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DVD dealsPosted Saturday, November 21, 2009, at 1:21 PM
The first movie was the summer blockbuster "Star Trek," which I pre-ordered for $9.98. Walmart.com has started an online price war with Amazon and Barnes & Noble for pre-orders of hotly-anticipated books and DVDs. The deep discount prices are only good for pre-orders; once the release date arrives, the prices jump back up to normal levels. And the prices aren't good at Walmart or B&N retail stores.
I loved "Star Trek," and have been looking forward to buying a copy ever since I saw it in the theater. When I found out that the book price war had been extended to DVDs, I jumped at the offer.
Then, this past week I bought "For Your Consideration," a comedy directed by Christopher Guest, in the bargain bin at Kroger for an astonishing $2, marked down even from the original bargain bin price.
I had not seen "For Your Consideration," which got middling reviews, but I love Guest's previous mockumentaries, "Waiting For Guffman," "Best In Show" and (especially) "A Mighty Wind," and I knew this movie had most of the same cast, improvising their lines as they did in the earlier films.
Guest's regular stock company includes his "Spinal Tap" bandmates Harry Shearer and Michael McKean, SCTV veterans Catherine O'Hara and Eugene Levy, John Michael Higgins, Ed Begley Jr., Fred Willard, Jennifer Coolidge, Don Lake and Bob Balaban. The people who have discovered Jane Lynch as the evil cheerleading sponsor in "Glee" need to see her hysterical work in the Guest movies, especially "A Mighty Wind."
Guest is also responsible for the DirecTV commercials featuring Lake, Begley and Higgins as inept cable TV executives.
"For Your Consideration" is a satire of Hollywood itself, telling the story of the cast of a low-budget independent film whose hopes are raised when rumors of Oscar contention begin to be spread.
"For Your Consideration" wasn't as good as "A Mighty Wind," but I still found it funny. O'Hara is the central character, as much as anyone can be the central character in this kind of ensemble comedy, and she's terrific as usual. Much was made of the fact that Guest had dropped his usual mock-documentary format, but in a way he really hasn't. The movie is punctuated by segments in which various characters appear on entertainment news shows, talk shows or newscasts, and those segments give the movie much the same rhythm and feel as the mockumentaries.
Anyway, I can't recall getting two enjoyable movies so inexpensively. What's the best new DVD you've ever bought for less than $10?
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John I. Carney is city editor of the Times-Gazette.