Quest for Justice
This won't turn into yet another post about my mom's hospital stay, as she finally was released on Thursday. My dad called in the morning to let me know she was coming home, and when I couldn't reach her room at lunch, I tried my house and had better luck. So for the first time this week, I didn't have to race home after work and a detour was possible. I'm just too far away to make a reasonable trip to Best Buy during lunch, so any Tuesday releases have to wait until Tuesday night.
Why do I need a DVD the day it comes out? Price is a partial concern, as Best Buy offers new stuff on sale the first week of release. But Best Buy, Target, and other stores often carry exclusive versions, sometimes with books or extra DVDs, and these are limited editions. I got burned once already a few months ago when I discovered I'd purchased a no-frills edition of Transformers from Walmart with zero special features. There wasn't even a commentary, and the two trailers were hidden as Easter eggs. It was bundled with a second disc, an animated twenty minute prequel that was pretty good, but not enough for me. I ended up buying another copy of the movie from Target, which had a commentary, several hours of behind-the-scenes features, and a transforming case. People like me care about these details, or else stores wouldn't continue with such gimmicks.
So, when I buy a movie, I need to make sure it's a widescreen version, and the best possible edition. Thursday evening was the first chance I had to go to Best Buy, two days after New Frontier was released. I found plenty of copies, but it seemed too easy. The case was pretty nondescript, thin with no extra garnish. I explored the store for a bit, finally finding a display specific to the movie. Sure enough, a few empty cubbies were labeled “special edition”. It was time for deeper investigation. Finding a computer console, I ran a search for that version and cross checked it against the local zip code. Inventory showed that no Best Buy on Long Island currently had it in stock. I decided to go home and order it online, though I hated wasting a 12 mile trip for nothing.
Target wasn't far, a parking lot away, so I decided to try there first. New Frontier didn't even merit its own display, and the five copies they had were all the vanilla edition. I decided to be unconventional and try Circuit City. I'm not sure I've ever bought media from them, and from what I remembered their prices weren't great. As the New Frontier display right at their entrance proved however, they had the same prices as Target and Best Buy. And though the special edition was on the sign, the only copies they had were the basic single disc version.
It was definitely time to go home. The longer I lingered, the greater the odds of missing what would turn out to be the best episode of Lost this season. But, there was time for one more longshot: Walmart. I wandered in cautiously, nodding to the handicapped greeter, and made my way to the back of the store. They had fewer new releases and a lot more empty shelves, and I wondered how they could compete surrounded by so many better stores. But, at the end of one aisle in the furthest corner of their DVD section, I found THREE copies of the elusive two-disc edition. My quest was at an end, a mere two days nearly costing me my prize. Hopefully, I chose wisely, as I haven't had a chance to actually watch what I bought. If I have two discs though, and both are in good shape, expect a review in the near future. I miss working near all those stores though, and special shopping trips will take getting used to, at least until I solve the riddle of instantaneous matter transportation...