Newsletter - FOR THE WEEK

OF February 24th, 2014

  This Week's Highlights

Nabastí! - Plea for support; February is shaping up to be our worst month in 6 years. Please consider using our Amazon links to purchase. Thank you very much!

Fabulous week with Akira Kurosawa, Jean-Luc Godard, Howard Hawks, Woody Allen, David Gordon Green, Errol Morris, Criterion, Hammer Horrors and more on Blu-ray.The Release Calendar has quite the Blu-ray update with new Arrow listings and more including films by Joe Dante, Brian De Palma, Carol Reed, Martin Scorsese, The Coens, Louis Malle, Roger Corman, Film Noir Classics all on Blu-ray 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 24th CONTEST  identify the clip on the CONTEST PAGE to win a Blu-ray of Criterion's The Long Day Closes 

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The 'Burbs [Blu-ray] (Joe Dante, 1989) RB UK Arrow
The 'Burbs [
Blu-ray] Steelbook (Joe Dante, 1989) RB UK Arrow

The Quiller Memorandum [Blu-ray] (Michael Anderson, 1966) RB UK Network

Sisters [Blu-ray] (Brian De Palma, 1973) RB UK Arrow

The Agony and the Ecstasy [Blu-ray] (Carol Reed, 1965) UK 20th Century Fox

The War Wagon [Blu-ray] (Burt Kennedy, 1967) Universal Studios

The King of Comedy - 30th Anniversary [Blu-ray] (Martin Scorsese, 1982) 20th Century Fox

Fargo [Blu-ray] Remastered Edition (Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, 1996) MGM

Swerve [Blu-ray] (Craig Lahiff, 2011) Cohen

Theatre of Blood [Blu-ray] (Douglas Hickox, 1973) RB UK Arrow
Theatre of Blood Steelbook [
Blu-ray] (Douglas Hickox, 1973) RB UK Arrow

The Bletchley Circle: Season 2 [Blu-ray] (2012) PBS

Notes on a Scandal [Blu-ray] Amazon Exclusive (Richard Eyre, 2006) 20th Century Fox

I Love Lucy: Ultimate Season One [Blu-ray] (1952) - Paramount

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (40th Anniversary) [Blu-ray Audio] - Island

Let It Bleed [Blu-ray Audio] (The Rolling Stones, 1969) UMC

Lift To The Scaffold [Blu-ray] (Louis Malle, 1958) RB UK Artificial Eye

Are You Gonna Go My Way [Blu-ray Audio] (Lenny Kravitz, 1993) - Polydor

The Andy Griffith Show: Complete First Season [Blu-ray] (1961) - Paramount

Pit and the Pendulum [Blu-ray] (Roger Corman, 1961) RB UK Arrow
Pit and the Pendulum [
Blu-ray] Steelbook (Roger Corman, 1961) RB UK Arrow

Koyaanisqatsi + Powaqqatsi [Blu-ray] (Godfrey Reggio) RB UK Arrow

King Kong Escapes [Blu-ray] (Ishirô Honda, 1967) Universal Studios

Frightmare [Blu-ray] (Pete Walker, 1974) Kino Video

Thirst [Blu-ray] (Rod Hardy, 1979) Severin Films

White of the Eye Steelbook [Blu-ray] (Donald Cammell, 1987) RB UK Arrow

The Delta Force [Blu-ray] (Menahem Golan, 1986) RB UK Arrow

The Beast Within [Blu-ray] (Philippe Mora, 1982) RB UK Arrow

The Last Horror Film [Blu-ray] (David Winters, 1982) RB UK 88 Films

Film Noir Classics [Blu-ray] (Ministry of Fear, The Big Clock, The Dark Mirror) RB DE Koch Media

Ace in the Hole [Blu-ray] (Billy Wilder, 1951) Criterion Collection

Red River [Blu-ray] (Howard Hawks, Arthur Rosson, 1948) Criterion Collection

Like Someone in Love [Blu-ray] (Abbas Kiarostami, 2012) Criterion Collection

Overlord [Blu-ray] (Stuart Cooper, 1975) Criterion Collection

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou [Blu-ray] (Wes Anderson, 2004) Criterion Collection

55 Days at Peking [Blu-ray] (Nicholas Ray, Guy Green, 1963) RB UK Anchor Bay UK

The Four Feathers [Blu-ray] (Zoltan Korda, 1939) RB UK Network

Seven Samurai [Blu-ray Steelbook] (Akira Kurosawa, 1954) RB UK BFI

Backlash [Blu-ray] (John Sturges, 1956) RB DE Explosive Media

Man Without a Star [Blu-ray] (King Vidor, 1955) RB DE Explosive Media

Destry Rides Again [Blu-ray] (George Marshall, 1939) RB DE Koch Media

The Andromeda Strain [Blu-ray Steelbook] (Robert Wise, 1971) RB DE Koch Media

The Lars von Trier Collection (5 Disc Blu-ray - Nymphomaniac Vol. I & Vol. II, Melancholia, Antichrist and Breaking the Waves) RB UK Artificial Eye



ONE VOICE (not Ellsworth Monkton Toohey): Before I forget - I have watched Cuaron's Gravity on Blu-ray. I thought it was an amazing transfer and great film. I didn't review it as I figured the captures would give away too much of the film, but I suggest that it's worth picking up!  It is hard to choose top spots as there are many strong contenders this week. It's hard to deny how brilliant Criterion's The Hidden Fortress looks in 1080P. The Blu-ray is a significant upgrade. David Gordon Green's George Washington only gets better with age - another fabulous Criterion Blu-ray. I'm a fan of Woody Allen's memorable Crimes and Misdemeanors and the new Twilight Time Blu-ray has, certainly, advanced beyond the older DVDs. Errol Morris gave us a gem in the documentary on Stephen Hawking - A Brief History of Time is a superb choice for Criterion to release. Godard's Breathless has the same impressive Criterion 1080P transfer - but the package is now Dual-Format containing 2 DVDs containing the feature and equivalent extras. Although I have niggling complaints about the image - I thoroughly enjoyed both Hammer Horrors that we covered this week - The Brides of Dracula may have excessive grain/artefacts for some and The Curse of Frankenstein is weak in the visual area. Although, both are superb examples, of the best, produced by the UK studio. Sticking with that genre - I enjoyed the Dan Curtis/Richard Matheson Bram Stoker's Dracula from 1974. Solid TV! No denying that Howard Hawks' El Dorado is a top-shelf western but the US Blu-ray transfer has me displeased. I will try to compare it to the European counterpart. You Will Be My Son is a wonderful film - wine, communication, conflict - strongly recommended! Giulio Paradisi's The Visitor deserves its own newsletter - a films who's redeeming feature is that it is a puzzle that stays in pieces. Beware. On DVD Eric covered The Bridge - more suspenseful Scandinavian TV - and Zaytoun - an adventure-thriller set in Israel.... Think peaceful thoughts this week!


The Visitor BD - In this unforgettable assault on reality--fully restored and presented completely uncut theatrically for the first time ever in the U.S.--legendary Hollywood director/actor John Huston (The Maltese Falcon; Treasure of the Sierra Madre) stars as an intergalactic warrior who joins a cosmic Christ figure in battle against a demonic 8-year-old girl and her pet hawk, while the fate of the universe hangs in the balance. Multi-dimensional warfare, pre-adolescent profanity and brutal avian attacks combine to transport the viewer to a stat unlike anything they've experienced… somewhere between Hell, the darkest reaches of outer space, and Atlanta, GA. THE VISITOR fearlessly fuses elements of The Omen, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Birds, Rosemary's Baby, The Fury, and even Star Wars, creating the most ambitious of all '70s psychedelic mindwarps. Its baffling all-star cast includes Shelley Winters (Night of the Hunter), Glenn Ford (Superman), Lance Henriksen (Aliens), Franco Nero (Django) and Sam Peckinpah (director of The Wild Bunch).. Blu-ray Release date: March 4th, 2014

El Dorado BD - Legendary producer-director Howard Hawks teams up with two legendary stars John Wayne and Robert Mitchum in a classic Western drama. Mitchum plays to perfection an alcoholic but gutsy sheriff who relentlessly battles the dark side of the Wild West - ruthless cattle barons and crooked businessmen. The Duke gives an equally adept performance as the sheriff's old friend one who knows his way around a gunfight. Featuring a supporting cast that includes James Caan Charlene Holt Paul Fix Ed Asner and Christopher George and filled with both brawling action and unexpected humor El Dorado is pure gold. Blu-ray Release date: March 11th, 2014

You Will Be My Son BD - The austere proprietor of a family-owned vineyard clashes with his ambitious son over the future of the wine estate in this moody melodrama from director Gilles Legrand (Malabar Princess, The Maiden and the Wolves). Paul de Marseul (Niels Arestrup) takes nothing in life more seriously than the future of his precious vineyard. He longs for a progeny to take over the business one day, but sees his son Martin (Lorànt Deutsch) as lazy, and unfit for the job. When the son (Nicolas Bridet) of Paul's moribund estate manager (Patrick Chesnais) displays the skill and drive to sustain the thriving business, the growing divide between father and son threatens to turn tragic. Blu-ray Release date: February 25th, 2014

Breathless BD - Paris, 1959: you are there. Michel, A charismatic young hot-head (Jean-Paul Belmondo) has killed a cop in Marseilles and fled to the capital to hide out with Patricia, his on-off American girlfriend (Jean Seberg). As the authorities close in, Michel and Patricia’s relationship comes under increasing pressure… Blu-ray Release date: February 25th, 2014

The Curse of Frankenstein BD - Baron Victor Frankenstein was the archetypal aristocrat, well-read, cultured and arrogant. Beyond the sophisticated veneer existed a cruel, utterly unscrupulous man, obsessed with ambition. Determined to realise his greatest dream to create life, he had assembled a creature from organs gathered from various unwilling donors. The creature is successful brought to life but the instability of the brain, damaged during surgery, causes uncontrollable violent spasms that result in indiscriminate murder... and it is the Baron to whom the blame is laid with fatal consequences. The Curse of Frankenstein is a classic 1957 British horror film by Hammer Film Productions, based on the novel Frankenstein (1816) by Mary Shelley. It was Hammer's first colour horror film, and the first of their Frankenstein series. Its worldwide success led to several sequels, and the studio's new versions of Dracula (1958) and The Mummy (1959) and established "Hammer Horror" as a distinctive brand of Gothic cinema. Blu-ray Release date: October 15th, 2012

A Brief History of Time BD - Errol Morris turns his camera on one of the most fascinating men in the world: the pioneering astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, afflicted by a debilitating motor neuron disease that has left him without a voice or the use of his limbs. An adroitly crafted tale of personal adversity, professional triumph, and cosmological inquiry, Morris’s documentary examines the way the collapse of Hawking’s body has been accompanied by the untrammeled broadening of his imagination. Telling the man’s incredible story through the voices of his colleagues and loved ones, while making dynamically accessible some of the theories in Hawking’s best-selling book of the same name, A Brief History of Time is at once as small as a single life and as big as the ever-expanding universe. Blu-ray Release date: March 18th, 2014

Crimes and Misdemeanors BD - Ophthalmologist Judah Rosenthal (Martin Landau) has had an long-standing affair with Dolores (Anjelica Huston), and now her patience has waned and she threatens to expose it and some of his financial indiscretions if he doesn't get a divorce. His brother suggests resolving the problem by having Dolores murdered. Judah morally digests before agreeing and following through with a paid assassin. With Judah, Woody Allen probes the depths of human existence and how the greatest punishments can be self-inflicted (guilt). In an eventually convergent story, documentary filmmaker Clifford Stern (Allen) is trying to make a film on a philosophy professor who he strongly believes in. However, to pay the bills he gets commissioned to make a portrait of successful TV producer, and pompous brother-in-law, Lester (Alan Alda). Lester represents everything that Clifford despises in the world - false bravado of perceived talent and success through self-marketing savvy as opposed to genuine skill. Blu-ray Release Date: February, 2014

The Hidden Fortress BD - A general and a princess must dodge enemy clans while smuggling the royal treasure out of hostile territory with two bumbling, conniving peasants at their sides; it’s a spirited adventure that only Akira Kurosawa could create. Acknowledged as a primary influence on George Lucas’ Star Wars, The Hidden Fortress delivers Kurosawa’s inimitably deft blend of wry humor, breathtaking action and humanist compassion on an epic scale. Blu-ray Release Date: March 18th, 2014

George Washington BD - Over the course of one hot summer, a group of children in the rural south are forced to confront a tangle of difficult choices in a decaying world. An ambitiously constructed, sensuously photographed meditation on adolescence, the first feature film by director David Gordon Green features breakout performances from an award-winning ensemble cast. Blu-ray Release Date: March 11th, 2014

The Brides of Dracula BD - Classic horror starring Peter Cushing. A young teacher on her way to a position in Transylvania helps a young man escape the shackles his mother has put on him. In doing so she innocently unleashes the horrors of the undead once again on the populace, including those at her school for ladies. Luckily for some, Dr Van Helsing (Cushing) is already on his way. Blu-ray Release date: August 26th, 2013

Bram Stoker's Dracula (1974) BD - Natives in Transylvania seem afraid when they learn solicitor Jonathan Harker is going to Castle Dracula on business. Jonathan shows up, and finds the Count abrupt and impatient to get things done. He reacts very strongly to a photograph of Harker's fiancee Mina and her best friend Lucy. After rescuing Harker from his three Brides, the Count forces Harker to write a letter saying that he will be staying in Transylvania for a month. Harker climbs down the castle wall and finds Dracula's coffin, but is attacked and knocked out by one of Dracula's gypsy servants before he can stake Dracula. They later throw him in the lower levels of the crypt, where the Brides attack Harker... Blu-ray Release date: February 4th, 2014

The Bridge - The body of a woman is found in the middle of the Øresund Bridge. Half of it belongs to a Swedish politician, the other half to a Danish prostitute. Trapped in the middle of the bridge connecting Sweden and Denmark, a bi-national investigatory team is put together to solve the crime. Laid-back Danish family man, Martin, and Swedish single woman, Saga, have to work together to stop the horrific staged murders before the terrorist wins over public opinion with his anti-corruption agenda. DVD Release Date: May 21st, 2012

Zaytoun - Beirut 1982: the First Lebanon War is in full force as the Israeli army clashes with PLO militants and Syrian and Lebanese forces. Living among the rubble and unexploded shells is Fahed, a young Palestinian boy who has recently lost his father in an air raid. When he captures Yoni (Stephen Dorff), an Israeli pilot shot down over his town, Fahed seizes the opportunity to use his prisoner as a way to get back into Israel and visit the town where his grandfather once lived. On the journey the two must overcome bitter differences if they are to survive and a tenuous friendship slowly begins to take root amid the barren debris of war... DVD Release Date: February 18th, 2014

 Next 4 weeks on the Calendar

February 24th, 2014


Backlash [Blu-ray] (John Sturges, 1956) RB DE Explosive Media

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 (BEAVER REVIEW)

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

Man Without a Star [Blu-ray] (King Vidor, 1955) RB DE Explosive Media

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

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

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

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 3-D [Blu-ray] (Alan Taylor, 2013) Walt Disney

Thor: The Dark World (1-Disc Blu-ray) (Alan Taylor, 2013) Walt Disney

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


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 (BEAVER REVIEW)

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

Let It Bleed [Blu-ray Audio] (The Rolling Stones, 1969) UMC

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

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



March 10th, 2014


Are You Gonna Go My Way [Blu-ray Audio] (Lenny Kravitz, 1993) - Polydor

Au hasard Balthazar [Blu-ray] (Robert Bresson, 1966) R2 UK Artificial Eye

Beyond Outrage [Blu-ray] (Takeshi Kitano, 2012) Magnolia

The Book Thief [Blu-ray] (Brian Percival, 2013) 20th Century Fox

Breaking the Waves [Blu-ray] (Lars von Trier, 1996) RB UK Artificial Eye

El Dorado [Blu-ray] (Howard Hawks, 1966) Paramount (BEAVER REVIEW)

Fill the Void [Blu-ray] (Rama Burshtein, 2012) RB UK Artificial Eye

Giant [Blu-ray] (George Stevens, 1956) Warner (BEAVER REVIEW)

George Washington [Blu-ray] (David Gordon Green, 2000) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral [Blu-ray] (John Sturges, 1957) Paramount

Hatari! [Blu-ray] (Howard Hawks, 1962) Paramount

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

Mademoiselle C [Blu-ray] (Fabien Constant, 2013) Cohen Media

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

Mouchette [Blu-ray] (Robert Bresson, 1967) RB UK Artificial Eye

Querelle [Blu-ray] (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1982) RB UK Artificial Eye

Rebel Without a Cause [Blu-ray] (Nicholas Ray, 1955) Warner (BEAVER REVIEW)

Samson and Delilah [Blu-ray] (Cecil B. DeMille, 1949) Paramount

The Stuff [Blu-ray] (Larry Cohen, 1985) RB UK Arrow

Sullivan's Travels [Blu-ray] (Preston Sturges, 1941) RB UK Arrow

The Swimmer [Blu-ray] (Frank Perry, Sydney Pollack, 1968) Grindhouse Releasing

Thirst [Blu-ray] (Rod Hardy, 1979) Severin Films

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


March 17th, 2014


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

The Blind Woman's Curse [Blu-ray] (Teruo Ishii, 1970) RB UK Arrow

Blue Is the Warmest Color [Blu-ray] (Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013) RB UK Artificial Eye

A Brief History of Time [Blu-ray] (Errol Morris, 1991) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW)

Destry Rides Again [Blu-ray] (George Marshall, 1939) RB DE Koch Media

Frightmare [Blu-ray] (Pete Walker, 1974) Kino Video

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

Hands Over the City [Blu-ray] (Francesco Rosi, 1963) RB UK Masters of Cinema

The Hidden Fortress [Blu-ray] (Akira Kurosawa, 1958) Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW)

Mysterious Skin [Blu-ray] (Gregg Araki, 2004) Strand Releasing

Reasonable Doubt [Blu-ray] (Peter P. Croudins, 2014) Lions Gate

The Slumber Party Massacre [Blu-ray] (Amy Holden Jones, 1982) Shout! Factory

Swerve [Blu-ray] (Craig Lahiff, 2011) Cohen

A Touch of Sin [Blu-ray] (Zhangke Jia, 2013) Kino Lorber

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