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Byline: PATRICK SEITZ
Online DVD rental pioneer Netflix has awakened a sleeping giant in Blockbuster.
Blockbuster, with more than 4,500 U.S. stores, has gotten serious about the threat posed by Netflix and others and is aggressively promoting its own online DVD service. At the same time, Blockbuster is bolstering its in-store offerings.
The DVD rental business has been cutthroat lately, with a price war, new competitors and service changes.
The gamesmanship between neighborhood video chain Blockbuster and online mail-order service Netflix has all the twists and turns of a David Mamet thriller.
The two are locked in a battle at all costs for the hearts and minds -- and wallets -- of movie watchers nationwide.
The latest salvo came Dec. 22 when Blockbuster cut the monthly fee for its online video rental service to $14.99 from …