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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 Dec, 2015

New on Disc: 'You Can't Take It With You' and more …


You Can’t Take It With You (Blu-ray)

Sony Pictures, Comedy, $19.99 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Jean Arthur, Lionel Barrymore, James Stewart, Edward Arnold.
1938.
This 4K restoration of iffy but best-existing printing materials showcases an in-his-prime Frank Capra fashioning a little something of his own out of the George S. Kaufman-Moss Hart Pulitzer winner — auteurism, in fact, that won the director his third Oscar in five years from 1934-38.
Extras: The overall production is classy all the way: digibook with glossy paper and still reproductions; a historical-essay overview plus Crisp’s primer on the restoration challenges; and a vintage commentary by Frank Capra Jr. and Cathrine Kellison
Read the Full Review

American Masters: Althea

PBS, Documentary, $24.99 DVD, NR.
2015.
Rex Miller’s PBS Althea Gibson documentary unearths a goodly amount of archival footage, and Miller is so deft at mixing film and stills that one will possibly get the impression that more first-hand film exists than really does.
Read the Full Review
 


21 Dec, 2015

New on Disc: 'Robbers' Roost' and more …


Robbers’ Roost

Kino Lorber, Western, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars George Montgomery, Richard Boone, Sylvia Findley, Peter Graves.
1955.
This more-fun-than-expected Zane Grey adaptation is mostly a “guy” thing full of familiar ’50s faces to Boomer fanciers of Westerns.
Read the Full Review

Hitler’s Children

Available via Warner Archive       
Warner, Drama, $21.99 DVD, NR.
Stars Tim Holt, Bonita Granville, Kent Smith, Otto Kruger.
1943.
Based on the memoirs of an American educator and onetime broadcaster who taught at an American school in Germany, this is the story of a student who ends up in a Nazi work facility after her childhood friend takes up with the country’s Youth movement.
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15 Dec, 2015

Quadruple the Retail Fun

Walmart's 'Ted 2' gift set
Walmart's 'Ted 2' gift set

With the holiday shopping season picking up, four big titles hit retail Dec. 15 and each had a variety of retailer exclusives to entice customers — Paramount's Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation, Universal's Ted 2, and Fox's Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and the Fantastic Four reboot.

Each of the four was available with a special steelbook case — Rogue Nation, Scorch Trials and Fantastic Four at Best Buy and Ted 2 at Target. Best Buy also offered a steelbook of a collection of all five "Mission: Impossible" films for $39.99, and a steelbook of the first Maze Runner for $14.99. Shoppers who bought both "Maze Runner" steelbooks could save $5.

Best Buy offered Ted 2 with a tie-in promotional opportunity to buy a plush talking Ted doll for $4.99 with purchase of the film on Blu-ray. (the bear on its own is priced at $9.99).

Target offered photo-book packaging with the Blu-rays of Rogue Nation, Scorch Trials and Fantastic Four. Rogue Nation also came with an exclusive bonus disc containing featurettes about the film's stunts.

Walmart offered a DVD two-pack of the "Maze Runner" movies and a Blu-ray gift set of Ted 2 with a "Legalize Ted" T-shirt.

Best Buy ran a sale on HBO and BBC titles, with buyers receiving a $10 gift card for spending $50 or $25 for spending $100.

Amazon seemed to be having some inventory issues with Ted 2, Scorch Trials and Fantastic Four, listing Blu-rays (and the Ted 2 DVD) as available in a few days or as out of stock. This comes in the wake of Amazon dropping preorders for many Fox titles.


14 Dec, 2015

New on Disc: 'Downhill Racer' and more …


Downhill Racer (Blu-ray)

Criterion, Drama, $39.95 Blu-ray, ‘PG.’
Stars Robert Redford, Gene Hackman, Camilla Sparv.
1969.
Director Michael Ritchie’s debut is the best fictional movie about skiing — ever.
Extras: Though Robert Redford’s baby from its inception, Downhill Racer was an extraordinarily collaborative effort, a point made clear during the informative interviews that constitute much of this Criterion upgrade’s bonus materials.
Read the Full Review

The Kid From Cleveland

Olive, Drama, $24.95 DVD, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars George Brent, Russ Tamblyn, Lynn Bari.
1949.
In addition to giving speaking parts to (among several others) Cleveland Indians player-manager Lou Boudreau, Hank Greenburg, Tris Speaker and maverick Indians owner Bill Veeck, Kid From Cleveland marked the feature debut of Russ Tamblyn in that brief early period when he was billed as Rusty, as a young troublemaker taken under the wing of a sportswriter and the baseball team.
Read the Full Review
 


8 Dec, 2015

'Minions' Take Over Retail, But 'Ant-Man' Looms Large

'Minions' Exclusives: Target's metal case, Walmart's water bottle set, Best Buy's lunchbag
'Minions' Exclusives: Target's metal case, Walmart's water bottle set, Best Buy's lunchbag

It comes as little surprise that Universal's Minions and Marvel's Ant-Man would arrive at retail with a number of exclusive options.

Most of the buzz surrounded Minions, with the biggest deals coming from Target, which offered a number of exclusive packaging options for the Blu-ray combo pack (non-3D). Consumers could choose from three different box art variants for $18.99, or a deluxe metal case version for $22.99. The metal case touted 40 minutes of extra content and a $5 Minions-themed Target gift card. Target also had the Blu-rays of the two "Despicable Me" movies for $10 each.

Best Buy offered a free lunchbag with the purchase of a Minions Blu-ray, while Walmart offered a Blu-ray gift set containing the non-3D combo pack and a water bottle.

For Ant-Man, Best Buy had a steelbook case for the 3D Blu-ray, while Target offered online access to the featurette "Ant-Man: The Biggest Little Hero in the M.C.U."

Target also had the DVD and Blu-ray of Hannibal: Season Three with a collector's booklet, as well as a $14.99 Blu-ray two-pack of Home Alone and Home Alone 2 with a knit cap.


1 Dec, 2015

Steelbooks Kick Off December Shopping Season

Best Buy's upcoming 'Fantastic Four' steelbook Blu-ray
Best Buy's upcoming 'Fantastic Four' steelbook Blu-ray

The last month of the year begins with a light slate of new releases, but big promotions on preorders for upcoming titles.

Best Buy touted steelbook Blu-rays on preorders for upcoming titles such as Fox's Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and Fantastic Four, and Paramount's Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation. Best Buy also has a lunch bag with Universal's Minions. The preorders are $19.99 each and come with $5 in Best Buy Rewards credits.

Best Buy also has a steelbook of the James Bond: The Daniel Craig Collection.

Another promotion at Best Buy involved Microsoft's Halo: Fall of Reach DVD and Blu-ray, with a 20% savings for Best Buy Gamers Club members.

Walmart had a special DVD two-pack of the first seasons Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's "Angry Birds: Stella" and "Piggy Tales."

 


30 Nov, 2015

New on Disc: 'Best of Enemies' and more …


Best of Enemies

Magnolia, Documentary, B.O. $0.89 million, $26.98 DVD, $29.98 Blu-ray, ‘R’ for some sexual content/nudity and language.
2015.
This super-crisp documentary by Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon chronicles how a Hail Mary pass by basement-dwelling ABC to team William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal for a series of televised debates in 1968 helped lead to the kinds of political-donnybrook talk shows that prevail today.
Extras: Enemies has a full hour of interviews that are as good as the documentary itself. Here’s a case where, without the extras, you’re only getting maybe 60% of the package.
Read the Full Review

The Hurricane

Kino Lorber, Drama, $19.95 DVD, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Jon Hall, Dorothy Lamour, Raymond Massey, Mary Astor, Thomas Mitchell.
1937.
Director John Ford’s solemn tale of a Polynesian unfairly imprisoned by a French colonial governor in the South Seas is all island foreplay for the main event: a 14-minute hurricane sequence that has a few technically dated bits but still plays remarkably well by today’s standards.
Extras: Preeminent Ford biographer Joseph McBride provides a commentary, which alone is worth the price of admission.
Read the Full Review
 


10 Nov, 2015

Finding a 'Terminator' Among a 'Trainwreck'

Best Buy's and Target's 'Terminator: Genisys' covers
Best Buy's and Target's 'Terminator: Genisys' covers

Retailers Nov. 10 doubled down with exclusives for Paramount's Terminator: Genisys and Universal's Trainwreck.

The fifth "Terminator" movie came with a variety of packaging configurations from which consumers could choose (not an unusual strategy for Paramount). Best Buy offered the 2D Blu-ray combo pack with a lenticular cover and more than 90 minutes of exclusive behind-the-scenes content. Target offered the Blu-ray with a steelbook case. Walmart offered the Blu-ray packed with a copy of the original "Terminator" film.

For Trainwreck, Best Buy offered the Blu-ray of the raunchy comedy with 30 minutes of exclusive deleted scenes. Target offered a one-year subcription to Entertainment Weekly. Walmart offered the Blu-ray in a gift pack with a T-shirt.

Among other titles, Best Buy offered a $20 gift card with the purchase of both the first season of "Better Call Saul" and disc and a Best Buy-esclusive DVD set of the first three seasons of "Breaking Bad" that came with six coasters.


9 Nov, 2015

New on Disc: 'One Deadly Summer' and more …


One Deadly Summer (Blu-ray)

Street 11/10/15
Bayview, Drama, $24.99 Blu-ray, ‘R.’
Stars Isabelle Adjani, Alain Suchon, Suzanne Flon.
1983.
Ultimately, this revenge saga belongs to Isabelle Adjani and a vibrant “look” with a color quality that rocks on Blu-ray. The story takes a lot of tasty twists and turns, though at 133 minutes, the picture is a tad long and lumpy.
Extras: Included here are interviews with Adjani and director Jean Becker.
Read the Full Review

Matchstick Men (Blu-ray)

Warner, Drama, $14.98 Blu-ray, ‘PG-13.’
Stars Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell, Alison Lohman.
2003.
When Nicolas Cage is good and has watchable material, he’s really good, such as his memorable turn here as an obsessive-compulsive con artist who likes leaving his lair only a little more than Dracula does during the daylight hours. This is, of all things, a Ridley Scott movie — one of those (like, say, Someone to Watch Over Me or The Good Year or The Counselor) that don’t seem to go with the usual or at least frequent program.
Read the Full Review
 


3 Nov, 2015

Retailers Turn Goodies 'Inside Out'


Disney's Inside Out arrived at retail Nov. 3 with several exclusives.

Target offered the latest Pixar animated film with 20 minutes of exclusive content and deleted scenes included with the Blu-ray combo packs, such as a "Drawing With Your Inner Child" featurette.

Best Buy offered The Blu-ray versions of Inside Out with five character cards.

Best Buy also offered $10 discounts on a couple of TV titles new to disc when purchased with earlier seasons: Fox's A.D. — The Bible Continues when purchased with The Bible on DVD or Blu-ray, and Anchor Bay's Black Sails: The Complete Second Season when purchased with the first season.

Speaking of A.D., Amazon, possibly as a result of other ongoing irregularities with Fox titles, wasn't directly selling the ttile on its debut date, but did have copies available via its third-party Marketplace sellers. Amazon listed its own availability the next day but posted the Blu-ray version at full suggested retail price.

As for "Black Sails," Target offered the second season with exclusive steelbook packaging on both the DVD and Blu-ray.

With the new Blu-ray steelbook editions of the first and second seasons of "Game of Thrones," Target offered $10 off a tie-in POP figure ($8.99) with the purchase of one of the seasons (at $39.99 each).

Warner announced that Target would have exclusive availablility of The Lego Movie: The Special Special Edition ($19.99), featuring a bonus Blu-ray disc with more than two hours of new special features, including a commentary, deleted scenes, "How It Should Have Ended" clips and more. All the new bonus features are also available digitally on iTunes Extras and Vudu.