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Top DVDs Of 2002

Posted Tuesday, December 31, 2002 at 5:04 PM Central

by John Couture

It's that time of the year again. They might as well call the last week of the year the week of lists as it's quickly becoming custom for anyone with an opinion to weigh in on what was good and/or bad about the previous 52 weeks.

And since we tend to jump on bandwagons instead of blazing new trails, here's some more lists. The first list is an "experts" list of sorts as TV Guide weighs in on its 10 Best DVDs of 2002. The second list is our own list of DVDs you haven't bought yet, but will after reading this list.

TV Guide's Top 10 DVDs of 2002 10.) The Royal Tenenbaums - not only does it have some great commentary from the actors, but it's a Criterion Collection DVD, which roughly translated means "give us your 50 bucks and admire this DVD." Besides, the cool packaging looks like it was drawn by a 10 year old, and knowing Wes Anderson, it probably was.

9.) Sunset Boulevard - Intellectual lists always have token movies like this one on its list. I can't really figure out why. The bottom line, it's a Paramount disc and they've yet to impress me yet with one of their "Special Editions." If you love the movie, buy it. If you've never heard of the movie, your collection won't be lacking.

8.) Spider-Man - If you're a comic book junkie, skip the basic two disc edition for the mega four disc edition including the Stan Lee documentary Mutants, Monsters And Marvels. If you're not that big into comics, you can't go wrong with the standard two disc edition. And yes, your collection will be lacking without this disc. It's all about the extras and Columbia delivers yet again.

7.) The Last Waltz - Well, it's directed by Martin Scorsese, so that says something. But the bottom line here is that it's a musical concert by a band put out when I was two years old. I might be missing the boat here, but if you're under the age of 30, I'm sure there's better places to spend your DVD dollars.

6.) A Hard Day's Night - Now, the Beatles are classic and a double disc of anything they've done is worth mentioning on any "Best of" list. Take a gamble on this one even if you haven't seen it, the extras alone are worth the investment.

5.) Minority Report - Oh sure, put Cruise and Spielberg's names on the front of the box and they can allure you to buy this sub-par film on DVD. Well, they're right. Actually, the DVD supplemental features are the most in-depth of any Spielberg film to date. If you're even thinking about making a movie, you need to buy this film.

4.) Ice Age - I certainly don't know who Ray Romano has dirt on, but it has to be someone way at the top. The movie was average at best for an animated release. The extras are nice, but certainly not up to the standards set by their animated predecessors.

3.) Monsters, Inc. - Speaking of animated predecessors, this would be one. And it's quite a package and with the top rate cast, it makes for a very enjoyable film for both kids and adults. A solid addition to any DVD collection.

2.) Back To The Future: The Complete Trilogy -Buy this quick and don't let Universal know that you would've paid the same price for each movie in the trilogy. The discs are THAT good. There is a slight framing error in the widescreen editions of the films, but even we're not that mean to get bent out of shape over it.

1.) The Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship Of The Ring - Considering that there's at least three copies of this movie circulating, you've got to wonder if New Line will fix this when it comes time to release The Two Towers. But, we're getting ahead of ourselves. Go out and buy the big fattie edition with the two cool statues (read bookends). It also has over 30 minutes of uncut footage. Rumor has it that it also has over two hours of director Peter Jackson picking his nose buried in an Easter Egg.

Now, this is a list of DVDs you should buy immediately, do not pass "Go."

5.) An Evening With Kevin Smith - Our shameless plug for anything he puts out aside, this disc is packed with all the dirt and comic genius that the DVD buying public deserves.

4.) True Romance - Yes, I know. I bought this movie for the tenth time as well this year. It seems like every other year they come out with a new and improved version of this movie. But trust me, if there was any hesitation, take my word for it. This version blows all the others out of the water. The deleted/extended scenes. The full-length commentary. The alternate ending. It's primo.

3.) Project Greenlight - Another strong HBO entry on our list. If you're curious on how not to make a movie, check this out. Actually, this is a great behind-the-scenes look at the magic of movies. This set includes both the HBO documentary and the movie it spawned, Stolen Summer. Besides, seeing Ben Affleck impersonate Chris Moore is worth the price alone.

2.) Star Wars: Episode II - Attack Of The Clones - George Lucas finally gets it. And this DVD is a great example of what digital filmmaking brings to the table. Sure, the movie had its moments of boredom, but the special effects extravaganza of the last 45 minutes more than makes up for them.

1.) E.T. - Save for the whole digitally removing of the guns thing, this release is hands down the most important DVD get of this year. And you better get it soon, because Universal is pulling a Disney on us and plans to put it on moritorium in January.