")
Inside Job (No. 8 for DVD): For anyone who knows nothing about economics or real estate, this a documentary that aims to spell out exactly how the financial crisis happened and who's to blame. For anyone who understands economics or real estate, it's like a horror film you can't believe is real.
Piranha 3D (No. 18 in Blu-ray): We're not all highbrow on this list (clearly). Alejandre Aja's remake of the Roger Corman B-movie made the list not just for its Blu-ray 3D effects (much to the chagrin of James Cameron, who decried that films like these are "not what we should be doing" with 3D) but because what it does--deliver cheesetastic gore to the max without pretending to be anything else--it does well.
and finally, our No. 1 pick on DVD and Blu-ray:
The Social Network: We over here think this film deserved Best Picture (Fincher, you wuz robbed!), but no one can argue is that its DVD and Blu-ray features are a Best in Class on how to use your medium. (Not that we considered The King's Speech small beans either; it also made the top 5 in DVD). But between the strength of the film itself; its commentaries by the cast, writer Aaron Sorkin, and director David Fincher; and its feature-length documentary (not to be missed, it's a must for all film buffs); this is the Best DVD or Blu-ray to come out in 2011... So far.
See the rest of our Top 25 on DVD and our Top 25 on Blu-ray, as well as the Top 10 on Instant Video. What are your picks? --Ellen