MVD Entertainment Group and Gotham Distribution Corp. Join Forces to Form Old School Ventures

MVD Entertainment Group and Gotham Distribution Corp. have formed Old School Ventures, a new entity formed between the companies to run, service and administrate the music and film consumer direct business, Oldies.com. 

Old School Ventures will operate out of MVD’s headquarters in Pottstown, Pa., and will be headed up by industry veteran Joe Buesgen, who has been VP of marketing at Oldies.com since 2000.  

“With the combined expertise and resources of MVD and Gotham, we are well-positioned to take Oldies.com to the next level and continue to innovate in the industry,” Buesgen said in a statement. “This partnership represents a great opportunity to leverage our strengths and provide our customers with the best possible experience.”  
 
MVD, founded in 1986, is a full-service music and movie distribution firm, exclusively representing a catalog of audio and visual products for DVD, Blu-ray, CD, vinyl and digital rights, worldwide. Ed Seaman and Eve Edwards are co-CEOs of MVD.

“MVD has been working with Gotham & Collectables closely for the last 20-plus years and we know them very well; this opportunity to be in business with the Greene family is an honor,” Seaman said in a statement. “We are very optimistic about the future of collectible physical media, and together we are going to make a great team.” 

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Founded in 1980 by Nina Greene, Jerry Greene and Melissa Greene-Anderson, Gotham Distributing Corp. is a music and movie distribution company based in West Conshohocken, Pa. Over the past two decades, their Oldies.com division has grown into one of the largest music and movie consumer-direct catalog and e-commerce companies in the United States. Gotham is also the home of Collectables Records, a reissue record label established in 1980, and Alpha Video, an entertainment company that specializes in the manufacturing and marketing of classic movies and TV shows on DVD.  

“After the sale of our iconic warehouse along the Blue Route, we realized that it was time to explore other options and partnerships that could help us continue to grow and serve our customers,” Jerry Greene said in a statement. “The formation of Old School Ventures with MVD Entertainment Group is a perfect example of how we are leveraging our strengths and resources to take Oldies.com to new heights. We are excited about this new chapter in our company’s history and look forward to working closely with our partners to build a bright future for the music and movie consumer-direct business.” 

Operations transfer to the new entity Old School Ventures on March 29.  

Gotham: The Fifth and Final Season

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Warner;
Action;
$24.98 DVD, $29.98 Blu-ray;
Not rated.
Stars Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, David Mazouz, Sean Pertwee, Robin Lord Taylor, Erin Richards, Camren Bicondova, Cory Michael Smith, Morena Baccarin, Chris Chalk, Cameron Monaghan, Shane West.

Also available with
Gotham: The Complete Series
$99.99 DVD, $112.99 Blu-ray

The “Gotham” in this final batch of episodes is a far cry from the series that debuted in 2014.

In its early episodes, the show took on more of the feel of a traditional police procedural, focused on the early career of James Gordon (Ben McKenzie), who would eventually become the police commissioner of Gotham City in the Batman comics. His first case would be to investigate the murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents. Gotham would also be plagued by mob violence, while versions of other Batman characters would appear as well as a nod to the comics.

This early approach didn’t catch on with viewers, as the show suffered from a bit of an identity crisis, as it wasn’t quite sure if it wanted to be a cop drama, a Batman origin story or a gritty crime saga. The richness of the Batman mythos was too tempting to leave on the table, so even the more absurd aspects of the comic books began to seep onto the show. Eventually, the series focused on what fans liked about the early episodes, and embraced the often bizarre and macabre nature of the various villains in Batman’s rogues gallery, evolving into a deliciously wacky pastiche of a typical comic book adaptation.

It’s as if the producers fused the dark noir of the Batman films with the campiness of the 1960s series to craft a truly unique spin on the character’s canon. There are certainly more than enough references to earlier Batman TV series and movies.

No comic book storylines were off limits, even if they didn’t necessarily fit the timeline from the comics. For example, in the comics, Bruce Wayne doesn’t learn about the conspiratorial Court of Owls until well after he becomes Batman, but they appeared on the show during the second season, when Bruce is just a kid, nudging him toward his eventual destiny.

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In the fifth season, the series was inspired by the “No Man’s Land” storyline, in which a series of disasters isolates Gotham from the rest of the country, forcing its remaining citizens into a sort of post-apocalyptic gang society (elements of the storyline also inspired The Dark Knight Rises). As the various characters continue to push toward their eventual destinies in the comic books, with some eccentric detours, of course, the show also introduces its version of Bane (Shane West), who arrives pre-mask as an old Army buddy of Gordon who arrives to help restore order to the city.

In the end, the series is an interesting take on the Batman mythology, which some fans may enjoy for its embrace of the spirit of the characters, while others might find it deviates too much from the canon they’re used to in the comics.

The fifth season Blu-ray includes a number of interesting featurettes in addition to the final 12 episodes. There are six minutes of deleted scenes and several featurettes.

Most relevant to the show is the 16-minute “Modern Mythology” featurette, in which the cast and producers look back on the show and how it put the pieces in place to move Bruce Wayne toward becoming Batman.

There’s also a one-minute promotional featurette called “Gotham’s Last Stand,” and a highlight reel from the show’s panel at the 2018 New York Comic Con, which turns out to be surprisingly spoiler-heavy considering it took place before the final season aired.

More interesting is a 38-minute featurette called “Villains: Modes of Persuasion,” a documentary about the mindset and psychology of comic book villains in general, with a particular focus on the villains from various DC Comics inspired TV series such as “Gotham,” “Arrow” and “Supergirl.” It’s a blatant cross-promotional tool, but an effective one.

Final Season of ‘Gotham’ on Disc July 9

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release Gotham: The Complete Fifth and Final Season and Gotham: The Complete Series on Blu-ray and DVD July 9.

The final season of the series focuses on Bruce Wayne’s ultimate transformation into Batman while Jim Gordon struggles to hold together a city on the edge of chaos. The cast includes Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, David Mazouz, Sean Pertwee, Robin Lord Taylor, Erin Richards, Camren Bicondova, Cory Michael Smith, Chris Chalk and Shane West. The final episodes are slated to air in April on Fox.

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The season five set will include 12 episodes plus deleted scenes, the behind-the-scenes featurette “Modern Mythology,” and highlights from the show’s 2018 panel at New York Comic Con.

The Blu-ray will include digital copies of the episodes.

Updated 3-19-19 with new street date. Old street date was June 11.