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25 Oct, 2016
Best Buy Touts 'Inferno' Ticket Deal

Best Buy has been promoting discounts for a theatrical ticket to Sony Pictures' Inferno available in select home videos.

The deal includes a $7.50 Movie Cash coupon in select titles, most notably new Blu-ray releases of The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, the two predecessors to Inferno. The trilogy, based on novels by Dan Brown, stars Tom Hanks as a professor solving ancient mysteries by interpreting cryptic symbols and other clues.

Best Buy also touted sales of several Halloween titles, such as Hocus Pocus on Blu-ray for $9.99.

By :John Latchem

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24 Oct, 2016
New on Disc: 'Hot Type: 150 Years of The Nation' and more …

Hot Type: 150 Years of 'The Nation'

First Run, Documentary, $24.95 DVD, NR.
Filmmaker Barbara Kopple’s portrait of spiritually old-school stalwarts laboring in the digital age at America’s oldest continuing weekly magazine is predominantly for political junkies.
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On Dangerous Ground (Blu-ray)

Available via Warner Archive
Warner Archive, Drama, $21.99 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Ida Lupino, Robert Ryan, Ward Bond.
An unusual movie for its day that it addresses police brutality, the first half of director Nicholas Ray’s On Dangerous Ground is a grimy noir cop drama, the kind that RKO did better than anyone.
Extras: Includes expert commentary from Glenn Erickson.
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By :Mike Clark

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18 Oct, 2016
'Independence Day' Pushes Retailers Through the Looking Glass

The retail exclusives for the Oct. 18 new releases may not have been as interesting as what wasn't available.

At Amazon.com, for example, the DVD version of Disney's Alice Through the Looking Glass was available only through the online retailer's secondary market, where it was offered at a higher price than the readily available Blu-ray (which also includes the DVD version).

But something more bizarre might have happened at Best Buy, which didn't list Universal's Barbie & Her Sisters in A Puppy Chase as available until Nov. 1. It was readily available at other retailers, and even tied to some exclusive promotions. Target offered a free doll with the purchase of the movie and another toy. And Walmart offered a DVD two-pack with Puppy Chase and Barbie & Her Sisters in The Great Puppy Adventure.

For the week's biggest title, Fox's Independence Day: Resurgence, Target offered a Blu-ray combo pack with a 48-page booklet and free popcorn. Walmart offered a DVD two-pack of the movie with the DVD of the 1996 original Independence Day. Best Buy offered an IDR Blu-ray Steelbook and a $5 discount with the purchase of both Steelbooks.

By :John Latchem

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11 Oct, 2016
'Ghostbusters' Remake Answers the Call for Retail Perks

Sony Pictures' Ghostbusters: Answer the Call landed on disc with a variety of retail incentives for shoppers. Each of the big three chains offered some form of exclusive.

Target offered the Blu-ray version with an exclusive bonus disc containing a featurette called "The World of Ghostbusters." Target also gave free M&M or Starburst candy packs with purchase of the disc.

Best Buy offered the Blu-ray versions in Steelbook packaging with special artwork by Project Pop Art. Best Buy also offered a $15 discount with the purchase of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray versions of the new Ghostbusters and the two 1980s movies on which it's based. Steelbook Blu-rays for the original two films were offered at $12.99 each.

Walmart offered a gift set of the Ghostbusters Blu-ray with Ghostbusters logo socks.

Fox's Ice Age: Collision Course was also linked to a few goodies. Target offered free popcorn with the Blu-ray, while Best Buy tacked a Halloween tote bag to the Blu-ray versions.

Walmart offered an exclusive DVD set of all five "Ice Age" movies for $26.96.

By :John Latchem

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10 Oct, 2016
New on Disc: 'Body Snatchers' and more …

Body Snatchers (Blu-ray)

Available via Warner Archive       
Street 10/18/16
Warner, Sci-Fi Horror, $21.99 Blu-ray, ‘R’ for violence, nudity and language.
Stars Gabrielle Anwar, Terry Kinney, Meg Tilley, Forest Whitaker, R. Lee Ermey.
Here’s the third and probably most obscure of four variations of Jack Finney’s The Body Snatchers novel filmed from 1956 through 2007, in a Blu-ray that isn’t easy to resist.
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La Moglie Piu Bella (The Most Beautiful Wife) (Blu-ray)

Available via ScreenArchives.com
Twilight Time, Drama, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Ornella Muti, Alessio Orano, Tano Cimarosa.
Ornela Muti plays a 14-year-old in this fact-based fiction about a landmark 1966 Italian legal case in which a teenager sued a former fiancé who kidnapped and raped her after she broke off their engagement.
Extras: Includes about 45 minutes of bonus interviews carried over from the onetime NoShame standard DVD release.
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By :Mike Clark

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4 Oct, 2016
'Preacher' Holding Off Retail 'Apocalypse'

A couple of retailers offered exclusives for Fox's X-Men: Apocalypse on disc, but Sony Pictures' Preacher: Season One had more.

For the latest "X-Men" movie, Fox offered a Blu-ray combo pack with a digibook containing an Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters 1983 yearbook. Target also had free popcorn with select copies of the X-Men: Apocalypse Blu-ray.

Best Buy offered the X-Men: Apocalypse Blu-ray in Steelbook packaging. Best Buy also offered Steelbooks of previous "X-Men" movies for $14.99 each, with a $5 discount when purchased with the Apocalypse Steelbook.

For "Preacher," Best Buy offered a graphic novel with the Blu-ray of the first season. Target offered the Blu-ray with Steelbook packaging. And Amazon.com had a version of the Blu-ray with an exclusive bonus disc.

Target offered collectible cards with DVDs of Fox's American Horror Story: Hotel.

By :John Latchem

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3 Oct, 2016
New on Disc: 'Valley of the Dolls' and more …

Valley of the Dolls: Special Edition (Blu-ray)

Criterion, Drama, $39.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Barbara Parkins, Patty Duke, Sharon Tate, Susan Hayward.
This new release of the box office hit of Jacqueline Susann’s majestically trashy best-seller is nothing if not pressure-packed with bonus material.
Extras: The terrific Criterion extras, which include a brave guilty-pleasure Valley paean by Kim Morgan, go a lot into some tabloid history about Judy Garland’s firing from the film. Also included are screen tests, reflective interviews with writer Amy Fine Collins, a vintage documentary on Susann, a look at the film’s ship-board premiere, a half-journalistic/half-jokey commentary carried over from the original Fox DVD, an essay by Glenn Kenny, and an excerpt from a 2009 interview of Patty Duke by Bruce Vilanch.
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Moby Dick (1930)

Available via Warner Archive      
Warner, Adventure, $21.99 DVD, NR.
Stars John Barrymore, Joan Bennett, Lloyd Hughes.
A good way to take in this not-quite-faithful adaptation of the Herman Melville novel is to block out the title and enjoy a surprisingly acceptable primitive talkie about whaling on which obvious production care was taken.
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By :Mike Clark

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27 Sep, 2016
'Warcraft' Wins the Exclusives Battle

Universal's Warcraft arrived on disc Sept. 27 with a few retail exclusives.

Target offered the fantasy film based on the World of Warcraft video game as a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack with exclusive packaging and eight collectible character cards.

Walmart touted a steelbook edition of the film.

Among other titles, Walmart offered another of its DVD variants, this time on Warner's Central Intelligence, which came with different box art and fewer extras.

By :John Latchem

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26 Sep, 2016
New on Disc: 1948's 'Road House' and more …

Road House (1948) (Blu-ray)

Kino Lorber, Mystery, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Ida Lupino, Cornel Wilde, Richard Widmark, Celeste Holm.
This is not the better-known Patrick Swayze gutter trash from 1989, but an earlier one with a notably name cast for its day — the one that starts out as an unlikely feminist drama and then turns noir-ish around the time Richard Widmark’s character begins to go over the brink.
Extras: Includes a featurette about stars Ida Lupino and Richard Widmark, plus a commentary by Eddie Muller and Kim Morgan, carried over from the DVD.
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Tony Rome/Lady in Cement (Blu-ray)

Available via ScreenArchives.com
Twilight Time, Drama, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR (Tony Rome)/’R’ (Lady in Cement)
Stars Frank Sinatra, Jill St. John, Raquel Welch, Richard Conte.
Tony Rome is halfway-good grindhouse/drive-in fodder that remains guiltily entertaining, while Lady in Cement is a conspicuously ragged toss-off that arguably plays a little breezier than it did at the time.
Extras: Tony Rome includes an entertaining, factoid-filled commentary with historians Eddy Friedfeld, Anthony Latino, Lee Pfeiffer and Paul Scrabo.
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By :Mike Clark

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26 Sep, 2016
Consumers Choosing Choice in Their Entertainment

Pay-TV operators have been eyeing the cord-cutters, or those pesky customers who eschew paying for expensive cable packages in favor of getting content a la carte over the Internet, for some time, both with consternation and curiosity. Many say these customers are the wave of the future, driven by the millennial generation, which is used to viewing entertainment unshackled by a TV or cable.

At the same time, the FCC is looking at a proposal to require pay-TV operators to offer free app-based video distribution alternatives to the set-top box, meaning consumers could access video through other devices — a PlayStation or smartphone, for instance — without having to rent a box from the cable company.

“While consumers will still pay their monthly subscription fees for the service, they will be able to download an app to devices they purchase or already own to access pay-TV service, so they are no longer forced to rent boxes from their provider,” read the proposal.

The cable industry is experiencing the kind of change the home entertainment business has weathered for some time. We’ve navigated many different formats and different business models, from sellthrough to cassette and disc rental to subscription video-on-demand. These kinds of existential shakeups have been part of our industry since the very beginning, when VHS competed against Betamax and the very right to rent content came into legal question.

What our industry has been very good at is getting consumers the content they want in the format they want — and that should serve us very well as the entertainment business changes. The home entertainment industry has many experts in navigating change, and I’m sure it will find a way to profitably satisfy this new skinny bundle, cord-cutting consumer as well.

By :Stephanie Prange

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