DVDBeaver Newsletter - March 30th, 2009

Mingalarba! - 13 new reviews this past week. Masters of Cinema coverage with Sirk and Resnais, Classic TV, masters of horror - Romero and Argento, Boyle's Oscar champ, an Aussie gem, US and French modern masterpieces in high-definition, and many exciting new Calendar Releases!, a great new SALE, and another new CONTEST (with great prize!). It's a good week.

NOTE: If there are DVD titles you'd like us to cover - please feel free to recommend!

Unfortunately Criterion have cancelled their Blu-ray of Kurosawa's RAN due to rights issues.


SALES: US Blu-ray up to 48% OFF        UK Blu-ray 2 for 3 SALE          Amazon France Blu-ray SALE (BUY 1 get 1 FREE!)

WEEK OF MARCH 30th CONTEST - identify the clip on the CONTEST PAGE to win brand new sealed DVD package of Gigi Blu-ray  - Best of luck all!

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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 and save!):

Il Grido (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1957) R2 UK Master of Cinema

The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (Henry Hathaway, 1936) R2 UK Eureka

Gone with the Wind (70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition) (Victor Fleming, 1939)- Warner Home Video

Gone with the Wind (70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray] (Victor Fleming, 1939)- Warner Home Video

The Wizard of Oz (70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition) (Victor Fleming, 1939) - Warner Home Video

The Wizard of Oz (70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray] (Victor Fleming, 1939) - Warner Home Video

Inside Man [Blu-ray] (Spike Lee, 2006) Universal Studios

Cinderella Man [Blu-ray] (Ron Howard, 2005) Universal Studios

Field of Dreams [Blu-ray] (Phil Alden Robinson, 1989) Universal Studios

Children of Men [Blu-ray] (Alfonso Cuarón, 2006) Universal Studios

Sky Crawlers [Blu-ray] (Mamoru Oshii, 2008) Sony Pictures

The King and Four Queens (Raoul Walsh, 1956) MGM

Time Limit (Karl Malden, 1957) MGM

North West Frontier (J. Lee Thompson, 1959) MGM

Ultimate Western Collection 20-disc (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Big Trail, The Comancheros, Broken Arrow, The Magnificent Seven, Dances with Wolves, A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Hang 'em High, Red River, The Westerner and The Missouri Breaks) MGM

Killshot (John Madden, 2008) Weinstein

The Reader [Blu-ray] (Stephen Daldry, 2008) Weinstein

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Richard Fleischer, 1954) Walt Disney Video


ONE VOICE (not Ellsworth Monkton Toohey): Aside from the pleasure I received from the new set (Rugolo scored) of The Fugitive, I was blown away by two films - Doubt BR and Tell No One BR. These would definitely reach my 'A' list this week. SD spoke loudly with MoC's complete package of Sirks A Time To Love and a Time to Die and Alain Resnais' Muriel finally in an uncompromised aspect ratio. Sirk completists may wish to venture to Captain Lightfoot  - although the image leaves something to be desired. I think Yella deserves an audience - this is quite an interesting film. Sci-fi buffs may wish to nab the high-def of 2010: The Year We Make Contact BR. I had forgotten what a good 'watch' it is. If you are in the mood for the camembert of horror - I think Two Evil Eyes BR is worthy of a spin. I haven't seen myself but Leonard appears reasonably impressed with The Fast and the Furious Trilogy BR. Obviously Slumdog Millionaire BR needs no accolades from us - but the Blu-ray may under-whelm.


New Reviews:

Slumdog Millionaire BR - Jamal Malik (Dev Patel) is poised to win huge on India's edition of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" There is one more question remaining when the show takes a break for a day – just long enough for Jamal to be arrested on suspicion of fraud. Somehow, it is reasoned that an uneducated "chai wallah" – a waiter, if you will, from the slums of Bombay, could possibly know the answers to questions that would have stumped experts. (It's not that they're all that difficult so much as varied and remote.) Jamal is tortured with water-dunking and electric shock but he does not admit to cheating. Eventually the inspector gives up on the hard stuff and asks him to review, question by question, how he came to know the answers. In so doing, Writer Simon Beaufoy and Director Danny Boyle take us back to Jamal's childhood in the slums of Bombay, his escape into the world with his older brother Salim (Madhur Mittal) who eventually becomes a gangster, his rescue of Latika (Frieda Pinto), his adolescence as a talented con artist. All the while, through several dramatic separations, Jamal never forgets Latika, with whom he is determined to be reunited. Blu-ray Release date: March 31st, 2009


The Fast and the Furious Trilogy BR - It would seem that car chases and street racing were made for the home theatre experience – all the more so in high definition picture and sound. From Bullitt and The French Connection, to The Bourne Trilogy, Ronin and the Transporter movies, to fantasy films like The Dark Knight and Wanted, to classic chase films like Vanishing Point and The Road Warrior, the extended genre has made its presence felt. These movies have a particular seductive draw, especially for those fortunate enough to have large displays or front projection and dynamic surround sound. The Fast and the Furious franchise seems to have been deliberately devised with this after-market market in view. Blu-ray Street Date: March 24th, 2009

Two Evil Eyes BR - The masters of modern horror - George Romero and Dario Argento - bring you an unprecedented pair of shockers inspired by the tales of Edgar Allan Poe. In Romero's "The Facts In The Case Of Mr. Valdemar," a conniving wife (Adrienne Barbeau of The Fog) and her lover use a hypnotic trance to embezzle a fortune from her dying husband, only to receive some chilling surprises from beyond the grave. Then in Argento's "The Black Cat," a deranged crime scene photographer (Harvey Keitel of Reservoir Dogs) is driven to brutal acts of madness and murder by his girlfriend's new pet. But will this cunning feline deliver a final sickening twist of its own? Blu-ray Release date: March 31st, 2009

The Fugitive Season 2 V. 2 - In case you are unfamiliar with the story - Dr. Richard Kimble is accused, tried and convicted of the murderer of his wife. The night before his execution, he escapes, because, as deep-voiced narrator William Conrad states '...fate moves its huge hand...' and there is a train derailment. The only chance to prove his innocence is to find the one-armed man he saw fleeing the crime that horrible night. Kimble, relentlessly pursued by Lt. Gerard (Barry Morse), risks exposure several times when he is forced to reveal his medical knowledge to help others out of trouble. The Fugitive works for entertainment on many levels beyond simple suspense and drama and remains my favorite vintage TV series of all time. DVD Release Date: March 31st, 2009

Yella - Narrowly escaping her volatile ex-husband, Yella flees her small hometown in former East Germany for a new life in the West. She finds a promising job with Philipp, a handsome business executive with whom an unlikely romance soon blossoms. But just as Yella seems poised to realize her dreams, she finds herself haunted by buried truths that threaten to destroy her newfound happiness. Christian Petzold's Yella is a stylish and deliciously suspenseful mystery. New Yorker DVD Release Date: March 31st, 2009

Doubt BR - Based on the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play, Doubt is a mesmerizing, suspense-filled drama with four riveting performances from Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Viola Davis that will have you pinned to the edge of your seat. Sister Aloysius Beauvier (Streep), the rigid and fear-inspiring principal of the Saint Nicholas Church School, suffers an extreme dislike for the progressive and popular parish priest Father Flynn (Hoffman). Looking for wrongdoing in every corner, Sister Aloysius believes she's uncovered the ultimate sin when she hears Father Flynn has taken a special interest in a troubled boy. But without proof, the only thing certain is doubt. Nominated for 5 Golden Globes and 6 Critics' Choice awards, there is no Doubt it is "One of the best pictures of the year". Blu-ray Release date: April 7th, 2009

Celia - Celia (also known as Celia: Child of Terror) is a 1988 Australian drama film written and directed by Ann Turner. Set in rural Australia in the 1950s amidst the Red Scare and a rabbit plague, it stars Rebecca Smart as troubled nine year old Celia as the movie follows her descent into madness. Turner won the Grand Prix award at the 1989 Créteil International Women's Film Festival and for her part as Alice Tanner, Victoria Longley won the Best Actress in a Supporting Role award from the Australian Film Institute. DVD Release Date: March 30th, 2009

Muriel - If cinema has its equivalents to the master modernists of music, painting, or literature, then one of the tradition’s foremost practitioners is undoubtedly Alain Resnais — and Muriel, ou le Temps d’un retour (Muriel, or: The Time of a Return) represents one of his earliest, and greatest, triumphs. In Resnais’ two preceding features (the legendary Hiroshima mon amour and Last Year in Marienbad), the master filmmaker pioneered new ways of representing inner reality and emotion; but with Muriel, he merged the vicissitudes of his characters’ personal pasts, and married them to the traumas of the political present — namely, the French war in Algeria. DVD Release Date: March 30th, 2000

Never Say Never Again BR - Never Say Never Again is probably more famous for its title and the circumstances of its coming about than it is for its substance. Sean Connery's last film for Eon and "Cubby" Broccoli was Diamonds Are Forever, a forgettable film and one that Connery famously vowed would be his last as 007. He was then 41 and had already made his mark as an actor in such disparate movies as Marnie, The Hill, A Fine Madness, The Molly Maguires and The Anderson Tapes, so he wasn't, or needn't have been, fearful of being typecast so much as needing the space to continue to find new work. And while Zardoz would suggest to the world he might have made a mistake, Murder on the Orient Express, The Wind and the Lion and The Man Who Would Be King were all reassuring evidence. Blu-ray Release date: March 24th, 2009

Captain Lightfoot - Sirk's collaboration with Hudson was notable for the melodramas, but this enjoyable historical romp also has good qualities, although Rock doesn't look that happy in early 18th-century garb. He plays Michael Mann, an Irish revolutionary and highwayman (in support of the cause) who joins the rebel Captain 'Thunderbolt', becoming his second in command as Captain 'Lightfoot' (providing inspiration for Cimino and the struggle). Sirk's characteristic confrontation of the material (adapted by Burnett from his own novel) is underpinned by authentic Dublin locations, exquisite colour and CinemaScope photography and the use of notable Irish actors. DVD Release Date: February 21st, 2009

A Time To Love and a Time to Die - A masterpiece of mise-en-scene by Douglas Sirk, transforming an Erich Maria Remarque melodrama into a haunting story of the search for beauty in a dead world. John Gavin and Lilo Pulver are lovers who meet among the ruins of a bombed-out German town during World War II. Despite their efforts to make contact, happiness hovers just beyond their reach in Sirk's metaphysically charged CinemaScope images. A stunning triumph of form, of the sort possible only in Hollywood. MoC DVD Release Date: March 30th, 2009

2010: The Year We Make Contact BR - new time, a new odyssey, a new chance to confront enigmas arising from the daring Jupiter mission of 2001. Crew members aboard the Leonov will rendezvous with the still-orbiting Discovery. And their fate will rest on the silicon shoulders of the computer they reawaken, HAL-9000. Based on Arthur C. Clarkes 2001: A Space Odyssey sequel, director Peter Hyams spellbinder nominated for 5 Academy Awards* stars Roy Scheider, John Lithgow, Oscar winner** Helen Mirren, Bob Balaban and Keir Dullea. Blu-ray Release date: April 7th, 2009

Tell No One BR - “Tell No One” is a French variation on “The Fugitive,” but it’s a more subtle, discreet animal. Like the Andrew Davis classic, this man-on-the-run nail biter concerns a doctor smarting from the loss of his wife and framed for murder. But you won’t find Dr. Beck acrobatically leaping off dam spillways, escaping crashed prison buses, or outrunning trains. (No Parkour-style diving off buildings either, like fellow Frenchman Cyril Raffaelli of “District B-13”.) Cluzet’s understated hero isn’t superman, and during the film’s key set-piece – a foot chase through Paris streets and freeways – we’re gripping our armrests knowing that this is a mere mortal facing potential doom. Blu-ray Release Date: March 31st, 2009

Next 2 weeks on the Calendar:

Week of March 30th, 2009

A Time to Love and a Time to Die (Douglas Sirk, 1958) R2 UK Masters of Cinema

An American in Paris [Blu-ray] (Vincente Minnelli, 1951) Warner

Cat in the Brain (Limited Edition 2-disc) (Lucio Fulci, 1990) Grindhouse Releasing/ Ryko

Celia (Ann Turner, 1989) R2 UK Second Run

Come Play with Me (Salvatore Samperi, 1968) Video Music, Inc.

Danton (Andrzej Wajda, 1983) Criterion

Darn Good Westerns Vol 1: Hellgate, Fangs of the Wild, Train to Tombstone, Panhandle, Operation Haylift, Wildfire: The Story of a Horse - VCI

Fallen Angels (Special Edition) (Wong Kar-Wai, 1995) Kino

Film Noir Double Feature Vol 3: Amazing Mr. X aka: The Spiritualist & Reign of Terror aka: Black Book - VCI

Flesh and Fury (Joseph Pevney, 1952) R2 UK Eureka

Fugitive: Season Two V.2 (4-disc) Paramount

lI Generale della Rovere (Roberto Rossellini, 1959) Criterion

Gigi [Blu-ray] (Vincente Minnelli, 1958) Warner

Happy Together (Special Edition) (Wong Kar-Wai, 1997) Kino

Hercules Collection (4-disc - 8 films) Image Entertainment

Ichi the Killer [Blu-ray] (Takashi Miike, 2001) Tokyo Shock

Muriel, Ou Le Temps D'un Retour (Alain Resnais, 1963) R2 UK Masters of Cinema

Nighthawks/Strip Jack Naked - Nighthawks 2 [Blu-ray] (1978) - Region FREE BFI

No Regret (Leesong Hee-il, 2006) Liberation

Of Time and the City (Terence Davies, 2008) BFI
Of Time and the City [
Blu-ray] (Terence Davies, 2008) BFI

The One [Blu-ray] (James Wong, 2001) Sony Pictures

Saint Francis (Ezra Gould, 2007) Redemption Films

Saturday Night, Sunday Morning [Blu-ray] (Karel Reisz, 1960) R'B' UK BFI

Seven Pounds (Gabriele Muccino, 2008) Sony Pictures
Seven Pounds [
Blu-ray] (Gabriele Muccino, 2008) Sony Pictures

Shakespeare's an Age of Kings (1960) Warner

Slumdog Millionaire (Danny Boyle, Loveleen Tandan - 2008) Twentieth Century Fox
Slumdog Millionaire [
Blu-ray] (Danny Boyle, Loveleen Tandan - 2008) Twentieth Century Fox

South Pacific [Blu-ray] (Joshua Logan, 1958) 20th Century Fox

Tehilim (Raphaël Nadjari, 2007) Kino Video

Tell No One [Blu-ray] (Guillaume Canet, 2006) MPI

Timecrimes (Nacho Vigalondo, 2007) Magnolia

The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (Henry Hathaway, 1936) R2 UK Eureka

Two Evil Eyes [Blu-ray] (Dario Argento / George A. Romero, 1990) Blue Underground

Waltz with Bashir (Ari Folman, 2008) R2 UK Artificial Eye
Waltz with Bashir [
Blu-ray] (Ari Folman, 2008) RB UK Artificial Eye


Week of April 6th, 2009

2010: The Year We Make Contact [Blu-ray] (Peter Hyams, 1984) Warner

A Song Is Born (Howard Hawks, 1948) MGM

Alexandra (Aleksandr Sokurov, 2009) New Yorker

American History X [Blu-ray] (David McKenna, 1998) Warner Home Video

The Bela Tarr Collection (The Man From London, Werckmeister Harmonies and Damnation) - R2 UK Artificial Eye

Boiler Room [Blu-ray] (Ben Younger, 2000) - Alliance (Universal)

The Boys from Brazil (Franklin J. Schaffner, 1978) Lions Gate

Bricktown [Blu-ray] (Michael D. Kelber, 2008) Celebrity Video Distribution

The Caller (Richard Ledes , 2008) Arts Alliance America

The Case of the Frightened Lady (George King, 1940) Wham! USA

Cleopatra 75th Anniversary Edition (Cecil B. DeMille, 1934) Universal Home Video

The Day the Earth Stood Still [Blu-ray] (Scott Derrickson, 2008) - 20th Century Fox

Disney Animation Collection 1: Mickey & Beanstalk - Disney Video
Disney Animation Collection 2: Three Little Pigs - Disney Video

Donkey Punch [Rated] (Oliver Blackburn, 2008) Magnolia
Donkey Punch [UN-Rated]
(Oliver Blackburn, 2008) Magnolia

Doubt (John Patrick Shanley, 2008) Miramax

Doubt [Blu-ray] (John Patrick Shanley, 2008) Miramax

Final Destination [Blu-ray] (Jeffrey Reddick, 2000) Warner

Fly Away Home [Blu-ray] (Carroll Ballard, 1996) Sony Pictures

La Grande bouffe (Marco Ferreri, 1973) Koch Lorber Films

It's a Pleasure (William A. Seiter, 1945) MGM

John Q [Blu-ray] (Nick Cassavetes, 2002) Warner Home Video

The Loyal 47 Ronin (Kunio Watanabe, 1958) Animeigo

Man From London (Béla Tarr, 2007) R2 UK Artificial Eye
Max Fleischer's Superman (2pc) - Warner

Monty Python And The Holy Grail [Blu-ray] (Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones - 1974) R'B' Sony Pictures

Point of No Return [Blu-ray] (John Badham, 1993) Warner Home Video

Pre-Code Hollywood Collection - The Cheat (1931, 74 min.), Merrily We Go to Hell (1932, 78 min.), Hot Saturday (1932, 73 min.), Torch Singer (1933, 71 min.), Murder at the Vanities (1934, 89 min.) Search for Beauty (1934, 78 min.) - Universal Home Video

The Silence Of Lorna (Jean-Pierre Dardenne + Luc Dardenne, 2008) R2 UK Drakes Avenue Pictures

Taking Lives [Blu-ray] (D.J. Caruso, 2004) Warner Home Video

Tales of Ordinary Madness (Marco Ferreri, 1981) Koch Lorber Films

TCM Spotlight: Doris Day Collection - April in Paris (1952), It's a Great Feeling (1949), Starlift (1951), Tea for Two (1950), The Tunnel of Love (1958) - Warner

Tell Me in the Sunlight (Steve Cochran, 1967) Televista

The Three Burials Of Melquiades Estrada [Blu-ray] (Tommy Lee Jones, 2005) RB UK Optimum

Trainspotting [Blu-ray] (Danny Boyle, 1996) - Alliance (Universal)

Vinyan (Fabrice Du Welz, 2008) Sony Pictures

The Film Noir Collection - Woman On The Run (Norman Foster, 1950) R2 UK Glass Key DVD

"A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone" - Henry David Thoreau
Stay tuned this week for, perhaps, our biggest announcement ever!