DVDBeaver Newsletter - April 27th, 2009

Rimaykullayki! - 13 new reviews this past week. A shade lean on the recommendations but we have Eclipse, good and bad Blu-ray, plenty of sales, a whopping big Calendar Update, a new contest (great prize) and more....

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

NOTE: If you pre-ordered the Criterion Repulsion via the DVDBeaver homepage or email (as opposed to the Calendar page) - it may have been reversed (Blu-ray was listed as DVD, DVD was Blu-ray). Please verify your account as these linlks below are accurate:

Repulsion (Roman Polanski, 1965) - Criterion Collection

Repulsion [Blu-ray] (Roman Polanski, 1965) - Criterion Collection


This may or may not be a pre-order pricing error but those interested should order and lock-in...

On July 14th I noted some very reasonable Paramount releases of above-average films - all only $3.99 - including

1900 (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1976) Paramount, A Simple Plan (Sam Raimi, 1998) Paramount, The Molly Maguires (Walter Bernstein, 1970) Paramount, The World of Suzie Wong (Richard Quine, 1960) Paramount, Islands in the Stream (Franklin J. Schaffner, 1977) Paramount, The Accused (Jonathan Kaplan, 1988) Paramount and Detective Story (William Wyler, 1951) Paramount

SALE ON SOME CRITERIONs at AMAZON (Blu, Pre-order and others): - El Norte [Blu-ray] (37% OFF!), The 400 Blows [Blu-ray] (45% OFF!), The Last Emperor [Blu-ray] (37% OFF!), The Man Who Fell to Earth [Blu-ray] (37% OFF!), Ace in the Hole (37% OFF!), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (35% OFF!), Last Year at Marienbad [Blu-ray] (32% OFF!), Wages of Fear [Blu-ray] (32% OFF!), The Seventh Seal [Blu-ray] (32% OFF!), Drunken Angel (32% OFF!), Alexander Korda's Private Lives (25% OFF!), The Third Man [Blu-ray] (37% OFF!), Chungking Express [Blu-ray] (37% OFF!), The Last Metro [Blu-ray] (32% OFF!), Bottle Rocket [Blu-ray] (35% OFF!), Empire of Passion (27% OFF!)

Momitsu BDP-899 - Region FREE Blu-ray Player - advertised as the World's first truly region free Blu-ray and DVD player. See the Beaver scoop on this new product.


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!)

APRIL 27th CONTEST - identify the clip on the CONTEST PAGE to win brand new sealed Doubt on Blu-ray

NEW BUTTONS ADDED! (you spoke - we listened) - THE 'DVDBeaver Toolbar'! Give it a test drive! I've created a very simple toolbar for Film-Fans/DVD-o-philes/cinephiles. It embeds effortlessly within Internet Explorer 5.0+ (Windows Vista/XP/2000) and Firefox 1.0.1+ (Windows, Mac, Linux). It offers quick links to Searching both the Net (via Google) and DVDBeaver directly, Amazons, Asian e-tailors, Forums (Criterion, Home Theater, AVS, Rotten Tomatoes, Film Noir), IMdb, DVDBasen, Beaver links, Cinephile Blogs/Journals (Rosenbaum, Kehr, Acquarello etc.). What do you think? FOR MORE INFORMATION / DOWNLOAD SEE HERE *** (We can adjust this to suit popular opinion - on-the-fly - no re-install required!)

BIG THANKS!: DVDBeaver would not exist without the support of many patrons - those who generously donate, and especially those who use our Amazon, CD Japan and YesAsia links. That's it. When you go to Amazon - PLEASE use one of our links to get there (they are on every page - top and bottom - and we have 5000 webpages). It costs you absolutely nothing and we get a small commission on items you purchase. This helps pay our bills - in fact it's the only thing that pays our bills.

STRATEGIES: The best way to take full advantage of Amazon is to use PRE-ORDERs - lock in at the discount price by ORDERING - if perchance you decide against the purchase you have until the release date to cancel - at no charge.

AND  if you will purchase more than 35 DVDs (or anything) in a 365 day period (and live in the Continental US) it makes excellent financial sense to subscribe to Amazon Prime! You will get Free 2-day shipping on your purchases!


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

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

The Prisoner [Blu-ray] (1967) - The Complete Series - R'B' UK Network

The Deep [Blu-ray] (Peter Yates, 1977) Sony Pictures

One Day You'll Understand (Amos Gitai, 2007) Kino

The Unknown Woman (Giuseppe Tornatore, 2006) Image Entertainment

Eldorado (Bouli Lanners, 2008) Film Movement

John Barrymore Collection (Sherlock Holmes / Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde / The Beloved Rogue / Tempest) – Kino

The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (Henry Hathaway, 1936) Universal Studios

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (Arthur Lubin, 1944) Universal Studios

Beau Geste (William A. Wellman,1939) Universal Studios

Edge of Love [Blu-ray] (John Maybury, 2008) Image Entertainment

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs [Blu-ray] (David Hand, 1937) Disney

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Collector's Book Set) [Blu-ray] Disney

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (DVD Packaging) [Blu-ray] Disney

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Dwarf Plush Gift Set) [Blu-ray] Disney

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Limited Edition Collector's Set) [Blu-ray] Disney

Surveillance [Blu-ray] (Jennifer Chambers Lynch, 2008) Magnolia

Bad Boy Bubby [Blu-ray] (Rolf de Heer, 1993) Blue Underground

Knowing [Blu-ray] (Alex Proyas, 2009) Summit Entertainment

Disturbia [Blu-ray] (D.J. Caruso, 2007) Dreamworks Video

The Last Starfighter [Blu-ray] (Nick Castle, 1984) Universal Studios

Sexy Beast [Blu-ray] (Jonathan Glazer, 2000) R'B' UK 4 DVD

Withnail & I [Blu-ray] (Bruce Robinson, 1987) R'B' UK Starz

The Italian Job 40th Anniversary [Blu-ray] (Peter Collinson, 1969) R'B' UK Paramount

The Long Good Friday [Blu-ray] (John Mackenzie, 1980) R'B' UK - Anchor Bay

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon [Blu-ray] (Ang Lee, 2000) R'B' UK - Sony Pictures

Separation (Jack Bond, 1968) R2 UK BFI Video

Separation [Blu-ray] (Jack Bond, 1968) R'B' UK BFI Video

The Other Side of the Underneath (Jane Arden, 1972) R2 UK BFI Video

The Other Side of the Underneath [Blu-ray] (Jane Arden, 1972) R'B' UK BFI Video

Anti-Clock (Jane Arden + Jack Bond, 1980) R2 UK BFI Video

Anti-Clock [Blu-ray] (Jane Arden + Jack Bond, 1980) R'B' UK BFI Video

The Magick Lantern Cycle (Kenneth Anger, 1947) R2 UK BFI Video

The Magick Lantern Cycle [Blu-ray] (Kenneth Anger, 1947) R'B' UK BFI Video

Il Divo (Paolo Sorrentino, 2008) R2 UK Artificial Eye

Être et avoir (Nicolas Philibert, 2002) R2 UK Artificial Eye

Straw Dogs [Blu-ray] (Sam Peckinpah, 1971) R'B' UK Fremantle


ONE VOICE (not Ellsworth Monkton Toohey): Possibly my favorite 'film' this week is The Three Burials Of Melquiades Estrada but I can't recommend the interlaced, unconverted PAL Blu-ray. My more restless side was quite taken with Taken BR and apparently I enjoyed The Wrestler BR a bit more than Leonard. While Amazon BR is good viewing I still question the price. Ditto for I Was a Communist for the FBI. The lead performances in What Doesn't Kill You BR made it worth the visit. Red Cliff II BR looks and sounds impressive - a decent, if lengthy, film. Eclipse 16 - Alexander Korda's Private Lives, like all Eclipse packages, has strong value. Two films that I didn't 'get into' much but do have a reasonable enough following are The Arrival BR and JCVD BR. The Blu-ray of Man on Wire BR is actually cheaper than the DVD! Perhaps I can revisit Incendiary BR one day - this first time it had me shaking my head in disbelief. Rescue Dawn BR is a strong film and Blu-ray. Let's hope for more positives next week.

New Reviews:

I Was a Communist for the FBI - In many respects, this heated item bears comparison to the hearings before the House Un-American Activities Committee—which, incidentally, it extols. For in telling its story of a valiant patriot who silently endures the contempt of his son, his brothers and his neighbors while he poses as a loyal Communist, it tosses off dangerous innuendos and creates some ugly bugaboos in the process of sifting the details of how the Communists bore from within.

Rescue Dawn BR - American pilot Dieter Dengler is shot down during a top secret mission to destroy Viet Cong strongholds in Laos at the beginning of the Vietnam War. Taken hostage, he endures unimaginable conditions at the hands of cruel captors in a makeshift POW camp. Dengler's iron will to survive guides him and his fellow prisoners in a meticulously-planned, death-defying escape, only to discover the harsh realities of an unforgiving jungle beyond the camp's walls.

Eclipse 16 - Alexander Korda's Private Lives - Though born to modest means in Hungary, Alexander Korda would go on to become one of the most important filmmakers in the history of British cinema. A producer, writer, and director who navigated toward subjects of major historical significance and mythical distinction, Korda made a name for his production company, London Films, with the Oscar-winning The Private Life of Henry VIII. He then continued his populist investigation behind the scenes and in the bedrooms of such figures as Catherine the Great, Don Juan, and Rembrandt. Mixing stately period drama with surprising satire, these films are exemplars of grand 1930s moviemaking. DVD Release Date: May 12th, 2009

Man on Wire BR - A rare double winner of both Sundance's jury prize and its audience award for world documentary, this exhilarating film treats French aerialist Philippe Petit's Aug. 7, 1974, walk between the twin towers of New York's 110-story World Trade Center as if it were a daring bank robbery. This is a police procedural, if you will, about what's been called the artistic crime of the century. Blu-ray Release Date: December 26th, 2008

The Wrestler BR - Like Robert Redford’s Electric Horseman, Randy “The Ram” Robinson is a man with his best years behind him – a long way behind him. He was at the top of his game twenty years ago, but professional wrestling has taken its toll. All the same this doesn't keep him from giving and taking a beating whenever he can get work, which is no longer for the big bucks. (He lives in a trailer, and usually behind in his rent.) Given what he feels he has to do to his body to keep it looking good, and the abuse he suffers in the ring, it is no wonder that his heart fails the Timex test. Blu-ray Release date: April 21st, 2009

Taken BR - With certain crimes against humankind the 'standard' justice system can seem wholly inadequate. Some may have felt this frustration regarding the lack of more serious retribution to the evil-doers in Trade. While this is only a film, one can garner some very satisfying vengeance without succumbing to our civilities and procedures of law. From that standpoint - Taken - is absolutely wonderful. The individuals involved in the procurement of kidnapped slaves for the 'Sex Trade' frankly are not even worthy of being called 'human beings'. They have forgone that right and they're inconsequential destruction is almost euphoric. So how about we take some swift, indiscriminant revenge on these lowlifes? Huh? - enter Liam Neeson as Bryan Mills. UK Blu-ray Release date: February 9th, 2009

Incendiary BR - Incendiary is based on a novel by Chris Cleave and stars Michelle Williams as an unnamed young woman who lives with her young son (Sidney Johnston) and her bomb disposal expert husband (Nicholas Greaves) in an ugly tower block that overlooks a beautiful Georgian square. Bored and lonely, she starts an illicit affair with her affluent neighbour, tabloid journalist Jasper (Ewan McGregor), but the affair is brought to an abrupt conclusion when a terrorist attack on a nearby football stadium kills her husband and son (not least because she was having sex with Jasper with the game on TV in the background at the exact moment of the attack). Blu-ray Release date: May 5th, 2009

The Three Burials Of Melquiades Estrada BR - There’s something about border country that brings out the best in filmmakers. From Touch Of Evil to The Wild Bunch, from Lone Star to Kill Bill, directors at the height of their powers are drawn to the inherently dramatic, culture-clash-heavy location. Welles, Peckinpah, Sayles and Tarantino might make for illustrious company but, judging by this stunning film, Tommy Lee Jones deserves his place alongside them. Indeed, comparisons have been made with Peckinpah’s Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia, but if anything, The Three Burials Of Melquiades Estrada is the more humane, emotionally engaging work. Blu-ray Release Date: April 6th, 2009

Amazon BR - People who seek medicines from plants and animals in the Amazon share an apparently uncomplicated goal--the easing of human suffering. Yet this Omnimax movie gingerly avoids examining the ethics of intrusions--including moviemaking--on fragile environments as it parallels the journeys of a Peruvian shaman and an American ethnobotanist (the Smithsonian's Mark Plotkin, also a production consultant) who travel deep into the rain forest to fulfill personal and scientific goals. Blu-ray Release date: May 5th, 2009

What Doesn't Kill You BR - Calling Brian Goodman’s well-observed, episodic crime drama/character study a South Boston Irish Mean Streets isn’t too far off, but it sells the actor-turned-director’s feature debut somewhat short. Despite its ultrafamiliar setup, What Doesn’t Kill You (original title: Real Men Cry) makes a virtue of directness and simplicity. Blu-ray Release date: April 28th, 2009

Red Cliff II BR - The East Wu forces set up camp on Red Cliff, directly across Cao Cao's (Zhang Fengyi) camp and his naval stockade. When Cao's soldiers fell ill to a plague, he sends the infected bodies across the river, infecting many of the allied force. In return, Zhou Yu (Tony Leung) hatches a plan, resulting in the execution of Cao Cao's two top admirals. However, Cao still plans to attack. While at Red Cliff, the East Wu generals plan to attack Cao's naval stockade with fire. Who will emerge the winner of this battle of wits? Blu-ray Release date: March 27th, 2009

The Arrival BR - Climates are changing. Scientists blame factory smokestacks, car exhausts and the destruction of the rain forests. ``The Arrival'' has a more terrifying hypothesis to explain the phenomenon. In the great paranoid tradition of science fiction, the discovery of this possibility is made by one man who cannot get anyone to listen to him and who grows desperate as the establishment slams its doors. The man is Zane Zaminski (Charlie Sheen), a radio astronomer who listens for signs of intelligence from outer space. Blu-rayRelease date: April 21st, 2009

JCVD BR - Van Damme obviously was a good sport to make this movie, which is like every self-parodying Bruce Willis cameo rolled into one. The movie opens with a virtuoso single take in which Van Damme fights, chops, shoots and kick-boxes his way down an endless street while dozens of stunt men topple from high places, cars explode, and at some point it becomes very funny. The Computer-generated imagery is so evident and the fights so choreographed that it confirms something I've long believed: The most difficult thing an action star does during a battle scene is to hit his marks. Blu-ray Release date: April 28th, 2009

Next 2 weeks on the Calendar:

Week of April 27th, 2009

Alain Resnais: A Decade in Film (4-disc) - Kino Video

Arabian Nights (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1974) R'B' Bfi Video

Arabian Nights [Blu-ray] (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1974) R'B' Bfi Video

Bad Jim (Clyde Ware, 1990) R2 UK Optimum

Barbara Frietchie (Lambert Hillyer, 1924) Televista

Barquero (Gordon Douglas, 1970) R2 UK Optimum

The Canterbury Tales (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1972) R'B' Bfi Video

The Canterbury Tales [Blu-ray] (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1972) R'B' Bfi Video

The Da Vinci Code [Blu-ray] (Ron Howard , 2006) Sony Pictures

The Decameron (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1971) R 'B' Bfi Video

The Decameron [Blu-ray] (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1971) R 'B' Bfi Video

Empire of Passion (Nagisa Oshima, 1978) - Criterion

Fast Company [Blu-ray] (David Cronenberg, 1979) Blue Underground

Gardens In Autumn (Otar Iosseliani, 2006) R2 UK Artificial Eye

The Glory Guys (Arnold Laven, 1965) R2 UK Optimum

The Gunfight at Dodge City (Joseph M. Newman, 1959) R2 UK Optimum

The Hit (Stephen Frears, 1984) Criterion

In the Realm of the Senses (Nagisa Oshima, 1976) Criterion
In the Realm of the Senses [
Blu-ray] (Nagisa Oshima, 1976) Criterion

JCVD [Blu-ray] (Mabrouk El Mechri, 2008) Peace Arch Home Entertainment

The King and Four Queens (Raoul Walsh, 1956) R2 UK Optimum

The Palm d'Or Collection (Four Months Three Weeks And Two Days, Underground and L'enfant) - R2 UK Artificial Eye

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

Sometimes a Great Notion (Paul Newman, 1971) R2 UK Optimum

Spring and Port Wine (Peter Hammond, 1970) R2 UK Optimum

Star Trek: The Original Series: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] - Paramount

What Doesn't Kill You (Brian Goodman, 2008) Sony Pictures

What Doesn't Kill You [Blu-ray] (Brian Goodman, 2008) Sony Pictures


Week of May 4th, 2009

Amazon [Blu-ray] (Kieth Merrill, 1997) Image Entertainment

Bleak House - TV mini-series [Blu-ray] (2005) BBC Warner

Big [Blu-ray] (Penny Marshall, 1988) 20th Century Fox

"Bleak House" [Blu-ray] TV - 2005 - BBC Video

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (David Fincher, 2008) Paramount
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button [
Blu-ray] (David Fincher, 2008) Paramount

Dexter: Season 2 [Blu-ray] - Paramount

Enchanted April (Mike Newell, 1992) Miramax

He Ran All the Way (John Berry, 1951) R2 UK Optimum

Ferris Bueller's Day Off [Blu-ray] (John Hughes, 1986) Paramount Home Video

From a Place of Darkness [Blu-ray] (Douglas A. Raine, 2008) Celebrity Video Distribution

Incendiary (Sharon Maguire, 2008) Thinkflims

Incendiary [Blu-ray] (Sharon Maguire, 2008) Thinkflims

Last Chance Harvey [Blu-ray] (Joel Hopkins, 2008) Anchor Bay

Saturday Night Fever [Blu-ray] (John Badham, 1977) Paramount Home Video

Trainspotting: Ultimate Collector's Edition [Blu-ray] (Danny Boyle, 1995) R'B' UK 4DVD

Under The Bombs (Philippe Aractingi, 2007) Film Movement

"Be great in act, as you have been in thought." - William Shakespeare
Ever notice how spoiled we are? - when technology fails us - we become totally distraught.

Am I the only one looking forward to Persis Khambatta in HD?