MCN’s Michael Wilmington has assembled a somewhat lengthy but well-chosen list of 2009 DVDs that he considers the year’s 21 best — most of which I agree with. Wings of Desire, Z, Do The Right Thing, North by Northwest, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Wizard of Oz…the usual-usuals.

But surely a key value in determining “best” in this context alludes to high-end appearance. Wilmington should be talking about best looking, best mastered, best restored, etc. But he barely mentions this, focusing instead on the lasting long-view film-bum value of the movies themselves. Which you can get from any greatest-flicks-of-all-time book written by anyone.

And why is Wilmington focusing on DVDs in the first place? Isn’t this a little like writing a piece in 1999 about the best VHS tapes of the year? A sophisticated uptown film hound like Wilmington should be on the Blu-ray beat, period. Has the DVD audience not primarily become dishevelled middle-market and downmarket types who wander about Walmart and Target and Giant stores on Sunday afternoons?