EW readers love a good list, and our feature on the 50 Essential DVDs (#578, Jan. 19) was no exception. ”Thanks for an excellent overview of the 50 Best DVDs,” says Samuel Smith of Washington, D.C. ”I already own over half of them.” Of course, many lobbied for their personal faves. ”Your story was helpful, if testosterone-heavy. Where was Sense and Sensibility?” asks Leslie Mizell of Greensboro, N.C. Notes Joe Vallese of Palisades Park, N.J., ”How could you leave out the Scream trilogy boxed set?” And what is a mail page without a comment about Grammy black sheep Eminem? Bill Schwartz of St. Louis asks, ”When is the NARAS going to admit that they are being held hostage by their own need to look young and hip?”
The DVD Evolution
Just when I thought I had gotten my best birthday present — a DVD player — your issue on which DVDs to add to my nascent collection arrived (”The 50 Essential DVDs”). I’ll keep this handy while deciding what’s a must-buy.
Congratulations on your well-done compilation. Kudos, also, for including New Line’s Platinum Edition of Boogie Nights, but come on. Where’s Magnolia, the best DVD release of 2000? It deserves inclusion for the Frank T.J. Mackey infomercial alone.
GEORGE M. THOMAS
Mayfield Heights, Ohio
You made some fine choices; the only one I would add is Criterion’s The Bank Dick by W.C. Fields. I also have to give Owen Gleiberman a big bravo for his ”Hating the Director’s Cut” piece. I have been saying for years that the narration-less Blade Runner stunk. Mr. Gleiberman, I always knew you were smart, but I now realize you are a supergenius. Keep up the good work!
I realize it’s near impossible to remember every movie, but you missed the boat on a few accounts. How did L.A. Confidential manage to elude your list? And what about Good Will Hunting?
… Mallrats, by writer-director Kevin Smith?
… The Ten Commandments and The Prince of Egypt.
L. ROBERT MORRIS
… Magnolia, Sleepy Hollow, Donnie Brasco, Men in Black, Edward Scissorhands.
A thousand thanks for your in-depth look at everyone’s favorite TV prison, Oswald State Penitentiary (”Big House Beautiful”). I know I can count on you to provide me with interesting factoids about this addictive show. Having read this and his eminently correct ”Second Opinion” on the best television of 2000 in the Year End issue, I have a question for Bruce Fretts: Will you marry me?
In her Save the Last Dance review, Lisa Schwarzbaum writes that the movie is ”afraid to pump up the volume on its own interracial, hip-hop Romeo and Juliet story, lest it challenge even one sedated viewer or disturb the peace.” In movies today, Denzel Washington barely touches his white female leads, and Finding Forrester barely shows Rob Brown and Anna Paquin holding hands. In Last Dance, meanwhile, we see Julia Stiles and Sean Patrick Thomas kiss — several times! I’d say that’s pumping up the volume pretty loud, wouldn’t you?
Woodland Hills, Calif.
On the ‘Outside’
Your review of the Aaron Lewis single ”Outside” (Music) was an easy write-off of an artist who deserves more consideration. In the current pop climate of studio-manufactured vocals, ”bands” comprising second-rate models and actors with nary an instrument to their credit, and tepid VH1 whiners passing for rock & rollers, ”Outside” is more hardcore, more soul, and better pop than anyone has delivered in ages. Take another listen and feel those lighters.
Shame on Melissa Etheridge for supporting the hateful Eminem (News & Notes). Shame also on Michael Greene for deluding himself into believing ”the craft around [Eminem’s CD] … it’s a remarkable recording.” Any future hate crimes rest squarely on their collective shoulders.
PATRICK M. HNIDKA
CORRECTIONS: Road Trip’s foreign box office gross was $51.8 million as of mid-January (”How the Grinch Saved Christmas”). The song ”Say Hello Wave Goodbye” was written by Marc Almond and Dave Ball (Music).
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