DVDBeaver Newsletter - March 10th, 2008

Tungjatjeta! - 13 new reviews this week - Mucho Blu-ray, a Criterion, three coveted film noirs and some Hollywood rehashes. We should have a very busy time next week with our Atonement (MAGNIFICENT!) review and some new comparisons. There are some interesting additions to this week's Calendar, Difficult contest and more. Facebook-er?: join DVDBeaver-ite's Facebook group HERE. We can communicate video clips, film news etc.


FEATURE DVD OF THE MONTH chosen for March...




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The CLIP to identify is HERE! (it's a tough one)

THIS WEEK's PRIZE: a brand new Blu-ray DVD of Michael Clayton.  To enter the draw you must be subscribed to our Free Weekly Newsletter and email the correct answer to contest@DVDBeaver.com (the winner will be drawn from all correct answers sent)

LAST WEEK's Winner (20 entrants - 18 correct answers!) - identifying this clip of M. Night Shyamalan's Lady in the Water - (Bill Irwin talking!) - was T. Zajac from Ulster winning a a brand new Forbidden Hollywood Vol. 2. Congrats Trevor!



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


LATEST Additions to the Release Calendar (PRE-ORDER!).

The Carmen Miranda Collection (The Gang's All Here / If I'm Lucky / Something for the Boys / Greenwich Village / Doll Face) - 20th Century Fox

My Blueberry Nights (Kar Wai Wong, 2007) R2 UK - Optimum Home Entertainment

My Blueberry Nights [Blu-ray] (Kar Wai Wong, 2007) RB UK - Optimum Home Entertainment

The Fire Within (Louis Malle, 1963) Criterion

The Lovers (Louis Malle, 1958) Criterion

The Thief of Bagdad (Michael Powell, 1940) Criterion

Youth Without Youth (Francis Ford Coppola, 2007) Sony Pictures

Youth Without Youth [Blu-ray] (Francis Ford Coppola, 2007) Sony Pictures

Nathalie Granger (Marguerite Duras, 1972) Blaq Out

Nathalie Granger 2-disc (Marguerite Duras, 1972) Blaq Out

The Longest Day [Blu-ray] (Ken Annakin, 1962) Fox Home Entertainment

Patton [Blu-ray] (Franklin J. Schaffner, 1970) Fox Home Entertainment

The Sand Pebbles [Blu-ray] (Robert Wise, 1966) Fox Home Entertainment

Futurama: Best With A Billion Backs (2008) Fox Home Entertainment

Raiders of the Lost Ark - Special Edition (Steven Spielberg, 1981) Paramount

Indiana Jones: The Adventure Collection (Indiana Jones And The Raiders Of The Lost Ark: Special Edition, Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom: Special Edition

Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade: Special Edition Paramount, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom - Special Edition (Steven Spielberg, 1984) Paramount

New Reviews:


I, Robot BR - I, Robot is a Who-Done-It set not far in our future where robots live right alongside humans and would soon make up nearly a fifth of the population. Kind of like in Woody Allen's Sleeper but without the inanities. Everything seems in control until one day, Dr. Alfred Lanning (James Cromwell), the creator of the robot designs and the laws that govern their behavior, is found splattered on the floor of the atrium of USR Corporation, an apparent suicide. Lanning had sent a message to Detective Spooner to come investigate his death. But that's the least of the strange circumstances that surround the mystery. How did Lanning break through the thick safety glass of the room in which he apparently locked himself into? And why is a robot holed up in that room when Spooner comes to investigate? And why and how does that robot have dreams? Blu-ray DVD Release Date: March 11th, 2008

Independence Day BR - From nearly the first frame we feel their presence as they pass by our moon on their way to our planet. Unseen until then, apparently hiding in the moon's shadow until the critical moment, the mother ship suddenly shows up on our sensors. But no sooner than we are aware of their existence, our communication satellites are taken out. Cable Guy and Math Genius, David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum), thinks he knows why. As huge alien airships hover above our most important cities, David and his father (Judd Hirsch) rush to the nation's capital to see the president (Bill Pullman) to warn him of the disaster that comes only moments later. Blu-ray DVD Release Date: March 11th, 2008

Enchanted BR - Beautiful princess Giselle is banished by an evil queen from her magical, musical, animated land and finds herself in the gritty reality of the streets of modern day Manhattan. Shocked by this strange new environment that doesn't operate on a "happily ever after" basis, Giselle is now adrift in a chaotic world badly in need of enchantment. But when Giselle begins to fall in love with a charmingly flawed divorce lawyer who has come to her aid — even though she is already promised to a perfect fairy tale prince back home — she has to wonder: can a storybook view of romance survive in the real world? Blu-ray DVD Release Date: March 18th, 2008

Dan in Real Life BR - Dan Burns (Steve Carell) is a widower of 4 years with three teen and pre-teen daughters. His relationship to his children and the memory of his wife is like a cross between the Tom Hanks character in Sleepless in Seattle and Marlin, Nemo's overprotective dad. He writes an advice column under the byline Dan in Real Life. He accepts the role of dad and mom with a tenacity that is both reassuring and tenacious. The good news is that he doesn't beat them when they disagree with his rules. Blu-ray DVD Release Date: March 11th, 2008

Ice Age BR - The thaw has started. Not the geologic one, but the one where studios begin to fill in the back story. You could not have failed to notice that, when confronted with a series of films to release in high definition, a given studio will start with the most recent – which is why we got Casino Royale before Dr. No and Goldfinger, Cars and Ratatouille before Toy Story and The Incredibles, and Ice Age: The Meltdown before Ice Age. Blu-ray DVD Release Date: March 4th, 2008

Gattaca BR - Confidently conceived and brilliantly executed, Gattaca had a somewhat low profile release in 1997, but audiences and critics hailed the film's originality. It's since been recognized as one of the most intelligent science fiction films of the 1990s. Writer-director Andrew Niccol, the talented New Zealander who also wrote the acclaimed Jim Carrey vehicle The Truman Show, depicts a near-future society in which one's personal and professional destiny is determined by one's genes. In this society, "Valids" (genetically engineered) qualify for positions at prestigious corporations, such as Gattaca, which grooms its most qualified employees for space exploration. "In-Valids" (naturally born), such as the film's protagonist, Vincent (Ethan Hawke), are deemed genetically flawed and subsequently fated to low-level occupations in a genetically caste society. Blu-ray DVD Release Date: March 11th, 2008

Sleuth - In his radical overhaul of Anthony Shaffer’s play (and a 1972 film), Harold Pinter (the Nobel-laureate playwright famous for spare dialogue and long, meaningful pauses) turns Shaffer’s gaudy, meandering curiosity into a fascinating and tension-filled character study. In Shaffer’s plot, a mystery writer convinces his wife’s young lover to fake a break-in of the writer’s house for an insurance scam; when the younger man accedes, the writer turns the tables on him. Pinter takes those bones and builds around them from the ground up. The result is a cat-and-mouse game ten times as menacing as the rather campy original. Caine, who played young Milo in ’72, graduates to the role of the author; unlike Laurence Olivier’s hammy take, his Andrew Wyke is authentically sadistic and pitiable. Law gets the ultimately showier role (we won’t spoil it by saying more) and displays surprising range. DVD Release Date: March 11th, 2008

I am Legend - I Am Legend, the third cinematic adaptation of Richard Matheson's novel, has been in development for a very long time. Originally slated to star Arnold Schwarzenegger and be directed by Ridley Scott, this movie has kicked around for so long that by the time it has finally reached the screen, Schwarzenegger is out of the business altogether and the director is someone whose career in music videos hadn't even started when Michael Bay was being touted as possible replacement for Scott. Nevertheless, all these years later, we finally have this new version of I Am Legend, starring Will Smith as the Last Man on Earth and directed by Francis Lawrence (Constantine). DVD Release Date: March 18th, 2008

WXIII Patlabor BR - WXIII” is a “side-story,” taking place within “Patlabor’s” universe one year after the events of the first movie and two years prior to the second one. Side-stories are a well-used gimmick in Japanese animation, with “The Animatrix” being an example of a “Matrix” side- story. “WXIII” features a new creative team led by director Takuji Endo and co-writers Yuuki Masami and Tori Maki, with animation production by Madhouse Studios (”Ninja Scroll”).

Mafioso - In Alberto Lattuada's brilliant dark comedy Mafioso, auto-factory foreman Nino (Alberto Sordi) takes his proper, modern wife (Norma Bengell) and two blonde daughters from industrial Milan to antiquated, rural Sicily to visit his family and get back in touch with his roots. But Antonio gets more than he bargained for when he discovers some harsh truths about his ancestors—and himself. One of the first Italian films to look frankly at the Mafia, Lattuada's devastatingly funny character study is equal parts culture-clash farce and existential nightmare. DVD Release Date: March 18th, 2008

Black Widow - An adaptation of Patrick Quentin's fine thriller which starts promisingly with Heflin's distinguished Broadway producer, meeting a sweetly aspiring young playwright (Garner), helplessly bemused when (actually vampirically ambitious) she virtually takes over his apartment on the excuse that the surroundings are conducive to inspiration. When she is subsequently found murdered there and he becomes the prime suspect, the film degenerates into a routine whodunnit. Worth seeing for the fine cast, Raft (dreary as ever as the investigating cop) and Rogers (unexpectedly overdoing it as a bitchy actress) excepted. DVD Release Date: March 11th, 2008

Daisy Kenyon - A high-40s women's picture, with Joan Crawford as a fashion designer torn between two lovers--calculating Dana Andrews and wholesome Henry Fonda (1947). Otto Preminger, the slightly miscast director, sets the choice up like a murder trial, carefully balancing the arguments on both sides. His sober approach and his fluid camera style do much to redeem the material, for which he has no apparent sympathy. It's a Preminger film purely by accident, but it is a fine example of studio craft. DVD Release Date: March 11th, 2008

Dangerous Crossing - As has been noted, director Joseph M. Newman and his technicians generate a mounting tension as the happy Ruth Bowman turns to a terrified bride when her handsome spouse fails to turn up at a shipboard rendezvous; as each happenstance seemingly points to dementia. The cabin they were supposed to occupy is not that cabin at all; the passenger lists her under her maiden name; her husband apparently is nonexistent as are her ticket and passport. Our heroine, in short, seems headed for a straightjacket until the handsome ship's doctor, a paragon among men, takes over to discover—at long last—the reasons for this involved harassment. Seems a few people are after the lady's loot, including a couple of conniving crew members. DVD Release Date: March 11th, 2008

Next 2 weeks on the Calendar:

Week of March 10th, 2008

August Rush (Kirsten Sheridan, 2007) Warner Home Video

August Rush [Blu-ray] (Kirsten Sheridan, 2007) Warner Home Video

Black Widow (Nunnally Johnson, 1954) Fox Home Entertainment

Boarding Gate (Olivier Assayas, 2007) R2 UK - Revolver Entertainment

Bobby Deerfield (Sydney Pollack, 1977) Sony

Brick Lane (Sarah Gavron, 2007) R2 UK - Optimum Home Entertainment

Dan in Real Life [Blu-ray] (Peter Hedges, 2007) Touchstone / Disney
Dangerous Crossing (Joseph Newman, 1953) Fox Home Entertainment

Daisy Kenyon (Otto Preminger, 1947) Fox Home Entertainment

Dazed and Confused [HD DVD] (Richard Linklater, 1993) Universal

"Five Days" (Otto Bathurst / Simon Curtis, 2007) (mini series) HBO Home Video

Gattaca [Blu-ray] (Andrew Niccol, 1997) Sony Pictures

Georges Melies: First Wizard of Cinema (1896-1913) - Flicker Alley

I, Robot [Blu-ray] (Alex Proyas, 2004) Fox Home Entertainment

In the Valley of Elah [HD DVD + SD Combo] (Paul Haggis, 2007) Warner Home Video

Independence Day [Blu-ray] (Roland Emmerich, 1996) 20th Century Fox

The Last Supper (Tomas Gutierrez Alea, 1976) New Yorker Films

Magic Blade: Shaw Brothers (Yuen Chor, 1976) Image Entertainment

Michael Clayton [HD DVD + SD Combo] (Tony Gilroy, 2007) Warner

No Country for Old Men (Ethan Coen, 2007) Miramax

No Country for Old Men [Blu-ray] (Ethan Coen, 2007) Miramax

Sleuth (Kenneth Branagh, 2007) Sony Pictures

Sleuth [Blu-ray] (Kenneth Branagh, 2007) Sony Pictures

Summer Palace (Lou Ye, 2006) Palm Pictures / Umvd


Week of March 17th, 2008

Antonio Gaudí (Hiroshi Teshigahara, 1984) Criterion

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford [HD DVD] (Andrew Dominik, 2007) Warner

Atonement (Joe Wright, 2007) - Universal Studios

Conspiracy (Adam Marcus, 2008) Sony

The Dragon Painter (William Worthington, 1919) New Yorker Films

Enchanted (Kevin Lima, 2007) Walt Disney Video

Enchanted [Blu-ray] (Kevin Lima, 2007) Walt Disney Video

I Am Legend (Widescreen Edition) (Francis Lawrence, 2007) Warner Home Video

I Am Legend (Two-Disc Special Edition) (Francis Lawrence, 2007) Warner Home Video

I Am Legend [Blu-ray] (Francis Lawrence, 2007) Warner Home Video
Ice Storm (Ang Lee, 1997) Criterion
Mafioso (Alberto Lattuada, 1962) Criterion

The Round Up (Miklós Jancsó, 1966) R2 UK - Second Run

Southland Tales (Richard Kelly, 2006) - Sony Pictures

Steep (Mark Obenhaus, 2007) Sony Pictures

Steep [Blu-ray] (Mark Obenhaus, 2007) Sony Pictures


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