DVD Critics pick a 'Super' set


Warner Home Video's "Superman Ultimate Collector's Edition" boxed set won top honors Monday as best of show at the third annual DVD Critics Awards: The Perfect Ten in Century City.

The awards were bestowed at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza as part of the sixth annual Home Entertainment Summit: DVD & Beyond, produced by Home Media Magazine and DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group in cooperation with The Hollywood Reporter and the Entertainment Merchants Assn.

The awards, chosen by a panel of critics from newspapers, entertainment magazines and DVD Web sites, honor the top DVDs released in 2006, based on DVD presentation criteria.

The 14-disc "Superman" set includes special editions of all five theatrical "Superman" features, plus director's cuts of the first two films, behind-the-scenes featurettes and retrospective documentaries.

Warner also won for Ultimate Collector's Editions that celebrated the 50th anniversaries of two classic films: "The Searchers" won for best classic/catalog DVD, while "Forbidden Planet" earned the award for best special features/bonus materials.

The two-disc "Forbidden Planet" set came packaged in a collectible tin with a toy replica of the movie's famed Robby the Robot, plus historical documentaries and the film "The Invisible Boy," which also featured Robby.

Best theatrical DVD went to "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," from Buena Vista Home Entertainment, which also scored the best animated DVD award with Platinum editions of "Lady and the Tramp" and "The Little Mermaid."

The best nontheatrical DVD award was split between Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's "Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children," named best direct-to-video title, and HBO Video's Spike Lee documentary "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts," about New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which earned best non-DTV title.

Best nonfiction DVD honors went to Genius Products' "Wordplay," while 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment's "Kingdom of Heaven" won for best director's cut/extended cut.

MGM's four volumes of the "James Bond Ultimate Edition," containing two-disc sets of the first 20 Bond films, won for best DVD collection/multidisc set.

"Six Feet Under: The Complete Series," from HBO Video, earned best packaging for its box, which uses artificial grass to mimic a grave.

Two other complete series sets tied for the best TV DVD award: Fox's "M*A*S*H: The Martinis & Medicine Collection" and Time Life/HBO Video's "Get Smart: The Complete Series."

Amy Jo Smith, executive director of DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, received the fifth annual DVD Visionary Award for tirelessly promoting the DVD format and digital entertainment in general.

The Home Entertainment Summit: DVD & Beyond continues Tuesday.