Ahh the days after Thanksgiving, when America shows the rest of the world just how far we’re willing to go for a deal. If you’re all done looking at videos of crazy people nearly killing each other at Wal-Marts all over the country to save $50 on an Xbox, then please have a seat with your credit card handy and take a look at some of the amazing DVD and Blu-ray deals available all across the wide wide world of the internet. Happy shopping.
The Criterion Collection
Criterion deals abound today and tomorrow. First up, Barnes and Noble has the ENTIRE collection, DVD and Blu-ray editions, available for 50% off list price. Criterion’s are rarely discounted and collectors often wait for Barnes and Noble’s regular sales to buy their discs at the cheapest possible prices. Barnes and Noble memberships are available for $25 a year and are well worth the price. Members get an extra 10% off almost all items at brick and mortar locations, including already discounted titles during the Criterion sale for a whopping 60%. In addition, members receive free shipping on all online orders, with delivery times averaging 3 business days. The sale applies to all in stock Criterion discs so out-of-print and pre-order titles do not apply. Sale prices are valid through November 26th.
Not to be outdone, Amazon has unleashed a flurry of discounts on various Criterion titles. Titles with the biggest discounts include Che, Carlos, Seven Samurai and Night of the Hunter Blu-rays, both multi-disc sets that list for $50, can be had for 58% off, $20.99 apiece as well as Jonathan Demme’s Something Wild, an incredible 62% off at $14.99. Several titles are $20.99 or 47% off, but the same titles can be had for $19.99 at Barnes and Noble. The real deals are the handfuls of titles available for $17.99. Titles include Quadrophenia, Diabolique, Blow Out, Cronos, 12 Angry Men, The Great Dictator, Traffic, The Red Shoes, Dazed and Confused, 3 Women, Kiss Me Deadly, Anatomy of a Murder, The Royal Tenenbaums, Broadcast News, Charade, Robinson Crusoe on Mars, The Darjeeling Limited, Harold and Maude, Being John Malkovich, Godzilla, 8 1/2, Videodrome, Black Narcissus, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Paths of Glory, Rushmore, Gimme Shelter, The 39 Steps, M, Modern Times, Stagecoach, Paris Texas, Days of Heaven, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Game and Rosemary’s Baby. Find those here. Even better, Amazon has discounted pre-order prices on some upcoming Criterion releases like Christopher Nolan’s debut feature Following and and the Alain Delon starring Purple Noon both for $17.99 and the multi-disc Brazil set for $20.99. Amazon’s Prime service is a steal for $79 a year, including free two-day shipping, overnight shipping for $3.99 per item as well as free unlimited streaming of a wide selection of movies and TV shows through Amazon Instant Video. Unfortunately, Amazon could change any or all of these prices at any time so get them while they last.
While Amazon has had these same prices or better, as the weekend progresses Amazon is done discounting certain items, while Best Buy’s sales remain. Perhaps most notable is the Bond 50 set, which Amazon had available for a $99.99 in Gold Box deal that sold out in hours. With their stock depleted, Amazon has no discount while Best Buy still has the set available for a very good price of $129.99. Other Best Buy Blu-ray prices that are currently better than their Amazon counterparts include The Lord of the Rings Extended Edition box set for $49.99, Star Wars: The Complete Saga for $69.99, and the Back the Future Trilogy for $24.99.
Amazon Lightning Deals
If you’re not familiar with Amazon Lightning Deals, they’re very simple. Amazon allocates a certain number of units of a particular item and then puts it on sale at a drastically reduced price at a specific time. A unit is marked as taken once it has been added to a customer’s cart. That customer then has 15 minutes to checkout or they lose the deal. The deal lasts for a few hours and then it’s gone. It also stops being available once the number of pre-allocated units has been spoken for, though interested customers can join a waitlist in the hopes that someone might not complete their order. Amazon Lightning Deals have been going on all week culminating with their Cyber Monday deals. You can see the full lineup here. Some of the best deals on Blu-rays include Fight Club for $3.96, Battleship, Brave and Safe House for $8.96, and Spartacus seasons 1 and 2 for $32.99.
The brainchild of Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League, Drafthouse Films has burst onto the film distribution scene with a diverse and challenging selection of titles. Their Black Friday special which runs through Monday includes 25% off all fan packs for their films. Fan packs typically include a Blu-ray or DVD copy of the film as well as digital copy for download packaged with some kind of merchandise related to the film, like a vinyl copy of Against the Ninja for Miami Connection or a fake gold grill for your teeth from The FP. In addition to the fan packs, you can become a Drafthouse Alliance member at a discounted rate. Normally $150, Drafthouse Alliance memberships can be had for only $120 and include the next 10 Drafthouse Films releases automatically sent to you in your choice of DVD or Blu-ray versions as well as HD digital downloads of all the films, including their previously released films, invites to special screenings and events and limited edition swag. See the Drafthouse Films deals here.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention what must have been an inspiration for the creation of Drafthouse Alliance, Oscilloscope Labs Circle of Trust. Oscilloscope has put out some truly fantastic films like Dear Zachary, Rare Exports, Bellflower and We Need to Talk About Kevin and the Circle of Trust is the perfect way to stay up to date. Members receive the next 10 Oscilloscope releases in either DVD or Blu-ray format, as well as the ability to purchase any previously released titles for only $15. Invites to events and screenings and swag items are also member perks. Circle of Trust memberships are only $99 and are great for you or as a gift for that movie lover in your life. See the Oscilloscope Labs deals here.
Odds and Ends
The League: Season Three Blu-ray
Priced at $19.99
Possibly the funniest show on TV, The League’s third season finds the show really getting into a groove, which is saying something for a show that seemed to hit the ground running right out of the gate.
Road House Blu-ray
Priced at $5.99
Swayze. Nuff said.
Ruby Sparks Blu-ray
Priced at $9.96
Zoe Kazan wrote and starred in this fascinating deconstruction of the manic pixie dream girl specifically and relationships in general through the lens of writing and imagination and how that plays into our expectations and desires in the people we love. At once funny and slightly melancholy, Ruby Sparks flew under the radar during its brief theatrical run but should find a nice home on Blu-ray.
Priced at $13.99
Clue took its Blu-ray bow to very little fan fare especially for such a seemingly well regarded title. Best Buy didn’t carry it in stores, little mention was made even on Blu-ray review blogs and Amazon’s normal 30% off MSRP pricing seemed not to apply to this particular title. Finally discounted to a reasonable price at 40% off, Clue is pretty much a bare bones release, but it does maintain the three endings and includes a nice HD transfer.
Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy Blu-ray
Priced at $27.99
Don’t tell me JP2 and JP3 suck. We all know they aren’t great. That doesn’t negate the fact that it’s still kinda fun to pop one of the ill-advised sequels in on a lazy Sunday afternoon. 6-pack’s help though. That said, Universal hasn’t released the Jurassic Park films individually yet, and while they may in the future, $27.99 isn’t a bad price at all, even if you’re only interested in the original. Beyond a classic, Jurassic Park is one of the greatest films of all time, yeah I said it, and it’s well worth your hard earned cash. Do it.
What other deals are you seeing out there on Cyber Monday?