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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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19 Sep, 2016

New on Disc: 'The Enemy Below' and more …

The Enemy Below (Blu-ray)

Street 9/20/2016
Kino Lorber, Drama, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Robert Mitchum, Curt Jurgens, Theodore Bikel.
This intelligent, if not all-out stirring study in logistical one-upmanship, is something of a groundbreaking 1950s film due to Curt Jurgens’ characterization of the German counterpart to Robert Mitchum’s U.S. Navy captain amid their 97 screen minutes of cat-and-mouse between an American destroyer escort and a German U-boat that the former has the misfortune to encounter in the South Atlantic.
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Love Me or Leave Me (Blu-ray)

Available via Warner Archive
Warner, Drama, $21.99 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Doris Day, James Cagney, Cameron Mitchell, Robert Keith.
Doris Day, as Broadway/radio/recording notable Ruth Etting, goes fully toe-to-toe with James Cagney in one of the most rewarding of all show biz biopics, a socko achievement given that the latter’s third and final Oscar nomination was indisputably deserved in what is one of the essential films of his 31-year career.
Extras: Includes a couple of Etting’s Warner Vitaphone shorts (her voice never had the oomph of Day’s), plus an amusing 1955 CinemaScope featurette that deals with what was then MGM’s coming imminent release schedule: a 17-minute commercial called “Salute to the Exhibitors,” which rightfully touts Love Me.
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13 Sep, 2016

'Captain America' Blu-rays Fight Retail 'Civil War'

Best Buy's 'Captain America: Civil War' Steelbook
Best Buy's 'Captain America: Civil War' Steelbook

Retailers attached a couple of exclusives to Disney's Captain America: Civil War Sept. 13.

Best Buy offered the 3D Blu-ray combo pack of the latest Marvel film with a collectible Steelbook case.

Target offered the Blu-ray of the film with a couple of exclusive digital extras, featuring behind-the-scenes looks at Ant-Man and Winter Soldier in the movie, plus a one-month free trial of Marvel Unlimited, which allows fans to access more than 17,000 digital comic books.

The Disney store offered an exclusive lithograph set and $10 off any purchase of $40 or more.

For Warner's The Conjuring 2, Walmart offered an exclusive DVD version with different box art and the chain's typical no-extras configuration. Walmart also had a DVD two-pack of both "Conjuring" films.

Another title with a few exclusives was Universal's Barbie: Star Light Adventure. Target offered a free adventure pet with the purchase of the movie or a tie-in doll. Walmart offered a DVD two-pack that paired the new direct-to-video movie with Barbie Dreamtopia.

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12 Sep, 2016

New on Disc: '3 Bad Men' and more …

3 Bad Men (Blu-ray)

Kino Lorber, Western, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars George O’Brien, Olive Borden, Lou Tellegen, Tom Santschi.
John Ford’s finest silent movie, and his last Western until Stagecoach, is a jewel on any count and one that looks forward to the director’s more mature achievements.
Extras: The Blu-ray includes a commentary from Joseph McBride, author of the spectacular Ford biography Searching for John Ford.
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A Taste of Honey

Criterion, Drama, $29.95 DVD, $39.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Rita Tushingham, Dora Bryan, Murray Melvin, Robert Stephens.
Director Tony Richardson’s opened-up movie of young Shelagh Delaney’s stage play A Taste of Honey can be enjoyed in the same manner as any movie that was ahead of its time.
Extras: Includes an essay by scholar Colin MacCabe, recent interviews with stars Murray Melvin and Rita Tushingham, Richardson and Delaney in archival pieces; a look-back at Joan Greenwood helping to spearhead the original stage production; a portrait of cinematographer Walter Lassally; and the full 1956 documentary short Mamma Don’t Allow.
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6 Sep, 2016

'Now You See' Exclusives

Target and Best Buy 'Now You See Me 2' Blu-rays
Target and Best Buy 'Now You See Me 2' Blu-rays

Lionsgate's Now You See Me 2 was the retailers' choice for the big exclusives among the Sept. 6 titles.

Target offered a special Now You See Me 2 Blu-ray combo pack with special box art and an exclusive bonus DVD containing 30 minutes of content: "The Horsemen Return" featurette and a "NYSM2 On-Set Diary" featurette.

Best Buy offered the movie's Blu-ray combo pack with special Steelbook packaging. Best Buy also offered the first film with a Steelbook case for $12.99.

Best Buy also offered a Steelbook for Warner's The Flash: The Complete Second Season.

Walmart offered a DVD set of Sony Pictures' Money Monster with a DVD of The Ides of March.

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5 Sep, 2016

New on Disc: 'Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words' and more …

Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words

Criterion, Documentary, $29.95 DVD, $39.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stig Bjorkman’s exceptional Ingrid Bergman documentary turns out to be the kind of near-miraculous filmed portrait that can emerge when its subject was one of those individuals who apparently saved everything over a long period (or had friends who did).
Extras: Includes an interview with Bjorkman and an extension of the feature’s remarkable group interview with Berman daughter Isabella Rossellini, Autumn Sonata co-star Liv Ullmann and Sigourney Weaver (they were on stage together) where everyone is informal and relaxed.
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Wild in the Streets

Olive, Comedy, $19.95 DVD, $29.95 Blu-ray, ‘R.’
Stars Shelley Winters, Christopher Jones, Diane Varsi, Hal Holbrook.
This yarn about a rock star who becomes a California senator on his way to the presidency was a bona fide mid-level hit when it opened, but in an age of celebrity politicians it’s possibly more interesting now than it was at the time.
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30 Aug, 2016

Best Buy Offers Special 'Arrow' Steelbook

Best Buy's 'Arrow' Steelbook
Best Buy's 'Arrow' Steelbook

Best Buy is selling an exclusive Blu-ray edition of Warner's Arrow: The Complete Fourth Season with a steelbook case.

The special packaging is just about the only retail exclusive linked to any of the Aug. 30 new releases.

Best Buy will also have a steelbook case for the upcoming Blu-ray of Warner's The Flash: The Complete Second Season, due Sept. 6.

Also, Best Buy will have an exclusive steelbook for Disney's Captain America: Civil War Blu-ray, arriving Sept. 13. Fans can preorder the exclusive steelbook version now.

Best Buy continued its promotion for a free $10 gift card with $50 in spending on select TV seasons on disc. The retailer also offered a three-for-$20 deal on select Blu-rays.

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23 Aug, 2016

Exclusives Caught Between a Walker and a 'Huntsman'

'Walking Dead: Season 6' covers at Best Buy and Target
'Walking Dead: Season 6' covers at Best Buy and Target

All three of the major retailers offered exclusive promotions tied to Universal's The Huntsman: Winter's War and Anchor Bay's The Walking Dead: Season 6.

For Huntsman, Best Buy offered exclusive steelbook cases for the Blu-ray and Ultra HD Blu-ray editions. Target offered the movie with a 28-page booklet. And Walmart offered more than 30 minutes of exclusive bonus content.

With the latest "Walking Dead" season, Best Buy offered an exclusive lenticular Blu-ray cover. Best Buy also offered special lenticular covers on previous season as well. Target offered an exclusive steelbook case, while Walmart had an exclusive bonus disc with more than 70 minutes of footage from the Madison Square Garden fan premiere event.

For Lionsgate's Roots remake, Walmart offered the DVD and Blu-ray with two exclusive extras running more than 40 minutes.

Best Buy offered a metalpak case with the first season of Anchor Bay's "Ash vs. Evil Dead" on Blu-ray, and lenticular box art for Paramount's NCIS: Season 13. Best Buy also touted a deal for a free $10 gift card with the purchase of $50 or more of select TV seasons.

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22 Aug, 2016

New on Disc: 'Rawhide' and more …

Rawhide (Blu-ray)

Kino Lorber, Western, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Tyrone Power, Susan Hayward, Hugh Marlowe, Jack Elam.
Though a sizable chunk of Rawhide (including several of its best scenes) takes place indoors at a stagecoach way station, the picture does convey the impression that its relatively small cast is trapped and imperiled in the middle of nowhere — with its “good guys” (who include a woman and a girl toddler) receiving minimal help beyond their own desperate efforts to combat a four-man band of prison escapees. Nothing that happens here departs too markedly from what we’ve seen in other hostage Westerns, but this is still a stagecoach movie written by the guy who wrote the screenplay for Stagecoach (Dudley Nichols).
Extras: Includes a before-and-after primer on Rawhide’s 2007 restoration; interviews from the standard DVD; a Susan Hayward featurette; and a look at Lone Pine, Calif., whose geographical location and mountain/desert locales made it ideal for the may Westerns that were shot there.
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A Cry in the Night

Available via Warner Archive       
Warner, Drama, $21.99 DVD, NR.
Stars Edmond O’Brien, Brian Donlevy, Natalie Wood, Raymond Burr.
A Cry in the Night is a grimy black-and-white hybrid of a police procedural and twisted domestic drama where both plot-central families are having a dysfunctional time of it, and there’s something about it that gets a little under the skin the way that sleazy melodramas with name casts can sometimes do.
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16 Aug, 2016

Raising an Eyebrow at 'Angry Birds'

(L-R): Walmart's and Target's 'Angry Birds Movie' exclusives
(L-R): Walmart's and Target's 'Angry Birds Movie' exclusives

Several exclusives arrived at retail Aug. 16, some of them based on Sony Pictures' The Angry Birds Movie.

For the animated adaptation of the popular mobile phone video game, Target offered a special "Red Edition" with fuzzy-eyebrow packaging, wearable eyebrows and more than 20 minutes of exclusive bonus content. In additionn, Target offered an instant $5 saving swith the purchase of the movie with a Lego "Piggy Plane" attack set (priced at $19.99).

Walmart offered a gift set containing the Blu-ray combo pack with a plush doll of the Red character.

Among other titles, a few retailers had some exclusives in the form of special early availablility. Best Buy had the Blu-ray of Paramount's South Park: Season 19, available everywhere else Sept. 6. Amazon.com had Sony Pictures' Community: The Complete Series boxed set, which comes with a "yearbook" guide book.

Best Buy offered a $10 gift card with the purchase of $50 or more on select TV seasons.

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8 Aug, 2016

New on Disc: 'Zelig' and more …

Zelig (Blu-ray)

Available via ScreenArchives.com
Twilight Time, Drama, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Woody Allen, Mia Farrow.
Carried to an extent by a one-joke premise that a 79-minute running time keeps from wearing out its welcome, this black-and-white production deals with a literal human chameleon who manages to insinuate himself into just about every major political and pop culture event between the Jazz Age and the Depression/Third Reich early 1930s.
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’Neath the Arizona Skies

Olive, Western, $14.95 DVD, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars John Wayne, Sheila Terry, Shirley Jean Rickert, Yakima Canutt, Gabby Hayes.
As one of 16 low-budget “Lone Star” Western releases that John Wayne ground out between 1933 and 1935, ‘Neath the Arizona Skies must be one of the cheapest-looking movies to have rated a Blu-ray release. Still, this is Wayne in his formative years, so by definition a fun view.
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