The Complete Guide to Buying a DVD

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The Complete Guide to Buying a DVD

Hundreds of movies are released in theatres all around the world every year and all of these films, along with many more, eventually find their way to a DVD release. Customers who want to purchase a new DVD are often faced with an overwhelming selection and little guidance. Movies are extremely personal experiences, and while movie aficionados may enjoy a top rated film such as Citizen Kane, families should not be surprised if their children would rather watch Spongebob Squarepants instead. Therefore, it can prove difficult to find a movie that a couple can both enjoy, let alone the entire family. Multimedia stores, department stores, and online websites like eBay, sell DVDs every day. While there is no right or wrong way to pick a new DVD, buyers can discover a new movie that they might enjoy by selecting one according to genre, the actors and actresses in the movie, or award winners.

DVD Ratings

Before a buyer starts looking for a DVD, he or she needs to understand how the rating system works. The rating system is governed by the British Board of Film Classification, in an effort to create general guidelines about the content within the movie. Understanding the rating system is crucial for parents of young children who do not want to expose their family to films with adult situations and violence.




Universal, suitable for all ages


Parental Guidance suggested for children under 8 years old


No one under 12 may rent, watch, or buy the film


No one under 14 may rent, watch or buy the film


No one under 18 may rent, watch, or buy the film


Adult films only sold in licensed sex shops

Keep in mind that the ratings are only general guidelines. In some cases, the lines between a film that gets a 15 rating and an 18 rating, are somewhat blurred and can cause controversy. Parents who are concerned about the content of any DVD they want to purchase, should first read up on reviews of the film before buying it.

DVD Genres

Much as books are divided up into different genres such as westerns, romances, and fantasy, DVDs also fall into different categories. Selecting a movie according to its genre can be helpful especially if the buyer particularly enjoys one genre over the other. For example, if a customer is a fan of action movies they might want to buy an action DVD. In comparison, those who enjoy the triumphs and tragedies of life played out on the screen, may gravitate towards drama DVDs. While obtaining a full listing of movie genres is almost impossible, since most categories can be further divided into subcategories, a brief overview of the main DVD genres gives customers insight into each one.

Action and Adventure DVDs

Buyers who like the thrill of lightning fast kung-fu, or nail biting adventure, stay glued to their seats for an action or adventure DVD. Movies in this category focus heavily on fight scenes and action sequences in order to move the plot forward, and are often very fast paced. This is also a very versatile genre, with some action movies taking on a modern focus, while others occur in a historical setting. Some of them even happen in fantasy worlds. The action sequences are what ties this genre together, so always expect this common element.

Popular Action and Adventure Actors

Overall, most actors and actresses are versatile enough to play in many different genres. However, some actors have carved out a niche for themselves in the action category, and their name headlining a movie automatically brings in the crowds. Fans who enjoy martial arts might like movies that star Jackie Chan, Jet Li, or Bruce Lee. There are also American kung fu movies that star Chuck Norris or Jean Claude Van Damme. Those who like movies with big guns and heavy-hitting action, may prefer films with Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, or Tom Cruise instead.

Children DVDs

Movies that are designed for children fall under this genre. These movies very often carry either the U or PG rating so that almost any child can watch them. Often this genre includes the animated movies produced by Disney, Pixar, and Studio Ghibli amongst many others. The main character is one that children can relate to and often times the story carries important life lessons. While the overall shape of the film may follow one of the other genres such as action, drama, or comedy, these films are included in this genre because they are marketed toward children. For buyers who are selecting a film for family night, this is a good genre to start with if the family includes very young children.

Comedy DVDs

For those nights when people just want to kick back and laugh, pick up a comedy DVD. Movies in this genre are meant to be light-hearted and fun. Some comedy DVDs are simply stand-up recordings of famous comedians like George Carlin or Dave Chapelle, while others are actual movies that have an overall plot. Families need to pay special attention to the ratings for this genre, since some of the jokes may be too adult for young audiences.

Drama DVDs

Tragedy and comedy are at the centre of every good drama, and this genre has been around for millenniums, going all the way back to the ancient plays of Sophocles. Today's dramas focus on an enveloping storyline that changes the lives of the characters within the movie. Therefore, these movies are known for their storytelling abilities and often star the biggest actors. Dramas can blur the lines into other genres, since the ability to tell a good story is essential to any movie. However, what sets dramas apart is their focus on the characters within the movie rather than the plot.

Award Winning Dramas

When it comes to selecting a good drama, there is perhaps no better place to start than with an award winner. Dramas often win awards on the biggest stages, including the Hollywood Oscars, due to their excellent storytelling methods. In fact, many of the top-rated movies of all time belong to the drama genre. Buyers who want to watch a good drama should start with looking at winners of the BAFTA, Oscars, or indie film festivals such as Cannes or Sundance.

Science Fiction and Fantasy

A long time ago in a galaxy far away, science fiction and fantasy films transported their viewers to other worlds. These two genres often get lumped together because they use make-believe settings, even though fans of one genre may dislike the other. Science fiction films usually focus on technology and take place in the future. Fantasy films often focus on magic, or forces beyond the control of mankind, and they take place in an imaginary land.

Top Science Fiction and Fantasy Films

It may take many people by surprise to learn that some of the top-grossing films in history come from the science fiction and fantasy genre. Once derided as the genre of nerds and geeks, these films helped push aside preconceived notions, and redefined the entire genre. The entire Star Wars saga is perhaps the paramount representative of science fiction films and it has been attracting new followers for over 30 years. The beautiful fantasy films of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, based on the book by J.R.R. Tolkien, are heralded by many as the greatest movie trilogy ever made.

Western DVDs

Western movies were once enormously popular, though their limelight has faded somewhat over the years. These films focus on the American Old West and include the characters of cowboys, Indians and dangerous outlaws. The Western genre shows how men and women live and die during times of lawlessness, extorting the enormous price of true freedom. Many of the best films are vintage ones staring classic actors such as John Wayne or Clint Eastwood.

Buying DVDs on eBay

When it comes to purchasing DVDs, especially those for older movies, shopping online through venues such as eBay can save the day. With a gigantic selection of new, used, and classic DVDs from almost all eras of film-making, eBay truly gives customers everything they would need to find their favourite movies. In fact, chances are that if you cannot find a DVD anywhere else, it is for sale on eBay.

Searching for DVDs on eBay

There are several ways to search for DVD movies on eBay. If you merely want to browse listings based on a genre such as 'Action DVD' or 'TV Shows DVD', then eBay allows for you to search this way. If you want to search for a particular actor such as Brad Pitt, then type 'Brad Pitt DVD' into the search box. If you already know the exact movie you want, such as 'Seven Samurai DVD' then you can also search by title.

Buying Used DVDs on eBay

Many DVDs on eBay are sold in used condition, which is perfectly acceptable. In fact many DVDs only had limited releases, therefore the only way to purchase one now would be to buy it in used condition. However, buyers must understand that while used items should allow for some wear and tear, they must still be in working condition.


One of the greatest joys in life is watching a good movie for the first time. Whether it is a fantasy film that takes viewers to a world far away, or a drama film that could be happening right next door, the power of the movies has always drawn people to the television screen. Watching DVDs is a great way to spend time together with a loved one, or the entire family. Choosing the right DVD to buy really depends on each buyer's personal preferences. Before selecting a movie, buyers should always pay close attention to the rating guidelines. Then, a person can choose a movie in several different ways. Fans of one genre or one actor may want to purchase a new film in the same vein. eBay allows everyone to find the right DVD no matter how old the movie is, giving buyers the chance to find a new favourite film.

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