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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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14 Feb, 2017

'Thomas & Friends' Extraordinary Exclusive

Walmart's 'Thomas & Friends' Two-Pack
Walmart's 'Thomas & Friends' Two-Pack

While some big titles such as Paramount's Arrival hit shelves Feb. 14, none of them came with any retail exclusives.

The only noticeable exclusive among the new releases came at Walmart, which offered a DVD two-pack of the new Thomas & Friends: Extraordinary Engines with Thomas & Friends: Railway Friends, at $12.96.

Among other items of note, Best Buy did not have DVD copies of the Universal new releases Bleed for This and The Edge of Seventeen stocked in its brick-and-mortar stores. Only the Blu-ray combo packs were offered, which include the DVDs. Similarly, Best Buy didn't have the DVD version of Sony Pictures' Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, although the Blu-ray version didn't include a DVD.


7 Feb, 2017

'Justice League' Takes on 'Trolls' in Exclusives Battle

Target's 'Trolls' box art
Target's 'Trolls' box art

DreamWorks Animation's Trolls, distributed by Fox, and Warner's Justice League Dark arrived at retail Feb. 7 with their share of retail-exclusive options.

For Trolls, Best Buy offered the Blu-ray "Party Edition" with an exclusive graphic novel. Best Buy also included a graphic novel with the Justice League Dark Blu-ray gift set, which already includes a Constantine figurine.

At Target, the Trolls Blu-ray came with exclusive box art and a bonus disc containing an additional 20 minutss of material. Target offered a Steelbook case with the Justice League Dark Blu-ray.

Walmart had the Trolls DVD as a "party edition" similarly to the widely released Blu-ray version, and plugged two music videos with both the DVD and Blu-ray.

Walmart also had a DVD two-pack containing the first seasons of two HBO shows: "Eastbound & Down" and the newly released "Vice Principals."


6 Feb, 2017

New on Disc: 'The Barefoot Contessa' and more …


The Barefoot Contessa (Blu-ray)

Available via ScreenArchives.com
Twilight Time, Drama, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Humphrey Bogart, Ava Gardner, Edmond O’Brien, Marius Goring, Rossano Brazzi.
1954.
With cinema-centered The Barefoot Contessa, writer-director Joseph L. Mankiewicz brought years of professional and family experience, so if this almost illegally gorgeous saga about a Spanish dancer-turned-movie-star can be on the windy and lumpy side, it is a real insider’s movie.
Extras: Includes a first-rate commentary from Twilight Time’s Julie Kirgo and the always ticklishly irreverent David Del Valle. An added virtue is a stills gallery from Del Valle’s personal archive.
Read the Full Review

Suddenly (Blu-ray)

Image, Drama, $14.99 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Frank Sinatra, Sterling Hayden, Nancy Gates, James Gleason.
1954.
Though the picture has some of the limitations associated with ‘B’-movies, Frank Sinatra is spectacularly good here as an all-out villain in ways that we rarely got to see on the screen, given his disinclination to put out in movies the way he did in the recording studio or in concert.
Extras: One of the two voiceover commentaries here is by the late Frank Sinatra Jr., who not only knew some Suddenly family lore but was actually present on the set. The other Blu-ray commentary is by frequent voiceover commentator and standout USC film prof Drew Casper.
Read the Full Review


31 Jan, 2017

Exclusive Packaging for 'Pinocchio'

Best Buy and Target 'Pinocchio' exclusives, Best Buy 'Jack Reacher Never Go Back' Steelbook
Best Buy and Target 'Pinocchio' exclusives, Best Buy 'Jack Reacher Never Go Back' Steelbook

A couple of retailers offered exclusive packaging for Disney's new Pinocchio: Signature Collection Blu-ray.

Target offered the Blu-ray combo pack with a 28-page storybook.

Best Buy offered the animated classic with special lenticular box art.

For Paramount's Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Best Buy had exclusive Steelbook cases for the Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray editions.

Walmart offered a DVD gift set of Universal's Barbie: Video Game Hero with a Princess Charm School DVD.


30 Jan, 2017

New on Disc: 'Sudden Fear' and more …


Sudden Fear (Blu-ray)

Cohen, Mystery, $34.99 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Joan Crawford, Jack Palance, Gloria Grahame, Bruce Bennett.
1952.
Joan Crawford’s third and last Oscar nomination came for a fairly irresistible wife-in-peril thriller whose production she personally spearheaded.
Extras: Film historian Jeremy Arnold provides a pro-job voiceover commentary.
Read the Full Review

Cry of the City (Blu-ray)

Kino Lorber, Mystery, $29.99 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Victor Mature, Richard Conte, Shelley Winters, Hope Emerson.
1948.
Cry of the City is an urban toughie from director Robert Siodmak that has a couple knockout supporting performances from Barry Kroeger and Hope Emerson.
Extras: Contains a commentary by Eddie Muller.
Read the Full Review


24 Jan, 2017

'Inferno' Fans the Retail Flames

Best Buy's 'Inferno' Steelbook and Walmart's Langdon trilogy DVD
Best Buy's 'Inferno' Steelbook and Walmart's Langdon trilogy DVD

Sony Pictures' Inferno, the third movie adaptation of the Robert Langdon novels, gave retailers a few options for promoting exclusive editions.

Best Buy had a special Steelbook case with the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray edition of the film.

Walmart had a DVD set of all three Langdon movies — The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons and Inferno — starring Tom Hanks as the professor frequently tasked with interpreting ancient clues to solve mysteries.

Another notable new release, The Light Between Oceans, a DreamWorks production distributed by Disney, seems to have some availability issues. Best Buy didn't have the DVD edition of the film stocked in its brick-and-mortar shelves, while Walmart stores didn't have the Blu-ray version. Amazon.com didn't seem to have any copies of its own on the Jan. 24 release date, with the title available there only through Marketplace sellers.

Among other deals, Best Buy had a selection of recent popular Blu-rays for $9.99 each. Target had a similar deal with $10 Blu-rays and DVDs.


23 Jan, 2017

New on Disc: 'Chicago Cubs 2016 World Series Collector's Edition' and more …


Chicago Cubs 2016 World Series Collector's Edition

Shout! Factory, Sports, $59.99 DVD, $79.97 Blu-ray, NR.

2016 World Series Champions: The Chicago Cubs

Shout! Factory, Sports, $26.99 DVD, $34.99 Blu-ray, NR.
Narrated by Vince Vaughn.
2016.
We’re talking the historically transcendent Cubs-Indians here — seven games, two of them classics or near-classics, and one of those was game 7 stretching into extra innings after a rain delay.
Read the Full Review

Go, Johnny, Go!

Available via Sprocketvault.com
Sprocket Vault, Musical, $14.99 DVD, NR.
Stars Jimmy Clanton, Alan Freed, Chuck Berry, Sandy Stewart.

1959. Of all the rock revue pics made in the 1950s, Go, Johnny, Go! definitely carries the most star-crossed aura, considering the tragic fates that awaited so many members of its cast — a couple of them eerily soon after this quickie’s production.
Extras: The voiceover commentary is funny enough to make this surprisingly pristine DVD looker something of a rollicking affair.
Read the Full Review


16 Jan, 2017

New on Disc: 'Bad Day at Black Rock' and more …


Bad Day at Black Rock (Blu-ray)

Available via Warner Archive
Street 1/17/17
Warner, Drama, $21.99 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Spencer Tracy, Robert Ryan, Anne Francis, Walter Brennan, Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine.
1955.
As one of the first major movies to tackle the shabby-and-worse treatment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, Bad Day at Black Rock caught on to such a degree at the time with upscale audiences that even its title became part of the everyday vernacular.
Extras: Academic Dana Polan’s bonus commentary is less about actors and the production than social currents and dramatic staging
Read the Full Review

Children of Divorce

Flicker Alley, Drama, $34.59 Blu-ray/DVD combo, NR.
Stars Clara Bow, Gary Cooper, Esther Ralston, Hedda Hopper.
1927.
As a window into the feigned moral stance vintage movies embraced about as much as they did the later invention of television, Children of Divorce is a Frank Lloyd silent discovery (to me, though likely not to hard core buffs) that easily gets by on its curio casting and the sumptuous décor that almost always made the average Paramount title so much more visually scintillating than any MGM counterpart.
Extras: Includes a bonus booklet and Hugh Munro Neely’s excellent 1999 Discovering the “It” Girl Clara Bow documentary.
Read the Full Review
 


10 Jan, 2017

'Deepwater' in Steel

Target's 'Deepwater Horizon' Steelbook Blu-ray
Target's 'Deepwater Horizon' Steelbook Blu-ray

Lionsgate's Deepwater Horizon had the most notable retailer exclusive among the Jan. 10 new releases.

Target offered a steelbook edition of the Blu-ray of Deepwater Horizon, which is based on the true story of the 2010 disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Best Buy offered an exclusive Mr. Robot patch with the Blu-ray of Mr. Robot: Season Two. Best Buy didn't offer the DVD of the show in its brick-and-mortar locations.

Best Buy also had early availability of the Blu-ray of Star Trek: Enterprise — The Complete Series, through Feb. 13.

Walmart has a two-pack of DVDs for recent Sony Pictures releases Apple of My Eye and Lost & Found.


3 Jan, 2017

Notable But Low-Impact Titles Kick Off 2017 Retail Slate


The new home video releases the first week of 2017 didn't receive much fanfare at retail.

The two biggest titles in terms of domestic box office were a pair of Lionsgate releases that each made a shade over $20 million: Blair Witch, a belated sequel to the horror cult classic The Blair Witch Project, and Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life, based on the James Patterson novel.

Not only were there no retail exclusives associated with the titles, but they were relegated to secondary status on new-release shelves. Best Buy didn't even stock the Middle School DVD in its brick-and-mortar locations. Most displays were still built around Sony Pictures' The Magnificent Seven and Warner's Storks.

Target did offer a sale of relatively recent DVD releases for $10. And Best Buy promoted a selection of TV shows on disc starting at $14.99.