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Old 12-29-03, 03:55 PM
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DVD Talk Top DVDs of 2003 Feedback

This year we've got a real treat for you. The DVD Talk Review Staff have come together to bring you a myriad of Top DVD lists for 2003. These lists go way beyond your traditional top lists and include top DVDs in a wide variety of categories including: Adult, Animation, Documentaries, Anime, Gadgets, Off The Beaten Path, Overlooked, Sound, Special Features, and Sports. If that's not enough, our columnists have come up with their lists of top DVDs: DVD Savant's The Most Impressive DVDs of 2003, CineSchlock-O-Rama's The Best of Schlock 2003
Cinema Gotham's Top New York DVDs , The Aisle View Top Ten Theatrical Films of 2003 and
The Blue Room Top Adult DVDs. To round out our coverage of the top DVDs of '03 the DVD Talk Review Staff collectively voted for the definitive DVD Talk Top Twenty DVDs of 2003!
<hr>
We'd love to hear your feedback on our top DVD lists!

Happy New Year
Geoff
Old 12-29-03, 05:40 PM
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Pretty good stuff. I think you've done the main list a disservice with the omission of Babylon 5's 3rd season form the Top 20 (I see it's a runner up). I'm go ahead and make the presumptuous assumption that this comes from ignorance, in that not all the reviewers have seen it. If that's not the case, uh oh. There's a reason it received DVD Talk Collector Series honors, something only Season 6 of Deep Space Nine deserved, and neither season of Alias merited. Don't get me wrong ... I love Alias, but it just doesn't compare. Years from now Babylon 5 will still be the series that reinvented the way science fiction television (and really, all genre television) could be presented, represented most strongly in its incredible 3rd season. Alias will simply be a kickass show we fondly remember. Sure, one's a lot more mainstream than the other, but we all know that quality is not dictated by popularity. Add in the significantly better DVD video treatment Warner gave this season and plenty of wonderful extras, and you have one of the best DVD releases of the year.

I know it's all opinion, and I certainly don't agree with all your choices, but I think in this specific instance, you guys made a pretty glaring error. Hey, you asked for feedback.

As for the rest, pretty good, although the "gadgets" list is an odd choice. The Lord of the Rings sets are, as it says, the new standard for DVD, so that's a no brainer. You may want to directly link Aaron's review of The Two Towers as well, since it gives an alternate perspective to Holly (new to the series with the films vs. very familiar with the literature).

Anyway, thanks to all for the hard work.

das

Last edited by das Monkey; 12-29-03 at 06:06 PM.
Old 12-29-03, 06:47 PM
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TV series are tricky because you really need to be into the entire series to appreciate a particular season. Plus, as you said, a lot of people haven't seen Babylon5. I'm guessing some reviewers voted for DS9 based on part of the series or on the comprehensiveness of doing an entire season in one year. I've seen neither and voted for neither, so I can't say. I did vote for Alias, however, based on the first season which was one of my favorite sets of the year, especially since it was my first look at the show and I marathoned it through the entire box.

And you know, I've noticed you're pretty prolific in TV Talk. You could always become a TV on DVD reviewer and do your own list next year!
Old 12-29-03, 06:51 PM
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Originally posted by Gil Jawetz
And you know, I've noticed you're pretty prolific in TV Talk. You could always become a TV on DVD reviewer and do your own list next year!
das would get my vote. If you're ever interested, definitely let Geoff know...
Old 12-30-03, 12:38 PM
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Stuart Galbraith IV in Top Ten DVDs You Won't Find On Any Other Top Ten List in 2003 mistakenly lists Shockwaves from Blue Underground. This was actually one of Blue Underground's initial releases on 3 September 2002, thus, it should not be included in any 2003 list.
Old 12-30-03, 05:57 PM
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Thanks to all the DVD Talk Review Staff for your efforts - not only on the Top DVD's of 2003 Lists - but throughout the year!

Thanks in particular to John Sinnott for his "Overlooked" list; I've slotted both War & Peace and Lone Wolf & Cub for near-future purchases.

Thanks too to John Wallis for his review of The Legend of Suriyothai. I never got around to seeing it during its brief run in theaters and would have forgotten about it completely if not for his review. Spurred on by his review, I did a little research into other historical war epics from Asia and came across both Musa: The Warrior and Hero (though I'd seen mention of Hero in the International Forum I never really paid much attention to it and didn't know what the film was about). I've now watched both Musa and Hero and thought they were outstanding (instant all-time favorites for me)! So thanks John for the first piece of the puzzle which led me to these fine films much sooner rather than later (whenever Hero hits the big screen here in the U.S.).
Old 12-30-03, 08:31 PM
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...assuming Miramax doesn't butcher Hero first. I was just at a party talking with some martial arts film fans and we all agreed: Hero can't come fast enough.
Old 12-30-03, 08:48 PM
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Two words,

FAMILY GUY!

Why was this set blatently brushed aside? Great commentaries. Good quality on the 2nd set, and probably the most bought tv series on dvd this year!
Old 12-30-03, 10:54 PM
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I think you forgot to include the Director's Label series DVDs. Heck, you even gave all 3 of them "DVD Talk Collector's Series" status, and yet there is no mention of these discs, not even in the runners up catagory. The amazing quality of the content, combined with a large quantity of it (except for the Cunningham DVD, but that's acceptable), not to mention the excellent interview/essay books that are included with each DVD, plus their very low price (you can get all 3 at $10 each using Amazon.com STL) makes them the best value of the year IMO. Top that off with the amazing replay value these discs have (I've watched the Gondry disc more times than any other DVD I own) and I personally feel that they are the best releases of the year.
Old 12-30-03, 11:35 PM
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Originally posted by lmcalist
Two words, FAMILY GUY!
I offered one of my fellow reviewers the chance to offer a "second opinion" to my animation list, because he suggested "Family Guy," too. He didn't take me up on it, though.

Me, I've never liked "Family Guy"--I find it derivative and shrill.
Old 12-31-03, 12:10 AM
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Originally posted by MuTajiri
I think you forgot to include the Director's Label series DVDs. Heck, you even gave all 3 of them "DVD Talk Collector's Series" status, and yet there is no mention of these discs, not even in the runners up catagory. The amazing quality of the content, combined with a large quantity of it (except for the Cunningham DVD, but that's acceptable), not to mention the excellent interview/essay books that are included with each DVD, plus their very low price (you can get all 3 at $10 each using Amazon.com STL) makes them the best value of the year IMO. Top that off with the amazing replay value these discs have (I've watched the Gondry disc more times than any other DVD I own) and I personally feel that they are the best releases of the year.
Hey, I pushed for 'em big time, but that's probably because I wrote the reviews. Keep in mind, the other reviewers here can only base their opinions on DVDs they've seen. These came out later in the year, probably too late to build any momentum (since most reviewers here are swamped with their own screeners). As it stands, they'll just have to be represented by the glowing reviews I gave 'em. Thanks for the feedback, though...it's great to hear some more support for these awesome DVDs!

I did sneak the Chris Cunningham one into my Best Sound list, though.
Old 12-31-03, 12:07 PM
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I would have liked to have seen a Best Concert dvd list (and how could you all forget the great led zeppelin 2 disc set in any of your lists
Old 12-31-03, 12:14 PM
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Originally posted by Rypro 525
I would have liked to have seen a Best Concert dvd list.
The whole idea of theme lists is new for us, so this is a maiden voyage. I hope we've covered some interesting topics, but I'm sure we've missed some potentially cool themes. We'll use ideas like yours when we devise our lists next year. "Best Concerts" is a great idea, or at least "Best Music DVDs."

What does everyone think of the theme idea in general?
Old 12-31-03, 05:30 PM
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I'm glad that Treasure Planet got a mention in the top Animated list.

Here's an under-appreciated gem if there ever was one. A stunning disappointment at the box office, Treasure Planet offered a soaring concept Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island in space! Best of all, the film fully lived up to its imagery potential, showcasing exquisite hand-drawn animation alongside breathtaking CG animation.
Hopefully great reports such as this, will get some people to pick up the DVD and discover one of Disney's very best efforts.
Old 12-31-03, 05:31 PM
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.. and I would support the idea of a Best "Live In Concert" list.
Old 12-31-03, 11:51 PM
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Why didn't Black Hawk Down make the top 10 dvds of the year?
Old 01-01-04, 12:50 AM
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Originally posted by RyoHazuki7
Why didn't Black Hawk Down make the top 10 dvds of the year?
It made #13 in our comprehensive Top 20. That's not too bad.
Old 01-01-04, 09:31 AM
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Quoth Adam Tyner <HR SIZE=1>das would get my vote. If you're ever interested, definitely let Geoff know... <HR SIZE=1>

Hehe. Thanks for the vote of confidence guys, but I've volunteered to write reviews for DVD Talk on two separate occasions and was completely ignored, so I guess that's that. It's probably for the best, though ... you guys don't need the added controversy.

Anyway, not to pile it on (and I didn't mention this before, because I wanted to make sure before saying so), but another unfortunate omission is The Ultimate Ric Flair Collection. Before you laugh, I'm sure you're a fan of at least one thing that is unfairly looked down upon -- anime, pr0n, musicals, science fiction, horror, the Yankees -- and professional wrestling is no different. Just because some people don't "get it," doesn't make it any less valid, and if you know anything about the sport/entertainment, you know that Ric Flair is the icon. Jordan, Gretzky, Ali, Pele, Jesus ... Flair. I'm not going to write a review here, but this 3-disc set is packed with enough complete matches and promos and rare footage and easter eggs to pay fitting tribute to one of the greatest entertainers of all time, all intercut with current interview footage with the man himself setting up the content and revealing his true feelings about the various situations. The way they've set this thing up, you can just watch it straight through like one long documentary, showing important interviews woven in with the matches, or you can delve deeper into each major event, watching clips from the matches and promos leading up to and following the event. It's really a kickass DVD.

I can easily see why it didn't make the Sports list (first, some would argue it's not sport; second, no one at DVD Talk even reviewed the thing to begin with), so I'm not really complaining. But since people may look to this thread for ideas of the year's best DVDs that didn't make the DVD Talk lists, I feel I should note its greatness here. While it won't have universal appeal (a lot of people simply don't like professional wrestling), for fans of the "sport," this is easily one of the best and most aniticpated DVDs of the year. I think I read somewhere that the first pressing sold out in 2 days. I know I couldn't find the damn thing anywhere in Atlanta just the day after its release.

Well, there you have it.

On the topic of the theme lists, I like them. Obviously, I think there should be a TV on DVD list, especially considering how huge it's becoming. Also, I like the idea of a concerts or music list. Another idea would be perhaps foreign DVDs? Good concept, though. There's just too much variety being released to try to encapsulate it all into a simple "Top 20" list. Separating it out allows you to recognize different kinds of greatness. You probably don't want to go this way, but a "Worst" list could be fun.

das
Old 01-01-04, 11:50 AM
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Originally posted by das Monkey
It's probably for the best, though ... you guys don't need the added controversy.

On the topic of the theme lists, I like them. Obviously, I think there should be a TV on DVD list, especially considering how huge it's becoming. Also, I like the idea of a concerts or music list. Another idea would be perhaps foreign DVDs? Good concept, though. There's just too much variety being released to try to encapsulate it all into a simple "Top 20" list. Separating it out allows you to recognize different kinds of greatness. You probably don't want to go this way, but a "Worst" list could be fun.

das
Controversy is not always a bad thing. It sure kicks up the number of hits a review gets that might otherwise fade into obscurity.

I like the idea of a TV theme list but the problem would be that only a handful of us review TV boxed sets and we tend to get following seasons. That means when the end of the year comes up, the list would result in emails like those above this one, "why didn't..XYZ make the list". It might work for an individual's list, but getting a group that haven't seen the boxed sets in question to rate them strikes me as problematic (I trust Holly, Aaron, Glenn, etc. when it comes to what they thought but that doesn't help me vote for a title I haven't seen). I would've fought for Firefly on such a list but as far as I know, I'm the only one that saw it.

A worst list would probably be far more controversial. After all, aside from the rare praise post we see on the forum, most of the comments are attacks on something we wrote. Without revisiting too much ancient history, if a great movie is given a poor DVD release, is it a candidate for the worst list more than one with limited appeal (on the content) that has great extras? Just a thought as I prepare to review a whole lot of movies...
Old 01-01-04, 11:56 AM
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I would think a "worst" list would have to be based on its DVD treatment, not the film itself. Otherwise, you're just begging for trouble.

Btw, I typed up a long reply to your email, but my computer crashed near the end, and I got so pissed off that I didn't retype it. In short, I pretty much agreed with you.

das
Old 01-01-04, 02:27 PM
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Originally posted by Jason Bovberg
It made #13 in our comprehensive Top 20. That's not too bad.
But yet it got beat out by Spirited Away? Edge enhancement, lack of features. The Dolby Track on BHD was much better. BHD was a better dvd in every catergory.
Old 01-01-04, 03:53 PM
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Originally posted by das Monkey

Anyway, not to pile it on (and I didn't mention this before, because I wanted to make sure before saying so), but another unfortunate omission is The Ultimate Ric Flair Collection. Before you laugh, I'm sure you're a fan of at least one thing that is unfairly looked down upon -- anime, pr0n, musicals, science fiction, horror, the Yankees -- and professional wrestling is no different.
I feel your pain...as one of the only DVD Talk reviewers that appreciates wrestling, I can't say I'm surprised that this got overlooked. Heck, I haven't even seen it yet (DDD still has it on backorder ). This looks to be an awesome release, and a great effort by WWE. I'm also really looking forward to the new 2-disc Mick Foley set in a few weeks.

Last edited by Randy Miller III; 01-01-04 at 03:55 PM.
Old 01-01-04, 04:20 PM
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Originally posted by RyoHazuki7
BHD was a better dvd in every catergory.
Except, perhaps, the quality of the film. That also played a role in our voting.
Old 01-01-04, 05:02 PM
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Agreed. You're comparing a brilliant near-masterpiece against simply a very good movie. If one category is to carry more weight than any other, that's the one.

das
Old 01-01-04, 06:12 PM
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Originally posted by Jason Bovberg
Except, perhaps, the quality of the film. That also played a role in our voting.
So by that standard, BHD is not as good a movie as X-Men 2? Casablanca is not as good as Pirates of the Caribbean?

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