I don’t think I’ve ever lined up outside a store on Black Friday to be the first to get some amazing deal, called door busters, but I certainly don’t mind going a little later in the day. I used to go to Best Buy all the time, but I realize it was mostly just to get cheap DVD’s. Most of the DVD’s I own were less than $10. I don’t know that many people even buy DVD’s anymore and I haven’t been to Best Buy in a while. But this year I did a membership with Disney Movie Club and that got me shopping for movies again, this time for Blu-ray DVD’s which are in HD (DVD’s actually have pretty poor resolution at 480p, whereas a Blu-ray is 1080p). The Disney thing has worked out pretty well and I have collected points from those purchase and gotten a couple of free movies at Disney Movie Rewards. In the past week or so they offered a $5 off coupon that could be used in stores for only 250 points. 100 points is worth about a dollar, so that’s a good deal. I planned to combine the coupon with a Black Friday deal (or two) to get Zootopia and/or Finding Dory for pretty cheap. The Black Friday ads were published weeks ago, so I knew I could get Dory at Target for $10 and Zootopia at Best Buy for $8 (before the coupon). Would I be able to get both? I figured I would purchase one coupon and that way if Target or Best Buy ran out, I wouldn’t be stuck with a coupon that expires at the end of the year. But since Target and Best Buy are across the highway from each other and I didn’t want to make two trips just to save 250 points, I ultimately bought another coupon and headed to Target, not on Black Friday, but Thanksgiving night, albeit still a few hours after the doors had opened.
Target was bustling, but not insane, with lots of people with full carts going out to their cars. I walked in and past some of the checkout lines where they usually have DVD’s and Finding Dory was gone. I made it back to where they had put DVD’s for Black Friday and found a whole shelf of Dory Blu-rays. Disney is great because in addition to the Blu-ray disk, they usually also include a DVD, and a code that you can use to download a digital version of the movie (and get more points!). One woman was on her knees poring over all the DVD’s, but all I wanted was Dory (which I haven’t seen yet, unlike Zootopia). I went to the self checkout line which had open registers, but a Target employee said that in order to speed things up, the employees were checking people out, so she took care of it, including scanning the coupon. I was in and out of Target in probably 10 minutes.
I drove over to Best Buy hoping for a similar experience. There were four police cars out front and lots of people wandering around. When I got inside, there were lines wrapped around all over. People were waiting in a long line just to get iPhones. I found the DVD’s and was able to eventually locate Zootopia, but the checkout line was probably 50 people deep. I kept looking because I knew Best Buy had some pretty good deals on other movies and picked up The Hateful Eight for $3.99 and although I had The Princess Bride already, I didn’t have it on Blu-ray and it was only $3.99 and included a digital download (most Blu-rays include a download, some people buy the disk and sell the code for the download to people who don’t care about owning disks). Another $3.99 choice that had gotten good reviews, but that I had never seen was Ex Machina, so I picked that one up. I had also heard some good things about Gone Girl and it seemed like a pretty good deal at $5.99 so I got that and also The Imitation Game, which I had wanted to see but could never get at Red Box, so I paid $5.99 for it too. Then I stood in line for a while behind a guy who was buying five Go Phones and his friend who was buying three more. I talked to him some and he said you couldn’t go wrong with a smart phone for $30 that you could unlock and use on any network. The line probably took 20 minutes to a half hour, which was almost too long for me to stay, but it moved fairly quickly and they took my $5 off coupon no problem.
So lots of movies to watch and hopefully they will be worth watching again so I can get my money’s worth. Later on I was checking on a discussion area and found out that Target had some previously unadvertised deals on movies, including Gone Girl for only $4 (I paid $6 at Best Buy by not crawling around on my knees at Target to check everything out like I should have). Also I had shopped at Target earlier in the week to take advantage of a pre Black Friday sale and gotten The Grand Budapest Hotel for $6, but now it was only $4, which is an amazing deal on a great movie (I had seen it before, but watched some of it on the train, using my digital download; it is still great). On that earlier shopping trip I had also picked up a season of Modern Family on DVD for only $5 so that I could rip the episodes and watch them on the train. I had great luck using Handbrake, watching the pilot episode on Wednesday on the way to work. I decided maybe it would be good to get more seasons at this great rate and wound up buying three more seasons online from Target with free shipping. I also threw in a second season of Homeland for $5. I had bought the first season on used Blu-ray earlier in the week from Amazon for about the same price. I have never seen an episode, so hopefully it will be good. Plus, I had bought a box set of the entire series of The Sopranos on Blu-ray plus digital downloads for $70, kind of a birthday present to myself, but again having never watched a single episode, only knowing it by its very substantial reputation as one of the greatest TV shows of all time.
Now I really have a lot of watching to do. I’ll write more about how the digital downloads work out later on because it is kind of an interesting thing. I will say that I didn’t go completely crazy on all of this. On the same day that The Sopranos went on sale, you could also buy the complete series of The Wire, which is also critically acclaimed, but I passed. Also, I had thought about getting Gravity, Spotlight, and The Lego Movie, all of which I had enjoyed, but ultimately decided against. I also declined a few movies I still want to see, but might make better rentals: Sicario, Straight Outta Compton, and Despicable Me.