Real-Life DVD Consumer Guide

Even the nastiest cineaste on your holiday shopping list can be won over by the right DVD; your job is to find it. In the spirit of our annual record shopping guide (see page 100), we tried to help find the best place downtown to buy what you need. It turns out that DVD prices vary even more widely than those for CDs, and outlets that reliably undercut the chains on music prices, like J&R, can't be counted on to offer the best prices for movies. Availability is an even bigger problem; super-discounters like Discorama will almost always have the lowest price on a given title, but their inventory is sparse. Virgin and J&R keep heaps of Criterion goodies in a special section, but Tower, which scatters them, sells them for less. And while helpful sales clerks all over town will offer to order anything you want, if you're going to wait you might as well buy it online, either through a discount site like alldirect.com or by using a shopping bot (we tried shopping.com). Below, some highlights of likely gifts (except Shoah—yeesh), with Web prices omitted if we found a better price in a real store.


BAND OF OUTSIDERS
Criterion
Tower $20, Virgin $30

BY BRAKHAGE: AN ANTHOLOGY
Criterion
Bestprices.com $27.35, Mondo Kim's $32, Virgin $40

THE DECALOGUE
Facets
Barnesandnoble.com $56, Tower $60, Virgin $80

FASSBINDER'S BRD TRILOGY
Criterion
Bestprices.com $55, Mondo Kim's $64, Virgin $80

GIGLI
Columbia TriStar
J&R $18, Mondo Kim's $23

LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION
Warner Bros.
J&R $38, Mondo Kim's $55.24

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS (SPECIAL EXTENDED EDITION)
New Line
Amazon.com $26.49, Circuit City $30, Tower $40

THE F.W. MURNAU COLLECTION
Kino
Bestprices.com $83.27, J&R $90, Mondo Kim's $96

THE OFFICE: THE COMPLETE FIRST SERIES
BBC
Alldirect.com $19.74, Virgin $26

ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA TRILOGY
Columbia TriStar
Alldirect.com $19.29, Circuit City $28.38, Mondo Kim's $43.44

PATHER PANCHALI/ APARAJITO/WORLD OF APU
Columbia TriStar
Each alldirect.com $19.74, Mondo Kim's $24, Tower $30

SHOAH
New Yorker
Bestprices.com $104, Mondo Kim's $127.49, Virgin $150

THE SOPRANOS—THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON
Warner Bros.
Discorama $65, Evergreen $100

SPIRITED AWAY
Walt Disney
Walmart.com $20, J&R $23, Mondo Kim's $25.50

TOKYO STORY
Criterion
Alldirect.com $26.49, Mondo Kim's $32, Virgin $40

28 DAYS LATER
20th Century Fox
Amazon.com $14, J&R $18, Tower $28

THE WORK OF DIRECTOR CHRIS CUNNINGHAM/MICHEL GONDRY/SPIKE JONZE
Palm
Each deepdiscountdvd.com $13.29, Virgin $15, Evergreen $20

 
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