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"No one can see every release during the entire calendar year - so we hope our lists can introduce and expose some of the many lauded Blu-rays and DVDs that surfaced during 2018. Hopefully you will find a few unique surprises. We don't discriminate based on regional limitations or broadcast standards. Expanding the borders of your digital entertainment horizons has always been the primary goal of this website. We always appreciate your suggestions and contributions."

DVDBeaver

DVDBeaver are proud to announce our voting results for Blu-ray and DVD of the Year - 2018.  I would like to give a very appreciative thank you to those 107 individuals who participated (we published the complete results of 25 balloters below, but everyone's votes were counted in the totals!). This poll would not exist without the film aficionados who support world cinema and the DVDBeaver website. Thank you! We have done our best to help expose some of the important, and often clandestine, neglected digital packages, in both BD, SD and UHD, that surfaced in the 2018 calendar year.

 

We have had past years where Criterion is more closely challenged, but they were heads and tails above in 2018. Indicator are the most consistent challenger. Criterion generally can release 4 titles a month - moving to 5, recently - but with the UK editions it is over 85 for the year! It has been another incredible year.

 

Announcements:

Colin Zavitz is working out brilliantly bringing a lot to DVDBeaver from reviews, calendar updates, technical advice and much more. And thanks to Colin for this year's ballot tallying!

 

DVD purchases, reviews and poll entries continue to dwindle (most included zero picks) and we have scrapped the TOP 5 with only one package voted on by more than one balloter - in fact Liebelei & Lola Montez (Max Ophuls, 1933 & 1955); Munich Filmmuseum; PAL Germany - was voted by four individuals this year!

 

Regarding 4K UHD - the format has not taken off as some envisioned and our Poll only had a handful of selctions compared to Blu-ray but we could says the most notable selections were 2001: A Space Odyssey [4k UHD Blu-ray] (Stanley Kubrick, 1968) Warner Bros (BEAVER REVIEW) - despite controversies over the colors, The Big Lebowski [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, 1998) Universal Pictures (BEAVER REVIEW) which was a ridiculously improved presentation over the older Blu-ray and Saving Private Ryan [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Steven Spielberg, 1998) Paramount (BEAVER REVIEW) where the first half of the film is an amazing experience in UHD.

 

There were an absurd number of great boxsets this year (thanks Indicator!). We should have expanded our TOP BOXSETS listing to 10 or even 25 - perhaps next year!  

 

In our changing world - we now rely on Patrons - and we greatly thank those who contribute - you are our heroes. Acknowledgment, as always, to tireless reviewer Eric Cotenas and extensive list support from Gregory Meshman who both continue to be invaluable to DVDBeaver existence. We wouldn't be here without them! And appreciation for input and support from our FB Group including Michael C., Monty, Michael B., JM Ryan, Alex D., Sean P., Tim L., Henrik S., Lynn L., Kat E., Brian M. and many others. Thanks everyone!

 

We're proud of our new and updated listing pages made in 2018: The TOP 100 DISCS, Ingmar Bergman's Cinema, HAGSPloitation, BLAXPloitation, OZPloitation, 'WOMEN IN PRISON' CINEMA which are added to our, frequently updated, 2017 listing pages: CREATURE-FEATURES (on Blu-ray!), PRE-CODE FILMs (on Blu-ray!), SILENT ERA FILMs (on Blu-ray!), HAMMER Studios (on Blu-ray!) The 100 BEST Neo-Noirs (on Blu-ray!), The GREATEST 100 Westerns (on Blu-ray!), Giallo on Blu-ray!, ESSENTIAL NOIR on Blu-ray!, Shopping Guide for Blu-rays at Amazon.FR (France), Shopping Guide for Blu-rays at Amazon.DE (Germany) and our LATEST ARTICLES: Movies From... the End of the World The Beauties of Star Trek (TOS).
 

Owning an easily accessible digital library, of the greatest films ever made, in the best possible transfers is a quest of perfection many Cinephiles strive for and continue to achieve. Classic, nostalgic, vintage, or world cinema - has never had such accessibility, ever, for the discerning digital consumer.

 

The UK production appreciation was dominated by Indicator, in addition to Arrow, BFI, Second Run had another great year!, Studio Canal, Artificial Eye, Masters of Cinema are always strong, Signal One, 101 'Black Label', Screenbound, Network, 88 Films, Third Window - and more.

 

North America has Criterion continuing to lead the way with help from Kino Lorber's massive output!, Twilight Time, Classicflix, Olive Films (and their improved 'Signature'  releases), Flicker Alley, Shout! Factory, Film Movement, Warner Archive, Milestone, Cinelicious Pics, Synapse, Severin, Grindhouse Releasing, Cinema Guild, Cult Epics, Oscilloscope, Vinegar Syndrome, Cohen Media, Strand Releasing, Film Detective and others.      

 

25 Selected Balloters (click name to access votes):

 

 Moshe Black            Billy Bang          Simón Cherpitel          Gonçalo Costa

 

 Eric Cotenas          Ally Best         Gregory Elich        L. Ross Fenstermaker

 

                 David H.            Jeff Heinrich            Peter Henné          Louis Irwin

Jay Lavelle                   Gregory Meshman                     Calvin MacKinnon

Luc Pomerleau           Jonathan Rosenbaum       Alfredo Santoro      James-Masaki Ryan

Schwarkkve       Rasmus Bjerre Pedersen       (taikohediyoshi) Michael Connors       

Gary Tooze                 Peter Yacavone                 Colin Zavitz

The Totals (click to access)

THE TOP FIVE BOXSETSs OF 2018

TOP TEN Blu-rays OF 2018    TOP 100 Blu-rays of 2018

4K UHD

 TOP LABELS        Best Cover Design

     'Black' and Blu (Film Noir on 2018 Blu-ray)     

'Yellow' and Blu (Giallo on 2018 Blu-ray)

 Notable Rant and Praise

 

 

Moshe Black


Top Blu-ray Releases of 2018

1.
Ingmar Bergman's Cinema The Criterion Collection [Blu-ray] (30-disc/39 films, 248-page book) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW) - Surely the greatest boxset ever!
2.
Woodfall: A Revolution in British Cinema (8-disc Blu-ray box set) - Look Back in Anger (Tony Richardson, 1959) - The Entertainer (Tony Richardson, 1960) - Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Karel Reisz, 1960) - A Taste of Honey (Tony Richardson, 1961) - The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Tony Richardson, 1962) - Tom Jones (Tony Richardson, 1963) (New 4K digital restorations of the original theatrical version of the film and the 19 - A masterclass in game changing cinema.
3.
The Magnificent Ambersons [Blu-ray] (Orson Welles, 1942) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW) - Great restoration, extras and booklet.
4.
The Tree of Life [Blu-ray] (Terrence Malick, 2011) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW) - Fantastic quality release.
5.
Night of the Demon [Blu-ray] (Jacques Tourneur, 1957) UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW) - The business, restored print, 4 versions of the film, stacked boxset.
6.
The American Friend [Blu-ray] (Wim Wenders, 1977) RB UK AX1 Films - Dennis H. an inspired pick as Ripley. Great restored print and good commentary track.
7.
Trespass [Blu-ray] (Walter Hill, 1992) RB UK 101 Film - A masterclass in thrilling entertainment!
8.
The Boondock Saints [Blu-ray] (Troy Duffy, 1999) Arrow Video UK - A most enjoyable feel good flick!
9.
The Endless [Blu-ray] (Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead, 2017) Arrow Video UK (BEAVER REVIEW) - A super package, commentaries galore, stacked 2 discs with amazing 1st film RESOLUTION.
10.
Take Shelter: Limited Edition [Blu-ray] (Jeff Nichols, 2011) RB UK Second Sight - At last a complete, deluxe and stacked version - most deserved!
11.
The Wrong Box [Blu-ray(Bryan Forbes, 1966) Region Free UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW) - great restoration of funny 60s film with many great cameos.
 

Billy Bang

 A year in which it was impossible to limit to 10. I have chosen 17 starting and ending with Criterion.

1.
Au hasard Balthazar [Blu-ray] (Robert Bresson, 1966) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW). This 2014 restoration took an awfully long time to get the blu ray. It was like watching the film with fresh eyes. Godard’s famous quote’ This film is the whole world’ is there in the supplement ‘Un metterur en ordre’. Want to know what humanity is really like? Watch this devastating film.
2.
Andrei Rublev [Blu-ray] (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1966) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW). Another restoration (183 min version), another revelation. Not just the stupendous visuals but in the audio restoration. Very rarely have i been aware of how sound can deepen your appreciation. Dare I now watch the unrestored 204 original version included as a bonus? Very likely.
3.
A Story from Chikamatsu [Blu-ray] (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1954) Criterion. Like others I had always thought of this as a lesser Mizoguchi, what with Ugetsu, Sansho and Oharu to compare his 1950’s output with. And in this, (as Haden Crane makes clear in his essay) I was not alone. Possibly because its melodrama was more domestic. Again this restoration sets me right. You suddenly realise, within the limited means of the story, how great Mizoguchi elegant mastery was. Kazuo Miyagawa’s cinematography is something to behold.
4.
Some Like It Hot [Blu-ray] (Billy Wilder, 1959) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW). I saw the Criterion restored film on it’s theatrical re-release at the NFT1, London Southbank in October. But the blu- ray is even better, as the film positively glows! Sadly, many of the supplements are old, old, old. Also, if only Criterion could have added a bit of fun to to the inside cover, and included Annie Leibowitz’s marvellous1995 portrait of Curtis and Lemmon in drag, as Daphne and Josephine 36 years later. Not seen it? Have a look. It will make you laugh all over again!
5.
Dead Man [Blu-ray] (Jim Jarmusch, 1995) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW). A few thing came to my mind viewing this ravishing release. The late, great Robby Muller’s artistry, Neil Young’s superlative soundtrack (which, as Gary Farmer rightly says in his interview, is a 3rd character in the film, as William Blake and Nobody ride out) and of course Jarmusch’s sure, unhurried touch in every shot. His Q&A to written questions is great fun too. A perfect release to a perfect film, although I did wish Criterion could have gone all out on the packaging as they did with Alex Cox’s Repo Man.
6.
The Passenger [Blu-ray] (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1975) Indicator UK (BEAVER REVIEW). This was the only Powerhouse release I bought this year. You know these guy do every release right. For Passenger, they retained all the goodies from the previous excellent DVD release (Jack Nicholson commentary etc), but added an extra commentary, new interviews with Jenny Runacre and Steve Berkoff, and alternative Italian titles. It is region free too. A must own masterpiece that never stales on repeat viewings.
7.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers [Blu-ray] (Don Siegel, 1956) Olive Signature (BEAVER REVIEW). I had previously pretty much ignored Gary’s raves for the Olive Signature releases, until I realised in 2017 (trying to source their’ High Noon ‘release in the UK) how special these releases were. In terms of supplements, they go beyond what Criterion do. Oh boy, how happy I was they went for this Siegel classic! Every now and then I have a craving (yes, a craving!) to watch it, and I now own the definitive version.
8.
Intimate Lighting [Blu-ray] (Ivan Passer, 1965) RB UK Second Run (BEAVER REVIEW). Has a year gone by when I have not raved about Second Run. Here is a small company that has been doing things excellently for so long, that it is easy to take them for granted. They are now moving some of their early DVD releases on to Blu ray, including the Czech classics from the Prague Spring. And unlike Criterion, they try and included new supplements to their Blu ray upgrades to make it worth our while. This release for example, has Passer’s debut short film ‘A Boring Afternoon’. Intimate Lighting is a top ten film of mine, and again, this is the definitive release.
9.
The Crime of Monsieur Lange [Blu-ray] (Jean Renoir, 1936) RB UK Studiocanal. Like Intimate Lighting, and Balthazar, this film is in my top ten film list. This is a Studiocanal’ release( their ’Vintage World Cinema’ imprint). They seem to have the rights to a great many classics. I suppose the restoration is good as one can expect for such an old film. However can Criterion do better? I believe they will. This is one of the most modern and sophisticated films ever made. Ensemble casting of the highest order. Prevert’s script just zings! And in Jules Berry’s performance as Batala- there is no better demonstration of the depredations visited on others when one is a Capitalist with a capital C.
10.
The Apartment [Blu-ray] (Billy Wilder, 1960) Arrow Academy (BEAVER REVIEW). I’ve just realised this was actually released late UK December 2017. But I suspect, before many of us got to watch it, and list it then. I have the Deluxe edition with hardcover book. One of many excellent releases from Arrow this year. I still see this Limited edition in the stores a year later, and feel bemused that it had not all been snapped up months ago! The restoration is brilliant. One of those film you revisit with pleasure.
11.
Zama [Blu-ray] (Lucrecia Martel, 2017) UK Drakes Avenue Pictures (BEAVER REVIEW). Granted this is listing of blu ray releases, but the impact of some films on the big screen, cannot avoid mention. My experience of this film (again at the NFT1) reflected exactly that of Colin Zavitz’s in his review on DVDBeaver. I was so filled with admiration for what Martel had made I watched her other films on DVD again. None are easy watches but what a filmmaker! (New Wave Films ‘ output here in UK is small- but they have some quality releases- Ceylan, Weerasethakul, Kiarostami, Miguel Gomes are among the ones I have).
12.
Gun Crazy [Blu-ray] (Joseph H. Lewis, 1950) Warner Archive (BEAVER REVIEW). Another film I am loco for. Except for the cars, this could have been made yesterday. Never mind if Peggy Cummins and John Dall never did another film as good. This film grants them movie immortality! The restoration is great, and I listened to some of the commentary- also good. And there is a rather dated ‘Film Noir’ supplement tacked on. But this film deserves more. If only Olive Signature or Criterion were given the chance to release it!
13.Call Me by Your Name [Blu Ray] (Luca Guadagnino- 2017) Sony Pictures. Very few of us have the luck to spend our adolescent summers ‘somewhere in Italy’ with a large house, garden, orchards, and servants etc, but nearly all of us have had a transformative summer pretty much like the one Elio has in this film in our teens. If you made an attempt to read the novel, as I did, after seeing this film, then you’ll know what a marvel James Ivory’s script is. The prose was rather like a stodgy pudding, but the film is light as a soufflé! Guadagnino makes something so pleasurable to watch that it is easy to overlook the artistry of all involved.
14.
Early Hou Hsiao-Hsien: THREE FILMS 1980-1983 [Blu-ray] (Cute Girl, The Green, Green Grass of Home, The Boys from Fengkuei) RB UK Masters of Cinema (BEAVER REVIEW). I had the Belgian Cinematek 2016 DVD release, but did not hesitate to get this MoC blu ray release. That’s how much I love ‘The Boys of Fengkuei’. I only hope there is a ‘What Hou Hsiao- Hsien did next’ volume to follow, because I’m just as crazy about the 3 films that followed- A Summer At Grandpa’s (’84), A Time to Live A Time to Die ( ’85) and Dust In the Wind (’86). Please MoC- release this too!!!
15.
Lucky [Blu-ray] (John Carroll Lynch, 2017) RB UK Eureka Entertainment (BEAVER REVIEW). I bought the US DVD in January, convinced a small film like this would never get a UK release. I was wrong. The September UK release was quickly followed by this Eureka blu ray. The first title says ‘Harry Dean Stanton’ and the next, ‘is Lucky’. So in a way are we, to see him here, in his last starring role. Despite its limitations it still remains a wonderfully encouraging film about living into old age with your spirit of independence intact. Eureka have added a supplement ‘Harry dean Stanton: Partly Fiction’ which I have yet to watch.
16.
Gloria [Blu Ray] (John Cassevetes 1980) Twilight Time (BEAVER REVIEW). The first Cassavetes film I ever saw, in my teens, and I have loved it since. This probably will get an UK Powerhouse release soon (many of their releases duplicate with Twilight Time) but I could not wait, and had to pay import fees. Julie Kirgo’s essay highlights why the film has never got any respect in Cassevets’ oeuvre. He himself apparently considered it hack work. Perhaps at the script stage it was, but the finished film is anything but. Gene Rowlands, gun in hand, on the wrath path is something to behold. So pleased this is now out in hi-def!
17.
Ingmar Bergman's Cinema The Criterion Collection [Blu-ray] (30-disc/39 films, 248-page book) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW). Release timed to perfection with the B&N half price sale which was the only way I would justify buying it, given I had 10 Bergman blu ray Criterion stand alone releases already. I have to confess I have not watched a single film from it yet as iI type this( choices 1, 2,3, 4, 5 Criterions, also B&N buys took my time instead). The book alone is a thing of beauty, never mind 30 disc bonanza within. Now that Criterion have set a precedent, could we hope for something similar with Ozu or Naruse, or Mizoguchi- to name just 3 great Japanese directors who deserve such a sumptuous presentation.

Simón Cherpitel
photographer / designer / writer / cinemacom.com
 

At least 1/2 of my 2018 Blu-ray purchases came from overseas, showing that there is more interest in & respect for American legacy movies than here in North America. 44 BD replacements for DVDs in my collection is about the same as 2017. The 225 number of my purchases dropped 10% from the previous year, indicating that the bell-curve of the best of cinema is on the downward slope. Also, i have since dropped about 10% of what i bought as 'mistakes'.

"Enduring" is the word that means a movie's worth seeing multiple times over time. Like it's more pleasurable to see masterpieces in a gallery than spend the time perusing shallow commercial garbage. However, all movies have gotta have a dollar-seeking edge because it costs so bloody much to make them.

And the difference between glancing at anything hanging on the wall & seeing any movie before deciding to look longer is the difference between 2 seconds & 2 hours.

What I try to maintain in my collection are only those movies that I can view 20 hours or longer over the years.


1 The Magnificent Ambersons [Blu-ray] (Orson Welles, 1942) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW) - One of the longest & most eagerly awaited releases in Blu-ray history. I've been around Indianapolis & my wife lived there for several years. It is one of the most nondescript of American cities, noted mainly for an annual car race that is an ironic comment on the most prescient speech in the movie, spoken by Joseph Cotten nearly verbatim from Tarkington's 1918 novel. I'm not sure i would prefer Welles' original ending showing an industrially clogged cityscape & perhaps Orson was ambivalent, too, & why he didn't push harder against the studio's changes. I think it's time critics stopped quibbling about how the movie was 'ruined' & appreciate it for the wonderful cinema art experience it is. While he was writing Citizen Welles, my friend Loren Frank Brady & I agreed it was our favorite Welles movie.

2
 First Reformed [Blu-ray] (Paul Schrader, 2017) Lionsgate - Brilliant & unexpectedly enthralling, it is, for me, the best, most enduring movie since Malick's The Tree of Life seven years ago. Initially, i caught this on Amazon Prime, having read enough about it to fairly know what it was about & where it was going, thus i anticipated something down & alienating, like Taxi Driver without the magic, & was streaming it as background while i worked, just looking for a taste of its reality—as Anthony Lane wrote, 'Until I saw this reverend, I didn't know the human soul could frown.' It's years since i was so surprised.....& delighted by a movie. In his commentary, Schrader's quite upfront about taking the setting from Bergman's Winter Light, the Pastor's alcohol absorption & illness from Bresson's Diary of a Country Priest, & gluing it all together with Taxi Driver, which he wrote, & whose surreal conclusion is also echoed here, 'giving you a choice of two happy endings,' the most obvious inspired by Dreyer's Ordet. Along the way there are Tarkovsky elements, like a levitation or out-of-the-body experience that many of us have experienced. As much as any movie-maker, Schrader is aware that cinema is evolutionary. The Ozu-like contemplative compositions are mainly static stills, using the old academy frame of 1:1.37 with a darkish color pallet & makes such use of the hymn "Leaning...." that you are swept back to Mitchum in Laughton's Night of the Hunter that itself took you back to cinema's beginnings with its style & the presence of Lillian Gish. The art direction here is noted by not how the sets are decorated but how they've been stripped. I don't i've ever quite so revealing & incisive a commentary as this by Schrader, who says at one point, 'if you've been around church people, you know that when someone quotes Revelations, he's gone to the dark side.'

3 A Fuller Life (Samantha Fuller, 2013) / Forty Guns [Blu-ray] (Samuel Fuller, 1957) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW) - An endearing documentary by a loving daughter giving testament to the title explicit life of her father Sam. The BD was issued earlier this year in France but this ed includes English subs for those like us who are hearing deficient. What we have besides Samantha's narration are a series of prominent cinema people who read from Sam's autobiography, all very poignantly. My wife, who loves bios feels that this is one of the most thorough & interesting portraits of a director she's ever seen. Additionally, on the disc is a wonderful interview with Samantha & her mom, Fuller's widow Christa Lang who was with him for the last 30 years of his life.
About the 'main feature', Forty Guns was B-Deed a few years ago by the UK Masters of Cinema spine #116, yet watching this new transfer from a 4K restoration is a delight. In scene after scene, you are struck by the artfulness of the b/w compositions changing within the frame without cutting, the noirish lighting, simultaneous foreground & background action. Never has so much been conveyed so convincingly with so few scenes & shots in so little cinema time — a marvel of abbreviated filmmaking. This may be Sam's best movie. As Christa says, 'i've watching this movie maybe a hundred times & always see something new.' I agree, having only seen the movie between 12 & 20 times, its appeal grows & I'm thinking it should rank with Ray's Johnny Guitar in the next S&S Poll as one of top 10 Westerns of all time.


4 The Hanging Tree [Blu-ray] (Delmer Daves, 1959) Warner Archive (BEAVER REVIEW) — Gary Cooper's last Western, & where he plays Doc Frail, anything but frail when he guns down Karl Malden, who seems to have made a career of lecher roles, for messing with Maria Schell, who recalls Coop as the high point of her brief Hollywood career in her brother Max's wonderful early 2002 documentary. George C Scott plays his first finatic. Marty Robbins' theme song singing is most memorable of all 1950s efforts topping even Ritter's High Noon but perhaps only because the latter is so familiar.

5
Distant Voices, Still Lives [Blu-ray] (Terence Davies, 1988) Arrow BFI (BEAVER REVIEW) - A real & touching tribute to a gay's formative youth, incisively observed only as someone who goes outside the enclosure of normalcy can, like Truman Capote in his Music for Chameleons. Davies' mise-en-scène with his tracking camera frames are as exquisite as Capote's prose passages. Davies has become an acquired taste for me, a growing one. Balancing the pain in his pictures, there is always something poignant, including A Long Day Closes, the sequel to this, & his portrayal of Emily Dickinson & her times in A Quiet Passion.

6
Irma la Douce [Blu-ray] (Billy Wilder, 1963) Kino (BEAVER REVIEW) - Back then, it was 'minor Wilder' but now it looms as a major comedy so superior to current supposedly funny crap that your inner imagination gets fried. It proves that the suggested is greater than the explicit.

7 Home from the Hill [Blu-ray] (Vincente Minnelli, 1960) Warner Archive (BEAVER REVIEW) - A superb Minnelli 50's melodrama set in the crossroads where he & Sirk met, with Robert Mitchum finally proving to elitist critics he was a helluva actor as well as hunk although Mitchum didn't give a shit. "Home is the sailor, home from the sea, & the hunter, home from the hill." — Robert Lewis Stevenson

8 The Border [Blu-ray] (Tony Richardson, 1982) UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW) - Jack Nicholson gives maybe his best action performance & shoots it out with Harvey Keitel & Warren Oates in this unexpectedly enjoyable late career melodrama by Richardson, which deals with the more timely than ever issue of Mexican/USA border turmoil, & here results in a poignant conclusion.

9 Robin and Marian [Blu-ray(Richard Lester, 1976) Sony - Two cinema legends (Sean Connery & Audrey Hepburn) play the legend of Robin Hood & his love in UK new wave & first Beatles film director Lester's also later movie of myth's gritty reality & aftermath, for after the action of our achievements, & we have returned to dust, what remains but the distillation of time & imagination upon our exploits?

10
The Last Hunt [Blu-ray] (Richard Brooks, 1956) Warner Archive (BEAVER REVIEW) - The first Western by auteur Brooks memorable for capturing the annual buffalo herd culling & for Robert Taylor playing the antagonist's crazy subtle depths then freezing to death.

Now here are a bunch that are generally equal or critically superior to the last few above, & which i like just as much :)

The Hunters [Kampfflieger] (Dick Powell, 1958) WVG Medien GmbH, RB - Dick Powell's 5th & final movie as director, perhaps the most versatile changeling in cinema, from song & dance man in the 30s to being the first Philip Marlow tough guy thru an eclectic collection of roles in noir & comedy to being a major early TV producer (The Dick Powell Theatre) to movie director, most notoriously The Conqueror where nearly half the cast & crew die of cancer from the location being downwind from a nuclear bomb test site in Utah. Both The Hunters & The Enemy Below the year before benefit from Robert Mitchum at his laconic best & both are simply great action/adventures that come to pleasing conclusions.
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers [Blu-ray] (Stanley Donen, 1954) Region Free Warner Archive - For years, i eschewed this hokey musical but my current partner loves it & i got to like it, accepting the phony painted backdrops mixed with real scenery, & some of the dance numbers are wonderful. It becomes obvious why this movie topped MGM's higher budgeted Brigadoon in 54, for it's a better & more enduring light-hearted, tuneful movie than the surreal Lerner & Lowe pre-My Fair Lady boring fling, except for Van Johnson's drunken bouts.
Morituri (Bernhard Wicki, 1965) ESC Editions, RB - the then newly extolled German auteur got a go with a big USA budget & delivered Marlon Brando's only top thriller movie with Yul Brynner, so superior to the blase persona absent suspense movies of today that it is pathetic.
Age of Consent [Blu-ray] (Michael Powell, 1969) Region Free UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW)
- thanks to James Mason, the great Powell got a final film to direct & again an oak of UK cinema Mason is paired with a sappling, the still working Helen Mirren, who loves this movie.
The Spiral Staircase [Blu-ray] (Robert Siodmak, 1946) Kino (BEAVER REVIEW) - historical noir, riveting suspense regardless you know who did it in subsequent views — my wife loves it :)
The Changeling [Blu-ray] (Peter Medak, 1980) Severin Films (BEAVER REVIEW) - a classic modern horror with a classic modern actor, one of his best :)
Black Widow (Nunnally Johnson, 1954) Twilight Time, ALL (BEAVER REVIEW) - a color noir, early Fox CinemaScope, very clever, maybe Johnson's best effort, highly entertaining & why I list & love

Village of the Damned [Blu-ray] (Wolf Rilla, 1960) Warner Archive (BEAVER REVIEW) - those eyes, they say it all
The Defiant Ones [Blu-ray] (Stanley Kramer, 1958) UK RB Eureka Entertainment (BEAVER REVIEW) - Back in 58 this was my top movie [i was 15] & depressed by Gigi being judged best....then its thematic B-W epicenter became obnoxious & i thanked heaven for the French gal who still retains my heart despite the current PC-ha-ha stuff, which rates it lowest among Oscar winners = PC imbecility :)......& now after not seeing for 40 years, the b/w cinematography of Kramer's 2nd blast against racism (after Home of the Brave) is exquisite & it all seems less "dated" than it was 30 years ago, because you believe Curtis & Poitier.
Underworld USA (Sam Fuller, 1961) Twilight Time, ALL (BEAVER REVIEW) - you might say Sam put the last nail in the coffin of noir with Cliff the protagonist getting nailed at the end.
The Crime of Monsieur Lange [Blu-ray] (Jean Renoir, 1936) RB UK Studiocanal - Harder for me to relate to because it came to be in a time prior to my birth, it is Renoir & Renoir is always something more, perhaps because of his hertiage. Here, a murder is done in the name of decency, & what's descent is to see the circumstances, & the results that would not have been allowed in America.
The Passenger [Blu-ray] (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1975) Indicator UK (BEAVER REVIEW) - the movie drifts & shifts & takes you on a trip that you're not sure you've taken while retracing your footsteps to check out where you've been.
Queimada - Insel des Schreckens [AKA Burn] Gillo Pontecorvo Koch Media GmbH
- a mixed disc in that you must mix the 17-min longer Italian cut with the USA cut to have both Brando's voice & Pontecorvo's harrowing meditation on the mechanisations of economic exploitation of both givers & receivers, something of an intellectual mess as this riveting saga is a mess resulting from the mix of economic backers & well-intentioned but muddled creators. The brilliance of the movie comes from visuals concerning the situation.
Mirage (Edward Dmytryk, 1965) Movinside, RB - wonderful disillusioned thriller of illusion & disillusionment

No Down Payment (Martin Ritt, 1957) Twilight Time, ALL (BEAVER REVIEW) - into the realistic suburbs of the American dream where everyone works, parties, plays, drinks & makes love all over between their 4 conjoing homes
Two Weeks in Another Town [Blu-ray] (Vincente Minnelli, 1962) Region Free Warner Archive - another great crazy Minnelli movieland melodrama
The 27th Day [Der 27. Tag] (William Asher, 1957) i-catcher Media GmbH & Co.KG, RB - a precient, little-known Columbia double-biller noted then by a few critics & deserving of more notice today as maybe last remaining thoughtful sci-fi movie of the 50s not to be noticed.

Harper [Blu-ray] (Jack Smight, 1966) Warner Archive (BEAVER REVIEW) / The Drowning Pool [Blu-ray] (Stuart Rosenberg, 1975) Warner Archive (BEAVER REVIEW) - the significant two & most entertaining detective movies from Ross Macdonald's Lew Archer novels, from which the only others made were cheap concepts - the greatest of American detective novel writers deserves more but has never received it :),
Farewell My Lovely (Dick Richards, 1975) Shout! Factory, ALL (BEAVER REVIEW) - Robert Mitchum at the end of his leading man career, maybe the best of the Philip Marlow's
The Curse of the Cat People [Blu-ray] (Gunther von Fritsch, Robert Wise, 1944) Shout! Factory (BEAVER REVIEW) - Val Lewton's follow-up to "Cat People" goes in a different direction.
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt [Blu-ray] (Fritz Lang 1956) Warner Archive (BEAVER REVIEW) / While the City Sleeps [Blu-ray] (Fritz Lang 1956) Warner Archive (BEAVER REVIEW) - two deliciously cynical noir by a man who helped invent the form in Weimar Germany then escaped Hitler to bring the style to Hollywood
The List of Adrian Messenger [Blu-ray] (John Huston, 1963) Universal Studio - Huston & friends have a lot of fun with this easy-going commercial adaption of a contempory detective novel, featuring a fox hunt
The Proud Ones [Die Furchtlosen] (Richard D Webb, 1956) WVG Medien GmbH, RB - a rather superior little known Western that i love for its whistling theme song & Robert Ryan
Apache (Robert Aldrich, 1954) Koch, RB
The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez [Blu-ray] (Robert M. Young, 1982) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
Winchester '73 (Anthony Mann, 1950) Shock Entertainment, RB
Model Shop (Jacques Demy, 1969) Twilight Time, ALL (BEAVER REVIEW)
- Demy's follow up to Lola with Aimee in American after she's been deserted by the man she waited for in the previous movie. Something of a tour of Venice & Western LA that gives a real sense of how the place was in the 1960s before traffic became all-day grid lock.
Don't Bother to Knock (Roy Ward Baker, 1952) Twilight Time, ALL (BEAVER REVIEW)
Gumshoe [Blu-ray] (Stephen Frears, 1971) Indicator UK (BEAVER REVIEW)
No Way Out [Blu-ray] (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950) RB UK Masters of Cinema (BEAVER REVIEW)
Daisies (Vera Chytilová, 1966) Second Run; Region ALL (BEAVER REVIEW)

My Cousin Rachel (Henry Koster, 1952) Twilight Time, ALL (BEAVER REVIEW)
My Man Godfrey [Blu-ray] (Gregory La Cava, 1936) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

Heaven Can Wait [Blu-ray] (Ernst Lubitsch, 1943) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
Shampoo [Blu-ray] (Hal Ashby, 1975) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
The Awful Truth [Blu-ray] (Leo McCarey, 1937) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
Young Mr. Lincoln [Blu-ray] (John Ford, 1939) - Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean [Blu-ray] (John Huston, 1972) Warner Archive
A Man Alone [Blu-ray] (Ray Milland, 1955) Kino (BEAVER REVIEW)
The Thing from Another World [Blu-ray] (Howard Hawks, 1951) Warner Archive (BEAVER REVIEW)
The Naked and the Dead [Blu-ray] (Raoul Walsh, 1958) Warner Archive (BEAVER REVIEW)
I Walk Alone [Blu-ray] (Byron Haskin, 1947) Kino (BEAVER REVIEW)
Footsteps in the Fog [Blu-ray] (Arthur Lubin, 1955) Region Free UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW)
Les Parents Terribles [Blu-ray] (Jean Cocteau, 1948) Sony
Cactus Flower (Double Feature) [Blu-ray] (Gene Saks, 1969 / Michael Powell, 1969) Mill Creek - a delightful discovery on disc with Age of Consent sans subtitles or any extras
Down Three Dark Streets [Blu-ray] (Arnold Laven, 1954) ClassicFlix (BEAVER REVIEW)
Under Capricorn [Blu-ray] (Alfred Hitchcock, 1949) Kino Lorber (BEAVER REVIEW) - another great kool Kat kommentary too

The Night Stalker [Blu-ray] (John Llewellyn Moxey, 1972) Kino / The Night Strangler [Blu-ray] (Dan Curtis, 1973) Kino, RA (BEAVER REVIEW)
Murder by Death [Blu-ray(Robert Moore, 1976) Shout! Factory
Georgy Girl [Blu-ray(Silvio Narizzano, 1966) Region Free UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW)
The Collector [Blu-ray] (William Wyler, 1965) Region Free UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW)

23 NEW EDITIONS OF PREVIOUS BLU-RAYS in no particular order after the first two:

The Passion of Joan of Arc [Blu-ray] (Carl Th. Dreyer, 1928) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW) - 6 years after the UK MoC BD ed, we've got what i considered the finest silent movie in the superior transfer & most importantly with the Einhorn "Voices of Light" score. I ask forgiveness of those who think silent movies should be seen silently. To me, & i've been an 'imageMaker' all my working life, images without sound are only 1/2 the experience. Unless silence or the absence of sound is the point, all movies need everything the medium offers. [Re, Joan, 'full disclosure', as they say: hundreds of years ago in France, the d'Arcs & Cherpitels were interrelated, thus i can say she was a distant ancestral cousin & perhaps somewhere in there is where i got my 'martyr complex' :)]
The Tree of Life [Blu-ray] (Terrence Malick, 2011) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW) - This is so far the best & most significant & enduring of the movies of the 21st century, sorta critically recognised on its release, thanks to Ebert, Scott & others, & being the newest movie to place the highest (just outside the top 100 in S&S's poll in 2012 a year after its release). The new longer version here i've not decided about except in appreciating but wondering if it adds or detracts from the whole of Malick's seeming intuition.
Night of the Demon [Blu-ray] (Jacques Tourneur, 1957) UK Indicator
(BEAVER REVIEW) - a wonderful presentation of a marvelously overlooked delight :) with 6 versions, & a thick booklet the whole set is more than enough :)
Charley Varrick [Blu-ray] (Don Siegel, 1973) RB UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW) - nice improvement on the DE ed of a few years ago
Some Like It Hot [Blu-ray] (Billy Wilder, 1959) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW) - transfer from 4K source beats previous BD
A Matter of Life and Death [Blu-ray] (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1946) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
The Big Country [Blu-ray] (William Wyler, 1958) Kino Lorber (BEAVER REVIEW)
Suddenly Last Summer (Joseph L Mankiewicz, 1959) Powerhouse Indicator, ALL (BEAVER REVIEW) - Excepting possibly Huston's Night of the Iguana, this is the most cinematic & mesmorising movie rendition of any Tennessee Williams play, perhaps because Mankiewicz was directing only, working from Gore Vidal's script, while the play's tormented emotional content adversely affected everyone involved, yet resulted in a fascinating work of performance & poetry.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers [Blu-ray] (Don Siegel, 1956) Olive Signature (BEAVER REVIEW)
The Dam Busters [Blu-ray] (Michael Anderson, 1955) RB UK Studiocanal - from a new 4K restoration, which gains greatly in the detail in the critical night flying scenes, & a stacked package with all sort of goodies
Last Year in Marienbad [Blu-ray] (Alain Resnais, 1961) RB UK Studiocanal - also from a new 4K restoration
The Barefoot Contessa [Blu-ray] (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1954) RB UK Masters of Cinema (BEAVER REVIEW) - an imperfect transfer (numerous instances of out of register layers of one of final 3-strip Technicolor films) yet glorious Jack Cardiff cinematography enhancing a haunting story enhanced by some of the most engagingly literate dialogue Mankiewicz ever wrote.
Inherit the Wind [Blu-ray] (Stanley Kramer, 1960) RB UK Eureka Entertainment (BEAVER REVIEW) - right now this most entertaining movie of all of Kramer's output & the only one i think that i've indulged in quadruple dips for BD eds: first the OZ, then the Twilight Time, then this Kino that i'm retaining for the commentary & the Eureka that gives you a nice essay, a hair better transfer & the DVD slot to put the Kino disc in & space enough to stack in Julie's booklet essay from the Twilight Time. Why is this movie so "entertaining?" Well, the whole thing, the Scopes 'monkey' trial was put up job from the start, something subtly hinted from the first scene. Then you've got two of cinema's finest actors, Tracy & March facing off, with the latter bordering on or embracing a William Jennings Bryan caricature but so sincerely that you still take him straight, & the former almost doing the same with Clarence Darrow (compare with Orson Welles playing him in Compulsion) & Gene Kelly touching his most cynical side as journalist H L Mencken. The fact is that there's a lot of comedy in this movie yet the theme of no one being right & knowing comes clearly thru.
Missing [Blu-ray] (Costa-Gavras, 1982) RB UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW) - Extraordinary touching movie, significant & wonderfully performed by Jack Lemmon & Sissy Spacek accompanied by Vangelis 3rd fantastic score within a year (Blade Runner & Chariots of Fire). Yet when you see the iconic incidental image of the white horse running down the boulevard chased by jeep of machine gunning soldiers, can you help but not think of the lil colt running down the dusty main town road in Sam Fuller's Forty Guns? The evolution of cinema. (See bit above on First Reformed.)
Witness for the Prosecution [Blu-ray] (Billy Wilder, 1957) RB UK Eureka (BEAVER REVIEW) - One of Wilder's most enduring with cool Kat Ellinger commentary etc.
Gun Crazy [Blu-ray] (Joseph H. Lewis, 1950) Warner Archive (BEAVER REVIEW)
Trapeze [Blu-ray] (Carol Reed, 1956) Kino (BEAVER REVIEW) - slight image improvement over the DE with a cool Kat Ellinger commentary
The Woman in the Window [Blu-ray] (Fritz Lang, 1944) Kino Lorber (BEAVER REVIEW)
- an improvement over the ES but the film source is a bit weak
Ramrod [Blu-ray] (André De Toth, 1947) RB UK Arrow Academy (BEAVER REVIEW)
Broken Arrow (Delmer Daves, 1950) Plan B Entertainment, RB
(BEAVER REVIEW) - finally after 2 or 3 other editions we have have a better & sharper image for this seminal Western
Memories of Underdevelopment [Blu-ray] (Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, 1968) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW) - better image & great extras over the UK Mr Bongo
The Naked Prey [Blu-ray] (Cornel Wilde, 1965) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW) - more extras over the UK MoC that does have a half hour interview this ed doesn't have
The Fog [Blu-ray] (John Carpenter, 1980) RB UK Studiocanal
- new transfer from 4K & i think it's got all the extras as the Shout Factory plus a new Carpenter interview

6 NEW MOVIES

Coco (Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina, 1917) Disney, Pixar (ALL)
Faces Places [Blu-ray] (JR, Agnès Varda, 2017) RB UK Curzon Artificial Eye

15:17 to Paris (Clint Eastwood, 2018) Warners, RA
Let the Sunshine In [Un Beau Soleil Intérieur] (Claire Denis, 2017) Curzon Artificial Eye, RB
Survivors Guide to Prison (Matthew Cooke, 2018) Gravitas Ventures, ALL
Won't You Be My Neighbor
(Morgan Neville, 2018) Universal, ALL


SETS:
(Only one really. Regarding Ingmar Bergman's Cinema that will without doubt receive the top spot, I already had BDs of most all his maybe dozen movies I enjoy re-seeing, and at this time have no wish to subject myself to his angst in seeing the maybe 10 or so i've never seen, nor re-seeing the rest.)

1.
Five Tall Tales: Budd Boetticher & Randolph Scott At Columbia, 1957-1960 [Blu-ray] (Ride Lonesome, The Tall T, Decision at Sundown, Buchanan Rides Alone and Comanche Station) - Region FREE UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW) - 3 titles are among my top 50-some Westerns.

2.
Woodfall: A Revolution in British Cinema (BFI) (UK) (B).
BFI, RB - None of these movies would probably make my top 20 in any year, but the totality capture the historic 'kitchen-sink' movement in English movies & some with great performances & represent the most significant era of UK film making other than the 1940s' works of The Archers. An aura of depression & working-class malaise hangs over most all these movies with the exception of Tom Jones that was Richardson's break-out into mainstream commercial entertainment.

3.
The Very Best Of Laurel & Hardy: 5-Film Collection [Blu-ray] ( Block-Heads, Our Relations, Pardon Us, Sons of the Desert and Way Out West) R0 Uk Universal
----Seiter's Sons of the Desert is the best among these, quite funny & apparently benefitting from a cleverer script than the other four: Pardon Us, Our Relations, Way Out West & Block-Heads. My minority view, since these guys are loved by so many: they are so stupid, it's insipid comedy....like the 3 Stooges whom i didn't care for either, when just a kid of 7 or 8 to 11. Wife Henrietta says, "They're so silly & stupid, you give up & just enjoy like watching kindergarteners play."

 

Gonçalo Costa

1. Night of the Demon [Blu-ray] (Jacques Tourneur, 1957) UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW)
2.
A Matter of Life and Death [Blu-ray] (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1946) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
3.
The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds [Blu-ray] (Paul Newman, 1972) Indicator UK (BEAVER REVIEW)
4. Some Like It Hot [Blu-ray] (Billy Wilder, 1959) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
5.
The Color of Pomegranates [Blu-ray] (Sergei Parajanov, 1969) RB UK Second Sight (BEAVER REVIEW)
6.
El Sur [Blu-ray] (Victor Erice, 1983) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW)
7. Andrei Rublev [Blu-ray] (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1966) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
8.
A Story from Chikamatsu [Blu-ray] (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1954) Criterion
9.
The Awful Truth [Blu-ray] (Leo McCarey, 1937) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
10. The Magnificent Ambersons [Blu-ray] (Orson Welles, 1942) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)


1. Ingmar Bergman's Cinema The Criterion Collection [Blu-ray] (30-disc/39 films, 248-page book) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
2.
Five Tall Tales: Budd Boetticher & Randolph Scott At Columbia, 1957-1960 [Blu-ray] (Ride Lonesome, The Tall T, Decision at Sundown, Buchanan Rides Alone and Comanche Station) - Region FREE UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW)
3.
Sam Fuller at Columbia 1937-1961 [Blu-ray] (IT HAPPENED IN HOLLYWOOD, 1937 - ADVENTURE IN SAHARA, 1938 - POWER OF THE PRESS, 1943 - SHOCKPROOF, 1949 - SCANDAL SHEET, - THE CRIMSON KIMONO, 1959 - UNDERWORLD U.S.A., 1961) Region FREE Indicator UK (BEAVER REVIEW)
4.
Sacha Guitry: Four Films 1936-1938 (Let's Dream, My Father Was Right, Indiscretions, Up the Champs-Élysées) [Blu-ray] (Sacha Guitry, 1936-1938) RB UK Arrow
5.
Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films  [Blu-ray] (Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Gorin, 1968-1971) Arrow US

1. 2001: A Space Odyssey [4k UHD Blu-ray] (Stanley Kubrick, 1968) Warner Bros (BEAVER REVIEW)
2.
The Deer Hunter - 40th Anniversary Edition [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Michael Cimino, 1978) UK Studiocanal
3.
Escape from New York [4K UHD Blu-ray] (John Carpenter, 1981) Region Free UK Studiocanal
4.
The Fog - Collector's Edition [4K UHD Blu-ray] (John Carpenter, 1980) Region Free UK Studiocanal
5.
They Live – Collector’s Edition [4K UHD Blu-ray] (John Carpenter, 1988) Region Free UK Studiocanal

 

Eric Cotenas

CineVentures Blog

Sacramento, CA, USA


1. Zombie (Lucio Fulci, 1979) Blue Underground; Region ALL
2. Next of Kin
(Tony Williams, 1982) Umbrella Films; Region ALL
3. Daisies
(Vera Chytilová, 1966) Second Run; Region ALL
(BEAVER REVIEW)
4. Death Laid an Egg
(Giulio Questi, 1968) Nucleus Films; Region B
(BEAVER REVIEW)
5. The Church
(Michele Soavi, 1987) Scorpion Releasing (Limited Edition); Region A
6. Who Can Kill a Child?
(Narcisco Ibanez Serrador, 1974) Mondo Macabro; Region ALL
(BEAVER REVIEW)
7. The Great Silence
(Sergio Corbucci, 1968) Film Movement; Region ALL
(BEAVER REVIEW)
8. Legend of the Mountain
(King Hu, 1979) Kino Lorber; Region A tied with Eureka; Region B
(BEAVER REVIEW)
9. Diabolical Dr. Z
(Jess Franco, 1966) Kino; Region A
(BEAVER REVIEW)
10. The Blood-Spattered Bride
(Vicente Aranda, 1972) Mondo Macabro; Region ALL
(BEAVER REVIEW)

Top 5 Box Set Releases of 2018

1. The Complete Sartana
(Gianfranco Parolini/Giuliano Carnimeo, 1968-1971) Arrow Video; Region AB
(BEAVER REVIEW)
2. The Blood Island Collection
(Eddie Romero/Gerardo de Leone, 1959-1970) Severin FIlms; Region A
3. The Bloodthirsty Trilogy
(Michio Yamamoto, 1970-1974) Arrow Video; Region AB
(BEAVER REVIEW)
4. Berlin Alexanderplatz
(Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1980) Second Sight; Region B
(BEAVER REVIEW)
5. Heimat
(Edgar Reitz, 1984) Second Sight; Region B
(BEAVER REVIEW)

Top 5 SD-DVD Releases OF 2018

1. Gabriel and the Mountain
(Fellipe Barbosa, 2017) Strand Releasing; Region 1 (BEAVER REVIEW)
2. Porcupine Lake
(Ingrid Veninger, 2017) Breaking Glass Pictures; Region 1 (BEAVER REVIEW)
3. In Syria
(Philippe Van Leeuw, 2017) Film Movement; Region 1 (BEAVER REVIEW)
4. My Life with James Dean
(Dominique Choisy, 2017) Breaking Glass Pictures; Region 1 (BEAVER REVIEW)
5. The Teacher
(Jan Hrebejk, 2016) Film Movement; Region 1
 (BEAVER REVIEW)  

 

Ally Best


The Magnificent Ambersons [Blu-ray] (Orson Welles, 1942) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
L'Enfant Secret (Philippe Garrel, 1979), Re:Voir, ALL
Viva l'Italia [Blu-ray] (Roberto Rossellini, 1961) Arrow UK (BEAVER REVIEW)
Silence and Cry [Blu-ray] (Miklós Jancsó, 1968) Second Run (BEAVER REVIEW)
The Old Dark House [Blu-ray] (James Whale, 1932) RB UK Eureka Entertainment (BEAVER REVIEW)
Claire's Camera [Blu-ray] (Sang-soo Hong, 2017) Cinema Guild
The Passenger [Blu-ray] (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1975) Indicator UK (BEAVER REVIEW)
The Color of Pomegranates [Blu-ray] (Sergei Parajanov, 1969) RB UK Second Sight (BEAVER REVIEW)
Moonrise [Blu-ray] (Frank Borzage, 1948) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW)
Legend of the Mountain [Blu-ray] (King Hu, 1979) RB UK Masters of Cinema (BEAVER REVIEW)

Top 5 Box Set Releases of 2018


Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood [Blu-ray] (Morocco, 1930 - Dishonored, 1931 - Shanghai Express, 1932 - Blonde Venus, 1932 - The Scarlet Empress, 1934 - The Devil Is a Woman, 1935) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)   (BEAVER REVIEW)   (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)

Joaquim Pedro De Andrade: Complete Films [Blu-ray] - Kino (BEAVER REVIEW)
Police Story, Police Story 2 [Blu-ray] (Jackie Chan, Chi-Hwa Chen, 1985) RB UK Eureka (BEAVER REVIEW (BEAVER REVIEW)
Ingmar Bergman's Cinema The Criterion Collection [Blu-ray] (30-disc/39 films, 248-page book) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
Heimat: A Chronicle Of Germany [Blu-ray] - RB UK Second Sight (BEAVER REVIEW)

Top 5 SD-DVD Releases OF 2018


11x14/One Way Boogie Woogie - Edition Filmmuseum
L'héritage de la chouette - Arte Editions
Vida En Sombras plus 22 short films - Intermedio
Liebelei & Lola Montez (Max Ophuls, 1933 & 1955); Munich Filmmuseum; PAL Germany
Towards mathilde - Grasshopper

 

Gregory Elich

Top Blu-ray Releases of 2018

1.
Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers [Blu-ray] (Various) Kino (BEAVER REVIEW)
2. The Sea Hawk (Michael Curtiz, 1940), Warner Archive, RA - It had been decades since I had last seen this film, and I had forgotten how impressive the cinematography and overall filmmaking are.
3.
The Passion of Joan of Arc [Blu-ray] (Carl Th. Dreyer, 1928) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW)
4.
Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood [Blu-ray] (Morocco, 1930 - Dishonored, 1931 - Shanghai Express, 1932 - Blonde Venus, 1932 - The Scarlet Empress, 1934 - The Devil Is a Woman, 1935) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)   (BEAVER REVIEW)   (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)
5. Somewhere Beyond the Mist (Cheung King Wai, 2017), Panorama, RA – This is the director's first fictional film, and it's a knockout.
6.
The Awful Truth [Blu-ray] (Leo McCarey, 1937) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW) - One of my favorite comedies gets the blu-ray treatment.
7.
Westfront 1918 [Blu-ray] (G. W. Pabst, 1930) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
8.
Kameradschaft [Blu-ray] (G. W. Pabst, 1931) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
9.
Daisies [Blu-ray] (Vera Chytilová, 1966) UK Second Run (BEAVER REVIEW)
10. L'Enfant Secret (Philippe Garrel, 1979), Re:Voir, ALL


Top 5 SD-DVD Releases OF 2018 (optional)

Title (Director, Year) Release company; Region# (please list if the title is PAL)

1. Thelma Todd and Zasu Pitts: The Hal Roach Collection 1931-33 (Various, 1931-33), MVD (Kit Parker Films), ALL - This, in combination with the Todd/Kelly collection, offers five discs of pure joy.
2. The Complete Hal Roach Thelma Todd and Patsy Kelly Comedy Collection (Various, 1933-36): ClassicFlix, R1.
3. Factory Complex (Im Heung Soon, 2014), Art Service, R3 - A moving tribute to the struggles of women working under harsh labor conditions
4. Deutschland Dada; John Heartfield, Fotomonteur; Happening, Kunst, Protest 1968 ( Helmut Herbst, 1969 / 1981), PAL
5. Angels Wear White (Vivian Qu, 2017), Icarus Films, R1
 

L. Ross Fenstermaker

Top Blu-ray Releases of 2018

1.
Maniac (William Lustig, 1980) Blue Underground
2.
Zombie (Lucio Fulci, 1979) Blue Underground; Region ALL
3. Dead Ringers (David Cronenberg, 1988) Koch Media;RB
4.
Female Trouble [Blu-ray] (John Waters, 1974) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW)
5.
Exorcist II: The Heretic [Blu-ray] (John Boorman, 1977) Shout! Factory
6.
Candyman [Blu-ray] (Bernard Rose, 1992) Shout! Factory
7. The Grease Collection (Various, 1978-2016) Paramount; RA
8.
Trilogy of Terror [Blu-ray] (Dan Curtis, 1975) Kino (BEAVER REVIEW)
9.
Scalpel [Blu-ray] (John Grissmer, 1977) RB UK Arrow Video (BEAVER REVIEW)
10. Welcome to the Dollhouse (Todd Solondz, 1995) Sony; RA

 

David H.

Top Blu-ray Releases of 2018

1.
Forty Guns
[Blu-ray] (Samuel Fuller, 1957) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
2.
Distant Voices, Still Lives [Blu-ray] (Terence Davies, 1988) Arrow US (BEAVER REVIEW)
3.
The Last House on the Left [Blu-ray] (Wes Craven, 1972) RB UK Arrow Video (BEAVER REVIEW)
4.
The Magnificent Ambersons [Blu-ray] (Orson Welles, 1942) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
5.
Night of the Living Dead [Blu-ray] (George A. Romero, 1968) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW)
6.
Suspira
(Dario Argento, 1977) Synapse; RA (BEAVER REVIEW)
7.
The Tree of Life
[Blu-ray] (Terrence Malick, 2011) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
8.
Daisies [Blu-ray] (Vera Chytilová, 1966) UK Second Run (BEAVER REVIEW)
9.
Torso [Blu-ray] (Sergio Martino, 1973) Arrow US (BEAVER REVIEW)
10.
Night of the Demon [Blu-ray] (Jacques Tourneur, 1957) UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW)

Top 5 Box Set Releases of 2018


1.
Ingmar Bergman's Cinema The Criterion Collection [Blu-ray] (30-disc/39 films, 248-page book) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
2.
Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers [Blu-ray] (Various) Kino (BEAVER REVIEW)
3.
Clouzot: Early Works [Blu-ray] (Henri-Georges Clouzot, Various) Kino (BEAVER REVIEW)
4.
Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood [Blu-ray] (Morocco, 1930 - Dishonored, 1931 - Shanghai Express, 1932 - Blonde Venus, 1932 - The Scarlet Empress, 1934 - The Devil Is a Woman, 1935) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)   (BEAVER REVIEW)   (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)

Top 5 UHD Releases OF 2018


2001: A Space Odyssey [4k UHD Blu-ray] (Stanley Kubrick, 1968) Warner Bros (BEAVER REVIEW)

 

Jeff Heinrich

http://jeffheinrich.com/

 

Top Blu-ray Releases of 2018

1. The Magnificent Ambersons [Blu-ray] (Orson Welles, 1942) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
2.
A Matter of Life and Death [Blu-ray] (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1946) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
3.
sex, lies, and videotape [Blu-ray] (Steven Soderbergh, 1989) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
4.
King of Jazz [Blu-ray] (John Murray Anderson, 1930) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
5.
An Invention for Destruction [Blu-ray] (Karel Zeman, 1958) UK Second Run (BEAVER REVIEW)
6.
Daisies [Blu-ray] (Vera Chytilová, 1966) UK Second Run (BEAVER REVIEW)
7.
It Happened Here [Blu-ray] (Kevin Brownlow, Andrew Mollo, 1965) UK BFI (BEAVER REVIEW)
8.
Georgy Girl [Blu-ray(Silvio Narizzano, 1966) Region Free UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW)
9. 
Age of Consent [Blu-ray] (Michael Powell, 1969) Region Free UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW)
10.
Lucky [Blu-ray] (John Carroll Lynch, 2017) RB UK Eureka Entertainment (BEAVER REVIEW)

Top 5 Boxset Releases of 2018

1.
Heimat: A Chronicle Of Germany [Blu-ray] - RB UK Second Sight (BEAVER REVIEW)
2.
Berlin Alexanderplatz [Blu-ray] (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1980) RB UK Second Sight (BEAVER REVIEW)
3.
Mr. Capra Goes to War: Frank Capra’s WWII Documentaries (Capra/Litvak/Huston, 1942-45), Olive Films, RA
4.
Ingmar Bergman's Cinema The Criterion Collection [Blu-ray] (30-disc/39 films, 248-page book) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
5.
Sam Fuller at Columbia 1937-1961 [Blu-ray] (IT HAPPENED IN HOLLYWOOD, 1937 - ADVENTURE IN SAHARA, 1938 - POWER OF THE PRESS, 1943 - SHOCKPROOF, 1949 - SCANDAL SHEET, - THE CRIMSON KIMONO, 1959 - UNDERWORLD U.S.A., 1961) Region FREE Indicator UK (BEAVER REVIEW)

Top 5 DVD Releases of 2018

1. Combat au bout de la nuit (L’Espérence, 2016), K-Films Amérique, R1
2. Tuktuq (Aubert, 2018), K-Films Amérique, R1
3. Our Cartoon President: Season One (Colbert et al, 2018), Paramount, R1
4. Hair (Forman, 1979), Olive, R1
5. The Naked Man on the Sports Field (Wolf, 1973), DEFA Film Library, R1

 

Peter Henné

 

1. The Magnificent Ambersons [Blu-ray] (Orson Welles, 1942) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
2.
The Color of Pomegranates [Blu-ray] (Sergei Parajanov, 1969) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
3.
Under Capricorn [Blu-ray] (Alfred Hitchcock, 1949) Kino Lorber (BEAVER REVIEW)
4.The Revolt of Mamie Stover (Raoul Walsh, 1956) (Twilight Time)
(BEAVER REVIEW)
5.
Silence and Cry [Blu-ray] (Miklós Jancsó, 1968) Second Run (BEAVER REVIEW)
6.
A Story from Chikamatsu [Blu-ray] (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1954) Criterion
7.
The Passion of Joan of Arc [Blu-ray] (Carl Th. Dreyer, 1928) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW)
8.
The Last Movie [Blu-ray] (Dennis Hopper, 1971) Arbelos Films (BEAVER REVIEW)
9.
Moonrise [Blu-ray] (Frank Borzage, 1948) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW)
10.
The Naked and the Dead [Blu-ray] (Raoul Walsh, 1958) Warner Archive (BEAVER REVIEW)
 

Runners up:

Sympathy for the Devil [Blu-ray(Jean-Luc Godard, 1968) Arrow Academy
Images [Blu-ray] (Robert Altman, 1972) RB UK Arrow Video (BEAVER REVIEW)
The Beautiful Troublemaker (La Belle Noiseuse) [Blu-ray] (Jacques Rivette, 1991) Sony Pictures (BEAVER REVIEW)
An Actor’s Revenge [Blu-ray] (Kon Ichikawa, 1963) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW)
Viva l'Italia [Blu-ray] (Roberto Rossellini, 1961) Arrow UK (BEAVER REVIEW)

Notable:
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters [Blu-ray] (Paul Schrader, 1985) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW
Edward II (Derek Jarman, 1991) (Film Movement Classics)
(BEAVER REVIEW)

Did not watch on blu-ray:
The Last Hurrah
(John Ford, 1958) (Twilight Time) (BEAVER REVIEW)
The Bravados
(Henry King, 1958) (Twilight Time) (BEAVER REVIEW)
Distant Voices, Still Lives [Blu-ray] (Terence Davies, 1988) Arrow US (BEAVER REVIEW)

Have not seen in any format:
Satan Never Sleeps
(Leo McCarey, 1962) (Twilight Time) RA

Box sets:
1.
Ingmar Bergman's Cinema The Criterion Collection [Blu-ray] (30-disc/39 films, 248-page book) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
2.
Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood [Blu-ray] (Morocco, 1930 - Dishonored, 1931 - Shanghai Express, 1932 - Blonde Venus, 1932 - The Scarlet Empress, 1934 - The Devil Is a Woman, 1935) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)   (BEAVER REVIEW)   (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)
3.
Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films  [Blu-ray] (Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Gorin, 1968-1971) Arrow US
4.
Mohsen Makhmalbaf: The Poetic Trilogy [Blu-ray] (Gabeh, The Silence, The Gardener, 1996-2012) UK Arrow Academy (BEAVER REVIEW)

Notes:

2018 was a banner year for classical- and modernist-period blu-rays. In a lesser year, all of the first 15 releases above would deserve Top 10 honors. The Arrow Godard (which includes the original cut, One + One) is presented 1.66:1, convincingly demonstrating the film is soft-matted; this cropped version is an interesting variation from the open-matte Academy, which has been released on home video labels for decades and proves its worth on the 2003 Abkco dvd. Arrow's fast-growing catalog is making an aggressive and welcome move into the art film Blu-ray market.

 

Louis Irwin

 

1. Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood [Blu-ray] (Morocco, 1930 - Dishonored, 1931 - Shanghai Express, 1932 - Blonde Venus, 1932 - The Scarlet Empress, 1934 - The Devil Is a Woman, 1935) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)   (BEAVER REVIEW)   (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)
2.
Ingmar Bergman's Cinema The Criterion Collection [Blu-ray] (30-disc/39 films, 248-page book) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
3.
The Magnificent Ambersons [Blu-ray] (Orson Welles, 1942) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
4.
The Aki Kaurismäki Collection [Blu-ray] RB UK Artificial Eye
5.
Woodfall: A Revolution in British Cinema (8-disc Blu-ray box set) - Look Back in Anger (Tony Richardson, 1959) - The Entertainer (Tony Richardson, 1960) - Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Karel Reisz, 1960) - A Taste of Honey (Tony Richardson, 1961) - The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Tony Richardson, 1962) - Tom Jones (Tony Richardson, 1963) (New 4K digital restorations of the original theatrical version of the film and the 1989 director's cut), Girl with Green Eyes (Desmond Davis, 1964) - The Knack...and how to get it (Richard Lester, 1965) RB UK BFI
6.
The Éric Rohmer Collection (The Aviator's Wife | A Good Marriage | Pauline at the Beach | Full Moon in Paris | The Green Ray | My Girlfriend's Boyfriend | The Marquise of O... | Perceval | Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle | The Tree, the Mayor and the Mediatheque) [Blu-ray] (Éric Rohmer, 1976-1993) RB UK Arrow *
7.
Five Tall Tales: Budd Boetticher & Randolph Scott At Columbia, 1957-1960 [Blu-ray] (Ride Lonesome, The Tall T, Decision at Sundown, Buchanan Rides Alone and Comanche Station) - Region FREE UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW)
8.
Moonrise (Frank Borzage, 1948); Criterion; RA (BEAVER REVIEW)
9.
Forty Guns [Blu-ray] (Samuel Fuller, 1957) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
10.
The Age of Innocence [Blu-ray] (Martin Scorsese, 1993) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW)


 * came out 2017

Jay Lavelle

1 The Magnificent Ambersons [Blu-ray] (Orson Welles, 1942) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
L'Eclisse [Blu-ray] (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1962) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW)
3
 Au hasard Balthazar [Blu-ray] (Robert Bresson, 1966) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW)
Barbarella [Blu-ray] (Roger Vadim, 1968) Paramount (BEAVER REVIEW)
5
Age of Consent [Blu-ray] (Michael Powell, 1969) Region Free UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW)
6
The Tree of Life [Blu-ray] (Terrence Malick, 2011) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
First Reformed [Blu-ray] (Paul Schrader, 2017) Lionsgate
Andrei Rublev [Blu-ray] (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1966) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
The Passion of Joan of Arc [Blu-ray] (Carl Th. Dreyer, 1928) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW)
10
Red River [Blu-ray] (Howard Hawks, 1948) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW) *
* no DVD edition

Top 5 Box Set Releases of 2018

Ingmar Bergman's Cinema The Criterion Collection [Blu-ray] (30-disc/39 films, 248-page book) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood [Blu-ray] (Morocco, 1930 - Dishonored, 1931 - Shanghai Express, 1932 - Blonde Venus, 1932 - The Scarlet Empress, 1934 - The Devil Is a Woman, 1935) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)   (BEAVER REVIEW)   (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)
Woodfall: A Revolution in British Cinema (8-disc Blu-ray box set) - Look Back in Anger (Tony Richardson, 1959) - The Entertainer (Tony Richardson, 1960) - Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Karel Reisz, 1960) - A Taste of Honey (Tony Richardson, 1961) - The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Tony Richardson, 1962) - Tom Jones (Tony Richardson, 1963) (New 4K digital restorations of the original theatrical version of the film and the 1
Five Tall Tales: Budd Boetticher & Randolph Scott At Columbia, 1957-1960 [Blu-ray] (Ride Lonesome, The Tall T, Decision at Sundown, Buchanan Rides Alone and Comanche Station) - Region FREE UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW)
Sam Fuller at Columbia 1937-1961 [Blu-ray] (IT HAPPENED IN HOLLYWOOD, 1937 - ADVENTURE IN SAHARA, 1938 - POWER OF THE PRESS, 1943 - SHOCKPROOF, 1949 - SCANDAL SHEET, - THE CRIMSON KIMONO, 1959 - UNDERWORLD U.S.A., 1961) Region FREE Indicator UK (BEAVER REVIEW)

Top 5 UHD Releases OF 2018

2001: A Space Odyssey [4k UHD Blu-ray] (Stanley Kubrick, 1968) Warner Bros (BEAVER REVIEW)

Guilty Pleasures

A Fistful of Dollars [Blu-ray] (Sergio Leone, 1964) Kino
Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice [Blu-ray] (Paul Mazursky, 1969) RB UK Arrow Video
Boxcar Bertha [Blu-ray] (Martin Scorsese 1972) RB DE Koch Media
Brewster McCloud [Blu-ray] (Robert Altman, 1970) Warner Archive
Forty Guns [Blu-ray] (Samuel Fuller, 1957) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
Great Balls of Fire! [Blu-ray] (Jim McBride, 1989) Olive Films
Heathers [Blu-ray] (Michael Lehmann, 1988) RB UK Arrow Video (BEAVER REVIEW)
Shampoo [Blu-ray] (Hal Ashby, 1975) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
The Cat Returns [Blu-ray] (Hiroyuki Morita, 2002) GKIDS

Gregory, Meshman

Atlanta, GA USA

 

1. Ingmar Bergman's Cinema The Criterion Collection [Blu-ray] (30-disc/39 films, 248-page book) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
2.
Night of the Demon [Blu-ray] (Jacques Tourneur, 1957) UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW)
3.
The Magnificent Ambersons [Blu-ray] (Orson Welles, 1942) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
4.
The Color of Pomegranates [Blu-ray] (Sergei Parajanov, 1969) RB UK Second Sight (BEAVER REVIEW)
5. Sam Fuller at Columbia 1937-1961 [Blu-ray] (IT HAPPENED IN HOLLYWOOD, 1937 - ADVENTURE IN SAHARA, 1938 - POWER OF THE PRESS, 1943 - SHOCKPROOF, 1949 - SCANDAL SHEET, - THE CRIMSON KIMONO, 1959 - UNDERWORLD U.S.A., 1961) Region FREE Indicator UK (BEAVER REVIEW)
6.
Andrei Rublev [Blu-ray] (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1966) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
7.
Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood [Blu-ray] (Morocco, 1930 - Dishonored, 1931 - Shanghai Express, 1932 - Blonde Venus, 1932 - The Scarlet Empress, 1934 - The Devil Is a Woman, 1935) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)   (BEAVER REVIEW)   (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)
8.
The Cat o' Nine Tails [Blu-ray] (Dario Argento, 1971) RB UK Arrow (BEAVER REVIEW)
9.
Perversion Story (a.k.a. One on Top of the Other) [Blu-ray] (Lucio Fulci, 1969) Mondo Macabro (BEAVER REVIEW)
10.
Death Laid an Egg [Blu-ray] (Giulio Questi, 1968) RB UK Nucleus Films (BEAVER REVIEW)

Top 5 Box Set Releases of 2018


1.
Ingmar Bergman's Cinema The Criterion Collection [Blu-ray] (30-disc/39 films, 248-page book) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
2.
Sam Fuller at Columbia 1937-1961 [Blu-ray] (IT HAPPENED IN HOLLYWOOD, 1937 - ADVENTURE IN SAHARA, 1938 - POWER OF THE PRESS, 1943 - SHOCKPROOF, 1949 - SCANDAL SHEET, - THE CRIMSON KIMONO, 1959 - UNDERWORLD U.S.A., 1961) Region FREE Indicator UK (BEAVER REVIEW)
3.
Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood [Blu-ray] (Morocco, 1930 - Dishonored, 1931 - Shanghai Express, 1932 - Blonde Venus, 1932 - The Scarlet Empress, 1934 - The Devil Is a Woman, 1935) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)   (BEAVER REVIEW)   (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)
4.
Hammer Volume 2: Criminal Intent [Blu-ray] (The Snorkel, Never Take Sweets from a Stranger, The Full Treatment / Stop Me Before I Kill, Cash on Demand) (1958-1961) Indicator UK (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)   (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)
5 .
Outer Limits 1963-64 Season 1 32 Episodes [Blu-ray] (Various, 1963-1964) Kino Classics (BEAVER REVIEW)

Top 5 UHD Releases OF 2018


1.
2001: A Space Odyssey [4k UHD Blu-ray] (Stanley Kubrick, 1968) Warner Bros (BEAVER REVIEW)
2.
The Big Lebowski [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, 1998) Universal Pictures (BEAVER REVIEW)

Calvin MacKinnon


1.  Ingmar Bergman's Cinema The Criterion Collection [Blu-ray] (30-disc/39 films, 248-page book) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
2.
Woodfall: A Revolution in British Cinema (8-disc Blu-ray box set) - Look Back in Anger (Tony Richardson, 1959) - The Entertainer (Tony Richardson, 1960) - Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Karel Reisz, 1960) - A Taste of Honey (Tony Richardson, 1961) - The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Tony Richardson, 1962) - Tom Jones (Tony Richardson, 1963) (New 4K digital restorations of the original theatrical version of the film and the 1989 director's cut), Girl with Green Eyes (Desmond Davis, 1964) - The Knack...and how to get it (Richard Lester, 1965) RB UK BFI
3.
Berlin Alexanderplatz (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1980) Second Sight; Region B (BEAVER REVIEW)
4.
Andrei Rublev [Blu-ray] (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1966) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
5.
The Tree of Life [Blu-ray] (Terrence Malick, 2011) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
6.
Early Hou-Hsiao-Hsien: THREE FILMS 1980-1983; UK Masters of Cinema; RB (BEAVER REVIEW)
7.
Michael [Blu-ray] (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1924) RB UK Masters of Cinema
8.
A Matter of Life and Death [Blu-ray] (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1946) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
9.
Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films  [Blu-ray] (Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Gorin, 1968-1971) Arrow US
10.
De Palma & De Niro: The Early Films [Blu-ray] (The Wedding Party, Greetings, Hi, Mom!) RB UK Arrow

 

Luc Pomerleau

 

Top Blu-ray Releases of 2018

1.
The Magnificent Ambersons [Blu-ray] (Orson Welles, 1942) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW). A wounded masterpiece gets a stellar release, marred only by some factual errors in the comments from some of the contributors and the absence of some form of tentative reconstruction of the complete version, using stills or other materials as some people have done over the years.
2.
The Woman in the Window [Blu-ray] (Fritz Lang, 1944) Kino Lorber (BEAVER REVIEW). One of the most iconic films in the director's American period, with a cast perfectly suited to their respective roles.
3.
The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes [Blu-ray] (Billy Wilder, 1970) RB UK Masters of Cinema (BEAVER REVIEW). A gently humorous hommage to the legendary character, with tantalising looks at the material that was excised from the complete edit and the script, in a beautiful remastering.
4.
Night of the Demon [Blu-ray] (Jacques Tourneur, 1957) UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW). This very enjoyable supernatural story gets a royal treatment rarely afforded even to the great masterpieces of cinéma; an overwhelming number of extras examine it from every possible angle, including the controversial issue of the extent to which the director was aware the creature would be seen so explicitly.
5.
Ministry of Fear [Blu-ray] (Fritz Lang, 1944) RB UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW) A slightly perverse second-tier Lang title that finally gets the worthy HD edition that the Criterion should have been.
6.
Under Capricorn [Blu-ray] (Alfred Hitchcock, 1949) Kino Lorber (BEAVER REVIEW) An intelligent commentary and other extras make a good case for this period piece from the director, although not totally convincingly
7.
Orchestra Rehearsal [Blu-ray] (Federico Fellini, 1978) RB UK Arrow Academy (BEAVER REVIEW). Made for television, this still has great bite and is more enjoyable than most of the director's bloated movies from his late period.
8.
Little Murders [Blu-ray] (Alan Arkin, 1971) Indicator UK (BEAVER REVIEW) A neglected satire from the pen of Jules Feiffer.
9.
A Matter of Life and Death [Blu-ray] (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1946) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW). A movie that craftily walks the line between the otherworldly portion of the story happening only in the mind of the central character or being absolutely real.
10.
Le mystère Picasso [Blu-ray] (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1956) - RB UK Arrow (BEAVER REVIEW). A fascinating dissertation on art and aesthetics under the guise of a documentary on the great painter.

Top 5 Box Set Releases of 2018


1.
Sam Fuller at Columbia 1937-1961 [Blu-ray] (IT HAPPENED IN HOLLYWOOD, 1937 - ADVENTURE IN SAHARA, 1938 - POWER OF THE PRESS, 1943 - SHOCKPROOF, 1949 - SCANDAL SHEET, - THE CRIMSON KIMONO, 1959 - UNDERWORLD U.S.A., 1961) Region FREE Indicator UK (BEAVER REVIEW). A giant upgrade from the 2009 DVD box set which was very slim on extras; an excellent overview of the diversity and progression of Fuller's work both as scriptwriter and as director.
2.
Five Tall Tales: Budd Boetticher & Randolph Scott At Columbia, 1957-1960 [Blu-ray] (Ride Lonesome, The Tall T, Decision at Sundown, Buchanan Rides Alone and Comanche Station) - Region FREE UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW). A good number of extras carried over from the 2008 and still a few new ones, to give a fully rounded portrait of the distinct personality and character of the director's Western movies.
3.
2 Films de Jacques Rivette - Céline et Julie Vont en Bateau & Le Pont du Nord (Jacques Rivette, 1974 & 1982); Potemkine Films; RB/R2. This dual format edition is complemented by an extensive array of interviews done over the years with people involved in the making of these movies, including the actresses, the director and various other cast members.
4.
Woodfall: A Revolution in British Cinema (8-disc Blu-ray box set) - Look Back in Anger (Tony Richardson, 1959) - The Entertainer (Tony Richardson, 1960) - Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Karel Reisz, 1960) - A Taste of Honey (Tony Richardson, 1961) - The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Tony Richardson, 1962) - Tom Jones (Tony Richardson, 1963) (New 4K digital restorations of the original theatrical version of the film and the 1989 director's cut), Girl with Green Eyes (Desmond Davis, 1964) - The Knack...and how to get it (Richard Lester, 1965) RB UK BFI. 8 mostly essential films from a company which revitalised British cinema at that time, mostly under the guiding hand of director Tony Richardson.
5.
Hammer Volume 2: Criminal Intent [Blu-ray] (The Snorkel, Never Take Sweets from a Stranger, The Full Treatment / Stop Me Before I Kill, Cash on Demand) (1958-1961) Indicator UK (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)   (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW) . This series brings deserved attention to some neglected Hammer titles that have been overshadowed by the more famous horror tales. Prime examples are the tense one-set battle of wills "Cash on Demand" in this volume or the war films in the third one. The Hammer catalogue is extensive so there should be plenty of material for further rediscoveries in future volumes.

Top 5 SD-DVD Releases OF 2018

1.Voyages à Travers le Cinéma Français, La Série (Bertrand Tavernier, 2017); Gaumont, PAL, ALL. Tavernier follows up his 2016 movie with this 8 episode TV series, in which he covers directors and themes he either could not include in his first foray or could barely mention. Another invaluable (and pleasantly opinionated) travelogue through classic French cinema.
2.L'Arche de Monsieur Servadac (Karel Zeman, 1970) Malavida, PAL, R2. Another imaginative Jules Verne adaptation by the Czech master of animation, although most extras are repeated from other titles in the same Zeman series from this French publisher.

Jonathan Rosenbaum

Chicago, Illinois, USA

 

1. Daisies (Vera Chytilová, 1966) Second Run; Region ALL (BEAVER REVIEW)
2. The Adventures of Hajji Baba (Don Weis, 1954); Twilight Time; RA
(BEAVER REVIEW)
3.
The Color of Pomegranates (Sergei Parajanov, 1969); UK Second Sight; RB (BEAVER REVIEW)
4. An Actor’s Revenge (Kon Ichikawa, 1963); Criterion; RA
(BEAVER REVIEW)
5. The Covered Wagon (James Cruze, 1923); Kino Lorber; RA
(BEAVER REVIEW)
6. Moonrise (Frank Borzage, 1948); Criterion; RA
(BEAVER REVIEW)
7. The Barefoot Contessa (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1954) UK Masters of Cinema; RB
(BEAVER REVIEW)
8. Dead Man (Jim Jarmusch, 1995); Criterion; RA
(BEAVER REVIEW)
9. This is Cinerama (Merian C. Cooper, Gunther von Fritsch, 1952); Flicker Alley; RA
(BEAVER REVIEW)
10. Figures in a Landscape (Joseph Losey, 1970); France Carlotta Films; RB
(BEAVER REVIEW)

Top 5 Box Set Releases of 2018


1. Liebelei & Lola Montez (Max Ophuls, 1933 & 1955); Munich Filmmuseum; PAL Germany
2. Twin Peaks: A Limited Event Series (David Lynch, 201 ); Paramount NTSC *
3. Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood ; Criterion; RA
(BEAVER REVIEW)
4. Clouzot: Early Works; Kino; RA
(BEAVER REVIEW)
5. Early Hou-Hsiao-Hsien: THREE FILMS 1980-1983; UK Masters of Cinema; RB
(BEAVER REVIEW)

 

* Technically came out in 2017

Alfredo Santoro

Buon Natale da Alfredo, l'Italia
Merry Christmas from Alfredo, Italy! This is the third time in 4 yours I enjoy making my list in order to be part your poll: I really hope to be included in the selected voters list this year, it will be such a pleasure! :-)

Top Blu-ray Releases of 2018

1.
Dillinger Is Dead / Dillinger è morto (Marco Ferreri, 1969); CG Entertainment; RB
2.
The Magnificent Ambersons [Blu-ray] (Orson Welles, 1942) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

3.
The Witches [Blu-ray] (Mauro Bolognini, Vittorio De Sica, etc.,1967) Arrow UK
4.
We All Loved Each Other So Much / Mehän rakastimme toisiamme niin paljon (Ettore Scola, 1974); Futurefilm; RB
5.
The Terrace / Terassi (Ettore Scola, 1980); Futurefilm; RB
6.
I mostri (Dino Risi, 1963); CG Entertainment; RB
7.
Army Of Darkness / L'armata delle tenebre (Sam Raimi, 1992); Koch Media (Italy); RB
8.
Irma Vep [Blu-ray] (Olivier Assayas, 1996) RB UK Arrow Academy (BEAVER REVIEW)
9.
The Spider's Stratagem / Strategia del ragno (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970); Cinefil/Kadokawa; RA
10.
Michael [Blu-ray] (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1924) RB UK Masters of Cinema

 

Looking for Italian classics from around the world! This is the main theme of my 2018, rescuing hidden gems in HD, unavailable in the Italian market but popping mainly (and not surprisingly) in the UK/US market, with notable exceptions (Finland is the first country in the world welcoming two Ettore Scola's masterpieces: We All Loved Each Other So Much and the lesser-known The Terrace; Japan see the release of a 2K restoration of Bertolucci's Spider's Stratagem; in France Dino Risi's "optimistic trilogy"). What about Italy? After years without any good signal, gold medal goes to CG Entertainment releasing the brand new restoration of Dillinger Is Dead and Dino Risi's Sorpasso perfect companion I mostri together with a lot of HD releases already seen in other markets.

Top 5 Box Set Releases of 2018


1.
Ingmar Bergman's Cinema The Criterion Collection [Blu-ray] (30-disc/39 films, 248-page book) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
2.
Early Hou Hsiao-Hsien: THREE FILMS 1980-1983 [Blu-ray] (Cute Girl, The Green, Green Grass of Home, The Boys from Fengkuei) RB UK Masters of Cinema (BEAVER REVIEW)
3.
Family Values: Three Films by Hirokazu Kore-eda (I Wish; Like Father, Like Son; After the Storm) [Blu-ray] (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2011-2016) Arrow UK
4. De Niro & De Palma: The Early Films (Arrow Video) (US/UK) (AB)

5.
Trilogie optimiste de Dino Risi. Pauvres mais beaux + Belles mais pauvres + Pauvres millionnaires (Dino Risi); M6 Vidéo; RB


Top 5 UHD Releases of 2018


1.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre [4k UHD Blu-ray]
(Tobe Hooper, 1974); Koch Media (Italy) (BEAVER REVIEW)
2. Suspiria
[4k UHD Blu-ray] (Dario Argento, 1977); Videa (BEAVER REVIEW)
3.
2001: A Space Odyssey [4k UHD Blu-ray] (Stanley Kubrick, 1968) Warner Bros (BEAVER REVIEW)
4.
Ready Player One [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Steven Spielberg, 2018) Region Free
5.
Blade Runner 2049 [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Denis Villeneuve, 2017) Warner
 

James-Masaki Ryan

Choosing just ten releases for the best discs of the year was a very difficult decision, as indie labels came out strong with special edition Blu-rays, and obviously some releases were sadly cut from the final list. The lists below are in alphabetical order.

1.
The Color of Pomegranates (Sergei Parajanov, 1969); UK Second Sight; RB (BEAVER REVIEW)
Second Sight went all out by including both cuts of the film with lengthy extras and a 114 page book.
2. The Greatest Showman (Michael Gracey, 2017) Twentieth Century Fox (Intl) (ALL)
Of all the major studio releases this year, this had an incredibly good selection of extras with featurettes for each song, multiple behind the scenes featurettes, a director's commentary, plus a song-along track for people who need it. The sound and visuals are a delight, and the film itself is better than some had expected, myself included
3.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers [Blu-ray] (Don Siegel, 1956) Olive Signature (BEAVER REVIEW)
After years of DVDs and Blu-rays with barely anything for extras, the usually known for barebones Olive Films pulled together an amazingly full selection of extras for a definitive version of the classic.
4. Jagko (Im Kwon-taek, 1980) Korean Film Archive/Blue Kino (South Korea) (ALL)
Korean Film Archive port both of the DVD commentary tracks and add a third newly recorded commentary for the film's Blu-ray release. The film has been given a great image and sound restoration and they did not mess up the transfer (as their Blu-ray for "Ieodo" earlier this year was a travesty in image quality).
5.
The Man from Mo'Wax [Blu-ray] (Matthew Jones, 2016) RB UK BFI
A great amount of content is included for the extras, and the limited edition package gets extra attention for box shaped like a 7" vinyl collection with excellent artwork inside. Probably the best and most unique packaging for the year.
6.
Night of the Demon [Blu-ray] (Jacques Tourneur, 1957) UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW)
Powerhouse Films could have easily occupied all ten spots on the list this year if I had bought them all, but the standout is the amazing Blu-ray edition of "Night of the Demon" with multiple cuts, multiple aspect ratios, hours and hours of extras, and including a poster and booklet.
7.
Night of the Living Dead [Blu-ray] (George A. Romero, 1968) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW)
The film has been released on multiple DVDs and Blu-rays in the past but Criterion outdoes them all with a new transfer and including the extremely rare workprint version of the film.
8. One Cut of the Dead (Shinichiro Ueda, 2017) VAP (Japan) (ALL)
Not only was the microbudget indie film break records by becoming one of the most profitable movies of all time in Japan, but the Blu-ray edition gives it yet another life with very good extras having two commentaries, multiple behind the scenes featurettes, and the Amazon Exclusive Edition having a fascinating rehearsal version of the film.
9.
Razorback [Blu-ray] (Russell Mulcahy, 1984) Umbrella (BEAVER REVIEW)
Umbrella Entertainment gives the Aussie monster classic a second go on Blu-ray, and the results of the upgrade make the older disc totally obsolete. A new transfer, new extras, and nice packaging are all excellent.
10. Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds (Alex Proyas, 1989) Umbrella Entertainment (Australia) (ALL)
Very few people had seen Alex Proyas' debut feature made with a small crew on a small budget in the middle of nowhere, and thankfully Umbrella Entertainment gave it a full remaster with Proyas' support with excellent extras.

Top 5 Box Set Releases of 2018 (optional)

1. De Niro & De Palma: The Early Films (Arrow Video) (US/UK) (AB)
Arrow presents "The Wedding Party", "Greetings", and "Hi, Mom!" with lovely new remastered transfers in a handsome boxset.
2. Derek Jarman: Volume 1 (BFI) (UK) (B)
The collection of features and shorts from his earlier period is an absolute highlight of the BFI's catalogue in 2018 and makes fans yearn for the second volume to come as soon as possible. The only unfortunate point would be the many music videos by Jarman from the period not being included, due to expensive music rights issues.
3. Police Story 1&2 (Eureka!) (UK) (B)
(BEAVER REVIEW) (BEAVER REVIEW)
Eureka! released a slew of Jackie Chan films on Blu-ray and of all the films, the first two "Police Story" films get the most extensive treatment with multiple cuts, multiple audio options and wonderful extras. It's only a shame that "Police Story 3" couldn't be included in the set.
4.
Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years. Vol. 2. Border Crossings: The Crime and Action Movies [Blu-ray] (Eight Hours of Terror (1957), The Sleeping Beast Within (1960), Smashing the 0-Line (1960), Tokyo Knights (1961), The Man with a Shotgun) (1961) - RB UK Arrow (BEAVER REVIEW)
Arrow has been releasing a consistent amount of Suzuki films recently, and the only reason Volume 2 is here and not Volume 1 is that the second volume is the only one I currently have in my collection.
5.
Woodfall: A Revolution in British Cinema (BFI) (UK) (B)
Another huge winner from the BFI with the Woodfall Films collection, showcasing an era of transition for British cinema in the late 1950s and 1960s.

 

 

Schwarkkve

Once again, my choices reflect not only the importance of the releases artistically and technically, but my own
preferences, tastes and the extent of my personal finances.
1.
Ingmar Bergman's Cinema The Criterion Collection [Blu-ray] (30-disc/39 films, 248-page book) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW) – An incredible wealth of material including thirty-nine films (many never before released by Criterion on DVD or Blu-ray), new restorations, commentaries, interviews and documentary supplements as well as a booklet featuring, among others, pieces by the likes of Peter Cowie, Molly Haskell and Bergman himself.
In terms of scope, esthetic value and technical excellence this exquisite comprehensive package is my
pick for the top Blu-ray release of 2018.
2.
The Magnificent Ambersons [Blu-ray] (Orson Welles, 1942) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW) – I’ve long thought of The Magnificent Ambersons as Welles’ Intolerance. Both are the sophomore films of important directors, each following a debut that summed up, redefined, and influenced the direction of the cinema that came after. Both
Ambersons and Intolerance failed to repeat the critical and/or popular successes of their predecessors in
early screenings and as a result were recut for release with new materials being introduced which modified
or weakened the original vision. Both Ambersons and Intolerance are ambitious, perhaps overreaching,
but they are also inventive and passionately confident in their execution. Despite their shortcomings and
the commercially motivated indignities imposed upon them, the “flaws” of these works are all the more
poignant for their intense humanism and involvement with their subject matter. The films are both epic
and personal- the difference being in their perspective and scale. Criterion have given us the definitive
release of Welles masterwork which, like Intolerance, is more successful in its compromised form than
95% of cinema.
3.
The Color of Pomegranates [Blu-ray] (Sergei Parajanov, 1969) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)) – A hauntingly unique one-of-a-kind visual essay that comments directly on its subject (the Armenian poet musician, Sayat-Nova)
by recreating and immersing us in the milieu of the artist, presenting it to us as a work of art. A poem
about poetry referencing the poet, a song about the elements and conditions that create the song, this
work of art channels the conditions that produced its subject, creating an experience of Sayat-Nova rather
than merely presenting a series of historical facts. A series of mostly static period tableaux, the film is rich
in color and detail, beautiful to look at and hypnotic to watch. It feels both traditional and experimental,
archaic and contemporary. Criterion has given us another stellar package of film and extras showcasing
an often neglected master whose works deserve a wider audience. Perhaps one day we’ll see a Criterion
Blu-ray of Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors.
4.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers [Blu-ray] (Don Siegel, 1956) Olive Signature (BEAVER REVIEW) / Night of the Living Dead [Blu-ray] (George A. Romero, 1968) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW) – Two genre defining horror films that have been available in one form or another for awhile, but have finally received releases worthy of their importance from Olive Films and Criterion respectively. Olive’s Signature series version of Invasion increases the feature’s byte size and bitrate by nearly 50% over their barebones single-layered regular edition, and they have heaped on the supplementary materials (interviews, commentaries, visual essays, etc.). Criterion’s presentation of
the movie that redefined the nature of the zombie in film and introduced the concept of a zombie apocalypse is equally laudable. Both are great packages, full of extras as well as the definitive presentations of these films.
5.
Méliès: Fairy Tales in Color [Blu-ray] (Georges Méliès, 1899-1909) Flicker Alley – Although I had seen
some of these short subjects many times, seeing them again in this collection in restored, hand tinted
versions projected at the correct speed with superb musical scores (and several with narration written by
Méliès himself), I gained a new perspective on the work and a greater appreciation for the passion and the
artistic depth of their creator. These editions are a revelation.
6.
The Curse of the Cat People [Blu-ray] (Gunther von Fritsch, Robert Wise, 1944) Shout! Factory (BEAVER REVIEW) - I happen to be one of those people (maybe the only one) who believe that this is arguably at least as good if not in some ways better than original Cat People. The original is a tighter straight-ahead thriller and genre defining landmark. For me, Curse is more subtle, diffused, and fundamentally disturbing because, along with only a handful of other films (Invaders From Mars, 400 Blows, Night of the Hunter), it examines the traumas of childhood from the Child’s perspective. Whereas the original remains an intelligent and exemplary illustration of what might be accomplished with limited resources in a mainstream horror film, Curse is more diffuse, tonally greyer,
recombining different genre elements to create something that is more uniquely distinct, something harder
to define and therefore (for me) more disturbing. Both the original Cat People and Curse of the Cat
People deal with myth and psychology (primarily Freudian in first and Jungian in the latter), and in both the
rational adult psychological explanations are at best merely auxiliary ways of trying to understand what is
going on at a deeper more primal level. I saw Curse of the Cat People on tv when I was a kid long before I
saw the original. It rang true and haunted me for years. The final (penultimate) scene still gets me.
7.
Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood [Blu-ray] (Morocco, 1930 - Dishonored, 1931 - Shanghai Express, 1932 - Blonde Venus, 1932 - The Scarlet Empress, 1934 - The Devil Is a Woman, 1935) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)   (BEAVER REVIEW)   (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)  – Wow! New restorations of six classic films- some of the best work done by Sternberg and Dietrich in a box set full of Criterion extras. This is a long awaited release and another outstanding offering from Criterion in a bumper year for that company.
8.
Gun Crazy [Blu-ray] (Joseph H. Lewis, 1950) Warner Archive (BEAVER REVIEW) / Raw Deal [Blu-ray] (Anthony Mann, 1948) ClassicFlix (BEAVER REVIEW) – Two of the best examples of Noir by two of the genre’s finest directors. Gun Crazy, with its heady mixture of pulp romance, Freudian references and tour-de-force action sequences may be one of the greatest B movies ever made. Raw Deal is Anthony Mann at the top of his game, at his Germanic, Fritz Langian fatalistic best, supported by John Alton’s expressionistic visuals. Both releases have modest supplements and excellent transfers of these rare and important films.
9.
Coco (Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina, 1917) Disney, Pixar (ALL) – Family friendly Disney seasonal pic that features innovative animation, an excellent, authentically appropriate musical score and folk-based whimsy that doesn’t insult your intelligence. Like The Lion King, Frozen or Toy Story this is Disney product at its best.
10. Attack on Titan: Season Two (Yasuko Kobayashi, Hiroshi Seko, 2017) Funimation (RA) – Some call it the Citizen Kane of anime. I don’t know about that, but it is a creative, choc-full-of-ideas, visually stunning television series based on the best selling manga. Season two is a two-disc box set offering extras and excellent renderings of the popular program, generally considered one of the best of its kind.

Rasmus Bjerre Pedersen


Top Blu-ray Releases of 2018

1.
The Passenger [Blu-ray] (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1975) Indicator UK (BEAVER REVIEW)
2.
The Silence of the Lambs [Blu-ray] (Jonathan Demme, 1991) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW)
3.
Salvador [Blu-ray] (Oliver Stone, 1986) RB UK Eureka (BEAVER REVIEW)
4.
The Endless [Blu-ray] (Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead, 2017) Arrow Video UK (BEAVER REVIEW)
5.
Colossus: The Forbin Project [Blu-ray] (Joseph Sargent, 1970) - Shout! Factory
6.
Cure [Blu-ray] (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 1997) RB UK Eureka Entertainment Limited (BEAVER REVIEW)
7.
Candyman [Blu-ray] (Bernard Rose, 1992) RB UK Arrow
8.
Andrei Rublev [Blu-ray] (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1966) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
9.
The Sacrifice (4K - Restored Special Edition) [Blu-ray] (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1986) Kino International (BEAVER REVIEW)
10.
Deadbeat at Dawn [Blu-ray] (Jim Van Bebber, 1988) R0 UK Arrow Video

Top 5 Box Set Releases of 2018


1. Berlin Alexanderplatz (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1980) Second Sight; Region B (BEAVER REVIEW)
2.
Family Values: Three Films by Hirokazu Kore-eda (I Wish; Like Father, Like Son; After the Storm) [Blu-ray] (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2011-2016) Arrow UK
3.
Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years. Vol. 2. Border Crossings: The Crime and Action Movies [Blu-ray] (Eight Hours of Terror (1957), The Sleeping Beast Within (1960), Smashing the 0-Line (1960), Tokyo Knights (1961), The Man with a Shotgun) (1961) - RB UK Arrow (BEAVER REVIEW)
4.
Early Hou Hsiao-Hsien: THREE FILMS 1980-1983 [Blu-ray] (Cute Girl, The Green, Green Grass of Home, The Boys from Fengkuei) RB UK Masters of Cinema (BEAVER REVIEW)
5.
Sam Fuller at Columbia 1937-1961 [Blu-ray] (IT HAPPENED IN HOLLYWOOD, 1937 - ADVENTURE IN SAHARA, 1938 - POWER OF THE PRESS, 1943 - SHOCKPROOF, 1949 - SCANDAL SHEET, - THE CRIMSON KIMONO, 1959 - UNDERWORLD U.S.A., 1961) Region FREE Indicator UK (BEAVER REVIEW)

 

taikohediyoshi (Michael Connors)
 

Top Blu-ray Releases of 2018

 

1 [Tokyo Twilight] Ozu Yasujiro Shochiku Region Free Japanese sound track with English subtitles. The night reveals. Ozu’s final black and white film. Ozu regular, Atsuta Yûharu’s cinematography is outstanding. There is even a shot where the camara’s focus shifts from the foreground to the background and back to the foreground. Can you spot it? Very unusual for an Ozu sound film.
2 [Ukigasa aka Floating Weeds] Ozu Yasujiro Kadokawa A Japanese sound track No English Subtitles. Features the outstanding color cinematography by Miyagawa Kazuo. A step up from BFI’s very good blu-ray. #15 on Kinema Junpo's 1959 Best of List
3 [Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice] Ozu Yasujiro Shochiku Region Free Japanese sound track with English subtitles. Another domestic drama with Ozu musing on arranged marrages. We get back-to-back dolly shots going into set, and then coming out of it. Unusual for an Ozu sound film. #12 on Kinema Junpo’s 1952 Best of list.
4 [Early Spring] Ozu Yasujiro Shochiku  Region Free Japanese sound track with English subtitles. A Marriage is hard work. An unusual sequence starting at about 22 minutes—has about twenty tracking shots, interspersed with three or four stationary shots. There is at least one dolly shot as well where the camera moves into the set. #6 on Kinema Junpo’s 1956 Best of List.
5 [Ju Dou] Zhang Yimou NDVA Region Free Chinese sound track with English subtitles, etc. Korean Blu-ray and English friendly release of a masterpiece. Source is the same as Kadokawa’s blu-ray.
6 [The Outlaws] Kang Yoon Song IVE Entertainment Yesasia A Korean sound track with English subtitles. Korean Blu-ray release. Ma Dong Seok is a movie star. A movie about the virtues of immediate retribution.
7 Queimada - Insel des Schreckens [AKA Burn] Gillo Pontecorvo Koch Media GmbH - DVD B Italian and German language soundtracks. English subtitles. The 129 minute restored and remastered cut has Italian, German soundtracks with English subtitles. 112 minute cut with an English sound track included as an extra.
8 Symphonie pour un massacre Jacques Deray Pathé B French sound track with English subtitles. Features the outstanding cinematography by Claude Renoir. A great policier where the story is told visually.
9 Madigan Don Siegel King Records Japan A English language soundtrack. One of 220 titles which King Records (Japan) released in a reduced price edition.
10 Gli specialisti [Le Spécialiste] Sergio Corbucci TC1 France B No English Subtitles, French and Italian sound tracks. Italian sound track plays with forced French subtitles. My favorite Corbucci western.
11 [The Great Silence] Sergio Corbucci Film Movement Classics A Italian and English language soundtracks. English subtitles. Hey what do you know, an American release makes my list. Will wonders ever cease?
12 [Mary and the Witch's Flower] Yonebayashi Hiromasa Walt Disney Japan Co., Ltd.  A Japanese soundtrack with English subtitles. Yonebayashi Hiromasa’s last three projects are Mary and the Witch's Flower, When Marnie Was There and The Secret World of Arrietty, so it’s safe to say he’s on a roll. The producer, Nishimura Yoshiaki last three features are Mary and the Witch's Flower, When Marnie Was There and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya. He’s on a roll too. An “Art of” book is also available Director Yonebayashi Hiromasa and producer Nishimura Yoshiaki are on a roll. I’ve put at least anime film on my list for the last three years. Not because I like anime all that much, but because the anime films l list are incredible visual films.
13 [What A Wonderful Family! 2] Yamada Yoji Panorama (HK) Yesasia A Japanese soundtrack with English subtitles. Yamada’s third feature with the same cast, the others being Tokyo Family and What a Wonderful Family. A fourth movie, What a Wonderful Family 3 has a Japanese blu-ray release.
14 [The Fortress] Hwang Dong Hyuk CJ Entertainment Yesasia A Korean sound track with English subtitles. The best Joseon period movie since War of the Arrows.
15 Mollenard Robert Siodmak Gaumont Region Free French Sound Track, English subtitles. Gorgeous cinematography by Eugen Schüfftan.
16 Heaven's Gate - Director's Cut Michael Cimino Alive - Vertrieb und Marketing/DVD B English sound track. The fine people at Alive are the only ones with the good sense to have both director cuts, the 217 minute roadshow cut and the US-Kinofassung (Recut) on blu-ray. That makes this the preferred edition.
17 Outrage Trilogy Boxset Takeshi Kitano Panorama (HK) Yesasia A Japanese sound track with English subtitles. Happy people doing happy things. I was going to put the Japanese blu-ray of Outrage [Outrage Coda] here, but for about the same price you can get all three Outrages from Panorama (Hong Kong). Coda includes the best in joke in a movie in a long time.
18 7 Men From Now Budd Boetticher Reprint Cinema Library Japan A English language soundtrack Randolph Scott is on the hunt, and Gail Russell is on the wagon.
19 Grandeur et décadence d'un petit commerce de cinéma Jean-Luc Godard Capricci 2 French sound track. No English Subtitles. DVD only. A TV movie from the world of Jean Luc Godard. The novel The Soft Center by James Hadley Chase [publié en français sous le titre de Chantons en chœur!] gets a Godard adaptation.
20 Liebelei (released with Lola Montez – German Premier restoration) Max Ophüls Alive - Vertrieb und Marketing Region Free German sound track, English subtitles DVD only. The Entfesselte Kamera returns to cinema
21 [Sekigahara] Harada Masato Toho Region Free Japanese soundtrack with English subtitles. The best Sengoku period movie in about a decade.
22 Titus Andronicus Blanche McIntyre Opus Arte A English language soundtrack Another winner from the Royal Shakespeare Company.
23
Legend of the Mountain [Blu-ray] (King Hu, 1979) RB UK Masters of Cinema (BEAVER REVIEW) Mandarin sound track. English subtitles The full cut is finally available on Blu-ray.
24 Un homme à abattre [A Man to Murder] Philippe Condroyer Gaumont Region Free French Language. No English subtitles. A fine piece of film paranoia. Filmed in glorious Eastman color.

Elephant Films [France] released six DeMilles—all worth watching for different reasons.
This Day and Age
Cecil B. DeMille Elephant Films 2 English language soundtrack. Scan type progressive. DVD only. Breen & the Hays Office weren’t all about decolletage. Movies like this one, with political messages such as the desirability vigilante justice also were the target of the production code.
North West Mounted Police
Cecil B. DeMille Elephant Films 2 English language soundtrack. Scan type interlaced. DVD only. Named by Michael Medved and Leonard Maltin as one of the worst movies ever made.
Sign of the Cross
[Blu-ray] Cecil B. DeMille Elephant Films Region Free English language soundtrack Blu-ray and DVD. Another movie from DeMille with an A-list cast, high production values, and some of the worst dialogue on film. Film shows the limitations of the sound films until 1934.
Unconquered
[Blu-ray] Cecil B. DeMille Elephant Films Region Free English language soundtrack Blu-ray and DVD. Gary Cooper’s last film with DeMille.
Cleopatra
[Blu-ray] Cecil B. DeMille Elephant Films Region Free English language soundtrack Blu-ray and DVD. Outstanding sets, props, and costumes, but the Oscar winning cinematography of Victor Milner is the real star. Compare sound to Sign of the Cross and see how sound recording technology improved.
Reap the Wild Wind
[Blu-ray] Cecil B. DeMille Elephant Films Region Free English language soundtrack Blu-ray and DVD. With Gary Cooper unavailable, John Wayne gets the nod. DeMille probably should have gotten Randolph Scott for the Ray Milland role.

Box Sets From France
Claude Berri : Intégrale 21 Films Claude Berri Pathé Region Free French Language—twelve of the twenty-one films have English subtitles Blu-ray cofrett with bonus features on dvd.
Andreï Tarkovski - L'intégrale (version restaurée) Blu-Ray Andreï Tarkovski Potemkine Films B Features have Russian, Swedish or Italian soundtracks, have Sous-titres : Français. No English subtitles. I sleep better at night knowing I have one of the 1st issue edition of the coffret which present the all of Andreï Tarkovski’s films (shorts, features, and an alternate cut) with the best available transfers.
2 films de Jacques Rivette (Céline et Julie vont en bateau et Le Pont du Nord) Jacques Rivette Potemkine Films B French Language, Sous-titres Francais No English subs.
Intégrale Jean Vigo - Coffret Prestige Jean Vigo Gaumont B French Language, Sous-titres Francais, et Anglais.
Mikio Naruse - 5 films Naruse Mikio Carlotta Films Japanese sound track. Sous-titres Francais No English Subtitles. Finally, Naruse Mikio makes his blu-ray debut

Companies of the year Shochiku (Japan), Pathé (France), Gaumont (France), Kadokawa (Japan), Potemkine (France), King Records (Japan), Elephant Films (France), Alive - Vertrieb und Marketing (Germany)

 

Gary Tooze

Toronto, Canada

 

Like previous years, I don't feel my input in the poll is essential. My preference is to mention discs that came out in 2018 and that I greatly appreciated having in my digital library - mostly because of the film and that weren't mentioned extensively in this poll. It's only my opinion, so here are some of my less-predictable choices of releases that I felt deserved more love than our poll might express to them. They are in alphabetical order:

 

The Addiction [Blu-ray] (Abel Ferrara, 1995) RB Arrow UK (BEAVER REVIEW)

Battle in Outer Space [Blu-ray] (Ishirô Honda, 1959) Sony (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Beautiful Troublemaker (La Belle Noiseuse) [Blu-ray] (Jacques Rivette, 1991) Cohen (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Big Combo [Blu-ray] (Joseph H. Lewis, 1955) Region Free UK Arrow Academy (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Big Country [Blu-ray] (William Wyler, 1958) Kino Lorber (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage [Blu-ray] (Dario Argento, 1970) RB UK Arrow (BEAVER REVIEW)

Black Widow (Nunnally Johnson, 1954) Twilight Time, ALL (BEAVER REVIEW)

Black Venus [Blu-ray] (Abdellatif Kechiche, 2010) RB UK Arrow Academy (BEAVER REVIEW)

Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji (Chiyari Fuji) [Blu-ray] (Tomu Uchida, 1955) RB UK Arrow Academy (BEAVER REVIEW)

Bound [Blu-ray] (The Wachowski Brothers, 1996) Olive Signature (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Breakfast Club [Blu-ray] (John Hughes, 1985) - Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Case of the Scorpion's Tail [Blu-ray] (Sergio Martino, 1971) Arrow Video UK (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Changeling [Blu-ray] (Peter Medak, 1980) Severin Films (BEAVER REVIEW)

Cinderella Liberty [Blu-ray] (Mark Rydell, 1973) Twilight Time (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Collector [Blu-ray] (William Wyler, 1965) Region Free UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW)

Cure [Blu-ray] (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 1997) RB UK Eureka Entertainment Limited (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Curse of the Cat People [Blu-ray] (Gunther von Fritsch, Robert Wise, 1944) Shout! Factory (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Cyclops [Blu-ray] (Bert I. Gordon, 1957) Warner Archive (BEAVER REVIEW)

Dark Blue [Blu-ray] (Ron Shelton, 2002) RB UK Arrow Video (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Dark Mirror [Blu-ray] (Robert Siodmak, 1946) Region Free UK Arrow Academy (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Day After [Blu-ray] (Nicholas Meyer, 1983) Kino Lorber (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Dead Zone Mediabook [Blu-ray] (David Cronenberg, 1983) RB DE Koch Media (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Defiant Ones [Blu-ray] (Stanley Kramer, 1958) UK RB Eureka Entertainment (BEAVER REVIEW)

Detective Bureau 2-3: Go to Hell Bastards! [Blu-ray] (Seijun Suzuki, 1963) Arrow Video UK (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Devil Incarnate [Blu-ray] (El Caminante) (Paul Naschy, 1979) Mondo Macabro (BEAVER REVIEW)

Don't Bother to Knock (Roy Ward Baker, 1952) Twilight Time, ALL (BEAVER REVIEW)

Down Three Dark Streets [Blu-ray] (Arnold Laven, 1954) ClassicFlix (BEAVER REVIEW)

L'Eclisse [Blu-ray] (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1962) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW)

Elevator to the Gallows [Blu-ray] (Louis Malle, 1958) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW)

eXistenZ [Blu-ray] (David Cronenberg, 1999) UK 101 Films (BEAVER REVIEW)

Farewell My Lovely (Dick Richards, 1975) Shout! Factory, ALL (BEAVER REVIEW)

Five Steps to Danger [Blu-ray] (Henry S. Kesler, 1957) ClassicFlix (BEAVER REVIEW)

Gloria [Blu Ray] (John Cassevetes 1980) Twilight Time (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Grifters [Blu-ray] (Stephen Frears, 1990) UK 101 Films (BEAVER REVIEW)

Highway Dragnet [Blu-ray] (Nathan Juran, 1954) Kino Lorber (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Hired Hand [Blu-ray] (Peter Fonda, 1971) Arrow Academy (BEAVER REVIEW)

Hope and Glory [Blu-ray] (John Boorman, 1987) Olive Films (BEAVER REVIEW)

Holy Mountain (Der Heilige Berg) [Blu-ray] (Arnold Fanck, 1926) Kino Classics (BEAVER REVIEW)

Horrors of Malformed Men [Blu-ray] (Teruo Ishii, 1969) RB UK Arrow Video (BEAVER REVIEW)

I, Jane Doe [Blu-ray] (John H. Auer, 1948) Kino Lorber (BEAVER REVIEW)

I Walk Alone [Blu-ray] (Byron Haskin, 1947) Kino (BEAVER REVIEW)

Images [Blu-ray] (Robert Altman, 1972) RB UK Arrow Video (BEAVER REVIEW)

Intermezzo: A Love Story [Blu-ray] (Gregory Ratoff, 1939) Kino Classics (BEAVER REVIEW)

Irma Vep [Blu-ray] (Olivier Assayas, 1996) RB UK Arrow Academy (BEAVER REVIEW)

Lady Frankenstein [Blu-ray] (Mel Welles, Aureliano Luppi, 1971) RB UK Nucleus Films (BEAVER REVIEW)

Looker [Blu-ray] (Michael Crichton, 1981) Warner Archive (BEAVER REVIEW)

Maborosi [Blu-ray] (Hirokazu Koreeda, 1995) Region FREE with English subtitles, Japan -Bandai Visual (BEAVER REVIEW)

Made for Each Other [Blu-ray] (John Cromwell, 1939) Kino (BEAVER REVIEW)

A Man Alone [Blu-ray] (Ray Milland, 1955) Kino (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Man Who Cheated Himself [Blu-ray] (Felix E. Feist, 1950) Flicker Alley (BEAVER REVIEW)

Manhandled [Blu-ray] (Allan Dwan, 1924) Kino (BEAVER REVIEW)

Miss Leslie's Dolls [Blu-ray] (Joseph P. Mawra, 1973) UK Network (BEAVER REVIEW)

Missing [Blu-ray] (Costa-Gavras, 1982) RB UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW)

Model Shop (Jacques Demy, 1969) Twilight Time, ALL (BEAVER REVIEW)

Neon Bull [Blu-ray] (Gabriel Mascaro, 2015) Second Run (BEAVER REVIEW)

No Down Payment (Martin Ritt, 1957) Twilight Time, ALL (BEAVER REVIEW)

No Orchids for Miss Blandish [Blu-ray] (St. John Legh Clowes, 1948) Kino Lorber (BEAVER REVIEW)

Oleanna [Blu-ray] (David Mamet, 1994) RB UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW)

Personal Problems [Blu-ray] (Bill Gunn, 1980) Kino Lorber (BEAVER REVIEW)

Phenomena [Blu-ray] (Dario Argento, 1985) - RB UK Arrow (BEAVER REVIEW)

Prefontaine [Blu-ray] (Steve James, 1997) Kino (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes [Blu-ray] (Billy Wilder, 1970) RB UK Masters of Cinema (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Pajama Girl Case [Blu-ray] (Flavio Mogherini, 1977) RB UK Arrow Video (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Princess Bride [Blu-ray] (Rob Reiner, 1987) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

Queen of Outer Space [Blu-ray] (Edward Bernds, 1958) Warner Archive (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Quiet Earth [Blu-ray] (Geoff Murphy, 1985) RB UK Arrow (BEAVER REVIEW)

A Raisin in the Sun [Blu-ray] (Daniel Petrie, 1961) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

Raw Deal [Blu-ray] (Anthony Mann, 1948) ClassicFlix (BEAVER REVIEW)

Red Sorghum [Blu-ray] (Zhang Yimou, 1987) Diskino (BEAVER REVIEW)

Retroactive [Blu-ray] (Louis Morneau, 1997) Kino (BEAVER REVIEW)

Ruby Gentry [Blu-ray] (King Vidor, 1952) Kino (BEAVER REVIEW)

Salvador [Blu-ray] (Oliver Stone, 1986) RB UK Eureka (BEAVER REVIEW)

Scalpel [Blu-ray] (John Grissmer, 1977) RB UK Arrow Video (BEAVER REVIEW)

Secret Beyond the Door... [Blu-ray] (Fritz Lang, 1947) Region Free UK Arrow Academy (BEAVER REVIEW

Seven [Blu-ray] (Andy Sidaris, 1979) Kino International (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Silence of the Lambs [Blu-ray] (Jonathan Demme, 1991) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW)

A Strange Adventure [Blu-ray] (William Witney, 1956) Kino International (BEAVER REVIEW)

Suddenly, Last Summer [Blu-ray] (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1959) Indicator UK (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Super Inframan [Blu-ray] (Shan Hua, 1975) RB UK 88 Films (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Thing from Another World [Blu-ray] (Howard Hawks, 1951) Warner Archive (BEAVER REVIEW)

Twelve Monkeys [Blu-ray] (Terry Gilliam, 1995) Arrow (BEAVER REVIEW)

Underground [Blu-ray] (Emir Kusturica, 1995) Kino Lorber (BEAVER REVIEW)

Underworld USA (Sam Fuller, 1961) Twilight Time, ALL (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Vengeful Beauty [Blu-ray] (Meng Hua Ho, 1978) RB UK 88 Films (BEAVER REVIEW)

Village of the Damned [Blu-ray] (Wolf Rilla, 1960) Warner Archive (BEAVER REVIEW)

Violence in a Women's Prison (A.K.A. Caged Women) [Blu-ray] (Bruno Mattei, 1982) Severin (BEAVER REVIEW)

What Have They Done to Your Daughters? [Blu-ray] (Massimo Dallamano, 1974) Arrow Video (BEAVER REVIEW)

Who Killed Teddy Bear [Blu-ray] (Joseph Cates, 1965) R0 UK Network (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Woman in the Window [Blu-ray] (Fritz Lang, 1944) Kino Lorber (BEAVER REVIEW)

A Woman's Devotion [Blu-ray] (Paul Henreid, 1956) Kino (BEAVER REVIEW)

Young Mr. Lincoln [Blu-ray] (John Ford, 1939) - Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

 

Hammer Volume Three: Blood & Terror [Blu-ray] (The Camp on Blood Island, The Stranglers of Bombay, Yesterday's Enemy, The Terror of the Tongs) Indicator UK (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)   (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Incredible Hulk The Complete Series [Blu-ray] (Various, 1978 - 82) Region Free FR Elephant Films (BEAVER REVIEW)

Joaquim Pedro De Andrade: Complete Films [Blu-ray] - Kino (BEAVER REVIEW)

Outer Limits 1963-64 Season 1 32 Episodes [Blu-ray] (Various, 1963-1964) Kino Classics (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Outer Limits - Season 2 [Blu-ray(Various, 1964–1965) Kino Lorber (BEAVER REVIEW)

A Pistol for Ringo / The Return of Ringo [Blu-ray] (Duccio Tessari, 1965) Arrow UK (BEAVER REVIEW)

Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years. Vol. 1 Seijun Rising: The Youth Movies Limited Edition [Blu-ray] The Boy Who Came Back (1958), The Wind-of-Youth Group Crosses the Mountain Pass (1961) , Teenage Yakuza (1962), The Incorrigible (1963) and Born Under Crossed Stars (1965) - Arrow US

Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years. Vol. 2. Border Crossings: The Crime and Action Movies [Blu-ray] (Eight Hours of Terror (1957), The Sleeping Beast Within (1960), Smashing the 0-Line (1960), Tokyo Knights (1961), The Man with a Shotgun) (1961) - RB UK Arrow (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Six Million Dollar Man The Complete Series [Blu-ray] (Various, 1974 - 78) Region Free DE Turbine (BEAVER REVIEW)

Three Films by Jia Zhangke [Blu-ray] - 24 City (2008) , A Touch of Sin (2013), Mountains May Depart (2015) - RB UK Arrow Academy (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Time Tunnel Complete Collection [Blu-ray] - RB UK Revelation Films Ltd (BEAVER REVIEW)

Woman Is the Future of Man, Tale of Cinema: Two Films by Hong Sangsoo [Blu-ray] (Sang-soo Hong, 2004, 2005) Region Free UK Arrow Academy (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)

 

Peter Yacavone

(1)  Ingmar Bergman's Cinema The Criterion Collection [Blu-ray] (30-disc/39 films, 248-page book) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW): No Contest- despite some transfer size issues (The Serpent’s Egg).
(2)
Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years. Vol. 2. Border Crossings: The Crime and Action Movies [Blu-ray] (Eight Hours of Terror (1957), The Sleeping Beast Within (1960), Smashing the 0-Line (1960), Tokyo Knights (1961), The Man with a Shotgun) (1961) - RB UK Arrow (BEAVER REVIEW): Astonishing gains for JP cinema fans from Arrow: 8 Hours of Terror alone is worth the price; even if Arrow needs more scholarly input on its Nikkatsu commentaries and bonuses- for instance, from me!
(3)
Méliès: Fairy Tales in Color [Blu-ray] (Georges Méliès, 1899-1909) Flicker Alley needs love for its selfless restoration work on silent and ‘lost’ classics (e.g. also the Man Who Cheated Himself). Please vote for them!
(4)
DOCTOR WHO: SEASON 19 aka DOCTOR WHO: PETER DAVISON SEASON ONE (BBC, ALL): HOW DOCTOR WHO (and anything else in the BBC archive) SHOULD BE TREATED: new high bit-rate transfers of the videotape masters combined with TRUE HD renderings of the filmed material. Gold standard. BBC IS FINALLY DOING SOMETHING RIGHT!!! Kudos Restoration Team!
(5) BATMAN THE ANIMATED SERIES
incl. MASK OF THE PHANTASM & SUB-ZERO (Warner Archive ALL): Dreams come true…A career-topping achievement for Warner Archive.
(6) COLUMBO: THE COMPLETE SEASON ONE incl. PILOT (Fabulous Films UK, R- B)
(BEAVER REVIEW): Where’s REGION 1???
(7)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers [Blu-ray] (Don Siegel, 1956) Olive Signature (BEAVER REVIEW)- FINALLY! Note to Olive: More Signatures Please!! (i.e. Force of Evil, Ramrod, Black Caesar, and Sturges’ Hallelujah Trail whose 2018 single-layer release was a disgrace ?)
(8)
The Awful Truth [Blu-ray] (Leo McCarey, 1937) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW): the definitive Hollywood sound-era comedy, full stop; lovely transfer.
(9)
Sam Fuller at Columbia 1937-1961 [Blu-ray] (IT HAPPENED IN HOLLYWOOD, 1937 - ADVENTURE IN SAHARA, 1938 - POWER OF THE PRESS, 1943 - SHOCKPROOF, 1949 - SCANDAL SHEET, - THE CRIMSON KIMONO, 1959 - UNDERWORLD U.S.A., 1961) Region FREE Indicator UK (BEAVER REVIEW)
(10)
The Night Stalker [Blu-ray] (John Llewellyn Moxey, 1972) Kino: Not only a little masterpiece in itself, but an example of how well Kino can do with their huge MGM/Fox/Disney/now Paramount catalog IF they put this kind of effort into each release!!
(11)SWORD OF SHERWOOD FOREST
(Terence Fisher, 1960) (Twilight Time ALL): The second-best Robin hood movie proves TT’s continuing relevance in giving a rare Region 1 debut to a little-seen Hammer classic.


Top 5 UHD Releases OF 2018

1.
2001: A Space Odyssey [4k UHD Blu-ray] (Stanley Kubrick, 1968) Warner Bros (BEAVER REVIEW)
2.
Groundhog Day
[4k UHD Blu-ray] (Harold Ramis, 1993) a shout-out to classics in 4K.
3. The Dark Crystal
[4k UHD Blu-ray] (Jim Henson, Frank Oz, 1982) Sony Pictures.
4. First Blood
(Ted Kotcheff, 1982) Studiocanal-good work Lionsgate keep it coming!!
5.
Predator [4k UHD Blu-ray] (John McTiernan, 1987) Fox Home Entertainment- another much needed remaster!

Colin Zavitz
DVDBeaver
VP of business development and versatile misc. stuff,
Toronto, Ontario

 

1. Zombie (Lucio Fulci, 1979) Blue Underground; Region ALL
2.
Night of the Living Dead [Blu-ray] (George A. Romero, 1968) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW)
3.
Suspiria [Blu-ray] (Dario Argento, 1977) Synapse Films (BEAVER REVIEW)
4.
The Old Dark House [Blu-ray] (James Whale, 1932) RB UK Eureka Entertainment (BEAVER REVIEW)
5.
Female Trouble [Blu-ray] (John Waters, 1974) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW)
6.
Zama [Blu-ray] (Lucrecia Martel, 2017) Strand Releasing
7.
The Passenger [Blu-ray] (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1975) Indicator UK (BEAVER REVIEW)
8.
Basket Case (Limited Edition) [Blu-ray] (Frank Henenlotter, 1982) Arrow Video US
9.
Next of Kin [Blu-ray] (Tony Williams, 1982) Umbrella
10.
The Incubus [Blu-ray(John Hough, 1982) Vinegar Syndrome (BEAVER REVIEW)

 

Top 5 Box Set Releases of 2018


1. Ingmar Bergman's Cinema The Criterion Collection
[Blu-ray] (30-disc/39 films, 248-page book) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
2.
Five Tall Tales: Budd Boetticher & Randolph Scott At Columbia, 1957-1960
[Blu-ray] (Ride Lonesome, The Tall T, Decision at Sundown, Buchanan Rides Alone and Comanche Station) - Region FREE UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW)
3.
William Castle at Columbia Volume One (The Tingler, 13 Ghosts, Homicidal, Mr. Sardonicus)
 [Blu-ray] (William Castle, Various) UK Indicator
4.
Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers [Blu-ray] (Various) Kino (BEAVER REVIEW)

5) Sam Fuller at Columbia 1937-1961 [Blu-ray] (IT HAPPENED IN HOLLYWOOD, 1937 - ADVENTURE IN SAHARA, 1938 - POWER OF THE PRESS, 1943 - SHOCKPROOF, 1949 - SCANDAL SHEET, - THE CRIMSON KIMONO, 1959 - UNDERWORLD U.S.A., 1961) Region FREE Indicator UK (BEAVER REVIEW)

Top 5 UHD Releases OF 2018


1. Murder on the Orient Express [4k UHD Blu-ray] (Kenneth Branagh, 2017) 20th Century Fox
2.
2001: A Space Odyssey [4k UHD Blu-ray] (Stanley Kubrick, 1968) Warner Bros (BEAVER REVIEW)
3.
The Big Lebowski [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, 1998) Universal Pictures (BEAVER REVIEW)
4.
Saving Private Ryan [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Steven Spielberg, 1998) Paramount (BEAVER REVIEW)
5. Star Wars: The Last Jedi [4k UHD Blu-ray] (Rian Johnson, 2017) RB UK Walt Disney


Honorable Mentions


Penitentiary [Blu-ray] (Jamaa Fanaka, 1979) Vinegar Syndrome (BEAVER REVIEW)
Scalpel [Blu-ray] (John Grissmer, 1977) RB UK Arrow Video (BEAVER REVIEW)
The Boneyard [Blu-ray] (James Cummins, 1991) Kino Lorber (BEAVER REVIEW)
A Fistful of Dynamite (aka Duck, You Sucker!) [Blu-ray] (Sergio Leone, 1971) Kino Lorber (BEAVER REVIEW)
The Crazies [Blu-ray] (George A. Romero, 1973) Arrow Video UK (BEAVER REVIEW)
The Color of Pomegranates [Blu-ray] (Sergei Parajanov, 1969) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
Derek Jarman Volume 1: 1972 -1986 [Blu-ray] (Jubilee, The Tempest, The Angelic Conversation, Caravaggio) RB UK BFI
The Maze 3-D [Blu-ray] (William Cameron Menzies, 1953) Kino (BEAVER REVIEW)
The Sacrifice (4K - Restored Special Edition) [Blu-ray] (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1986) Kino International (BEAVER REVIEW)
Coco [3D Blu-ray] (Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina, 2017) Disney
A Fistful of Dollars [Blu-ray] (Sergio Leone, 1964) Kino
Annihilation [Blu-ray] (Alex Garland, 2018) Paramount
The Last House on the Left [Blu-ray] (Wes Craven, 1972) RB UK Arrow Video (BEAVER REVIEW)
You Were Never Really Here [Blu-ray] (Lynne Ramsay, 2017) RB UK Studiocanal
You Were Never Really Here [Blu-ray] (Lynne Ramsay, 2017) Lionsgate
Blood Harvest [Blu-ray] (Bill Rebane, 1987) Vinegar Syndrome
Eyeball [Blu-ray] (Umberto Lenzi, 1975) RB UK 88 Films (BEAVER REVIEW)
The Tree of Life [Blu-ray] (Terrence Malick, 2011) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
Cabin Boy [Blu-ray] (Adam Resnick, 1994) Kino (BEAVER REVIEW)
Andrei Rublev [Blu-ray] (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1966) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
Daisies (Vera Chytilová, 1966) Second Run; Region ALL (BEAVER REVIEW)
Nightmare Beach (Umberto Lenzi, 1988) R0 88 Films UK
The Killing Kind [Blu-ray] (Curtis Harrington, 1973) Vinegar Syndrome
Torso [Blu-ray] (Sergio Martino, 1973) Arrow US (BEAVER REVIEW)
BlacKkKlansman [Blu-ray] (Spike Lee, 2018) Universal
The Last Movie [Blu-ray] (Dennis Hopper, 1971) Arbelos Films (BEAVER REVIEW)
The Killing of Sister George [Blu-ray] (Robert Aldrich, 1968) Kino (BEAVER REVIEW)

Sadly missed


Piranha Part Two: The Spawning [Blu-ray] (James Cameron, 1981) Shout! Factory (BEAVER REVIEW)
It's Pat: The Movie [Blu-ray] (Adam Bernstein, 1994) Kino
Ready Player One [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Steven Spielberg, 2018) Region Free
Phantom Thread [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2017) Universal
Images [Blu-ray] (Robert Altman, 1972) RB UK Arrow Video (BEAVER REVIEW)
Faces Places [Blu-ray] (JR, Agnès Varda, 2017) RB UK Curzon Artificial Eye
Meet Me in St. Louis [Blu-ray] (Vincente Minnelli, 1944) Region Free Warner Archive
Liquid Sky [Blu-ray] (Slava Tsukerman, 1982) Vinegar Syndrome
Braveheart [4k UHD Blu-ray] (Mel Gibson, 1995) Paramount
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers [Blu-ray] (Stanley Donen, 1954) Region Free Warner Archive
Xtro [Blu-ray] (Harry Bromley Davenport, 1982) Second Sight
Wendy and Lucy [Blu-ray] (Kelly Reichardt, 2008) Oscilloscope Laboratories
Laserblast [Blu-ray] (Michael Rae, 1978) Full Moon Features
The Deer Hunter - 40th Anniversary Edition [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Michael Cimino, 1978) UK Studiocanal
First Reformed [Blu-ray] (Paul Schrader, 2017) Lionsgate
Halloween [4K UHD Blu-ray] (John Carpenter, 1978) Lionsgate
Phantasm - Remastered Steelbook [Blu-ray] (Don Coscarelli, 1979) Well Go USA
Creepshow [Blu-ray] (George A. Romero, 1982) Shout! Factory
Cross of Iron [Blu-ray] (Sam Peckinpah, 1977) Henstooth Video
Night of the Living Dead [Blu-ray] (Tom Savini, 1990) Sony
Candyman [Blu-ray] (Bernard Rose, 1992) RB UK Arrow
Student Bodies [Blu-ray] (Mickey Rose, 1981) RB UK 88 Films
The Blood Island Collection [Blu-ray] (Brides of Blood, Mad Doctor of Blood island, Beast of Blood, Terro is a Man) - Severin Films

Hall of Shame


Bull Durham [Blu-ray] (Ron Shelton, 1988) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)
I Vitelloni [Blu-ray] (Federico Fellini, 1953) RB UK Cult Films (BEAVER REVIEW)
Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation [Blu-ray] (Kim Henkel, 1994) Shout! Factory
Sisters [Blu-ray] (Brian De Palma, 1972) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW
Rats: Night of Terror [Blu-ray] (Bruno Mattei, 1984) RB UK 88 Films
 

 

TOP SELECTIONS IN ORDER - Top 100 Voted Upon (minimum 3 separate votes required):

 

  Votes

           1.      The Magnificent Ambersons [Blu-ray] (Orson Welles, 1942) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

655

           2.      Night of the Demon [Blu-ray] (Jacques Tourneur, 1957) UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW)

  482

           3.      Andrei Rublev [Blu-ray] (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1966) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

  360

           4.      The Passenger [Blu-ray] (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1975) Indicator UK (BEAVER REVIEW

  279

           5.      The Color of Pomegranates (Sergei Parajanov, 1969); UK Second Sight; RB (BEAVER REVIEW)

  231

           6.      Invasion of the Body Snatchers [Blu-ray] (Don Siegel, 1956) Olive Signature (BEAVER REVIEW)

  215

           7.      Daisies (Vera Chytilová, 1966) Second Run; Region ALL (BEAVER REVIEW)

  199

           8.      The Passion of Joan of Arc [Blu-ray] (Carl Th. Dreyer, 1928) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW)

  194

           9.      The Tree of Life [Blu-ray] (Terrence Malick, 2011) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

  190

           10.    Night of the Living Dead [Blu-ray] (George A. Romero, 1968) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW)

  185

           11.    Zombie (Lucio Fulci, 1979) Blue Underground; Region ALL

  180

           12.    A Matter of Life and Death [Blu-ray] (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1946) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

  170

           13.    Distant Voices, Still Lives [Blu-ray] (Terence Davies, 1988) Arrow US (BEAVER REVIEW)

  168

           14.    The Changeling [Blu-ray] (Peter Medak, 1980) Severin Films (BEAVER REVIEW)

  167

           15.    The Old Dark House [Blu-ray] (James Whale, 1932) RB UK Eureka Entertainment (BEAVER REVIEW)

  164

           16.    Under Capricorn [Blu-ray] (Alfred Hitchcock, 1949) Kino Lorber (BEAVER REVIEW)

   134

           17.    Zama [Blu-ray] (Lucrecia Martel, 2017) Strand Releasing

   113

           18.    The Awful Truth [Blu-ray] (Leo McCarey, 1937) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

   109

           19.    The Thing from Another World [Blu-ray] (Howard Hawks, 1951) Warner Archive (BEAVER REVIEW)

   107

           20.    Scalpel [Blu-ray] (John Grissmer, 1977) RB UK Arrow Video (BEAVER REVIEW)

    109

           21.    Twelve Monkeys [Blu-ray] (Terry Gilliam, 1995) Arrow (BEAVER REVIEW)

    108

           22.    The Princess Bride [Blu-ray] (Rob Reiner, 1987) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

    105

           23.    The Big Country [Blu-ray] (William Wyler, 1958) Kino Lorber (BEAVER REVIEW)

    104

           24.    A Story from Chikamatsu [Blu-ray] (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1954) Criterion

    103

           25.    Some Like It Hot [Blu-ray] (Billy Wilder, 1959) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

    100

           26.    The Color of Pomegranates [Blu-ray] (Sergei Parajanov, 1969) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW))

    98

           27.    Images [Blu-ray] (Robert Altman, 1972) RB UK Arrow Video (BEAVER REVIEW)

    97

           28.    The Man Who Cheated Himself [Blu-ray] (Felix E. Feist, 1950) Flicker Alley (BEAVER REVIEW)

    94

           29.    A Raisin in the Sun [Blu-ray] (Daniel Petrie, 1961) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

    92

           30.    The Endless [Blu-ray] (Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead, 2017) Arrow Video UK (BEAVER REVIEW)

    90

           31.    The Quiet Earth [Blu-ray] (Geoff Murphy, 1985) RB UK Arrow (BEAVER REVIEW)

    84

           32.    Raw Deal [Blu-ray] (Anthony Mann, 1948) ClassicFlix (BEAVER REVIEW)

    83

           33.    A Fistful of Dynamite (aka Duck, You Sucker!) [Blu-ray] (Sergio Leone, 1971) Kino Lorber (BEAVER REVIEW)

    82

           34.    Gun Crazy [Blu-ray] (Joseph H. Lewis, 1950) Warner Archive (BEAVER REVIEW)

    80

           35.    The Woman in the Window [Blu-ray] (Fritz Lang, 1944) Kino Lorber (BEAVER REVIEW)

    77

           35.    The Sacrifice (4K - Restored Special Edition) [Blu-ray] (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1986) Kino International (BEAVER REVIEW) 

    76

           37.    The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes [Blu-ray] (Billy Wilder, 1970) RB UK Masters of Cinema (BEAVER REVIEW)

    75

           38.    First Reformed [Blu-ray] (Paul Schrader, 2017) Lionsgate

    72

           39.    Salvador [Blu-ray] (Oliver Stone, 1986) RB UK Eureka (BEAVER REVIEW) 

    70

           40.    Missing [Blu-ray] (Costa-Gavras, 1982) RB UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW)

    69

           41.    Maniac (William Lustig, 1980) Blue Underground

    68

           42.    Neon Bull [Blu-ray] (Gabriel Mascaro, 2015) Second Run (BEAVER REVIEW)

    67

           42.    The Collector [Blu-ray] (William Wyler, 1965) Region Free UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW)

    67

           44.    Don't Bother to Knock (Roy Ward Baker, 1952) Twilight Time, ALL (BEAVER REVIEW)

    65

           44.    Maborosi [Blu-ray] (Hirokazu Koreeda, 1995) Region FREE with English subtitles, Japan -Bandai Visual (BEAVER REVIEW)

    65

           46.    The Sea Hawk (Michael Curtiz, 1940), Warner Archive, RA

    59

           47.    Intimate Lighting [Blu-ray] (Ivan Passer, 1965) RB UK Second Run (BEAVER REVIEW)

    58

           48.    Lucky [Blu-ray] (John Carroll Lynch, 2017) RB UK Eureka Entertainment (BEAVER REVIEW)

    57

           49.    The Crime of Monsieur Lange [Blu-ray] (Jean Renoir, 1936) RB UK Studiocanal

    55

           49.    Gloria [Blu Ray] (John Cassevetes 1980) Twilight Time (BEAVER REVIEW)

    55

           51.    The Hanging Tree [Blu-ray] (Delmer Daves, 1959) Warner Archive (BEAVER REVIEW)

    54

           52.    The Dam Busters [Blu-ray] (Michael Anderson, 1955) RB UK Studiocanal

    53

           53.    Basket Case (Limited Edition) [Blu-ray] (Frank Henenlotter, 1982) Arrow Video US

    52

           53.    The Beautiful Troublemaker (La Belle Noiseuse) [Blu-ray] (Jacques Rivette, 1991) Cohen Pictures (BEAVER REVIEW)

    52

           55.    Village of the Damned [Blu-ray] (Wolf Rilla, 1960) Warner Archive (BEAVER REVIEW)

    48

           55.    Forty Guns [Blu-ray] (Samuel Fuller, 1957) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

    48

           57.    Last Year in Marienbad [Blu-ray] (Alain Resnais, 1961) RB UK Studiocanal

    45

           58.    The Cat o' Nine Tails [Blu-ray] (Dario Argento, 1971) RB UK Arrow (BEAVER REVIEW)

    43

           58.    The Curse of the Cat People [Blu-ray] (Gunther von Fritsch, Robert Wise, 1944) Shout! Factory (BEAVER REVIEW)

    43

           60.    The Last Movie [Blu-ray] (Dennis Hopper, 1971) Arbelos Films (BEAVER REVIEW)

    42

           61.    The Silence of the Lambs [Blu-ray] (Jonathan Demme, 1991) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW)

    41

           62.    Razorback [Blu-ray] (Russell Mulcahy, 1984) Umbrella (BEAVER REVIEW)

    40

           62.    What Have They Done to Your Daughters? [Blu-ray] (Massimo Dallamano, 1974) Arrow Video (BEAVER REVIEW)

    40

           62.    The Super Inframan [Blu-ray] (Shan Hua, 1975) RB UK 88 Films (BEAVER REVIEW)

    40

           65.    Irma la Douce [Blu-ray] (Billy Wilder, 1963) Kino (BEAVER REVIEW)

    39

           66.    Age of Consent [Blu-ray] (Michael Powell, 1969) Region Free UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW)

    38

           66.    Memories of Underdevelopment [Blu-ray] (Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, 1968) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

    38

           67.    Au hasard Balthazar [Blu-ray] (Robert Bresson, 1966) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW)

    37

           67.    The Last Hurrah (John Ford, 1958) (Twilight Time) (BEAVER REVIEW)

    37

           69.    Witness for the Prosecution [Blu-ray] (Billy Wilder, 1957) RB UK Eureka (BEAVER REVIEW)

    36

           70.    The Defiant Ones [Blu-ray] (Stanley Kramer, 1958) UK RB Eureka Entertainment (BEAVER REVIEW)

    35

           70.    Beyond a Reasonable Doubt [Blu-ray] (Fritz Lang 1956) Warner Archive (BEAVER REVIEW)

    35

           70.    King of Jazz [Blu-ray] (John Murray Anderson, 1930) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

    35

           70.    Faces Places [Blu-ray] (JR, Agnès Varda, 2017) RB UK Curzon Artificial Eye

    35

           75.    Suddenly, Last Summer [Blu-ray] (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1959) Indicator UK (BEAVER REVIEW)

    33

           75.    Miss Leslie's Dolls [Blu-ray] (Joseph P. Mawra, 1973) UK Network (BEAVER REVIEW)

    33

           77.    Inherit the Wind [Blu-ray] (Stanley Kramer, 1960) RB UK Eureka Entertainment (BEAVER REVIEW)

    30

           77.    Dead Man [Blu-ray] (Jim Jarmusch, 1995) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

    30

           77.    The Naked Prey [Blu-ray] (Cornel Wilde, 1965) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

    30

           77.    L'Eclisse [Blu-ray] (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1962) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW)

    30

           81.    The Barefoot Contessa [Blu-ray] (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1954) RB UK Masters of Cinema (BEAVER REVIEW)

    29

           82.    Model Shop (Jacques Demy, 1969) Twilight Time, ALL (BEAVER REVIEW)

    28

           83.    A Woman's Devotion [Blu-ray] (Paul Henreid, 1956) Kino (BEAVER REVIEW)

    27

           84.    Heaven Can Wait [Blu-ray] (Ernst Lubitsch, 1943) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

    25

           85.    Young Mr. Lincoln [Blu-ray] (John Ford, 1939) - Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

    24

           86.    The Great Silence (Sergio Corbucci, 1968) Film Movement; Region ALL (BEAVER REVIEW)

    22

           86.    Irma Vep [Blu-ray] (Olivier Assayas, 1996) RB UK Arrow Academy (BEAVER REVIEW)

    22

           88.    Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters [Blu-ray] (Paul Schrader, 1985) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW

    21

           88.    The Border [Blu-ray] (Tony Richardson, 1982) UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW)

    21

           88.    Shampoo [Blu-ray] (Hal Ashby, 1975) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

    21

           91.    The Naked and the Dead [Blu-ray] (Raoul Walsh, 1958) Warner Archive (BEAVER REVIEW)

    20

           91.    Seven Brides for Seven Brothers [Blu-ray] (Stanley Donen, 1954) Region Free Warner Archive

    20

           93.    sex, lies, and videotape [Blu-ray] (Steven Soderbergh, 1989) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

    19

           94.    Ministry of Fear [Blu-ray] (Fritz Lang, 1944) RB UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW)

    18

           94.    The Last House on the Left [Blu-ray] (Wes Craven, 1972) RB UK Arrow Video (BEAVER REVIEW)

    18

           94.    The Hired Hand [Blu-ray] (Peter Fonda, 1971) Arrow Academy (BEAVER REVIEW)

    18

           97.    The Witches [Blu-ray] (Mauro Bolognini, Vittorio De Sica, etc.,1967) Arrow UK

    15

           97.    Queen of Outer Space [Blu-ray] (Edward Bernds, 1958) Warner Archive (BEAVER REVIEW)

    15

           99.    Oleanna [Blu-ray] (David Mamet, 1994) RB UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW)

    12

           100.  Le mystère Picasso [Blu-ray] (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1956) - RB UK Arrow (BEAVER REVIEW)

    11

 

 

THE WINNERS - BOXSETS

 

 

First Place, to no one's surprise, is Criterion's Ingmar Bergman's Cinema. In honor of Ingmar Bergman’s 100th birthday, the Criterion Collection is proud to present the most comprehensive collection of his films ever released on home video.

Arranged as a curated film festival with 'opening' and 'closing' nights bookending double features and 'centerpiece' programs, this selection spans six decades and thirty-nine films on 30, Region FREE, Blu-rays—including such celebrated classics as The Seventh Seal, Persona, and Fanny and Alexander alongside previously unavailable works like Dreams, The Rite, and Brink of Life.

                      

 

 

Second Place is BFI's Woodfall: A Revolution in British Cinema. As the 1960s beckoned, a new mood swept through Britain. With anger mounting at an out-of-touch establishment, the era was reflected on screen by the rise of Woodfall Films. Founded in 1958 by director Tony Richardson, writer John Osbourne and producer Harry Saltzman, the company pioneered the British New Wave, defining an incendiary brand of social realism.

 

Films like Tom Jones (1963) then expanded the Woodfall slate in an irreverent, colourful direction that helped define swinging London further securing their extraordinary chapter in the history of British film. From 1958 to 1984 Woodfall produced twenty award-winning often genre defining films. Here, presented for the first time are eight of Woodfall's early ground-breaking films, many newly restored and remastered.

   

 

 

Third Place is Criterion's Dietrich and von Sternberg in Hollywood. Tasked by studio executives with finding the next great screen siren, visionary Hollywood director Josef von Sternberg joined forces with rising German actor Marlene Dietrich, kicking off what would become one of the most legendary partnerships in cinema history. Over the course of six films produced by Paramount in the 1930s, the pair refined their shared fantasy of pleasure, beauty, and excess. Dietrich’s coolly transgressive mystique was a perfect match for the provocative roles von Sternberg cast her in.

 

              

 

         

 

         

 

 

Fourth Place is Indicator's Sam Fuller at Columbia 1937-1961. The daring and provocative films of maverick American filmmaker Samuel Fuller (1912-1997) were some of the most hard-hitting, outspoken, politically progressive and visually audacious of the Hollywood studio era. This seven-film Blu-ray box set brings together Fuller's entire output as a writer and director for Columbia Pictures: It Happened in Hollywood (1937), Adventure in Sahara (1938), Power of the Press (1943), Shockproof (1949), Scandal Sheet (1952), The Crimson Kimono (1959) and Underworld U.S.A. (1961) This collectable four-disc box set also contains an array of new and archival extra features, limited edition booklets with newly commissioned essays, archival material, contemporary reviews, and full film credits.

   

                

     

 

 

 

Fifth Place is Indicator's Five Tall Tales: Budd Boetticher & Randolph Scott At Columbia, 1957-1960. Five classic, iconic and slyly subversive westerns collected on Blu-ray for the very first time: The Tall T (1957), Decision at Sundown (1957), Buchanan Rides Alone (1958), Ride Lonesome (1959) and Comanche Station (1960). Containing a wealth of new and archival extras including extensive interviews with director Budd Boetticher, expert audio commentaries, appreciations by filmmakers Martin Scorsese and Clint Eastwood, and new critical analyses by film critics Christopher Fraying, Edward Buscombe and Kim Newman this collectable five-disc box set also contains an 80-page book with newly commissioned essays, archival interviews and film credits.

 

                

 

 

BLU-RAYs OF THE YEAR

   
First Place is Criterion's The Magnificent Ambersons.  Orson Welles’s beautiful, nostalgia-suffused second feature—the subject of one of cinema’s greatest missing-footage tragedies—harks back to turn-of-the-twentieth-century Indianapolis, chronicling the inexorable decline of the fortunes of an affluent family. Adapted from an acclaimed Booth Tarkington novel and featuring restlessly inventive camera work and powerful performances from a cast including Joseph Cotten, Tim Holt, and Agnes Moorehead, the film traces the rifts deepening within the Amberson clan—at the same time as the forces of progress begin to transform the city they once ruled. Though RKO excised over forty minutes of footage, now lost to history, and added an incongruously upbeat ending, The Magnificent Ambersons is an emotionally rich family saga and a masterful elegy for a bygone chapter of American life.

         

 

 

In Second Place Indicator's Night of the Demon. Based on M R James' classic tale of terror, 'Casting the Runes', and adapted for the screen by regular Hitchcock collaborator Charles Bennett, Jacques Tourneur's (Cat People, I Walked with a Zombie, Out of the Past) Night of the Demon is considered to be one of the seminal horror films of Twentieth-Century cinema. Released on Blu-ray for the very first time in the UK, the film is presented here in four different versions, and is accompanied by an incredible array of new and archival special features. Also includes a Limited Edition exclusive double-sided poster and 80-page book. 

         

 

 

Third Place is Criterion's Blu-ray of Andrei Tarkovsky's Andrei Rublev. Tracing the life of a renowned icon painter, the second feature by Andrei Tarkovsky vividly conjures the murky world of medieval Russia. This dreamlike and remarkably tactile film follows Andrei Rublev as he passes through a series of poetically linked scenes—snow falls inside an unfinished church, naked pagans stream through a thicket during a torchlit ritual, a boy oversees the clearing away of muddy earth for the forging of a gigantic bell—gradually emerging as a man struggling mightily to preserve his creative and religious integrity. Appearing here in the director’s preferred 183-minute cut as well as the version that was originally suppressed by Soviet authorities, the masterwork Andrei Rublev is one of Tarkovsky’s most revered films, an arresting meditation on art, faith, and endurance.

         

 

 

Fourth Place is Indicator's Blu-ray of Michelangelo Antonioni's The Passenger. The director takes his own uniquely unanswerable and elliptical look at the basic precepts of identity and truth. Character study, suspense and road picture wrapped up into one intentionally-paced masterpiece of pure cinema. Not unlike Antonioni's L'Avventura and Blow-Up we are introduced to a mystery - soon to uncover an even deeper one hidden under its emotional surface. An international reporter (another of Antonioni's working-class professional heroes) David Locke, played by a young-ish Jack Nicholson, chances upon the circumstance to switch identities with a similar looking guest of the Hotel he is staying at in Africa. The doppelganger is deceased on his bed. The switch is easy... too easy.

         

 

 

Fifth Place is Second Sight's The Colour of Pomegranates - Sergei Parajanov’s celebrated masterpiece paints an astonishing portrait of the 18th century Armenian poet Sayat Nova, the ‘King of Songs’. Parajanov’s aim was not a conventional biography but a cinematic expression of his work, resulting in an extraordinary visual poem. Key moments in his subject’s life are illustrated through a series of exquisitely orchestrated tableaux filled with rich colour and stunning iconography, each scene a celluloid painting alive with stylised movement.

 

           

 

 

Sixth Place is Olive Film's The Invasion of the Body Snatchers. There's something strange going on in Santa Mira. Children don't recognize their parents. Husbands have become estranged from their wives. Mass hysteria? Mass alienation more likely. Dr Kevin McCarthy discovers the secret: pod people are colonizing the earth, taking human form but dispensing with the soul. Shot in just 19 days, Siegel's economical adaptation of a Jack Finney story (script by Daniel Mainwaring) is one of the most resonant sci-fi movies, and one of the simplest. It has been interpreted as an allegory against McCarthyism, though it could equally stand as anti-Communist. (In his book A Siegel Film, the director has nothing to say on the matter.) It's still a chilling picture, gaining over Phil Kaufman's smart remake by virtue of its intimate small town setting, and it has one of the greatest endings ever filmed.

 

                

 

 

Seventh Place is Second Run's Daisies. Vera Chytilová's classic of surrealist cinema is a satirical, wild and irreverent story of teenage rebellion. Two young women rebel against a degenerate and oppressive society, attacking symbols of wealth and bourgeois culture. A riotous, punk-rock poem of a film that is both hilarious and mind-warpingly innovative, Daisies was banned in native Czechoslovakia and director Vera Chytilová was forbidden to work until 1975.  

        

 

 

In Eight Place is Criterion's Blu-ray of Carl Th. Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc. Spiritual rapture and institutional hypocrisy come to stark, vivid life in one of the most transcendent masterpieces of the silent era. Chronicling the trial of Joan of Arc in the days leading up to her execution, Danish master Carl Theodor Dreyer depicts her torment with startling immediacy, employing an array of techniques including expressionistic lighting, interconnected sets, and painfully intimate close-ups to immerse viewers in her subjective experience. Anchoring Dreyer's audacious formal experimentation is a legendary performance by Renée Falconetti, whose haunted face channels both the agony and the ecstasy of martyrdom.

.

            

 

 

Ninth Place is Criterion's 4K Restoration of Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life. Four decades into an already legendary career, Terrence Malick realized his most rapturous vision to date, tracing a story of childhood, wonder, and grief to the outer limits of time and space. Reaching back to the dawn of creation, Malick sets a story of boyhood memories on a universal scale, charting the coming of age of an awestruck child (newcomer Hunter McCracken) in Texas in the 1950s, as he learns to navigate the extremes of nature and grace represented by his bitter, often tyrannical father (Brad Pitt) and his ethereal, nurturing mother (Jessica Chastain, in her breakout role). Shot with nimble attention to life’s most fleeting moments by Emmanuel Lubezki, the Palme d’Or–winning The Tree of Life marks the intimately personal, cosmically ambitious culmination of Malick’s singular approach to filmmaking.

 

             

 

 

Tenth Place is Criterion's Blu-ray of George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead. Shot outside Pittsburgh on a shoestring budget, by a band of filmmakers determined to make their mark, Night of the Living Dead, directed by horror master George A. Romero, is a great story of independent cinema: a midnight hit turned box-office smash that became one of the most influential films of all time. A deceptively simple tale of a group of strangers trapped in a farmhouse who find themselves fending off a horde of recently dead, flesh-eating ghouls, Romero’s claustrophobic vision of a late-1960s America literally tearing itself apart rewrote the rules of the horror genre, combined gruesome gore with acute social commentary, and quietly broke ground by casting a black actor (Duane Jones) in its lead role. Stark, haunting, and more relevant than ever, Night of the Living Dead is back.

             

 

 

Label Results

 

Top Labels (total votes over 100)


#1 - Criterion (2153) 
#2 - Indicator (878)

#3 - Kino Lorber (577)

#4 - Arrow Video (549)
#5 - Eureka - including MoC (338)
#6 - Warner (318)
#7 - Second Run (268)
#8 - BFI (239)

 

Once again Criterion just have so many impressive releases, but congratulations to Indicator who vaulted over Kino and Arrow to be very respectable number 2 to Criterion. Honorable mention (in no order): Second Run, Synapse, Lionsgate, Twilight Time, Vinegar Syndrome, Olive, Studio Canal (UK), Severin, Artificial Eye, Signal One, Oscilloscope, Network, Shout! Factory, Vinegar Syndrome, Universal, Sony and Cohen Media...

 

 

Film Noir on Blu-ray

2018 is another great year for Film Noir on Blu-ray. Gun Crazy finally joined the superior media from Warner Archive. Raw Deal (ClassicFlix), The Woman in the Window (Kino Lorber), and Fritz Lang's last American films - While the City Sleeps and Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. (Warner Archive), got nice upgrades on Blu-ray. Moonrise (Criterion) and I Walk Alone (Kino Lorber) made their digital debut on both disc media. The Man Who Cheated Himself (Flicker Alley) and Highway Dragnet (Kino Lorber) were saved from public domain purgatory.
UK keeps producing great releases as well -
Sam Fuller at Columbia set (Indicator) and No Way Out (Eureka); Four Film Noirs from Arrow Academy's last year highly recommended boxset, got individual releases in 2018.
In noir subgenres, Gothic Noir had a great Blu-ray year - Dragonwyck (Twilight Time), Footsteps in the Fog (Indicator), The Spiral Staircase (Kino Lorber).

2019 is already looking to be a promising year with a few highly desired titles already announced for the first quarter of the year -
Notorious and Detour (Criterion)
My Name Is Julia Ross, So Dark the Night, and Phantom Lady (Arrow Academy)
Desert Fury (Kino Lorber)
Laura and Human Desire (Masters of Cinema/Eureka)  

CLICK COVERS:

                           

-Gregory Meshman

'Dark Cinema' released on Blu-ray in 2018:

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (Fritz Lang, 1956) Warner Archive

The Big Combo (Joseph H. Lewis, 1955) R0 UK Arrow Academy

Black Widow (Nunnally Johnson, 1954) Twilight Time

The Blue Dahlia (George Marshall, 1946) Shout! Factory

The Crimson Kimono (Samuel Fuller, 1957) R0 UK Indicator (Powerhouse Films)
Criss Cross (Robert Siodmak, 1949) R0 Fr Elephant Films 
The Dark Mirror
 (Robert Siodmak
, 1950) R0 UK Arrow Academy
Don't Bother to Knock  (Roy Ward Baker, 1952) Twilight Time

Down 3 Dark Streets (Arnold Laven, 1954) ClassicFlix 

Dragonwyck (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1946) Twilight Time

Female on the Beach (Joseph Pevney, 1955) Kino Lorber

Five Steps to Danger (Henry S. Kesler, 1957) ClassicFlix

Footsteps in the Fog (Arthur Lubin, 1955) R0 UK Indicator (Powerhouse Films)

Force of Evil (Abraham Polonsky, 1948) R0 UK Arrow Academy

Girl in Black Stockings, The (Howard W. Koch, 1957) Kino Lorber

Gun Crazy (Joseph H. Lewis, 1950) Warner Archive

Guns, Girls, and Gangsters (Edward L. Cahn, 1959) Kino Lorber

Highway Dragnet (Nathan Juran, 1954) Kino Lorber

I, Jane Doe (John H. Auer, 1948) Kino Lorber

I Walk Alone (Byron Haskin, 1947) Kino Lorber

Lisbon (Ray Milland, 1956) Kino Lorber

The Man Who Cheated Himself (Felix E. Feist, 1950) Flicker Alley

The Man Who Watched Trains Go By (aka Paris Express) (Harold French, 1952) ClassicFlix

Ministry of Fear (Fritz Lang, 1944) RB Indicator (Powerhouse Films)UK

Moonrise (Frank Borzage, 1948) The Criterion Collection

No Orchids for Miss Blandish (St. John Legh Clowes, 1948) Kino Lorber

No Way Out (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950) RB UK Eureka (Masters of Cinema) 

Odds Against Tomorrow (Robert Wise, 1959) Olive Films

Raw Deal (Anthony Mann, 1948) ClassicFlix

Scandal Sheet (Phil Karlson, 1952) R0 UK Indicator (Powerhouse Films)
Secret Beyond the Door (Fritz Lang, 1947) R0 UK Arrow Academy 

Shockproof 
(Douglas Sirk, 1949) R0 UK Indicator (Powerhouse Films
)

The Spiral Staircase (Robert Siodmak, 1946) Kino Lorber

A Strange Adventure (William Witney, 1956) Kino Lorber

Town on Trial (John Guillermin, 1957) R0 UK Indicator (Powerhouse Films) 
Underworld U.S.A.  (Samuel Fuller, 1961) Twilight Time / R0 UK Indicator (Powerhouse Films) 

Vice Raid (Edward L. Cahn, 1960) Kino Lorber

While the City Sleeps (Fritz Lang, 1956) Warner Archive

The Woman in the Window (Fritz Lang, 1944) Kino Lorber

A Woman's Devotion (Paul Henreid, 1956) Kino Lorber

 

Giallo on Blu-ray in 2018

 

The term "giallo" (translated literally as "yellow") refers to a particular cinematic form of, mostly, Italian-produced murder mystery films that can blur the line between art and exploitation. There are new Giallo Blu-ray releases this past year:..

 

The Case of the Bloody Iris (Giuliano Carnimeo, 1972) Shameless

The Case of the Scorpion's Tail (Sergio Martino, 1971) Arrow Video UK/US

The Cat O' Nine Tails (Dario Argento, 1971) Arrow Video UK/US

Cold Eyes of Fear (Enzo G. Castellari, 1971) R0 Screenbound Pictures UK

Death Laid an Egg (Giulio Questi, 1968) RB Nucleus UK

Death Smiles on a Murderer (Joe D'Amato, 1973) Arrow Video UK/US

Deep Red (Dario Argento, 1975) Arrow Video US

Eyeball (Umberto Lenzi, 1975) R0 88 Films UK

Giallo in Venice (Mario Landi, 1979) Scorpion Releasing

Murderock (Lucio Fulci, 1984) Scorpion Releasing

Nightmare Beach (Umberto Lenzi, 1988) R0 88 Films UK

Opera (Dario Argento, 1987) Scorpion Releasing

Paranoia (Umberto Lenzi, 1969) RB X-Rated Kult Video Germany

Perversion Story (Lucio Fulci, 1969) Mondo Macabro

The Pyjama Girl Case (Flavio Mogherini, 1977) Arrow Video UK/US

Red Rings of Fear (Alberto Negrin, 1978) Scorpion Releasing

Seven Blood Stained Orchids (Umberto Lenzi, 1972) Code Red/Kino Lorber

Short Night of Glass Dolls (Aldo Lado, 1971) Twilight Time

Torso (Sergio Martino, 1973) Arrow Video US

What Have They Done to Your Daughters? (Massimo Dallamano, 1971) Arrow Video US
 


 

 

The new 4K UHD format requires both a 4K TV and 4K UHD Player. Ultra HD Blu-ray discs are incompatible with existing Blu-ray players, although the 4K UHD Players are backwards compatible (The Oppo Digital UDP-203 will play 4K UHD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD, DVD-Audio, SACD, and CD.) The format currently supports three disc capacities, each with their own data rate: 50 GB with 82 Mbit/s, 66 GB with 108 Mbit/s, and 100 GB with 128 Mbit/s. There is content available from Sony, Lionsgate, Warner Bros. 20th Century Fox, Paramount Home Media Distribution, and Walt Disney Studios. It destroys streaming in terms of quality, this format is Region FREE playable worldwide plus more broadcast is going the 4K route - notably for live sports. This is different from 4K restored Blu-ray transfers which are becoming more common from Criterion, Arrow and others. As stated above, DVDBeaver has purchased a OLED65 LG TV with Dolby Vision + HDR (increasing the color depth to 10-bit per color) plus a versatile Oppo Digital UDP-203 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player. But we have not reviewed any UHD titles to date. Predictably this format is superior to Blu-ray (3,840 x 2,160 resolution) and has initially gravitated to releasing popular, modern, action and visually dynamic film in this disc format (see the majority below). We hope to see some Around the World in Eighty Days (1956), South Pacific (1958), Ben-Hur (1959), West Side Story (1961), Mutiny on the Bounty (1962), It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), Cleopatra (1963), The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), My Fair Lady (1964), The Sound of Music (1965), Airport (1970), and Patton (1970) in this format in the near future.

 

Here are a small sampling of the more interesting 2018 4K UHD releases (CLICK COVERS for more information):

 

 

Here are only some of the 4K UHD tiles that came out in 2018:

 

2 Fast 2 Furious [4K UHD Blu-ray] (John Singleton, 2003) Universal 

3:10 to Yuma [4K UHD Blu-ray] (James Mangold, 2007) Region Free UK Lionsgate

10 Cloverfield Lane [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Dan Trachtenberg, 2016) Paramount

2001: A Space Odyssey [4k UHD Blu-ray] (Stanley Kubrick, 1968) Warner Bros (BEAVER REVIEW)

American Psycho [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Mary Harron, 2000) Region Free UK Lionsgate

Ant-Man and the Wasp [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Peyton Reed, 2018) Region Free UK Disne

Arrival [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Denis Villeneuve, 2016) UK eOne

Avengers Assemble [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Joss Whedon, 2012) UK Walt Disney

Avengers: Age of Ultron [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Joss Whedon, 2015) UK Walt Disney

Avengers: Infinity War [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, 2018) Region Free UK Disney

Bad Boys [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Michael Bay, 1995) Region Free UK Sony

Bad Boys II [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Michael Bay, 2003) Region Free UK Sony

Batman: Gotham by Gaslight [4k UHD Blu-ray] (Sam Liu, 2018) Warner Bros.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Zack Snyder, 2016) Warner Bros.

The Big Lebowski [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, 1998) Universal Pictures (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Big Lebowski (2-disc) [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, 1998) Universal Pictures (BEAVER REVIEW)

BlacKkKlansman [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Spike Lee, 2018) Universal

Black Panther [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Ryan Coogler, 2018) Walt Disney

Blue Planet II - TV Mini-Series [4K UHD Blu-ray] (David Attenborough,2017–2018) BBC

Braveheart [4k UHD Blu-ray] (Mel Gibson, 1995) Paramount

Cliffhanger [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Renny Harlin, 1993) Region Free UK Studiocanal

The Commuter [4k UHD Blu-ray] (Jaume Collet-Serra, 2018) Lionsgate

Constantine: City of Demons [4k UHD Blu-ray] - Warner

The Dark Crystal [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Jim Henson, Frank Oz, 1982) Sony Pictures

The Dark Knight [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Christopher Nolan, 2008) Region Free UK Warner Bros.

The Dark Knight Rises [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Christopher Nolan, 2012) Region Free UK Warner Bros

Darkest Hour [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Joe Wright, 2017) Universal Pictures

Deadpool 2 [4K UHD Blu-ray] (David Leitch, 2018) 20th Century Fox

The Deer Hunter - 40th Anniversary Edition [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Michael Cimino, 1978) UK Studiocanal

Die Hard 30th Anniversary [4K UHD Blu-ray] (John McTiernan, 1988) 20th Century Fox

Downsizing [4k UHD Blu-ray] (Alexander Payne, 2017) Paramount

The Equalizer [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Antoine Fuqua, 2014) Sony Pictures

The Equalizer 2 [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Antoine Fuqua, 2018) Region Free Sony

Escape from New York [4K UHD Blu-ray] (John Carpenter, 1981) Region Free UK Studiocanal

The Fast and the Furious [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Rob Cohen, 2001) Universal

The Fog - Collector's Edition [4K UHD Blu-ray] (John Carpenter, 1980) Region Free UK Studiocanal

Forrest Gump [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Robert Zemeckis, 1994) Region Free UK Paramount

Fury [4K UHD Blu-ray] (David Ayer, 2014) Sony

Game of Thrones - The Complete 1st Season [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Various, 2011) DE Warner Home Video

Gladiator [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Ridley Scott, 2000) UK Universal

The Greatest Showman [4k UHD Blu-ray] (Michael Gracey, 2017) 20th Century Fox

Halloween [4K UHD Blu-ray] (John Carpenter, 1978) Lionsgate

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Tommy Wirkola, 2013) Region Free UK Paramoun

Hereditary [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Ari Aster, 2018) Lionsgate

Hotel Artemis [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Drew Pearce, 2018) Region Free Global Road Entertainment

The Incredible Hulk [4k UHD Blu-ray] (Louis Leterrier, 2008) Universal Pictures Entertainment

Jack Reacher [4k UHD Blu-ray] (Christopher McQuarrie, 2012) Region Free Paramount

Jurassic Park [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Steven Spielberg, 1993) DE Universal Germany

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom [4K UHD Blu-ray] (J.A. Bayona, 2018) Universal Pictures

Jurassic Park 25th Anniversary Collection [4k UHD Blu-ray] (Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park III, Jurassic World) Universal Pictures Entertainment

Justice League [4k UHD Blu-ray] (Zack Snyder, 2017) Warner

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Jan de Bont, 2003) Paramount Home Video

Law Abiding Citizen [4K UHD Blu-ray]  (F. Gary Gray, 2009) Lionsgate

Matrix Revolutions [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Lana and Lilly Wachowski, 2003) Warner Bros.

Matrix Reloaded [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Lana and Lilly Wachowski, 2003) Warner Bros.

The Meg [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Jon Turteltaub, 2018) Warner Bros

Mission: Impossible [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Brian De Palma, 1996) Paramount

Mission: Impossible II [4K UHD Blu-ray] (John Woo, 2000) Paramount

Mission: Impossible III [4K UHD Blu-ray] (J.J. Abrams, 2006) Paramount

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Brad Bird, 2011) Paramount

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Christopher McQuarrie, 2015) Paramount

Mission: Impossible - Fallout [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Christopher McQuarrie, 2018) Paramount

Murder on the Orient Express [4k UHD Blu-ray] (Kenneth Branagh, 2017) 20th Century Fox

Only the Brave (aka. No Way Out) [4k UHD Blu-ray] (Joseph Kosinski, 2017) Region Free DE Studiocanal

Phantom Thread [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2017) Universal

Philadelphia [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Jonathan Demme, 1993) Sony

Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II: The Collection [4K UHD Blu-ray] (David Attenborough, 2006, 2016) BBC Studios

The Purge [4k UHD Blu-ray] (James DeMonaco, 2013) Universal Pictures

The Purge: Anarchy [4K UHD Blu-ray] (James DeMonaco, 2014) Universal

The Purge: Election Year [4k UHD Blu-ray] (James DeMonaco, 2016) Universal Pictures

The Quick and the Dead [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Sam Raimi, 1995) Region Free Sony

Rambo: First Blood [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Ted Kotcheff, 1982) Region Free UK Studiocanal

Ready Player One [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Steven Spielberg, 2018) Region Free

Robin Hood [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Ridley Scott, 2010) Universal

Saving Private Ryan [4K UHD Blu-ray](Steven Spielberg, 1998) Region Free UK Paramount (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Shape of Water [4k UHD Blu-ray] 20th Century Fox

Sherlock: Season One [4k UHD Blu-ray] (Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat, 2010) BBC Studios

Schindler's List [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Steven Spielberg, 1993) Universal

Shutter Island [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Martin Scorsese, 2010) UK Region Free Paramount

Sicario 2: Soldado [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Stefano Sollima, 2018) Sony Pictures

Sicario: Day of the Soldado [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Stefano Sollima, 2018) Lionsgate

Sicario: Day of the Soldado - Steelbook [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Stefano Sollima, 2018) Region Free UK Lionsgate

Solo: A Star Wars Story [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Ron Howard, 2018) Region Free UK Disney

Source Code [4k UHD Blu-ray] (Duncan Jones, 2011) Lionsgate

Star Wars: The Last Jedi [4k UHD Blu-ray] (Rian Johnson, 2017) RB UK Walt Disney

Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Sam Liu, 2018) Warner Bros

Superman [4K UHD Blu-ray] [(Richard Donner, 1978) Warner UK

They Live – Collector’s Edition [4K UHD Blu-ray] (John Carpenter, 1988) Region Free UK Studiocanal

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri [4K Ultra Blu-ray] (Martin McDonagh, 2017) 20th Century Fox

Tomb Raider [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Roar Uthaug, 2018) Region Free Warner Home Video

Venom [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Ruben Fleischer, 2018) Region Free Sony

Westworld: Season 2: The Door [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Various, 2018) Warner Bros.

Your Name [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Makoto Shinkai, 2016) DE Universum Film

 

 

Best Cover Designs: Another year for unique, interesting and artistic covers! Twilight Time and Arrow are fan favorites with Criterion, Kino, Masters of Cinema, Indicator and a few other labels getting a a fair share of votes. So many inventive covers, often chosen from extensive, artistic, old poster designs. Many are collectable in their own right. NOTE: In random order! (each received 2 or more votes!)

 

 

 

Notable Rants and Praise

 

DVDBeaver-ites have a significant voice both with our requests for films to Blu-ray and our complaints of transfer and authoring errors.  Here are short comments from a variety of balloters, in no order:

 

 

Frequent comments:

 

Far less complaints this year - there are more Region FREE Blu-ray releases (thanks Indicator, Twilight Time etc.), more Criterion in the UK, interlaced transfers are the rarity, astute collectors are aware that European TV broadcast films should be in 25 fps to adhere to their original presentation speed, commentaries are way up (thank you Kino!), as are dual-layering and high bitrates - we continue to like white font with slim black border subtitles (can be seen in any background), we don't like the 'shouting' uppercase-letter (and sometimes bright yellow and located higher than usual) subtitles remain a constant frustration for many.

 

Overwhelming kudos to Kat Ellinger, Tim Lucas, Lee Gambin etc. for their excellent commentaries and analysis. NOTE: All three are also members of DVDBeaver's Facebook group! Come join us!

 

Teal-leaning Blu-ray colors still surface although with less frequency than in previous years. They are glaringly obvious when they do crop up.

 

 

 

Bests, 1 Worst & A Wishlist

1. Most attractive slipcover: the see-through plastic O-sleeve for Criterion’s sex, lies, and videotape.

2. Best-designed booklets: the stapled faux shooting script of Criterion”s The Magnificent Ambersons; the clothbound digibook of Criterion’s The Princess Bride.

3. Best feature-length profiles (as extras): 'Harry Stanton: Partly Fiction,' on Eureka!’s Lucky; 'Signed: Lino Brocka' on Criterion’s Manila in the Claws of Light; ‘Jimmy Murakami: Non-Alien,’ on BFI’s When the Wind Blows.

4. Commentaries: A nice trend is the feature-length vintage audio tracks by Powerhouse/Indicator (e.g. Fritz Lang on Ministry of Fear, Costa-Gavras on Missing) and BFI (e.g. Donald Sutherland on Eye of the Needle, Paul Schrader on The Comfort of Strangers, Michael Balcon on They Came to a City).

5. Best new documentary on film history: Rüdiger Suchsland’s Hitler’s Hollywood, along with his earlier doc From Caligari to Hitler, in the same Eureka! dual-format edition.

6. Best BD upgrades of old TV mini-series: Fassbinder’s Berlin Alexanderplatz (Second Sight), and Reitz’s Heimat: A Chronicle of Germany (Second Sight).

7. Music: Best vintage soundtracks: John Lewis’s on Olive Films’s Odds Against Tomorrow and the ‘40s and ‘50s tunes on Terence Davies’ Distant Voices, Still Lives (BFI or Arrow Academy). Best new score: Anoushka Shankar’s for BFI’s Shiraz. Best re-recording: John Lanchbery’s reconstruction of Joseph Carl Briel’s original score for Twilight Time’s The Birth of a Nation.

8. Most illuminating short extras: an appreciation of Orry-Kelly’s costumes on Criterion's Some Like It Hot; a look at the art of subtitling on Criterion’s Panique; William Macy interviewed on Powerhouse/Indicator’s Oleanna.

9. Most promising new distributor: 101 Films (for its Black Label titles, e.g. The Grifters and Black Book). Most disappointing: Cult Films (poor transfers of Antonioni’s I Vitelloni and Fellini’s Juliet of the Spirits).

10. Wishlist for 2019: A boxset of Marcel Ophuls' documentaries; a DVD of Billy Wilder’s final film, Buddy, Buddy; and a Blu-ray of Jules Dassin’s Never on Sunday. Still hoping and waiting for a BD of Philip Kaufmann’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being and all 269 minutes of Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America.

 

Raves: *Arrow once again threatens to beat Criterion as the best BD label in the world, with their curated box sets (SUZUKI, GUITRY, DE PALMA) and loving individual transfers (12 MONKEYS), without the penny-pinching on transfer size that sometimes hampers Criterion, despite their astonishing 2018 line-up (e.g. DIETRICH/VON STERNBERG).

*The Film Detective has been planning to release Rowland V. Lee/Charles Laughton’s CAPTAIN KIDD (1945) for over a year now!!! HOW ABOUT 100 FACEBOOK POSTS TO ENCOURAGE THEM???!!!

*BFI gave us the WOODFALL set this year (where is R-1???), but, even better, their 2019 promises some HD restored classics from the vast BBC archives such as Rogue Male (1976). Please keep up this good work!

*Second Run gave us several beguiling masterpieces (e.g. Vampir Cuadacuc)- all REGION FREE!

*The BBC deserves a #2 spot for their ‘controversial’ DOCTOR WHO: SEASON 12 aka TOM BAKER SEASON ONE, IF IN FACT they did the right thing by going back to the original video masters for a new high bit-rate transfer. I’m still trying to find out if they did.
 

Rants: Eagerly awaiting KUNDUN from KinoLorber. Any day, right?

- Somebody really needs to give the catalogs for Paramount and 20th Century Fox the kind if love we know they deserve. I'd kill for a blu of RAGTIME, but Paramount is barely functional as a studio.

-Disney, FFS, a bunch of us would love your catalog titles on the open market. We have money.

- Severin, still waiting for THE CHANGELING situation to sort itself out.

- I regret that I can give no honor to Film Movement or Vingear Syndrome. I only have ten slots! Forgive me!

- Lastly, lots of good stuff out there, I wish I had enough money for it all.
Rant

I know you have better things to do than listen to insane ramblings, so I'll keep this short.

I mentioned how bad it was that Paramount and 20th Century Fox were ignoring their catalog titles, but another prominent studio which is almost non-existent on the Blu-ray landscape is Miramax.
Between the departure from Disney and subsequent licensing of the Miramax library to LionsGate, the vast holdings which made up some of the most fascinating films of the 1990s are almost gone from the available landscape. While I've no love for either of the Weinsteins, they knew how to get good movies out there and now those movies are out of the cultural conversation. Sure there's plenty of attention to Tarantino, but other movies like SMOKE or MALENA have a very low profile.

Okay, can't wait for the final ballot results
Have a great 2019!

 

 

Biggest rave this year would be for Blue Underground. First, they put out the definitive release of Fulci’s Zombie, and then, they followed up with a restoration of Maniac that can only be described as beautiful (which I never thought I’d say about that particular movie). I also wanted to commend Koch Media for their release of Dead Ringers. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best I’ve seen so far on blu-ray. The framing is still slightly off compared to the director-approved Criterion DVD, but it’s much closer than either of the versions on the Shout Factory release. And they fixed the image stability issues that plagued those Shout Factory transfers. The year also brought a couple more favorites of mine in their best presentation so far on blu-ray. Criterion’s Female Trouble restoration looks fantastic, and Shout Factory’s Exorcist II: The Heretic easily beats the previous Warner’s release. I threw the Grease Collection on my list not because of Grease, which still has some issues, but because Grease 2 is finally on blu-ray and looking great. And a special mention for Arrow on their release of Scalpel, first of all because the bump up in picture quality compared to my old bootleg VHS transfer actually improved my overall opinion of the movie, but mostly because they provided two versions: one with the DP’s grading and one with a more traditional grading. Regardless of which you prefer, it’s always nice to have choices, so thanks, Arrow!

So my biggest rant this year would have to be Revenge of the Creature from Universal’s Creature from the Black Lagoon – Complete Legacy Collection. I was really excited about this one because I finally got a 3D setup last year and really wanted to watch Revenge of the Creature in real 3D for the first time. But it turned out to be a botch job with the two images playing side by side on most people’s sets, mine included. After many complaints, Universal provided a replacement disc, but even though the 3D plays okay now, the 2D image looks very soft compared to The Creature Walks Among Us on the same disc (which alone was a poor decision – a 3D movie should really get its own disc). I initially thought to myself that this must just be how the movie is supposed to look, but when someone on another site stated that it was the version 3-D Film Archive wanted, Robert Furmanek replied, “No, it’s not. Sorry but that’s all I’m going to say at this time.” So it looks like Universal botched this release twice! Another big rant this year is Warner’s release of Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, which has a large oval of brighter image visible on many scenes. I’m not sure what happened there, but I returned my copy, as I found it too distracting. One last gripe – I really hope Criterion stops with the cardboard Digipaks. Night of the Living Dead and Silence of the Lambs are both great releases in terms of the discs, but the packaging is flimsy and I’m worried about longevity. I really prefer a plastic case for the protection it provides.


I did love the cover for Criterion's release of A Raisin in the Sun (1961). It encapsulated perfectly the subject matter for the film.

 

 

Rant : in 2018, it's absolutely incredible to stilk stumble on discs released incorrectly in 1080i50 (wrong speed), or using decade old DVD era HD masters, or encoded in a visibly problematic way. All these are known to the public : why can't professionals handle that then ? Putting back PSF 25fps masters to 1080p24 can be done in eac3to with 3 lines of code. Using DVD era masters just negates the premium performances of BD over DVD. Priorising the movie over extras in tthe encoding strategy is common sense. Yet, some labels and studios just seem like they don't care and too often, people and even reviewers let this pass.
This should end now.
 

 

Indicator has vaulted to first place in the field of specialty AV publishers, with most of their diversified range of titles being complemented by an impressive, sometimes staggering, number of extras; they can rely on a recurring team of very worthy contributors like Kim Newman, Jonathan Rigby, Kat Ellinger, Christopher Frayling, etc. We can only hope they can sustain this output of high quality material and that their more commercially successful titles will allow them to keep putting out such well conceived releases, some of which certainly are of niche appeal.

 

 

 

The past year was an intense learning experience for myself with regards to DVDBeaver. Gary is an absolute mensch with the patience of an angel. I finally think that I am getting the hang of it, well at least some of it. Also, 2018 was a wonderful year for cinema on physical media.
The best movie that I saw all year was Lucrecia Martel's "Zama". If I could recommend one film this year, this is the one (with the caveat that the Blu-ray(s) are bare bones affairs, though with a decent digital transfers). As far as transfers go, Blue Underground's fabulous 3-disc Blu-ray of Lucio Fulci's "Zombie" is a thing of beauty. Though not Casablanca by any means, Fulci's wildly bizarre gorefest gets the royal treatment with a transfer worthy of, say, Casablanca.
4K UHD Blu-ray discs, while still in their infancy, are showing more and more promise. Dolby Vision and HDR requires a capable set-up but, boy-oh-boy is it ever worth every penny. Dolby Atmos is also an increasingly interesting feature that achieves a more immersive sound than your typical surround sound, but of course, you will also need a setup that is Atmos-friendly.
Indicator released some lovely discs this year, including some wonderful boxsets. Criterion's Bergman release is a mammoth achievement, even when consumed over a relatively small amount of time. Arrow Video, Vinegar Syndrome Umbrella and 88 Films continue to amass a lovely collection of genre films. Vinegar Syndrome in particular has proven to be one of the most crucial curators of American cinema. Some highlights are the releases of Jamaa Fanaka's films, the weird psycho-sexual horror of Incubus, and the bizarre and delightful "The Killing Kind".
Sadly, there were a lot of films that I did not have time to get around to reviewing and my New Years Resolution is to quickly remedy that. (If you haven't seen Spike Lee's Blackkklansman, you have missed one of cinema's most powerful moments this year.)
I have learned to love commentary tracks again, thanks to some wonderful familar voices such as Kat Ellinger, Lee Gambin, and Tim Lucas. After many years of avoiding the damn things, I find myself enjoying them more than ever.
Lastly, I would like to thank Gary, the webmaster, editor, head Beaver, and most importantly friend. Looking forward to working with Gary as long as I possibly can. If only everyone could be this lucky.


 

Have a fabulous 2019!