Disc Deals and Steals of the Week: Avatar, A Chistmas Carol, and More!!!

Here at Inside Pulse Movies, we compile all the best deals on new DVD and Blu-ray releases, as well as report on some that are so good they’re criminal. Brick-and-mortar stores include Target, Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Fry’s Electronics. Amazon deals are also in the mix.

For twelve years the self-proclaimed King of the World was missing in action from cinemas. After the success of Titanic James Cameron didn’t rush in to his next project. He waited. And waited. And waited. Cameron would make the occasional documentary (Ghosts of the Abyss, Aliens of the Deep) while also dreaming his next project. That project would turn out to be Avatar, a film that took the world by storm in late 2009 to become the most successful movie of all time. When it was released on home video on Earth Day 2010, it broke sales records for the Blu-ray format. But that wasn’t enough for Cameron. He wanted to super size his blockbuster film, and made a special edition with eight extra minutes. It had a short theatrical release and was met with little fanfare.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard of Avatar until now, here’s a quick synopsis. The film is set in 2154, and humans are mining a precious mineral called unobtanium on a moon named Pandora. As mining persists, the Na’vi, a tribe native to Pandora, grow more agitated. Scientists use Na’vi-human hybrid bodies (aka “avatars”) to learn their customs and culture as a means to help diffuse the situation. But when Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) tries to obtain intelligence for a military advantage his allegiance sways as he begins to empathize with the Na’vi. This leads to a giant confrontation that includes genocide and scorched earth policy.

The film, though a box office hit, is divisive among friends, critics, what have you. Some of that is attributed to James Cameron himself, as some view him as an egotist almost insisting that people see Avatar and bestow him with complementary kudos on how great it is. For months leading up to its release, directors like George Lucas and the two Stevens (Spielberg and Soderbergh) visited the set to see what the hell Cameron was up to. Like a mad scientist showing off his latest creation, Cameron allowed them access to technology he helped to develop – the Fusion Camera System (which was modified for this production).

Still, the film itself is rather elementary in terms of structure, advancement of character, and dialogue (Avatar is proof that in 2154 the term “numbnuts” is still part of the vernacular). That it grossed over $2 billion (the only film to do so) is a telling statistic, but James Cameron knows how to tell a story and have it connect with mass audiences. Say what you will about the man, but the fact that he directed the two highest grossing movies of all time and neither is a sequel in a franchise or adapted from a previous published work (book, TV, video game) is pretty damn impressive.

Those who put off purchasing the science-fiction movie until now look to be in for a treat. While the original Blu-ray may be the bestselling BD of all time it is scant with extras. Here we get the works. Not only does this Avatar: Collector’s Edition release include the original cut and special edition release, but it also contains the collector’s edition extended cut with an extra 16 minutes and an alternative opening. And that’s just the first disc! We still got two more.

Notable Extras: “Capturing Avatar” – feature length documentary; 45 minutes of deleted scenes
BD Exclusives: Interactive Scene Deconstruction (3 View Modes); 17 Production shorts (featurettes); Avatar Archives (Original Scriptment, 300-page screenplay, and Pandorapedia)

Target – $17.99
Best Buy – $19.99
Fry’s – $19.99
Amazon – $19.99

Target – $24.99
Best Buy – $29.99
Fry’s – $24.99
Amazon – $25.99

Other noteworthy DVD (and Blu-ray) releases this week…

Disney’s A Christmas Carol – [DVD / BD]
The Last Airbender – [DVD / BD]
The Kids Are All Right – [DVD / BD]
Lottery Ticket – [DVD / BD]
Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore – [DVD / BD]
Modern Times: Criterion Collection – [DVD / BD]
The Night of the Hunter: Criterion Collection – [DVD / BD]
The Complete Metropolis – [DVD / BD]
Sherlock Jr. / Three Ages – [DVD / BD]
Gangland: Complete Season Six – [DVD / BD]
Exam – [DVD]
Vengeance – [DVD]
Monte Walsh – [DVD]
Best Worst Movie – [DVD]
Perry Mason: Season Five – [DVD]
WWE: The John Cena Experience – [DVD]

Noteworthy Blu-ray-specific releases this week…

The Twilight Zone: Season 2
Spider-Man 2
Mutiny on the Bounty

Retailer Specials

The Mummy Trilogy – (BD, $29.99)
The Bridge on the River Kwai – (BD, $19.99)
Grindhouse – (BD, $19.99)
The Exorcist – (BD, $19.99)
The Last of the Mohicans – (BD, $14.99)
X-Men Origins: Wolverine – (BD, $14.99)
The Good, The Bad and the Weird – (BD, $13.99)
Kick-Ass– (BD, $12.99)
Universal Soldier: Regeneration – (BD, $12.49)
Big Trouble in Little China – (BD, $9.99)
Twister – (BD, $9.99)
Dark City – (BD, $9.99)
Batman (1987) – (BD, $9.99)
The Mist – (BD, $9.99)
Fletch – (BD, $9.99)
Planet Terror – (BD, $9.99)
Death Proof – (BD, $9.99)
Eyes Wide Shut – (BD, $9.99)
Superman: The Movie – (BD, $9.99)
The Descent – (BD, $9.99)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – (BD+DVD, $9.99)
Rocky – (Two-Disc BD+DVD, $9.99)
Child’s Play – (BD+DVD, $9.99)
The Lost Boys – (BD, $9.99)
Donnie Darko – (BD, $9.99)
The Devil Wears Prada – (BD, $8.99)
The Ruins – (BD, $8.49)
28 Days Later – (BD, $8.49)
3:10 to Yuma – (BD, $7.99)
Gamera Double Feature – (BD,  $5.49)

The Last Airbender 3D Blu-ray ($29.99)

New Releases (available 11/16/10):
The Last Airbender (BD, $22.99 – DVD, $17.99 – BD+DVD+Digital Copy, $26.99)
Disney’s A Christmas Carol (BD+DVD, $24.99 – DVD, $17.99)
Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (BD+DVD+Digital Copy, $26.99 – DVD, $19.99)
The Kids Are all Right (BD, $26.99 – DVD, $17.99)

Lottery Ticket (BD+DVD+Digital Copy, $27.99 – $19.99)
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: A Very Sunny Christmas Gift Set (BD, $24.99 – DVD, $19.99)

Spartacus (S1 DVD, $24.99 – BD, $39.99)

2 for $40 BDs: The Karate Kid (2010), Grown Ups, Death at a Funeral (2010), Legion, The Bounty Hunter

50% Off TV on DVD (More In Store and Online)

Lost (S6 DVD, $24.99 – BD, $32.49)
Grey’s Anatomy (S6 DVD, $24.99)
Castle (S2 DVD, $22.99)
Desperate Housewives (S6 DVD, $22.99)
The Big Bang Theory (S2 DVD, $17.49)
Smallville (S8 DVD, $17.99)
Gossip Girl (S2 DVD, $17.99)
Scrubs (S9, $12.99)

Blu-ray in 3D

$34.99: Disney’s A Christmas Carol (BD+BD3D+DVD+Digital Copy), Clash of the Titans 3D (2010), Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore 3D, The Polar Express 3D, IMAX Space Station 3D, IMAX Deep Sea 3D,  IMAX Under the Sea 3D

$29.99: Open Season 3D, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Monster House, My Bloody Valentine 3D, The Official 2010 FIFA World Cup Film in 3D

New Releases (available 11/16/10):
The Last Airbender (BD, $22.99 – DVD, $16.99 – BD+DVD+Digital Copy, $26.99)
Disney’s A Christmas Carol (BD+DVD, $24.99 – DVD, $16.99, 3D BD+Digital Copy, $29.99)
Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (BD+DVD+Digital Copy, $25.99 – DVD, $17.99)
The Kids Are all Right (BD, $24.99 – DVD, $17.99)
Lottery Ticket (BD+DVD+Digital Copy, $25.99 – $19.99)
Glee: The Complete First Season Gift Set (DVD, $39.99)
The Office: Digital Shorts Collection (DVD, $9.99)

$24.99 TV on DVD: Bones (Season 5), Burn Notice (Season 3), Grey’s Anatomy (Season 6), Lost (Season 6), Chuck (Season 3), One Tree Hill (Season 7), Gossip Girl (Season 2)

$19.99 TV on DVD: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Season 5), How I Met Your Mother (Season 5), Modern Family (Season 1), Castle (Season 2)

Predators (BD, $19.99)*
The Last of the Mohicans (BD, $19.99)*
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (BD, $14.99)*
The Day the Earth Stood Still (BD, $14.99)*

* $3 off when purchased in combination with Avatar on BD or DVD.

Note: Prices good through 11/16/10

New Releases (available 11/16/10):
The Last Airbender (BD, $26.99)
Disney’s A Christmas Carol (BD+BD3D+DVD+Digital Copy, $29.99)

Bones (S5 DVD, $23.99)
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (S5 DVD, $18.99)
How to Train Your Dragon (BD+DVD, $19.99)
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (DVD, $17.99)
Iron Man 2 (BD, $19.99 – DVD, $16.99)
Get Him to the Greek (BD, $19.99 – DVD, $16.99)

$14.99 BDs: 9, Couples Retreat, Green Zone, Inglourious Basterds, It’s Complicated, Public Enemies, Repo Men, The Wolfman, The Last of the Mohicans, Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge!, Date Night, Marmaduke, (BD+DVD) Just Wright, Diary of a Wimpy Kid (BD+DVD), Hot Tub Time Machine, The Tooth Fairy, Our Family Wedding, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, Valkyrie

$8.99 BDs: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Blood & Chocolate, Quo Vadis, Swordfish, The Devil Wears Prada, Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan

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