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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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31 May, 2016

Steel for 'Gods of Egypt'

Best Buy's 'Gods of Egypt' steelbook case
Best Buy's 'Gods of Egypt' steelbook case

Lionsgate's Gods of Egypt was the title given the most prominent attention by retailers May 31.

Best Buy used the title extensively in its weekly circular ad, touting the 4k Ultra HD Blu-ray version and linking it to new UHD TVs and players from Samsung. Best Buy was also the only retailer with an exclusive edition of the title, offering a steelbook case with the 3D Blu-ray edition (for $3 less than the wide-release 3D Blu-ray of the film).

Target, on the other hand, didn't stock the Gods of Egypt 3D or 4K versions either on shelves or online, as of the end of the Tuesday release day. Walmart had both premium formats on its website, if not in stores.

Best Buy also offered 100 My Best Buy points for members of its loyalty program with preorders of Disney's Zootopia Blu-ray, which arrives on disc June 7.


30 May, 2016

New on Disc: 'The Chase' and more …


The Chase

Kino Lorber, Drama, $19.95 DVD, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Robert Cummings, Michele Morgan, Steve Cochran, Peter Lorre.
1946.
The word a lot of people use to describe The Chase is “dreamy,” with Arthur Ripley directing screenwriter Philip Yordan’s take on a Cornell Woolrich novel.
Extras: Filmmaker Guy Maddin provies a commentary that’s unusual in that it’s laid back and sometimes distinguished by long pauses, yet also passionate about this movie. There are also two radio broadcasts of the original Woolrich source (The Black Path of Fear), one of them with Cary Grant.
Read the Full Review

Background to Danger

Available via Warner Archive       
Warner, Drama, $19.99 DVD, NR.
Stars George Raft, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Brenda Marshall.
1943.
The moderate rewards to be gleaned from this 80-minute quickie are definitely around the edges.
Read the Full Review
 


27 May, 2016

Will High Dynamic Range Attract Film Fans?


I’ve been in this business long enough to see many iterations of increased home entertainment quality (as in more visually and audibly stunning) content trotted out by the content owners. DVD was a revelation. Then Blu-ray Disc upped the ante. Dolby and DTS added to the effect, as did better and better TV screens and 3D viewing.

I’ve never, however, been able to discern quite so clearly the difference that I have seen between an HD presentation and an Ultra HD presentation with high dynamic range. When you see the two side-by-side it is truly a leap ahead. Obviously, 3D was a great leap forward, but it required glasses and (sometimes) gave viewers a headache. HDR is different. As colorist Tim Stippen on the Deadpool 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray (with HDR) put it, “I think this is the wave of the future because you’re seeing more of what the camera captured.”

Seeing more of what the camera captured is putting home entertainment quality on the right track in my book. That puts the viewer in the shoes of the director, cinematographer, actors and other filmmakers. It brings the viewer closer to the content.

“I truly thought it was the best-looking version of the movie by far,” Deadpool director Tim Miller said at the presentation on the Fox lot in May.

And that’s what the home entertainment business has been striving for, at least in recent years — the best-looking version — for home entertainment libraries, and for posterity.

I was once at an event at CES in which director Oliver Stone exhorted movie fans to collect hard copies (discs) of their favorite movies because those copies will become rare in the digital future and will be of the best quality.

The best quality version of content is, and will always be, what defines home entertainment collections. And I think 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc with HDR fits that bill.


24 May, 2016

Posing for 'Zoolander'

Target's 'Zoolander No. 2' exclusive Blu-ray
Target's 'Zoolander No. 2' exclusive Blu-ray

Paramount's Zoolander No. 2 was the only notable release May 24 to be offered with a retail exclusive.

That promotion came at Target, which offered exclusive box art for the comedy sequel and a 45-minute bonus disc.

Target also offered a $5 gift card with the purchase of a DVD of Sony Pictures' The 5th Wave with any book in the "5th Wave" series.

Best Buy offered a $10 gift card with the purchase of $50 worth of movies or TV seasons. The offer runs through June 18.

In the lead-up to the theatrical release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Walmart is selling off extra inventory of its exclusive gift set of the 2014 film on Blu-ray, which comes packed with miniature figurines of the four turtles.


23 May, 2016

New on Disc: 'Too Late for Tears' and more …


Too Late for Tears

Flicker Alley, Mystery, $39.95 Blu-ray/DVD, NR.
Stars Lizabeth Scott, Dan Duryea, Don DeFore, Arthur Kennedy, Kristine Miller.
1949.
This arguably definitive Lizabeth Scott performance and more were saved from extinction by UCLA’s Film and Television Archive working with the Film Noir Foundation to juggle various imperfect sources. Scott is such a piece of work here that one can only chuckle at her character’s rabid greed after this so-called housewife flukes her way into a tempting situation that immediately swallows her up and ends up destroying lives.
Extras: Includes an informative but infectiously wry commentary by historian/writer/programmer Alan Rode; a making-of short; cool production photos and press-book ads; some on-screen nuts-and-bolts regarding the restoration; and a background essay.
Read the Full Review

The King and Four Queens (Blu-ray)

Street 5/24/16
Olive, Western, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Clark Gable, Eleanor Parker, Jo Van Fleet, Barbara Nichols.
1956.
Looking a little weary on the range, Clark Gable took his one stab at producing a movie with this easy-to-tolerate Raoul Walsh trifle.
Read the Full Review
 


17 May, 2016

Target Pushing Preorders for 'BvS,' 'Civil War'


Retailers didn't offer much in the way of new promotions for the May 17 new releases.

Target, however, touted a free $5 gift card with preorders of select films at Target.com/preorder. The list includes Disney's Zootopia, DreamWorks' Kung Fu Panda 3, Warner's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Marvel's Captain America: Civil War.

Best Buy offered a number of deals on catalog releases, such as a $10 gift card with $50 in spending on select TV seasons; buy two, get one free, or $11.99, on select recent Blu-rays; and two for $10 Blu-rays, or $5.99 each, on up to 60 catalog Blu-rays.


10 May, 2016

Some Packaging Options for 'Deadpool'

Best Buy's 'Deadpool' steelbook
Best Buy's 'Deadpool' steelbook

The big new title of May 10, Fox's raunchy superhero comedy Deadpool, came to retail with a few exclusive packaging options.

Target offered the Blu-ray with a special red case and a packet of eight postcards. Target also offered 10% off Marvel products in the electronics department trend section.

Best Buy had a version of the Blu-ray with special steelbook packaging.

Best Buy also offered a $10 gift card with $50 in purchases of select TV seasons.


3 May, 2016

New 'Wave' Finds 'Joy' at Retail


Fox's Joy and Sony Pictures' The 5th Wave offered a few exclusive promotions for consumers at retail.

Target offered Joy with an exclusive Blu-ray combo pack with a DVD verison of the film, plus 20% off any Huggable Hangers with the purchase of the film. The hangers which were invented by Joy Mangano, upon whom the film is based.

For sci-fi film The 5th Wave, Target offered the Blu-ray with an exclusive bonus disc with a Q$A with author Rick Yancey.

Walmart offered a two-pack DVD set of The 5th Wave and 2012.

For Lionsgate's The Choice, Target offered $5 off when the movie was purchased at the same time as any other Nicholas Sparks book or movie.


25 Apr, 2016

New on Disc: 'Jackie Robinson' and more …


Jackie Robinson

PBS, Documentary, $24.99 DVD, $29.99 Blu-ray, NR.
2016.
It’s a challenge to think of anyone who’d be more appropriate to receive the Ken Burns treatment than the man who carved out a place for himself both before and after he integrated Major League Baseball.
Extras: This home-viewing keeper includes interviews with key production personnel about how Jackie Robinson came to be, plus additional interviews not used in the documentary proper.
Read the Full Review

Try and Get Me!

Olive, Drama, $24.95 DVD, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Frank Lovejoy, Lloyd Bridges, Kathleen Ryan.
1951.
Except for some preachy soap-boxing that does its best to undermine inherent dramatic punch at every turn, this is one of the toughest and least compromised movies from the entire noir era.
Read the Full Review


19 Apr, 2016

Best Buy Offers Exclusive 'Ip Man' Trilogy


Best Buy April 19 offered an exclusive Blu-ray of Well Go USA's 'Ip Man' trilogy with a steelbook case for $24.99, timed for the disc release of Ip Man 3.

Otherwise, there weren't many exclusives offered with new titles, with many displays still dominated by Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Target is offering a $5 gift card with preorders of Fox's Deadpool on disc May 10.