Deal: Christopher Nolan’s ‘Inception’
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The digital deal of the day is over at Amazon today is Inception, which is available for rental for only $.99.

This deal is valid only for today, Saturday, January 1, 2011, until midnight PST. Once you activate the rental through Amazon’s Video On Demand service, you’ll have access to the movie for 48 hours. If you’re interested in purchasing the digital version, the cost is $9.99.

Also, if you’d like to own a physical copy of the movie, the Blu-ray Combo Pack is on sale for $18.99 while the DVD price has been dropped to $9.99.

Both the DVD and Blu-ray editions of Inception are part of Amazon’s “Buy This DVD and Watch it Instantly” program. That means with the purchase of either version, you will be able to watch the movie instantly through Amazon’s Video On Demand (see more details about this below). Basically, it’s like getting a free digital rental while you wait for your physical copy to arrive.

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‘Inception’ Coming To Blu-ray & DVD This December
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Inception, this summer’s “mind-blowing” blockbuster film, will be released on Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand through Warner Home Video on December 7, 2010.

The Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray disc, DVD, and Digital Copy) will contain will over 90 minutes of bonus material featuring writer/director Christopher Nolan and star Leonardo DiCaprio, and have a suggested retail price of $35.99. The widescreen DVD will apparently has “mind-bending featurettes” and has a suggested retail price of $29.99.

You can pre-order both formats right now at Amazon and lock in their discounted price: Blu-ray Combo Pack ($24.99) or DVD ($20.49).

Warner Bros hasn’t released the full list of bonus content at this time, but their solicitation beckons, “Go inside the dream with extraction mode,” which I’m guessing is some sort of Blu-ray-only feature that allows you to press a button during playback that will give you facts and other details, perhaps in a picture-in-picture format. Maybe, just maybe, some of our unanswered questions regarding the film will be answered with this feature!

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DVD Review: Smokin’ Aces 2: Assassins’ Ball

Smokin’ Aces 2: Assassins’ Ball
Unrated DVD
Directed by P.J. Pesce
Starring Tom Berenger, Clayne Crawford, Tommy Flanagan, Maury Sterling, Martha Higareda
Universal Home Entertainment
Release Date: January 19, 2010

Direct-to-video sequels tend to put me ill at ease, and with good reason. More often than not these movies are cynical, cheapjack attempts by cash-strapped studios to squeeze every possible nickel out of even their most modest theatrical successes. Next to Walt Disney Pictures no other studio has been to the DTV sequel well more times than Universal Pictures, as their numerous quickie follow-ups to The Land Before Time, Darkman, Tremors, and American Pie have shown. I have nothing against movies bypassing cinemas and going direct to video store shelves; in the past many fine films, some much better than anything Hollywood has forced upon us, have made their premiere exclusively at our local Blockbuster Video or in the Redbox kiosk in front of the neighborhood Wal-Mart often because they”˜re the kind of movies that cannot be easily marketed into the moviegoer conscience like the cookie cutter fare that clogs the multiplex screens week in and week out. Plus every so often a rare sequel comes along that proves to be a cut above to the original (see The Empire Strikes Back, Aliens, and Hostel Part II). But sequels to moderately profitable theatrical releases are as a rule made on budgets a fraction of what the originals were made for, and customarily they’re made without the participation of the filmmakers and cast that made the originals great (because they can”˜t be afforded). Leave it to Joe Carnahan, a firebrand filmmaking talent who makes his best movies outside the creative dead zone of Tinseltown, to accept the challenge of making a direct-to-video sequel the right way.

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