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Insights from home entertainment industry experts. Home Media blogs give you the inside scoop on entertainment news, DVD and Blu-ray Disc releases, and the happenings at key studios and entertainment retailers. “TK's Take” analyzes and comments on home entertainment news and trends, “Agent DVD Insider” talks fanboy entertainment, “IndieFile” delivers independent film news, “Steph Sums It Up” offers pithy opinions on the state of the industry, and “Mike’s Picks” offers bite-sized recommendations of the latest DVD and Blu-ray releases.


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13 Oct, 2014

New on Disc: 'Dick Cavett's Watergate' and more …


Dick Cavett’s Watergate

Street 10/14
PBS, Documentary, $24.99 DVD, NR.
2014.
Just about the only non-news show that would touch the subject of Watergate during the period was the one hosted by the only Johnny Carson rival who managed to carve out an equally vital late-night niche of his own. This pressure-packed remembrance is hosted by today’s version of Dick Cavett, assisted by star Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, former White House counsel and eventual beans-spiller John Dean, former Nixon Library historian Timothy Naftali (this guy is the final word in historical context) and more.
Read the Full Review

Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend

Available via Warner Archive
Warner, Western, $21.99 DVD, NR.
Stars Randolph Scott, James Craig, Angie Dickinson, James Garner.
1957.
Truth to tell, there’s really no shoot-out in this lukewarm but sporadically ticklish Randolph Scott Western, but you do get a punch-out or two once the baddies start to get theirs in piecemeal fashion in the later reels. James Garner and Angie Dickinson have major roles when they were very young.
Read the Full Review


30 Sep, 2014

'Transformers' Takes Over Retail

Target's transforming 'Age of Extinction' packaging
Target's transforming 'Age of Extinction' packaging

The promotional blitz surrounding Paramount's Transformers: Age of Extinction hit retail Sept. 30, with exclusives tied to the Blu-ray release at all the major retailers.

Amazon.com bundled the Blu-ray combo pack (non-3D edition) with a statue of Optimus Prime riding the Dinobot Grimlock, priced at $79.99.

Target offered the Blu-ray combo pack in limited-edition packaging that transforms into a facsimile of Optimus Prime. Some Targets still had a preorder bundle for Age of Extinction that included a 40-inch cloth poster and a voucher for the robot packaging Blu-ray. Target also offered a $10 savings with the purchase of the Blu-ray concurrently with a select "Transformers" toy, and its Age of Extinction Blu-rays touted $6 coupons for future purchases of Paramount movies on DVD or Blu-ray.

Walmart offered a number of exclusives tied to Age of Extinction. One was an online exclusive Blu-ray combo pack in packaging designed to resemble Bumblebee’s head, offered at Walmart.com for $24.96. In addition, Walmart offered a preorder incentive that let fans order the head on its own or with a deluxe Transformers action figure in a $44.92 bundle, a savings of $15.

For its physical stores, Walmart had a deluxe boxed set of the Blu-ray combo pack with a metal magnet and three exclusive figurines. In addition, Walmart offered a boxed set of all four "Transformers" films for $39.96.

Best Buy offered Age of Extinction in exclusive steelbook packaging. Best Buy also had exclusive cover art for Fox's 24: Live Another Day, in the form of a o-card sleeve.

Toys "R" Us also had an Age of Extinction exclusive, packaging the Blu-ray with Optimus Prime and Galvatron Kre-O figures for $29.99.

Warner's first slate of Diamond Luxe premium catalog Blu-rays were exclusive to Best Buy on Sept. 30. The lineup includes Forrest Gump, The Green Mile, Natural Born Killers, Gremlins and Ben-Hur.

Target offered Gone With the Wind in Diamond Luxe-style packaging, at $18.99.

Walmart had exclusive availability of Shout! Factory's animated Thunder and the House of Magic on DVD and Blu-ray, as well as CBS's Walker Texas Ranger: The Reunion. For Universal's Team Hot Wheels: The Origin of Awesome, Walmart offered the DVD with a pack-on toy car for $14.96. For Universal's Monster High: Freaky Fusion, Walmart offered the DVD packed with a flashlight pen for $14.96.

Target ran a Monster High: Freaky Fusion cross-promotion offering $5 off when the DVD or Blu-ray was purchased with a tie-in doll.


23 Sep, 2014

Acting Like Good 'Neighbors'

Walmart's 'Neighbors' with T-shirt
Walmart's 'Neighbors' with T-shirt

Universal's hit comedy Neighbors was the only major theatrical film arriving on disc Sept. 23, but that didn't stop retailers from attaching their own exclusive promotions to the title to lure consumers to their party.

Walmart offered a deluxe box of the Neighbors Blu-ray combo pack with a frat T-shirt. Target offered the Blu-ray with a bonus disc containing 30 minutes of exclusive bonus content. And Best Buy offered free mini red beer cups for free (available for $4.99 separately) with the title.

Target also offered the second-season DVD of "Nashville" with two downloadable music tracks.

Target also offers a $5 gift card with a Target.com preorder or Transformers: Age of Extinction, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Maleficent or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.


16 Sep, 2014

'Godzilla' Smashes Into Stores


Warner's disc release of the new Godzilla remake burst onto retail Sept. 16 with promotional exclusives at most of the major retailers.

Best Buy offered the Godzilla Blu-ray for $19.99, or $9.99 with the purchase of a TV title $14.99 or up. Best Buy also offered the prequel graphic novel Godzilla: Awakening for $2.99 with the purchase of the film.

Walmart offered a special single-disc Godzilla DVD, as opposed to the two-DVD special edition DVD available everywhere else. The $14.96 Walmart DVD offered only a couple of the bonus featurettes from the array of extras found on the other disc versions.

Target presented the Godzilla Blu-ray with the exclusive 30-minute featurette Godzilla: Rebirth of an Icon.

Target also had exclusive content with Fox's Sleepy Hollow: Season One, as well as a digibook of artwork based on the show.

In addition, Target offered a free mini doll with the purchase of Universal's Barbie and the Secret Door. For Fox's The Fault in Our Stars, Fox offered a $5 savings with the purchase of the film with its CD soundtrack or the original book.

Other extras at Walmart included the exclusive titles The Perfect Wave on DVD ($12.96) or Blu-ray ($17.96) from Anchor Bay, and Lionsgate's animated Jungle Master ($12.96). For The Fault in Our Stars, Walmart offered two bonus song downloads, and for Sony Pictures' Think Like a Man Too, Walmart offered the DVD packed wih the first film for $19.96. In addition, Walmart offered the Barbie and the Secret Door DVD packed wih a Sing-along With Barbie DVD ($14.96). Walmart also had a $14.96 two-pack of Thomas & Friends: Tale of the Brave — The Movie available through Vudu with the five-episode Thomas & Friends: Engines to the Rescue DVD.

Best Buy had a special lenticular cover for the Blu-ray of the seventh season of "The Big Bang Theory."


9 Sep, 2014

Retail Covers 'Captain America'

Display touting Walmart's 'Captain America' character disc covers
Display touting Walmart's 'Captain America' character disc covers

The Sept 9 retail release of Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, distributed by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, was accompanied by a few retailers offering exclusive covers for the hit action title.

Walmart went all out with five variable character-based covers for the 3D Blu-ray combo pack. Consumers could choose from box art containing Captain America, Black Widow, Winter Soldier, Falcon or Nick Fury.

Best Buy offered the 3D Blu-ray of Captain America: The Winter Soldier with exclusive steelbook packaging.

Apple's iTunes offered the movie with an exclusive four-minute featurette about the film's elevator fight. This is available not only to people who buy the film at iTunes, but also those who redeem their Disney Movies Anywhere digital copy code included with the disc.

Target promoted an exclusive six-minute behind-the-scenes featurette with the 3D Blu-ray, redeemable through its Target Ticket digital streaming service. However, the site wasn’t configured to redeem the digital copy code for the version of the film with the extras, leaving many consumers frustrated and complaining on message boards that the content they wanted wasn’t available on the release date (Sept. 9). TargetTicket.com did credit some accounts that already burned the code on the non-extras version to let them directly buy the correct version of the digital copy containing the exclusive featurette, or added the extras to those who already redeemed the code. The redemption problems were resolved by the next day when Target made the extras version the only one available at TargetTicket.com.

Target also offered exclusive bonus content with discs of the fifth season of “The Vampire Diaries” and the first season of Sony Pictures’ “The Goldbergs.”

Target has also been promoting Target Ticket with stickers on select Blu-ray and DVD packages offering a $5 credit with a new digital purchase at the site.


26 Aug, 2014

'Walking' for Exclusives

Walmart's 'Walking Dead: Season Four' with prison key
Walmart's 'Walking Dead: Season Four' with prison key

Anchor Bay’s Aug. 26 disc release of The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season unsurprisingly received the significant amount of retail attention a monster-hit show of its stature deserves.

Walmart had the biggest exclusives, offering at least four different versions of the title on shelves. All of them came with a bonus Songs of Survival Vol. 2 CD.

In addition to standard DVD and Blu-ray editions, Walmart offered special DVD and Blu-ray boxed sets of the show containing a collectible prison key. This is a variation of the exclusive that was sold as a preorder from the Anchor Bay booth at this year's San Diego Comic-Con International.

Target offered the Blu-ray with steelbook packaging, while Best Buy offered it with lenticular cover art.

For Fox’s Sons of Anarchy: Season Six, Walmart offered the DVD and Blu-ray sets with a pack-in knit cap, while Best Buy offered access to six issues of a digital comic book based on the series.

Walmart also had exclusive availability of an animated film called The Jungle Bunch 2: The Great Treasure Quest, from Universal, offered at $9.96.

For the second week of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Blu-ray ($24.99), Target offered an instant $10 savings when the title was purchased at the same time as a triple attack electronic Spidey action figure, priced at $15.


19 Aug, 2014

Amazing 'Spider-Man' Deals

Amazon's 'Amazing Spider-Man 2' Electro Head
Amazon's 'Amazing Spider-Man 2' Electro Head

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment pulled out all the stops to promote the Blu-ray and DVD release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Aug. 19, with promotional exclusives available at every major retailer.

The biggest one came via Amazon.com, which offered an exclusive gift set of the 3D Blu-ray combo pack of the film with packaging in the form of a bust of the villain Electro. The set is listed at $149.99 but Amazon had it for as low as $74.99.

Target offered Blu-ray copies with a bonus disc containing the featurette "Something Sinister This Way Comes: A Look at Spider-Man’s Most Fearsome Foes.” In addition, Target’s exclusive sets had a coupon for free popcorn and soda at the Target Café.

Best Buy offered the Amazing Spider-Man 2 Blu-ray with a collectible Magno case and comic book. In addition, Best Buy offered $10 off ASM2 with the purchase of a TV title $14.99 or higher.

Walmart offered a Blu-ray two-pack of the new film with its 2012 predecessor.


5 Aug, 2014

Retailers 'Divergent' With Exclusives

Walmart's 'Divergent' Deluxe Edition
Walmart's 'Divergent' Deluxe Edition

The Aug. 5 release of Lionsgate's Divergent prompted the major retailers to line up their own exclusives to try to attract buyers.

Walmart offered the most substantial edition of Divergent, loading a deluxe version of the Blu-ray combo pack with a 32-page collector's book, four additional featurettes, an excerpt from the new Four book, photo spreads and more.

Target offered the Divergent Blu-ray combo pack with exclusive box art, temporary tattoos and a bonus disc with 45 minutes of additional featurettes.

Best Buy offered the Divergent Blu-ray with steelbook packaging.

Other exclusives at Walmart included a $14.96 DVD of a new live-action Tarzan movie, from Lionsgate, and a DVD of Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Pulverizer Power ($5).


15 Jul, 2014

Retail Gift Sets for 'Rio 2'

Target's 'Rio 2' With Plush
Target's 'Rio 2' With Plush

Each of the big three major retail chains offered consumers its own exclusive promotion for the home video release of Fox's Rio 2.

Target offered the Blu-ray combo pack (non-3D version) with an exclusive pack-on plush toy, while Walmart offered the Rio 2 Blu-ray combo pack with a light-up, sound activated slapband.

Best Buy didn’t have an exclusive edition of Rio 2, but the chain did give shoppers a chance to buy a Rio 2 lunchbox for just $4.99 (regular price $9.99) with the purchase of the film on disc.

In addition, Best Buy is already taking preorders for the Blu-ray of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, offering 100 My Best Buy bonus points.

Copies of the sci-fi thriller Under the Skin, however, were in scarce supply at Best Buy, with most stores not stocking the Lionsgate title. The Best Buy website listed the title as available at the Costa Mesa, Calif., location, but it was not seen in the ne-release section or any of the store’s other disc aisles.

For Entertainment One’s Hell on Wheels: The Complete Third Season, Target offered a set of character cards with the DVD.


8 Jul, 2014

'Wings' and a 'Walker' at Walmart


Without many major new releases July 8, Walmart put less focus on the widely available new releases than it did on its own exclusive titles, of which it had several for the week.

Possibly timed to take advantage of the July 18 theatrical release of Disney’s Planes: Fire and Rescue, Walmart trotted out Lionsgate’s animated sequel Wings: Sky Force Heroes for $12.96 and a double feature DVD of both “Wings” films for $16.96.

Timed with the World Cup, Walmart exclusively offered at $14.96 Universal’s The Class of ’92, a documentary about the rise of the Manchester United soccer club due to a fresh roster of young superstar talent, including David Beckham.

Finally, Walmart had a $9.96 DVD of CBS’s Walker Texas Ranger: One Riot, One Ranger, a feature presentation of the show’s first episode, plus a Vudu digital copy. Promotional materials touted the title as the first in a series.

Best Buy offered an exclusive Blu-ray of Asylum’s Hercules Reborn, while Target had a two-DVDs-for-$8 sale.