DVDBeaver Newsletter - April 7th, 2008

Sekoh! - 14 new reviews this week - 6 healthy comparisons, another Bette Davis box, Antonioni, classic Feuillade, an essential documentary... but only one Blu-ray. 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.



April 7th's CONTEST - The CLIP to identify is HERE! (I know - too easy!)

THIS WEEK's PRIZE: a brand new 6-disc Warner Gangsters Collection, Vol. 3

Another Korean Drama contest!. See Leonard's Inside the White Tower review HERE


- 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!)


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

Zabriskie Point (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1970) - R2 DE Complete Media Services

L'Argent (Marcel L'Herbier, 1928) R2 France Studio Canal

Gaumont Early Silents - le cinema premier VOL. 1 (7 DVD) - Le Récit du colonel (1907), Une dame vraiment bien (1908), Bébé tire à la cible (1911), Bout de Zan vole un éléphant (1913), Erreur tragique (1912), Le Cœur et l'argent (1912), La Nativité (1910), L'Orgie romaine (1911), L'Agonie de Byzance (1913), Le Printemps (1909) et La Fée des grèves (1909).- see complete list HERE - R2 FR Gaumont

Silent Light (Carlos Reygadas, 2007) R2 UK - Tartan Video

Sophia Loren 4-Film Collection (Carosello Napoletano, Attila, Madame Sans-Gene and I Girasoli - aka Sunflower) Lions Gate

Syndromes And A Century (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2006) R2 UK BFI

Catherine Deneuve Collection (Manon 70, Le Sauvage, Hotel Des Ameriques, Le Choc and Fort Saganne) Lions Gate

The Professionals [Blu-ray] (Richard Brooks, 1966) Sony Pictures

The Possession of Joel Delaney (Waris Hussein, 1972) Paramount

Houdini (George Marshall, 1953) Paramount

The Bucket List (Rob Reiner, 2007) Warner Home Video

The Bucket List [Blu-ray] (Rob Reiner, 2007) Warner Home Video

Outer Limits Original Series Complete Box Set – MGM

Hitler: The Last Ten Days (Ennio De Concini, 1973) Paramount

The Optimists (Anthony Simmons, 1973) Paramount

V for Vendetta [Blu-ray] (James McTeigue, 2006) Warner

Wayward Cloud (Ming-liang Tsai, 2005) Strand Home Video

Kiler (Juliusz Machulski, 1997) Mge

Hana (Hirokazu Kore-Eda, 2006) Funimation

Belle toujours (Manoel de Oliveira, 2006) New Yorker Video

War, Inc. ( Joshua Seftel, 2007) First Look Pictures

War, Inc. [Blu-ray] ( Joshua Seftel, 2007) First Look Pictures

The Witnesses (André Téchiné, 2007) Strand Releasing

Wittgenstein (Special Edition) (Derek Jarman, 1993) Zeitgeist Films

Caravaggio (Special Edition) (Derek Jarman, 1986) Zeitgeist Films

Fanny (Joshua Logan, 1961) Image Entertainment


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



To give you my take - You may wish to give a pass to the entire The Bette Davis Centenary Celebration Collection from Fox, but get individual titles of Phone Call from a Stranger (1952), and The Nanny (1965) (assuming you own Eve and Hush, Hush...). Our recommendation of the week goes to, less than $5, The 11th Hour. I can't see too many fans missing out on There Will Be Blood. As expected the R2 DVDs of La Notte, The Watchmaker of St. Paul and Les Vampires easily eclipsed their region one counterparts.

Less than stellar fare, that may depend on appreciation of the specific films: Lions For Lambs, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen BR and Reservation Road. I, personally enjoyed them all... others may not.

Finally Michael has hooked me with his review of Poil de Carotte. Very intriguing and super image quality!

New Reviews:

The 11th Hour - ...But there must be some reason why individuals resist the overwhelming evidence. As one speaker in this documentary describes - 'Some scientists are amazed that in the media and in front of congress - we hear about people who say 'I believe in' or 'I don't believe' in global warming as if this were some object of religion, as opposed to based in evidence.'... DVD Release Date: April 8th, 2008


Lions For Lambs - The three-stranded plot is simple. A senator (Tom Cruise) announces a new war strategy for Afghanistan to a veteran reporter (Meryl Streep). Two soldiers (Michael Peña and Derek Luke) implement those new orders and land in serious peril. And a professor of political science (Robert Redford) tries to motivate a young student (Andrew Garfield) to engage in classes. Two thirds of the film, therefore, is pure talk - Redford’s professor barely stirs from his chair; Streep’s reporter and Cruise’s Senator Jasper Irving have a sit-down interview. Even the soldiers are pinned in one spot. It could almost be a stage play. DVD Release Date: April 8th, 2008

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen BR - The tall tales of the legendary 18th-century Baron Munchausen would seem perfect subject matter for Gilliam's fertile imagination; indeed, despite production problems, the film is an engaging and dottily fantastic spectacular. The Baron (Neville) and his superhuman colleagues are rather colourless creations, but the characters they encounter during their odyssey - mafioso-like King of the Moon (Williams), love-lorn Vulcan (Reed) - are vivid and funny. Still more bizarre is the look of the film: an island transformed into a monstrous fish, a balloon sewn from underwear sailing over a war-torn city, a ship rippling through a desert strewn with statuary. Blu-ray DVD Release Date: April 8th, 2008

Reservation Road - The tears and the blame mix uneasily in “Reservation Road,” a grim, mechanistic thriller about death and suffering, life and healing among the civilized. Based on a well-received novel by John Burnham Schwartz, who shares screenwriting credit with the film’s director, Terry George, this is one of those sadistic exercises that puts its characters through the wringer without saying anything true or meaningful, like what it takes to get out of bed those mornings when you think the sun will never again rise with you. DVD Release Date: April 8th, 2008

There Will Be Blood - The movie alludes to
Days of Heaven, Giant, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and Citizen Kane, but it’s every inch a P.T. Anderson film. Blood is not a departure from his style (as some have suggested) but a refinement, seizing on the notions of family and commerce that ran through Boogie Nights (1997) and Magnolia (1999) and reworking them on a different plane. Anderson pares down Upton Sinclair’s 1926 muckraking novel Oil! to an archetypal, even operatic tale of greed and competition, culminating in an ending that’s as much a shock to the system as the frogs in Magnolia. DVD Release Date: April 8th, 2008

Night Train Murders - German student Margaret (Irene Miracle) is going to her friend Lisa's (Laura D'Angelo) parents house in Italy for the holidays. They catch a train also boarded by a seemingly respectable "Lady on the Train" - as she is credited in the opening titles - (Macha Meril) and two thugs Curly (Gianfranco De Grassi) and Blackie (Flavio Bucci) who join forces and put the two girls through a hellish ordeal in the deserted rear coaches of the late night train after a bomb scare delays the girls' trip.

Poil de Carotte - Jules Renard's story was adapted twice for cinema by Julien Duvivier, once as a talkie in 1932 with the great Harry Baur as the father, and this version, made seven years earlier as a silent. Duvivier is sometimes referred to as the pessimist of French cinema, and it's easy to see why he was so attracted to this material, offering as it does the opportunity to explore the various facets of human pettiness and cruelty and the manner in which they can crush an innocent child. Duvivier even added his own melodramatic subplot, about a money-grubbing seductress (a common figure in many of his films), to twist the knife still further. DVD Release Date: March 5th, 2008

Inside the White Tower - Chief of Surgical Residents at Myongin University Hospital, Dr. Lee Joo Wan, is about to retire and needs to recommend his successor to the Board of Hospital Chiefs. The obvious choice is young super-surgeon, Dr. Jang Joon Hyuk, a former student of Dr. Lee's. But Dr. Lee is not convinced. Dr. Jang is as arrogant and ambitious as he is confident and brilliant. He is looked up to by his peers – and no wonder, they are his fellow residents and wish for talent and self-assurance such as his. Lee fears that Jang would pursue the limelight instead of the needs of hospital patients. Jang's position is that patients would do better when techniques are up-to-date and skills are honed to match. He would promote such ideals instead of the antiquated ways of his former mentor.

The Bette Davis Centenary Celebration Collection - to celebrate the 100th year from the birth of Bette Davis Fox (like Warners) have formulated a DVD boxset collection with the following films - All About Eve (1950), Phone Call from a Stranger (1952), The Virgin Queen (1955), The Nanny (1965) and Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964). DVD Release Date: April 8th, 2008

Les Vampires - Louis Feuillade's (pronounced "Foo-yaad") 1915 silent French masterpiece "Les Vampires" represents part of the 'primordial soup' from which all modern cinema evolved. Don't let the name fool you... there are no 'vampires' as in the 'blood-sucking undead' in this film. Les Vampires are a sinister gang plaguing Paris with their underworld activity including burglaries, decapitation of law enforcement officers, bombings, forgery and other unsavory dealings. The Artificial Eye DVD package Release Date: March 24th, 2008

The Watchmaker of St. Paul - Bertrand Tavernier is among the best French directors, and the film that I like most, is The Clockmaker based on a novel by Georges Simenon. Here's many similarities to the resent Turkish film Uzak by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, even tough the style of the film is different. Both film focus on a middle-aged man, who after several years of isolation have to confront himself. In The Clockmaker, true his son and in Uzak true his cousin. Both films view a very strong picture of the town the films is made, Clockmaker in Lyon, Uzak in Istanbul. They are like a puzzle, where every scene unmask the main character (clockmaker / photographer). When we have enough pieces, the film ends leaving the audience to build the rest. Both films are deeply human, with a feeling of solitude, and both films are the best cinema can give us. Pierre-William Glenn has beautifully captured the city of Lyon, and I have always liked the music of Philippe Sarde. Never has Philippe Noiret and Jean Rochefort been so compelling in their performances. DVD Release Date: March 24th, 2008

La Notte - One of the masterworks of 1960s cinema, La notte [The Night] marked yet another development in the continuous stylistic evolution of its director, Michelangelo Antonioni — even as it solidified his reputation as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. La notte is Antonioni’s “Twilight of the Gods”, but composed in cinematic terms. Examined from a crane-shot, it’s a sprawling study of Italy’s upper middle-class; seen in close-up, it’s an x-ray of modern man’s psychic desolation. The Masters of Cinema DVD Release Date: March 24th, 2008

Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte - When he successfully teamed fading film goddesses Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), director Robert Aldrich kicked off a cinema cycle waggishly referred to as "Grand Dame Guignol," wherein aging leading ladies reclaimed the box-office clout of their youth by headlining shock films that were modestly budgeted and, by the prevailing standards of the day, surprisingly lurid. First to capitalize was Aldrich himself, who sought to reunite Davis and Crawford for another adaptation from the oeuvre of Baby Jane author Henry Farrell. Crawford would bolt in mid-production, and Olivia de Havilland hurriedly signed as a replacement. Still, the finished product, Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1963), stands as one of the better examples of the genre... DVD Release Date: April 8th, 2008

The Virgin Queen - Bette Davis takes on the role of Queen Elizabeth I for a second time - 16 years after the successful The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex. Richard Todd plays Sir Walter Raleigh, the love interest while Joan Collins via's for his affections. Standard fare for a Hollywood historical drama but Davis is always a treat to see. DVD Release Date: April 8th, 2008

Next 2 weeks on the Calendar:


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

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

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


Week of April 14th, 2008

A Passage to India (2-disc Collector's Edition) (David Lean, 1984) Sony

A Passage to India [Blu-ray] (David Lean, 1984) Sony

The Backwoods (Koldo Serra, 2006) Lionsgate

Bamako (Abderrahmane Sissako, 2006) New Yorker Films

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (Sidney Lumet, 2007) Image Entertainment

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead [HD DVD] (Sidney Lumet, 2007) Image Entertainment

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead [Blu-ray] (Sidney Lumet, 2007) Image Entertainment

Blast of Silence (Allen Baron, 1961) Criterion

Bonnie and Clyde [HD DVD] (Arthur Penn, 1967) Warner

Juno (Jason Reitman, 2007) Twentieth Century Fox

Juno (Two-Disc Special Edition) (Jason Reitman, 2007) Twentieth Century Fox

Juno [Blu-ray] (Jason Reitman, 2007) Twentieth Century Fox

Lars and the Real Girl (Craig Gillespie, 2007) MGM

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

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

Predator [Blu-ray] (John McTiernan, 1987) Fox Home Entertainment

Silent Light (Carlos Reygadas, 2007) R2 UK - Tartan Video

Zabriskie Point (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1970) - R2 DE Complete Media Services


"People are really doing the best they can... given their level of awareness.' (Deepak Chopra)

Enjoy your week!,