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Best DVDs of 2000 The DVD Talk List
by Geoffrey Kleinman

Best DVDs of 2000 The DVD Talk List - Geoffrey Kleinman
2000 was a fantastic year for DVD. We saw a number of studios wake up to the needs of DVD users and put out DVDs that in 1999 we could only have dreamed of. Our DVD Talk Reviewers have each written their Top DVDs of 2000 list. We encourage you to read them all and find out about some of the amazing DVDs you may have missed this past year.

Chuck Arrington
Aaron Beierle
Brian R. Boisvert
G. Noel Gross
Chris Hughes
Gil Jawetz
Blake Kunisch

Here is the DVD Talk Top DVDs of 2000 list:

1) The Ultimate Toy Box
When I first put the Toy Story 2 DVD in my player, my jaw literally dropped. Not only was the DVD picture better than when I saw it in the movie theater, it blew away even my most prized and cherished reference DVDs. As a complete package I don't think any other DVD release in 2000 came close to providing the home theater experience of this collection. At every turn The Ultimate Toy Box surprised and delighted me, and it's a collection that I'll watch again and again.

2) Fight Club
When Fight Club first came out my initial reaction was a pretty critical one. If you had told me then that it would rank as my #2 pick for 2000, I would have probably laughed. But as I now tell people - Fight Club simply grows on you. Both the movie and the DVD are dense and there's no possible way you can take it all in the first time around, but over time the genius of this DVD comes to light. Fight Club (like The Matrix) is one of my go-to DVDs, when I can't figure out what to watch or I want to revisit a DVD. Fight Club has found its way on to that exclusive short list.

3) T-2 The Ultimate Edition
Quite simply T-2 The Ultimate Edition IS a film school on a disc. Never have I seen more indepth information on the making of a film than I have on this DVD. While T-2 is not my favorite movie in the world, the process of making this movie is fascinating, and I found that I enjoyed the window into that process even more than the film itself. If you were to watch and read everything on this DVD, it could take you the better part of two weeks!

4) Se7en
For many years the only way to see Se7en on DVD was a non-anamorphic, grainy, flipper disc. It was simply awful. Well this year David Fincher revisited one of his prized films and did it so well that it made its way to number 4 on our top 10 list! With a film transfer to die for, plus DTS audio that sounds so real and so enveloping, this 2 DVD collection is simply a treat.

5) The Abyss Special Edition
The Abyss:SE marked a key turning point for Fox. Throughout 1999 they were criticized for their DVD product and The Abyss was a clear and deciding response to all the DVD customers' complaints. From top to bottom The Abyss is a class act, with everything from fantastic menu design, a boat load of features and one of the best making-of documentaries this year.

6) North by Northwest
While he was alive, Hitchcock made a lot of movies, and in 2000 a lot of his movies made it onto DVD. Some of them, like The Birds and Marnie, were given great treatments by Universal, while others like 39 Steps were butchered by lesser-known labels. Of all the Hitchcock films released in 2000 none came even close to the bang-up job that Warner Brothers did on North by Northwest. I have long loved this film and have seen it on both film and television - never has it even remotely looked as fantastic as it does on this DVD.

7) Chicken Run
Dreamworks made it quite clear in 2000 that they would be a significant force in DVD. Many reviewers have put Dreamwork's Gladiator on their top 10 list this year, but we did not. While it was an excellent DVD, the movie just doesn't hold up to repeat viewings and after all, isn't that why you buy DVDs?!? Chicken Run, however, does hold up amazingly well after repeat viewings. It's an excellent DVD with a fantastic film transfer, an excellent DTS audio track, and entertaining extras and making of featurettes. Chicken Run represents the masterful work done by Dreamworks in 2000.

8) Walking with Dinosaurs
Leave it to the Brits to raise the bar for television programming. Walking With Dinosaurs was by far one of the best things I watched in 2000. How can something so entertaining be so damn educational? The magic here is the connection that you make with these dinosaurs. Walking With Dinosaurs creates their world so compellingly that they come close to out-classing even Jurassic Park... (well at least Jurassic Park 2).

9) Beastie Boys DVD Anthology - Criterion Collection
There were a lot of raised eyebrows when Criterion announced that their 100th DVD release would be a Video Anthology from The Bestie Boys. But, oh what a collaboration! Way, way, way ahead of its time, Beastie Boys DVD Anthology explores the boundaries of a music DVD and represents the world of the possible on DVD. With over 100 video angles and 40 audio mixes, Beastie Boys DVD Anthology is never the same DVD twice.

10) Princess Mononoke
Originally planned to be released without its original Japanese language track, Buena Vista Home Entertainment stopped dead in their tracks after a petition of DVD Talk Members urged them to reconsider this release. Buena Vista listened and the result is simply a fantastic DVD which includes both the English and original Japanese audio. Simply stunning, this film is the Japanese animated equivalent to Star Wars, complete with epic struggles and archetypal characters that you'll not soon forget. Watch it in both English and Japanese for two very different experiences and one of the most poignant illustrations about why people should move from VHS to DVD.


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