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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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29 Sep, 2015

A 'Spy' for Some Good Deals

Walmart's two-pack of 'Spy' and 'The Heat'
Walmart's two-pack of 'Spy' and 'The Heat'

Several new releases Sept. 29 were connected with discount offers at various retailers.

For Fox's action-comedy hybrid Spy, Walmart offered a DVD two-pack of the film with another action-comedy hybrid starring Melissa McCarthy, The Heat.

Best Buy also tied The Heat to Spy, but in the form of a $5 discount when both titles were bought together. Best Buy offered The Heat at $7.99 on DVD and $9.99 on Blu-ray.

Best Buy also offered exclusive lenticular box art on the 3D Blu-ray edition of Fox's Poltergeist remake, and offered a $5 discount when the disc was purchased with a tie-in catalog title.

Target offered a $10 discount when the disc of Sony Pictures' Outlander: Season One Vol. Two was bought with an "Outlander" paperbook priced at $8.49.

Stores were also busy plugging their exclusives for the Oct. 2 release of Marvel's Agengers: Age of Ultron, with Target offering exclusive bonus content and Best Buy listing themed steelbook Blu-ray cases for the characters of Ultron and The Vision.

22 Sep, 2015

Retailers Offering 'Pitch Perfect' Exclusives

Walmart's 'Pitch Perfect 2' gift set
Walmart's 'Pitch Perfect 2' gift set

Fans of Universal's Pitch Perfect 2 had plenty of options for picking up the DVD or Blu-ray with a special retail-exclusive add-on.

Best Buy offered a free T-shirt with purchase of Pitch Perfect 2 on Blu-ray. Those who bought the Blu-ray were also offerd a special price on the first film of $7.99 for the DVD or $9.99 for the Blu-ray.

Target offered a special deluxe edition of Pitch Perfect 2 with 30 minutes of exclusive bonus content. Fans could save $5 by buying both the movie and soundtrack CD at the same time.

Speaking of the soundtrack, Walmart offered a Pitch Perfect 2 gift set with a pack-in eight-song CD sampler.

Among promotions for other movies, Target offered a $10 discount with the purchase of both Furious 7 on disc and a tie-in RC car toy.

15 Sep, 2015

'Furious 7,' 'Cinderella' Provide Retail Opportunities

Walmart's exclusive 'Furious 7' Blu-ray
Walmart's exclusive 'Furious 7' Blu-ray

Retailers had some good choices to offer exclusives to consumers Sept. 15 in the form of Universal's Furious 7 and Disney's live-action Cinderella.

For Furious 7, Best Buy offered an exclusive steelbook Blu-ray case, plus the previous films as Blu-ray steelbooks for $9.99 each. Target had the Blu-ray with a five-track soundtrack sampler CD, while Walmart offered a limited-edition Blu-ray combo pack with exclusive box art and bonus content.

For Cinderella, Best Buy had a Blu-ray combo pack with lenticular box art. Target offered the Blu-ray with 15 minutes of exclusive bonus content, the featurettes "Becoming the Prince" and "Something Magical."

Best Buy also offered a $10 savings with the purchase of both the fist season of "Empire" on disc and the show's soundtrack album.

In addition, Best Buy offered Blu-ray steelbooks for nine James Bond films for $11.99 each and a Daniel Craig collection steelbook for $19.99.


14 Sep, 2015

New on Disc: 'The Front Page' and more …

The Front Page

Kino Lorber, Comedy, $19.95 DVD, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Adolphe Menjou, Pat O’Brien, Mary Brian.
Lewis Milestone’s early talkie of the Ben Hecht-Charles MacArthur stage hit is kind of a relic but an amusing one, and after several remakes and updates over the years, this Library of Congress restoration puts the movie back in its comfort zone, which is to say the same general time span in which the story takes place.
Extras: Includes a Library of Congress featurette and two radio adaptations (1937 and 1946, the first with Walter Winchell).
Read the Full Review

Trader Horn

Available via Warner Archive
Warner, Adventure, $21.99 DVD, NR.
Stars Harry Carey Sr., Duncan Renaldo, Edwina Booth.
As the first non-documentary to take movie audiences into Africa on a major studio’s large dime, W.S. Van Dyke’s still entertaining not-quite creaker (a best picture Oscar nominee at the time) has a famous production history.
Read the Full Review

8 Sep, 2015

Exclusives for 'Gotham,' 'Barbie'

Target's 'Gotham' Steelbook
Target's 'Gotham' Steelbook

Retailers Sept. 8 brought out exclusive offers for Warner's Gotham: The Complete First Season and Universal's Barbie in Rock ’N Royals.

Target offered "Gotham" with a steelbook case for both the DVD and Blu-ray editions. Best Buy offered an exclusive bonus disc with the DVDs and Blu-rays of the first season.

For Barbie in Rock ’N Royals, Target offered a free mini doll with purchase of the DVD or Blu-ray.

Best Buy offered $10 off with the purchase of both seasons of "The Goldbergs" on DVD from Sony Pictures. The second season was released on disc this week.

1 Sep, 2015

Taking a 'Fury Road' to Exclusive-Town

Best Buy's 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Blu-ray steelbook
Best Buy's 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Blu-ray steelbook

Warner's Mad Max: Fury Road drew the most retail attention Sept. 1, which isn't surprising since it was the biggest theatrical to hit disc in a week filled with new TV on disc releases.

Best Buy offered the Blu-ray combo pack of Fury Road with an exclusive steelbook case.

Target had the Fury Road Blu-ray packed with an exclusive 64-page comic book.

Target also offered exclusive deals with new TV on disc content. For Paramount's Scorpion: Season One DVD, Target offered 47 minutes of exclusive behind-the-scenes material. Target also offered an exclusive bonus disc with Paramount's Madame Secretary: Season 1, featuring 40 minutes of extras including a set tour.

Walmart, as it usually does for high-profile new releases, offered a bare-bones DVD edition of Fury Road with different box art and no extras. Given that Walmart stores didn't even offer the regular version, and that the stripped-down version was priced similarly to the full version at other stores, Walmart's decision to offer just the vanilla version seems strange (Walmart didn't even mark the version it was selling as an exclusive). About the only thing Walmart's exclusive will accomplish is preventing its customers from realizing they could have a version of the movie with several bonus featurettes for about the same price.

Continuing the topic of Walmart head-scratchers, several stores around Southern California have been putting embargoed "Star Wars" merchandise on shelves weeks before the Sept. 4 "Force Friday" unveiling of new merchandise surrounding Star Wars: The Force Awakens (in many cases, the clerks don't seem to even know the items shouldn't be on display yet). This includes new toys and branded clothing, but the fact that they are on public display was seen to cause some confusion as eager fans kept trying to buy the items, only to have them ring up as "Sale Not Allowed," leading to befuddled cashiers and managers wondering what was going on as the checkout line continued to grow.

25 Aug, 2015

Living for 'Dead' Exclusives

Best Buy's 'Walking Dead' Season 5 Cover
Best Buy's 'Walking Dead' Season 5 Cover

Another season of "The Walking Dead" on disc means more retailer exclusives for the hit show.

Best Buy offered special lenticular covers on the Blu-ray editions of all five seasons.

Target offered the Blu-ray of the fifth season in a steelbook case with exclusive bonus content, a "Walkers in the Water" featurette.

Walmart offered the season five Blu-ray and DVD with a pack-in Funko toy of Daryl.

For other titles, Target offered a $5 savings with the purchase of both the Lego Batman 3 video game with Warner's Lego DC Super Heroes: Justice League — Attack of the Legion of Doom movie.

24 Aug, 2015

New on Disc: 'Day for Night' and more …

Day for Night

Criterion, Drama, $29.95 DVD, $39.95 Blu-ray, ‘PG.’
Stars Jacqueline Bisset, Francois Truffaut, Valentina Cortese, Jean-Pierre Aumont.
Francois Truffaut’s more joyous than ever love song to filmmaking (but most of all to film crews) made an Oscar splash by winning 1973’s award for foreign film.
Extras: The fact that the film sparked a permanent rupture between onetime friends and colleagues Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard turns out to be a kind of subtheme of the bonus section of an irresistible Criterion release. Also included are interviews from Warner’s earlier DVD release.
Read the Full Review

Dick Cavett’s Vietnam

PBS, Documentary, $24.99 DVD, NR.
A companion piece to the previously released Dick Cavett’s Watergate, this tantalizingly compelling if frustratingly limited look-back should ideally be viewed first, given all we have to come to learn about the Vietnam-Watergate direct linkage.
Read the Full Review

18 Aug, 2015

Deals for 'Blacklist,' 'NCIS'

'The Blacklist: Season 2 — The Red Edition' at Target
'The Blacklist: Season 2 — The Red Edition' at Target

The hot new TV shows of the past season are starting to make their way to disc, so it's no surprise that retailer exclusives for Aug. 18 tended to focus on them.

Target offered a special "Red Edition" of both the DVD and Blu-ray versions of Sony Pictures' The Blacklist: The Complete Second Season, which came with special lenticular box art and an exclusive villains dossier.

Best Buy offered an exclusive Blu-ray edition of Paramounts' NCIS: The 12th Season, which came with two exclusive featurettes. Best Buy has the Blu-ray early, with the HD edition going wide at retail Sept. 15.

For "The Blacklist," Best Buy offered a $10 gift card with the purchase of both seasons of the show on disc.

Best Buy also continued its offer of a free $10 gift card with $50 in TV on disc purchases, or $25 with $100 in spending on the category.

Target has early availability of Warner's Peanuts Emmy Honored Collection ($19.99), which won't be widely available until Sept. 15.

Looking at the latest preorder offers, Best Buy has Jurassic World with a T-shirt and Avengers: Age of Ultron with ah steelbook case. The preorders are $19.99 each and also come with 100 My Best Buy points.

17 Aug, 2015

New on Disc: 'The Best of Everything' and more …

The Best of Everything (Blu-ray)

Available via SreenArchives.com
Twilight Time, Drama, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Hope Lange, Stephen Boyd, Suzy Parker, Joan Crawford.
The Best of Everything is a novel that’s still talked about today, due to its time-capsule portrayal of fresh-faced young women (Radcliffe grads and below) trying to cut it in New York at a publishing house that looks a little less elegant once they’re stuck in the typing pool. Thus, it’s impossible to watch director Jean Negulesco’s hit screen version of it without thinking of “Mad Men.”
Read the Full Review

Big House, U.S.A. (Blu-ray)

Kino Lorber, Drama, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Broderick Crawford, Ralph Meeker, Reed Hadley, William Talman.
Structurally, this unusually brutal-for-its-day toughie is something of an odd bird because (given the title), it isn’t even a prison story until maybe a third of the way in.
Read the Full Review