Newsletter - FOR THE WEEK

OF April 12th, 2010


This Week's Highlights

Quechua Ancashino! - If we include the Russ Meyer Collection individual coverage we have a whopping 36 discs reviewed this week. Among others we have Chaplin, Eisenstein and Spielberg on Blu-ray plus a newer, moving, film with Jeff Bridges (Best Actor Oscar), Criterion, Masters of Cinema, and, exclusively available, Cary Grant - The Early Years boxset, Warner Archive Noir, Essential Martial Arts, plenty of horror... and more. A new contest with a sealed Criterion Blu-ray as prize! (this is, admittedly difficult - you smarties)!

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LATEST ADDITIONS to the Calendar: (PRE-ORDER & save!):

The Best Intentions (Bille August, 1992) - Park Circus

Pirate Radio [Blu-ray] (Richard Curtis, 2009) - Universal

Clint Eastwood: The Man With No Name Trilogy [Blu-ray] (A Fistful Of Dollars/The Good, The Bad And The Ugly/For A Few Dollars More) - MGM

Close-Up [Blu-ray] (Abbas Kiarostami, 1990) Criterion

Crazy [Blu-ray] (Rick Bieber, 2008) Screen Media

Ultimate Sc-Fi 6 Movie Marathon - Universal

Insomnia [Blu-ray] (Christopher Nolan, 2002) Warner

Beauty and the Beast [Blu-ray] (Gary Trousdale + Kirk Wise, 1991) Disney

Pep Squad [Blu-ray] (Steve Balderson, 1998) Troma

Dark Nature [Blu-ray] (Marc de Launay, 2009) Troma

Tromeo and Juliet [Blu-ray] (Lloyd Kaufman, 1996) Troma

The Protector [Blu-ray] (Prachya Pinkaew, 2006) Vivendi Entertainment

Don McKay [Blu-ray] (Jake Goldberger, 2009) Image Entertainment

Edge of Darkness [Blu-ray] (Martin Campbell, 2009) Warner

44 Inch Chest [Blu-ray] (Malcolm Venville, 2009) Image Entertainment

Animation Express [Blu-ray] (26 animated shorts) Image Entertainment

The Wolfman [Blu-ray] (Joe Johnston, 2010) Universal

Attack of the Crab Monsters (Roger Corman, 1957) R2 UK In2film

Fellini's Casanova (Federico Fellini, 1976) R2 UK Mr Bongo Film

Earth (Zahari Zhandov, 1957) R2 UK Mr Bongo Film

Antonio Das Mortes (Glauber Rocha, 1969) R2 UK Mr Bongo Films

The Island (Pyotr Manonov, 2006) R2 UK - Artificial Eye

Father of My Children (Mia Hansen-Løve, 2009) R2 UK - Artificial Eye

The Apple (Samira Makhmalbaf, 1998) R2 UK - Artificial Eye

The Beekeeper (Theodoros Angelopoulos, 1968) R2 UK - Artificial Eye

A Single Man [Blu-ray] (Tom Ford, 2009) RB UK Icon Home Entertainment

No One Knows about Persian Cats (Bahman Ghobadi, 2009) R2 UK Network

Sky West and Crooked (John Mills, 1966) R2 UK Network

If There Weren't Any Blacks You'd Have to Invent Them (Charles Jarrott, 1968) R2 UK Network

Movie Movie (Stanley Donen, 1978) R2 UK - Network

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ONE VOICE (not Ellsworth Monkton Toohey):  It's hard to deny both Chaplin's City Lights and Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin their rightful place with new 1080P transfers - and while I surprisingly got something out of the Spielberg/Cruise sci-fi thriller Minority Report, I'll lean to Crazy Heart as one of the more demonstrative 'thumbs up' this week on Blu-ray. Leonard endorses Beast Stalker and I admit to being quite keen now. We have quite a few emails of people who were fans of Dog Soldiers - and it adeptly defines it's niche audience. As a film - I love Fist of Legend - but have some ambivalence in supporting the new Blu-ray. And speaking of horror, The Faculty seems a cheap indulgence to feed many individual's guilty pleasure beast. On the DVD front - Criterion's treatment of The Fugitive Kind supports a strong recommendation. One Deadly Summer may surprise - an intriguing French film on bare-bones DVD. The Russ Meyer Collection seems to offer so much for the price - super value for the director, and bare breasted cinema, fans. Rene Laloux's films, via Masters of Cinema, Gandahar and Les Maitres Du Temps deserve a definite spin for any remotely keen on that animation genre. Nora Prentiss and The Unsuspected hold viable desire for fans of the dark style. So you've never ventured to a low budget Mexican horror film? you might want to give Alucarda a chance. It sounds like Creature of Darkness is the 'dog of the week' goling by Eric's coverage.......


Crazy Heart BD - Bad Blake is a broken-down, hard-living country music singer who's had way too many marriages, far too many years on the road and one too many drinks way too many times. And yet, Bad can't help but reach for salvation with the help of Jean, a journalist who discovers the real man behind the musician. As he struggles down the road of redemption, Bad learns the hard way just how tough life can be on one man's crazy heart. Blu-ray Release date: April 20th, 2010

The Faculty BD - Resident geek at the local high school, Casey Connor (an adolescent Elijah Wood) doesn't want to go back to school. And for good reason: Casey and Delilah (Fast & Furious' Jordana Brewster) had just witnessed the murder of the school nurse (Selma Hayek) by two faculty members (Robert Patrick & Piper Laurie) the day before. Only the nurse springs back to life when Casey & Delilah return with the authorities. Must be aliens, they reluctantly conclude. Blu-ray Release date: November 10th, 2009

Gandahar - Rene Laloux's 1972 cult film "The Fantastic Planet" was an intriguing addition to the slim field of science-fiction animation, and his new offering, "Light Years," is another. All animation is fantasy unbound by limitations, a theater of true possibilities, but it seldom has the visionary underpinning evident in Laloux's work -- certainly not in the genre of animated features, where everyone seems to follow the storytelling footsteps of Walt Disney (even when, like Ralph Bakshi, they stumble on the esthetics)... DVD Release Date: October 22nd, 2007

Les Maitres Du Temps - On planet Perdide, an attack of giant hornets leaves Piel – a young boy – alone in a wrecked car with his dying father. A mayday message reaches their friend Jaffar, an adventurer travelling through space. On board Jaffar’s shuttle are the renegade Prince Matton, his fiancée, and Silbad who knows the planet Perdide well. Thus begins an incredible race across space to save Piel… DVD Release Date: October 22nd, 2007

The Russ Meyer Collection is fully covered via the individual releases - Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens, Eve and the Handyman / The Immoral Mr. Teas, Lorna / Mudhoney, Finders Keepers Lovers Weepers / Pandora Peaks, Good Morning...And Goodbye!/ Motor Psycho, Black Snake / Wild Gals of the Naked West , Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, Common Law Cabin/Cherry, Harry, and Raquel, Mondo Topless, Supervixens, Up! and Vixen DVD Release Date: March 28th, 2005

Cary Grant - The Early Years - Before he was the suave, sophisticated and dashing movie star known as Cary Grant, he was a rising young leading man appearing in every type of genre film from war epic to action-adventure to romantic melodrama. "Cary Grant: The Early Years Collection" is a three-picture sampler of his early years at Paramount studios that includes "Devil and the Deep" (1932), "The Eagle and the Hawk" (1933), and "The Last Outpost" (1935).

Dog Soldiers BD - After Cooper (Kevin McKidd) fails a special ops initiation under the direction of Captain Ryan (Liam Cunningham, THE CARD PLAYER), he returns to his regular unit under Sgt. Wells (Sean Pertwee, EVENT HORIZON). Weeks later, the unit is attacked during a training maneuver in Scotland and they come across a critically injured Captain Ryan whose own unit has been torn to shreds. Blu-ray Release Date: May 5th, 2009

Deep in the Woods - An attractive quintet of young actors is hired to perform "Little Red Riding Hood" at the remote chateau of Axel de Fersen (François Berléand) for the benefit of his nephew Nicolas (Thibault Truffert) and become slasher fodder for a sinister figure wearing the troupe's "big bad wolf" costume who may be an escaped rapist prowling the countryside, the sinister cop who pops up out of nowhere (a la THE CAT AND THE CANARY), one of the troupe, or a member of the household (which also includes Leos Carax favorite Denis Lavant plays Axel's sinister taxidermist groundskeeper). DVD Release Date: October 23rd, 2001

Split Second - Stephen McNally and Paul Kelly are escaped cons who travel through the desert to their hideout, a ghost town situated in the middle of an atomic bomb testing site, set to detonate the next morning. As the cons travel to the ghost town, they pick up a variety of characters to hijack their cars and to keep them as hostages. The hostages: Jan Sterling is the tough talking dame who's been around, Keith Andes as the newspaper reporter, Alexis Smith as the self-centered wife in Nevada for a divorce, Robert Paige as her current squeeze, and Arthur Hunnicutt as a desert miner who adds a touch of humor to the film. Warner Archive DVD Release Date: January, 2010

One Deadly Summer - Eliane (Isabelle Adjani), a beautiful young woman, settles into a small town in the south of France with her introverted mother and physically handicapped father. Traumatized by her knowledge that her mother was raped by three men before she was born, Eliane thinks she's on a trail of vengeance when she's courted by a young garage mechanic (Alain Souchon), whose father has the only clue to the identity of her mother's aggressors. But as the story unfolds in Rashomon-like flashbacks and narrations, the tale becomes increasingly complex and leads inexorably to a stunning conclusion. DVD Release Date: May 11th, 2010

Nora Prentiss - Dr. Richard Talbot is bored with his hum drum life. His life has become routine. He shows up for work at the same time every day then heads home at six o'clock to a passionless wife and two kids. His life is forever changed when he treats a sexy night club singer after hours at his downtown office. First becoming friends, the couple quickly start an affair which eventually leads the previously up-tight Talbot to fake his own death and run off with the woman. DVD Release Date: July, 2009

The Unsuspected - For the best in stylish, upper-crust 40s murder mystery, there are really only two choices: Laura and The Unsuspected. The former has a reputation as a timeless classic; the latter is much, much darker and far more satisfying as a film noir, but remains underappreciated. DVD Release Date: May 8th, 2009

Battleship Potemkin BD - The level of appreciation for the film depends on one’s tolerance of endeavoring to accept the numerous symbols and parallels administered through typical over exaggerated silent film acting. Eisenstein himself represents The Church as he plays the wild looking Russian Orthodox chaplain. It is hard to pinpoint actual flaws in the acting due to the style in which the film is made, often at a blisteringly edited pace with no focus on any individual characters. Blu-ray Release Date: April 20th, 2010

Beast Stalker BD - As Steve McQueen had his Blob and Raymond Burr his Godzilla I guessed Beast Stalker was Nicholas Tse's and Nick Cheung's chance to prove they could do schlock as well as the next guy. In fact, I was very surprised by this movie. From the title, which is the worst thing about Beast Stalker, the film turned out to be a far cry from the fantasy/horror/vampire née video game movie it predicted. Nor is the "Beast" an totally unsympathetic character, thanks largely to Cheung. Blu-ray Release date: October 27th, 2009

Fist of Legend BD - Being a neophyte in the martial arts genre, I took the advice of some experts who say "that you will not see more exciting martial arts fighting in any film". "Fist of Legend" is often considered the jewel in the crown of this brand of Asian acrobatic action films with little doubt why! Blu-ray Release Date: April 20th, 2010

The Fugitive Kind - Four Oscar–winning actors—Marlon Brando, Anna Magnani, Joanne Woodward, and Maureen Stapleton—sink their teeth into this enthralling film, which brings together the legendary talents of director Sidney Lumet and writer Tennessee Williams. A smoldering, snakeskin-jacketed Brando is Val Xavier, a drifter trying to go straight. He finds work and solace in a southern small-town variety store run by the married, sexually frustrated Lady Torrance (Magnani), who proves as much a temptation for Val as local wild child Carol Cutrere(Woodward). Lumet captures the intense, fearless performances and Williams’s hot-blooded storytelling and social critique with his customary restraint, resulting in a drama of uncommon sophistication and craft. DVD Release Date: April 27th, 2010

City Lights BD - My favorite Charlie Chaplin feature (1931) -- his first sound picture, but not, properly speaking, his first talkie--is also probably the one on which he exercised the most patience and perfectionism, with almost two years of shooting, countless retakes, and a recasting of the female lead (with Georgia Hale, his female lead in The Gold Rush, eventually replaced by Virginia Cherrill, who was herself subsequently fired and rehired, as the blind flower-selling street waif who believes Chaplin’s Tramp is a millionaire). Blu-ray Release Date: May 6th, 2010

Minority Report BD - It's a high-tech style-over-substance extravaganza. The action is beautifully paced augmenting some tight suspense. This is another example of Blu-ray altering my earlier impressions. I wasn't crazy about Minority Report theatrically nor when I revisited in on DVD - but, perhaps, with diminished expectations - I concentrated more on the film's strengths; a brisk-paced and inventive science-fiction adventure with Cruise's invincible leading-man physicality and justice-seeking everyman charm. Blu-ray Release date: April 20th, 2010

Invisible Target BD - The movie has its share of plotholes, clichés and naïve philosophizing about right and wrong, good and bad, but I wasn’t bored, despite its two-hour length. The movie has some moments of intended humor that generally provoked a smile rather than a groan. I enjoyed the characters – all over the top, consistent with the fight sequences where people managed to walk away from hits and falls that would kill a “normal” person. I also wanted to see just how or if Benny Chan would or could top the previous fight. He does. Blu-ray Release Date: December 27th, 2007

Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist BD - "Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist" doesn't quite grab a share of that emotion, but it does get a half share. Michael Cera is a lovesick senior who spends his time making playlist CDs, in honor of the awful superficial girl who dumped him months ago. Cera's comic skill is way beyond his 20 years. He has timing and delivery. He can act, and he has that extra something, the gift of being likable, of inciting empathy in the audience. Blu-ray Release date: February 3rd, 2009

Creature of Darkness - Things progress in a stalk-and-slash fashion with the monster in a raincoat and hat a la I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER picking them off one by one as air force jets observe without attempting to help. The action picks up once they start baiting the monster but then the film leaves several loose ends as if hoping for a sequel. DVD Release Date: April 13th, 2010

Alucarda - After the deaths of her parents, Justine (Susana Kamini, MANSION OF MADNESS) is sent to a convent. She quickly establishes a sexually-tinged friendship outcast roommate Alucarda (Tina Romero). When the two girls encounter a satyr-like gypsy (Claudio Brook of Bunuel's SIMON OF THE DESERT), he initiates them into a witches' sabbat but the prayers of Sister Angelica (Tina French) - whose love for Justine is more spiritual than Alucarda's - result in the death of the coven's leader. The devil takes revenge by possessing the girls and bringing chaos to the convent that requires the joint efforts of the priests (lead by David Silva) and the skeptical local doctor (Claudio Brook, again) to exorcise the convent. DVD Release Date: 25 March 2003

 Next 3 weeks on the Calendar


Week of April 12th, 2010


Apollo 13 15th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray] (Ron Howard, 1995) Universal Home Video

Defendor (Peter Stebbings, 2009) - Sony Pictures

Gone With The Wind: The Scarlett Edition [Blu-ray] - Warner Home Video

I'm Gonna Explode (Gerardo Naranjo, 2008) R2 UK Artificial Eye

Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1964) - R2 UK Park Circus

Essential Art House: Kapo (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1959) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Last Waltz [Blu-ray] (Martin Scorsese, 1978) Mgm Entertainment

Machan (Uberto Pasolini, 2008) - R2 UK Yume Pictures

Man with the Gun (Richard Wilson, 1955) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment

MR73 [Blu-ray] (Olivier Marchal, 2008) Phantom Sound & Vision

My Father My Lord (David Volach, 2007) - R2 UK Artificial Eye

The McMasters (Alf Kjellin, 1970) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment

Pirate Radio [Blu-ray] (Richard Curtis, 2009) - Universal (BEAVER REVIEW)

Up From The Depths / Demon Of Paradise [Roger Corman Cult Classics] Shout! Factory


Week of April 19th, 2010


44 Inch Chest [Blu-ray] (Malcolm Venville, 2009) Image Entertainment

Avatar: Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo [Blu-ray] (James Cameron, 2009) - 20th Century Fox

The Basketball Diaries [Blu-ray] (Scott Kalvert, 1995) Palm Pictures

Battleship Potemkin [Blu-ray] (Sergei M. Eisenstein, 1925) Kino Video (BEAVER REVIEW)

Crazy Heart [Blu-ray] (Scott Cooper , 2009) 20th Century Fox (BEAVER REVIEW)

Fist of Legend [Blu-ray] (Gordon Chan, 1994) Dragon Dynasty (BEAVER REVIEW)

If There Weren't Any Blacks You'd Have to Invent Them (Charles Jarrott, 1968) R2 UK Network

Inland Empire [Blu-ray] (David Lynch, 2006) R'B' UK - Optimum Home Entertainment

K-20: Fiend With Twenty Faces (Shimako Sato, 2008) Viz Video

The Last Emperor [Blu-ray] (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1987) R'B' UK - Optimum

The Lovely Bones [Blu-ray] (Peter Jackson, 2009) Paramount

Minority Report [Blu-ray] (Steven Spielberg, 2002) Dreamworks Video (BEAVER REVIEW)

Movie Movie (Stanley Donen, 1978) R2 UK - Network

Nine [Blu-ray] (Rob Marshall, 2009) R'B' UK Entertainment in Video

Perry Mason: Season Five, Vol. 1 - Paramount

Sky West and Crooked (John Mills, 1966) R2 UK Network

Summer Hours (Olivier Assayas, 2008) - Criterion

Summer Hours [Blu-ray] (Olivier Assayas, 2008) - Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

Vigo - Passion For Life (Julien Temple, 1998) - R2 UK Park Circus

Vivre sa vie (Jean-Luc Godard, 1962) Criterion

Vivre sa vie [Blu-ray] (Jean-Luc Godard, 1962) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Young Victoria [Blu-ray] (Jean-Marc Vallée, 2009) Sony Pictures


Week of April 26th, 2010


Armageddon  [Blu-ray] (Michael Bay, 1998) Touchstone / Disney

Avatar: Limited Edition Steelbook [Blu-ray] (James Cameron, 2009) - R`B`UK - Optimum

Barbara Stanwyck Collection: Universal Backlot (All I Desire, The Bride Wore Boots, The Great Man's Lady, Internes Can't Take Money, The Lady Gambles and There's Always Tomorrow) - Universal Studios

The Best Intentions (Bille August, 1992) - Park Circus

The Claude Chabrol Collection Vol.1 - R2 UK - Artificial Eye

Dark Nature [Blu-ray] (Marc de Launay, 2009) Troma

Dialogues of the Exiled (Raoul Ruiz, 1975) Cinemateca

Diamonds Of The Night (Jan Nemec, 1964) R2 UK - SecondRun

Disgrace [Blu-ray] (Steve Jacobs, 2008) Image Entertainment

Dogora (Patrice Leconte, 2004) - Severin
Dogora [
Blu-ray] (Patrice Leconte, 2004) - Severin

Dune [Blu-ray] (David Lynch, 1984) Universal Home Video

Elizabeth [Blu-ray] (Shekhar Kapur, 1998) Universal Pictures

Elizabeth: The Golden Age [Blu-ray] (Shekhar Kapur, 2007) Universal Pictures

The Fugitive Kind (Sidney Lumet, 1959) - Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus [Blu-ray] (Terry Gilliam, 2009) Sony Pictures

It's Complicated [Blu-ray] (Nancy Meyers, 2009) Universal Studios

The Jackal [Blu-ray] (Michael Caton-Jones, 1997) Universal Studios

The Karate Kid [Blu-ray] (John G. Avildsen, 1984) - Sony Pictures
The Karate Kid, Part II [
Blu-ray] (John G. Avildsen, 1986) - Sony Pictures

Merantau [Blu-ray] (Gareth Evans, 2009) R'B' UK E1 Entertainment

Opium and the Kung-Fu Master (Shaw Brothers) (Chia Tang, 1984) Funimation

Orson Welles: Paris Interview - Kultur Video

Out of Africa: 25th Anniversary [Blu-ray] (Sydney Pollack, 1985) Universal Studios

Possible Films Volume 2, New Short Films by Hal Hartley - Microcinema

Prince Valiant [Blu-ray] (Henry Hathaway, 1954) R'B' UK Eureka (BEAVER REVIEW)

Red Rowan (Ewa Petelska + Czeslaw Petelski, 1970) - Polart

Ride with the Devil (Ang Lee, 1999) Criterion

Ride with the Devil [Blu-ray] (Ang Lee, 1999) Criterion

Surviving Desire (Hal Hartley, 1991) - Microcinema

Tombstone [Blu-ray] (George P. Cosmatos, 1993) Walt Disney Video

Traffic [Blu-ray] (Steven Soderbergh , 2000) Universal Studios

Treeless Mountain (So Yong Kim, 2008) R2 UK - Soda Pictures

Tromeo and Juliet [Blu-ray] (Lloyd Kaufman, 1996) Troma

The White Ribbon [Blu-ray] (Michael Haneke, 2009) - Sony Pictures Classics

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