DVDBeaver Newsletter - March 31st, 2008

Parasnaka itukwâna mâ sihpayang! - 13 new reviews this week - we'll take to the good with the bad. Lots of topical Blu-ray, some SD boxsets, a Criterion comparison and more. The strong sale at Amazon.UK is still running - don't delay (excellent titles available for as much as 70% off!) There are some interesting additions to this week's Calendar, Another contests 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 April...


UPCOMING: Aside from the, already mentioned at Amazon:

Bette Davis Centenary Celebration Collection (All About Eve / Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte / The Virgin Queen / Phone Call from a Stranger / The Nanny)

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

Tyrone Power Collection 2, 10-film (Girls Dormitory, Love is News, Second Honeymoon, Cafe Metropole, Daytime Wife, Johnny Apollo, This Above All, The Luck of the Irish, That Wonderful Urge, I'll Never Forget You)...
Fox has these titles listed on their website
Stars and Stripes Forever [dir. Henry Koster, USA 1952]
Man-Hunt [dir. Fritz Lang, USA 1941]
Chandu The Magician [dir. William Cameron Menzies & Marcel Varnel, USA 1932]
Dragonwyck [dir. Joesph L. Mankiewicz, USA 1946]
Dr. Renault's Secret [dir. Harry Lachman, USA 1942]
A Box of Ritz Crackers (Ritz Borthers collection?)

We will provide links as soon as they are order-able.




THIS WEEK's PRIZE: Another brand new 2-disc SE of BONNIE and CLYDE.

Korean Drama completed!. See Leonard's Super Rookie review HERE for winners


The EXCELLENT SALE of DECENT Titles still appears to be on at Amazon.UK

The David Lean Collection - 9 Disc Box Set (64% OFF!)

The Jean Vigo Collection (2 disc Collector's Edition) (73% OFF!)

The Red And The White (39% OFF!)

Sátántangó [1994] (55% OFF!)

The Devil, Probably (PRE-ORDER - 40% OFF!)

The Andrei Tarkovsky Companion (64% OFF!)

Satyajit Ray Collection Vol.1 (PRE-ORDER SAVE 40% OFF!)

The Life Of Oharu (65% OFF!)

The Eric Rohmer Collection (with Le Signe du Lion etc.) (56% OFF!)

Stalker (67% OFF!)

It's Winter (60% OFF!)

Michael (50% OFF!)

Twenty-four Eyes (50% OFF!)

The Naked Island (50% OFF!)

Funeral Parade of Roses (50% OFF!)

Humanity & Paper Balloons (50% OFF!)

Assassination (50% OFF!)

Kwaidan (50% OFF!)

Toni (50% OFF!)

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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!):

4 Months 3 Weeks & 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu, 2007) IFC

Tyrone Power Collection 2, 10-film (Girls Dormitory, Love is News, Second Honeymoon, Cafe Metropole, Daytime Wife, Johnny Apollo, This Above All, The Luck of the Irish, That Wonderful Urge, I'll Never Forget You) 20th Century Fox

Batman: The Movie (Leslie H. Martinson, 1966) 20th Century Fox

Batman: The Movie [Blu-ray] (Leslie H. Martinson, 1966) 20th Century Fox

Point Break [Blu-ray] (Kathryn Bigelow, 1991) 20th Century Fox

Cluny Brown (Ernst Lubitsch, 1946) R2 UK – BFI

A Cottage on Dartmoor (Anthony Asquith, 1929) - R2 UK – BFI

Patriotism (Yukio Mishima + Domoto Masaki, 1966) Criterion

Before the Rain (Milcho Manchevski, 1994) Criterion

Journey to the Far Side of the Sun (Robert Parrish, 1969) - Universal Studios

The Signal (David Bruckner, 2007) – Magnolia

The Signal [Blu-ray] (David Bruckner, 2007) – Magnolia

Lawrence of Arabia (Collector's Edition, 2 discs) (David Lean, 1962) - Columbia Tri/Star

I'm Not There (Todd Haynes, 2007) - Weinstein Company

Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (Paul Schrader, 1985) Criterion

Furies (Anthony Mann, 1950) Criterion

Classe Tous Risques (Claude Sautet, 1960) Criterion

Signs [Blu-ray] (M. Night Shyamalan, 2002) - Buena Vista

The Recruit [Blu-ray] (Roger Donaldson , 2003) - Buena Vista

A Man of a Thousand Faces (Joseph Pevney, 1957) Universal

The Notebook (Nick Cassavetes, 2004) New Line Home Video

The Rat Patrol: The Complete Series (1966-68) – MGM

Diva - Meridian Collection -ReMastered (Jean-Jacques Beineix, 1981) – Lionsgate


To give you my take - Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed The Bette Davis Collection, Vol. 3.

New Format GOLD: Atonement HD , Juno BR and Bonnie and Clyde BR are all super films that have top notch hi-def transfers... and another trio that make enticing purchases - Before the Devil Knows You're Dead BR, Lew Grade fun with Capricorn One BR, and 'Arnult', and some other muscle-bounds, battling a wayward Terence Trent Darby on HGH in Predator BR.

GREAT FILMS on SD: L'Appartement has always been a favorite and Noir lovers should leap for the Criterion edition of Blast of Silence.

PASSÉ MOI: Alvin and The Chipmunks BR, Commando BR and Coyote Ugly BR. No thanks.

New Reviews:

Juno BR - Described variously as a romantic comedy, a drama about teenage pregnancy, or a witty, sensitive coming of age film, this much praised movie written by first time screenwriter, Diablo Cody, is quite the little gem. I agree with the much-repeated theme of the bonus features, that the filmmakers tread a fine line, given a script that wanted to touch on all of the above. They were right that much would depend on the casting, which again I agree they nailed perfectly.. Blu-ray DVD Release Date: April 15th, 2008


Commando BR - John Matrix thinks he has retired from the commando business. He enjoys his young teenage daughter (a bit too much, I thought, no thank you, Mr. Lester) at his mountain retreat. Not so fast, John. You are about to find out that members of your old unit are being snuffed out by forces unknown. No sooner than he learns of this than his home is under attack and his daughter abducted by a former member of his team in the pay of an exiled dictator. Matrix follows in hot pursuit. Blu-ray DVD Release Date: April 15th, 2008


Predator BR - A team of crack commandos arrive in the jungles of some undesignated Latin American country, ostensibly to rescue some sort of "cabinet minister" from the hands of some nameless rebel group. But when they come upon several men hanging from a tree upside down and skinned, they realize that the opposition is not simply a group of terrorists, however well armed. Such as they are, said "rebels" are dispatched by our stalwart team in a fury of gunfire and explosions. There is only one survivor, and she is a great deal of trouble (perhaps not as much as Mrs. Pedecaris). Little by little their true adversary is revealed, both to them and to us. Predator is a hunter, something like General Zaroff in Richard Connell's The Most Dangerous Game. In this, he is not unlike Schwarzenegger's character, Dutch, who is sick of the politics of cold war assassinations and steps up to the plate offered by Predator with zeal and smarts. It's a good match. Blu-ray DVD Release Date: April 15th, 2008


Alvin and The Chipmunks BR - When Alvin, Simon and Theodore find their tree cut down, they soon find their way to the home of frustrated songwriter, David Seville. David is unlucky in just about everything, love and career, most notably. But at least he kept a neat house. Well, he used to keep a neat house – until the chipmunks arrived. As it happens, these furry creatures have an unusual singing talent just ripe for exploitation. David is an agreeable ally, but recording executive, Ian Hawke: not so much. When success and glamour knocks, can family values be far from the drain? Blu-ray DVD Release Date: April 1st, 2008

Francois Ozon: Regarde La Mer and other short films - Francois Ozon is one of the most provocative and vibrant filmmakers to emerge during the 1990s. His dark, mordantly psychological films draw their impact from often disturbing explorations of transgression and sexuality and combine wry humour, sensitivity, and subversive insight with a talent for manipulation. This eclectic collection of seven shorts captures the talent Ozon would continue to display in his later feature films. DVD Release Date: March 31st, 2008

Coyote Ugly BR - I have to say that, given the poster art for this movie, I anticipated Coyote Ugly would be a sorry excuse for T&A – or maybe not so sorry. In fact, I scanned more than a couple of reviews that saw the movie as exactly that. Maybe it's just a case of low expectations, but my reaction was different. I see the Theatrical Cut as being little more explicit than a beer commercial. There is precious little bare skin – if that's your game here – and no foul language issues to speak of. (The Extended Cut is raunchier and includes some nudity (inserts). It's all pretty harmless if you overlook the sexism, which is presented as pretty much of a male fantasy – as are the real-life Coyote Ugly bars, we are told. I didn't find it offensive so much as witless. Blu-ray DVD Release Date: April 1st, 2008

L'Appartement - Although Mimouni mimics Hitchcock's scenarios, it is never in the master directors' original vein, instead imparting his own graceful and competent styling. This is no mere De Palma-retro duplication, but rather an intelligent and independently paced homage to one of the silver screens greatest directors. Mimouni establishes himself, not only as a capable auteur, but a respectful film student as well. I should point out that my opinion of the film would remain at its very lofty level regardless of the Hitch intimations. Not unlike the plot itself, this proves Mimouni exceptionally daring in his craft. Buy this today!... being a Hitchcock fan or not, you will not be disappointed by one of the better French films of the 90's.

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead BR - Master filmmaker Sidney Lumet directs this absorbing suspense thriller about a family facing the worst enemy of all itself. Oscar-winner Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Andy, an overextended broker who lures his younger brother, Hank (Ethan Hawke) into a larcenous scheme: the pair will rob a suburban mom-and-pop jewelry store that appears to be the quintessential easy target. The problem is, the store owners are Andy and Hank s actual mom and pop and, when the seemingly perfect crime goes awry, the damage lands right at their doorstep. Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei plays Andy s trophy wife, who is having a clandestine affair with Hank. The stellar cast also includes Albert Finney as the family patriarch who pursues justice at all costs, completely unaware that the culprits he is hunting are his own sons. A classy, classic heist-gone-wrong drama in the tradition of The Killing and Lumet s own The Anderson Tapes, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead is smart enough to know that we often have the most to fear from those who are near and dear. Blu-ray DVD Release Date: May 6th, 2008

Capricorn One BR - Peter Hyams' cynical, paranoid thriller looked particularly eerie in the wake of the Columbia disaster. Three astronauts (James Brolin, Sam Waterston, and O.J.) are set to embark on the first manned flight to Mars. At the last minute they're pulled aside and Hal Holbrook explains that the life-support systems were faulty, but that NASA can't afford to blow its credibility by cancelling the flight. So the astronauts are forced to go along with a faked Mars-walk.

Blast of Silence - Swift, brutal, and black-hearted, Allen Baron's New York City noir Blast of Silence is a sensational surprise. This low-budget, carefully crafted portrait of a hit man on assignment in Manhattan during Christmastime follows its stripped-down narrative with mechanical precision, yet also with an eye and ear for the oddball idiosyncrasies of urban living and the imposing beauty of the city. At once visually ragged and artfully composed, and featuring rough, poetic narration performed by Lionel Stander, Blast of Silence is a stylish triumph. DVD Release Date: April 15th, 2008

Atonement HD - Both Knightley and McAvoy finally justify the ink spilled declaring them movie stars, and even virtuosic flourishes like Wright’s Dunkirk-by-Bosch steadicam shot avoid devolving into flashy self-indulgence. The film balances its intimate moments and epic gestures so beautifully that you’d think this stellar adaptation was single-handedly repenting for the rest of the season’s overblown, empty Oscar bait. The HD-DVD was released: March 18th, 2008

The Bette Davis Collection, Vol. 3 - Warner packs six essential Davis films into one glorious package. In This Our Life: Homewrecker Davis runs off with sister Olivia de Havilland's hubby and that's just for starters! The Old Maid: Let the fireworks begin. Miriam Hopkins poses as the mother of the child Davis bore out of wedlock but the arrangement is beginning to fray. All This And Heaven Too Enchanted by governess Davis nobleman Charles Boyer murders his wife. But is la Bette as innocent as she appears. The Great Lie: Friends make the best enemies. Scheming concert pianist Mary Astor and selfless Davis are entangled in secrets and lies. Deception: Now Voyagers' Davis Claude Rains and Paul Henried reunite in a gloriously flamboyant tale of musicians indiscretion and murder. Watch on the Rhine: A leader of Germany's anti-Hitler underground is hunted by Nazi agents in Washington DC. Dashiell Hammett adapts Lillian Hellman's play. DVD Release Date: April 1st, 2008

Bonnie and Clyde BR - One of the landmark films of the 1960s, Bonnie and Clyde changed the course of American cinema. Setting a milestone for screen violence that paved the way for Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch, this exercise in mythologized biography should not be labeled as a bloodbath; as critic Pauline Kael wrote in her rave review, "it's the absence of sadism that throws the audience off balance." The film is more of a poetic ode to the Great Depression, starring the dream team of Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway as the titular antiheroes, who barrel across the South and Midwest robbing banks with Clyde's brother Buck (Gene Hackman), Buck's frantic wife Blanche (Estelle Parsons), and their faithful accomplice C.W. Moss (the inimitable Michael J. Pollard). Bonnie and Clyde is an unforgettable classic that has lost none of its power since the 1967 release. Blu-ray DVD Release Date: March 25th, 2008

Next 2 weeks on the Calendar:

Week of March 31st, 2008

Bette Davis Collection Vol 3 - In This Our Life (1942), The Old Maid (1939), All This, and Heaven Too (1940), The Great Lie (1941), Deception (1946) and Watch on the Rhine (1943) - Warner Home Video

Fiorile (Taviani bros., 1993) Koch

Five (2003, Abbas Kirostami) R2 UK - BFI

Hidalgo [Blu-ray] (Joe Johnston, 2004) Buena Vista

Irma Vep (Olivier Assayas, 1996) R2 UK - Second Sight

Kaos (Taviani bros., 1984) Koch

Margin for Error (Otto Preminger, 1943) /A Royal Scandal (1945, Ernst Lubitsch) R2 UK - BFI

The Night of the Shooting Stars (Taviani bros., 1982) Koch

Regarde La Mer And Other Short Films (François Ozon) R2 UK BFI

Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Tim Burton, 2007) - Dreamworks Video

Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Two-Disc Special Collector's Edition) (Tim Burton, 2007) - Dreamworks Video

Unbreakable [Blu-ray] (M. Night Shyamalan, 2000) Buena Vista


Week of April 7th, 2008

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (Special Edition, 2 discs) (Terry Gilliam, 1988)

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen [Blu-ray] (Terry Gilliam, 1988)

Bette Davis Centenary Celebration Collection (All About Eve / Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte / The Virgin Queen / Phone Call from a Stranger / The Nanny) - Fox Home Entertainment

Classic Musicals From the Dream Factory, Vol. 3 (Hit the Deck/Deep in My Heart/Kismet/Nancy Goes to Rio/Two Weeks with Love/Broadway Melody of 1936/Broadway Melody of 1938/Born to Dance/Lady Be Good) Warner

Come Drink with Me (King Hu, 1966) - Weinstein Company

Eclipse Series 9: The Delirious Fictions of William Klein - Criterion

Houdini: The Movie Star (Three Disc Collection) The Master Mystery (1919) Terror Island (1920) The Man From Beyond (1922) Haldane Of The Secret Service (1923) The Grim Game (1919) - Kino

Lions for Lambs (Robert Redford, 2007) United Artists

Mike Leigh Collection (Vera Drake, All Or Nothing, Topsy-Turvy, Career Girls, Secrets And Lies, Naked, Life Is Sweet, High Hopes, Meantime and Bleak Moments) R2 UK Spirit Entertainment

The Nanny (Seth Holt, 1965) - Fox Home Entertainment

Perry Mason 50th Anniversary Edition - Paramount

Phone Call from a Stranger (Jean Negulesco, 1952) - Fox Home Entertainment

Resurrecting the Champ (Rod Lurie, 2006) 20th Century Fox

Reservation Road (Terry George, 2007) Universal
Sense & Sensibility Collector's Set (Sense & Sensibility 2008 / Miss Austen Regrets / Persuasion 2007) - BBC Warner

There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007) - Paramount

There Will Be Blood (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007) - Paramount

There Will Be Blood [HD DVD] (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007) - Paramount

The Virgin Queen (Henry Koster, 1955) - Fox Home Entertainment

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (Theatrical, Single Disc Version) (Jake Kasdan, 2007)
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (Unrated) (2 discs) (Jake Kasdan, 2007)
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (Unrated) (2 discs) [Blu-ray] (Jake Kasdan, 2007)

The Wife of General Ling (Ladislao Vajda, 1937) Jef Films


"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." Douglas Adams (1952 - 2001)

Have the best week of your life!