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Best DVDs of 2002
by Ron Epstein

Ah, Digital Video Discs, one of life's great mysteries… Well okay, actually they're not. I just used that intro because I had nothing better to start this list off with. I really do love DVDs, and I love them even more when there is a good movie or television show on them. Therefore, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings are not on this list, because I didn't like them all that much, no matter how many special features were crammed onto them. Remember, you should buy a DVD for the movie first, and the special features second. The DVDs on this list may not be feature packed, have DTS sound, or have digitally enhanced transfers; but I love them anyways, so back off… Ahem, here are the 10 DVDs that won the coveted Ron Loves It™ award for 2002.

Mr Show - The Complete First and Second Seasons
This is the one DVD set I thought would never be released by HBO, as it was a late night sketch comedy show, with a cult following at best. This set features 10 episodes in total, each with an optional running commentary by Bob, David, and the rest of the cast, that's almost as funny as the episodes themselves. Also included is a best of episode, and tons of television spots. C'mon HBO, bring me Seasons 3 and 4 already!

Memento - Limited Edition
Without a doubt, Memento has the coolest packaging for a 2-disc set I've ever seen. The movie is spectacular, and the special features are fun. The greatest special feature of all, cleverly disguised under a psychiatric profile test on disc two, allows the viewer to watch the movie assembled chronologically. What an awesome job Columbia Tri-Star did on this one.

OZ - The Complete First Season
OZ… The name on the street for the Oswald Maximum Security Penitentiary. Mixing excellent dialogue, story arcs, character development, and excessive violence, it's is my favorite television show of all time. This set includes two commentaries, deleted scenes, a music video, and episodic previews. Keep an eye out for my detailed review of the Season 2 set in 2003.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer - The Complete Second Season
I saw my first episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in January 2002, and was instantly hooked. I ran out and bought the first season on DVD, and anxiously awaited the release of the second season. The second season is nothing short of spectacular, as we are introduced to some of the coolest villains and heroes to grace a television screen. This 6-disc set may not have the greatest video quality, but the commentaries and special featurettes more than make up for it.

True Romance - Unrated Director's Cut
When I heard that Warner Brothers was re-releasing True Romance with a 2-disc Unrated Director's Cut, I was ecstatic. This movie has it all; an incredible cast, a great story, and tons of action. Add to that multiple commentaries, deleted scenes, featurettes, TV spots, and you have one of the most packed DVDs of all time.

Spider-man - Special Edition
The year's biggest blockbuster was also one of the most anticipated DVDs of 2002. Mixing a true-to-comic story and unbelievable special effects, Spider-man made me feel like a kid again when I first saw Batman. Although not having the picture or audio quality of the Star Wars DVD release, Spider-man is still a better movie. The 2-disc set is loaded with commentaries, music videos, TV spots, trailers, featurettes, and other bonuses to keep a DVD enthusiast busy for days.

Back to the Future - The Complete Trilogy
People had been waiting years for the Back to the Future Trilogy to get released on DVD, and unfortunately Universal managed to disappoint the many people who purchased the set with their misframing of Part 2 and 3. Since I really had no problem with it, I am more than happy with my set. The DVDs are stacked with special features too many to list here, and the movies except for Part 3 are tons of fun.

Swingers - Collector's Series
This DVD is so money, baby. Along with Friday and Billy Madison, I must have watched this movie a million times in college. The movie is an absolute riot, as Vince Vaughn steals the show with his hysterical antics. The DVD has commentaries, documentaries, deleted scenes, and more. Although not stacked like other DVD releases this year, it's still a winner.

Pulp Fiction - Collector's Edition
Much like True Romance, I was excited when I learned that a 2-dsc special edition of Pulp Fiction was on the way. The movie is phenomenal, with excellent performances from all the actors (except for Tarantino), and the DVD set is loaded with all sorts of goodies to make it a winner of the Ron Loves It™ Award.

Wet Hot American Summer
Most likely, the most overlooked DVD release of the year, as nobody saw this in it's limited theatrical run, and USA Films did little to promote it. This offbeat comedy made by the people who brought us MTV's The State, is about summer camp, and is a riot. The DVD contains a really enjoyable commentary track, deleted scenes, and an audio track full of farts. What's not to like?

So there you have it. The 10 DVDs released in 2002 that I loved. Who knows who is going to win 2003's Ron Loves It(tm) Award (*cough* OZ, Buffy, The Ring, Signs *cough*)? But let me tell you this, I cannot be bought by any movie studio. So in conclusion, I think Scarface has one of the greatest transfers I've ever seen, and there is no need for Universal, who in no way offered me millions of dollars and a Ferrari to praise the DVD, to re-release it. That would just be silly ;)

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