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100-91 | 90-81 | 80-71 | 70-61 | 60-51 | 50-41 | 40-31 | 30-21 | 20 - 11 | 10 - 1


100) Any Given Sunday
DVD release: 9/1/00, Film: 1999, Warner Bros. Pictures

I was always of the opinion that if a film was made about professional sports (or college sports, for that matter), creating a fictitious team would hurt the film's credibility. In Any Given Sunday, Oliver Stone takes you into the world of professional football with a look at the Miami Sharks team (never heard of them?). Perhaps the fact that Stone doesn't choose an actual organization helps the film, with its offbeat look at pro sports. Any Given Sunday is bold and loud, Stone's directing style is always there. Some strong performances from a strangely-mixed cast (think Oscar winners meet the UPN network's stars) help the film and overall it's entertaining. The DVD release from Warner contains a couple of music videos
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99) JFK: Special Edition
DVD release: 1/6/01, Film: 1991, 20th Century Fox

Hmm...two Oliver Stone films in the last two spots of the Top 100? Oliver Stone smells a conspiracy. Stone's most conspiracy-laden film JFK was re-released as a 2-disc set as part of last winter's Oliver Stone Collection. With its Stone-esque running time of 223 minutes, the two discs are a necessity for this epic-length star-studded drama. Stone provides an audio commentary, and there are two documentaries, interviews, and extended footage. Plus there's new documents that supposedly help Stone's conspiracy theory. Unfortunately, Warner did not include any clips of Will Ferrell impersonating the unusual director.
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98) Clerks: Collector's Series
DVD release: 6/29/99, Film: 1994, Miramax Pictures

One of a handful of Kevin Smith film DVDs to make the cut, Clerks is the first full-length work of the director. The overpriced DVD contains a commentary from Smith and company, deleted scenes, an alternate ending, and a music video. This cult favorite is characteristic of Smith's filmmaking - underachieving characters and a loose storyline filled with profane humor and explicit sexual talk. You either love it or hate it, and his extreme style is ultra-present in this one so you'll have no trouble making up your mind. Made for just $27,000 Clerks' success story is not quite Blair Witch Project, but nevertheless a good example of an independent film making it big.
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97) American Pie: Ultimate Edition (Unrated)
DVD release: 11/21/00, Film: 1999, Universal Pictures

In the summer of 1999, the gross out teen comedy American Pie was a huge box office sensation. It was released as a Collector's Edition in both Rated and Unrated Versions. Then came the Ultimate Edition. Only there was two of them - again, Rated and Unrated. No, apparently Universal did not see the irony in releasing two Ultimate Editions and now, the financially successful sequel will be released in January in widescreen Unrated, widescreen Rated, fullscreen Unrated, and fullscreen Rated flavors. And then I'm sure we will see Ultimate Editions of AP2 pairing together the widescreen and fullscreen versions. Oh, brother. Anyway, the Unrated Ultimate Edition of the original American Pie seems to be the way to go for the extended pie-humping scene and extras. Of course, for the American Pie completist out there, life is rough.
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96) Silence of the Lambs: Criterion Collection
DVD release: 7/3/01, Film: 1991, MGM, Criterion

In 1991, Jonathan Demme's mystery/suspense/drama film The Silence of the Lambs performed a clean sweep at the Academy Awards, picking up accolades in the Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Director categories. While it should be stated that 1991 was a rather weak year for movies, that does not change the fact that Silence was immensely praised upon its release. Well-crafted, certainly, with some good performances thrown in. But honestly, I do not see what all the fuss is about. There is a better film that deals with the same concept of tracking down a twisted serial killer that is among the Top 5 DVDs listed, and that film got stiffed at the Oscars and is certainly nowhere to be found on the American Film Insitute's list. I won't go as far to say that Silence is a terrible movie--it's not--but I will not hide the fact that I feel it's grossly overrated. That being said, this Criterion DVD release is out-of-print. It was a nice release for a well-received film, but then it went out-of-print and its value (both financial and the sentimental worth to its owners) drastically increased. For a time, the only alternative to this was the menu-less barebones Orion DVD. This past summer, MGM released its own Special Edition for the film, but without those Criterion supplements which the studio could not license. People still prefer this release, but you will undoubtedly have a difficult time tracking one down and/or affording it.
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95) The Emperor's New Groove: Ultimate Groove
DVD release: 5/1/01, Film: 2000, Walt Disney Pictures

The Emperor's New Groove is a welcome break from the traditional Disney animated epic of songs and triumphing over an evil villain. In fact, this lighthearted comedy is one of the most refreshing films in recent memory. Originally intended to be a serious epic called Kingdom of the Sun with Sting doing songs, the film gradually turned into a silly buddy comedy which loses all the Sting songs but one (the credits theme). Relying on a mixture of visual comedy and clever dialogue, Emperor's New Groove is a smart film that does not take itself too seriously, and it's more enjoyable than Shrek, which attempted the same kind of thing. Much of where the movie succeeds is in its voice cast, which includes David Spade's brand of humor and Patrick Warburton in an hilarious turn (is this guy ever NOT funny?!). The traditional 2-D animation is perfectly conveyed in a flawless video transfer, and the 5.1 DD and DTS tracks will give your system a surprising workout. The extras on Disc 2 take you into the studio to see how the film was made, and while the quantity of supplements is a bit underwhelming, the DVD-ROM game demo and an entertaining audio commentary on Disc 1 make up for it. Far from being a blockbuster in theaters, The Emperor's New Groove is a silly romp with an excellent DVD release. Check it out if you haven't yet.
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94) The Goonies: Special Edition
DVD release: 9/12/00, Film: 1985, Warner Bros. Pictures

If you grew up in the Awesome 80's (and really, who didn't?!), then you surely must know (in addition to the whereabouts of the beef, that bustin' makes you feel good, and that sometimes you just say no) that Goonies never say die. They sure do not. Warner avoided a significant catastrophe when Goonies director Richard Donner (whose best film to this day remains Scrooged) stepped in and insisted that the DVD be the widescreen version of his 1986 film and not some butchered pan-and-scan version. Which makes sense, since a Special Edition of a film should have the whole film and not just the middle 50%. Anyhow, the DVD also includes commentary from the kids today, so you Corey Haim fans have no reason NOT to buy this DVD and put it next to National Lampoon's Class Reunion. You can even watch the commentary with split screen to see the cast and director talking. Nice.
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93) The Fifth Element
DVD release: 12/9/97, Film: 1997, Columbia TriStar Pictures

Had there been only one definitive release of the 1997 sci-fi/action thriller The Fifth Element, it would have been placed among the Top 40 DVDs. As it is though, there are three different versions that received votes. This, Columbia TriStar's initial Region 1 effort garnered the most votes, with its spectacular video transfer and impressive audio mix. Columbia TriStar's mother must never have told it not to fix something that's not broken, as a few months ago, Columbia TriStar attempted to remove the minimal extras that were on the disc, increase capacity to a dual-layered DVD, raise the price and slap Superbits on the cover. Some will say that there is a noticeable improvement in video quality, but their best argument is a screencapture that is zoomed in three times. Still if a person wants the optimum video and audio quality for a film and is willing to pay more, and to sacrifice extras, then I have no problem with them doing that. The Region 2 Special Edition release of Fifth Element also racked up some votes. It would appear that this film could really use a 2-disc definitive DVD release (dare I say Ultimate Edition for a non-Universal title?), but with Luc Besson's alleged disbelief in extras, it does not appear to happen anytime soon. The results would indicate your best bet is to pick up this release, the original Region 1 disc, which can be had for $15 in most stores.
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92) The Rocky Horror Picture Show
DVD release: 5/1/01, Film: 1975, 20th Century Fox

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91) Aliens: Special Edition
DVD release: 6/1/99, Film: 1986, 20th Century Fox

There is a certain irony in the fact that while there are four James Cameron films that make this Top 100 DVDs list, the one that garnered the most awards and by whose financial success we measure box office intakes is nowhere to be seen. But enough about Titanic (Paramount missed the mark with its underachieving DVD there). After directing The Terminator, Cameron turned his attentions to Aliens, the sequel to Ridley Scott's 1979 sci-fi epic. One of the rare cases when the sequel lives up to the original (Cameron's T2 is another one of few able to do this), Aliens is every bit as intense and exciting as the original. This Fox DVD restores 17 minutes to the film's running time in addition to a handful of extras plus a wonderful transfer and DD track.
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100-91 | 90-81 | 80-71 | 70-61 | 60-51 | 50-41 | 40-31 | 30-21 | 20 - 11 | 10 - 1
About the Top 100 DVDs Census
Alphabetical Listing of Top 100 DVDs
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