Top Ten DVDs of 2000
Without question, 2000 was the best year to date enjoyed by DVD. Choosing a
"best of the year" list is never easy but it was made even more difficult by
the wealth of extraordinary releases in 2000; there are many titles that
didn't make the cut that would have easily have landed in the top 5 for any
prior year. Let's hope that 2001 is even better.
One note about some of my choices: the appearance of two multi-title boxed
sets in the Top Ten felt a little unfair to me, as it seemed those packages
had an unfair advantage. After all, if we'd seen a T2/Abyss
set, a Fight Club/Se7en box, or even a
Magnolia/Boogie Nights combo, those releases would have been
I considered omitting sets that included more than one movie but felt that
also wouldn't be right since these efforts are so terrific. Ultimately I
established some minor criteria for how I would rank multiple movie
packages. First, the box had to feature information that wasn't available
separately. Some sets simply combine releases that are sold individually;
for example, there's no material you'll find in the James Bond DVDs that
isn't available in the solo DVDs.
Second, I ranked the boxes based on where they would have rated had they
been available on their own but all of the supplements were put into that
release. In other words, I looked at the DVD and imagined that all of the
extras in the box were put into a solo release. What spot would each movie
earn if release on its own? Based on that consideration, I placed the sets
into specific places in my Top Ten.
Confusing? Probably, but I put a lot of thought into this list and want my
criteria to be public. That said, here are my choices for the top DVDs of
Colin Jacobson, Senior Reviewer
1. THE ULTIMATE TOY BOX (A+/A/A+)
The greatest DVD release to date? Yup. Both films are exceedingly terrific
and stand as some of the all-time best material released through Disney. As
for the DVD, they both look and sound amazing. With many, many hours of
compelling extras, the Ultimate Toy Box is a monumental achievement; I hope
something tops it in 2001, but I have a hard time imagining such a scenario.
TERMINATOR 2: The Ultimate Edition (A-/A/A+)
If you're bold enough to call a DVD the "Ultimate Edition", you'd
better back that up with quality material, and Artisan do so with this
amazing package. Boasting three different versions of T2, the choice
of Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS 5.1 audio, almost all of the supplements found
in the legendary laserdisc set plus a slew of newly-added materials, this
DVD sets a high standard for special edition packages.
FIGHT CLUB: Special Edition (A/A/A+)
Do believe the hype. The DVD of Fight Club has received an
apparently-endless supply of plaudits, and virtually all of them are
deserved. From the four audio commentaries to the more than two hours of
video footage on the second DVD, this sucker packs in a wealth of
information and does so with style and verve.
THE ABYSS: Special Edition (A/A-/A+)
From the excellent picture, very good sound and monumental complement of
extras, The Abyss is a DVD that effectively improves upon a solid
laserdisc set. Like T2, we get virtually everything that appeared on
the old LD, but Abyss adds Dolby Digital 5.1 sound plus the ability
to watch either the original theatrical version of the movie or the (much
better) special edition cut.
SE7EN: Platinum Series (A/A-/A)
It pains me to place Se7en this far down on my list simply because I
so love the film; it remains one of my all-time favorite movies. However,
this list rates the Top Ten DVDs, not the best films, so Se7en is
five. Not that fifth place is anything to be ashamed of, especially in this
year's crop of great releases. This new DVD offers excellent picture and
sound plus a slew of solid extras and is a "must have" release.
THE FANTASIA ANTHOLOGY (A-/A-/A+)
Although I respect the 1940 Fantasia, it remains a less-than-exciting
film for me. On the other hand, I rather enjoyed Fantasia 2000,
which I felt provided a more compelling experience. Agree or disagree with
those assessments, the Fantasia Anthology treats both movies well and
creates a terrific DVD experience. The picture and sound quality of each is
strong, and the supplements provide a wealth of great information.
Animation fans will love this set.
THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS: Special Edition (A+/A-/A)
release of Nightmare offered fine picture and sound but skimped on
extras. That's not the case with this new package, which provides a
wonderful batch of supplements in addition to the same excellent picture.
We get one nice addition in the sound department: you can choose from the
Dolby Digital 5.1 mix of the original DVD or a DTS 5.1 track. It's a
terrific little disc.
TARZAN: Collector's Edition (A/A-/A)
In many years, a package as good as this would be an easy number
one, but not in 2000, when the competition has been stiff. The DVD offers
terrific picture and sound plus a complement of solid supplements. Oh, and
the movie's darned entertaining as well; in fact, it seems to get better
every time I see it.
INDEPENDENCE DAY: Special Edition (A-/A/A-)
Long-time DVD fans will remember the frequent cries of "Fox sucks!" heard on
newsgroups and forums worldwide. You don't hear that refrain much any more,
as Fox currently produce some of the best DVDs on the market. ID
presents a terrific package, with a fun movie that features a fine picture,
stellar sound, and a nice collection of extras.
TITUS: Special Edition (A-/A-/A-)
Yes, it's another stellar DVD from Fox. The movie itself was
surprisingly compelling and exciting, and the DVD presents it well. The
supplements make for a nice package; although two of the three audio
commentaries are weak, the other seems excellent, and some of the video
programs on the second DVD are terrific as well.