Newsletter - FOR THE WEEK

OF February 22nd, 2010


This Week's Highlights

Da dika xalda shyn! - 28 new reviews this week with Godard (2), Losey and Pennebaker on Blu-ray plus the mother of all disasters flicks, purple-people-eating Triffids, primo Shaw Brothers, 2 Argento chillers, raw Rita Calderoni and the slinky Audrey Tautou - Evgenii Bauer to Halo Legends, Jean Genet to Jan Svankmajer, deadly secret agents and not-so-noir Noir, Stargate to 70's nude exploitables - it's all here in the DVDBeaver newsletter. - a new contest with a Criterion Blu-ray prize, many calendar updates and much more....

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DVD and Blu-ray of the Year 2009

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

M [Blu-ray] (Fritz Lang, 1931) - Criterion

Stagecoach (John Ford, 1939) Criterion
[Blu-ray] (John Ford, 1939) Criterion

Eclipse Series 21-Oshimas Outlaw Sixties - (Pleasures of the Flesh, Violence at Noon, Sing a Song of Sex, Double Suicide and Three Resurrected Drunkards) Criterion

Walkabout (Nicolas Roeg, 1971) Criterion
[Blu-ray] (Nicolas Roeg, 1971) Criterion

By Brakhage-An Anthology V02 - Criterion

By Brakhage-An Anthology V01 & 2 [Blu-ray] - Criterion

The Great Dictator [Blu-ray] (Charles Chaplin, 1940) R'B' UK Park Circus

The Kid [Blu-ray] (Charles Chaplin, 1921) R'B' UK Park Circus

The Killer [Blu-ray] (John Woo, 1989) Weinstein Company

The Girl on the Train (André Téchiné, 2009) Strand Releasing

Perry Mason: Season Five, Vol. 1 - Paramount

Essential Art House: Kapo (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1959) Criterion

Talhotblond: (Barbara Schroeder, 2009) Paramount

Sea Devils (Raoul Walsh, 1953) Vci Video

Up in the Air (Jason Reitman, 2009) Paramount
Up in the Air [Blu-ray] (Jason Reitman, 2009) Paramount

The Thomas Crown Affair [Blu-ray] (John McTiernan, 1999) MGM

An Education [Blu-ray] (Lone Scherfig, 2009) Sony Pictures Classics

Leaves of Grass [Blu-ray] (Tim Blake Nelson, 2009) First Look Pictures

American Bandits: Frank and Jesse James [Blu-ray] (Fred Olen Ray, 2010) Koch Vision

Carlito's Way [Blu-ray] (Brian De Palma, 1993) Universal Home Video

The Edge [Blu-ray] (Lee Tamahori, 1997) Fox Home Entertainment

Escape from L.A. [Blu-ray] (John Carpenter, 1996) Paramount

Elizabeth [Blu-ray] (Shekhar Kapur, 1998) Universal Pictures

Elizabeth: The Golden Age [Blu-ray] (Shekhar Kapur, 2007) Universal Pictures

Gone With The Wind: The Scarlett Edition [Blu-ray] - Warner Home Video

Sherlock Holmes [Blu-ray] (Guy Ritchie, 2009) Warner

Spaghetti Westerns (Bullet for Sandoval / Any Gun Can Play / Strangers Gun Down / Today We Kill... Tomorrow We Die) VCI

K-19: The Widowmaker [Blu-ray] (Kathryn Bigelow, 2002) Paramount

The Lovely Bones [Blu-ray] (Peter Jackson, 2009) Paramount

The Last Waltz [Blu-ray] (Martin Scorsese, 1978) Mgm Entertainment

La France (Serge Bozon, 2007) Kino

Son of Man (Mark Dornford-May, 2005) Kino

The Party's Over [Blu-ray] (Marc Behm, 1965) BFI

The Pleasure Girls [Blu-ray] (Gerry O'Hara, 1965) BFI

Prostitute [Blu-ray] (Tony Garnett, 1980) BFI

Breathless (2-disc Special Edition) (Yang Ik-Joon, 2009) R2 UK Terracotta Media

Departures [Blu-ray] (Yôjirô Takita, 2008) R'B' UK Arrow

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ONE VOICE (not Ellsworth Monkton Toohey):  I quite enjoyed investigating all the information for the two Studio Canal Collection Godard films on Blu-ray - how Pierrot le Fou would compare to the Criterion 1080P and the exceptional contrast of Breathless exporting the pure sensuality of  Seberg. Yummy. Losey's The Go-Between was a real pleasure to see in HD and in it's correct aspect ratio, to boot. In my youth I'd indulge in many Saturday afternoon, also-ran, creature-features or limited budget sci-fi films that always seem to be broadcast after lunch. Nostalgia leads me by the nose to find some enjoyment in modern popcorn entries like this new Day of the Triffids and 2012. I found something of interest with the super-suave James Coburn in The Internecine Project and VCI's British Film Noir Double Feature. I may have to indulge in And Then There Were None since I loved the Agatha Christie novel and don't think I've seen this film rendition. Eric keeps me intrigued covering salacious titles Nude For Satan and Pets plus a cornucopia of lean horror flicks like Footprints, Oasis of Fear, Paranoia, The Victim, and Bad Blood. Although it's my favorite martial arts of the genre - I must give a thumbs down to the Blu-ray of The 36th Chamber of Shaolin...


Pierrot le Fou BD - Made in 1965, this film, with its ravishing colors and beautiful 'Scope camerawork by Raoul Coutard, still looks as iconoclastic and fresh as it did when it belatedly opened in the U.S. Godard's misogynistic view of women as the ultimate betrayers is integral to the romanticism... Blu-ray Release Date: February 16th, 2010

Tenebre - A hybrid horror, both thriller and slasher, not to mention chopper and shocker, this confirms what Suspiria and Inferno led one to suspect. When it comes to plotting, Argento is one hell of a basket weaver...

Day of the Triffids BD - An epic adaptation of John Wyndham’s best-selling iconic novel, which brings his terrifying creation of carnivorous plant species to life in a CGI extravaganza, supported by a sensational all-star cast that includes Brian Cox, Vanessa Redgrave and Jason Priestley... Blu-ray Release date: February 22nd, 2010

Monterey Pop BD - The movie, filmed by Richard Leacock and D. A. Pennebaker, with the collaboration of Albert Maysles and other independent filmmakers, is an upbeat, color documentary of the 1967 pop-music festival in Monterey, Calif... Blu-ray Release date: September 22nd, 2009

Mad Love - Three Films by Evgenii Bauer - It was only in the dying days of the Soviet regime that the work of the Russian film pioneer Evgenii Bauer was rediscovered and celebrated. Before a premature death in 1917 he made over 80 films, of which more than 20 survive... DVD Release Date: June 24th, 2002

Halo Legends BD - The American-based Halo folks would supply the basic story lines for some seven segments that would trace the origins and other pieces of the Halo mythology and each anime director (five animation studio were involved) would be more or less free to design their own artistic solution to their particular story... Blu-ray Release date: February 18th, 2010

And Then There Were None - Eight guests have been invited on various pretenses to a hotel in the middle of the Iranian desert by an unknown host who is absent from dinner (with a centerpiece of ten Indian statuettes). After dinner, a tape-recorded voice (Orson Welles) charges the guests (and the two servants) with crimes that have escaped prosecution... Optimum DVD Release Date: 11 January 2010

The 36th Chamber of Shaolin BD - Released in Hong Kong on February 2, 1978, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (Commonly known as Master Killer) is the work of legendary martial arts director Lau Kar Leung. With a breakout role from Lau Chia Hui (Gordon Liu) and a villainous performance by the great Lo Lieh, the film is one of the most beloved in the history of Hong Kong action cinema... Blu-ray Release Date: March 2nd, 2010

Un chant d'amour - By the time Jean Genet made Un Chant D'Amour in 1950, he was already an infamous poet-pornographer whose novels and plays were banned internationally for their explicit descriptions of romping gay men and gorgeous criminals. Decades later, Genet maintained his antisocial image by writing reverentially about African-American radicals and the P.L.O.... DVD Release Date: June 2nd, 2003

Oasis of Fear - British schoolboy Dick (Ray Lovelock, LIVING DEAD AT MANCHESTER MORGUE) and nymph Ingrid (Ornella Muti) head to Catholic Italy to deal Copenhagen-purchased pornography to pay their way. When their stock runs out, they produce some of their own using Polaroids and photo booths.... DVD Release Date: 24 November 2008

Paranoia - After narrowly surviving a crash, race car driver Helen (Carroll Baker) gets a letter from her gigolo ex-husband Maurice (Jean Sorel) suggesting she come down to his villa on the Riviera to recover. She arrives to discover that he has married the rich Solange (Lisa Halvorsen)...

Two Evil Eyes - A Double Dose of Terror from the Directors of DAWN OF THE DEAD and SUSPIRIA. The masters of modern horror - George Romero and Dario Argento - bring you an unprecedented pair of shockers inspired by the tales of Edgar Allan Poe...

Breathless BD - There was before Breathless, and there was after Breathless. With its lack of polish, surplus of attitude, crackling personalities of rising stars Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg, and anything-goes crime narrative, Jean-Luc Godard's debut fashioned a simultaneous homage to and critique of the American film genres that influenced and rocked him as a film writer for Cahiers du cinema... Blu-ray Release Date: February 18th, 2010


2012 BD - Roland Emmerich's 2012 pounces on a Nostradamus-style loophole in the Mayan calendar and rams the apocalypse through it, gleefully conjuring up an enormous amount of Saturday-matinee fun in the process. A scientist (Chiwetel Ejiofor) detects shifting continental plates and sun flares... Blu-ray Release date: March 2nd, 2010

The Go-Between BD - An old man (Michael Redgrave) thinks back to a summer many years before when, as a young boy, he stayed with the aristocratic Maudsley family in their beautiful house in the Norfolk countryside. On the threshold of adolescence, intensely curious about sex, he became the go-between for... Blu-ray Release date: February 15th, 2010

Coco Before Chanel BD - "Coco Before Chanel" begins with an abandoned orphan girl named Gabrielle, watches her grow into a music hall chanteuse, who then sidesteps prostitution by becoming a mistress. All the while from behind the clouds of her cigarettes she regards the world with unforgiving realism and stubborn ambition... Blu-ray Release date: February 16th, 2010

The Internecine Project - Hollywood legend and Academy Award winner James Coburn stars as Prof. Robert Elliot, a former secret agent given the job opportunity of a lifetime: adviser to the President of the United States. However, he has some skeletons in his closet that need eliminating, namely the four people aware of his shady past... DVD Release Date: February 23rd, 2010

British Film Noir Double Feature - VCI brings two UK crime-dramas to DVD. The swift moving, no punches pulled exposé The Slasher and a hard-hitting tale is set at a boarding house-haven for unmarried mothers, Twilight Women. Nubile Joan Collins, Lois Maxwell (Bond's Miss Moneypenny) and Laurence Harvey co-star. DVD Release Date: February 23rd, 2010

Stargate SG-U 1.0 BD - One way to look at the Stargate franchise is to think of the stargate simply as a dramatic device that enables the cast of characters to move from one part of the universe to another and thus have to deal with new cultures and civilizations... Blu-ray Release date: February 9th, 2010

The Victim - Ting (Pitchanart Sakakorn), an aspiring actress, is hired by the Thai police force to participate in the reenacting of murders and achieves great media success while hoping she is not upsetting the ghosts of those she portrays. When she is cast as missing-now-believed-dead former Miss Thailand winner Meen (Apasiri Nitibhon)... DVD Release Date: September 18th, 2007

The Pleasure Garden - Filmed among the ruins of The Crystal Palace Terraces, 'The Pleasure Garden' is a playful and poetic ode to desire, and winner of the Prix de Fantasie Poetique at Canne in 1954... DVD Release Date: November 2nd, 2009

Pets - The 100 minute running time allows for a leisurely 70's pace, exploitable nudity, quotable dialogue, and a loose structure that keeps things unpredictable. Lead Rialson made quite a name for herself in a handful of memorable but obscure exploitation pictures but PETS may be her ultimate showcase. DVD Release Date: October 13th, 2009

Footprints - Based on a novel called “Las Huertas” by co-scenarist Mario Fanelli, FOOTPRINTS is a superior giallo-esque piece of cinema and is no easier to pin down to a specific genre than.... DVD Release Date: August 29th, 2009

The Exiles - Originally completed in 1961 but never released theatrically, THE EXILES is a rediscovered masterpiece that lay dormant in the archives for over 45 years.... DVD Release Date: February 22nd, 2010

Nude For Satan - While driving on a lonely stretch of road in the middle of the night to answer a call, Dr. William Benson (Stelio Candelli) comes across the crashed car of Susan (Rita Calderoni). He goes up to a nearby castle to seek help but is confronted by ghostly images and then... DVD Release Date: August 26th, 2008

Bad Blood - Intellectual Xavier (Adriano Luz) drags his wife Helena (Manuela Couto) and kids (the oldest son ready to break away, the daughter a teenage mother, and the youngest son still not having gotten over his fear of the dark) away from Lisbon to a backwoods village and an old house that he has inherited from a very distant uncle... DVD Release Date: August 28th, 2007

Bloody Reunion - Mrs Park, an ailing schoolteacher is encouraged by one of her former students - now her caregiver - to invite several of her now-grown former students to her home for a reunion. It turns out that none of the students have pleasant memories of Mrs. Park... DVD Release Date: March 13th, 2007

Jan Svankmajer - Complete Shorts - The most comprehensive DVD collection ever assembled of all 26 short films by the legendary Czech Surrealist filmmaker-animator Jan Svankmajer is released by the BFI. Technically and conceptually astonishing in their own right, these films are also as remarkable for their philosophical consistency as for their frequently mind-boggling imagery... DVD Release Date: May 28th, 2007

 Next 3 weeks on the Calendar

Week of February 22nd, 2010


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

An Englishman in New York (Richard Laxton, 2009) Breaking Glass Pictures

The Films of Amos Gitai: Six Films From Israel (KADOSH / KIPPUR / KEDMA / ALILA / DEVARIM / YOM YOM) - Kino

Belzec (Guillaume Moscovitz, 2005) Menemsha Films

Bliss (Abdullah Oguz, 2007) First Run Features

City Girl [Blu-ray] (F.W. Murnau 1930) RB UK Masters of Cinema (BEAVER REVIEW)

Copying Beethoven [Blu-ray] (Agnieszka Holland, 2006) R'B' UK Verve Pictures

The Crazies [Blu-ray] (George A. Romero, 1973) Blue Underground

The Damned United [Blu-ray] (Tom Hooper, 2009) Sony (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Day of the Triffids [Blu-ray] (Nick Copus, 2009) R 'B' UK Showbox (BEAVER REVIEW)

Dead Snow [Blu-ray] (Tommy Wirkola, 2009) MPI Home Video

Dirty Harry/Magnum Force [Blu-ray] (Action Double Feature) - Warner

Eclipse Series 20: George Bernard Shaw on Film (Major Barbara, Caesar and Cleopatra and Androcles and the Lion) Criterion Collection

Fernando Arrabal Collection 2 - Cult Epics

Forgotten Noir Double Feature Vol 13: Breakdown & Eye Witness (aka: Your Witness) - VCI

In the Electric Mist [Blu-ray] (Bertrand Tavernier, 2009) RB UK High Fliers

The Informant! [Blu-ray] (Steven Soderbergh, 2009) Warner (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Internecine Project (Ken Hughes, 1974) Scorpion Entertainment (BEAVER REVIEW)

Katalin Varga (Peter Strickland, 2009) R2 UK Artificial Eye

Laura (David Hamilton, 1979) Jef Films

M (Fritz Lang, 1931) R2 UK Masters of Cinema
M [
Blu-ray] (Fritz Lang, 1931) RB UK Masters of Cinema

Make Way for Tomorrow (Leo McCarey, 1937) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW)

No Orchids for Miss Blandish (St John Legh Clowes, 1948) - VCI

Power Play (Martyn Burke, 1978) - Scorpion Entertainment

Presumed Innocent/Frantic [Blu-ray] (Thriller Double Feature) - Warner (BEAVER REVIEW)

Spaghetti Western Bible Vol. 4 Trinity 10 Film Collection - Asia Vision

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

There's Always Tomorrow (Douglas Sirk, 1956) RB UK Masters of Cinema (BEAVER REVIEW)

Three Films by Jean-Marie Straub and Daniele Huillet - R2 UK - Drakes Avenue

Wings Of Desire [Blu-ray] (Wim Wenders, 1987) R'B' UK Axiom Films



March 1st, 2010


The 36th Chamber of Shaolin [Blu-ray] (Chia-Liang Liu, 1978) Vivendi (BEAVER REVIEW)

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

Alice [Blu-ray] (Nick Willing, 2009) Lions Gate

Alice in Wonderland (Norman Z. McLeod, 1933) Universal Studios

An Inspector Calls (Guy Hamilton, 1954) R2 UK Optimum

The Beaches Of Agnes - Cinema Guild

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

Clash of the Titans [Blu-ray] (Desmond Davis, 1981) Warner Home Video

Cold Souls (Sophie Barthes, 2009) 20th Century Fox

Dead Man Running [Blu-ray] (Alex De Rakoff, 2009) R'B' UK Revolver Entertainment

Emmanuelle [Blu-ray] (Just Jaeckin, 1974) R'B' UK Optimum

The Horseman [Blu-ray] (Steven Kastrissios, 2008) R'B' UK Spirit Entertainment

Jacob's Ladder [Blu-ray] (Adrian Lyne, 1990) RB UK Optimum

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

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

Ponyo [Blu-ray] (Hayao Miyazaki, 2008) Buena Vista (BEAVER REVIEW)

Where the Wild Things Are [Blu-ray] (Spike Jonze, 2009) - Warner Home Video

The Wicker Man [Blu-ray] (Robin Hardy, 1973) R'B' UK - Optimum



March 8th, 2010


An Education [Blu-ray] (Lone Scherfig, 2009) R'B' UK E1 Entertainment

Black Snow (Fei Xie, 1990) R2 UK Second Run DVD

The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day [Blu-ray] (Troy Duffy , 2009) Sony Pictures

Gigante (Adrian Biniez, 2009) Film Movement

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

Midnight Movie / Killer Movie [Blu-ray] - Peace Arch

Paris [Blu-ray] (Cedric Klapisch, 2008) MPI

Pirate Radio [Blu-ray] (Richard Curtis, 2009) - Universal Studios

Planet 51 [Blu-ray] (Jorge Blanco, 2009) Sony Pictures

Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire [Blu-ray] (Lee Daniels, 2009) - Lionsgate

Up in the Air (Jason Reitman, 2009) Paramount
Up in the Air [
Blu-ray] (Jason Reitman, 2009) Paramount

The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke, 2009) R2 UK Artificial Eye

The White Ribbon [Blu-ray] (Michael Haneke, 2009) R'B' UK Artificial Eye

The Who: The Kids Are Alright [Blu-ray] (Jeff Stein, 1979) Sanctuary


Criterion have apparently lost the rights to their titles licensed from Studio Canal which Lions Gate will now be handling. The following Criterion titles will be out-of-print and therefore completely unavailable through normal channels by the end of March, 2010.

Carlos Saura’s Flamenco Trilogy (Eclipse Series 6) PURCHASE LINK (BEAVER REVIEW)
Coup de torchon PURCHASE LINK
Diary of a Country Priest PURCHASE LINK
Forbidden Games PURCHASE LINK
Gervaise (Essential Art House edition) PURCHASE LINK (BEAVER REVIEW)
Le jour se lève (Essential Art House edition) PURCHASE LINK
Last Holiday (Essential Art House edition) PURCHASE LINK
Mayerling (Essential Art House edition) PURCHASE LINK (BEAVER REVIEW)
Pierrot le fou (DVD and Blu-ray editions) PURCHASE LINK (BEAVER REVIEW)
Port of Shadows PURCHASE LINK
Quai des Orfèvres PURCHASE LINK
The Small Back Room PURCHASE LINK
The Tales of Hoffmann PURCHASE LINK
Variety Lights PURCHASE LINK


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