Welcome to the forums rare58.
I'll try to help a bit. First off, we are talking about commercially made movies correct? Games and some types of software on dvds have different types of protection.
The first program you'll need is one that can break encryption on the dvd and rip the movie to the hard drive. There is still one free option that is still being updated. It is called DVDFab HD Decrypter, and is the free section within DVDFab. DVDFab HD Decrypter will continue to function even after the trial period for the main part of DVDFab expires. You can find it here: http://www.dvdfab.com/free.htm
While you have the trial period for DVDFab, you might want to explore its capabilities, since it is an all-in-one solution for backing up dvd movies. Look at the guide for using it here: http://www.dvdfab.com/docs/
Once you have DVDFab installed, load the dvd into the drive and start the program. You now have to chose DVDFab HD Decrypter, then decide if you want the entire movie or just backup the main movie without extras or commentary. On the left side choose which one of those you want.
At the top of the window in DVDFab you'll see source...which is the dvd in your drive...make sure it is correct. Under that you'll see Target...which you can set however you want (you can pick where on the hard drive this is going to go). Hit Start and it will decrypt and rip the dvd to the hard drive.
Now that you have it on the hard drive, you are not finished. Most commercially made dvds are too large to fit onto a single layer dvd, so you either have to compress them, take out extras, or burn to double layer dvds. To compress the dvd on the hard drive to the correct size, I suggest using DVDShrink, which is free. To download it, just click on it in the previous sentence and you will go straight to the download here at cdfreaks.
There are many, many guides to using DVDShrink on the net. There are some here in our Movie Copy Software forum, and there are more at www.mrbass.org and www.dvdshrink.info The full version of DVDFab does the same sort of compression by the way, but DVDShrink is free.
I suggest you read some of the DVDShrink guides before going any further. Shrink can do the complete decryption/ripping/compression for you, but only on movies with simple CSS protection. Newer protection schemes make DVDShrink obsolete as a decryption program, but it is still good for compression.
Once you have the dvd the correct size to fit a single layer dvd, you need something to burn it. DVDShrink can use Nero automatically, or DVDDecrypter (if you set it up to do so in Settings), but I suggest a free burning program called ImgBurn. You can have DVDShrink output as an ISO file and burn it directly using ImgBurn, or you can output as files and use ImgBurn in Build mode to burn the dvd. Look through the ImgBurn guides here: http://forum.imgburn.com/index.php?showforum=4
Use good quality media, like Verbatim 16x disks, and burn at a moderate speed like 8x or 12x.