2001 was an astounding year for DVD. We’ve seen flippers turn into two-disc special editions, movies we never expected to see debut and new titles stuffed with enough fluff to fill a couch cushion. While some studios had background in special editions, Criterion and Fox for example, most were new to the game and some were just trying to exploit consumers for that hard earned buck. All sizzle and no substance is a popular phrase, and unfortunately this seemed to happen more often than not.
The DVD realm has now entered its prime, with virtually every film being released as a “special edition” and now special-special editions, such as Buena Vista’s “Vista Series” and New Line’s “Infinifilm.” Are these really needed? Certainly not. The home video business was doing fine and dandy back in the VHS era, with the small number of cinephiles out there dining on overpriced laserdiscs while the rest of the world remained happily unaware of the pure joy that is the “director commentary track.” Those days are gone and DVD has become an inexpensive medium for the masses that has also opened the doors for smaller films to enjoy wider releases with incredible special features to boot. Those old VHS bootlegs can finally be traded in for high-definition versions, and every year that goes by makes VHS less and less appealing.
What you are about to read is a month-by-month account of what DVD has – or hasn’t – done in the past year. I’ll be serving up a round-up of 2001’s best and worst releases from “The Must Haves”, detailing the best disc(s) of the month, “The Should Have Been” outlining what disc(s) that could have – or should have been done better, and “The Hell No’s” are discs to avoid like Dan Rather’s anthrax-tainted mail.
Let me start by taking you back in time as I offer you a glimpse into the DVD releases that hit the shelves way back in January 2001…
Get the list in the next part of FILM THREAT’S 2001 DVD YEAR IN REVIEW: JAN – FEB>>>