Newsletter - FOR THE WEEK

OF February 10th, 2014

  This Week's Highlights

Zan! - A week with plenty of variety including BD Audio, Late 80's trash, Hammer Studios, 3 'modern' films, French Noir and Euro S+M... plus more, The Release Calendar has quite the Blu-ray update with listings including films by Werner Herzog, David O. Russell, Steve McQueen, Jan Svankmajer, Alain Robbe-Grillet and Señor Spielbergo and there is a new CONTEST posted with a Criterion 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 10th CONTEST  identify the clip on the CONTEST PAGE to win a Blu-ray of Criterion's Jules and Jim 

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Aguirre, Wrath of God (Limited Edition Blu-ray Steelbook) (Werner Herzog, 1972) RB UK BFI

Werner Herzog Collection (7-disc Blu-ray Box Set) 18-films including Aguirre, Wrath of God , The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, Heart of Glass, Stroszek, Nosferatu, the Vampyre, Woyzeck, Fitzcarraldo and more - RB UK BFI

American Hustle [Blu-ray] (David O. Russell, 2013) Sony Pictures

12 Years a Slave [Blu-ray] (Steve McQueen, 2013) 20th Century Fox

Alice [Blu-ray] (Jan Svankmajer, 1988) First Run Features

The Jungle Book [Blu-ray] (Wolfgang Reitherman, 1967) Disney

Alain Robbe-Grillet: Six Films 1964-1974 (Blu-ray Box Set) The Immortal One (1964), Trans-Europ Express (1967), The Man Who Lies (1968), Eden and After (1970), N. Rolls the Dice (1971) and Successive Slidings Into Pleasure (1974). - RB UK BFI

Zoolander [Blu-ray] (Ben Stiller, 2001) Paramount Pictures

Möbius [Blu-ray] (Eric Rochant, 2013) Lions Gate

Ernest & Celestine [Blu-ray] (Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, 2012) New Video Group

Amistad [Blu-ray] (Steven Spielberg, 1997) Dreamworks Video

Evilspeak [Blu-ray] (Eric Weston, 1981) Shout! Factory

An Inaccurate Memoir [Blu-ray] (Shu-peng Yang, 2012) Well Go USA

All Is Lost [Blu-ray] (J. C. Chandor, 2013) Lions Gate

Diana [Blu-ray] (Oliver Hirschbiegel, 2013) Entertainment One

Fists of Legend [Blu-ray] (Woo-Suk Kang, 2013) CJ Entertainment

After the Dark [Blu-ray] (John Huddles, 2013) Phase 4 Films

Sleepaway Camp [Blu-ray] (Robert Hiltzik, 1983) Shout! Factory

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



ONE VOICE (not Ellsworth Monkton Toohey): Kind of a Love/Hate week for me (perhaps I am getting more judgmental in my old age) A few things stood out, very positively, this week - BFI's excellent Blu-ray of Claude Sautet's Classe Tous Risques was impressive to watch in 1080P. Haifaa al-Mansour's groundbreaking Wadjda is certainly a film worth investing in on Blu-ray, IMO. I thought Fernando Trueba's The Artist and the Model was stunning in its black + white clarity - absolutely recommend! Trans-Europ-Express on Blu-ray takes a big leap over SD and I see more in the film each time I watch it. I'm always up for Hammer - even the lesser stuff - The Mummy's Shroud qualifies and fans of the studio should gain enjoyment. I'll assume I am in the minority in enjoying Rowdy Roddy in Hell Comes to Frogtown - now on Arrow Blu-ray. It's not that Ender's Game is 'poor' - it is just not my type of film experience. Hellgate had potential but is truly bad, and not in much of a 'good way' - I'd say pass. Now, the two Blu-ray-Audio discs - Imagine - John Lennon and The Hurting - Tears For Fears I certainly don't critique the sound quality or value of the individual albums but this new format is being cut short with releases where the medium could offer so much more - and a few releases do (Songs in the Key of Life and Ella + Louis). I still have high hopes, but feel endorsing these last two wouldn't benefit the format's growth. On DVD this week Eric covered, his usual, lower-budget films-to-DVD with titles like The Creeps, Shadowzone, Robot Wars and Blood Glacier. I must admit that I am intrigued by the Scandinavian crime drama Unit One. I snuck in a review of the L'Enfer (2005) coincidentally (like the Claude Chabrol 1994 film) also with the alluring Emmanuelle Beart but based on the Krzysztof Kieslowski script... Have a wonderful week.


Hellgate BD - Legends abound of ‘The Hellgate Hitchhiker’. So the story goes, a beautiful young woman was once brutally defiled and murdered by a biker gang. Now, returned from the dead, she wanders the roadside luring unsuspecting motorists to their doom... Refusing to heed the warnings of locals, a group of college friends set out on a cross-country road trip looking for fun and frolics. But they get much more than they bargained for when they wind up in the abandoned mining town of Hellgate and hemmed in by hordes of the undead! Blu-ray Release date: February 3rd, 2014

Hell Comes to Frogtown BD - With the 20th Century drawing to a close, nuclear war has wiped out civilization as we know it. The embattled human race s last remaining hope lies with one man and his loaded weapon. Sam Hell may be an ex-con, but he also happens to be one of the last surviving fertile men on the planet. Now, under the custody of a group of feisty female fighters, Sam finds himself enlisted on a mission to impregnate a harem of beauties. Sounds cushy enough, but the ladies in question are prisoners of Frogtown home to a gang of mutant (and ill-mannered) amphibians! Blu-ray Release Date: February 3rd, 2014

Imagine - John Lennon BD Audio - Imagine is the second album by John Lennon. Recorded and released in 1971, it tended towards songs that were gentler, more commercial and less primal rock than those on his previous album, the critically acclaimed John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. The album is considered the most popular of his works. In 2012, Imagine was voted 80th on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Blu-ray Audio Release date: February 25th, 2014 (In USA)

The Mummy's Shroud BD - The time is 1920; the place is Mezzera, Egypt, an exotic land of mystery and ancient magic. A routine expedition is about to turn into a violent, murderous rampage that few will survive. Renowned scientist Sir Basil Walden and a team of expert archaeologists are on a journey to find the lost tomb of pharaoh Kah-to-Bey. Having ignored warnings of a deathly curse, the expedition unearths the pharaoh’s final resting place with horrific consequences. A vengeful spirit has been unleashed and it wants their flesh... Blu-ray Release date: October 22nd, 2012

Ender's Game BD - In the near future, a hostile alien race has attacked Earth. If not for the legendary heroics of International Fleet Commander Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley), all would have been lost. In preparation for the next attack, the highly esteemed Colonel Hyrum Graff (Harrison Ford) and the International Military are training the best and brightest young children to find the future Mazer. Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a shy, but strategically brilliant boy is pulled out of his school to join the elite. Blu-ray Release date: February 11th, 2014

Classe Tous Risques BD - Starring the great Italian-born character actor Lino Ventura as a once-powerful Parisian gangster who has grown weary of his exile in Italy and longs to return home to his wife and two small children in Paris. In order to finance this ambition he decides to pull one last job - boldly executed in broad daylight on the streets of Milan. His getaway proves dangerous but when he enlists the help of his old partners-in-crime, they are reluctant to risk their own safety and instead send a complete stranger - the fresh-faced Eric Stark (Jean-Paul Belmondo) - to escort their former comrade to Paris. Blu-ray Release Date: February 24th, 2014

The Artist and the Model BD - Scripted with insight and sensitivity by Fernando Trueba and Jean-Claude Carrière, this mournful exploration of the toll taken by time and conflict turns to Matisse and Picasso for its story about the impact a Spanish Civil War fugitive has on a reclusive 80 year-old sculptor. However, while Aida Folch inspires Jean Rochefort, with the connivance of his anxious wife Claudia Cardinale, her commitment to the anti-fascist cause is stronger than her self-preservation. Beautifully photographed by Daniel Vilar, this is an impeccably played gem, whose ideas are as potent as its imagery. Blu-ray Release date: February 11th, 2014

The Hurting - Tears For Fears BD Audio - The Hurting is the debut album by the British new wave band Tears for Fears. It was released on March 7th, 1983, and peaked at no. 1 on the UK Album Chart. The album was certified Gold by the BPI within three weeks of release, and reached Platinum status in January 1985. The album contains Tears For Fears' first three hit singles – "Mad World", "Change", and "Pale Shelter" – all of which reached the Top 5 in the UK. It also contains a new version of the band's first single, "Suffer The Children", which had originally been released in 1981. All found on this Blu-ray audio album. Blu-ray Audio Release date: January, 2014

Wadjda BD - Writer/director Haifaa al-Mansour makes her feature directorial debut with this film about a headstrong 10-year-old girl named Wadjda (Waad Mohammed) who's determined to challenge a neighborhood boy to a bike race despite the potentially dire repercussions. When Wadjda's mother refuses to purchase her a bike, the young girl defiantly enters a Koran reading competition to earn the money she needs to buy it herself. Once Wadjda has her bike, the only thing left to do is prove to her young friend Abdullah that girls can race bikes just as well as boys. But not everyone is willing to accept a young girl who refuses to play by society's rules, and now the closer Wadjda gets to achieving her goal, the deeper her understanding of the division between the sexes grows. Blu-ray Release date: February 11th, 2014

Trans-Europ-Express BD - This complex and witty crime drama is set aboard a Paris train bound for Antwerp. Aboard are a husband and wife. Also aboard, but during a different time and space, is a gangster. The husband and wife are planning to make a film, Trans-Europ-Express featuring an actor who looks exactly like the gangster. The film takes a free-form rather than chronological approach to telling the tale. Blu-ray Release Date: February 11th, 2014

Robot Wars - Toward the end of the 21st Century two great powers dominated the world, a division that resulted from a 30-year war known as the War of the Hemispheres. The war came to an end with the creation of giant, indestructible mega-robots designed for military missions and balance of power. Recently, the mega-robot has become a tourist attraction and is used for tours through the wasteland. While on one such tour, the MRAS-2 is attacked by an extremely violent terrorist group known as the Murdaggians. Their leader turns out to be a frequent passenger on the mega-robot, Professor B. Wa-Lee, who hijacks the MRAS-2. The only hope to stop the Murdaggians is Lane Drury, the robot s pilot. But can he do it in time? DVD Release Date: February 17th, 2014

Blood Glacier - The gates of hell are made of ice in this tense horror thriller paying homage to The Thing and Assault on Precinct 13. Four technicians and scientists at an alpine research station discover a glacier of blood high in the mountains. Testing the red liquid oozing from the ice, they discover a new alien organism with the astonishing capability of transforming the local wildlife into horrific hybrids and monster mutations. With the Minister of the Environment hiking to the station for an official visit, many frightening questions must be answered if the confrontational team are to survive and cope with the giant wood lice, the beetle-foxes, crossbred flying predators and much, much worse... DVD Release Date: January 27th, 2014

L'Enfer (2005) - French drama based on a script by Krzysztof Kieslowski, completed just before his death. In 1980s Paris a man, fresh from his release from prison, is rejected by his wife. After a violent confrontation he throws himself from the apartment window, an act witnessed by his three young daughters. In present day Paris the three daughters, now grown up, live their own lives. Sophie (Emmanuelle Beart), the eldest, is married with young children but suspects her husband of having an affair. The youngest, Anne (Marie Gillain), is a student involved in a messy relationship with one of her tutors. Middle sister Celine (Karin Viard) lives a solitary and joyless life, caring for their difficult mother. When a young man starts to take an interest in her, she little suspects the true motive behind his approaches. DVD Release Date: August 21st, 2006

Unit One - Series 3 of the long-standing Nordic Noir thriller series that tells the story of a group of staunch crime experts from an elite unit within the Danish police force. We follow their fascinating yet frightening work in the Danish underworld and witness their unflinching commitment and affectionate solidarity when pitted against horrifying, yet all-too-real, examples of the extremes of human nature they face in the line of duty. Unit One is based on true criminal cases through the last 10 years. DVD Release Date: January 6th, 2014

Shadowzone - Beyond ALIEN. Beyond THE THING. On the dark side of dreams, a new terror takes shape. There s been a gruesome death at Project Shadowzone but that s just the beginning. A group of NASA hyper-sleep researchers are conducting tests in an abandoned underground facility in the Nevada desert. One subject has died during the test and NASA has sent in Captain Hickock (DAVID BEECROFT) to investigate. What he finds is more horrific than the death itself. The scientists, guided by Dr. Erhart (LOUISE FLETCHER) and Dr. Van Fleet (JAMES HONG), have broken the boundaries of dream-state sleep and have tapped into a parallel dimension. The deadly error brings forth an alien life form that decides to stay and prey. The alien being can assume any life form it wants and becomes each person s deepest darkest fear. When only Hickock and Dr. Erhart survive the deadly rampage they must confront the unrelenting intruder and find a way out of the SHADOWZONE. 88 Films DVD Release Date: October 21st, 2013

The Creeps - Dracula. Frankenstein. The Werewolf. The Mummy . These scary subjects of innumerable nightmares have been brought to life, but there was a problem in the process... Though imbued with most of the expected attributes, the creatures' creator made a little error in the equation. They're three feet tall and not happy at all. These mini-monsters must now embark on a mission to complete their creation at any cost. DVD Release Date: January 27th, 2014

 Next 4 weeks on the Calendar

February 10th, 2014


All Is Lost [Blu-ray] (J. C. Chandor, 2013) Lions Gate

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

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

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

Diana [Blu-ray] (Oliver Hirschbiegel, 2013) Entertainment One

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

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

The Jungle Book [Blu-ray] (Wolfgang Reitherman, 1967) Disney

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

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

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 (BEAVER REVIEW)



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

Fists of Legend [Blu-ray] (Woo-Suk Kang, 2013) CJ Entertainment

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 (BEAVER REVIEW)

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

Thor: The Dark World (1-Disc 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


March 3rd, 2014


12 Years a Slave [Blu-ray] (Steve McQueen, 2013) 20th Century Fox

Boiler Room [Blu-ray] (Ben Younger, 2000) New Line Video
Far and Away [
Blu-ray] (Ron Howard, 1992) Universal Studios

The Fly - Limited Edition Steelbook [Blu-ray] (Kurt Neumann, 1958) RB UK 20th Century Fox

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

Somewhere in Time [Blu-ray] (Jeannot Szwarc, 1980) Universal Studios

The Visitor [Blu-ray] (Giulio Paradisi , 1979) New Video Group

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