Newsletter - FOR THE WEEK

OF April 29th, 2013

  This Week's Highlights
Sánuu dáng gíidang? - Criterion, Fritz Lang, Godard, Mario Bava, Delmer Daves, Hammer Films and more plus on the Calendar a new Masters of Cinema line-up including Kaneto Shindô, F.W. Murnau, Jacques Rivette, D.W. Griffith, plus Bertolucci, Atom Egoyan, André Téchiné, Joseph H. Lewis, Walter Hill, and others on Blu-ray! Enjoy!

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The Naked Island [Blu-ray] (Kaneto Shindô, 1960) RB UK Masters of Cinema

Kuroneko [Blu-ray] (Kaneto Shindô, 1968) RB UK Masters of Cinema

Tabu: A Story of the South Seas [Blu-ray] (F.W. Murnau, 1931) RB UK Masters of Cinema

Tabu: A Story of the South Seas (F.W. Murnau, 1931) R2 UK Masters of Cinema

Le pont du Nord [Blu-ray] (Jacques Rivette, 1981) RB UK Masters of Cinema

Le pont du Nord (Jacques Rivette, 1981) R2 UK Masters of Cinema

The Birth of a Nation [Blu-ray] (D.W. Griffith, 1915) RB UK Masters of Cinema

The Birth of a Nation (D.W. Griffith, 1915) R2 UK Masters of Cinema

Me and You [Blu-ray] (Bernardo Bertolucci, 2012) RB UK Artificial Eye

Flame of Barbary Coast [Blu-ray] (Joseph Kane, 1945) Olive Films

Speaking Parts [Blu-ray] (Atom Egoyan, 1989) RB UK Artificial Eye

The Bronte Sisters [Blu-ray] (André Téchiné, 1979) Cohen Films

Showdown at Boot Hill [Blu-ray] (Gene Fowler Jr., 1958) Olive Films

Retreat, Hell! [Blu-ray] (Joseph H. Lewis, 1952) Olive Films

My Brothers [Blu-ray] (Paul Fraser, 2010) Olive Films

The Curtis Harrington Short Film Collection [Blu-ray] - Flicker Alley

Flashdance [Blu-ray] (Adrian Lyne, 1983) Paramount

Hangar 18 [Blu-ray] (James L. Conway, 1980) Olive Films

One Touch of Venus [Blu-ray] (William A. Seiter, 1948) Olive Films

The Presidio [Blu-ray] (Peter Hyams, 1988) Paramount

Simon Killer [Blu-ray] (Antonio Campos, 2012) RB UK Eureka

Perfect Blue [Blu-ray] (Satoshi Kon, 1997) RB UK Anime Ltd

The Long Riders [Blu-ray] (Walter Hill, 1980) RB UK Second Sight (BEAVER REVIEW)

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



ONE VOICE (not Ellsworth Monkton Toohey): I was incredibly impressed with Criterion's 1080P transfer of the 1957 version of 3:10 to Yuma. The image is brilliant and the psychological conflict of the film also makes it an essential. Bogart as the crusading assistant DA in The Enforcer adds to its Noir edge and the Olive Blu-ray is a significant improvement over the DVD. Godard's Band of Outsiders is put to Criterion Blu-ray via Gaumont’s 2010 high-definition restoration - and fans will be appreciative. The Hammer 'erotic horror' The Vampire Lovers comes to Blu-ray filled with rich 1080P fangs and breasts. Sticking with that genre Bava's Baron Blood has found its definitive package with Arrow in the UK. Not my favorite Fritz Lang but Cloak and Dagger on Blu-ray is a tremendous advancement over the old Artisan DVD providing a whole new presentation experience. I still enjoy the Tykwer film Heaven, but Miramax has under-performed with the Blu-ray losing some valued extras still available on their own DVD. Criterion's Jubal - another strong Glenn Ford western - has uncharacteristic weaknesses via the Criterion bare-bones Blu-ray. Even as a period piece the 1974 The Great Gatsby hasn't held-up well looking lackluster in the new format. I saw some spark of originality in the Spanish mystery The Nameless, but unfortunately again there are some fatal omissions in its transfer to Blu-ray. Sorry no DVD coverage this week. Till next time - stay perfect!


Band of Outsiders BD - Four years after Breathless, Jean-Luc Godard reimagined the gangster film even more radically with Band of Outsiders (Bande à part). In it, two restless young men (Sami Frey and Claude Brasseur) enlist the object of both of their fancies (Anna Karina) to help them commit a robbery—in her own home. This audacious and wildly entertaining French New Wave gem is at once sentimental and insouciant, effervescently romantic and melancholy, and it features some of Godard’s most memorable set pieces, including the headlong race through the Louvre and the unshakably cool Madison dance sequence. Blu-ray Release Date: May 7th, 2013

Jubal BD - A trio of exceptional performances by Glenn Ford, Ernest Borgnine, and Rod Steiger form the center of Jubal, an overlooked Hollywood treasure from genre master Delmer Daves. In this Shakespearean tale of jealousy and betrayal, Ford is an honorable itinerant cattleman, befriended and hired by Borgnine’s bighearted ranch owner despite his unwillingness to talk about his past. When he becomes the object of the attentions of the owner’s bored wife (Valerie French) and is entrusted with a foreman’s responsibilities, his presence starts to rankle a shifty fellow cowhand, played by Steiger. The resulting emotional showdown imparts unparalleled psychological intensity to this vivid western melodrama, featuring expressive location photography in Technicolor and CinemaScope. Blu-ray Release Date: May 14th, 2013

3:10 to Yuma BD - A classic Western scenario, adapted from a short story by Elmore Leonard. For $200, the sum he desperately needs to save his land from drought, a small-time farmer (Heflin) agrees to escort a notorious outlaw (Ford) to the state penitentiary in Yuma; holed up in a hotel to await the train, with the outlaw's gang gathering in force outside, the escort finds himself in effect the prisoner; nevertheless, although the financial inducement evaporates (he's offered more to let matters slide by both the outlaw and the town's alarmed mayor), he insists on fulfilling his contract. It's of necessity a talkative film, with Ford working on Heflin's nerves in a stream of Machiavellian banter, but one held in perfect balance by Daves, who keeps the tension strung taut (especially in the gauntlet-running final walk to the station) while at the same time elaborating a subtle psychological conflict. The nerve centre is exposed in an early scene where Heflin, the dour family man careworn by responsibilities, watches as his wife and sons come under the spell of Ford's carefree charm: the conflict, ultimately, stems from each man's envy of what the other has. Blu-ray Release Date: May 14th, 2013

The Nameless BD - The mutilated body of a six year old girl is found in a water hole. The girl is identified as the missing daughter of Claudia. However, only two peices of evidence could be used to identify her; a bracelet with her name on it near the crime scene, and the fact that her right leg was three inches longer than her left. All other methods of identification were removed from her body. Five years later Claudia, now addicted to tranquilizers, receives a phone call from someone claiming to be her daughter, asking for her mother to come find her before 'they' kill her. Other mysterious clues show up, further indicating that Claudia's daughter is indeed still alive, and very much in danger. Claudia, a run-down ex-cop, and a parapsychology reporter put together the clues to discover Angela's whereabouts. Blu-ray Release date: May 7th, 2013

Cloak and Dagger BD - Of all the Fritz Lang films I have seen, this may be the one that I was least enamored with. Gary Cooper seems miscast as an atomic scientist (Prof. Alvah Jesper), who is sent to Europe by the OSS to rescue other scientists who are being forced to cooperate with the Nazi atom bomb project. During his mission, he becomes involved with the Italian resistance, falling for plucky Gina (Lilli Palmer). I've read that Lang originally shot this film emphasizing the dangers of atomic power, but Warner re-edited and it fails to have any direction. It still shows a few Lang-esque moments, but this is only recommended for his most devout following as it really lacks any punch... or his signature panache. Blu-ray Release Date: April 30th, 2013

The Enforcer BD - Based on the 1940 revelations of Abe Reles as to the existence of an organisation called Murder Inc, but prompted by the Kefauver Committee investigations of 1950, this is very much a transitional film between the noir Forties and the syndicate Fifties. Unveiling the argot of the murder business for the first time (eg. 'contract', 'hit', 'finger'), it scored another notable first by using its intricate web of flashbacks, conjured by the interrogations of Bogart's crusading assistant DA, to explore the mysterious structures of organised crime. Bathed in a typically noir aura of fear, shot by Robert Burks in a semi-documentary style, and with a laconically witty script by Martin Rackin, it only occasionally reveals the cracks one might expect given that part of the footage had to be restaged by Walsh (who contributed, most notably, the climactic shootout with the killer finally nailed in a doorway). Blu-ray Release Date: April 23rd, 2013

Baron Blood BD - Bava’s murdering id-figures are always stylish, and the Baron, at least in the more evil of his two guises here, is no exception. When first resurrected, and intermittently throughout the film, he’s seen as a kind of hamburger-faced mock-Phantom of the Opera, with slouch hat and cape and rapid, elegant movements as he careens from victim to victim. (Visually he’s a twin of the masked, cloaked murderer of Blood and Black Lace.) Of course, he looks especially good next to "Alfred Becker" (Joseph Cotten), a mysterious cripple who’s in fact — in a point the film telegraphs instantly — the Baron. Cotten’s presence adds marquee value, in spite of a pretty dreadful, disengaged performance. Sommer, with her vinyl micro-minis and Carnaby Street hats, is one of the least convincing architecture students in cinema history; she spends most of the film running and screaming, which she admittedly does well. Blu-ray Release Date: April 29th, 2013

The Vampire Lovers BD - A female vampire with lesbian tendencies ravages the young girls and townsfolk of a peaceful hamlet in eighteenth century Europe who, years earlier, killed off her fellow vampires. A rousing hunt for the vampires ensues as a group of men follow her bloody trail of terror through the countryside. Adapted from J. Sheridan Le Fanu's novella "Carmilla," The Vampire Lovers stars Ingrid Pitt, George Cole and Peter Cushing. Blu-ray Release date: April 30th, 2013

The Great Gatsby BD - The '20s never roared louder than in this sumptuously romantic retelling of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Jazz Age classic. Robert Redford stars as Jay Gatsby, who had once loved beautiful, spoiled Daisy Buchanan (Mia Farrow), then lost her to a rich boy. But now Gatsby is mysteriously wealthy... and ready to woo Daisy back. A winner of two Academy Awards, The Great Gatsby features a fine supporting cast and an elegant script by Francis Ford Coppola. And at its center is the opulent evocation of an era of hot jazz and cold champagne, of women as exotic and demanding as hothouse flowers, and of lives made soft by too much, too soon. Blu-ray Release date: April 23rd, 2013

Heaven BD - German filmmaker Tom Tykwer helmed this feature, which was adapted from a screenplay co-authored by the late Krzysztof Kieslowski. Philippa (Cate Blanchett) is a British schoolteacher living in Italy, whose husband fell victim to a drug overdose, as have several of her students. Marco Vendice (Stefano Santospago) is a powerful local drug dealer who sold the dope which killed Philippa's husband, as well as a number of neighborhood teens. Disgusted with the inability of the police to bring Vendice to justice, Philippa takes the law into her own hands, planting a bomb which is intended to kill the dealer. However, Philippa's plan goes awry, and instead the bomb kills four innocent bystanders. Blu-ray Release Date: May 7th, 2013

 Next 4 weeks on the Calendar

April 29th, 2013


Baron Blood [Blu-ray] (Mario Bava, 1972) RB UK Arrow Video (BEAVER REVIEW)

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

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

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

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 (BEAVER REVIEW)

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

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 (BEAVER REVIEW)



May 6th, 2013


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

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 (BEAVER REVIEW)

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

The Nameless [Blu-ray] (Jaume Balagueró, 1999) Miramax (BEAVER REVIEW)

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

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

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

Starlet [Blu-ray] (Sean Baker, 2012) Music Box Films

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 (BEAVER REVIEW)

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

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

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

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 (BEAVER REVIEW)

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



May 20th, 2013


All Ladies Do It [Blu-ray] (Tinto Brass, 1992) RB UK Arrow Video

Beautiful Creatures [Blu-ray] (Richard Lagravenese, 2013) Warner

The Burning [Blu-ray] (Tony Maylam, 1981) Shout! Factory

The Complete (EXISTING) Films of SADAO YAMANAKA - R2 UK Masters of Cinema

Captain America [Blu-ray] (Albert Pyun, 1990) Shout! Factory

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

The Key [Blu-ray] (Tinto Brass, 1983) RB UK Arrow Video

The Last Stand [Blu-ray] (Jee-woon Kim, 2013) Lions Gate

Little Caesar [Blu-ray] (Mervyn LeRoy, 1931) Warner

Medium Cool [Blu-ray] (Haskell Wexler, 1969) Criterion Collection

Medium Cool (Haskell Wexler, 1969) Criterion Collection

The Murderer Lives at Number 21 (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1942) R2 UK Masters of Cinema

The Murderer Lives at Number 21 [Blu-ray] (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1942) RB UK Masters of Cinema

The Petrified Forest [Blu-ray] (Archie Mayo, 1936) Warner

The Public Enemy [Blu-ray] (William A. Wellman, 1931) Warner

Sommersby [Blu-ray] (Jon Amiel, 1993) Warner Home Video

Stand Up Guys [Blu-ray] (Fisher Stevens, 2012) Lions Gate

The Town That Dreaded Sundown [Blu-ray] (Charles B. Pierce, 1976) Shout! Factory

White Heat [Blu-ray] (Raoul Walsh, 1949) Warner

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