Tag Archives: DVD

How to Fix Your Mac DVD & Other DVD Players for $7

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While not exactly the most exciting bit of technology, before you rip out a wonky DVD player from your Mac (or throw your AV DVD player away), spend $7 to run this cleaning DVD with brushes over the laser eye – in many cases, the ONLY reason your DVD player is working spotty and wonky is the household dust on the lens is diffusing the laser.

While the link here is to Amazon, you can buy it at most places like Target, WM or your electronic stores … from what I’ve seen, most places charge around $7-$8 and paying more isn’t really going to get you much better …

For those who’ve never used one, it’s the simplest cleaner device. Put it in, press PLAY. Nothing to spray, nothing to wipe. Press PLAY a second time to just to be sure. Eject. Done.

The Memorex one also has a speaker tester, nothing sophisticated but you get a speaker testing portion – highs, lows, seperation, left, right, etc … so give it a shot, it can’t hurt and after you run it twice and you still have problems, THEN you should consider replacing the DVD-R … Good luck!

(You can also run it for your AV DVD player as well as your car deck).

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Filed under Apple, Apple Mac, Computing, Gadgets

Mattel Pixar Cars: The LIMITED & EXCLUSIVE Disney Blu-Ray “Blu” Dinoco McQueen (LAST WEEK!)

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Well, it was nice while it lasted.

The Mattel Pixars CARS line – nothing really exclusive … nothing really limited but that dream world had to end …

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Mattel is designating 15,000 of these CARS as a limited time & production exclusive.

In order to get one, you have to buy the CARS Blu-Ray DVD*

Then sign up at Disney Movie Rewards (free signup).

What is Disney Movie Rewards? You earn points for DVD’s and theater ticket purchases … benefits? As they note …

“Disney Movie Rewards is an exciting adventure where you get rewarded by doing what you and your family enjoy doing already watching Disney movies!

Enjoy these great member benefits:

* Access to exclusive Disney Movie Rewards one-of-a-kind experiences, digital downloads and Disney merchandise

* Savings and special offers on Disney DVDs

* Special preview opportunities

* Chances to win exciting prizes in our Disney Movie Rewards Instant Win Games

* Special Disney Movie Rewards eNewsletter on exciting upcoming Disney movie releases

In this case, by purchasing the Blu-Ray DVD version of CARS, you get a code to enter …

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(BTW, the code below is incomplete and has already been used, it can only be used once).

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While the CAR is “free,” you do have to pay $3.50 + tax (in certain states) to have it shipped to you.

Each DVD comes with its own code so only one car per Blu-Ray DVD.

You can however purchase more than one Blu-Ray DVD and get a “free”/$3.50 CAR with each purchase but you’ll need to sign up with a DIFFERENT email address for another Disney Rewards Club membership – membership is free but your points will be diluted since you’re not keeping all your points in one account but two.

AGAIN, one CAR per email account.

It’s fine to use the same STREET/MAILING address but no PO Boxes.

The CAR will be sent in a plastic bag – no card! (in a padded envelope).

Also NOTE: Their website seems to be easily bogged down so if you want your transaction to go smoothly, do it very early in the morning or very late at night!

DEAL GETS EVEN BETTER!

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BTW, Disney is now offering a $10 rebate if you own the original CARS DVD & are buying or have bought the CARS Blu-Ray disc. You can download the PDF at the Disney Blu Ray DVD site so you can do the math if it’s better to buy the BR disc minus $10 (presuming you have the regaular CARS DVD) and mail it in the next few days or …

EBAY?

The Blu Ray CAR has shipped and as of this week – selling for around $40 with shipping … though pricing may be skewed as it might be a gift so people are willing to spend a few dollars more – in the next few days, we will be closer to actual pricing though the CAR might be a sellout in a few days or presumably before January 1 and then what will pricing patterns be?

PROBLEM?

A lot of people have run into problems with getting a confirmation number back after you submit your credit card info – instead they get a weird error code – but it seems what happens is your information got submitted okay but the return page from the website gets messed up. If that happened/happens to you, email them from the EMAIL address you gave and you should get a response that your order was accepted.

If you don’t a reposnse in a few days, then try their customer service number is: 1-866-246-8646 Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Central Time.

And yea, open to US and non-Quebec Canadians ONLY – sorry everyone else …

Shipping time should be fast as fufillment is ongoing.

You can check your status of your order by going here.

Here is a photo of the actual CAR in its beautiful plastic baggie … and yes, it seems to be more purople than blue …

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Here’s the offer on the sleeve of the Blu-Ray DVD

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ALSO – Don’t panic or think if the DVD has no sticker on the front in regards to the Blu CAR promotion – IT’S ALL FINE! Every Disney DVD comes with a Disney Reward code inside. As noted, the memberships points and the CAR are separate issues so after you enter the number, it’s smart to realize you just purchased a DVD that qualifies you for the CAR offer … for instance, I purchased the Ratatouille DVD which has a separate number and after keying that in, I get the Ratatouille offer which are Disney pins to buy or an entry into their sweepstakes. Buy the Blu-Ray CAR DVD, get the Blu CAR offer AUTOMATICALLY whether there is a sticker on the front of the DVD or not.

And of course, the Blu CAR is ONLY offered with the Blu-Ray DVD purchase and NOT with the regular DVD (that came out last November).

So, okay, go! Good luck! Promotion ENDS on January 30, 2008 so HURRY!

As of today (January 20), people are still reporting no problems in coding in and getting a conformation but you only have a little over a week so hurry!

* In case you’re wondering what is Blu-Ray or how does it compare to HD DVD or regular DVD, here’s our take on the matter.

Full Sized Screenshots at out FLICKR page.

This is the FINAL RELEASED version (same as the bagged one above) – a couple of crucial differences from the Disney supplied shown at the very top and the same photos they used on the website & promotional art – the Dinoco logo on spoiler and much more purple than blue in color … so purple & with logo, not a fake or a custom, this right below is the FINAL release version of ‘Blu Ray’ McQueen.

OUR OTHER POSTS:

THE BASICS

If you want a recap of the Mattel Pixar CARS line from the beginning.

Mattel Pixar Cars Checklist: It’s What to Collect

Unlike other toys/hot items that stay hot for a few weeks or months – this Mattel Pixar CARS diecast line has pretty been SIZZLING for 16 months – not just rare but almost un-heard of.

Of course, we would love to tell you that if you show up here at 7:00 AM, you are assured of seeing it on the shelve un-touched … or course, that is not really possible with this line due to real demand and eBay “re-distribution” demand but we have tried to sum up why it’s seems impossible and some buying tips that while not foolproof, might make things slightly easier …

Mattel Pixar Cars: I Want to Buy But Where?

BUYING CASES & WHAT’S NEXT

First, one way to skip the driving around is to buy sealed cases, here is a brief rundown on what that is AND what are the CARS coming this holiday season (the last two months of 2007):

Mattel Pixar Cars Checklist: New Sealed Boxes

And what’s coming in 2008:

Mattel Pixar Cars Checklist: New Sealed Boxes Holiday 2007 & 2008

Or what the latest on the shelf cards & CARS look like?

Mattel Pixar: What’s in Stores Now

If you wish to plot out what CAR will make its first appearance & in what box in 2008, a friend of 2aDay has thoughtfully provided a spreadsheet you can download or it’s also been added to our online checklist/spreadsheet.

HOW TO COLLECT

For those on the intermediate & advanced stages of this obsession (yes, I has the fever! I has the fever 🙂 ) … you’ll want a “field guide” to spotting what’s what:

A Basic Checklist (in spreadsheet form)

The checklist offers a few versions on how you like your poison 😉

Then of course, a more indepth guideline on how to collect them – just one of each? one of each available on a different card?

Mattel Pixar Cars Checklist: How to Collect

As you progress further, you might need or want a guide to understanding what do the three different designs on the front indicate and how complete of a collector you want to be:

Mattel Pixar Cars Checklist: Card Backs

Info on the Blu-Ray Dinoco “Blu” CAR

The LIMITED & EXCLUSIVE Disney Blu-Ray “Blu” Dinoco McQueen

MORE INFORMATION THAN NORMAL

Of course, by now, you’ll want to know everything and plan your budget carefully … Mattel will definitely release 35/36 of the Piston Cup Racers in one massive collector’s set but will they release them in smaller sets? Our speculation on why rioting is probably not necessary:

Mattel Pixar Cars: All the Piston Cup CARS-Speedway of the South Box Set

If you prefer to see some of the cardbacks in a larger file size or to view the two posters for a visual look at the CARS to collect, our FLICKER page is here.

Did you know the Blu-Ray DVD (for HDTV’s) will include a “name-spotter” feature that will let you see the names of 217 CARS within the movie?

Mattel Pixar Cars Checklist: It’s What to Collect-Part II – 217 CARS?

And while we’re at it – pure speculation on our part as to what might be coming next?

Mattel Pixar Cars: What’s Coming in 2008 or 2009

Mattel Pixar Cars: What’s Coming in 2008 or 2009? Part II

Mattel Pixar Cars: Mia & Tia – All the Possible Variants

MORE USEFUL INFORMATION

Details on the Mattel sponsorship & CARS charity auction for CAAF (Children Affected by AIDS Foundation):

Mattel Pixar Cars & Children Affected by AIDS Charity Auction

While Frank the Combine on eBay seems enticing, you might want to know that he’s very small and all plastic but there are some other options …

Mattel Pixar CARS Movie: Frank the Combine – eBay Warning

Too much money in your bank account – starting collecting the other CARS line …

NEW Mini Adventures CARS & Playsets

The Sarge Recall:

Mattel Recalls Pixar CARS Sarge Diecast Metal Car

Nothing very insightful about what’s coming but still good to know that CARS is bringing in money and everything is looking smooth.

Mattel Pixar Cars: 3rd Quarter 2007 Earnings-Financial Numbers

CARS 2, THE SEQUEL?

Yes, more speculation & answers on our part but the stars and other things seem to be syncing up for a 2011 sequel:

Pixar CARS 2 Sequel: Rumors, Rumors, Rumors

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Filed under Advertising, Film, Gadgets, Marketing, Mattel Disney Pixar CARS, Retail, Toys, TV

Blade Runner DVD: The 3 Director’s Cut & Other Versions

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BLADE RUNNER is one of the greatest films ever made. It’s not to everyone’s taste but it’s what films should be – idiosyncratic and a personal vision from a director. Of course, it involves a great screenplay, great acting and engaging cinematography but ultimately, it’s the director’s imprint that makes it a classic. While nearly every movie that gets released today starts with A FILM BY as if to imply that “Norbit” is not just a product created when they realized they had a 3-week comedy gap in their spring schedule … Blade Runner is truly A FILM BY RIDLEY SCOTT.

And unlike a lot of other films that gets re-cut and the original buried, Warner Brothers and Ridley Scott have wisely made EVERY version available for us to view, to analysis and most importantly to appreciate as a viewer, as a film fan and as film geeks.

You can read this summation from the NY Times. (SPOILER ALERT).

It’s hard to believe it’s been 25 years but like most people, I missed it upon it’s initial release in 1982 but saw it upon its video release. I was mesmerized and thought it was one of the greatest movies ever – apparently, it received middling reviews upon its release but most people have come around to realize how layered and textured the film really is.

Because the movie tested poorly, they asked Ridley Scott to re-edit and add a voice-over narration much like Martin Sheen’s in “Apocalypse Now.” Ultimately, it also did not do too well in the theaters – original release date June 25, 1982 – grossing about $35 million dollars.

The first release was in VHS and was simply titled BLADE RUNNER.

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It was essentially the poster artwork other than the snipe at the bottom – and yes, this is from my collection as …

This THEATRICAL VERSION never had an official DVD release in the United States (see below).

Later, there was an extended cut release from the international version released on VHS but it was not vastly differently.

Though as the years moved along, it began to gather more and more acclaim and appreciation – soon becoming a cult classic.

In 1993, the DIRECTOR’S CUT version was released on VHS. This was a radically different version without the voice-over and covered in greater detail in the NY Times article.

When the DVD finally came, this was the version available, now called: BLADE RUNNER: THE DIRECTOR’S CUT.

Now for most movies, that would pretty much end there, the ‘studio” version and later, the director gets to go back and show us his original vision without the input of a mall preview audience who got $5 off at the Snack Shack to watch a movie and point out how they are smarter and more interesting than Ridley Scott …

Since, it’s the 25th anniversary, they decided to let Ridley Scott not only tighten it up a little more but refresh the special effects … so, coming in very limited release and on DVD in December, BLADE RUNNER: THE FINAL CUT.

To celebrate, WB is putting out a cottage industry of BLADE RUNNER:

Starting with:

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Blade Runner (Five-Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition)

It features:

BLADE RUNNER: THEATRICAL (1982)
BLADE RUNNER: INTERNATIONAL THEATRICAL (1982)
BLADE RUNNER: DIRECTOR’S CUT (1993)
BLADE RUNNER: FINAL CUT (2007)
BLADE RUNNER: WORKPRINT EDITION (1982)

The last one is an oddball one for real, true film fan geeks, BLADE RUNNER: WORKPRINT EDITION is literally just that – so now you can really see the director’s vision and editing process change from the editing reels (as they did back in 1982) to a theatrical to a director’s cut … for the ultimate fan of BLADE RUNNER and films!

There are also a slew of featurettes and other items in the suitcase, click on the link to check it out AND the suitcase and all the special versions are also available in Blu Ray and HD DVD.

Okay, this might be a bit of a film overload for most people so you can also get the:

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Blade Runner (Four-Disc Collector’s Edition)

It features:

BLADE RUNNER: THEATRICAL (1982)
BLADE RUNNER: INTERNATIONAL THEATRICAL (1982)
BLADE RUNNER: DIRECTOR’S CUT (1993)
BLADE RUNNER: FINAL CUT (2007)

The main difference is you do not get BLADE RUNNER: WORKPRINT version in terms of film content – the difference is about $25 – you also do NOT get the briefcase plus the other items included:

“The Ultimate Collector’s Edition is packaged in a limited edition, numbered “Deckard” briefcase and features rare and collectable memorabilia such as a Spinner car replica, Unicorn figurine, Illustration and Photo cards, and a lenticular Motion Film Clip in lucite.”

But WB wants to cover all the entire possible market …

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So if you have the Director’s Cut DVD and just want BLADE RUNNER: THE FINAL CUT (2007) re-edit and refreshing of some special effects …and re-mastering of course, then you can just get this final version which also comes with a documentary on a 2nd disc.

All coming December 18, 2007. Links are to Amazon pre-order.

BLADE RUNNER: DIRECTOR’S CUT (1993) is going out of print but you shouldn’t have any problems finding it separately.

You can still buy the used BLADE RUNNER: THEATRICAL on VHS but now that the DVD is coming out in the “briefcase” version, it’s less appealing …

But whatever version you see and now it’s even greater we get to see EVERY ONE of them, it’s truly is a FILM BY … and that Ridley Scott guy is also a pretty good TV advertising director, you might’ve seen his work with Apple?

Great WIRED interview – transcript & podcast.

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Filed under Design, Film, Marketing, Media, TV

Pixar CARS 2 Sequel: Rumors, Rumors, Rumors

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According to JV Pixar News, there are rumors of a CARS 2 sequel already in the planning stages.

But Pixar said they hated sequels:

True, but that was because when they signed their distro deal with Disney, they didn’t realize Toy Story 2 didn’t count in that tally – that they needed a total of 5 original films to complete their contract so of course, making sequels just extended the contract further and creatively, sequels do tend to be less satisfying. But now as part of Disney, whatever films they actually release doesn’t matter whether it’s Toy Story 3 or Wall-E.

Straight to DVD sequel?

“In a major strategy shift, the Walt Disney Co. said it will stop making lucrative direct-to-DVD sequels of such classic animated films as Cinderella, a move that reflects the growing influence of former Pixar Animation executives John Lasseter and Steve Jobs, who once called the films “embarrassing.”

In other words, no.

Pixar takes years to make a movie …

True. So, according to “normal” schedule, we shouldn’t expect a CARS 2 very soon.

Pixar does one movie a year …

Yes, you are correct, sir so maybe 2011? Since 2008 is Wall-E, 2009 is “Up” and 2010 is TS 3 …

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But now as part of Disney?

They prefer to only make one movie a year but CARS might be different. The change from TS1 and TS 2 was also technology but now technology is fairly stabilized – sure, you can get more processing power cheaper but a leap in technology? Not really. CARS might be simpler since the only the front and eyes of the car changes as it’s moving along so maybe a sequel can be completed faster.

No evidence of sequel

Unless they’re taking on the secrecy of Apple Computers, no actor claims they are working on the sequel. There apparently is a ‘short’ that might play in front of next year’s “Wall-E.”

Paul Newman and 2009?

Apparently Paul Newman said something about a CARS sequel in 2009 but maybe he was refering to the short? Also from JV Pixar News via MiceAge.

But Cars wasn’t a massive hit

Yes, but DVD sales are strong and while people mumble about sequels, they go and see them even if they are middling efforts like Ice Age or Shrek 3.

Merchandising

In case you hadn’t notice, CARS merchandise is selling like the movie came out yesterday. The diecast line is flying off the shelves a year later – rare for movie licensing now and virtually unheard of for a diecast line … (In case you’ve missed out, our post to get you up to speed).

People are clamoring – whether Pixar is interested or delivers a sequel is another matter … right now, I would think 2011 is much more likely than 2009.

All the Cards & CARS Lining Up?

Coincidentially or NOT, 2011 is the 10th anniversary of Disney’s California Adventure and they are unveiling a new CARSLAND section.

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From Disney’s Annual Report (link above), they offer up drawings of future rides and attractions – lots of Pixar rides & attractions.

So, what could be a better tie-in? A new ride and a movie to open on the same day – June 17, 2011? (Friday and the beginning of summer break)? See you in line.

UPDATE – RUMORS CONFIRMED

Our latest post.

OUR OTHER CARS POSTS:

THE BASICS

If you want a recap of the Mattel Pixar CARS line from the beginning.

Mattel Pixar Cars Checklist: It’s What to Collect

Unlike other toys/hot items that stay hot for a few weeks or months – this Mattel Pixar CARS diecast line has pretty been SIZZLING for 16 months – not just rare but almost un-heard of.

Of course, we would love to tell you that if you show up here at 7:00 AM, you are assured of seeing it on the shelve un-touched … or course, that is not really possible with this line due to real demand and eBay “re-distribution” demand but we have tried to sum up why it’s seems impossible and some buying tips that while not foolproof, might make things slightly easier …

Mattel Pixar Cars: I Want to Buy But Where?

BUYING CASES & WHAT’S NEXT

First, one way to skip the driving around is to buy sealed cases, here is a brief rundown on what that is AND what are the CARS coming this holiday season (the last two months of 2007):

Mattel Pixar Cars Checklist: New Sealed Boxes

And what’s coming in 2008:

Mattel Pixar Cars Checklist: New Sealed Boxes Holiday 2007 & 2008

Or what the latest on the shelf cards & CARS look like?

Mattel Pixar: What’s in Stores Now

HOW TO COLLECT

For those on the intermediate & advanced stages of this obsession (yes, I has the fever! I has the fever 🙂 ) … you’ll want a “field guide” to spotting what’s what:

A Basic Checklist (in spreadsheet form)

The checklist offers a few versions on how you like your poison 😉

Then of course, a more indepth guideline on how to collect them – just one of each? one of each available on a different card?

Mattel Pixar Cars Checklist: How to Collect

As you progress further, you might need or want a guide to understanding what do the three different designs on the front indicate and how complete of a collector you want to be:

Mattel Pixar Cars Checklist: Card Backs

Info on the Blu-Ray Dinoco “Blu” CAR

The LIMITED & EXCLUSIVE Disney Blu-Ray “Blu” Dinoco McQueen

MORE INFORMATION THAN NORMAL

Of course, by now, you’ll want to know everything and plan your budget carefully … Mattel will definitely release 35/36 of the Piston Cup Racers in one massive collector’s set but will they release them in smaller sets? Our speculation on why rioting is probably not necessary:

Mattel Pixar Cars: All the Piston Cup CARS-Speedway of the South Box Set

Did you know the Blu-Ray DVD (for HDTV’s) will include a “name-spotter” feature that will let you see the names of 217 CARS within the movie?

Mattel Pixar Cars Checklist: It’s What to Collect-Part II – 217 CARS?

And while we’re at it – pure speculation on our part as to what might be coming next?

Mattel Pixar Cars: What’s Coming in 2008 or 2009

Mattel Pixar Cars: What’s Coming in 2008 or 2009? Part II

Mattel Pixar Cars: Mia & Tia – All the Possible Variants

MORE USEFUL INFORMATION

Details on the Mattel sponsorship & CARS charity auction for CAAF (Children Affected by AIDS Foundation):

Mattel Pixar Cars & Children Affected by AIDS Charity Auction

While Frank the Combine on eBay seems enticing, you might want to know that he’s very small and all plastic but there are some other options …

Mattel Pixar CARS Movie: Frank the Combine – eBay Warning

Too much money in your bank account – starting collecting the other CARS line …

NEW Mini Adventures CARS & Playsets

The Sarge Recall:

Mattel Recalls Pixar CARS Sarge Diecast Metal Car

Nothing very insightful about what’s coming but still good to know that CARS is bringing in money and everything is looking smooth.

Mattel Pixar Cars: 3rd Quarter 2007 Earnings-Financial Numbers

CARS 2, THE SEQUEL?

Yes, more speculation & answers on our part but the stars and other things seem to be syncing up for a 2011 sequel:

Pixar CARS 2 Sequel: Rumors, Rumors, Rumors

12 Comments

Filed under Computing, Film, Financial, Marketing, Media, Toys