I was just a young lad during the 2000’s and like everyone I have fond memories of the decade. Sure every decade has its importances, but the 2000’s to me was special. It was the rise of tech. Digital everything. I saw the popularity of computers, the internet, DVD players, video games consoles, mobile phones and MP3 players come (and for some, go).
DVD wasn’t invented in the 2000’s, instead it came around on the tail end of the 1990s, but during the middle of the decade DVD finally killed off VHS. I love VHS, you only have to see parts of this website for why, but DVD was definitely the logical successor. Not only did the new format bring more content, easier navigation, better picture and sound quality and reliability – but it was smaller. And by that I mean in physical shape.
Gone were the large bulky black rectangles that lined the walls of homes across the country. Instead for every VHS clamshell you could fit two standard size DVD keep-cases. But even then those standard size cases are a big waste of space, in come slim-line cases which were even thinner. But it doesn’t end there, people began to realise that all people really want is the disc – so people began to distribute DVD’s in cardboard sleeves, which meant you could collect even more!
OK not everyone started selling their DVD releases in such packaging. Cardboard is not exactly renowned for its ability of keeping optical media in the best shape. However I like to think that the fact that using cardboard sleeves for DVDs was one of the reasons numerous newspaper publications began giving away films.
Yep – giving away. Free! Well probably not 100% free, I never actually bought a newspaper during the 2000s and if I did I probably wouldn’t be able to tell you if it cost more for the DVD or not (my mum was my financial manager then). I can only assume they were free with the insane amount of free DVD’s (and CD’s) I uncovered at my grandfather’s home when he moved out. He gifted them to me, of which I came to the quick decision that I was going to have to ditch them. I thought nothing of it at the time. Filmogs wasn’t around and my tastes in film at that time were unique (I sure as shit wasn’t watching Hilary Duff movies for the fun of it).
Now, only a few mere years later, do I kind of regret my actions. While I sit surrounded by mini-skyscrapers of DVD and VHS cases, there is something alluring about these cardboard freebies. Most of these releases are probably sitting in landfill – they are worthless, and even charity shops won’t stock them. I find the occasional (usually independent) charity who do stock them, and they are always being sold as donation only or 10p items. Of course with deals like that it is no wonder I have ended up with a few already.
So this post is a celebration of these freebies. With the fact that even normal DVD’s are worth zilch right now, and with most people ditching physical media all together for VOD services, I doubt any publications will start giving away any more. In this post I hope to list as many of these titles that I come across or can find.
2020 Update –
Hello and welcome to the hell of a year that is 2020!
Although this year is hellbent on wiping out as many humans as possible, it turns out the millions of DVDs and CD’s given away by newspapers are still being found in every old bookcase, car boot tub and charity shop waste bin nationwide. Due to Filmogs going the way of the dodo (RIP) I have taken it upon myself to put a little more effort into something that I can actually control, this!
So buckle up and watch me as I slowly work my way through these wonderful specimens for someone’s enjoyment.
Below you will find a selection of tables which list the title of the release, if it belongs to a series/collection by the newspaper, what is included on the release and if I think the release is worth picking up or collecting (purely my own opinion).
Each section is split by the publication name(s) and then each table is sorted A-Z by title, with any numerical titles being first.
The Daily Telegraph / The Sunday Telegraph
The Daily Mail / The Mail on Sunday
- Rogue Trader (Film) (2005)