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Media | A2Q Archives | A2Q #64 | November 10, 2008: Welcome to Add to Queue, Levi’s round-up of this week’s US home video release highlights. Sorry, rest of the world. Region locks are the industry’s way of saying they still don’t understand the Internet.
Out This Week
|[[image:vs081111_firefly_copy1.jpg:Shiny!:left:0]]||Firefly: Complete Series
“Come a day, there won’t be room for naughty men like us to slip about at all. This job goes south, there well may not be another. So here is us, on the raggedy edge. Don’t push me, and I won’t push you” — Captain Mal Reynolds. The Venn diagram of people who like Firefly and the people who like this site probably overlaps quite a bit, so I won’t bore you with effusive praise for this space-western. It’s enough to note that it’s now on Blu-ray, and to make the same wish I always make whenever I think of Firefly or its film adaptation: more please!
|[[image:vs081111_hellboy.jpg:The Golden Army:left:0]]||Hellboy II: The Golden Army
It’s no secret that I’ve got no love for comic books, so it might come as a surprise that I love the character of Hellboy so much. Of course, I was introduced to him via the fantastic Guillermo del Toro film, but I actually did go back and read all the original comics and even watched the animated films. Hellboy II isn’t perfect by any means, and like all of the superhero movies released this year it suffers in comparison to The Dark Knight, but I still found it incredibly entertaining. Just spending more time with the characters is enough for me. I’d hoped that some of what made del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth so good would have seeped in this film, but other than some of the design the two have little in common. Its monstrous main character’s feelings of isolation and alienation seemed a little undercooked, but I found it an exemplary experience overall and can’t wait to revisit the film in high-definition.
|[[image:vs081111_starwars.jpg:Clone Wars:left:0]]||Star Wars: Clone Wars
Karen Traviss wrote an excellent novelization of this film that I actually prefer. Where the CG film is all style and flash, the book has a little bit of depth and tells some of the events of the film from the point of view of the Clone Troopers. It’s a slight book, but Traviss is very good at military SF and brings that to this movie tie-in. It’s no surprise that a tie-in novel by her would be so good: she wrote a series of them for the video game Star Wars: Republic Commando that I feel are the best works in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. While I don’t care for the story or universe in Gears of War, I did place an order for Traviss’ prequel novel, because if anyone can do good things in that world, it’s her.
It’s worth noting that Kung Fu Panda was released last Sunday. As a non-Pixar CG-animated feature, you’re right to be wary. Especially since it has Jack Black as its lead, and to say the quality of the projects he chooses is erratic is to be very kind.
I managed a video store for five years, and I hate it when movies release out of the normal Tuesday cycle. Hate. It’s a huge pain and a lot of extra work because some marketer thought their movie was worthy of being an “event.” Now that I’m in games retail, I have to deal with Nintendo, who release pretty much all of their big first-party titles on Sundays. The whole retail cycle is built around mid-week releases, which is part of the reason for street dates. Retailers don’t want to have to redo their shelves on the weekend while dealing with the increased customer visits.
Of course, the other reason for street dates is that one retailer won’t get a competitive advantage over another just because their boxes of product happened to show up first. Because distribution is so unpredictable, they set one date for everyone so there isn’t any backlash from retail when a competing chain gets their product earlier. This applies much more to DVD and BD than it does to games, as most games aren’t street-dated, which can be frustrating for consumers who are looking for a new release. More and more retailers are shipping everything next-day to combat this, which of course shrinks the already small profit margin on games. It’s because of this that most stores see selling new games as a loss leader, and try to use new games to drive more profitable segments of their business, such as used games, strategy guides, and accessories, depending on the retailer.
Cover art courtesy of Amazon. Header image courtesy of StarWars.com. You oughta be shot. Or stabbed, lose a leg. To be a surgeon, you know? Know what kind of pain you’re dealing with. They make psychiatrists get psychoanalyzed before they can get certified, but they don’t make a surgeon get cut on. That seem right to you? . Follow me on Twitter. Add me to your PSN or XBL friends list: VsRobot. You can also e-mail me at levivsrobot [at] gmail [dot] com. Thanks for reading!