How much do we love the DVD for Jeffrey Blitz’s sparkling kiddie-competition documentary? We’ll spell it out for you: It’s F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C!
2. THE MAN IN MY BASEMENT, BY WALTER MOSLEY
A moody, haunting, racially charged page-turner of a mystery from the creator of Easy Rawlins.
3. THE NOTE
Compiled by staffers at ABC News, this daily rundown of campaign-trail highlights is wittily informative — and refreshingly informal: http://abcnews.go. com/sections/politics/TheNote/TheNote.html
4. AILEEN: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF A SERIAL KILLER
If Charlize Theron gives you the willies in Monster, check out the real thing in Nick Broomfield’s chilling documentary.
5. TALKIE WALKIE, AIR
Being French, this duo knows a thing or two about atmosphere — their lush sounds hang in the air like the smoke in an after-hours club.
6. SUSIE ESSMAN IN ‘CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM’
As Jeff’s sweatshirt-hawking, dominatrix-getup-sporting better half on the HBO show, this hilariously foul-mouthed lady is welcome to ”pop in” to our heads anytime.
7. WHEELS OF FORTUNE, THE FLATLANDERS
The legendary Texas-based songwriting trio returns with a passionate, revelatory bit of country whimsy.
8. THE RULES OF THE GAME
Jean Renoir’s gloriously shot 1939 social-class farce shines even brighter on this exceptional extras-packed DVD.
9. NFL STREET
”Blue 37! Blue 37!” EA’s pro-football videogame features seven-on-seven contests in nonstadium settings. Alas, you can put them on a tranquil beach and the New York Giants still stink.
10. NATHAN LANE IN ‘DISNEY’S TEACHER’S PET’
He’s a bit ruff around the edges, but Lane charms as a hyperactive canine who sings and cracks wise.