Sunday, June 08, 2008

DVD Notes 6/8


Before the news, allow me to tip my chair and brag about a recent find: anyone can find bargain basement HD-DVD prices these days (although even Amazon is reluctant to drop them too far), but today was a particularly shining example. Are you familiar with a store called Hastings? Medium-sized chain of big media stores that sell everything and also rent DVDs. I normally stay away because of their insanely high prices and the general feeling that you've just entered a flea market. But something drew me in today, and I was handsomely rewarded. Their modest remaining stock of HD-DVDs had been moved to a $9.99 clearance rack, along with a Buy 2, Get 1 for $0.01! sign. For a total of $21.19 I walked away with the following used HD-DVDs: Black Snake Moan (sticker: $19.99), King Kong (sticker: $13.99) and Part II of Sopranos season 6 (sticker: $74.99!!!). That's the kind of store Hastings is, at one point they were selling a used Sopranos set for $74.99. Keep in mind this set still goes for $84.99 on Amazon, with used copies starting at $40. Part of me wants to go back and buy their remaining two Sopranos HD sets just to sell, but the remnants of my moral compass is pleading against it. Thank you, now some news...

-- Deep Discount's big semi-annual 20% off sale is on till June 22. This is the biggest sale anywhere, and I've heard of people saving up to spend over $1,000 on the sale, as there is pretty much no limit on what you can save. The 20% off is significant because DeepDiscount's prices often rival Amazon. You'll never find Criterions at a lower price: Blast of Silence or The 400 Blows for $16, Ace in the Hole or Army of Shadows for $20, even the big Seven Samurai set for $22! The sale also applies to HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, meaning quite a few HD-DVDs for $9 or lower. You have to enter a code to get the discount, the one I use is DVDTALK. A tip on DeepDiscount: don't go for the free shipping, it takes ages and is often unreliable. Also, you might want to act fast on what you want because some titles go out of stock quickly during the sale -- I'm waiting for more funds to arrive from my Nigerian banker, but I've already seen more than a few titles I was eyeing go under.

-- Another fun sale is Barnes & Noble's annual Buy 2 Get 1 Free event. This is a tricky sale since B&E charges full price for all their DVDs, so it's up to you to find ways to actually save money, but it can be done. Since Barnes & Noble actually has a very good selection (with many titles yo won't find at BestBuy), I look for DVDs that rarely go on sale even at Amazon, like Criterions and television season sets. I'm thinking about picking up the Criterions of Two-Lane Blacktop, Playtime and Pierrot Le Fou, which will run me about $72 -- or slightly less than the DeepDiscount prices with shipping added on. Even though the savings aren't that dramatic compared to online retailers, I still get a nerdy thrill from seeing a "-$39.99" on my receipt.

-- Best news of the year: A two-disc collector's edition of The Night of the Hunter is coming in September! About freaking time, since the only available DVD of this classic is in full screen (1.66:1 is its original aspect ratio) and has zero extras. No word yet on what the extras will be, though DVD Savant has speculated in the past that behind-the-scenes footage exists, and I'm sure a critic or two would gladly lend a commentary track.

-- For anyone who grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons in the 80s, like me you probably have fond memories of The Real Ghostbusters. Fans of the show have been clamoring for years for an actual DVD release, not just a random handful of episodes. So in the tradition of asking for a bicycle for Christmas and instead receiving a spot in the Tour de France, the series will reportedly be released in its entirety in one big set later this year by Time-Life. We're talking over 100 episodes across 26 discs! I don't think I would pay over $100 for this cartoon, and I know I wouldn't want every single episode ... be careful what you wish for, I guess.

7 comments:

Zane said...

Don't let those morals prevent you from making a few bucks; you know Tony Soprano would want you to buy the discs and resell them for top dollar...

And one random matter of importance: have you heard any talk about a Meatballs II DVD release?

JOSEPH CAMPANELLA said...

Am I the only asshole in the world that thinks the ending 5 minutes, when Lillian Gish "scares" Mitchum into barn, of NIGHT OF THE HUNTER is kind of....lame?

I mean, the movie is incredible up until that point, but then... Gish with a gun? A little lame?

Adam Ross said...

Meatballs II? How about a Meatballs III DVD? It's a shame, just like you can't find Phantasm II on DVD.

Joseph -- the ending is definitely anti-climactic, and I'm not crazy about it either. It's also disappointing how Mitchum loses his edge when he meets Gish, he doesn't seem to be the same nasty S.O.B. after that.

Brian said...

Gish represents the sweep of cinema history- her almost supernatural powers come from having worked with D.W. Griffith, Victor Seastrom, King Vidor, etc.

Well, I tried. Saw Night of the Hunter on the big screen for the first time earlier this year and was totally destroyed by its beauty.

Adam Ross said...

Good take Brian, I wouldn't put something that deep past Loughton. Night of the Hunter put that same spell on me, I've tried a few times to put my thoughts about it in writing only to come up empty. Some day...

kevin said...

Hey thanks for the head's up concerning the Deep Discount DVD sale.

Do you know from experience if Out of Stock items that ship after the sale end date still incorporate the discounted price from the sale? Waiting for months for a DVD I can handle (it's not like I don't have a stack of dozens of unwatched purchased DVDs and Netflix already) but spending an extra four bucks...grrr!

Thought I'd pass along the bad news in case you hadn't heard, the Night of the Hunter's Special Edition DVD release has been postponed to who knows when: http://classicflix.blogspot.com/2008/06/postponed-night-of-hunter-collectors.html

Awesome blog by the way.

Adam Ross said...

Thanks Kevin, and yes the discount applies to out of stock items, but not pre-order items. I've heard they're pretty good about restocking.

Damn, I knew the NOTH news was too good to be true.