Log in
  

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.


Blogs
Sort by: Title | Date
22 Jun, 2016

Target Adds 'Harry Potter' to Pre-orders


Target has extended a promotion for movie pre-orders to a new 'Harry Potter' book.

Target is offering a $5 gift card with pre-orders for the home video verisons of Warner's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Marvel's Captain America: Civil War, and Disney's The Jungle Book.

Now, the $5 gift card also comes with pre-orders of the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child book, due July 31 in hardcover. The book is a re-creation of the script for the play based on the popular wizarding series.


20 Jun, 2016

New on Disc: 'She Wore a Yellow Ribbon' Blu-ray and more …


She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (Blu-ray)

Available via Warner Archive
Warner, Western, $21.99 Blu-ray, NR.
Starring John Wayne, Joanne Dru, John Agar, Victor McLaglen, Harry Carey, Jr.
1949.
In terms of Technicolor, to say nothing of its signature John Wayne performance, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon is still a movie for which John Ford fans have enduring affection.
Read the Full Review

99 River Street (Blu-ray)

Street 6/21/16
Kino Lorber, Mystery, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars John Payne, Evelyn Keyes, Brad Dexter, Frank Faylen, Peggie Castle.
1953.
There are a few hoked-up bits here that compromise the rest but not in any truly serious ways because we aren’t, after all, talking about Henry James but the cinematic equivalent of lurid paperbacks.
Extras: The Blu-ray commentary here is infinitely more fun than a lot of movies.
Read the Full Review
 


14 Jun, 2016

Best Buy With the Blu-ray Equalizer

Best Buy's '10 Cloverfield Lane' steelbook
Best Buy's '10 Cloverfield Lane' steelbook

Best Buy engaged in some interesting pricing for the new releases of June 14, offering a number of the newcomers at the same price on both DVD and Blu-ray.

The affected titles include Universal's London Has Fallen, Paramount's 10 Cloverfield Lane, Fox's Eddie the Eagle and Fox's The X-Files: The Event Series.

What makes the move especially interesting is that the Blu-ray versions of London Has Fallen, 10 Cloverfield Lane and Eddie the Eagle are combo packs that include a digital copy and the DVD version. That means, at Best Buy's debut price for these titles, anyone wanthing the DVD version who buys the combo pack is essentially getting both the Blu-ray versions of the film for free (although the DVD versions are cheaper at Target and Walmart, if anyone wants to forgo the Blu-ray because of cost).

Best Buy also offered an exclusive steelbook case with the 10 Cloverfield Lane Blu-ray.

Also interesting is that among the big three retailers, only Best Buy offered the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray of Eddie the Eagle in stores, while Walmart had it online and Target didn't offer it at all. On the other hand, Walmart offered the UHD versions of Paramount's 2009 Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness in stores, while Best Buy had them only online and Target didn't have them at all.


13 Jun, 2016

New on Disc: 'Cinema's Exiles: From Hitler to Hollywood' and more …


Cinema’s Exiles: From Hitler to Hollywood

Available via Warner Archive       
Warner, Documentary, $21.99 DVD, NR.
Narrated by Sigourney Weaver.
2009.
The arguable high point of this two-hour history from filmmaker Karen Thomas shows just how many of that Warner Bros. landmark’s memorable performers came from the Olympic-sized pool of displaced actors who fled Hitler for successful careers in Hollywood.
Read the Full Review
 

Garden of Evil (Blu-ray)

Available via ScreenArchives.com
Twilight Time, Western, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Gary Cooper, Susan Hayward, Richard Widmark, Cameron Mitchell.
1954.
Set in the late 1880s, this yarn about a goldmine cave-in’s aftermath is fairly basic, but its stars both in front of and behind the camera are compensation for its narrative concerns.
Extras: Twilight Time maestro Nick Redman, with colleagues Stephen C. Smith, John Morgan and William T. Stromberg, devote a huge amount of the voiceover commentary to composer Bernard Herrmann and a discussion of sound cues. As with other Twilight Time releases, you can isolate the music track. With archive featurettes on Hayward, Hathaway and the film’s making, this is one of TT’s more “packed” releases.
Read the Full Review

 


7 Jun, 2016

Plenty of Options for '13 Hours'

Walmart's '13 Hours' gift set with shirt
Walmart's '13 Hours' gift set with shirt

Shoppers looking to pick up Paramount's 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi June 7 had plenty of retail exclusives from which to choose.

Walmart offered a gift set of 13 Hours with the Blu-ray and a camo T-shirt.

Best Buy offered the 13 Hours Blu-ray with exclusive steelbook packaging.

Target offered the 13 Hours Blu-ray with the book upon which the film was based.

For Disney's Zootopia, Target offered the Blu-ray and 3D combo packs with exclusive box art and two exclusive featurettes available to stream through the Disney Movies Anywhere site. The 15 minutes of new content includes cast interviews and an early version of the film.

For HBO's Vinyl: The Complete First Season, Target offered an exclusive bonus disc with video of a cast roundtable.

Best Buy offered HBO boxed sets for up to 60% off.


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