Newsletter - FOR THE WEEK

OF February 3rd, 2014

  This Week's Highlights

Jisht ba shkn! - Another decent week with more Criterions, Steven Soderbergh, Vincent Gallo, Roman Polanski, Wes Anderson, Abdellatif Kechiche, a Blu-ray Audio disc with Stevie Wonder and more, The Release Calendar has quite the Blu-ray update with listings including films by Billy Wilder, Orson Welles, Elia Kazan, Billy Wilder, Lars von Trier, Richard Fleischer, Werner Herzog, Robert Altman, Lindsay Anderson, Sergio Leone, John Cassavetes, Georges Franju, Hal Ashby, Claire Denis, Leos Carax, Franklin J. Schaffner etc. and there is a new CONTEST posted with a Blu-ray prize - best of luck!

OUR Blu-ray and DVD of the year 2013 Poll is posted HERE (Thanks to all the participants!)

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FEATURE Blu-ray and DVD of the MONTH selected for FEBRUARY !



(Week of) February 3rd CONTEST  identify the clip on the CONTEST PAGE to win a Blu-ray of the 1981 The Postman Always Rings Twice 

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Today's DVD & Blu-rays (Amazon)

Blu-rays Under $10 (Amazon)

Blu-rays Under 6 (Amazon UK)

Blu-rays Under 10 (Amazon UK)

Movies & TVs (Amazon Canada)



Double Indemnity - 70th Anniversary Limited Edition (Blu-ray + DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet) (Billy Wilder, 1944) Universal Studios

Touch of Evil - Limited Edition (Blu-ray + DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet) (Orson Welles, 1958) Universal Studios

Boomerang! [Blu-ray] (Elia Kazan, 1947) RB UK Masters of Cinema

Ace in the Hole [Blu-ray] (Billy Wilder, 1951) RB UK Masters of Cinema

Victim [Blu-ray] (Basil Dearden, 1961) RB UK Network

Nymphomaniac Vol I. & Vol II. [Blu-ray] (Lars von Trier, 2013) RB UK Artificial Eye

The Past [Blu-ray] (Asghar Farhadi, 2013) RB UK Artificial Eye

Violent Saturday [Blu-ray] (Richard Fleischer, 1955) RB UK Masters of Cinema

Nosferatu the Vampyre Steelbook [Blu-ray] (Werner Herzog, 1979) RB UK BFI

That Sinking Feeling [Blu-ray] (Bill Forsyth, 1979) RB UK BFI

Nashville [Blu-ray] (Robert Altman, 1975) RB UK Masters of Cinema

If.... [Blu-ray] (Lindsay Anderson, 1968) RB UK Masters of Cinema

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly - Limited Edition Steelbook [Blu-ray] (Sergio Leone, 1966) RB UK 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Transport from Paradise (Zbynek Brynych, 1963) R2 UK Second Run

Man of Marble (Andrzej Wajda, 1977) R2 UK Second Run

Celluloid Man (Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, 2012) R2 UK Second Run

Metro Manila [Blu-ray] (Sean Ellis, 2013) RB UK Independent Distribution

Too Late Blues [Blu-ray] (John Cassavetes, 1961) RB UK Masters of Cinema

Eyes Without a Face [Blu-ray] (Georges Franju, 1960) RB UK Masters of Cinema

Harold and Maude [Blu-ray] (Hal Ashby, 1971) RB UK Masters of Cinema

Bastards [Blu-ray] (Claire Denis, 2013) RB UK Artificial Eye

Boy Meets Girl [Blu-ray] (Leos Carax, 1984) RB UK Artificial Eye

The Night is Young [Blu-ray] (Leos Carax, 1986) RB UK Artificial Eye

Exhibition [Blu-ray] (Joanna Hogg, 2013) RB UK Artificial Eye

The War Lord [Blu-ray] (Franklin J. Schaffner, 1965) RB UK Eureka

The Women [Blu-ray] (George Cukor, 1939) Turner Home Ent

This Sporting Life [Blu-ray] (Lindsay Anderson, 1963) RB UK Network

Gravity [Blu-ray] (Alfonso Cuaron, 2014) Warner Home Video

Dallas Buyers Club [Blu-ray] (Jean-Marc Valle, 2013) Universal Studios

The Hunchback of Notre Dame [Blu-ray] (Wallace Worsley, 1923) Flicker Alley

John Lennon's Imagine [Blu-ray Audio] 10 Spot

Tears For Fears' The Hurting (Blu-ray Audio) Universal Music

Rush [Blu-ray] (Ron Howard, 2013) Universal Studios

Stranger by the Lake [Blu-ray] (Alain Guiraudie, 2013) RB UK Peccadillo Pictures

Escape Plan [Blu-ray] (Mikael Hfstrm, 2013) LionsGate

Last Vegas [Blu-ray] (Jon Turteltaub, 2013) Sony Pictures

Norma Rae [Blu-ray] (Martin Ritt, 1979) 20th Century Fox

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire [Blu-ray] (Francis Lawrence, 2013) LionsGate

Frozen [Blu-ray] (Jennifer Lee, 2013) Disney

Downton Abbey Season 4  [Blu-ray] - PBS



ONE VOICE (not Ellsworth Monkton Toohey): Some great cinema this week - I was very impressed with Blue is the Warmest Color - Criterion's Blu-ray package is bare-bones (reflected in the lower-tier price) although Criterion have announced a forthcoming special edition of the film in the future. Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox continues to improve with repeat viewings and Criterion's Blu-ray is stacked with extras including a valuable commentary. I still rate Gallo's Buffalo 66 very highly and Lions Gate's Blu-ray is lean but still has excellent value. Soderbergh's King of the Hill offers two of the director's film in one Criterion release. Strongly recommended! Polanski's Tess also gets the Criterion treatment and it's a brilliant film experience. Considering re-play value the Blu-ray Audio of Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life will provide hours of listening pleasure. I thoroughly enjoyed Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes on Blu-ray. One of the closest film representations of Edgar Rice Burroughs book series. The Inn of the Sixth Happiness is a beautiful and impacting film about love, freedom, and friendship. Escape Plan with Arnie and Sly didn't do much for me and I suggest a pass on that Blu-ray. On DVD Gregory reviews a keen thriller, The Long Memory with John Mills and compared the SD transfers of a Peter Sellers crime-drama Never Let Go. Eric covered the family drama I Used To Be Darker and a misplaced horror entitled Mara... See you in a seven days - I look forward to it!


King of the Hill BD - For his first Hollywood studio production, Steven Soderbergh (whose independent debut, sex, lies, and videotape, had won the Palme d’Or at Cannes a few years earlier) crafted this small jewel of a growing-up story. Set in St. Louis during the Great Depression, King of the Hill follows the daily struggles of a resourceful and imaginative adolescent who, after his younger brother is sent to live with a relative and his tubercular mother to a sanitarium, must survive on his own in a run-down hotel during his salesman father’s long business trips. This evocative period piece, faithfully adapted from the A. E. Hotchner memoir, is among the versatile Soderbergh’s most touching and surprising films. Blu-ray Release date: February 25th, 2014

Buffalo 66 BD - The film as a whole is one half surrealist comedy and one half heart-breaking drama. Gallo's work as director/writer/composer is both subtle and bold. Many would argue that there is nothing original about Buffalo '66. I'm not going to debate that, but I think Buffalo '66 is more than a film that mindlessly borrows from the past. It's about an individual who has nowhere that he can feel at home. The character instead hides behind a wall of false self confidence that everyone can relate to on some level. It is my opinion that portions of the film exist only within Billy's mind and his perception of his surroundings. At the same time the film rings very true in many ways. Gallo's brilliant dialog is endlessly quotable and the one thing that lifts the film out of a place that might have left many viewers feeling either bored or depressed. Personally, I love just about everything about this film. From the oppressive Buffalo surroundings to Billy himself the film remains a very personal statement that most can find some truth in. Blu-ray Release Date: January 14th, 2014

The Inn of the Sixth Happiness BD - Alan Burgess' novel The Small Woman was the source for the British/American co-production Inn of the Sixth Happiness. Set in the China of the 1930s, the film stars Ingrid Bergman as real-life missionary Gladys Aylward. Against the advice of practically everyone, Gladys heads into the war-ravaged interior to spread the Christian gospel. She finds a powerful ally in the form of an elderly Mandarin (Robert Donat) who, despite his early efforts to rid himself of the troublesome Gladys, eventually converts to Christianity. Gladys' burgeoning romance with Chinese army officer Lin Nan (Curt Jurgens) is interrupted when she is obliged to guide a group of Chinese children to safety over some of the most treacherous of Northern China's mountain regions. Inn of the Sixth Happiness retains its entertainment value some four decades after its production, even allowing for the preponderance of Occidental actors in Oriental roles. Blu-ray Release date: February 4th, 2014

Tess BD - This multiple-Oscar-winning film by Roman Polanski is an exquisite, richly layered adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles. A strong-willed peasant girl (Nastassja Kinski, in a gorgeous breakthrough) is sent by her father to the estate of some local aristocrats to capitalize on a rumor that their families are from the same line. This fateful visit commences an epic narrative of sex, class, betrayal, and revenge, which Polanski unfolds with deliberation and finesse. With its earthy visual textures, achieved by two world-class cinematographers—Geoffrey Unsworth (Cabaret and Ghislain Cloquet (Au hasard Balthazar)—Tess is a work of great pastoral beauty as well as vivid storytelling. Blu-ray Release Date: February 25th, 2014

Fantastic Mr. Fox BD - Fantastic Mr. Fox is the story of a clever, quick, nimble, and exceptionally well-dressed wild animal. A compulsive chicken thief turned newspaper reporter, Mr. Fox settles down with his family in a new foxhole in a beautiful tree—directly adjacent to three enormous poultry farms owned by three ferociously vicious farmers: Boggis, Bunce, and Bean. Mr. Fox simply cannot resist. Wes Anderson’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s novel is a meticulous work of stop-motion animation featuring vibrant performances by George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Willem Dafoe, Michael Gambon, and Bill Murray. Criterion Blu-ray Release date: February 18th, 2014

Blue is the Warmest Color BD - The colorful, electrifying romance that took the Cannes Film Festival by storm courageously dives into a young woman’s experiences of first love and sexual awakening. Blue Is the Warmest Color stars the remarkable newcomer Adle Exarchopoulos as a high schooler who, much to her own surprise, plunges into a thrilling relationship with a female twentysomething art student, played by La Seydoux. Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, this finely detailed, intimate epic sensitively renders the erotic abandon of youth. It has captivated international audiences and been widely embraced as a defining love story for the new century. Blu-ray Release date: February 25th, 2014

Escape Plan BD - A structural security expert must escape from a prison based on his own designs in order to track down the person who framed him in this gritty action thriller staring Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Ray Breslin (Stallone) has designed some of the most high-tech, escape-proof prisons in the world. When Breslin takes the fall for a crime he didn't commit, he's locked up in a penitentiary of his own making. Desperate to prove his innocence but unable to accomplish his goal from the inside, Breslin puts his professional know-how to use by planning the ultimate prison break. Meanwhile, as tensions among the convicts start to flare, strict warden Hobbes (Jim Caviezel) enlists lead guard Drake (Vinnie Jones) to maintain order as mysterious inmate Emil Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger) fights to prevent the volatile inmates from turning on one another. Blu-ray Release date: February 4th, 2014

Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes BD - What would it be like for a lost child of the British aristocracy to be reared by apes in the African jungle? Cue for some skillfully handled action and a vivid realisation of the ape community in which a man eventually becomes boss-cat. The film changes gear when our hero returns to Edwardian Britain and his ancestral home, Greystoke. Torn between two cultures, confused by his love for Jane, desolated by the loss of his grandfather (man) and his father (ape), he undergoes...culture schlock. It is here that Greystoke pops its valves, pushing a simple yarn to the point of philosophical overload. Rhetoric apart, the film offers some stirring entertainment, and a memorable ham sandwich from Richardson, allowed to steal the show as the grandfather in what proved to be his last film. Blu-ray Release date: July 16th, 2013

Songs in the Key of Life BD-Audio - Originally released in 1976, the prolific Songs in the Key of Life is a milestone in the career of Stevie Wonder and the last of five consecutive albums widely hailed as his 'classic period'. From his sharp commentaries on American social history and pro-peace supplications to some of his most intimate professions of love, Songs In The Key of Life cast Wonder's music further beyond R&B, funk and disco than ever before. More sprawling than Innervisions and Talking Book, the highly ambitious and experimental double LP became the best-selling and most critically acclaimed album of his career and it went on to win four Grammy Awards including Best Male Pop Vocal and Album of the Year. Highlights include the indelible classics "Isn't She Lovely", "Sir Duke", "I Wish", "Pastime Paradise", "Summer Soft" - all found on this Blu-ray audio album. Blu-ray Audio Release date: October 30th, 2013

The Long Memory - Phillip Davidson (John Mills) is released from prison after serving twelve years for a murder he didn’t commit. He holes up in a bleak, remote shack on the Marshes, where he plots his revenge against those who lied at his trial. (A flashback provides us the details: a smuggling job goes sour, and Davidson is blamed for the death of a man who, in fact, is not dead. His girlfriend, Fay—who, in one of the film’s neat little ironies, subsequently marries a police superintendent)—is coerced by her father to lie about the identity of the man who was burned in the boat fire that followed the altercation). DVD Release Date: August 7th, 2012

Never Let Go - John Cummings is one of life s near failures. His job as a salesman is not going well. So, in a last ditch effort to impress his firm, he buys an expensive car that he cannot afford. The uninsured car is stolen and he is told by the police that there is a large car theft racket in the area, and that he is unlikely to see it again. Cummings loses his job and, near breaking point, he vows to retrieve his car no matter what the cost. He begins to delve into a sinister criminal underworld with potentially lethal consequences. A gritty, violent, British film noir that features Peter Sellers in a rare dramatic role, as a ruthless and sadistic crime boss. VCI DVD Release Date: June 19th, 2012

I Used To Be Darker - When nineteen-year-old Irish runaway Taryn (Deragh Campbell) turns up on the doorstep of her American relatives Bill (Ned Oldham) and his singer wife Kim (Kim Taylor), they welcome her presence even as they are dissolving their marriage. Also just back from the Hamptons is their daughter Abby (Hannah Gross), an aspiring actress resentful of her mother's new relationship with a younger bandmate as well as Taryn's seeming willingness to take her place as a more agreeable daughter substitute. When they discover that Taryn has been in the country for the last year without her parents' knowledge and is pregnant, her American relatives prod Taryn to mend her fractured relationship with her mother even as they grow more distant from one another. DVD Release Date: January 28th, 2014

Mara - Lovely Jenny (Angelica Jansson) has been suffering from terrifyingly realistic nightmares since she was a child when her unstable mother brutally murdered her father; so, naturally she is perturbed about returning to her old family home in the country for a get-together with her cousin Cissi (Cecilia Samuelsson) and her boyfriend Philip (Philip Hansell), nice guy Jakob (Martin Brandt) and bad girl Stina (Emelie Frantz Nilsson). Her concerns turn out to be not without merit when she wakes up one morning covered in blood and surrounded by the police; but is she really responsible for the possible deaths of her missing friends, or is her mother - who she has since has not been in the asylum all this time - responsible for the bloodbath? DVD Release Date: January 13th, 2014

 Next 4 weeks on the Calendar

February 3rd, 2014


City of Angels [Blu-ray] (Brad Silberling, 1998) Warner

Dallas Buyers Club [Blu-ray] (Jean-Marc Valle, 2013) Universal Studios

Death Wish [Blu-ray] (Michael Winner, 1974) Paramount (BEAVER REVIEW)

Escape Plan [Blu-ray] (Mikael Hfstrm, 2013) LionsGate (BEAVER REVIEW)

Filth [Blu-ray] (Jon S. Baird, 2013) RB UK Lions Gate Home Entertainment

The Inn of the Sixth Happiness [Blu-ray] (Mark Robson, 1958) 20th Century Fox (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Jacques Tati Collection [Blu-ray] - RB UK Studiocanal

Jules and Jim [Blu-ray] (Franois Truffaut, 1962) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW)

Mother of George [Blu-ray] (Andrew Dosunmu, 2013) Oscilloscope Laboratories

Night Of The Demons [Blu-ray] (Kevin Tenney, 1988) Shout! Factory

Stop-Loss [Blu-ray] (Kimberly Peirce, 2008) Paramount


February 10th, 2014


The Artist and the Model [Blu-ray] (Fernando Trueba, 2012) Cohen Media

Captain Phillips - Limited Edition Steelbook [Blu-ray] (Paul Greengrass, 2013) RB UK Sony (BEAVER REVIEW)

Cheeky [Blu-ray] (Tinto Brass, 2000) RB UK Arrow

Ender's Game [Blu-ray] (Gavin Hood, 2013) LionsGate

Frivolous Lola [Blu-ray] (Tinto Brass, 1998) RB UK Arrow

On the Job [Blu-ray] (Erik Matti, 2013) Well Go USA

Robbe-Grillet: Trans-Europ-Express [Blu-ray] (Alain Robbe-Grillet, 1967) Redemption

Robbe-Grillet: Successive Slidings of Pleasure [Blu-ray] (Alain Robbe-Grillet, 1974) Redemption

The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg (50th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray] (Jacques Demy, 1964) RB UK Studiocanal

Wadjda [Blu-ray] (Haifaa Al-Mansour, 2013) Sony


February 17th, 2014


Afternoon Delight [Blu-ray] (Jill Soloway, 2013) New Video Group

Bad Dreams / Visiting Hours [Blu-ray] - Shout! Factory

Darkman [Blu-ray] (Sam Raimi, 1990) Shout! Factory

Game of Thrones: The Complete Third Season [Blu-ray] - HBO

Fantastic Mr. Fox [Blu-ray] (Wes Anderson, 2009) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

Foreign Correspondent [Blu-ray] (Alfred Hitchcock, 1940) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

Fellini's Roma [Blu-ray] (Federico Fellini, 1972) RB UK Masters of Cinema


February 24th, 2014


Blue Is the Warmest Color [Blu-ray] (Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

Breathless [Blu-ray] (Jean-Luc Godard, 1960) Criterion Collection

Classe Tous Risques [Blu-ray] (Claude Sautet, 1960) RB UK BFI

Come Back, Africa - The Films of Lionel Rogosin, Volume 2 [Blu-ray] (1959) - Milestone

Dead of Night [Blu-ray] (Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Dearden, Robert Hamer, 1945) - RB UK Studiocanal

Gravity [Blu-ray] (Alfonso Cuaron, 2014) Warner Home Video

John Lennon's Imagine [Blu-ray Audio] 10 Spot

The Killers [Blu-ray] (Don Siegel, 1964) RB UK Arrow

King of the Hill [Blu-ray] (Steven Soderbergh, 1993) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

Phantom of the Paradise [Blu-ray] (Brian De Palma, 1974) RB UK Arrow

Serpico [Blu-ray] (Sidney Lumet, 1973) RB UK Masters of Cinema
Serpico [Steelbook] [
Blu-ray] (Sidney Lumet, 1973) RB UK Masters of Cinema

The Shadow [Blu-ray] (Russell Mulcahy, 1994) Shout! Factory (BEAVER REVIEW)

Tess [Blu-ray] (Roman Polanski, 1979) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW)

Thor: The Dark World [Blu-ray] (Alan Taylor, 2013) Walt Disney

Transport from Paradise (Zbynek Brynych, 1963) R2 UK Second Run

You Will Be My Son [Blu-ray] (Gilles Legrand, 2011) Cohen Media

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