Technology

Real-Life DVD Consumer Guide

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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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