DVDBeaver Newsletter - March 12th, 2007


Hello to you - 10 new reviews this week and some additions to the release calendar - much time was spent creating the Desert Island DVD page, so please give your $0.02 worth.


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


Phantom Museums: The Short Films of the Quay Brothers - 2-disc - Zeitgeist Films

Seven Days to Noon (John Boulting/Roy Boulting, 1948) R2 UK Optimum

Kasaba / Clouds of May (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 1998 -99) R2 UK Artificial Eye

Gabrielle (Patrice Chéreau, 2005) R2 UK Artificial Eye

Climates (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2006) R2 UK Artificial Eye

Hell Drivers 2-disc (Cy Endfield, 1957) R2 UK Network

Hell & High Water (Samuel Fuller, 1954) 20th Century Fox

Violette (Claude Chabrol, 1978) Koch Lorber Films

Song at Midnight (Weibang Ma-Xu, 1937) Cinema Epoch

Street Angel/Twin Sisters (Yuan, Mu-jih, 1937) Cinema Epoch

Springtime in a Small Town (Weibang Ma-Xu, 1937) Cinema Epoch

Prince of the City (Two-Disc Special Edition) (Sidney Lumet, 1981) Warner Home Video

Pulp (Mike Hodges, 1972) MGM

Comedy of Power (Claude Chabrol, 2006) Koch Lorber Film

Elegy of a Voyage (Aleksandr Sokurov, 2002) Ideale Audience

Dark Command (Raoul Walsh, 1940) /Lady Takes a Chance (William A. Seiter, 1943) Lions Gate

Sands of Iwo Jima (Allan Dwan, 1949) / Flying Tigers (David Miller, 1942) Lions Gate

Sleep, My Love (Douglas Sirk, 1948) R2 DE - Kinowelt Home Entertainment


RECOMMENDATIONS: It doesn't matter what my opinion is - I doubt I'll deter any Bond fans from avoiding Casino Royale. Just have a martini or two first and don't get expectations too high. 

HIDDEN GEM: Muriel appears to be an important Resnais film hiding in the bushes. Shame the digital quality is weaker than we would appreciate.

SURPRISE: A strong DVD effort from HK with the cult-giant Peking Opera Blues.

ABSTRUSE: Talk about a film you are not likely to ever see anywhere else - Romeo, Juliet and Darkness is a unique and memorable film experience that we can recommend.

DEAL: Possibly the cheapest you will see the 2-disc SE of Lost Highway. 60% off!

EROTIC MYSTERY FANTASY ?: Look no further than Alain Robbe-Grillet’s La Belle Captive.


New Reviews:


Docteur M. - Berlin, the early 1990s. Strange fatal accidents are happening in the city, on both sides of the wall. Lt. Hartmann investigates and discovers that they are suicides induced by enigmatic Doctor Marsfeldt. The man heads a criminal organization disguised as a vacation club that intends to carry out a crazy eugenics project through subliminal messages sent by images of a beautiful woman, Sonja.

Dr. Popaul -
Docteur Popaul, or Scoundrel in White is a black comedy by Claude Chabrol. It tells of the life and proper comeuppance of Dr. Paul Simay (Jean Paul Belmondo), an unusual sort of ladies' man. At his hospital, there is a bet to see who can seduce the most ugly women. Paul is confident he can win, because he already woos ugly women exclusively. He says he gets much better results from them. When he woos and finally marries Christine (Mia Farrow), buck-teeth, leg-braces and all, he eventually discovers that he has more than met his match.


Peking Opera Blues - A virtual pinata of Hong Kong Cinema themes and signifiers, Peking Opera Blues is a dazzling spectacle and a multi-layered movie wonder on more subjects than you could possibly imagine! History, drama, action, romance, comedy, gender roles, loyalty, honor, and just plain entertainment value combine to maximum cinematic effect - and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Peking Opera Blues is must-see Hong Kong Cinema, and quite possibly the defining work of director Tsui Hark. DVD Release Date: January 29th, 2007

Muriel - “Muriel” is a portrait of trauma as moving as any since, well, “Hiroshima, Mon Amour.” Lonelyache exudes from every frame of the film, in each precise gesture, each exacting detail. The film is so densely packed with that even after four viewings I feel like I have barely scratched its surface. In fact, I find it more difficult to write about than even “Marienbad.” DVD Release Date: March 13th, 2007

Kissed - The subject of Lynn Stopkewich’s featuring debut Kissed is necrophilia, a subject rarely addressed, as it by nature is on the disturbing side of perverseness, both due to the pathology of the subject and the graphic nature of sexual encounters with corpses. But rather than provoking by grotesque dark comedy like Jürg Buttgereit did with Nekromatik, Stopkewich transforms necrophilia into an act of sexual spirituality; thus by the end, we are not disgusted by the acts of Sandra, but rather sympathetic. Tartan DVD Release Date: March 12th, 2007

Lost Highway - David Lynch's take on multiple-personality disorder in Lost Highway is decidedly nonhumanistic and relatively pessimistic--especially in relation to character development, this being a movie fatalistically constructed like a Mobius strip. Properly speaking, this isn't a movie with characters but with figures, each of them as overblown as a plastic inner tube.

Romeo, Juliet and Darkness - Romeo, Juliet and Darkness came in 1969 and enhanced his reputation even further, winning the Grand Prix at both the San Sebastian and Taormina Film Festivals that year. A study of frustration and denial, the film is distinguished by Weiss’ distinctive cinematic language. DVD Release Date: February 19th, 2007

Casino Royale - Casino Royale introduces James Bond before he holds his license to kill. But Bond is no less dangerous, and with two professional assassinations in quick succession, he is elevated to '00' status. Bond's first 007 mission takes him to Uganda where he is to spy on a terrorist, Mollaka. Not everything goes to plan and Bond decides to investigate, independently of MI6, in order to track down the rest of the terrorist cell. DVD Release Date: March 13th, 2007

La Belle Captive - In contemporary parlance, Alain Robbe-Grillet’s “La Belle Captive” (1983) might best be understood as a mashup or perhaps a proto-mashup. Based on a “collaborative” novel by Robbe-Grillet and René Magritte (even though Magritte was already dead), the story employs Magritte’s art work as the inspiration for a noir-ish detective story that also relies heavily on classical music and borrows liberally from the tradition of the vampire film: mysterious leather-clad boss-lady Sara Zeitgeist (Cyrielle Claire) appears to be an homage to the infamous Irma Vep. DVD Release Date: March 13th, 2007

Sabrina the Teenage Witch - Still, Sabrina got off to a good start with a well-cast core. Melissa Joan Hart always conveyed frustration and annoyance with a hint of cuteness, so she never played Sabrina as a spoiled, over-privileged brat. Beth Broderick and Caroline Rhea are hilarious as Sabrina’s zany aunts. In many ways, though, one could say that the show belonged to Nick Bakay, the voice of Salem Saberhagen the cat. DVD Release Date: March 6th, 2007


Next 2 weeks on the Calendar:


Week of March 12th, 2007


The Burmese Harp (Kon Ichikawa , 1956) Criterion

La Belle Captive: Film By Alain Robbe-Grillet (1983) - Koch Lorber Films

Becket (Peter Glenville, 1964) Mpi Home Video

Catherine Deneuve Screen Icons Collection (Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Belle de Jour, Donkey Skin, Manon 70 and Ma Saison Préférée) - R2 Uk - Optimum Home Entertainment

Casino Royale (Widescreen Two-Disc Special Edition) (Martin Campbell, 2006) Sony Pictures

Casino Royale [Blu-ray] (Martin Campbell, 2006) Sony Pictures

The Ed Wood Collection - A Salute to Incompetence - Glen Or Glenda? (1953), Jail Bait (1954), Bride Of The Monster (1955), The Violent Years (1956), Night Of The Ghouls (1959), Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959), Bonus Feature: The Ed Wood Story - Passport

Fires on the Plain (Kon Ichikawa, 1959) Criterion

Guillermo Del Toro Collection (Pan's Labyrinth/Cronos/The Devil's Backbone) - R2 UK - Optimum Home Entertainment

Hoosiers [Blu-ray] (David Anspaugh, 1986) Tcfhe/MGM

Julie Christie Screen Icons Collection (The Go-Between, Billy Liar, Darling and Far From the Madding Crowd) - R2 Uk - Optimum Home Entertainment

Muriel: Film By Alain Resnais (Sub Col Dol) (1963) - Koch Lorber Films

Pan's Labyrinth (Guillermo del Toro, 2006) R2 UK - Optimum Home Entertainment

The Perfect Crime (Álex de la Iglesia, 2004) Tartan Video

Shortbus (Unrated) (John Cameron Mitchell) Velocity / Thinkfilm

Tout va bien (Jean-Luc Godard, 1972) R2 UK - Arrow Films

War & Peace 3-disc (Sergei Bondarchuk, 1968) Hurricane Int'l


Week of March 19th, 2007


Blood Diamond (Two-Disc Special Edition) (Edward Zwick, 2006) Warner

The Bridge on the River Kwai (Collector's Edition) (David Lean, 1957) Sony Pictures

The Caine Mutiny - Special Edition (Edward Dmytryk, 1954) Sony Pictures

The Guns of Navarone (Collector's Edition) (J. Lee Thompson , 1961) Sony Pictures

Hell Drivers 2-disc (Cy Endfield, 1957) R2 UK Network

Histoire (s) du cinéma ENGLISH SUBS CONFIRMED - Coffret 4 DVD (Godard) - R2 FR - Gaumont

Lawrence of Arabia (Collector's Edition) (David Lean, 1962) Sony Pictures

Lonely Are the Brave (David Miller, 1962) FR PAL - Gaumont/Columbia

Man Without a Star (King Vidor, 1955) FR PAL - Gaumont/Columbia

Michael Shayne - Private Detective Collection 1 - 20th Century Fox

My Country My Country (Laura Poitras, 2005) Zeitgeist Films

The Naked City (Jules Dassin, 1948) Criterion

Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone, 2006) Sony Pictures

W.C. Fields Comedy Collection, Vol. 2 (The Man on the Flying Trapeze / Never Give A Sucker An Even Break / You¿re Telling Me! / The Old Fashioned Way / Poppy) - Universal Studios




50 CLASSIC TV SHOWS ON DVD - best of vintage TV!






- Best of the Best!



Gotta warm up soon,




P.S. DVD of the Year - 2006 still remains a popular place to peruse.