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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.


Opinion
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28 Jul, 2015

Retailers Bring 'Home' Exclusives


DreamWorks Animation's Home arrived on disc July 28 with several retailer exclusives from which consumers could choose.

Target offered an exclusive bonus disc with more than 30 minutes of extra content, including material with Slushious the Flying Car. Target also gave away free popcorn and a medium soda at the Taret Café with the purchase of Home, which is distributed by Fox.

Best Buy offered the Home Blu-ray with special lenticular packaging, plus a $5 discount with the purchase of Home in conjunction with DreamWorks Animation's Madagascar, Shrek or How to Train Your Dragon on Blu-ray.

Best Buy also offered a deluxe Blu-ray set of Warner's Justice League: Gods and Monsters with a digital copy of the animated Wonder Woman movie.

Target offered the Gods and Monsters Blu-ray with a steelbook case. Both stores offered the deluxe version with a pack-on Wonder Woman figurine.

Best Buy is taking preorders for The Walking Dead: The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray for $19.99. The preorder touts an exclusive lenticular cover and Best Buy members receive a $5 reward certificate.


27 Jul, 2015

New on Disc: 'The World of Henry Orient' and more …


The World of Henry Orient (Blu-ray)

Available via ScreenArchives.com
Twilight Time, Comedy, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Peter Sellers, Tippy Walker, Merrie Spaeth, Angela Lansbury.
1964.
Veteran screenwriter Nunnally Johnson’s adaptation of daughter Nora’s same-name 1956 novel was probably the best movie specifically centered on teenaged girls until 2001’s Ghost World. As a second-rate concert pianist who has still managed to attain a small but dwindling following, Peter Sellers becomes an object of fascination for two early adolescents (Merrie Spaeth and Tippy Walker), students at an upscale Manhattan school who’ve just met and become instant friends.
Extras: Twilight Time regulars Nick Redman and Julie Kirgo (with film music expert Jeff Bond) offer a breezy commentary, though it’s amusing to note the friendly tension between Orient-adorer Kirgo (whose age and upbringing make her a dead-on soul sister with the key characters) and Redman (who has little use for Sellers in the movies not directed by Stanley Kubrick and doesn’t mind telling you so).
Read the Full Review

Prime Cut (Blu-ray Review)

Street 7/28/15
Kino Lorber, Drama, $29.95 Blu-ray, ‘R’
Stars Lee Marvin, Gene Hackman, Sissy Spacek, Angel Tompkins.
1972. Prime Cut
’s brisk 86-minute pacing enables an apt cast to keep at least pulp fanciers sticking with a notably preposterous piece of work.
Read the Full Review
 


21 Jul, 2015

Target Offers Scooby-Snack for KISS


Target offered an exclusive bonus disc and free popcorn with the DVD and Blu-ray of Warner's Scooby-Doo! and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery July 21.

Target also offered a buy-one, get-one 50% off promotion on all movies and TV series on disc.

Best Buy touted pre-orders for the Divergent sequel, Insurgent, for $19.99, with instant access to the movie via CinemaNow and a steelbook case with the eventual 3D Blu-ray combo pack.

Best Buy also touted $7.50 movie theater coupons to see the new film Pixels with select Sony Pictures Blu-rays.


17 Jul, 2015

A Paramount Decision


Paramount Pictures has brought together two segments of the home entertainment industry that are traditionally at odds: theatrical and home entertainment distribution. Cinema companies have for years bemoaned the shrinking window between theatrical release and home entertainment distribution, whether via video-on-demand, streaming or disc. Each time a studio has tried to give consumers access to theatrical releases sooner than usual, the theaters have circled the wagons and protested.

While previously at odds, these two businesses are now forming an “Odd Couple,” as our July 20 cover story notes, married by digital revenue. Paramount’s Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension and Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse will be given a wide release this fall with the digital home entertainment purchase available 17 days after the film dips below 300 domestic theaters, meaning consumers could have digital access to titles early — with theaters, for the first time, sharing in the digital revenue.

Looming in the background is the threat from streaming services such as Amazon Prime and Netflix. Both services are looking to slam the theatrical-to-digital window shut and offer feature films to be streamed without the usual cinema exhibition period. There’s nothing like a common enemy to unite former foes and force a shotgun wedding.

I don’t think, by the way, that the theatrical and home entertainment revenues are a zero sum game. I’ve been to many theatrical showings in which audience members leave the theater musing about when they will be able to buy the film they have just seen on disc or digital. Sometimes, there is no better time to sell a film on home entertainment than just after consumers have seen it in theaters. Perhaps marketing home entertainment in the theater lobby is the next step.


14 Jul, 2015

'Blart' on Patrol for Retail Attention

Walmart's 'Paul Blart' double feature Blu-ray pack
Walmart's 'Paul Blart' double feature Blu-ray pack

Sony Pictures' Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 led the way July 14 with a number of retail exclusives.

The most notable was Walmart's two-pack pairing the Blu-ray of Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 with the Blu-ray of the original movie, which was selected by fans from among several Kevin James films in a Facebook vote to be paired with the new film in the exclusive set.

Best Buy offered a $5 gift card with the purchase of the Blart 2 Blu-ray.

Target offered free Groovy Gold Minion goggles with the purchase of any "Despicable Me" movie on disc.


7 Jul, 2015

Retailers Scare Up 'Monster High' Deals


The only retail exclusives attached to the July 7 new releases involved Universal's Monster High: Scaris, City of Fright.

Walmart offered free stickers with the DVD of Monster High: Scaris, City of Fright. Target offered $5 instant savings with the purchase of the movie and a select "Monster High" doll.

Best Buy offered $10 off the purchase of the third season of "House of Cards" on disc with the purchase of one of the show's previous seasons.

Best Buy was selling a $29.99 "All Access Pass" to Minions, inlcuding a $10 Fandango movie ticket, 250 My Best Buy points, plus copies of the film on Blu-ray and Digital HD when available.


6 Jul, 2015

New on Disc: 'Dodge City' and more …


Dodge City (Blu-ray)

Warner, Western, $19.98 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Alan Hale, Bruce Cabot, Ann Sheridan.
1939.
A good cast, fast pacing and a gorgeous exterior go a long way toward making this a fun journey to dip into every once in a while.
Read the Full Review

Entertaining the Troops: American Entertainers in World War II

MVD, Documentary, $19.95 DVD, NR.
1994.
Robert Mugge’s undeservedly ill-known documentary focuses on the Hollywood stars who battled the elements and puddle-jumping plane rides to provide brief R&R to those serving the country in World War II. The early going of Entertaining the Troops is fun and full of foolproof footage (probably in the public domain) of Bob Hope and Bing Crosby and Judy Garland and bandleader Kay Kyser and many more doing in-person engagements and/or radio shows bee-lined for the troops. But the soul of the story comes late when its longer opening act concludes, and Mugge films a sit-around with Hope and his core troupe.
Extras: Includes a bonus outtake section that runs about 25 minutes.
Read the Full Review
 


30 Jun, 2015

Free 'Minion' Money


Retailers June 30 again shied away from tagging exclusive promotions to the new releases of the week. Instead, Target touted a selection of catalog DVDs and Blu-rays containing $7.50 coupons that can be applied to tickets for new movies in theaters, including Universal's animated Minions.

Best Buy touted the $7.99 promotional price for the Blu-ray of Magic Mike as part of Warner's marketing efforts for the upcoming theatrical sequel.

Best Buy also listed $8 Fandango movie coupons with select Paramount Blu-rays.

More interesting was what was missing from the weekly promotions. Target didn't list a price for the Blu-ray of Warner's Get Hard in its weekly ad, while Walmart didn't stock the Blu-ray of Lionsgate's While We're Young, which was listed as "sold out" online.


29 Jun, 2015

New on Disc: 'Absolute Beginners' and more …


Absolute Beginners

Available via ScreenArchives.com
Twilight Time, Comedy, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Eddie O’Connell, Patsy Kensit, David Bowie, James Fox.

1986. The movie built on the emerging teen market probably bites off more late-1950s London turmoil than it can chew — which is, relatively speaking, to its credit, given the dearth of daringly ambitious screen entertainments from the mid-1980s.
Read the Full Review

The Whistler & The Power of the Whistler

Available via Sony Choice Collection
Sony Pictures, Thriller, $20.95 DVD each, NR.
Stars Richard Dix.
1944-45.
Eight "Whistler" movies sprang from the popular radio show, with the first and third presented here, focused on some crime-centered pickle in which the story’s protagonist had gotten himself immersed.
Read the Full Review
 


23 Jun, 2015

Summer Slowdown Yields Few Big Titles


With the calendar officially turning to summer, the June 23 release slate consisted prmarily of a handful of direct-to-video family fare and a few cult-hit cable shows.

Universal released the latest "An American Girl" movie, Grace Stirs Up Success, which came with a cooking activity book at Target.

Target also had the exclusive DVD of Thomas & Friends: Wild Water Rescue.

During the slow week, Best Buy and Target focused on promoting preorders for bigger titles coming down the pipeline, in particular Fox's Home (just released on Digital HD) and Disney/Pixar's Inside Out. Target offered a $5 gift card with disc preorders for either title.

Best Buy touted $7.50 movie coupons for Ted 2 in theaters with the purchase of select titles.

Stores also made room for the pending Friday, June 26, release of Disney's Teen Beach Movie 2. Target and Best Buy both offered it at $14.99.