DVDBeaver Newsletter - January 19th, 2007


Hello! - 13 new reviews (a whopping 7 of which are comparisons and 2 of which are Criterion REISSUES) in this weeks newsletter. Plus our recommendations and many new additions to the Release Calendar.  




NOTE: There's a clearance sale still going on at Yesasia.com with as much as 85% off on some titles. Check out our listing for titles to buy.


DVD of the Year - 2006 still remains a popular place to peruse.


Easiest way to catch up is simply read the new Newsletter Archive HERE.


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 Prime! You will get Free 2-day shipping on your purchases!


LATEST Additions to the Release Calendar (PRE-ORDER!):


The Departed (Two-Disc Widescreen Edition) (Martin Scorsese, 2006) Warner Home Video

The Caine Mutiny - Special Edition (Edward Dmytryk, 1954) Sony Pictures

The Guns of Navarone (Collector's Edition) (J. Lee Thompson , 1961) Sony Pictures

Lawrence of Arabia (Collector's Edition) (David Lean, 1962) Sony Pictures

The Bridge on the River Kwai (Collector's Edition) (David Lean, 1957) Sony Pictures

Fixed Bayonets! (Samuel Fuller, 1951) Fox Home Entertainment

Sleeping Dogs Lie (Bob Goldthwait, 2006) First Look Pictures

Backstage (Emmanuelle Bercot, 2005) Strand Releasing, Fast Food Nation (Richard Linklater, 2006) Fox Home Entertainment, Shortbus (Unrated) (John Cameron Mitchell) Velocity / Thinkfilm

Half Nelson (Ryan Fleck, 2006) Sony Pictures

Welcome to Dongmakgol (Kwang-Hyun Park, 2005) R2 UK Showbox

The Early Hitchcock Collection 9-disc (The Ring, Champagne, The Farmer’s Wife, The Manxman, Blackmail, Murder!, The Skin Game, Rich and Strange and Number Seventeen) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment


New Reviews:


Children of Men - Set in 2027, Alfonso Cuarón's dystopian button-pusher Children of Men, adapted from a novel by P.D. James, posits a world in which women have mysteriously gone barren, so that the youngest human beings on the planet are now in their late teens. DVD Release Date: January 15th, 2007

Sanjuro - Toshiro Mifune swaggers and snarls to brilliant comic effect in Akira Kurosawa’s tightly paced, beautifully composed Sanjuro. In this sly companion piece to Yojimbo, the jaded samurai Sanjuro helps an idealistic group of young warriors weed out their clan’s evil influences, and in the process turns their image of a “proper” samurai on its ear. Less brazen in tone than its predecessor but just as engaging... DVD Release Date: January 23rd, 2007

Yojimbo - The incomparable Toshiro Mifune stars in Akira Kurosawa’s visually stunning and darkly comic Yojimbo (The Bodyguard). In order to rid a village of corruption, masterless samurai Sanjuro turns a range war between two evil clans to his own advantage. Remade both as A Fistful of Dollars and, more recently, Last Man Standing, this exhilarating gangster-Western remains one of the most influential and entertaining genre-twisters ever produced. DVD Release Date: January 23rd, 2007

Macao - Not an entirely happy production - Sternberg, according to Mitchum, shot and cut it in such a way that characters kept walking into themselves, with the result that Nicholas Ray was called in to reshoot (uncredited) many of the action scenes - but still a delightful bit of RKO exotica. The thin story, set in the port of the title, sees Mitchum's drifter joining up with Russell's sultry singer and helping the local cops catch a criminal bigwig. But what is so enjoyable, apart from Harry Wild's shimmering camerawork, is the tongue-in-cheek tone of the script and performances, best evidenced in the sparkling banter and innuendo between Mitchum and Russell. DVD Release Date: January 23rd, 2007

Brokeback Mountain - 'Brokeback Mountain' runs to almost isolated perfection for its first 3/4's running time - it falls back slightly - and eventually rises in a delicate conclusion to give us Ang Lee's best offering to date. This is not a good film - this is a great film. This is not simply a 'gay love story' but rather a sublime, courageous, touching and heartfelt story of desire... and yes, the star-crossed lovers happen to be male, and happen to be cowboys too. It is this rugged essence that Lee captures so succinctly - morally conscious, quiet natured men whose actions speak for them in place of verbal communication. DVD Release Date: January 23rd, 2007

Angel Face - This intense Freudian melodrama by Otto Preminger (1953) is one of the forgotten masterworks of film noir. Jean Simmons, beautifully blank, plays the ultimate femme fatale, a rich girl who seduces her beefcake chauffeur (Robert Mitchum) when daddy (Herbert Marshall) resists her advances. The film is a disturbingly cool, rational investigation of the terrors of sexuality, much as Preminger's later masterpiece Bunny Lake Is Missing is a detached appraisal of childhood horrors. The sets, characters, and actions are extremely stylized, yet Preminger's moving camera gives them a frightening unity and fluidity, tracing a straight, clean line to a cliff top for one of the most audacious endings in film history. DVD Release Date: January 23rd, 2007

The Piano - "The Piano" plays itself with such contrapuntal richness, it resonates in you forever. Set in 19th-century New Zealand, this saga of will, destiny and passion starring Holly Hunter is an extraordinary symphony of sounds and silence, of lilting pleasure and tangled horror.

Don't Come Knocking - Twenty years after PARIS, TEXAS, Wim Wenders and screenwriter Sam Shepard reunite, and fans disappointed with the consistency of Wenders' more recent output are sure to love this gentle, surprisingly beautiful tale of a troubled Hollywood cowboy who pulls together a family from the debris of his past. Riding his horse off the Utah set of cheesy western aptly titled "Phantom of the West" in a fit of self-disgust, western wash-up Howard Spence (Shepard, giving a marvelous performance) boards a bus for Elko, Nevada, where is mother (Eva Marie Saint), whom he hasn't seen since leaving for Hollywood more than 30 years earlier, now lives.

The Will Rogers Collection, Vol.2 - Perhaps the single most disappointing facet of the typical Will Rogers film is the blandness and uninspired nature of the direction. With the exception of John Ford and Henry King, Rogers rarely collaborated with any particularly gifted directors. Each was entirely capable of creating a reasonably entertaining film, but none were especially deft at challenging Rogers with layered or complex material. DVD Release Date: Dec. 14th. 2006

The Simpsons - Complete Ninth Season - There’s little more to be said about the longest-running animated television series that hasn’t been said already. “The Simpsons” is a comedic marvel that possesses far more substance than its somewhat primitive appearance would suggest. Matt Groening and numerous talented writers are responsible for injecting the series with cultural significance via scathing critiques of modern society that explore the subtleties of familial dynamics lurking under the surface of kitchen tables, television sets, and parental breeding grounds. DVD Release Date: Dec. 19, 2006

Caravaggio - Derek Jarman struggled for seven years to bring his portrait of the seventeenth-century Italian artist Michelangelo da Caravaggio to the screen. The result was well worth the wait, and was greeted with critical acclaim: a freely dramatised portrait of the controversial artist and a powerful meditation on sexuality, criminality and art - a new and refreshing take on the usual biopic. DVD Release Date: January 29th, 2007

The Life of Mammals - In ten parts, the award-winning David Attenborough (2002 Emmy winner for The Blue Planet: Seas of Life; The Life of Birds) introduces us to the most diverse group of animals ever to live on Earth, from the smallest - the two-inch pygmy shrew, to the largest - the blue whale; from the slowest - the sloth, to the swiftest - the cheetah; from the least attractive - the naked mole rat, to the most irresistible - a human baby. The Life of Mammals is the story of 4,000 species that have outlived the dinosaurs and conquered the farthest places on earth.

Band of Angels - Subject of miscegenation is explored and developed in this colorful production of the Old South. Raoul Walsh is in top form in direction of the screenplay derived from a Robert Penn Warren novel. Screenwriters have captured the mood and spirit of the Deep South narrative which deals with a young woman of quality discovering that her mother was a slave. DVD Release Date: January 30th, 2007


Next 2 weeks on the Calendar:


Week of January 22nd, 2007


Belle de jour (Luis Buñuel, 1967) R2 UK - Optimum

Brokeback Mountain (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) ( Ang Lee, 2005) - Universal Studios

Carve Her Name with Pride (Lewis Gilbert , 1958) R2 UK - Network

Eros (Antonioni, Soderbergh, Wong 2004) R2 UK - Artificial Eye

F For Fake (Orson Welles, 1974) R2 UK - Eureka Masters of Cinema

Fighting Elergy (Seijun Suzuki, 1966) R2 UK - Yume Picture

The Films of Kenneth Anger, Vol. 1 - Fireworks (1947), Puce Moment (1949), Rabbit's Moon (1950, the rarely seen original 16 minute version), Eaux d'Artifice (1953) and Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954) - Fantoma

Jackknife (David Hugh Jones, 1989) Lions Gate

Keane (Lodge Kerrigan, 2004) R2 UK - Soda Films

The Luis Bunuel Collection (That Obscure Object Of Desire, The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie, Diary Of A Chamber Maid, The Phantom Of Liberty, Milky Way, Tristana, La Joven (aka La Jeune Fille) and Belle De Jour. ) - R2 UK - Optimum Home Entertainment

Monsters And Madmen (4 DVD Box Set) - (The Haunted Strangler, Corridors of Blood, The Atomic Submarine and First Man into Space) - Criterion Collection

Ozu - Vol 4 (Late Autumn, An Autumn Afternoon) - R2 UK Tartan

The Quare Fellow (Arthur Dreifuss, 1962) R2 UK - Odeon Entertainment

Robert Mitchum: The Signature Collection - (Angel Face, Macao, Home From The Hill, The Sundowners and The Yakuza) - Warner Home Video

Sanjuro (Akira Kurosawa , 1963) - Criterion Collection

The Sundowners (Fred Zinnemann, 1960) Warner Home Video

Tokyo Drifter (Seijun Suzuki, 1966) R2 UK - Yume Pictures

Yojimbo & Sanjuro: Two Films By Akira Kurosawa - Criterion Collection

Yojimbo (REISSUE) (Akira Kurosawa , 1961) - Criterion Collection


Week of January 22nd, 2007


The Angelic Conversation (Derek Jarman, 1985) R2 UK BFI

Angels in the Outfield (Amazon Exclusive) (Clarence Brown, 1951) Warner Home Video

Arrangement (Elia Kazan, 1969) Warner Home Video

Band of Angels (Raoul Walsh, 1957) Warner Home Video

Caprice (Frank Tashlin, 1967) 20th Century Fox

Caravaggio (Derek Jarman, 1986) R2 UK BFI

Container (Lukas Moodysson, 2006) R2 UK - Metrodome Distribution Ltd

The Films of Luc Moullet: The Smugglers and a Girl Is a Gun - Facets

The Films of Luc Moullet: Brigitte and Brigitte/Up and Down - Facets

Lie with Me (Clément Virgo, 2005) R2 UK - Metrodome Distribution Ltd
(Michael Crichton, 1981) Warner Home Video
Madame Curie
(Mervyn LeRoy, 1944) Warner Home Video

Move Over Darling (Michael Gordon, 1963) 20th Century Fox

The Silence of the Lambs (Collector's Edition) (Jonathan Demme, 1991) MGM

Viva Pedro: The Almodovar Collection (Matador, Law of Desire, Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, All About My Mother, Bad Education, Live Flesh, The Flower of My Secret and Talk to Her) Sony Pictures

Wittgenstein (Derek Jarman, 1993) R2 UK BFI




50 CLASSIC TV SHOWS ON DVD - best of vintage TV!






- Best of the Best!



Stay healthy,



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