Newsletter - FOR THE WEEK

OF January 11th, 2010


This Week's Highlights

Rimaykullayki! - We're starting to get back into the swing of things with 15 new reviews or comparisons this week. There is a new sale at Amazon. We drift from Bong Joon Ho to Stephen Frears, Wong Kar-wai to Guillermo Arriaga. The next three weeks look to include some fabulous titles for us to cover. We have 20 new additions to the release calendar and a new CONTEST this newsletter. The year is starting out with promise.


TOOLBAR THE 'DVDBeaver Toolbar'! Give it a test drive! I've created a very simple toolbar for Film-Fans/DVD-o-philes/cinephiles. It embeds effortlessly within Internet Explorer 5.0+ (Windows Vista/XP/2000) and Firefox 1.0.1+ (Windows, Mac, Linux). It offers quick links to Searching both the Net (via Google) and DVDBeaver directly, Amazons, Asian etailors, Forums (Criterion, Home Theater, AVS, Rotten Tomatoes, Film Noir), IMDb, DVDBasen, Beaver links, Blu-ray information, Cinephile Blogs/Journals (Rosenbaum, Kehr, Acquarello etc.). What do you think? FOR MORE INFORMATION / AVAILABLE HERE *** (We can adjust this to suit popular opinion - on-the-fly - no re-install required!)

JANUARY 11th CONTEST - identify the clip on the CONTEST PAGE to win Sealed NEW Blu-ray of Wonder Woman!- Best of luck all!

DVD and Blu-ray of the Year 2009

BIG THANKS!: DVDBeaver would not exist without the support of many patrons - those who generously donate, and especially those who use our Amazon(s), CD Japan, HKFlix and YesAsia links. That's it. When you go to Amazon - PLEASE use one of our links to get there (they are on every page - top and bottom - and we have 5000 webpages). It costs you absolutely nothing and we get a small commission on items you purchase. This helps pay our bills - in fact it's the only thing that pays our bills.
STRATEGIES: The best way to take full advantage of Amazon is to use...
PRE-ORDERs - lock in at the discount price by ORDERING - if perchance you decide against the purchase you have until the release date to cancel - at no charge AND if you will purchase more than 35 DVDs (or anything) in a 365 day period (and live in the Continental US) it makes excellent financial sense to subscribe to Amazon

If there are DVD titles you'd like us to cover - please feel free to recommend!

Gary at 2ze dot com

Amazon Blu-ray Blowout HERE

The Movies & TV Boxed Set Sale (up to 60% OFF!)


• SALES: US Blu-ray up to 53% OFF        

•  Amazon France Blu-ray SALE (BUY 1 get 1 FREE!)

LATEST ADDITIONS to the Calendar: (PRE-ORDER & save!):

WWII in HD [Blu-ray] (Hunter Dunn, 2009) - A&E Home Video

The Time Traveler's Wife [Blu-ray] (Robert Schwentke, 2009) - New Line

Law Abiding Citizen [Blu-ray] (F. Gary Gray, 2009) Overture Films/Anchor Bay Entertainment

The Internecine Project (Ken Hughes, 1974) Scorpion Entertainment

The Alcove (Joe D'Amato, 1984) Severin Films

Breaking Bad: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] - Sony Pictures
Breaking Bad: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray] - Sony Pictures

2012 [Blu-ray] (Roland Emmerich, 2009) Sony Pictures
2012 (2-disc) [
Blu-ray] (Roland Emmerich, 2009) Sony Pictures

Hachiko: A Dog's Story [Blu-ray] (Lasse Hallström, 2009) - Sony Pictures

Castle in the Sky (Hayao Miyazaki, 1986) Disney Presents Studio Ghibli

Kiki's Delivery Service (Hayao Miyazaki, 1989) Disney Presents Studio Ghibli

My Neighbor Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki, 1988) Disney Presents Studio Ghibli

Emma (2009) - BBC Warner

Fernando Arrabal Collection 2 - Cult Epics

Power Play (Martyn Burke, 1978) - Scorpion Entertainment

Stephanie's Image (Janis DeLucia Allen, 2009) Vanguard Cinema

Afghan Star (Havana Marking, 2009) - Zeitgeist Films

High Kick Girl (Fuyuhiko Nishi , 2009) - First Look Pictures

Unrivaled [Blu-ray] (Warren P. Sonoda, 2010) Lions Gate Home Entertainment

The Collector [Blu-ray] (Marcus Dunstan, 2009) - Vivendi Entertainment

The Donner Party (T.J. Martin, 2009) - First Look Pictures

Love Exposure (Shion Sono, 2008) - R2 UK Third Window

You the Living (Roy Andersson, 2007) Tartan Video


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ONE VOICE (not Ellsworth Monkton Toohey):  Bong Joon Ho's Mother on Blu-ray floored me for the Hitchcock-ian thriller film aspects and excellent visual quality. But this week I was most impressed with Guillermo Arriaga's The Burning Plain. I also enjoyed Duncan Jones' Moon on Blu-ray and the 'new' The Simpsons 20th Season which has a lot of value. Despite the possible inferiorities of Boogie Nights I can't see myself missing anything by PTA on Blu. I'm going to be picking up some other titles. I am keen on Goodbye Gemini after Eric's review and Brian certainly caught my attention with both Liam and Nói albínói. Billy Jack may be only worth the indulgence for the serious fan or its obvious nostalgia. I may give Blood: The Last Vampire a curious spin - thanks to Leonard for the review.


Blood: The Last Vampire BR - The deadliest assassin to stand the test of time. From a Producer of Hero and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon comes Blood: The Last Vampire, based on the cult hit anime series. Demons have infested Earth. And only one warrior stands between the dark and the light: Saya, a half-human, half-vampire samurai who preys on those who feast on human blood. Joining forces with the shadowy society known as the Council, Saya is dispatched to an American military base, where an intense series of swordfights leads her to the deadliest vampire of all. And now after 400 years, Saya's greatest hunt is about to begin. Blu-ray Release date: October 6th, 2009

Once Upon a Time in China 2 BR - The performances (including Donnie Yen as a chief adversary, Max Mok Siu Chung, and David Chiang) are heartfelt and of uniformly good quality. Tsui Hark's direction is original -- nervy and sentimental without a trace of artificiality. The martial arts and other action direction by Yuen Wo-ping is stunning to watch, but it's also integrated well into the story. The set designs (by Eddie Ma) and costumes, not to mention the cinematography (by Arthur Wong), are beautiful. The stirring musical score (by Richard Yuen and Johnny Njo) never intrudes, although the famous "Wong Fei Hung" theme is probably used once too often. Blu-ray Release date: December 12th, 2009

The Hangover BR - The Hangover disarmed me by starting at the end, the morning after the bachelor party. Phil (Bradley Cooper), a married teacher, is on the phone telling the bride that he, his friend Stu (Ed Helms), a pussy-whipped dentist, and Alan (Zach Galifianakis), the bride's pervy brother, have lost Doug (Justin Bartha), the groom-to-be. Could this movie about a bachelor party actually leave out the party? It could. And we're all the better for it. To watch these hungover guys — they've actually been drugged — struggle awake in a trashed Vegas suite featuring a burning couch, a crying baby, a sizzling stripper (Heather Graham, good to see you), a live chicken and a Bengal tiger owned by Mike Tyson is, well, a sight gag for the time capsule. I couldn't help laughing. Fellow critics (though the hypocrites might deny it) laughed too. Funny? The Hangover rocks the house with funny. Blu-ray Release date: December 22nd, 2009

The Simpsons 20th Season BR - The world's longest running – and best - animated adult comedy television series arrives for its 20th season.... and they have finally gone both HD (for the regular season TV show) AND 11 of the 20 episodes are in 1.78 widescreen looking gorgeous. The entire package is 1080P and is once again filled with the bitingly satirical adventures of America's best known family. Entertainment value far exceeds The Simpsons Movie (also available on Blu-ray) with over 8 hours of entertainment spanning 2 Blu-ray discs. Blu-ray Release date: January 12th, 2010

Mother BR - The Host director Bong Joon Ho presents a different kind of monster in a searing, subversive mystery thriller that rips through the facade of small-town Korea. Veteran actress Kim Hye Ja delivers a commanding performance as the devoted mother who goes to desperate extremes to protect her mentally disabled son, played by popular actor Won Bin (Taegukgi) appearing in his first film in five years. Premiering at the Cannes Film Festival, Mother opened in Korea to blockbuster reception, proving to be another commercial and critical hit for Bong. Blu-ray Release date: January 1st, 2010

Boogie Nights BR - Following up on his superb but overlooked first film, "Hard Eight", Paul Thomas Anderson takes us on into the adult film making and a journey thru time from the late seventies to the nineties, following not only the industry and its transition from film to video, from story to gonzo, but also the ups and downs of the people involved. Based on the career and life of porn legend John Holmes, Paul Thomas Anderson loves his characters and does little to hide their weaknesses, but never exploits them: These are not perverts, these are normal people who just happens to make porn for a living. Blu-ray Release Date: December 2009

Billy Jack BR - The trend-setting smash hit that broke box office records and had audiences cheering! A half-Indian/half-white ex-Green Beret, Billy Jack is drawn more and more toward his Indian side. He hates violence but can't get away from it in the white man's world. Pitting the students of the peace-loving free-arts school in the desert against the oppressive bad guys in a nearby town, this action-packed film remains a landmark focusing on the most emotional themes of the time: anti-establishment, two-sided justice, and racial segregation and prejudice. Blu-ray Release Date: January 12th, 2010

Doctor Death - Although made on a low budget, the film looks like few seventies horror films. Gone are the muted Eastmancolor hues in favor of sixties Hollywood film/TV ripe hues (most of the cast had prolific TV careers while director Saeta had volumnous assistant director credits). The film was shot at Aldrich Studios, director Robert Aldrich's own independent studio. The visual effects (by Hollywood regulars Van Der Veer Photo Effects) are accomplished but also reminiscent of the sixties (as is the score) but the gore is very seventies. Considine (whose own son appears as one of his many incarnations in flashback) steals the film with his theatrical Dr. Death but Coe's hero doesn't seem like he would believably entertain this obsession for too long nor not suspect that Dr. Death has continued his search. The ending is increasingly predictable but the intentional tongue-in-cheek aspect of the film is entertaining. We get one soon-to-be-victim watching a horror film on TV that parallels her own attack and a lovers lane couple talking about how they could be in a horror film just before their own demises. DVD Release Date: January 26th, 2010

Moon BR - Duncan Jones writes and directs this critically-acclaimed space isolation drama starring Sam Rockwell as Sam Bell, a worker for Lunar Industries who is nearing the end of a three-year contract to mine the moon's surface for the precious gas Helium 3, the solution to Earth's energy crisis. As he approaches his return to Earth, Sam reflects on the lessons he has learned during his prolonged isolation and looks forward to his reunion with his wife and young daughter. But a fortnight before his departure he starts seeing and hearing strange things that lead him to suspect that his employers intend to replace him in a far more sinister way than he imagined. Kevin Spacey provides the voice for Sam's only companion, a small robot called Gerty. Blu-ray Release date: January 12th, 2010

Liam - Set among the Irish working people of Liverpool in the 1930s, Stephen Frears' "Liam" shows us a family where the children are terrified of sin and their parents of poverty. The first is more easily combatted than the second; in two crucial personal transformations, the 7-year-old boy makes his first confession and communion, and his father joins the fascist brownshirts of Oswald Mosley. Both are obsessed with blame; the father blames the Jews for his unemployment and poverty, and his son blames--himself. DVD Release Date: December 26th, 2001

Fallen Angels - Set in the neon-washed underworld of present-day Hong Kong, Fallen Angels intertwines two exhilarating tales of love and isolation. First, there's the unconsummated love affair between a contract Killer (Leon Lai Ming) and the ravishing female Agent (Michele Reis) who books his assignments and cleans up after his jobs. When the Killer decides that he must move on, he leaves her with only a coin for the jukebox and instructions to play song number 1818 - "Wang Ji Ta" ("Forget Him")...  DVD Release Date: March 31, 2009

Nói albínói - The inherent pitfall of offbeat, minor-key quirkfests like Nói is that their characters can seem more quaint than real. While occasionally barely skirting cutesiness, Kári allows the punishing landscape to serve as ballast, instilling the action with a weighty sense of dread. Lemarquis' misadventures in high school—where he sleeps face down in class and tries to get another student to replace him with a tape recorder—earn the biggest laughs, but Kári doesn't allow Nói to get subsumed by whimsy. The best moments bind comedy with prevailing despair, such as when [Nói] finds a temp job digging graves, haplessly pounding a pickax into the frozen ground. When his slumbering brain comes up with an innovative solution to soften the soil, the triumph rings more than a little hollow. DVD Release Date: May 24th, 2004

Goodbye Gemini - Unnaturally close twins Jacki (Judy Geeson, TO SIR WITH LOVE, INSEMINOID) and Julian (Martin Potter, FELLINI SATYRICON, SATAN'S SLAVE) arrive in London to stay in the townhouse of their wealthy father who is staying abroad. When the housekeeper sets out to reign in their childish behavior, Jacki and Julian (with the help of their oracle teddy bear Agamemnon) promptly arrange for the old woman to take a fatal trip down the stairs. The bond between the twins is shaken when small-time criminal Clive (Alexis Kanner) comes into their lives; charming Jacki and alienating Julian (he brings Julian to a motel room to "party" with some transvestites and takes photos for blackmail). DVD Release Date: January 26th, 2010

Skare - Escaped mental patient Dan (Warren May) stumbles onto the property of Martha (Judith Holding) who owns the nearby Skare Valley Country Club and lives in a cottage attached to a medieval mill. Dan is suspicious when Martha upon learning that he is an escaped mental patient decides to hide him, clothe him (in a speedo after spying on him in the shower), and feed him but is not in any position to refuse her hospitality (when he tells her he was institutionalized for killing someone, her response is "Just the one?"). The club's sexy manager Charlotte (Trudy Tyrell) is yet another incentive to stick around. Right away, things at Skare Valley seem a little off and it's more than just the legend of the mill involving a woman burned alive for witchcraft and her grown son buried alive (images which have already found a place in Dan's delirious flashbacks/nightmares). DVD Release Date: September 19th, 2009

The Burning Plain BR - The directorial debut of screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga (who wrote Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Three Burials and Babel), The Burning Plain stars Charlize Theron as Sylvia, a beautiful restaurant manager in rainy Portland, Oregon, who's having an affair with her married employee (John Corbett). Her story is intercut with several seemingly disconnected desert scenes in which: a young girl (Tessa Ia) lives happily with her crop-dusting father (Danny Pino) and his best friend (Jose Maria Yazpik), until a tragic accident changes everything; a married mother of three (Kim Basinger) begins a passionate affair with a Mexican father (Joaquim De Almeida); and two teenagers (Jennifer Lawrence and JD Pardo) find love in the aftermath of their parents' sudden deaths. Blu-ray Release date: January 12th, 2009

 Next 3 weeks on the Calendar

January 11th, 2010


8 1/2 [Blu-ray] (Federico Fellini, 1963) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

Antichrist [Blu-ray] (Lars von Trier, 2009) Artificial Eye

Billy Jack [Blu-ray] (Tom Laughlin, 1971) Image Entertainment (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Brothers Bloom [Blu-ray] (Rian Johnson, 2008) Summit Entertainment

The Burning Plain [Blu-ray] (Guillermo Arriaga, 2008) Magnolia (BEAVER REVIEW)

Cinema Paradiso [Blu-ray] (Giuseppe Tornatore, 1988) R'B' UK - Arrow Films

La Cucina [Blu-ray] (Allison R. Hebble + Zed Starkovich, 2007) Anthem Pictures

The Hurt Locker [Blu-ray] (Kathryn Bigelow, 2008) Summit Entertainment (BEAVER REVIEW)

I Come with the Rain [Blu-ray] (Anh Hung Tran, 2008) AVEX

In the Loop [Blu-ray] (Armando Iannucci, 2008) IFC

Moon [Blu-ray] (Duncan Jones, 2009) Sony Pictures (BEAVER REVIEW)

Mother [Blu-ray] (Joon-ho Bong, 2009) (Limited Edition) - CJ Entertainment (BEAVER REVIEW)

Post Grad [Blu-ray] (Vicky Jenson, 2009) 20th Century Fox

The Simpsons: The Complete Twentieth Season [Blu-ray] 20th Century Fox (BEAVER REVIEW)

You the Living (Roy Andersson, 2007) Tartan Video



January 18th, 2009


According to Greta [Blu-ray] (Nancy Bardawil, 2009) Starz / Anchor Bay

Eclipse Series 19: Chantal Akerman in the Seventies - Criterion

Che (Steven Soderbergh, 2008) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

Che [Blu-ray] (Steven Soderbergh, 2008) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

Death in Love [Blu-ray] (Boaz Yakin, 2008) Screen Media

Deadly Duo [Blu-ray] (Cheh Chang, 1971) Tokyo Shock

Magnolia [Blu-ray] (Paul Thomas Anderson, 1999) Turner

Pandorum [Blu-ray] (Christian Alvart, 2009) Starz / Anchor Bay

The Queen of Spades (Thorold Dickinson, 1949) R2 UK Optimum

The Red Balloon [Blu-ray] (Albert Lamorisse, 1956) R'B' UK Network

Red Cartoons: Animated Films from East Germany - First Run Features

The Secret People (Thorold Dickinson, 1952) R2 UK Optimum

Streamers (Robert Altman, 1983) Shout! Factory

Suspiria [Blu-ray] (Dario Argento, 1977) RB UK - Nouveaux Pictures

Whiteout [Blu-ray] (Dominic Sena, 2009) Warner Home Video


January 25th, 2010


Action Man Collection (Action Man, Peking Blonde, The Big Game and The Day of the Wolves) VCI Entertainment

Atonement [Blu-ray] (Joe Wright, 2007) Universal

British Cinema Drama Collection (The Rough and the Smooth, The Scamp, Grand National Night, Kill Me Tomorrow) VCI Entertainment

Birdwatchers (Marco Bechis, 2008) R2 UK Artificial Eye

The Boys Are Back (Scott Hicks, 2009) Miramax Films

Bright Star (Jane Campion, 2009) Sony Pictures

The Donner Party (T.J. Martin, 2009) - First Look Pictures

The Escapist (Robert Wyatt, 2008) IFC

Une femme mariée [Blu-ray] (Jean-Luc Godard, 1964) Eureka - Masters of Cinema (BEAVER REVIEW)

First Films: Forman/Kaufman - Black Peter/Goldstein - Facets

Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold, 2009) - R2 UK - Artificial Eye

Fuel [Blu-ray] (Oktay Ortabasi, 2009) Vanguard Cinema

Give 'Em Hell Malone [Blu-ray] (Russell Mulcahy, 2009) National Entertainment Media

Goodbye Gemini (Alan Gibson, 1970) Scorpion Releasing (BEAVER REVIEW)

Hausu (Nobuhiko Obayashi, 1977) R2 UK - Masters of Cinema (BEAVER REVIEW)

Import/Export (Ulrich Seidl, 2007) Tartan Video

Island of Desire aka: Saturday Island (Stuart Heisler, 1952) VCI Entertainment

The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne (Jack Clayton, 1987) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment

Love Exposure (Shion Sono, 2008) - R2 UK Third Window

Lubitsch In Berlin (The Doll/Ernst Lubitsch in Berlin/The Oyster Princess/I Don't Want to be a Man/Sumurun/Anna Boleyn/The Wildcat) Eureka - Masters of Cinema

Mesrine - Parts 1 & 2 [Blu-ray] (Jean-François Richet, 2008) R'B' UK Momentum Pictures

Michael Jackson: This Is It [Blu-ray] (Kenny Ortega, 2009) Sony

Paris, Texas (Wim Wenders, 1984) Criterion

Paris, Texas [Blu-ray] (Wim Wenders, 1984) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

Permissive [Blu-ray] (Lindsay Shonteff, 1970) R'B' UK BFI

Pontypool (Bruce McDonald, 2008) IFC

Pontypool [Blu-ray] (Bruce McDonald, 2008) R'B' UK Spirit Entertainment

Pride & Prejudice [Blu-ray] (Joe Wright, 2005) Universal

Privilege [Blu-ray] (Peter Watkins, 1967) R'B' UK BFI

Red Road [Blu-ray] (Andrea Arnold, 2006) R'B' UK Verve Pictures

Roberto Rossellinis War Trilogy (Rome Open City, Paisan, and Germany Year Zero) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

Satan's Wife (Pier Carpi, 1979) MYA Communications

Shinjuku Boy / Gaea Girls (Kim Longinotto + Jano Williams) R2 UK Second Run

Soul Power [Blu-ray] (Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, 2008) Sony Pictures

Surrogates [Blu-ray] (Jonathan Mostow, 2009) Touchstone Home Entertainment

That Kind of Girl [Blu-ray] (Gerry O'Hara, 1963) R'B' UK BFI

Thirst [Blu-ray] (Chan-wook Park, 1009) R'B' UK Tartan Palisades

The Toolbox Murders [Blu-ray] (Dennis Donnelly, 1978) Blue Underground

Troma's War (Tromasterpiece Edition) (Michael Herz and Lloyd Kaufman, 1988) - Troma

Whip It [Blu-ray] (Drew Barrymore, 2009) Fox Home Entertainment

Wushu (Antony Szeto, 2008) Lions Gate

WWII in HD [Blu-ray] (Hunter Dunn, 2009) - A&E Home Video

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