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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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30 Nov, 2015

New on Disc: 'Best of Enemies' and more …

Best of Enemies

Magnolia, Documentary, B.O. $0.89 million, $26.98 DVD, $29.98 Blu-ray, ‘R’ for some sexual content/nudity and language.
This super-crisp documentary by Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon chronicles how a Hail Mary pass by basement-dwelling ABC to team William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal for a series of televised debates in 1968 helped lead to the kinds of political-donnybrook talk shows that prevail today.
Extras: Enemies has a full hour of interviews that are as good as the documentary itself. Here’s a case where, without the extras, you’re only getting maybe 60% of the package.
Read the Full Review

The Hurricane

Kino Lorber, Drama, $19.95 DVD, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Jon Hall, Dorothy Lamour, Raymond Massey, Mary Astor, Thomas Mitchell.
Director John Ford’s solemn tale of a Polynesian unfairly imprisoned by a French colonial governor in the South Seas is all island foreplay for the main event: a 14-minute hurricane sequence that has a few technically dated bits but still plays remarkably well by today’s standards.
Extras: Preeminent Ford biographer Joseph McBride provides a commentary, which alone is worth the price of admission.
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10 Nov, 2015

Finding a 'Terminator' Among a 'Trainwreck'

Best Buy's and Target's 'Terminator: Genisys' covers
Best Buy's and Target's 'Terminator: Genisys' covers

Retailers Nov. 10 doubled down with exclusives for Paramount's Terminator: Genisys and Universal's Trainwreck.

The fifth "Terminator" movie came with a variety of packaging configurations from which consumers could choose (not an unusual strategy for Paramount). Best Buy offered the 2D Blu-ray combo pack with a lenticular cover and more than 90 minutes of exclusive behind-the-scenes content. Target offered the Blu-ray with a steelbook case. Walmart offered the Blu-ray packed with a copy of the original "Terminator" film.

For Trainwreck, Best Buy offered the Blu-ray of the raunchy comedy with 30 minutes of exclusive deleted scenes. Target offered a one-year subcription to Entertainment Weekly. Walmart offered the Blu-ray in a gift pack with a T-shirt.

Among other titles, Best Buy offered a $20 gift card with the purchase of both the first season of "Better Call Saul" and disc and a Best Buy-esclusive DVD set of the first three seasons of "Breaking Bad" that came with six coasters.

9 Nov, 2015

New on Disc: 'One Deadly Summer' and more …

One Deadly Summer (Blu-ray)

Street 11/10/15
Bayview, Drama, $24.99 Blu-ray, ‘R.’
Stars Isabelle Adjani, Alain Suchon, Suzanne Flon.
Ultimately, this revenge saga belongs to Isabelle Adjani and a vibrant “look” with a color quality that rocks on Blu-ray. The story takes a lot of tasty twists and turns, though at 133 minutes, the picture is a tad long and lumpy.
Extras: Included here are interviews with Adjani and director Jean Becker.
Read the Full Review

Matchstick Men (Blu-ray)

Warner, Drama, $14.98 Blu-ray, ‘PG-13.’
Stars Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell, Alison Lohman.
When Nicolas Cage is good and has watchable material, he’s really good, such as his memorable turn here as an obsessive-compulsive con artist who likes leaving his lair only a little more than Dracula does during the daylight hours. This is, of all things, a Ridley Scott movie — one of those (like, say, Someone to Watch Over Me or The Good Year or The Counselor) that don’t seem to go with the usual or at least frequent program.
Read the Full Review

3 Nov, 2015

Retailers Turn Goodies 'Inside Out'

Disney's Inside Out arrived at retail Nov. 3 with several exclusives.

Target offered the latest Pixar animated film with 20 minutes of exclusive content and deleted scenes included with the Blu-ray combo packs, such as a "Drawing With Your Inner Child" featurette.

Best Buy offered The Blu-ray versions of Inside Out with five character cards.

Best Buy also offered $10 discounts on a couple of TV titles new to disc when purchased with earlier seasons: Fox's A.D. — The Bible Continues when purchased with The Bible on DVD or Blu-ray, and Anchor Bay's Black Sails: The Complete Second Season when purchased with the first season.

Speaking of A.D., Amazon, possibly as a result of other ongoing irregularities with Fox titles, wasn't directly selling the ttile on its debut date, but did have copies available via its third-party Marketplace sellers. Amazon listed its own availability the next day but posted the Blu-ray version at full suggested retail price.

As for "Black Sails," Target offered the second season with exclusive steelbook packaging on both the DVD and Blu-ray.

With the new Blu-ray steelbook editions of the first and second seasons of "Game of Thrones," Target offered $10 off a tie-in POP figure ($8.99) with the purchase of one of the seasons (at $39.99 each).

Warner announced that Target would have exclusive availablility of The Lego Movie: The Special Special Edition ($19.99), featuring a bonus Blu-ray disc with more than two hours of new special features, including a commentary, deleted scenes, "How It Should Have Ended" clips and more. All the new bonus features are also available digitally on iTunes Extras and Vudu.

2 Nov, 2015

New on Disc: 'Diary of a Lost Girl' and more …

Diary of a Lost Girl

Kino Lorber, Drama, $24.95 DVD, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Louise Brooks, Andre Roanne, Fritz Rasp.
If you think you’ve seen sordid, a characterization meant as a compliment, do not go through your movie life without seeing this second of two masterpieces (along with the previous year’s Pandora’s Box) that were filmed in almost boom-boom fashion by Germany’s G.W. Pabst — both starring misused-by-Hollywood Louise Brooks, whose legend is based near-exclusively on these collaborations.
Extras: To show us how quickly Brooks’s career declined, Kino’s release includes an 18-minute Brooks short subject titled Windy Riley Goes to Hollywood, which has the added curio factor of having been directed by an even more professionally compromised Fatty Arbuckle
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Wind Across the Everglades

Available via Warner Archive       
Warner, Drama, $21.99 DVD, NR.
Stars Burl Ives, Christopher Plummer, Gypsy Rose Lee, Peter Falk.
This oddball directed mostly by Nicholas Ray (who was fired and replaced by writer Budd Schulberg) is one of the era’s more fascinating projects, though that’s about the extent of its success.
Read the Full Review

27 Oct, 2015

Retailers Press Play on 'Pixels'

Target's 'Pixels' Blu-ray covers
Target's 'Pixels' Blu-ray covers

Sony Pictures' video game comedy Pixels came with special box art at Target and Best Buy.

Target skipped offering the 3D Blu-ray comedy of the Adam Sandler starrer, instead offering a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack with a choice of lenticular covers based on different video game characters.

Best Buy offered the Pixels Blu-ray with a metal case and Pac-Man box art, the same basic art that Target offered in its Pac-Man lenticular.

Walmart tied Pixels to a promotion offering 50% off select movies at the Vudu streaming service.

Walmart also offered a gift set for Universal's Barbie & Her Sisters in The Great Puppy Adventure DVD with a plush puppy.

Among the latest preorders, Best Buy offered Paramount's Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation with a steelbook case for $19.99, and the 3D version of Marvel's Ant-Man with a steelbook case designed to look like a computer processor for $29.99 with a $5 deposit.


26 Oct, 2015

New on Disc: 'The Brood' and more …

The Brood

Criterion, Horror, $29.95 DVD, $39.95 Blu-ray, ‘R.’
Stars Oliver Reed, Samantha Eggar, Art Hindle, Cindy Hinds.
Only in a Criterion bonus section can you ever hope to find an extended “Merv Griffin Show” bonus clip featuring Oliver Reed, Orson Welles and Charo, but this is getting ahead of a movie (think: David Cronenberg, unbridled) that has enough outrageousness of own.
Extras: Aside from the “Griffin” interview from 1980, other extras include a sweet reunion between actors Hindle and Hinds, and Cronenberg’s second feature, Crimes of the Future.
Read the Full Review

The Beginning or the End

Available via Warner Archive       
Warner, Drama, $21.99 DVD, NR.
Stars Robert Walker, Tom Drake, Brian Donlevy, Hume Cronyn.
The Beginning or the End does touch on a lot of important material (while leaving a lot out) and displays enough ambiguity about the development of the atomic bomb and the pro-con morality of its use to keep it from being unwatchable to many modern eyes.
Read the Full Review

20 Oct, 2015

Digging Up 'Jurassic' Exclusives

Walmart's 'Jurassic World' lunchbox
Walmart's 'Jurassic World' lunchbox

It came as no surprise that Universal's Jurassic World would arrive at retail with plenty of disc options for consumers, not to mention the array of retailer exclusives involved.

In addition to typical DVD, Blu-ray combo pack and 3D Blu-ray combo packs, the Jurassic World 2D Blu-ray was also available in a special round tin packaging, as well as part of four-movie DVD and Blu-ray collections.

At Best Buy, the Jurassic World Blu-ray came with a free T-shirt. Best Buy also offered the circular tin Blu-rays of the three earlier films for $11.99 each.

Walmart offered the Jurassic World Blu-ray with a tin lunchbox.

Target offered free popcorn and soda at the Target Café with the purchase of the Jurassic World Blu-ray, to which Target added 30 minutes of exclusive bonus content.

For the new 30th anniversary trilogy boxed set of the "Back to the Future" films, Best Buy offered pack-in mini-license plates.

For Fox's Paper Towns, Target offered a free $5 gift card with the purchase of the movie with any John Green book.

Amazon.com's listing for Paper Towns was unusual in that the Blu-ray was listed as out of stock the day of released, as well as offered at the full retail price of $39.99. This fits into a recent trend of Fox discs and digital releases not being offered for preorder on Amazon.

19 Oct, 2015

New on Disc: 'Murder, My Sweet' and more …

Murder, My Sweet (Blu-ray)

Available via Warner Archive
Warner, Mystery, $21.99 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Anne Shirley
The second screen version of Raymond Chandler’s Farewell, My Lovely, with its expressive photography and hop-headed dream sequences, is just what you want an RKO noir to be, even if decades of variations have scratched its luster (but just a little). The Blu-ray transfer is beautiful.
Read the Full Review

An American Tragedy

Available via Universal Vault Series
Universal, Drama, $19.98 DVD, NR.
Stars Phillips Holmes, Sylvia Sidney, Frances Dee.
Josef von Sternberg’s only Paramount talkie not to star Marlene Dietrich attempted to adapt a 20th-century literary milestone of significant heft in both senses, though it fell into obscurity after George Stevens remade it as A Place in the Sun 20 years later.
Read the Full Review

13 Oct, 2015

Special Covers for 'San Andreas,' 'Aladdin'

The big exclusives for the Oct. 13 new releases centered on special Blu-ray packaging for two titles: Warner's San Andreas and Disney's Aladdin: Diamond Edition.

Best Buy offered special lenticular box art for both the Aladdin Blu-ray and the Blu-ray combo pack of San Andreas (the 2D, not the 3D version). Best Buy's San Andreas also came with exclusive bonus content.

Target offered special storybook packaging for Aladdin with special box art for $24.99, $2 more than the standard Blu-ray edition. For San Andreas, Target had two versions of the 2D Blu-ray edition, one with a collectible movie card and the other with steelbook packaging.

Among other titles, Best Buy offered consumers who bought Lionsgate's Mad Men: Season 7 Part 2 a chance to buy the first part for $10.

In terms of preorders, Best Buy has $19.99 Blu-ray offers for two Universal titles: Minions comes with a lunch bag and Ted 2 comes with exclusive bonus content.