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Unique ID Code: 0000106896
Added by: Mark Oates
Added on: 23/8/2008 13:55
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    Gouged Or Supply-And-Demand?

    Further to my last blog entry about the Warner-Best Buy release of the Hammer rarities When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth and Moon Zero Two - on Wednesday (20th) I bit the bullet and ordered the disc from an Amazon Marketplace seller.

    The disc arrived this morning (Saturday 23rd) - which is a remarkable feat when so many transatlantic orders take up to three weeks to wend their way across the puddle. In fact, most orders from some extremely well-known Jersey-based retailers take longer to arrive.

    As regards the contents of the disc, I couldn't be happier. Both movies are well presented in good quality transfers - there is a little print dirt, but nothing untoward. WDRtE is presented 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen in its uncut 100 minute UK and European form (which contary to popular belief only earned an "A" rating in the UK on its initial and re-release). Moon Zero Two is presented in 1.85 anamorphic widescreen. Both movies come with subtitles for the hard of hearing. The WDRtE subs are in the original caveman, which I know has upset some US buyers who would have preferred translative subtitles (!). I haven't seen either picture looking so good in ages, and although otherwise the disc is a bare-bones one, I have nothing to complain about.

    Apart maybe from the price. Best Buy is doing the disc in-store in (some of) its outlets for $14.99 (£8.09 at today's exchange rate). My Amazon Marketplace Seller was offering the picture at the most reasonable rate of $21.99 which with packaging and handling came to £19.22. It's a fair amount to pay for a single disc DVD release, but as the movies are special to me, I stumped up the price and I don't regret it.

    Over the past year or so, I've picked up a handful of similar rare titles and some odd rare books which I've perhaps paid a little over the odds for, but special cases call for special circumstances. But where do you draw the line? At what point does it stop being supply-and-demand and when does it become blatant profiteering? I've been on other forums where people have been cheerfully taking about buying up bargains and misprices of DVDs and then "horsing" them on eBay. The highest price I saw for the WDRtE/M02 disc was $99 - which I would class as extortionate, but if somebody is willing to part with that much money for those films, is the seller profiteering or simply fulfilling a demand?

    Or have moral values changed and I was washing my hair when the memo went out?

    UPDATE: I've learnt in the last few hours that the disc (and the others in the exclusive deal) will be available more widely from R1 retailers when the exclusivity deal lapses on 7th October. I would like to wish Warner Home Video the pox, but I won't. Some you win, some you lose.

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