Michael D's Top 10 DVDs of 1999

    When I was asked to compile this list of the 10 Top DVDs of 1999, I thought the job would be easy, but then I started looking through an alphabetical listing of all of the DVDs released this year, and things got a LOT harder. I could easily come up with a list of 10 great DVDs released this year that started with the letter 'A' alone, but I was restricted to picking the 10 best of the best, so I had to sit down and think about this for quite some time. I thought about all the movies that I had seen on DVD this year, and I thought about the ones that really stood out above all of the rest, whether that be for the storyline, or for the stunning visual imagery, or for the amazing soundtrack, or for a combination of all of these reasons, and I came up with the following list.

    Something that you should keep in mind as you read through the following list is that editorial deadlines necessitated this list being compiled in mid-November. There are still a number of highly anticipated titles coming in the last part of this year which simply cannot be included in this list because of time constraints. Three that spring to mind that are likely to be excellent discs are; Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, The Matrix, and Terminator 2. If they are worthy, these will be included in next year's list.

    So, without further ado, here is my list of the Top 10 DVDs of 1999.

Number 10 - Twister (Universal)

Strap on your safety belt because you're gonna need it. A non-stop thrill ride from go to whoa, the star of this movie is undoubtedly the special effects. Coupled with the stunning and convincing visual imagery is the most amazingly immersive 5.1 soundtrack I have heard to date, one that puts you slap-bang in the middle of each and every tornado and makes you duck and weave with its convincing nature. This is why you upgraded from 'mere' Prologic surround sound to Dolby Digital.

Number 9 - The Mask of Zorro, Special Edition (Columbia Tristar)

If you look in the dictionary under 'swashbuckling', you will see a picture of this DVD. Stunning visual imagery, exciting and immersive audio design and way-over-the-top action combine to provide you with a wonderful way to spend two hours. When you have finished watching the movie, you can then enjoy the several hours of additional material included on this DVD.

Number 8 - A Bug's Life (Buena Vista)

This is the best looking DVD in existence. Period. Taken directly from the digital source files, this transfer has never touched celluloid, and it gives new meaning to the phrases "eye-popping" and "razor sharp". DVD has never looked so good. Your TV has never produced such stunningly clear images.

Number 7 - Little Women (Columbia Tristar)

Little Women? Little Women? That's a chick flick, I hear you thinking. Nothing could be further from the truth. A heartwarming tale told on a glorious, sweeping canvas, Little Women will move you and enthral you. A sensationally good DVD transfer adds to the enjoyment of this stunning motion picture experience. Whatever you do, don't let the title put you off watching this disc.

Number 6 - GoldenEye (MGM)

This is Bond at his over-the-top best, and what better way to enjoy him than on this visually and aurally stunning DVD. When you are done watching him, sit back and let Director Martin Campbell and Producer Michael Wilson tell you all about how they created this movie.

Number 5 - Armageddon (Buena Vista)

This is the quintessential "summer movie". Armageddon is LOUD. Armageddon is BRASH. Armageddon is visually STUNNING. Things EXPLODE. Things CRASH. Plot HOLES go by so FAST and so FREQUENTLY that you don't mind so long as the ACTION keeps coming. And it DOES. And then some. Enjoy the ride.

Number 4 - Babe (Universal)

Babe is a movie that works on several levels - you'll love it, children will love it, small furry creatures will love it. Well, maybe not cats. Watching this on DVD with its vibrant colours shown in their full widescreen glory makes you appreciate this George Miller masterpiece all the more.

Number 3 - The Man In The Iron Mask (MGM)

A moving human drama combines with magnificent cinematography and a fully immersive soundtrack to bring a depth and quality rarely seen to this retelling of the legend of the Three Musketeers. The DVD transfer is exceptional in every way, from the amazingly detailed blacks to the gorgeous greenery of the palace to the vibrant blues and reds of the Musketeers' uniforms.

Number 2 - City of Angels (Warner Bros.)

City of Angels is a profoundly moving and deeply sad love story. Cinematography that is nothing short of amazing is captured in its widescreen glory by this magnificent transfer, and is combined with a subtly but extremely effectively enveloping soundtrack. This is a movie and a DVD that you can enjoy on many levels.

Number 1 - Shakespeare In Love (Universal)

Here is a DVD that has it all! Shakespeare in Love is a wonderfully warm, moving and comical story combined with a video transfer of such rare clarity and perfection that it has to be seen to be believed. Add in a soundtrack that combines music and ambient sound so perfectly together that you are transported completely convincingly back to Elizabethan England and you have an all-time best DVD. Add in the two audio commentaries and the multitude of other extras and you have a DVD of such stunning quality that it will take a long time for this DVD to be bettered.

Ian Morris' Top 10 DVDs of 1999

Ian is Michael D's co-reviewer on Michael D's Region 4 DVD Info Page. We share reviewing duties, and hence Ian and I tend to see different discs unless there is something that we both want to see. Between the two of us, we have seen almost every DVD release that has come out in Region 4.


Tim Burton is god... Great animation, great story, very nicely transferred.

#9: MEET JOE BLACK (Universal) 

There's just something about this film and this transfer that impresses the hell out of me. Great cast, great attention to detail, fine video and audio transfers. Brad Pitt possibly outshining the great Anthony Hopkins - who'd have thunk it?


A revelation for me as far as concert videos go: great video, very good audio and completely watchable over and over

#7 DAS BOOT: THE DIRECTOR'S CUT (Columbia Tristar) 

They do not get much better than this four hour epic as far as authenticity goes and a great job was done on the remastering of this. The lack of a German 5.1 soundtrack hampers the package, though.

#6 ARMAGEDDON (Buena Vista)

Okay the story is not the best, but this is great piece of entertainment (it's been watched more often than any film in my
collection), aided by a very good video and audio transfer.  It's just a pity that we haven't got any extras.

#5 PATCH ADAMS (Universal) 

Universal have done some beauties so far and this is another very memorable package: great video, great audio, great extras, great film. Robin Williams at his very best (and Monica Potter too).


Superb audio transfer, probably the best of all so far, a very good video transfer and a very watchable film (even for a
Leonardo Di Caprio film).

#3 A BUG'S LIFE (Buena Vista) 

Flawless video transfer, very nice audio transfer and the most hilarious 'outtakes' you will ever see. And, the film's a lot of
fun, too. The best Disney package so far.

#2 THE NEGOTIATOR (Warner Bros.)

A stunning video transfer, with a very nice audio transfer to complement it.  Brilliant film from Samuel L Jackson and Kevin
Spacey, the only thing that could have been better is the extras package - it's missing one documentary compared to the Region 1 version.


Absolutely gorgeous video transfer, matched to a wonderful audio transfer with a damn fine extras package.  And that's
before you even get to the film! Obvious first choice I would say and if you need a single DVD to demonstrate what the
medium is all about, this is it. The expectations on this one were not only met but exceeded by miles.