Newsletter - FOR THE WEEK

OF February 28th, 2011

  This Week's Highlights
Teng bong?  - Blu-rays this week of films by Edward Yang, Danny Boyle, Hayao Miyazaki, Steven Soderbergh, a Disney animated classic, a dark comedy by Ben Stiller and a documentary about the world's most renowned pianist. DVDs of films by Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, Lucio Fulci, Carlos Reygadas and more! Another Contest with a Brand New Criterion Blu-ray as prize and mucho Calendar Updates including new films-to Blu-ray by Francis Ford Coppola, Dario Argento, Norman Jewison, Miyazaki, Ji-woon Kim and more...

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The Conversation [Blu-ray] (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974) RB UK Elevation Sales

The Cat o' Nine Tails [Blu-ray] (Dario Argento, 1971) Blue Underground

The Cincinnati Kid [Blu-ray] (Norman Jewison, 1965) Warner

Burning Palms [Blu-ray] (Christopher B. Landon, 2010) Image Entertainment

Castle in the Sky [Blu-ray] (Hayao Miyazaki, 1986) RB UK Elevation Sales

My Neighbors the Yamadas [Blu-ray] (Isao Takahata, 1999) RB UK Elevation Sales

Five Deadly Venoms [Blu-ray] (Cheh Chang, 1978) Weinstein Company

Blue Valentine [Blu-ray] (Derek Cianfrance, 2010) Weinstein

Brenda Starr, Reporter (Wallace Fox, 1945) VCI Entertainment

Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde - 35th Anniversary! (William Crain, 1976) VCI Entertainment

A Somewhat Gentle Man (Hans Petter Moland, 2010) Strand Releasing

The Cruel Sea [Blu-ray] (Charles Frend, 1953) RB UK Elevation Sales

Ice-Cold in Alex [Blu-ray] (J. Lee Thompson, 1958) RB UK Elevation Sales

Apocalypse Now [Blu-ray] (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979) RB UK Elevation Sales

Orcs! [Blu-ray] (Brad Johnson, 2010) RB UK Elevation Sales

Rolling Thunder [Blu-ray] (John Flynn, 1977) RB UK Elevation Sales

Rubber [Blu-ray] (Quentin Dupieux, 2010) RB UK Elevation Sales

The Halfway House (Basil Dearden, 1944) R2 UK Elevation Sales

I Saw the Devil [Blu-ray] (Ji-woon Kim, 2010) RB UK Elevation Sales

I'm Dangerous with Love (Michel Negroponte, 2009) First Run Features

Plastic Planet (Werner Boote, 2009) First Run Features

Bhutto (Johnny O'Hara, 2010) First Run Features

The Best of Global Lens: China - Dam Street, Luxury Car, Uniform, Stolen Life - First Run Features

If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle (Florin Serban, 2010) Film Movement

Illégal (Olivier Masset-Depasse, 2010) Film Movement

A Screaming Man (Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, 2010) Film Movement

Helena from the Wedding (Joseph Infantolino, 2010) Film Movement

Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench (Damien Chazelle, 2009) Cinema Guild

In the City of Sylvia (José Luis Guerín, 2007) Cinema Guild

The Penitent Man (Nicholas Gyeney, 2010) Synergetic

Fly Away (Janet Grillo, 2011) Docurama



ONE VOICE (not Ellsworth Monkton Toohey): I enjoyed 127 Hours on Blu-ray very much this week. An incredible story with great cinematography. Criterion's Blu-ray of Edward Yang's Yi Yi provides the best home theater presentation yet of this international masterpiece. This is also true of Disney's unforgettable Bambi - pristine in 1080P. Miyazaki fans will grab any chance to snap up the director's uniquely inventive work in the new format and his very early Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is available on Blu-ray. Soderbergh's Out of Sight remains entertaining after more than a decade and the Blu-ray has a solid transfer. The Cable Guy is an oddball dark comedy that is edgier than expected but the new hi-def transfer doesn't improve the film's appeal. Eric, working overtime, covers Fellini's I Clowns in a stacked package from Raro - if a flawed transfer, but Arrow films in the UK continue to shine with Giallo-esque The Beyond and the grindhouse entry Island of Death. Gregory gives us a review of the MGM made-on-demand DVD Rolling Thunder - a 70's revenge flic also coming to Blu-ray in the UK this year..


Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould BD - An enigmatic musical poet and the most documented classical musician of the last century world-renowned pianist Glenn Gould continues to captivate international audiences twenty-six years after his untimely death. Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould humanizes the legend, weaving together an unprecedented array of unseen footage, private home recordings and diaries, as well as compelling interviews with Gould's most intimate friends and lovers, all exploring the incongruities between Gould's private reality and his wider image. Blu-ray Release date: March 1st, 2011

I Clowns - CLOWNS is not simply a tribute to clowns; it provides a theoretical context for the clowns and eccentric characters that populate his oeuvre. In producing CLOWNS for television (it was shown on Christmas day on TV in black and white, and then premiered on the 27th theatrically in Technicolor), Fellini allowed himself to play with the documentary and cinema mediums. The documentary crew are not the actual film crew and their their interactions and the interviews are just as much the work of Fellini and scripter Bernardino Zapponi (
FELLINI SATYRICON, Dario Argento's DEEP RED, Tinto Brass' ALL LADIES DO IT) as Fellini's childhood scenes. DVD Release Date: March 1st, 2011

Yi Yi BD - With the runaway international acclaim of this film, Taiwanese director Edward Yang could no longer be called Asian cinema’s best-kept secret. Yi Yi swiftly follows a middle-class family in Taipei over the course of one year, beginning with a wedding and ending with a funeral. Whether chronicling middle-aged father NJ’s tenuous flirtations with an old flame or precocious young son Yang-Yang’s attempts at capturing reality with his beloved camera, Yang imbues every gorgeous frame with a deft, humane clarity. Warm, sprawling, and dazzling, this intimate epic is one of the undisputed masterworks of the new century. Blu-ray Release Date: March 15th, 2011

Island of Death - Christopher (Bob Behling, CUJO) and Celia (Jane Ryall) flee to Mykonos and turn avenging angels on anyone they deem to be perverted (which is a bit like calling the kettle black since Christopher boffs an adorable-looking goat when Celia's not in the mood). Gays, lesbians, prostitutes, hippies, rapists, druggies, various fornicators, and even an African-American private detective hired to trail them by their mother are among the victims as the siblings tour the picturesque settings (although they train their camera more on the murders than the monuments), but they may have met their match in a mute shepherd (Nikos Tsachiridis). DVD Release Date: March 21st, 2011

War - Being held as war prisoner under inhumane conditions, submitted to daily beatings and set to do slave labour, the bare adult Ivan is shown some mercy, because he is able to translate internet news to the Chechen rebel leader. Along him two British actors, John and Margaret, are held hostages for ransom. When John is released to raise £2 million ransom for the release of Margaret, they release Ivan as well, since he isn’t worth anything. Going home, Ivan attempts to fit in again, while John, in London, tries to raise the money, but is met by a diplomatic stonewall. After being approached by the KGB, John accepts an offer from a TV station for £200,000 to go back and film the rescue of Margaret. John thus travels to St. Petersburg where he locates Ivan and makes him an offer. Reluctant he accepts and the two now journey back into Chechnya on a suicide rescue mission.

The Beyond - Liza (Catriona MacColl, CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD) inherits the Seven Doors Hotel outside New Orleans. Little does she know that it was built upon one of the seven gateways to hell. Fifty-years before, locals had crucified eccentric painter Schweik (Antoine Saint-John, THE KILLER MUST KILL AGAIN) as a warlock and the discovery of his walled-up body (and the eye-gouging death of a Joe the plumber [Giovanni De Nava, HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY's Dr. Freudstein]; if only that had been the fate of last election's "Joe the Plumber") has opened the gates. DVD Release Date: March 14th, 2011

Fanny and Alexander - Whereas a handful of Bergman's previous films focused on psychological horror over the supernatural, FANNY AND ALEXANDER is perhaps most relatable to English viewers as somewhat of a Gothic novel (although Bergman cited Dickens as an influence) with its ghostly visits, rumors of the fates of the Bishop's previous wife and children, imperious housekeeper, and imprisoned children). The film has its share of tragedy and high emotion, but there is also a sense of joy (not simply solace) not often encountered in Bergman films. DVD Release Date: November 16th, 2009

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind BD - Hayao Miyazaki's epic, environmentally conscious anime, takes viewers on a voyage through time and space to the magical and dreamlike Valley of the Wind, where good battles evil for the future of the human race. Faced with almost certain destruction of her planet's natural resources, the warrior Princess Nausicaa must rally her people against an evil queen's brutal army to bring a new life to her homeland. Reminiscent of works by J.R.R. Tolkien, this story of responsibility, coming of age, peace, and redemption has proven to be one of the legendary Miyazaki's most enduring works. As opposed to the earlier release of this film, titled 'Warriors Of The Wind', this release stays true to Miyazaki's original work. Blu-ray Release Date: March 8th, 2011

127 Hours BD - "127 Hours" is like an exercise in conquering the unfilmable. Boyle uses magnificent cinematography by Anthony Dod Mantle and Enrique Chediak, establishing the vastness of the Utah wilderness, and the very specific details of Ralston's small portion of it. His editor, Jon Harris, achieves the delicate task of showing an arm being cut through without ever quite showing it. For the audience the worst moment is not a sight but a sound. Most of us have never heard that sound before, but we know exactly what it is. Blu-ray Release date: March 1st, 2011

Out of Sight BD - Out of Sight is a rich, entertaining film, stylish without being showy, faithful to the integrity of Leonard's potent dialogue and quirky characters, and seamlessly acted by a dream ensemble. Standouts include Albert Brooks as convicted insider trader Richard Ripley, who while in prison brags to the wrong people that he has $5 million in uncut diamonds hidden in his house; Don Cheadle as Maurice (don't call him "Snoopy") Miller, with whom Jack warily teams up to steal said diamonds; Dennis Farina as Karen's protective father (his idea of a birthday gift is a Sig-Hauer .38); and, in unbilled cameos, Michael Keaton, reprising his Jackie Brown role as FBI agent Ray Nicolet, and Samuel L. Jackson. Blu-ray Release date: March 1st, 2011

The Cable Guy BD - Originally planned as a silly vehicle for Chris Farley, in the hands of director Ben Stiller and star Jim Carrey, The... Cable Guy became an opportunity for Carrey to flex some of his darker comedic muscles as stalker Chip Douglas. Matthew Broderick plays Steven, an average Joe who is forlorn over his recent breakup with girlfriend Robin (Leslie Mann). When he moves into a new apartment, Steven comes in contact with Chip, who shows up to hook up the cable. Before he knows it, and whether he likes it or not, Steven has a new best-friend in the obnoxious and clingy Chip. Blu-ray Release date: March 1st, 2011

Bambi BD - “Bambi” premiered August 8, 1942, in London, a daring move because of the war, and a few days later in New York. Yet despite positive reviews, it failed at the box office and didn’t return its budget. While the studio provided war effort, the future was bleak, so in order to save the studio, Disney decided to re-release the studios only success, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, in the summer of 1944. The gamble paid off and at the end of the fiscal year, the books finally had black ink in them again. This gamble would also become a Disney strategy, to re-release their films once every sixth or seventh year, for a new generation to experience them. Blu-ray Release Date: March 1st, 2011

Rolling Thunder - Rolling Thunder's ex-Vietnam War POW Major Charles Rane (William Devane) returns to a hero's welcome in San Antonio in the early '70s. He's bestowed with a red Cadillac convertible, $2,500 in silver dollars, and accolades from all sides. Soon, however, he discovers that all is not as it seems; his wife strayed with a close friend during his years of confinement. He also finds that he has his own personal POW groupie, Linda; her fascination with him is met with the same shoulder-shrugging blandness that he shows toward everything else in what's left of his life. One day Rane comes home to find a houseful of assorted Texas white trash demanding his small fortune in silver dollars. Their efforts to beat him into revealing the location of the money are for naught, so they jam his right hand down a garbage disposal instead. When his wife and kid come home, the two gladly give up the money but the robbers cold-bloodedly gun them down anyway. Flash-forward: Rane has himself fitted with a hook prosthesis (which he sharpens on a grinder), cuts down a couple of shotguns, and points the scarlet Caddy land yacht south towards Nuevo Laredo, bent on revenge. DVD Release Date: January 18th, 2011

Silent Light - Mexican Mennonite farmer Johan (Cornelio Wall) upsets his community when he falls for another woman Marianne (Maria Pankratz) although he is married to Esther (Miriam Toews) and has five children. He is surprised (and perhaps a bit disappointed) when preacher father (Pedro Wall) says he and his mother will support whatever choice he makes, but advises that he could lose both women if he doesn't act at all. Marianne feels sorry for Esther, but is as powerless to turn Johan away as he is to end things with her. DVD Release Date: July 19th,2010

 Next 4 weeks on the Calendar

February 28th, 2011


127 Hours [Blu-ray] (Danny Boyle, 2010) Fox Searchlight Pictures (BEAVER REVIEW)

Another Year (Mike Leigh, ,2010) R2 UK Momentum

Bambi [Blu-ray] (James Algar, 1942) Walt Disney (BEAVER REVIEW)

Bedevilled [Blu-ray] (Jang Cheol-so, 2010) RB UK Optimum

Brenda Starr, Reporter (Wallace Fox, 1945) VCI Entertainment

Brighton Rock Special Edition (John Boulting, 1947) R2 UK Momentum
Brighton Rock [
Blu-ray] (John Boulting, 1947) RB UK Momentum

The Buddy Holly Story [Blu-ray] (Steve Rash, 1978) RB UK Fabulous Films

The Cable Guy [Blu-ray] (Ben Stiller, 1996) Sony (BEAVER REVIEW)

Cronos - Special Edition [Blu-ray] (Guillermo del Toro, 1993) RB UK Optimum

Cuckoo [Blu-ray] (Richard Bracewell, 2009) Verve Pictures

Dark Star [Blu-ray] (John Carpenter, 1974) RB UK Fabulous Films

Daughters of Darkness [Blu-ray] (Harry Kümel, 1971) Blue Underground (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Devil's Backbone [Blu-ray] (Guillermo del Toro, 2001) RB UK Optimum

Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde - 35th Anniversary! (William Crain, 1976) VCI Entertainment

Eccentricities of a Blonde-haired Girl (Manoel de Oliveira, 2009) R2 UK New Wave

Falstaff-Chimes at Midnight (Orson Welles, 1965) R2 UK Cornerstone Media

Fernando Di Leo Crime Collection - Raro Video

Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould [Blu-ray] (Peter Raymont, 2009) Lorber Films (BEAVER REVIEW)

High Hopes [Blu-ray] (Mike Leigh, 1988) RB UK Fabulous Films

The Hunter (Rafi Pitts, 2010) R2 UK Artificial Eye

I Clowns (Federico Fellini, 1970) Raro Video (BEAVER REVIEW)

Journey Into Fear (Norman Foster, 1943) R2 UK Cornerstone Media

Love and Other Drugs [Blu-ray] (Edward Zwick, 2010) 20th Century Fox

Out of Sight [Blu-ray] (Steven Soderbergh, 1998) Universal (BEAVER REVIEW)

Pan's Labrynth - Special Edition [Blu-ray] (Guillermo del Toro, 2006) RB UK Optimum

The Strange Door (Joseph Pevney, 1951) R2 UK Odeon



March 7th, 2011


And Soon the Darkness [Blu-ray] (Marcos Efron, 2010) RB UK Optimum

Around A Small Mountain (Jacques Rivette, 2009) Cinema Guild

The Dorm That Dripped Blood [Blu-ray] (Stephen Carpenter, Jeffrey Obrow, 1982) Synapse Films

Excalibur [Blu-ray] (John Boorman, 1981) Warner

Exit Through the Gift Shop [Blu-ray] (Banksy, 2010) - Oscilloscope Laboratories (BEAVER REVIEW)

A Film Unfinished (Yael Hersonski, 2010) Oscilloscope

Four Lions [Blu-ray] (Chris Morris, 2010) Magnolia

Helena from the Wedding (Joseph Infantolino, 2010) Film Movement

How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr Foster? (Carlos Carcas + Norberto López Amado, 2010) R2 UK Dogwoof

Ip Man 2 [Blu-ray] (Wilson Yip, 2010) RB UK Cine-Asia

Letters to Father Jaakob (Klaus Härö, 2009) Olive Films

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind [Blu-ray] (Hayao Miyazaki, 1984) Walt Disney Video (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Next Three Days [Blu-ray] (Paul Haggis, 2010) Lionsgate

Off Limits (George Marshall, 1953) Olive Films

On the Double (Melville Shavelson, 1961) Olive Films

Phenomena (Dario Argento, 1985) RB UK Arrow Films

To Each His Own (Mitchell Leisen, 1946) R2 UK Odeon

The Walking Dead: Season One [Blu-ray] - AMC and Anchor Bay



March 14th, 2011


71: Into the Fire [Blu-ray] (John H. Lee, 2010) RB UK Cine-Asia

The Arbor [Blu-ray] (Clio Barnard, 2010) RB UK Verve Pictures

Attack Force Z [Blu-ray] (Tim Burstall, 1982) Cinevision Int'l Inc

Au Revoir Les Enfants [Blu-ray] (Louis Malle, 1987) Criterion

The Beyond [Blu-ray] (Lucio Fulci, 1981) RB UK Arrow Video

Confessions of a Dog (Gen Takahashi, 2006) R2 UK Third Window Films

The Fighter [Blu-ray] (David O. Russell , 2010) Paramount Pictures

Hereafter [Blu-ray] (Clint Eastwood, 2010) Warner

The Hit [Blu-ray] (Stephen Frears, 1984) RB IT CDE

Larks on a String (Jirí Menzel, 1990) R2 UK Second Run

Let Me In [Blu-ray] (Matt Reeves, 2010) RB UK Icon Home Entertainment

Man of Aran (Restored Edition) (Robert J. Flaherty, 1934) R2 UK Park Circus

Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow (Sophie Fiennes, 2010) R2 UK Artificial Eye

Perfume of the Lady in Black (Francesco Barilli, 1974) Raro Video

Salvador Allende (Patricio Guzmán, 2004) Icarus Films

I vinti aka The Vanquished (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1953) Raro Video

Yi Yi: A One and a Two... [Blu-ray] (Edward Yang, 2000) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)



March 21st, 2011


Against All Odds [Blu-ray] (Taylor Hackford, 1984) Image Entertainment

Along Came Polly [Blu-ray] (John Hamburg, 2004) RB UK Cinram Logistics

Le Amiche [Blu-ray] (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1955) RB UK Masters of Cinema

Ashes & Diamonds [Blu-ray] (Andrzej Wajda, 1958) RB UK Arrow Academy

Awakenings [Blu-ray] (Penny Marshall, 1990) Image Entertainment

The Bible: In the Beginning... [Blu-ray] (John Huston, 1966) 20th Century Fox

Budrus (Julia Bacha, 2009) R2 UK Dogwoof

Caged Heat / Jackson County Jail (Jonathan Demme - 1974, Michael Miller - 1976) - Roger Corman's Cult Classics - Shout! Factory

Un Chien Andalou / L'Age D'or - R2 UK BFI

Demons (Lamberto Bava, 1985) R2 UK Arrow Video

Galaxina / Crater Lake Monster [Blu-ray] - Mill Creek Ent.

Island of Death (Nico Mastorakis, 1977) R2 UK Arrow Video

Iron Man [Blu-ray] (Jon Favreau, 2008) Paramount (BEAVER REVIEW)

Jolene [Blu-ray] (Dan Ireland, 2008) Entertainment One

Moscow, Belgium [Blu-ray] (Christophe Van Rompaey, 2008) Terra

Our Hospitality [Blu-ray] (Buster Keaton, 1923) Kino

La Signora Senza Camelie [Blu-ray] (Michelangelo Antonioni 1953) RB UK Masters of Cinema

Eclipse Series 26: Silent Naruse (Flunky, Work Hard; No Blood Relation; Apart from You; Every-Night Dreams; Street Without End) - Criterion

Sleepers [Blu-ray] (Barry Levinson, 1996) RB UK Cinram Logistics

Spy Game [Blu-ray] (Tony Scott, 2001) Universal (BEAVER REVIEW)

Stand by Me [Blu-ray] (Rob Reiner, 1986) Sony Pictures

Taking Off [Blu-ray] (Milos Forman, 1971) RB FR Carlotta Films

The Times of Harvey Milk (Rob Epstein, 1984) Criterion

The Times of Harvey Milk [Blu-ray] (Rob Epstein, 1984) Criterion

The Windmill Movie (Alexander Olch, 2008) Zeitgeist Films

Witchfinder General [Blu-ray] (Michael Reeves, 1968) RB UK Odeon


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