Argo Blu-ray Unboxing


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Buy Argo on Blu-ray

Argo on Blu-ray

I enjoyed watching Argo in the theater. It is now available on Bl-ray. Priced $22.99 (Amazon.com), Argo on Blu-ray offers plenty of extras not found in any of the digital download options. The Blu-ray disc offers what may be an attractive feature, Picture in Picture: Eyewitness Account. This extra has interviews from parties involved with the events dramatized in the movie that play in a small window next to the movie. The Blu-ray disc also includes commentary from Ben Affleck and the 2005 documentary Escape from Iran: The Hollywood Option. The Blu-ray disc set which includes a digital copy, offers a complete experience across multiple screen sizes.

  • Picture in Picture: Eyewitness Account
  • Rescued From Tehran
  • Argo: The CIA & Hollywood Connection
  • Audio Commentary with Director Ben Affleck and Writer Chris Terrio
  • Absolute Authenticity
  • Escape from Iran: The Hollywood Option

Argo Buyer’s Guide

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Directed by Ben Affleck, Argo, is a dramatized telling of the true story of 6 U.S. diplomats hiding in and escaping from Tehran, Iran during the 1979 Iran Hostage Crisis. The film was well received by critics and audiences worldwide. If it was not a true story I am sure Hollywood would figure out how to make a sequel.

For this buyer’s guide we will be considering usual options with one addition. We are now including Xbox Video. The addition of Xbox Video is based on their percentage of sales in the digital download industry. Currently, they have 14% of the market.

It is an impressive feat when a movie about a historical event, to which you know the ending, holds your attention. Argo accomplishes that feat. If you want to know about the actual events you may consider reading the book Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History. But for this buyer’s guide we are going to mainly consider price, the all around bang for your buck.

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Argo on Xbox Video

Argo on Xbox Video

Argo from Microsoft’s Xbox Video (formerly Zune video) comes at a price of $19.99, the same price as the competition. You can download or stream your purchase to devices using Microsoft software. These devices include Xbox 360, Windows PCs, Surface Tablets and Windows Phone. If you are in the Microsoft eco-system of products this is a convenient way to experience Argo. This purchase comes with two extras :

  • Rescued From Tehran
  • Argo: The CIA & Hollywood Connection

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Argo on iTunes

Argo on iTunes

iTunes, like Xbox Video, offers the same two extras. Ignoring the other purchasing options on the list, it is really about which devices you use for entertainment. I know plenty of people with an Xbox 360 and an iPad or iPhone. The likelihood of you owning an iPad or and iPhone is far greater than you owning a Windows Phone. On the other hand the likely hood of you owning a Xbox 360 is higher than owning an Apple TV. The tipping point may lean with iTunes when you consider that your iTunes purchases can be watched on PCs. When comparing these two options, in terms of accessibility, who would have thought that a purchase from Apple’s iTunes would have more device options than Microsoft’s Xbox Video. Outside of that relatively small benefit, Argo on iTunes is basiscally the same product. For those of us living in the Apple eco-system Argo from iTunes is a solid buy. The extras included with this purchase:

  • Rescued From Tehran
  • Argo: The CIA & Hollywood Connection

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Argo on Vudu

Argo on Vudu

In previous buyer’s guides I questioned if Vudu still offered extras, because of its newly release Android app. I was wrong. Argo from Vudu comes with a couple of extras. Owned by Walmart, Vudu is a serious contender in the digital download ring. Vudu offers this film for $19.99 and comes with the same two extras offered by Xbox Video and iTunes. Vudu is top dog when considering accessibility. However, the extras are not available for viewing on iOS devices and Macs. The extras included with this purchase:

  • Rescued From Tehran
  • Argo: The CIA & Hollywood Connection

Not on Google Play
Not on Google Play

Argo on Google Play

Argo is not currently being offered for purchase through Google Play.







Buy Argo on Amazon Instant
Buy Argo Amazon Instant

Argo on Amazon Instant

With Amazon Instant (AI), Amazon is a complete digital download destination for buying all forms of media: books, magazine and, of course, movies. Argo from Amazon Instant is not the best option, but you will be able to watch it on most popular devices. Even though they have their own line of Kindle tablet computers, Amazon provides an app for iPads and iPhones. This is a smart move considering that iOS devices are the most popular the world over. Buying and watching Argo from Amazon Instant is a standard experience with no bells, whistles or whispers for that matter. Better than Google Play, Amazon Instant seems to aim to finish out of last place instead of aiming to win.

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Buy Argo on Blu-ray

Argo on Blu-ray

Priced $22.99 (Amazon.com), Argo on Blu-ray offers plenty of extras not found in any of the digital download options. The Blu-ray disc offers what may be an attractive feature, Picture in Picture: Eyewitness Account. This extra has interviews from parties involved with the events dramatized in the movie that play in a small window next to the movie. The Blu-ray disc also includes commentary from Ben Affleck and the 2005 documentary Escape from Iran: The Hollywood Option. That may be an enticing option, but I am not being swayed. The Blu-ray disc set which includes a digital copy, offers a complete experience across multiple screen sizes.

  • Picture in Picture: Eyewitness Account
  • Rescued From Tehran
  • Argo: The CIA & Hollywood Connection
  • Audio Commentary with Director Ben Affleck and Writer Chris Terrio
  • Absolute Authenticity
  • Escape from Iran: The Hollywood Option

 

BR iTUNES VUDU GP AI Xbox Video
Price $22.99 $19.99 $19.99 $19.99 $19.99 $19.99
Ways To Watch 2D Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copy, Mac and PC, iPad and iPhone Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, iPod or PC PS3, Xbox 360, Roku, Smart Blu-ray players, Smart TV’s, iPad, iPhone, Mac and PC, Roku, Android Tablets and Phones Android tablets and   phones, Google TV, Mac and PC PS3, Xbox 360, Roku, Smart Blu-ray players, Smart TV’s, iPad,Kindle Fire (HD), Roku, Mac and PC Xbox 360, Windows PCs, Surface Tablets and Windows Phone
Max Resolution On TV 1080p 1080p 1080p 1080p 1080p 1080p
Digital Copy Max Resolution 1080p 1080p Standard Definition for mobile devices 1080p 1080p 1080p
Audio 5.1 DTS-HD Dolby Digital 5.1 Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 Stereo Stereo Stereo

Wrap Up
Argo, the highly entertaining dramatization of events related to Iran Hostage Crisis, is worth watching. Overall Warner Brothers is charging a premium price for this Oscar contender. Digital downloads cost $19.99 and the Blu-ray at release cost $22.99 In my opinion the Blu-ray disc set does not provide any standout extras. The longest extra provided on the Blu-ray disc can be watched for free on Youtube. Vudu offers the same extras as iTunes and Xbox Video with far more accessibility. Considering price, extras and accessibility Argo from Vudu is the best way to watch this movie at home.

Skyfall Blu-ray Unboxing


Buy Skyfall Blu-ray
Buy Skyfall Blu-ray

Skyfall on Blu-ray

Serious fans may consider ordering the Steelbook Blu-ray from Amazon’s United Kingdom website. Steelbooks are very cool. For those of us stateside who want to get it on now we will need to settle for the regular Blu-ray set. But then again, this is Skyfall and the movie is far more than the case. Currently, priced at $19.99, the Blu-ray set comes with a Blu-ray disc, a DVD and Digital Copy. The movie comes in 1080p with 5.1 surround sound. The extras and special features are considerable providing two commentaries and over a hour of video. Here is a breakdown:

  • Intro (2:26)
  • Opening Sequence (4:19)
  • The Title Sequence (2:56)
  • 007 (3:48)
  • Q (1:59)
  • DB5 (1:36)
  • Women (4:27)
  • Villains (6:51)
  • Action (3:33)
  • Locations (3:24)
  • Music (3:43)
  • End Sequence (14:03)
  • M (4:47)
  • The Future (2:13)

Skyfall Buyer’s Guide


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The most successful Bond film of all-time, Skyfall, is now available for digital download and on Blu-ray. Skyfall grossed nearly double the sales of the nearest Bond film, Quantum of Solace. Adjusted for inflation it is the third highest grossing Bond film behind Thunderball and Goldfinger. Directed by Sam Mendes and featuring Javier Bardem as Bond Villian, Raoul Silva, Skyfall was the best reviewed 007 film in recent memory.

For this Buyer’s Guide we will be considering every facet of the viewing experience. The visual quality, the audio options, accessiblity and extras. The usual options from Google Play, Vudu, iTunes, Amazon Instant and the Blu-ray set will be covered in this review.

Buy Skyfall Amazon Instant
Buy Skyfall Amazon Instant

Skyfall on Amazon Instant

I know that I, Lawrence Stansberry, have complained about the lack of extras offered by Amazon Instant (AI). And the complaint is infused with life by Skyfall from AI (not Allen Iverson). AI boast their numerous options to watch. In most cases once you have bought a Blu-ray player you will have access to your movies from AI. AI is becoming a less attractive option when considering the lack of universal Android support. Buying from AI will not provide any extras, but you can be sure that in nearly all cases you will be able to watch your films from numerous devices. Accessibility does bring some peace of mind, but I grimace when I remember the stereo sound. The ugly face really comes on when I consider that at the price point of $14.99 the film comes with zero extras. But instant access in the case of AI is the selling point and not the extras. If accessibility is your priority then this is not a bad buy.

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Skyfall on iTunes

Skyfall is the 23rd installment of the Bond series which is the longest running film franchise of all time.  The iTunes version of this Bond box office hit is available for purchase in HD for only $14.99 which is a great deal.  As usual, the 5 GB digital download of the movie wont have as many special features as its Blu Ray counterpart, but you still get some bang for your buck.  The iTunes Extras includes some of the movie’s “Shooting Bond”  series of videos which is their fancy way of saying behind the scenes. 
The behind the scenes videos include:

  • Shooting Bond: The Title Sequence
  • Shooting Bond: DB5
  • Shooting Bond: Women
  • Shooting Bond:  Locations

The digital version is available for purchase now while the Blu Ray and DVD versions wont be available till February 12th.

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Skyfall on Google Play

Skyfall is only available for rental through Google Play. There is no purchase option. Not even standard definition.

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Skyfall on Vudu

Vudu was becoming my new favorite, but ever since the release of the Android App it seems that Vudu has limited extras with their movie releases. It may only be that their release of Skyfall lacks extras. Then I think, “Oh, it must be a Sony thing,” but when I consider the release of The Amazing Spider-Man from Vudu, which included numerous extras, I can not make heads or tails of it. The lack of extras is disappointing, but Vudu is still the accessibility king. They take a large lead over Amazon Instant with their Android app. Vudu is a really attractive option when they offer a few interesting extras, but when a home release offers over a hour of extras on the disc set you may consider the price a purchasing determinant.

Buy Skyfall Blu-ray
Buy Skyfall Blu-ray

Skyfall on Blu-ray

Serious fans may consider ordering the Steelbook Blu-ray from Amazon’s United Kingdom website. Steelbooks are very cool. For those of us stateside who want to get it on now we will need to settle for the regular Blu-ray set. But then again, this is Skyfall and the movie is far more than the case. Currently, priced at $19.99, the Blu-ray set comes with a Blu-ray disc, a DVD and Digital Copy. The movie comes in 1080p with 5.1 surround sound. The extras and special features are considerable providing two commentaries and over a hour of video. Here is a breakdown:

  • Intro (2:26)
  • Opening Sequence (4:19)
  • The Title Sequence (2:56)
  • 007 (3:48)
  • Q (1:59)
  • DB5 (1:36)
  • Women (4:27)
  • Villains (6:51)
  • Action (3:33)
  • Locations (3:24)
  • Music (3:43)
  • End Sequence (14:03)
  • M (4:47)
  • The Future (2:13)

 

BR iTUNES VUDU GP AI
Price $19.99 $14.99 $14.99 $14.99 $14.99
Ways To Watch 2D Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copy, Mac and PC, iPad and iPhone Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, iPod or PC PS3, Xbox 360, Roku, Smart Blu-ray players, Smart TV’s, iPad, iPhone, Mac and PC, Roku, Android Tablets and Phones Android tablets and   phones, Google TV, Mac and PC PS3, Xbox 360, Roku, Smart Blu-ray players, Smart TV’s, iPad,Kindle Fire (HD), Roku, Mac and PC
Max Resolution On TV 1080p 1080p 1080p 1080p 1080p
Digital Copy Max Resolution 853 x 478 1080p Standard Definition for mobile devices 1080p 1080p
Audio 5.1 DTS-HD Dolby Digital 5.1 Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 Stereo Stereo

 

Wrap Up
Skyfall is an epic film that is filled with great visuals and awesome sound. If you are pinching pennies all available digital downloads are $14.99. Of the those options iTunes is the best bet. With an iTunes purchase keep in mind that you will need an Apple TV to watch it on your television.
But when watching an epic film, like Skyfall, you want an excellent viewing experience as well the story behind the story. That total experience, in the case of Skyfall, can only be found on the Blu-ray disc set. The Skyfall Blu-ray disc set is the best way to watch Skyfall at home.

Special Features BR iTUNES VUDU GP AI