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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 Aug, 2016

Best Buy Offers Special 'Arrow' Steelbook

Best Buy's 'Arrow' Steelbook
Best Buy's 'Arrow' Steelbook

Best Buy is selling an exclusive Blu-ray edition of Warner's Arrow: The Complete Fourth Season with a steelbook case.

The special packaging is just about the only retail exclusive linked to any of the Aug. 30 new releases.

Best Buy will also have a steelbook case for the upcoming Blu-ray of Warner's The Flash: The Complete Second Season, due Sept. 6.

Also, Best Buy will have an exclusive steelbook for Disney's Captain America: Civil War Blu-ray, arriving Sept. 13. Fans can preorder the exclusive steelbook version now.

Best Buy continued its promotion for a free $10 gift card with $50 in spending on select TV seasons on disc. The retailer also offered a three-for-$20 deal on select Blu-rays.

23 Aug, 2016

Exclusives Caught Between a Walker and a 'Huntsman'

'Walking Dead: Season 6' covers at Best Buy and Target
'Walking Dead: Season 6' covers at Best Buy and Target

All three of the major retailers offered exclusive promotions tied to Universal's The Huntsman: Winter's War and Anchor Bay's The Walking Dead: Season 6.

For Huntsman, Best Buy offered exclusive steelbook cases for the Blu-ray and Ultra HD Blu-ray editions. Target offered the movie with a 28-page booklet. And Walmart offered more than 30 minutes of exclusive bonus content.

With the latest "Walking Dead" season, Best Buy offered an exclusive lenticular Blu-ray cover. Best Buy also offered special lenticular covers on previous season as well. Target offered an exclusive steelbook case, while Walmart had an exclusive bonus disc with more than 70 minutes of footage from the Madison Square Garden fan premiere event.

For Lionsgate's Roots remake, Walmart offered the DVD and Blu-ray with two exclusive extras running more than 40 minutes.

Best Buy offered a metalpak case with the first season of Anchor Bay's "Ash vs. Evil Dead" on Blu-ray, and lenticular box art for Paramount's NCIS: Season 13. Best Buy also touted a deal for a free $10 gift card with the purchase of $50 or more of select TV seasons.

22 Aug, 2016

New on Disc: 'Rawhide' and more …

Rawhide (Blu-ray)

Kino Lorber, Western, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Tyrone Power, Susan Hayward, Hugh Marlowe, Jack Elam.
Though a sizable chunk of Rawhide (including several of its best scenes) takes place indoors at a stagecoach way station, the picture does convey the impression that its relatively small cast is trapped and imperiled in the middle of nowhere — with its “good guys” (who include a woman and a girl toddler) receiving minimal help beyond their own desperate efforts to combat a four-man band of prison escapees. Nothing that happens here departs too markedly from what we’ve seen in other hostage Westerns, but this is still a stagecoach movie written by the guy who wrote the screenplay for Stagecoach (Dudley Nichols).
Extras: Includes a before-and-after primer on Rawhide’s 2007 restoration; interviews from the standard DVD; a Susan Hayward featurette; and a look at Lone Pine, Calif., whose geographical location and mountain/desert locales made it ideal for the may Westerns that were shot there.
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A Cry in the Night

Available via Warner Archive       
Warner, Drama, $21.99 DVD, NR.
Stars Edmond O’Brien, Brian Donlevy, Natalie Wood, Raymond Burr.
A Cry in the Night is a grimy black-and-white hybrid of a police procedural and twisted domestic drama where both plot-central families are having a dysfunctional time of it, and there’s something about it that gets a little under the skin the way that sleazy melodramas with name casts can sometimes do.
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16 Aug, 2016

Raising an Eyebrow at 'Angry Birds'

(L-R): Walmart's and Target's 'Angry Birds Movie' exclusives
(L-R): Walmart's and Target's 'Angry Birds Movie' exclusives

Several exclusives arrived at retail Aug. 16, some of them based on Sony Pictures' The Angry Birds Movie.

For the animated adaptation of the popular mobile phone video game, Target offered a special "Red Edition" with fuzzy-eyebrow packaging, wearable eyebrows and more than 20 minutes of exclusive bonus content. In additionn, Target offered an instant $5 saving swith the purchase of the movie with a Lego "Piggy Plane" attack set (priced at $19.99).

Walmart offered a gift set containing the Blu-ray combo pack with a plush doll of the Red character.

Among other titles, a few retailers had some exclusives in the form of special early availablility. Best Buy had the Blu-ray of Paramount's South Park: Season 19, available everywhere else Sept. 6. Amazon.com had Sony Pictures' Community: The Complete Series boxed set, which comes with a "yearbook" guide book.

Best Buy offered a $10 gift card with the purchase of $50 or more on select TV seasons.

8 Aug, 2016

New on Disc: 'Zelig' and more …

Zelig (Blu-ray)

Available via ScreenArchives.com
Twilight Time, Drama, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Woody Allen, Mia Farrow.
Carried to an extent by a one-joke premise that a 79-minute running time keeps from wearing out its welcome, this black-and-white production deals with a literal human chameleon who manages to insinuate himself into just about every major political and pop culture event between the Jazz Age and the Depression/Third Reich early 1930s.
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’Neath the Arizona Skies

Olive, Western, $14.95 DVD, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars John Wayne, Sheila Terry, Shirley Jean Rickert, Yakima Canutt, Gabby Hayes.
As one of 16 low-budget “Lone Star” Western releases that John Wayne ground out between 1933 and 1935, ‘Neath the Arizona Skies must be one of the cheapest-looking movies to have rated a Blu-ray release. Still, this is Wayne in his formative years, so by definition a fun view.
Read the Full Review

2 Aug, 2016

'Killing Joke' Available in Special Retail Exclusive Packaging

Best Buy's 'Killing Joke' Blu-ray with comic book
Best Buy's 'Killing Joke' Blu-ray with comic book

Retailers gave fans a few packaging options when choosing to pick up Warner's Batman: The Killing Joke.

Warner released the movie as a DVD, a Blu-ray combo pack and a Blu-ray with a Joker figurine.

Best Buy offered a deluxe version of the figurine gift set that also included a version of the Batman: The Man Who Laughs graphic novel.

Target offered the Blu-ray combo pack with a steelbook case.

Target also had exclusive covers for Sony Pictures' The Blacklist: The Complete Third Season DVD and Warner's Blindspot: The Complete First Season Blu-ray.

26 Jul, 2016

Finding Exclusives Like a 'Boss'

Walmart's 'The Boss: High-Roller Edition'
Walmart's 'The Boss: High-Roller Edition'

A few stores had exclusive promotions tied to Universal's The Boss, a comedy with Melissa McCarthy that arrived on shelves July 26, shortly after the theatrical debut of her Ghostbusters remake.

Best Buy offered a free T-shirt with the film's logo with purchase of The Boss Blu-ray. The shirt was offered on its own for $9.99.

Walmart offered a special "High-Roller Edition" Blu-ray with 30 minutes of exclusive bonus materials.

Among other offers, Best Buy had a 3-for-$20 deal on recent Blu-ray releases, and an $8 Jason Bourne movie coupon with the purchase of select titles.

Target offered Warner's Batman v Superman with a six-pack of Dr. Pepper.


25 Jul, 2016

New on Disc: 'Deadline U.S.A.' and more …

Deadline U.S.A. (Blu-ray)

Street 7/26/16
Kino Lorber, Drama, $19.95 DVD, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Humphrey Bogart, Kim Hunter Ethel Barrymore, Martin Gabel.
One of the reasons that Deadline U.S.A., the cheerleading newspaper melodrama that writer/director Richard Brooks, continues to have a following is that certain things never change.
Extras: Includes another dynamically entertaining commentary from film historian Eddie Muller.
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Stakeout on Dope Street

Available via Warner Archive       
Warner, Drama, $21.99 DVD, NR.
Stars Yale Wexler, Jonathan Haze, Morris Miller, Abby Dalton.
The debut feature for both director Irvin Kerhsner and cinematographer Haskell Wexler halfway falls into the teen-exploitation genre itself due to its plot-central portrayal of three out-of-their-league rookies who find an entire canister of uncut heroin that’s been desperately abandoned by thug kingpin subordinates during a police drug bust that goes south.
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19 Jul, 2016

'Batman v Superman' Gives Fans Packaging Options

BvS exclusives: Best Buy graphic novel and Steelbooks; Target's digibook; Walmart's DVD
BvS exclusives: Best Buy graphic novel and Steelbooks; Target's digibook; Walmart's DVD

Warner's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice arrived on shelves July 19 with several retail-exclusive packaging options from which fans would have to choose.

Best Buy packaged the Blu-ray combo pack in a hardcover graphic novel collecting Batman and Superman comic book adventures. It also had the Blu-ray in a steelbook case with reversable Batman and Superman covers.

Target offered an exclusive Blu-ray combo pack with a 64-page digibook package and lenticular cover art.

Walmart offered a single-disc DVD version with no extras and special box art.

18 Jul, 2016

New on Disc: 'To Have and Have Not' and more …

To Have and Have Not (Blu-ray)

Available via Warner Archive       
Warner, Drama, $21.99 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Humphrey Bogart, Walter Brennan, Lauren Bacall, Hoagy Carmichael.
Lauren Bacall was billed third and under the title for what is still among the more smolderingly explosive debuts in screen history, but To Have and Have Not is still on history’s map in large part because it romantically paired Humphrey Bogart opposite a statuesque looker who once made cigarettes look sexy.
Extras: Carried-over extras from the old DVD include a highly germane Merrie Melodies cartoon (Bacall to Arms); a making-of featurette that notes how Hawks had to settle for featured player Dolores Moran when Bogart took up with Bacall off the set; and the two leads in a “Lux Radio Theatre” broadcast of the same in which filmmaker/host William Keighley assures us that Bogart has assured him that there are plenty of Lux suds in the Bogie household.
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Yellow Sky (Blu-ray)

Kino Lorber, Western, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Gregory Peck, Anne Baxter, Richard Widmark.
William A. Wellman’s Yellow Sky was another of the postwar bread-and-butter Fox studio Westerns — big-star efforts that didn’t aspire to reinventing the wheel but which radiated a significant degree of viewer comfort from watching pros at work.
Extras: Wellman Jr.’s commentary here is on the sporadic and reserved level despite some valuable anecdotes from his days on the Sky set as a kid.
Read the Full Review