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Pushing Oscar, Peddling DVD

By RD Heldenfels Published: January 12, 2007

The Academy Awards nominations come out on Jan. 23 and the Oscars themselves are on Feb. 25. There has been at times expectation that ''The Departed'' will do well. But considering the timing of a DVD release -- after the nominations but before the awards -- I have to wonder if Warner Bros.' faith has been shaken in some way. Here's a bit of the announcement:

Get ready for the most explosive and action-packed mob film of the year when The Departed arrives on DVD this February 13 from Warner Home Video. Martin Scorsese (GoodFellas, Casino) directs this in-your-face crime thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat.  The 2-Disc Special Edition includes more than two hours of bonus features including nine additional scenes with introductions by Director Martin Scorsese, Feature-Length TCM Career Profile: Scorsese on Scorsese, The Story of the Boston Mob: The Real-Life Gangster Behind Jack Nicholson’s Character and Crossing Criminal Cultures: How Little Italy’s Crime and Violence Influence Scorsese’s Work. ...

The Departed will be available on a Special Edition 2-Disc DVD for $34.99 SRP and on Single Disc DVD for $28.98 in both widescreen and full frame formats. The Departed will also be available on HD DVD Combo at $39.99 SRP and on Blu-ray Disc at $34.99.

I do like Warner's increasing habit of releasing basic and special editions at the same time. At least that way, customers have a choice instead of wanting to buy the basic edition -- then getting popped again months or years later if they want a more comprehensive special edition. (''Brokeback Mountain,'' for example, first hit DVD last April, and is putting out a two-disc special edition Jan. 23 -- quite awhile later.)  And those just wanting the basics don't get socked because there's only a special edition.

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