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David Poland

By David Poland


Interesting spin on pricing on the new Batman Anthology, which is the post-TV/pre-Nolan Batman features… now in Blu-Ray.
For one thing, only Batman itself is available as a standalone DVD so far. But more interesting is that WB is offering the package at $79.96 (down from list price of $99.95) on its site. And Amazon, which usually has as low a price as anyone, is at $88.99, down from what they say is $129.95 list.
This is the first time that I have seen Blu-ray prices on the WB site that are cheaper than Amazon… which suggests, again, a real effort to make the studio home sales page the site you want to buy from.

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32 Responses to “Bat-Pricing”

  1. Blackcloud says:

    How much is the regular set on WB? On Amazon, it’s $63.99. Is BD worth a premium equivalent to the price of another disc? I suspect many people will argue no. I picked up the regular version a while back for around $50. (Can’t look up the exact price since Deep Discount isn’t giving me order history at the moment). I still think BD prices are too high for the market to bear, and I was saying that before the economy tanked. I can recall when new DVD releases were regularly in the $15-$17 range. BD prices seem to have tacked on $6-$8 on top of that. New DVD releases can be had for the old $15-$17 price, but they are the stripped down, single-disc versions. To cite a current example (all prizes from Amazon): Quantum of Solace barebones: $16.99. Two-disc: $22.99. BD: $25.99.
    In essence, people now have to pay more to get the second disc of extras that when DVD was all the rage a few years ago often came for free. I don’t know how the economics work for the studios, but for many consumers who don’t care about the extras (and I suspect most people who buy DVDs never listen to a director’s commentary), buying the single-disc version will be the way to go. Maybe it’s more equitable to make people pay more to get more. But is it more profitable? I don’t know. This is my personal opinion–and I do buy BDs–BDs are still too expensive, and if the prices don’t come down along with player prices, the market will stall. After all, just look at how the PS3 is doing. Or if you’re Sony, avert your eyes.

  2. I bought these imported last month because I just couldn’t wait. $30 a pop, though, but fuck it.

  3. scooterzz says:

    just buy the discs…gawd…..the whining…..

  4. LexG says:

    Fuck BluRay, biggest scam ever.
    BUY ALL YOUR SHIT ON VHS, the GREATEST homevideo system ever.
    I still remember the 1983 THRILL OF VIDEOTAPE, something that was MIND BLOWING, and no matter how awesome DVD has been, nothing has ever seemed as cool as the 1983 realization that YOU COULD TAPE SHIT and RENT SHIT.

  5. The Big Perm says:

    You’re so funny and clever and witty. I hope a dog bites your dick off.

  6. yancyskancy says:

    I know it’s hard to tell sometimes, but I don’t think Lex was trying to be clever there, Perm. I think he’s expressing an honest nostalgia for the first format that allowed us to discover, access and collect tons of films. For all its inferiority to DVD (especially in areas like correct aspect ratio), it really was an amazing thing.
    As owner of hundreds of standard DVDs (but no HD TV yet), I doubt I’ll be collecting Blu-Rays anytime soon, unless I strike it rich (I’m working on it). Some of ’em sure look good when I’m browsing the TV section of Best Buy. Others not so much.

  7. IOIOIOI says:

    Perm: if you want people to feel real pain. Never go for the dick. The meaty tissues of the leg can really fuck a person up. That’s if you want pain.
    Oh yeah: the Batman anthology went out of print last June. The fact that they brought it back on BD, and have made the regular DVD hard to find. Well, really, it makes no damn sense. No damn sense what so ever.
    Let us also not forget that we live in a world, where Gone With the Wind and the Wizard of OZ are out of print. Warners: “WE MAKIN SHIT UP DAWG!”

  8. Joe Leydon says:

    One thing about VHS: I find it a lot easier to cue a tape than a DVD when I want to show a particular movie scene to my students.

  9. Josh Massey says:

    Let me know when they’ll pay me to take it home.

  10. IOIOIOI says:

    Tomorrow around 8:30 am.

  11. Hallick says:

    Go ahead and serenade VHS all you like, but the goddamn tracking button was a pain in the chapped, prolapsed ass. If DVDs have only improved on tape in this one way, its enough.
    Then again, if a tape had a bad spot, you could plow ahead and make it through to a normal section. A DVD gets a bad spot and my player acts like its having a massive stroke.

  12. I saw the Australia Blu-Ray today and sort of wanted to shove it under my jumper and walk out with it. Even though I don’t have a Blu-Ray player. Or a HD tv. Or the desire to be arrested for shoplifting.

  13. Maskatron says:

    VHS was S H I T. For the simple fact that it was a PITA to dub movies, and the degradation with each dub. Plus widescreen on VHS (if you could get it) was horrible.

  14. LexG says:

    Maskatron… maybe true, but thing is, in the early 80s nobody knew or cared about widescreen, and videotape was just mind-blowing.
    There were magazines like Video Review that were all about VHS and Beta and look and quality and that shit seemed as precise and technical and legit as current BluRay and DVD and HD debates.
    Aside from the handful of Beta and laser disc fanatics, nobody knew or cared that VHS was so inferior; It was just like, whoa, I can tape BLUE THUNDER off HBO???? I can make a tape of WOLFEN on SLP and still have room for NIGHTHAWKS and GREEN ICE?
    I’m assuming maybe you’re younger and came in at the tail end of it? But for like fiften to TWENTY YEARS, VHS was the way to go and the only thing we knew.
    Now it gets swept under the rug and dissed like it was the fucking 8-track, but rentals and taping shit and BEING ABLE TO CUT OUT COMMERCIALS was fucking MIND-BLOWING to someone who got one of those top-loading early 90s models like Palmer uses in THE THING.

  15. christian says:

    For once, I’m with Lex (at a distance). I still have all my VHS tapes, all working fine; quite a few of them have films or shows still unavailable. DVD’s don’t last at all. Plus I wouldn’t trade in any of my recorded ABC Bond showings since I love Ernie Anderson’s voice intoning, “Tonight…James Bond Is Back…”

  16. LexG says:

    If I recall, those ABC Bond showings (and other feature film airings) back in the day would sometimes clock in at odd runtimes; Incredible today to believe the networks used to start the 11:00 news at 11:15 just because they were showing a 1965 James Bond movie. I don’t know if this was before they’d compress or edit stuff for time, or maybe it was just such a huge deal to be showing a blockbuster in the pre-DVD, pre-VHS, pre-TIVO era. But I seem to remember they’d show like “Thunderball” or “For Your Eyes Only” in a 2HR, 45 minute time slot starting at 8:30 and then bump the beginning of the news accordingly.
    I also recall ABC’s theatrical movies used to look like 8mm prints or something… I have an ancient VHS recording of ALIEN from like ’83 or ’85 and it looks all washed-out and fuzzy with flesh tones that are way, way off, like the “late movie” used to look.

  17. christian says:

    Yes, they would push the news ahead for Bond. Now they would just speed up the film like they do with credits — and why don’t the guilds fight that?
    These movies were big million dollar deals so they also had more advertising. And they truly did look awful — except for the titles which were sometimes letterboxed. Not to mention the awful cutting the networks would do…Still, I have OHMSS from ABC…”Tonight…”

  18. leahnz says:

    ditto with the VHS, i still have loads of movies – particularly older ones – on tape and i cherish each and every one (i’m even somewhat embarrassed to admit i have a weird sort of nostalgia for the grainy, crap picture quality of VHS that’s linked to memories of time and place in my head)

  19. Bob Violence says:

    Yeah and also bring back wax cylinders already

  20. Blackcloud says:

    Screw wax cylinders! I want my own chamber orchestra.

  21. yancyskancy says:

    I remember that the credits for widescreen films often HAD to be shown letterboxed, but instead of black bars they’d fill that space will some colorful, frou-frou design or something. Then as soon as the credits ended, boom, pan-and-scan.
    Don’t know why it’s difficult for some of you to understand the nostalgia for VHS. No one has suggested it should be brought back as the standard or anything — we just appreciate it for what it was. The same way you’ll someday say “DVD wasn’t perfect, but it was awesome at the time. You kids today with your ‘VOD brain chips’ just don’t understand.”

  22. Blackcloud says:

    Nostalgia = fail.

  23. jeffmcm says:

    How’s that, exactly? Like Yancy just said, nobody’s demanding a return to VHS, but for what it was, it was a big advance at the time over what existed before, which was 16mm prints that were hard to get and harder to play.

  24. The Big Perm says:

    One movie that really benefitted from VHS was The Evil Dead. I remember having a copy that had a relatively dark transfer and thinking that the mood was so stark and the makeup was amazingly well done. Then you get the bright cleaned up version on DVD, and you realize all of the makeup stops at the chin and it’s peeling off and looks like shit. So VHS wins that one.

  25. Blackcloud says:

    Jeff, that’s a general philosophical principle. It wasn’t directed specifically at Yancy. Recalling VHS fondly (oh, for the days when Star Wars could be had for the bargain price of $129) isn’t really what I had in mind.

  26. The Big Perm says:

    I miss when movies cost three dollars…at night!

  27. jeffmcm says:

    Blackcloud, I guess I also disagree withyour general philosophic principle (in the right dosage, of course).

  28. Blackcloud says:

    No worries, Jeff. It’s not like the old days, when nostalgia could kill someone. Nowadays it’s mostly harmless, like a mild fever. Some bed rest and chicken soup should take car of it.

  29. christian says:

    Watching THE EVIL DEAD on VHS with my sister was a fantastic experience. And even Barnes & Noble now has a “Vinyl” section with records…

  30. leahnz says:

    i still have carpenter’s ‘halloween’ on VHS, it’s FANTASTIC, all grainy and obscure, i watch it every halloween

  31. Hallick says:

    I have over a 1000 home-recorded vhs tapes I will probably need to dump soon due to the fact that they’re all but worthless when I use them in new machines. Picture troubles I can live with; but when the sound is somewhere around 10% of normal, and I feel like I’m watching TV from the bottom of my bathtub, the ride’s over.

  32. leahnz says:

    yes, hallick, the home-recorded movies on VHS are a bit of a worry, that much worse than the movies sold on VHS, which make up the bulk of my VHS collection.
    i had an ancient home-recording of ‘fletch’ that got worse and worse every time i watched it but i could never bring myself to throw it away (we used to have ‘advert free’ tv here on sundays and i recorded ‘fletch’ one sunday back in the olden days), i went to watch it recently and it was so tracked and degraded in patches and the sound so warbley, my boy had to do an intervention and convince me it was time to biff it in the bin, it was tragic. (tho i bought it on dvd the very next day from the ‘2 for $9’ bargain bin so my grief was short-lived)

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

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