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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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28 Feb, 2017

Some 'Strange' Exclusives

Best Buy's 'Doctor Strange' Steelbooks
Best Buy's 'Doctor Strange' Steelbooks

Marvel's Doctor Strange came to home video Feb. 28 with a few retailer exclusives.

Target offered an exclusive featurette, "Defying Reality: The Art and Visual Effects of Doctor Strange," redeemable through the Disney Movies Anywhere platform.

Best Buy offered the Blu-ray and 3D Blu-ray of Doctor Strange in exclusive Steelbook packaging for $5 more than the standard equivalents.

The Blu-ray for Oscar best picture winner Moonlight, distributed on disc by Lionsgate, was in short supply at several retailers. Walmart didn't have it on store shelves, and both Walmart.com and BN.com listed the Blu-ray as unavailable online on the title's first day of release.


27 Feb, 2017

New on Disc: 'Mildred Pierce' (1945) and more …


Mildred Pierce

Criterion, Drama, $29.95 DVD, $39.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott, Ann Blyth, Eve Arden.
1945.
As an even niftier mix of “woman’s picture” and film noir than some have given it credit for being, there really isn’t much that’s all-out risible in Joan Crawford’s Oscar vehicle beyond Eve Arden’s intentionally funny laugh lines and our glee in seeing Crawford’s Mildred mix it up in violently high-pitched fashion with snotty daughter Veda (Ann Blyth).
Extras: Beyond a lot of 4K digital polish that makes a movie released shortly after World War II ended leap off the screen, the extras here are keenly balanced in terms of the James M. Cain source material, Director Michael Curtiz's prowess, Oscar night lore (when Crawford, perhaps fearful of losing, apparently faked an illness to take her award from a sickbed) and Crawford’s extraordinarily durable career until its howler half-a-decade on the road to swansong Trog. The accompanying essay by Imogen Sara Smith explores the movie’s themes, which are far more grounded in the Depression and its fallout than the barely mentioned war.
Read the Full Review

Abandoned

Available via Universal Vault Series
Universal, Mystery, $19.98 DVD-R, NR.
Stars Dennis O’Keefe, Gale Storm, Jeff Chandler, Raymond Burr.
1949.
Abandoned wouldn’t be worth much attention here were it not for two novel components, one of which involves film scholarship of the highest order.
Read the Full Review
 


21 Feb, 2017

Best Buy Has Exclusive 'Bad Santa 2' Ultra HD Blu-ray

Best Buy's 'Bad Santa 2' UHD and Target's 'Hacksaw Ridge' Blu-ray Steelbook
Best Buy's 'Bad Santa 2' UHD and Target's 'Hacksaw Ridge' Blu-ray Steelbook

The first title for which a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray edition was leveraged as a retail exclusive is … Bad Santa 2. The comedy sequel, released on disc by Broad Green, is available in the 4K format only at Best Buy, and comes with special box art as well.

Among the other new releases, Target offered the Blu-ray of Lionsgate's Hacksaw Ridge in a Steelbook case.

 


20 Feb, 2017

New on Disc: 'Bells Are Ringing' and more …


Bells Are Ringing (Blu-ray)

Available via Warner Archive       
Warner, Musical, $21.99 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Judy Holliday, Dean Martin, Eddie Foy, Jr., Jean Stapleton.
1960.
For such a frequently ingratiating movie, Vincente Minnelli’s Bells Are Ringing exudes an air of melancholy that can’t be denied, no matter how sublime its Judy Holiday-Dean Martin teaming was and is.
Read the Full Review

What a Way to Go! (Blu-ray)

Kino Lorber, Comedy, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Shirley MacLaine, Paul Newman, Robert Mitchum, Dean Martin, Gene Kelly.
1964.
There were likely people who went to see What a Way To Go! precisely because of lead Shirley MacLaine’s dizzying costume changes, which go in radical new directions each time her “Louisa” character gets married again (the story’s central gag).
Read the Full Review
 


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.