DVDBeaver Newsletter - February 23rd, 2008

Yamakarra! - 13 new reviews this week - Frankenheimer, Friedkin, Argento.... Elvis!, a huge pile of exciting new Calendar Releases! including Antonioni, Criterion and Masters of Cinema, some continued SALES, and another new CONTEST. Less reviews, but hopefully less trash as well...

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

RE: The Fugitive Season 2, Volume 1 - CBS/Paramount has now restored much of The Fugitive's original music and is offering a replacement program to those who buy (or already bought) Season Two, Vol. 1. Then, for the price of a stamp, the buyers just mail in the form along with the 2 Proof-of-Purchase tabs, and within 4-6 weeks, they'll receive 4 replacement discs, plus a new paper insert. And here's the link to the form HERE (Thanks Joyce!)

Kindle 2: Amazon's New Wireless Reading Device (Latest Generation) available February 24th HERE (get your place in the que)!

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, Forums (Criterion, Home Theater, AVS, Rotten Tomatoes, Film Noir), IMdb, DVDBasen, Beaver links, Cinephile Blogs/Journals (Rosenbaum, Kehr, Acquarello etc.). What do you think?
FOR MORE INFORMATION / DOWNLOAD SEE HERE *** (We can adjust this to suit popular opinion - on-the-fly - no re-install required!)



US Blu-ray $16.99 or lower        UK Blu-ray 2 for 3 SALE

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

FEBRUARY 23rdh CONTEST - identify the clip on the CONTEST PAGE to win brand new sealed DVD package of Casablanca (Ultimate Collector's Edition)  - Best of luck all!

BIG THANKS!: DVDBeaver would not exist without the support of many patrons - those who generously donate, and especially those who use our Amazon, CD Japan 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 Prime! You will get Free 2-day shipping on your purchases!


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

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

Zabriskie Point (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1970) Warner Home Video NOTE: Let's hope for anamorphic with original music!

Fracture [Blu-ray] (Gregory Hoblit, 2007) Turner Home Entertainment

RAN [Blu-ray] (Akira Kurosawa, 1985)  - Criterion

Wise Blood (John Huston, 1979) Criterion

The Friends of Eddie Coyle (Peter Yates, 1974) Criterion

Pigs, Pimps & Prostitutes: 3 Films by Shohei Imamura - Pigs and Battleships (Shohei Imamura, 1962), The Insect Woman (Shohei Imamura, 1963), Intentions of Murder (Shohei Imamura, 1964) – Criterion

Eclipse Series 16: Alexander Korda's Private Lives - The Private Life of Henry VIII (Alexander Korda, 1933), The Rise of Catherine the Great (Paul Czinner, 1934), The Private Life of Don Juan (Alexander Korda, 1934) and Rembrandt (Alexander Korda, 1936) – Criterion

Trainspotting [Blu-ray] (Danny Boyle, 1996) - Alliance (Universal)

Requiem for a Dream [Blu-ray] (Darren Aronofsky, 2000) - Alliance (Universal)

The Silence of the Lambs [Blu-ray] (Jonathan Demme, 1991) Fox Video

Boiler Room [Blu-ray] (Ben Younger, 2000) - Alliance (Universal)

Batman: The Motion Picture Anthology 1989-1997 [Blu-ray] – Warner

A Time to Love and a Time to Die (Douglas Sirk, 1958) R2 UK Masters of Cinema

Une femme mariée: Suite de fragments d'un film tourné en 1964 (Jean-Luc Godard, 1964) R2 UK Masters of Cinema

La Gueule ouverte (Maurice Pialat, 1974) R2 UK Masters of Cinema

Philippe Garrel x 2 (Two-Disc Set) - (I Can No Longer Hear the Guitar, Emergency Kisses) – Zeitgeist

Of Time and the City (Terence Davies, 2008) Strand Releasing

Man Hunt (Fritz Lang, 1941) 20th Century Fox

Wild at Heart [Blu-ray] (David Lynch, 1990) 101 Distribution

Seven [Blu-ray] (David Fincher, 1995) 101 Distribution

The Day the Earth Stood Still [Blu-ray] (Scott Derrickson, 2008) - 20th Century Fox

What Doesn't Kill You (Brian Goodman, 2008) Sony Pictures

What Doesn't Kill You [Blu-ray] (Brian Goodman, 2008) Sony Pictures

Dark Matter (Shi-Zheng Chen, 2007) Universal Studios

The Da Vinci Code [Blu-ray] (Ron Howard , 2006) Sony Pictures

Passengers (Rodrigo García, 2008) Sony Pictures

Passengers [Blu-ray] (Rodrigo García, 2008) Sony Pictures

The Film Noir Collection - Woman On The Run (Norman Foster, 1950) R2 UK Glass Key DVD NOTE: I' m leery of these - Glass Key's whole Noir Lineup is Public Domain - available in the US under Alpha Video.

Thérèse Raquin (Marcel Carné, 1953) R2UK Optimum Home Entertainment

Black Snake (Russ Meyer, 1973) R2 UK Arrow Films

Yangtse Incident (Michael Anderson, 1957) R2UK Optimum Home Entertainment

The Loyal 47 Ronin (Kunio Watanabe, 1958) Animeigo

Monsters, Inc, [Blu-ray] (Pete Docter, 2001) Walt Disney Video

Star Trek: Original Motion Picture Collection [Blu-ray] (Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Bonus Disc) – Paramount

Star Trek: Motion Picture Trilogy [Blu-ray] (Star Trek II, III and IV) – Paramount

Star Trek: The Original Series: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] – Paramount

Frost/Nixon (Ron Howard, 2008) Universal Studios

Frost/Nixon [Blu-ray] (Ron Howard, 2008) Universal Studios

A Bug's Life [Blu-ray] (John Lasseter, 1998) Disney

Doubt (John Patrick Shanley, 2008) Miramax

Doubt [Blu-ray] (John Patrick Shanley, 2008) Miramax



ONE VOICE (not Ellsworth Monkton Toohey): A short week, so to speak.  Treasures IV: American Avant-Garde Film, 1947-1986 is golden and for those who venture in that direction - it is a must-own. Blu-rays that are worthy; I've Loved You So Long BR (solid film effort), The French Connection BR (if you are agreeable to Friedkin's 'adjustments'), nostalgia with Vanishing Point BR, Bonnie and Clyde BR, and the seminal Giallo; The Bird With the Crystal Plumage BR. I have no knowledge that Ronin BR will get better treatment but for hi-def it under-whelms. Fans will rejoice with Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder BR. "Ebbeddebbeeb... Th-th-th-that's all folks!"


New Reviews:

The Wind of Fear - Co-writer/director Gustavo Moheno's remake of late, underrated director Carlos Enrique Taboada (whose exquisite LIBRO DE PIEDRA has also just been remade) doesn't hold a candle to the original. Despite the relatively restrained supernatural tone and some likable if not exactly sympathetic young female characters, the script is a mess and the ghost neither evokes fear nor pity. In Taboada's original film, Marga Lopez's dragon headmistress (quite a contrast to her concerned protagonist in LIBRO DE PIEDRA) is even more terrifying than the ghost but the equivalent character in the remake is more bland and pathetic than loathsome (and a more sympathetic adult character's motives have been made suspect by making certain aspects of the original film more blatant). As a remake, not particularly good. As a standalone horror film, it's rent-worthy but forgettable (though certainly less insulting than much of its American contemporaries). DVD Release Date: November 11th, 2008

I've Loved You So Long BR - Juliette Fontaine (Kristin Scott Thomas, Golden Globe Nominee for I've Loved You So Long, Oscar nominee for The English Patient) is a frail, haunted woman, an ex-doctor who's a shell of her former self. Having served 15 years in prison for an unspeakable crime, she's back on the "outside." With nowhere else to go, she comes to live with her loving but estranged sister Lea (Elsa Zylberstein). Together the sisters embark on a painful but redemptive journey back from life's darkest edge in this gripping drama of struggle and salvation. Blu-ray Release date: March 3rd, 2009

Treasures IV: American Avant-Garde Film, 1947-1986 - In the years following World War II, a new generation of Americans began experimenting with cinema. Some came to filmmaking from painting or sculpture; others from music, anthropology, photography, or political activism. A few took up the camera to create art with friends. Armed with inexpensive 16mm and 8mm equipment, these filmmakers started from scratch and pushed film in directions it had never gone before. Treasures IV: American Avant-Garde Film, 1947-1986 presents 26 films by artists who helped to redefine cinema. It is the first anthology of the period available on DVD. DVD Release Date: March 3rd, 2009

The Boondock Saints BR - I kind of enjoyed this movie for as long as I was able to see it as a satire of vigilante vengeance films. Between the bemused glances between the brothers, the deliciously crazed "Funny Man" Rocco, and the entertaining song and dance performed by Detective Smecker, as well as his identification with the objectives of the "Saints" were such that I couldn't help myself. Blu-ray Release date: February 10th, 2007

Jailhouse Rock BR - Jailhouse Rock is not really a musical in the usual sense since the songs are worked into the plot naturally: Elvis picks up a guitar in jail and sings a small ballad. Later, he tries his luck at a recording studio, and further on he sings at a party where, as a successful recording artist, his character is expected to sing. There are relatively few songs, but they are of a generally higher caliber than your average Elvis movie. Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller, who wrote Hound Dog for Big Mama Thornton, wrote a couple of the songs here, including the title song. However, the song that gets the most play is Young and Beautiful, a lovely ballad by Abner Silver & Aaron Schröder. The one big set piece, where we get to see the pelvic gyrations for which Elvis became a household name, is for Jailhouse Rock; and though its high production values seem a little out of place in this relatively straightforward melodrama, we are grateful for its being here. Blu-ray Release date: September 18th, 2007

Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder BR - At the construction site of New Mars Vegas, an accident causes a piece of necklace to lodge in Fry's head, giving him mind-reading abilities. He joins the Legion of Mad Fellows, who are trying to stop evil forces from destroying the gateway to the "green age". Bender falls in love with a fembot married to Donbot of the Robot Mafia. Leo Wong goes to demolish an arm of the Milky Way for a miniature golf course, prompting Leela, Amy and LaBarbara to join an eco-feminist society on the run from the government and Zapp Brannigan. Fry is informed by the Legion of Mad Fellows that with his missing Delta brain wave he is the only one who can stop the impending destruction of the new green age. Blu-ray Release date: February 24th, 2009

The Bird With the Crystal Plumage BR - In his first film as writer/director, Dario Argento (Suspira, Deep Red, Two Evil Eyes) single-handedly created the Giallo genre and instantly emerged as the filmmaker critics worldwide hailed as 'The Italian Hitchcock.' Tony Musante (Traffic, We Own the Night) and Suzy Kendall (Circus of Fear, Torso) star in this pulse-pounding suspense thriller about an American writer in Rome who witnesses - and is helpless to stop - a brutal assault, the cunning vengeance of a maniac, and the heart-stopping horror that lives - and kills - deep in the dark. Blu-ray Release date: February 24th, 2009

The French Connection II BR - In his commentary for the video, director John Frankenheimer gives an indication of what turned out to be this sequel's difficulty: a script. The original movie had something of a perfect ending, and cried out for no footnotes beyond those provided before the credits (and even those footnotes might have been done without), so why a sequel. Well, the idea is that Doyle is sent to Marseille to continue his chase of the international drug smuggler Charnier (Fernando Rey), who, you will remember, was based there. On arrival Doyle wastes no opportunity to insult his host and the French in general. He doesn't speak the language (no surprise) and makes no effort to learn so much as a simple phrase or two just to navigate his way about. Not that he sees it that way, but his helplessness only seems to enrage him all the more. The idea of Doyle being dependent on another human being is not exactly in his repertoire. Blu-ray Release date: February 24th, 2009

Vanishing Point BR - Crashing through American culture, the cinematic super-charged, white-lightning Vanishing Point presses ever onward -- solidifying its legacy as one of the greatest car chase movies to ever be capture on celluloid. While hell-on-wheels anti-hero barrels through police blockades, the film takes a more subtle approach when spinning its social commentary on early-'70s America. Fast cars, cliché cops, and naked chicks veil Vanishing Point's attack on American censorship, conformity, and racism -- cruising toward the moment when American liberties disappear into the horizon. Blu-ray Release date: February 24th, 2009

The French Connection BR - Friedkin's movie is a fictionalized account of New York City's largest drug bust. But at the same time it is about blurring the line between good guys and bad guys (now default in your typical crime thriller) and the gritty, yet often boring pursuit of narcotics crime. Gene Hackman is the relentlessly obsessive Jimmy Doyle, certain of his hunches as he is unmindful of the line that separates cop from criminal. He bears down on international drug smuggler Charnier (Fernando Rey) in one of cinema's most dizzying chase sequences, then follows this failure with a quite literally scene-chewing chase under the "L". Blu-ray Release date: February 24th, 2009

Ronin BR - The trademark style of writer David Mamet is indelibly imprinted upon this script. Although the dialogue doesn't bear the staccato rhythm that Mamet brings to the movies he directs, the lines are sharp and occasionally bitingly funny. According to Frankenheimer, Mamet is responsible for almost the entire screenplay. However, since the Writer's Guild decided that he had to share credit with J.D. Zeik, who originated the story, Mamet elected to go by the pseudonym of Richard Weisz. But, even though there is no "Mamet" to be found anywhere in the credits, his fingerprints are all over Ronin. Blu-ray Release date: February 24th, 2009

Nights in Rodanthe BR - "Nights in Rodanthe" is what Variety likes to call a "weeper." The term is not often intended as praise. The movie attempts to jerk tears with one clunky device after another, in a plot that is a perfect storm of cliche and contrivance. In fact, it even contains a storm -- an imperfect one. Blu-ray Release date: February 10th, 2009

Bonnie and Clyde BR - Reclaiming the American gangster movie after it had been stolen by the Nouvelle Vague, Penn's film was so successful (and so imitated) that it inevitably met with some grudging devaluation. But it's still great: half comic fairytale, half brutal fact, it reflects the essential ambiguity of its heroes (faithfully copied from history and the real-life Barrow gang which terrorised the American South in the early '30s) by treading a no man's land suspended between reality and fantasy. With its weird landscape of dusty, derelict towns and verdant highways, stunningly shot by Burnett Guffey in muted tones of green and gold, it has the true quality of folk legend. Blu-ray and DVD Release Date: March 25th, 2008

Next 2 weeks on the Calendar:

February 23rd, 2009

Akira [Blu-ray] (Katsuhiro Ôtomo, 1988) Infinity Resources Inc

Alice Et Martin (André Téchiné, 1998) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment

Alone Across the Pacific (Kon Ichikawa, 1963) Masters of Cinema

The Bird With the Crystal Plumage [Blu-ray] (Dario Argento, 1970) Blue Underground

City of Ember [Blu-ray] (Gil Kenan, 2008) R'B' UK Entertainment in Video

Argento Dario-Four Flies on Grey Velvet (Dario Argento, 1971) Wea-Des Moines Video

The Devil and Daniel Webster (William Dieterle, 1941) R2 UK Masters of Cinema

The FTA (Francine Parker, 1972) Docudrama

The French Connection [Blu-ray] (William Friedkin, 1971) 20th Century Fox
French Connection II [
Blu-ray] (John Frankenheimer, 1975) 20th Century Fox

Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder (Peter Avanzino, 2009) 20th Century Fox
Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder [
Blu-ray] (Peter Avanzino, 2009) 20th Century Fox

Futurama - Into The Wild Green Yonder [Blu-ray] - RB UK 20th Century Fox

Hunger (Steve McQueen, 2008) R2 UK Pathe Video

Kokoro (Kon Ichikawa, 1955) R2 UK Masters of Cinema

Martial Club (Lau Kar-leung, 1981) Tokyo Shock

Nuns of St. Archangel (Domenico Paolella, 1973) Media Blasters

Poil de carotte (Julien Duvivier, 1925) Arte

Protégé (Derek Yee, 2007) Dragon Dynasty

Requiem for a Vampire (Jean Rollin, 1971) Wea

Ronin [Blu-ray] (John Frankenheimer, 1998) MGM

Takeshis (Takeshi Kitano, 2005) Navarre

Vanishing Point [Blu-ray] (Richard C. Sarafian, 1971) 20th Century Fox

Zulu (Cy Endfield, 1964) [Blu-ray] 101 Distribution


Week of March 2nd, 2009

Ashes Of Time Redux (Wong Kar-wai, 2008) - Sony Pictures

Australia [Blu-ray] (Baz Luhrmann, 2008) 20th Century Fox

The Federico Fellini Collection Nights of Cabiria (1957) La Strada (1954) The White Sheik (1952) - R2 UK Optimum

In the Electric Mist [Blu-ray] (Bertrand Tavernier, 2008) Image Entertainment

I've Loved You So Long [Blu-ray] (Philippe Claudel, 2008) Sony

The Jean-Pierre Melville Collection - Army Of Shadows, De Doulos, Leon Morin Pretre, Le Cercle Rouge, Bob Le Flambeur and Un Flic - R2 UK Optimum

Lake City (Hunter Hill + Perry Moore, 2008) Universal Studios

Requiem for a Dream [Blu-ray] (Darren Aronofsky, 2000) - Alliance (Universal)

Se7en [Blu-ray] (David Fincher, 1995) - Alliance (Universal)

Seven Servants (Daryush Shokof, 1996) Pathfinder

The Silence of the Lambs [Blu-ray] (Jonathan Demme, 1991) Fox Video

Treasures From American Film Archives V.4: Avant Garde - Image Entertainment

Wonder Woman 2009 (Two-Disc Special Edition) (Lauren Montgomery, 2009) Warner Home Video
Wonder Woman 2009
Blu-ray] (Lauren Montgomery, 2009) Warner Home Video

Wonderful Town (Aditya Assarat, 2007) Kino

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