Notable DVDs of 2008

 

This was a tense year for the DVD business, with sales of standard-definition discs declining and the market for the new, high-definition Blu-ray discs slow to take off. Still, the DVD divisions of the major studios, along with a growing group of dedicated independents, have continued to unearth treasures from the recesses of Hollywood vaults and international archives.

In the industry this segment of the market is known as “deep library,” to distinguish it from the shallow library of more exploitable, more recent films that stock the budget racks at supermarkets and drugstores. The deep titles represent riskier propositions than rereleasing “The Terminator” for the 12th time, and it’s hard to imagine there’s much of a profit margin (if any) for a major archival effort like 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment’s magnificent “Murnau, Borzage and Fox” box set.

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