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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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1 May, 2017

New on Disc: 'The Young Girls of Rochefort' and more …


The Young Girls of Rochefort

Criterion, Musical, $29.95 DVD, $39.95 Blu-ray, ‘G.’
Stars Catherine Deneuve, Francoise Dorleac, Gene Kelly, George Chakiris, Danielle Darrieux, Michel Piccoli.
1967.
Spirited and sumptuous, yet with an overriding sense of melancholy due in great part to the real-life tragedy that still follows it around, Jacques Demy’s The Young Girls of Rochefort offers fairly persuasive gut evidence that it (as opposed to the prime MGM Hollywood musicals) must have been the primary influence on La La Land.
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Sunset in the West

Kino Lorber, Western, $19.95 DVD, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Roy Rogers, Estelita Rodriguez, Penny Edwards, Gordon Jones.
1950.
Sunset’s bad guys are running a gun-smuggling ring, and you’ll recognize the heavies from a lot of other ‘B’-Westerns.
Extras: Includes a commentary track with Roy Rogers buff Toby Roan.
Read the Full Review


25 Apr, 2017

The 'La La Land' Retail Waltz

(L-R): Exclusive 'La La Land' covers at Target, Walmart and Best Buy
(L-R): Exclusive 'La La Land' covers at Target, Walmart and Best Buy

The big retail chains gave consumers their choice of three exclusive versions of the Blu-ray for Lionsgate's La La Land, with special box art for each.

Target offered an exclusive three-disc special-edition Blu-ray with 30 minutes of additional content on the third bonus disc. Target also offered a $5 gift card with the purchase of both La La Land on Blu-ray and the film's soundtrack.

Walmart similarly offered a three-disc version of the Blu-ray.

Best Buy offered the Blu-ray with a Steelbook case.

Best Buy also offered Steelbook packaging with the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray of Sony Pictures' Underworld: Blood Wars.


18 Apr, 2017

A Bigger Fatter Exclusive

Target 'Teen Titans: The Judas Contract' Steelbook Blu-ray
Target 'Teen Titans: The Judas Contract' Steelbook Blu-ray

Among the few exclusives offered for the April 18 new releases, Walmart had a deal for Universal's new Bigger Fatter Liar DVD.

The direct-to-video film is a follow-up to 2002's Big Fat Liar. Walmart offered a two-pack containing the DVDs of both films.

For Warner's new animated Teen Titans: The Judas Contract, Target offered the regular Blu-ray with Steelbook packaging.

A gift set of Teen Titans containing a figurine was widely available, and curiously seems to have been the only Blu-ray version of the movie offered at Amazon.com upon its debut. The regular Blu-ray was relegated to second-hand Marketplace sellers. Marketplace sellers also had the Steelbook for about $40, almost three times the shelf cost at Target, where the Steelbook mostly sold out quickly.

Walmart had an early release window for Lionsgate's Isolation DVD, which is listed on Amazon as a June 20 wide release.


17 Apr, 2017

New on Disc: 'World Without End' and more …


World Without End (Blu-ray)

Available via Warner Archive        
Warner, Sci-Fi, $21.99 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Hugh Marlowe, Nancy Gates, Rod Taylor.
1956.
World Without End tells the story of astronauts time-warped to an Earth filled with cave-dwelling creatures that attack Hugh Marlowe and crew in a futuristic society full of mutants in a story that shares many similarities with H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine, and the result is all rather charming unless your eyes get stuck rolling back into their sockets.
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Night Passage (Blu-ray)

All-Region French Import (billed as Le survivant des monts lointains)
Elephant/Universal, Western, $34.99 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars James Stewart, Audie Murphy, Dan Duryea, Brandon de Wilde, Dianne Foster.
1957.
Sometimes an unexpectedly great-looking disc is its own justification if it catches you in a receptively generous mood. And Passage, whose lack of any substantial dramatic sand may have been a contributor to its unfortunate footnote in Western history, gets a lot of “demonstration” visual utmost out of its source Technirama roots.
Read the Full Review

 


11 Apr, 2017

'Rogue One' Hangover Leaves Retailers Prepping for Easter

'Hidden Figures' display at Target
'Hidden Figures' display at Target

A week after the mega home video release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, retailers took a step back for the April 11 new releases. While more notable titles were available during the week, overt retailer exclusives were kept at a minimum. About the only spotlight for the new titles was a front-of-store corrugated display for Fox's Hidden Figures at Target.

A week earlier, all the big retailers had exclusive editions of Rogue One. The 3D exclusive editions offered by Target and Best Buy apparently sold out quickly, and a week later only the Walmart exclusive-packaging version of the Disney film was observed still being on shelves in a store check of some Southern California locations.

For Hidden Figures, Fox actually released two configurations of the Blu-ray combo pack. One was a simple Blu-ray case with a Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD code. The other came with a cardboard fold-out slipcover and The History and Inspiration movie companion booklet. According to Internet reports, Amazon shipped the simpler version without the booklet.

In addition, Best Buy offered he slipcover version with an exclusive e-book of the original Hidden Figures book upon which the film is based.

Retailers were more interested in running promotions for Easter tie-ins in the week leading up to the Sunday holiday. Target touted several sales, including big brands such as Disney films and Warner's "Harry Potter." The chain also had family DVDs and Blu-rays priced at $4, $10 and $13 levels

Best Buy didn't offer a weekly ad circular; some weeks it doesn't publish one. The chain did offer a $5 gift card with the purchase of $25 or more on select movies from its family and Easter displays.

Notably, a couple of high-profile HBO shows were released on disc April 11 but weren't seen at most stores. Neither Veep: Season 5 or Silicon Valley: Season 3 were seen at Target or Walmart on DVD or Blu-ray, with the websites for both chains listing the titles as unavailable in stores. A Best Buy in Costa Mesa, Calif., just had the Blu-ray of "Veep," while the Blu-ray for "Silicon Valley" was available only in select stores, according to the Best Buy website.


10 Apr, 2017

New on Disc: 'S.O.B.' and more …


S.O.B. (Blu-ray)

Available via Warner Archive
Warner, Comedy, $21.99 Blu-ray, ‘R’
Stars Julie Andrews, William Holden, Robert Preston, Richard Mulligan, Robert Vaughn, Shelley Winters.
1981.
The main claim to fame of this admittedly overlong outing with huge visual compensations is probably as the vehicle in which top-billed Julie Andrews bared her breasts, but more importantly as the source of William Holden’s final screen appearance.
Read the Full Review

Peyton Place (Blu-ray)

Available via ScreenArchives.com
Twilight Time, Drama, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Lana Turner, Diane Varsi, Lee Phillips, Hope Lange, Arthur Kennedy, Russ Tamblyn.
1957.
Producer Jerry Wald did a bang-up getting Peyton Place to the screen so relatively soon after the best-selling 1956 publication of Grace Metalious’s New England scandalmonger. This has to be one of the most handsome Blu-rays that Twilight Time has ever released.
Extras: Both voiceover commentaries here are worth it and the first fabulously so. It’s by filmmaker/historian Willard Carroll, whose bonus then-and-now video of the Maine locales is a treat I didn’t expect. There’s also a spotty but valuable track, carried over from the 2004 Fox Studio Classics DVD, by Russ Tamblyn and supporting player Terry Moore in which Tamblyn comes off as one of the great guys ever, at least if we’re talking actors.
Read the Full Review
 


4 Apr, 2017

'Star Wars' Retail Blitz Centers on 'Rogue One'

(L-R): 'Rogue One' Blu-ray covers at Walmart, Target and Best Buy
(L-R): 'Rogue One' Blu-ray covers at Walmart, Target and Best Buy

Disney's home video release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story dominated retail channels April 4, with exclusive versions offered at most of the major chains.

Target even took the opportunity to promote all its "Star Wars" products, devoting a whole page to the franchise in its weekly ad circular. The chain offered coupons for $10 off any "Star Wars" purchase of $50 or more, and $25 off any "Star Wars" purchase of $100 or more. Among the products offered was an exclusive six-inch AT-ACT driver action figure.

Target's exclusive Blu-ray edition of Rogue One included the 3D version of the movie in addition to the Blu-ray combo pack, which included the 2D movie on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD. The exclusive packaging came with five interchangeable character covers and a bonus disc containing 10 minutes of exclusive featurettes: "Inside the Creature Shop" and "Digital Storytelling." Fans who preordered this version at Target.com also received a $5 digital gift card.

Best Buy's exclusive edition also included the 3D version as part of a Blu-ray combo pack in a Steelbook case. A Best Buy in Costa Mesa, Calif. was raffling off its Rogue One cardboard display to customers.

Walmart's exclusive Blu-ray had pop-out cover art featuring K-2SO and two Galactic Connexions trading discs.

The Disney store offered exclusive lithographs with preorders of the Rogue One Blu-ray.

Curiously, Amazon took down preorders for Rogue One weeks ago and listed the film as out of stock on its debut day. Availability of other Disney titles, such as Moana, was listed as out of stock or available only through third-party Marketplace sellers, leading to some speculation of a dispute between Disney and Amazon.

Rogue One home video display at Target

 

Rogue One display at Best Buy

 


28 Mar, 2017

'Fantastic' Retail Exclusives

Amazon's 'Fantastic Beasts' Blu-ray with statue
Amazon's 'Fantastic Beasts' Blu-ray with statue

Plenty of retailers offered exclusive editions of Warner's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Best Buy offered the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray version of Fantastic Beasts in a Steelbook case for $5 more than the widely available 4K version.

Target offered the Blu-ray combo pack in exclusive fold-out packaging designed to emulate Newt Scamander's case in the film.

Walmart offered a special edition of the Blu-ray with a pack-in coloring book, for $5 more than the regular Blu-ray.

Amazon offered a Blu-ray gift set with a Niffler statue.

Among other titles, Walmart offered a gift set of the Monster High: Electrified Blu-ray packed with a DVD of Monster High: Frights, Camera, Action for $18.96.


21 Mar, 2017

An 'Assassin' Made to 'Sing'

Best Buy's 'Sing' and 'Assassin's Creed' Steelbook 4K Blu-rays
Best Buy's 'Sing' and 'Assassin's Creed' Steelbook 4K Blu-rays

Retailers brought out exclusives for Universal's Sing and Fox's Assassin's Creed.

Walmart offered the Sing Blu-ray as part of a gift set with collectible character cards and exclusive bonus content.

Target offered a Gunter plush for $1.99 (regularly $10) with the purchase of the Sing Blu-ray.

For Assassin's Creed, Walmart had a gift set of the Blu-ray with a T-shirt.

Target offered a pack-in hidden dagger arm sleeve in select Blu-rays of Assassin's Creed.

Best Buy offered special Steelbook cases for the 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays of both films.


20 Mar, 2017

New on Disc: 'Deluge' and more …


Deluge

Kino Lorber, Drama, $19.95 DVD, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Peggy Shannon, Lois Wilson, Sidney Blackmer.
1933.
The Big Apple gets swallowed by a tsunami yet again and unexpectedly early in screen history — courtesy of a middling movie curio that was thought to have been “lost” for decades and is of viewing interest these days at least as much for its lead casting.
Extras: This new Kino Classics release, which also includes a savvy voiceover commentary by Richard Harland Smith, is arguably better approached as a Peggy Shannon two-fer, thanks to the bonus inclusion of 1934’s bargain basement but not-bad newspaper romp Back Page.
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Kiss of Death (Blu-ray)

Available via ScreenArchives.com
Twilight Time, Drama, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Victor Mature, Brian Donlevy, Richard Widmark, Coleen Gray.
1947.
Whatever its other virtues, which are considerable enough, Kiss of Death will always be renowned as the Fox film noir in which maniacal thug Richard Widmark shoves a wheelchair-bound mother down some steep apartment stairs.
Extras: The two audio commentaries are complementary: In a carryover from the old DVD, noir specialists James Ursini and Alain Silver roam on the technical side, while Twilight Time’s Nick Redman and Julie Kirgo get more into actor personas.
Read the Full Review