DVDBeaver Newsletter - February 26th, 2007
Hello! - 11 new reviews this week, but some of the news is equally as exciting. More film eclectia - Raoul Walsh, Truffaut, Fuller, Zhang Yimou, Bergman, Minelli, HK action, a Film Noir, and some very strong UK sales (what is fueling this?), more bountiful upcoming fare and our recommendations...
NOTE: I will try to use color in our newsletters occasionally for differentiation.
AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER: Criterion spines #386: Sansho the Bailiff, #384: Vengeance is Mine, #64: The Third Man (re-release) and #385: Army of Shadows.
FINALLY: Godard's Histoire (s) du cinéma is back HERE set for release on March 20th, 2007 and has ENGLISH SUBTITLES CONFIRMED!- Coffret 4 DVD (Godard) - R2 FR - Gaumont
UPCOMING: Eclipse 3 - coming out in June 07' will be Late Ozu with: Early Spring, Tokyo Twilight, Equinox Flower, Late Autumn and The End of Summer.
ONLY 10 LEFT!: OUR TOP 100 DESERT ISLAND DVDs list is almost compiled! : You help choose - send us a note of one (or more - up to 10) of the DVDs that YOU find most valuable - the ones YOU will watch for the rest of your lives. NOTE: Single DVDs only (not boxset) but can be one DVD from a collection (EX. Ordet from Criterion's Carl Theodor Dreyer Special Edition Box Set). Tell US HERE - results posted on a webpage. "The way you have a good idea - is you have a lot of ideas".
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WHILE YOU CAN: Along with the 30 others listed on our homepage - here are even more great deals at Amazon.UK They are giving some of these away: Marlene Dietrich - 6 Disc Boxset (Shanghai Express, Blonde Venus, The Devil Is a Woman, Destry Rides Again, The Lady Is Willing, A Foreign Affair) 72% OFF! Lost Highway (David Lynch, 1997) Cinema Club 2-disc 70% OFF!, Prison (Bergman, 1949) 65% OFF!, Waiting Women (Bergman, 1952) 65% OFF!, The Rite (Bergman, 1969) 65% OFF!, Music In Darkness (Bergman, 1948) 65% OFF!, Hell Is A City (Guest, 1960) 69% OFF!, From The Life Of The Marionettes (Bergman, 1980) 65% OFF,, Blithe Spirit (Lean, 1945) 70% OFF!, A Lesson In Love (Bergman, 1954) 65% OFF!,, The Apu Trilogy (Satajit Ray, 1955) 40% OFF!, Gone To Earth (Powell / Pressburger, 1950) 54%OFF, Red Lights (Cédric Kahn, 2004) 60% OFF!, L'Argent (Bresson, 1983) 65% OFF!, The Trial Of Joan Of Arc (Bresson, 1962) 58%, 10 Rillington Place 58% OFF, Fantômas (1913) 67% OFF
Easiest way to catch up is simply read the new Newsletter Archive HERE.
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!
LATEST Additions to the Release Calendar (PRE-ORDER!):
Planet Earth - The Complete BBC Series - 4-disc [Blu-ray] - BBC Warner
Planet Earth - The Complete BBC Series - 4-disc [HD DVD] - BBC Warner
Becket (Peter Glenville, 1964) Mpi Home Video
Tideland - 2-disc (Terry Gilliam, 2005) - Velocity / Thinkfilm
Army of Shadows (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1969) Criterion
Vengeance Is Mine (Shohei Imamura, 1979) Criterion
Sansho the Bailiff (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1954) Criterion
The Third Man (Carol Reed, 1949) Criterion
Histoire (s) du cinéma ENGLISH SUBS CONFIRMED - Coffret 4 DVD (Godard) - R2 FR - Gaumont
Volver [Blu-ray] (Pedro Almodóvar, 2006) Sony Pictures
Casino Royale [Blu-ray] (Martin Campbell, 2006) Sony Pictures
Jean-Luc Godard - The 60s Collection (Vivre Sa Vie, Masculin Feminin and Two Or Three Things I Know About Her) R2 UK - Nouveaux Pictures
The Gospel According to St. Matthew - colorized (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1964) Legend
Curse of the Golden Flower (Yimou Zhang, 2006) Sony Pictures
Little Children (Todd Field, 2006) New Line Home Video
Can-Can (Walter Lang , 1960) 20th Century Fox
Whose Life Is It Anyway? (John Badham, 1981) Warner Home Video
The Mario Bava Collection, Volume 1 (Black Sunday / Black Sabbath / The Girl Who Knew Too Much / Kill Baby Kill / Knives of the Avenger) Anchor Bay
Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe (Giles Foster, 1985) BBC Warner
Deja Vu (Tony Scott, 2006) Touchstone / Disney
RECOMMENDATIONS: I enjoyed a few DVD titles from France this week. Sam, Fuller's Merrill's Marauders is a dynamo on the folly of war. A Distant Trumpet has an stupendous image and the film has western genre appeal. Although the film pales next to the original - the image quality is strong and, hey, it's Glenn Ford in a Minnelli film - The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Per-Olaf has given me two to tack on with my UK sales order(s) - Bergman's Prison and Truffaut's A Gorgeous Girl Like Me.
I suggest waiting to see if the Sony will eclipse the Edko DVD for Zhang Yimou's Curse of the Golden Flower.
Reviewer Eddie is not too high (to say the least) on Babel. Okay.
NOT WHAT IT SHOULD BE!: I got in heck from a Beaver regular after I stated that I enjoyed The Hanging Tree on Warner France DVD. The aspect ratio is wrong and the colors are very dull. I can't help enjoying the film but the presentation appears to be far from what it should be. Shamefully we have nothing to compare it to.
Hell is a City - A persuasively sweaty
crime thriller set in Manchester, written and directed by the once reliable
Guest (from a novel by Maurice Proctor), this atypical Hammer production
benefited from a strong cast and fine use of location photography (in 'Hammerscope').
Square-jawed Baker toughs it out as a harassed police inspector with a volubly
frustrated wife (Audley) at home, and the arduous assignment on the streets of
tracking down a jailbreaker (Crawford) wanted for murder.
A Gorgeous Girl Like Me - Francois Truffaut's 1973 film was meant as a tribute to Bernadette Lafont, who appeared in Truffaut's early short Les mistons and went on to become the Nouvelle vague's most memorable embodiment of earthy sexuality in such films as The Mother and the Whore and A Very Curious Girl. Here she's a country girl accused of assassinating a whole string of lovers; she tells her story to criminologist Andre Dussollier, who gradually falls under her spell as well. Lafont is lively and charming, yet the film seems little more than a remake of The Bride Wore Black in a strained comic mode; the hommages to Hitchcock and Hawks accrue at a rate that suggests Truffaut has no new thoughts of his own to bring to the subject. DVD Release Date: Feb 19th, 2007
A Distant Trumpet - Walsh's last film, saddled with an average script and a colourless lead performance from Donahue, but nevertheless emerging as a majestically simple, sweeping cavalry Western, a little reminiscent of Ford in mood and manner. Brilliantly shot by William Clothier, it tends to have its cake and eat it by indulging in a spectacular massacre before introducing the liberal message, but still goes further than most in according respect to the Indian by letting him speak his own language (with subtitles). DVD Release Date: August 9th, 2006
Curse of the Golden Flower - The palace is tremendous and the costumes are breathtaking. Always known for the stunning cinematography in his films, director Zhang Yimou once again crafts a story through visuals. The framing is amazing and shows off the ridiculously ornate sets. The colours are a character of their own and combined with the work of director of photography Zhang Xiaoding (who previously worked with the director on ‘House of Flying Daggers’, with tremendous shots), the movie has great life and vibrancy. The beyond-vivid colours bring out the larger than life characters. Edko DVD Release Date: February 13, 2007
The Hanging Tree - Cooper turns in a classic performance as the Montana doctor with the big secret. When he comes to the aid of a young immigrant woman his past returns to haunt him. The melodrama is occasionally laid on a bit thick, but The Hanging Tree's questioning of whether breaking the law to do something right can ever be excusable is never a black and white affair. An above average western which doesn't go out of its way to offer easy solutions. DVD Release Date: August 9th, 2006
Merrill's Marauders - Fuller's superb patrol movie - taut, bleak and damning - was a self-confessed 'rehearsal' for his long-gestating The Big Red One, following a World War II American platoon in Burma on a suicidal trek, suffering from what the unit doctor diagnoses as AOE - 'accumulation of everything' - and burdened by madness, exhaustion, and the demonstrable irrationality of their wasted energies. DVD Release Date: April 12th, 2006
Prison - Only a year after experiencing his first taste of studio success with Music in Darkness, Ingmar Bergman set about making an even more challenging picture and was forced to work with a massively reduced budget. Based in and around a movie studio this experimental and intriguing picture is essentially a film within a film. DVD Release Date: June 26th, 2007
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse - Minnelli's hero is an affable, apparently genial young man, who has social entree into all circles. This entree plays an increasing role in the plot through the course of the picture, being used by other people for hidden ends. In this, he is much like the heroine's brother Lon in Meet Me in St. Louis, another young man of apparent total conventionality, but who also has hidden ambiguities in his allegiances and inner identity. DVD Release Date: June 7th, 2006
Babel - "In Gen. 11:9, the name of Babel is etymologized by association with the Hebrew verb balal, 'to confuse or confound'. "Babel", through a series of misunderstandings, interweaves the unfortunate circumstances of a Moroccan, an American, a Mexican and a Japanese family. A Moroccan family acquires a rifle to protect their goats. An American woman, on a bus tour with her husband, is accidentally shot, which is in turn grossly exaggerated by the press who are quick to label the incident as a "terrorist attack". The same couple's children accompany their long-time caretaker to Mexico to attend her son's wedding, where upon re-entering the United States face problems. A Japanese widower confronts difficulties in communicating with his deaf teenage daughter whom simply craves human contact. DVD Release Date: Feb 20th, 2007
Infernal Affairs II - Infernal Affairs 2 can be understood as a stand-alone movie, and you can watch the movies in narrative order without undesired side effects. (In fact, the R0 Hong Kong Limited Edition from Media Asia even includes a five-hour cut that arranges ALL of the movies’ scenes into strict chronological order.) Obviously, the three movies enrich each other, though taken individually, I think that Infernal Affairs 2 is the best of the bunch. Region 1 NTSC DVD Release Date: Feb 13th, 2007
Infernal Affairs III - After Infernal Affairs basically revived Hong-Kong cinema single-handedly, the moviemakers announced that they would produce two more movies. Since the backstory involving the two moles was as fascinating as what they did in the “present”, Infernal Affairs 2 was drafted as a prequel. Infernal Affairs 3 details events following what happened in the first Infernal Affairs. Not only did these decisions provide a before-and-after appraisal of the characters’ lives, they also gave the characters a defining sense of closure. Region 1 NTSC DVD Release Date: Feb 13th, 2007
Next 2 weeks on the Calendar:
Week of February 26th, 2007
3 hommes et un couffin (Coline Serreau, 1985) - R2 UK Tartan
Un chant d'amour - 2-disc - (Jean Genet, 1950) Cult Epics
Secret Agent (aka Danger Man - 1965) - The Complete Collection Megaset - A&E Home Video
Dersu Uzala (Akira Kurosawa, 1975) R2 UK Artificial Eye
The Early Hitchcock Collection 9-disc (The Ring, Champagne, The Farmer’s Wife, The Manxman, Blackmail, Murder!, The Skin Game, Rich and Strange and Number Seventeen) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment
The Heart of the Game (Ward Serrill, 2005) Miramax
The Julio Medem Collection 1: Vacas/Red Squirrel/Tierra - R2 UK - Tartan
Pasolini Volume 1 - Accatone! (1961) RoGoPaG (1962) and Love Meetings (1964) - R2 UK Tartan
The Rockford Files - Season Three (Stephen J. Cannell, 1974) Universal Studios
John Sayles Collection - Return of the Secaucus Seven (1980), Lianna (1983), Brother From Another Planet (1984) - R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment
Tideland - 2-disc (Terry Gilliam, 2005) - Velocity / Thinkfilm
Welcome to Dongmakgol (Kwang-Hyun Park, 2005) R2 UK Showbox
Week of March 5th, 2007
Cinderella Liberty (Mark Rydell, 1973) 20th Century Fox
Fast Food Nation (Richard Linklater, 2006) Fox Home Entertainment
The Hemingway Classics Collection (The Sun Also Rises / A Farewell to Arms / The Snows of Kilimanjaro / Under My Skin / Adventures of a Young Man) - 20th Century Fox
The Host (Joon-ho Bong, 2006) R2- UK - Optimum Home Entertainment
Literary Classics Collection (Madame Bovary (1949), Captain Horatio Hornblower, The Three Musketeers (1948), The Prisoner of Zenda (1937 and 1952 Versions), Billy Budd) - Warner Home Video
Jean-Luc Godard Collection Vol.1 (Alphaville, Pierrot Le Fou, Une Femme Est Une Femme, Le Petit Soldat, A Bout De Souffle, La Chinoise And Made In The USA.) R2 UK Optimum
John & Mary (Peter Yates. 1969) 20th Century Fox
Komissar (Aleksandr Askoldov, 1967) Kino Video
Madame Bovary (Vincente Minnelli, 1949) (Std Sub) Warner Home Video
Quiet Flows the Don (Sergei Bondarchuk, 2004) Kino Video
The Return of Frank James (Fritz Lang , 1940) 20th Century Fox
The Snows of Kilimanjaro (Henry King, 1952) 20th Century Fox
Strange Circus (Sion Sono, 2005) TLA Releasing
The Sun Also Rises (Henry King, 1957) 20th Century Fox
The True Story of Jesse James (Nicholas Ray, 1957) 20th Century Fox
Jesse James (Henry King ,1939) 20th Century Fox
The Other Side of Midnight (Charles Jarrott, 1977) 20th Century Fox
Woman Is the Future of Man (Sang-soo Hong, 2006) New Yorker Video
OUR CURRENT 'A" STORES:
50 CLASSIC TV SHOWS ON DVD- best of vintage TV!
SOME REGION FREE DVD PLAYERS TO CONSIDER
SOME OF THE BEST JAPANESE CINEMA ON REGION 1 DVD
54 DVDs TO CONSIDER WHILE SHOPPING AT AMAZON FRANCE (PAL)
SOME OF THE BEST OF 'FRENCH LANGUAGE' CINEMA ON DVD (NTSC)
'BEST OF WORLD CINEMA' on UK (PAL) DVD
BEST OF ITALIAN CINEMA
(on NTSC DVD)
SEE OUR ESSENTIAL CRITERION STORE - Best of the Best!
SEE OUR ESSENTIAL FILM-NOIR STORE!
Have a great week,
P.S. DVD of the Year - 2006 still remains a popular place to peruse.