1. Superman II – The Richard Donner Cut
--- This was the DVD of the year as far as I was concerned! We *finally* get to experience about 90% of Donner’s original vision for this movie. Only the repetitive ending – which would have been altered if Donner had remained in charge of the franchise --- detracts from the overall assured and confident presentation of this continuation of the Superman mythos. It would’ve been wondrous to have seen this film in 1981!
2. Forbidden Planet Collectors Edition
--- After several years of rumors regarding this title, it finally surfaces in time for its 50th
Anniversary. It was worth the wait! The A/V quality is at least 10 times better than the previously released “bare bones” disc; and the extras are fantastic!!
3. Star Trek: The Animated Series
--- Another long holdout from the DVD format, this was a welcome addition to every Star Trek fans’ DVD collection. And it was great to get both Okuda “Trivia Tracks” and commentary tracks on various episodes! More than the “Fan Favorite” compilations that were released earlier in the year, this release was a worthier way to celebrate Star Trek’s 40th
4. Saturday Night Live: The Complete First Season
--- They’re all here: Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Dan Akroyd, Jane Curtin, Gildna Radner, Laraine Newman, Garrett Morris, and all the rest of the original “Not Ready for Prime Time players” in the complete first season that defined the format. It’s an “instant DVD classic”!!
5. Star Wars Trilogy: The Original, Unaltered, Theatrical cuts
--- OK, I know these are non-anamorphic. And I know they were sourced from the same 1993 D1 master tapes as the laserdiscs. None of that matters. The DVD format would have been forever incomplete if these films had not been available in some form. Let’s get it out of the way fast: The presentation of these cuts is an affront to the historical significance of these films. But as a reference of the way these movies were initially released to the theaters in 1977, 1980, and 1983 they are … better than nothing!!
6. James Bond Ultimate Collections (Volumes I-IV)
– These Lowry-restored discs provide new “pop” and clarity to the Bond films released in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. The restored Goldfinger alone is worth the price of admission.
7. The Little Mermaid Platinum Edition
--- A little bit of a disappointment due to the controversial “Home Theater” audio mix, the disc still delivers in the video portion of the presentation, and the extras include the Disney Theme Park Ride that never was!
8. The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.
(Complete Series) – With this release to the DVD format, you have to feel that there’s still at least a glimmer of hope that we may see the original 1966 Batman series some day! (Or maybe even Maverick??) Seriously, this was perhaps the best single season series ever produced for television, and the A/V quality and abundant supplements do it proud.
– The latest Pixar offering takes a while to get going, but delivers in spades once it does. The DVD presentation is glorious!!
10. M*A*S*H Season 11 and/or the M*A*S*H complete Series Box
--- The entire series is now available on the DVD format. And I still can’t get enough of it!