Newsletter - FOR THE WEEK

OF April 22nd, 2013

  This Week's Highlights
No kimhie ga! - Decent week -  with lots of Olive Film Releases covered, Noir (both old and new), John Ford, Rene Clement, Stephen Frears, The Duke, Kirk DouglasMitchum and more plus on the Calendar; July Criterions including Kenji Mizoguchi, Guillermo del Toro, plus John Schlesinger, Elia Kazan, Tobe Hooper, and others on Blu-ray! Enjoy!

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FEATURE Blu-ray and DVD of the MONTH selected for April!!

 

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Today's DVD & Blu-rays (Amazon)

Blu-rays Under $10 (Amazon)

Blu-rays Under 6 (Amazon UK)

Blu-rays Under 10 (Amazon UK)

Movies & TVs (Amazon Canada)

LATEST ADDITIONS TO THE RELEASE CALENDAR:

The Life of Oharu [Blu-ray] (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1952) Criterion Collection
The Life of Oharu (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1952) Criterion Collection

Lord of the Flies [Blu-ray] (Peter Brook, 1963) Criterion Collection

Lord of the Flies (Peter Brook, 1963) Criterion Collection

The Devil’s Backbone [Blu-ray] (Guillermo del Toro, 2001) Criterion Collection

The Devil’s Backbone (Guillermo del Toro, 2001) Criterion Collection

The Ice Storm [Blu-ray] (Ang Lee, 1997) Criterion Collection

Babette’s Feast [Blu-ray] (Gabriel Axel, 1987) Criterion Collection

Babette’s Feast (Gabriel Axel, 1987) Criterion Collection

Marathon Man [Blu-ray] (John Schlesinger, 1976) UK Region Free Paramount

Viva Zapata! [Blu-ray] (Elia Kazan, 1952) 20th Century Fox

Shadow of a Doubt [Blu-ray] (Alfred Hitchcock, 1943) Universal (BEAVER REVIEW)

Saboteur [Blu-ray] (Alfred Hitchcock, 1942) Univesal

The Departed [Blu-ray Steelbook] (Martin Scorsese, 2006) Warner Home Video

The Telephone Book [Blu-ray] (Nelson Lyon, 1971) Vinegar Syndrome

Manhunt of Mystery Island (Spencer Gordon Bennet, 1945) Cheezy

Full Frontal [Blu-ray] (Steven Soderbergh, 2002) Miramax

Cowboy Bebop Collectors Edition Part 1 [Blu-ray] RB UK Anime Ltd.

Cowboy Bebop Collectors Edition Part 2 [Blu-ray] RB UK Anime Ltd.

Lifeforce [Blu-ray] [Limited Edition Steelbook] (Tobe Hooper,1985) RB UK Arrow Video

Charulata [Blu-ray] (Satyajit Ray, 1964) RB UK Artificial Eye

Lore [Blu-ray] (Cate Shortland, 2012) RB UK Artificial Eye

Paul [Blu-ray] (Greg Mottola, 2011) Universal Studios

Simple Men [Blu-ray] (Hal Hartley, 1992) RB UK Artificial Eye

No [Blu-ray] (Pablo Larran, 2012) Sony Pictures Classics

The English Teacher [Blu-ray] (Craig Zisk, 2013) Cinedigm

Broken (Rufus Norris, 2012) Film Movement

Next of Kin [Blu-ray] (Atom Egoyan, 1984) RB UK Artificial Eye

Family Viewing [Blu-ray] (Atom Egoyan, 1988) RB UK Artificial Eye

Michael H - Profession: Director (Yves Montmayeur, 2013) R2 UK Artificial Eye

Neighbouring Sounds (Kleber Mendona Filho, 2012) R2 UK Artificial Eye

A Late Quartet [Blu-ray] (Yaron Zilberman, 2012) RB UK Curzon

Rooster Cogburn [Blu-ray] (Stuart Millar, 1975) Region FREE UK Universal

Two Mules for Sister Sara [Blu-ray] (Don Siegel, 1969) Region FREE UK Universal

The War Wagon [Blu-ray] (Burt Kennedy, 1967) Region FREE UK Universal

Joe Kidd [Blu-ray] (John Sturges, 1972) Region FREE UK Universal

Home (Muzaffer zdemir, 2011) R2 UK Verve Pictures

Shell [Blu-ray] (Scott Graham, 2012) RB UK Verve Pictures

Pieta [Blu-ray] (Ki-duk Kim, 2012) Image Entertainment

Graceland [Blu-ray] (Ron Morales, 2012) Image Entertainment

Into the White [Blu-ray] (Petter Nss, 2012) Magnolia

The Fog (Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray] (John Carpenter, 1980) Shout! Factory

 

 

ONE VOICE (not Ellsworth Monkton Toohey): Top spot this week goes to John Ford's The Sun Shines Bright on Olive Blu-ray. I can see why it was a favorite of Ford. The realism and charisma of Americana is captured with grace and charm and the HD image is fabulous! Noir devotees should flock to City That Never Sleeps - a prime example of the dark cinema - in rich 1080P. Sticking with Noir, I was very impressed with the Blu-ray image of Champion, still with damage but a dramatic improvement over past DVDs. And modern Noir? Frears' The Grifters - the upcoming Miramax is the better deal with more extras including commentary. Rene Clement's Forbidden Games on Blu-ray certainly improves over Criterion's picture-boxed (and stretched) SD visuals. Sam Wood's The Devil and Miss Jones is marvelous fun and Olive has transferred to Blu-ray - a great way to enjoy the film. The Red Pony (John Steinbeck's adapted short story) also goes Blu - and it's an exceptional family film with Mitchum and Myrna Loy. The Duke plays a 'different' character in Wake of the Red Witch - a mysterious adventure with one of his best performances. On the DVD front - Eric covered another sploitation-style horror with a title to match - Dead End Drive-In. Enjoy you week to the maximum!

  THIS WEEK's REVIEWS / COMPARISONS
 

Wake of the Red Witch BD - Director Edward Ludwig (The Fighting Seabees) and his star John Wayne (Big Jim McLain) teamed up again in this thrilling high seas adventure as Wayne battles enemies above and below the waves - including a giant killer octopus. Wake of the Red Witch pits the tough-minded Captain Ralls (Wayne) against the treacherous Captain Sidneye (Luther Adler) in a bitter rivalry on a mysterious Island. At stake is a fortune in pearls hidden in an undercover cave, at risk is the hand of the beautiful Angelique (Gail Russell), the daughter of the tyrant ruler of the Island who plans to marry her off to Sidneye. One year before, Russell and Wayne appeared together in the classic western, Angel and the Badman. Gig Young (City That Never Sleeps) plays Sam Rosen, a young sailor in love with Sidneye's beautiful niece, Teleia Van Schreeven (Adele Mara). Blu-ray Release date: April 23rd, 2013

Champion BD - "Champion" is probably considered the film that made Kirk Douglas a star. His intense, arrogant demeanor along with his muscular frame cast him perfectly as an overly ambitious boxer who will stop at nothing to get the approval of the crowd. Michael 'Midge' Kelly is shown in down-and-out beginnings with his brother (played by Arthur Kennedy) defending themselves against a group of hobo's on a boxcar before being turfed out. The desperation of his youth affects him greatly. Eventually his forgotten wife, his father-like manager, various girlfriends, and even his own brother are cast adrift in his pursuit of fame and fortune as a pugilist. As good as any cinematic representation of the boxing game, it showed a different side to the media hype of "The Harder They Fall" and less sympathetic than "Requiem for a Heavyweight", but this still ranks as a pure classic of Film Noir. Simplistic and brutal, the film parallels its protagonist absolutley. This one shouldn't be missed. Blu-ray Release date: April 23rd, 2013

The Red Pony BD - John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath) adapted three of his own classic short stories to create a powerful family portrait in The Red Pony. Young Tom Tiflin (Peter Miles) is unable to find the love and guidance he needs from his parents (Myrna Loy and Shepperd Strudwick). For friendship and support, Tom turns to easy-going hired hand, Billy Buck (Robert Mitchum). In an attempt to become closer to his son, Tom's father gives him a red pony to raise. As the horse becomes the focus of Tom's life, it ultimately drives the family further apart as Tom turns to Billy for help in rearing his beloved pet. Family ties and Tom and Billy's friendship are put to the test when the red pony becomes sick. Directed by award winning director Lewis Milestone (All Quiet on the Western Front) with an evocative and rich musical score by Aaron Copeland (The Heiress). The great cast includes a young Beau Bridges, Margaret Hamilton and Louis Calhern as Tom's grandfather. Blu-ray Release date: April 23rd, 2013

City That Never Sleeps BD - Film Noir veterans John H. Auer (Hell's Half Acre) and Steve Fisher (I Mobster) directed and wrote this police thriller in the vein of the popular Detective Story of two years earlier. The film juggles around five characters through a particularly bad night in a Chicago police precinct - Johnny Kelly (Gig Young), a stressed out cop ready to crack; Sally "Angel Face" Connors (Mala Powers), a lounge singer looking for a way out; Hayes Stewart (William Talman), a thug-for-hire who's dying to move up in the syndicate; Penrod Biddel (Edward Arnold), a smooth and corrupt district attorney; and Sgt. Joe (Chill Wills), an honest cop trying to keep Joe on a straight path. Beautiful black-and-white cinematography by John L. Russell (Psycho) and another great bad-girl performance by film noir goddess Marie Windsor (Force of Evil). Blu-ray Release date: April 23rd, 2013

The Grifters BD - Director Stephen Frears' tense adaptation of Jim Thompson's novel The Grifters was one of a number of revival film noirs in the first half of the '90s. Updating the setting to contemporary Los Angeles, the film follows a trio of con artists who are intent on out-foxing each other. Roy Dillon (John Cusack) is a simple, two-bit con, whose life is thrown into turmoil when his estranged mother Lilly (Anjelica Huston) returns home in an attempt to evade the law. Lilly doesn't warm to Roy's girlfriend Myra Langtry (Annette Bening), who is too similar to herself. Soon, the two women are competing for Roy in a battle that is more of a power struggle than a pursuit of affection, and the battle quickly turns dangerous. Huston was nominated for an Academy Award for her work. Blu-ray Release Date: May 7th, 2013

Forbidden Games BD - A girl of perhaps five or six is orphaned in an air raid while fleeing a French city with her parents early in World War II. She is befriended by a pre-adolescent peasant boy after she wandered away from the other refugees, and is taken in for a few weeks by his family. The children become fast friends, and the film follows their attempt to assimilate the deaths they both face, and the religious rituals surrounding those deaths, through the construction of a cemetery for all sorts of animals. Child-like and adult activity are frequently at cross-purposes, however. A timeless evocation of the loss of innocence, Ren Clment’s heartbreaking Forbidden Games tells the story of a young orphan and her friend, who are forced to fend for themselves in World War II France. A breathtaking cinematic achievement, Clment’s film features brilliant performances from its child stars and won the 1952 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. Blu-ray Release Date: January 7th, 2013

The Devil and Miss Jones BD - The great Sam Wood (Pride of the Yankees) directs this socially conscientious classic comedy. John P. Merrick (Charles Coburn), the world's richest man, gets word that someone is trying to unionize a department store he owns. To thwart this blatant act of democracy, Merrick changes his name and takes a menial job at the store to catch the union activists without detention. Once he himself is subjected to the humiliating treatment by the department supervisor, Hooper (Edmund Gwenn), Merrick starts to wise up -- and soften up. Jean Arthur (The More the Merrier) plays Mary Jones, a shoe saleswoman who becomes Coburn's coworker and liaison to the world of the common man. Miss Jones is love with the head of the union activists played by Robert Cummings (Saboteur) and Merrick himself falls in love with co-worker, Elizabeth Ellis (Spring Byington). The double-date sequence at Coney Island immortalizes the infamous beach in its masses of flesh and general bedlam, the great William Cameron Menzies (Gone with the Wind) created the extravagant detail-rich sets, which are the perfect complements to the witty script by Norman Krasna (White Christmas). Nominated for two Academy Awards - Best Screenplay (Krasna) and Best Supporting Actor (Coburn). Blu-ray Release date: March 26th, 2013

The Sun Shines Bright BD - John Ford's remake of his 1934 Will Rogers vehicle, Judge Priest, combines three Irvin S. Cobb stories about the kindly Kentucky magistrate William Priest (Charles Winninger). Set in 1905 Kentucky, it focuses on the judge's battle for reelection against Yankee prosecutor Horace K. Maydew (Milburn Stone). Despite the judge's popularity, it's possible that his generosity and sense of justice may cost him the election. First he tries to persuade the eminent General Fairfield (James Kirkwood) to admit that he's kin to Lucy Lee (Arleen Whelan), whose questionable background makes her a subject for ridicule. Next he faces down an angry lynch mob accusing a black man of a heinous crime - the frustrated vigilantes, dispersed by the gun-wielding judge, vow vengeance at the polls. Director John Ford, notoriously difficult to please, regarded The Sun Shines Bright as his favorite film. The film is filled with Ford's typical low comedy and fine performances from the ensemble cast that includes John Russell and Stepin Fetchit. Blu-ray Release date: March 26th, 2013

Dead End Drive-In - From Ozploitation King Brian Trenchard-Smith (Turkey Shoot, Stuntrock) comes an Australian Grindhouse classic which pits the dregs of society against each other in a crazed battle featuring atomic punks, burnt out junkers and a totally corrupt police force. In an apocalyptic future where crimes rates have spiralled out of control and the economy has permanently collapsed, those in charge have found a perfect solution to the rise of lawlessness... Lock away the undesirables, criminals and low down dirty scumbags in the old Drive-in movie theatres, now converted into violent concentration camps. Now, two kids who thought they were only coming along to see the show are trapped by circumstance in the chaos of Dead End Drive-In, can they escape before they too become resigned to the crazed life in this hellhole like everybody else? . There's a party every day, a movie every night, and all the junk food you can eat. What more can a kid want... except to get out. DVD Release Date: April 15th, 2013
 

 Next 4 weeks on the Calendar

April 22nd, 2012

 

Bakumatsu taiy - den [Yz Kawashima, A Sun - Tribe Myth from the Bakumatsu Era] RB UK Masters of Cinema

Bakumatsu taiy - den  [Blu-ray] [Yz Kawashima, A Sun - Tribe Myth from the Bakumatsu Era] RB UK Masters of Cinema (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Blood on Satan's Claw [Blu-ray] (Piers Haggard, 1971) RB UK Odeon Entertainment

Champion [Blu-ray] (Mark Robson, 1949) Olive Films (BEAVER REVIEW)

The City That Never Sleeps [Blu-ray] (John H. Auer, 1953) Olive Films (BEAVER REVIEW)

Copacabana [Blu-ray] (Alfred E. Green, 1947) Olive Films

The Fighting Seabees [Blu-ray] (Edward Ludwig, 1944) Olive Films

Flirt [Blu-ray] (Hal Hartley, 1995) Olive Films

Gangster Squad [Blu-ray] (Sean Penn, 2012) Warner Home Video (BEAVER REVIEW)

Grapes of Death [Blu-ray] (Jean Rollin, 1978) Redemption

The Impossible [Blu-ray] (Juan Antonio Bayona, 2012) Summit Ent.

Jurassic Park 3D [Blu-ray] (Steven Spielberg, 1993) Universal

Knightriders [Blu-ray] (George Romero, 1972) RB UK Arrow Films (BEAVER REVIEW)

Last Summer Won't Happen (Tom Hurwitz, 1968) Icarus Films

Masterpiece Classic: Mr. Selfridge [Blu-ray] (2013) PBS

Meanwhile [Blu-ray] (Hal Hartley, 2011) Olive Films

Night of the Hunted [Blu-ray] (Jean Rollin, 1980) Redemption

Pierre Etaix [Blu-ray] (The Suitor, Yoyo, As Long as You’ve Got Your Health, Le grand amour, Land of Milk and Honey) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

Pierre Etaix (The Suitor, Yoyo, As Long as You’ve Got Your Health, Le grand amour, Land of Milk and Honey) Criterion

The Red Pony [Blu-ray] (Lewis Milestone, 1949) Olive Films (BEAVER REVIEW)

Richard III [Blu-ray] (Laurence Olivier, 1955) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

Richard III (Laurence Olivier, 1955) Criterion

Sante Fe Stampede [Blu-ray] (George Sherman, 1938) Olive Films

Thale [Blu-ray] (Aleksander Nordaas, 2012) Xlrator (BEAVER REVIEW)

Wake of the Red Witch [Blu-ray] (Edward Ludwig, 1948) Olive Films (BEAVER REVIEW)

War of the Wildcats [Blu-ray] (Albert S. Rogell, 1943) Olive Films

 

April 29th, 2013

 

Black Sabbath [Blu-ray] (Mario Bava, 1963) RB UK Arrow Video

Broken City [Blu-ray] (Allen Hughes, 2013) 20th Century Fox

Cloak and Dagger [Blu-ray] (Fritz Lang, 1946) Olive Films

The Enforcer [Blu-ray] (Bretaigne Windust, 1951) Olive Films

Funny Girl [Blu-ray] (William Wyler, 1968) Sony

Hoodlum Empire [Blu-ray] (Joseph Kane, 1952) Olive Films

Life of Pi (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + UV Copy) (Ang Lee, 2012) RB UK 20th Century Fox

The Lonely Trail [Blu-ray] (Joseph Kane, 1936) Olive Films

The Men [Blu-ray] (Fred Zinnemann, 1950) Olive Films

Night of the Scarecrow [Blu-ray] (Jeff Burr, 1995) Olive Films

Night Tide: Remastered Edition [Blu-ray] (Curtis Harrington, 1961) Kino

Ozu Collection - The Gangster Films - Walk Cheerfully (1930), That Night's Wife (1930), Dragnet Girl (1933) and A Straightforward Boy (1929) - R2 UK BFI

Pals of the Saddle [Blu-ray] (George Sherman, 1938) Olive Films

Parked [Blu-ray] (Darragh Byrne, 2010) Olive Films

The Revisionaries (Scott Thurman, 2012) Kino Lorber

Silver Linings Playbook [Blu-ray] (David O. Russell, 2012) Weinstein

The Vampire Lovers [Blu-ray] (Roy Ward Baker, 1970) Shout! Factory

 

 

May 6th, 2013

 

Band of Outsiders [Blu-ray] (Jean-Luc Godard, 1964) Criterion Collection

Barrymore [Blu-ray] (Erik Canuel, 2011) Image Entertainment

Billy Liar - 50th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray] (John Schlesinger, 1963) RB UK Studiocanal

The Departed [Blu-ray Steelbook] (Martin Scorsese, 2006) Warner Home Video

Full Frontal [Blu-ray] (Steven Soderbergh, 2002) Miramax

The Great Escape [Blu-ray] (John Sturges, 1963) MGM

The Grifters [Blu-ray] (Stephen Frears, 1990) MiraMax (BEAVER REVIEW)

Heaven [Blu-ray] (Tom Tykwer, 2002) MiraMax

In the Name of the Father [Blu-ray] (Jim Sheridan, 1993) Universal

Jack Reacher [Blu-ray] (Christopher McQuarrie, 2012) Paramount

Jesus Christ Superstar [Blu-ray] (Norman Jewison, 1973) Universal Studios

Officer and a Gentleman [Blu-ray] (Taylor Hackford, 1982) Paramount

Saboteur [Blu-ray] (Alfred Hitchcock, 1942) Univesal

Shadow of a Doubt [Blu-ray] (Alfred Hitchcock, 1943) Universal (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Telephone Book [Blu-ray] (Nelson Lyon, 1971) Vinegar Syndrome

The Verdict [Blu-ray] (Sidney Lumet, 1982) 20th Century Fox

Viva Zapata! [Blu-ray] (Elia Kazan, 1952) 20th Century Fox

 

 

May 13th, 2013

 

3:10 to Yuma [Blu-ray] (Delmer Daves, 1957) Criterion Collection

3:10 to Yuma (Delmer Daves, 1957) Criterion Collection

Amateur [Blu-ray] (Hal Hartley, 1994) RB UK Artificial Eye

Chronicle of a Summer [Blu-ray] (Edgar Morin, Jean Rouch, 1961) RB UK BFI

Cloud Atlas [Blu-ray] (Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, 2012) Warner

Crimewave [Blu-ray] (Sam Raimi, 1985) Shout! Factory

Dexter: The Seventh Season [Blu-ray] - HBO

French Masterworks: Russian Emigres in Paris 1923-1929 - 5 Iconic Films Albatros Productions - Flicker Alley

Hors Satan (Bruno Dumont, 2011) R2 UK New Wave Films

Jubal [Blu-ray] (Delmer Daves, 1956) Criterion Collection

Jubal (Delmer Daves, 1956) Criterion Collection

The Miracle of the Bells [Blu-ray] (Irving Pichel, 1948) Olive Films

Motel Hell [Blu-ray] (Kevin Connor, 1980) RB UK Arrow Video

Opening Night [Blu-ray] (John Cassavetes, 1977) RB UK BFI

Theorem [Blu-ray] (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1968) RB UK BFI

Three Faces West [Blu-ray] (Bernard Vorhaus, 1940) Olive Films

The Unbelievable Truth [Blu-ray] (Hal Hartley, 1989) Olive Films

     
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