DVDBeaver Newsletter - April 30th, 2007


Dobrý deň! - Wow our biggest newsletter so far this year - 17 new reviews this week (7 of which are comparisons and 6 of which are multi-film boxsets). What a mix! - Jacques Tourneur, Todd Field, Leos Carax, Mario Bava, Anthony Minghella, Stanley Donen, the Quay's, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Robert Siodmak, Douglas Sirk, Shohei Imamura plus calendar updates etc.


HELP!: Thanks to the few who have helped with donations or using our Amazon links to purchase - we are knocking ourselves out to stay alive here folks. Any suggestions to improve would be greatly appreciated. How can we do better? Tell us! We'll do it if humanly possible! (gary@2ze.com) Thanks!


FEATURE DVD OF THE MONTH (MAY): The revered cult filmmaker once stated, "I ask of cinema what most North Americans ask of psychedelic drugs". Anchor Bay's 6-disc boxset has restored transfers and includes La Cravate - Jodorowsky's directorial debut was considered lost for 50 years until its discovery in a German attic. El Topo (1970), a mystical western, was his second film and is now considered a cult classic and Jodorowsky's third film and The Holy Mountain (1973), which was entirely financed by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Jodorowsky once said, "Most directors make films with their eyes. I make films with my cojones (testicles)." REVIEWED HERE  PURCHASE HERE



Three Films By Hiroshi Teshigahara (Pitfall, Woman in the Dunes, The Face of Another), Ace in the Hole (Billy Wilder, 1951), Ivan's Childhood (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1962) and Les Enfants Terribles (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1950)

PLUS Raymond Bernard - Eclipse Series 4 (Wooden Crosses - 1932 and Les Misérables 1934)




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


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!


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


CRITERION / ECLIPSE: Three Films By Hiroshi Teshigahara (Pitfall, Woman in the Dunes, The Face of Another), Ace in the Hole (Billy Wilder, 1951), Ivan's Childhood (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1962), Les Enfants Terribles (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1950) and Raymond Bernard - Eclipse Series 4 (Wooden Crosses - 1932 and Les Misérables 1934)

FUTURE NOIR - Welles' The Stranger, Fritz Lang's The Woman in the Window, A Bullet for Joey and Kansas City Confidential. Woohoo!

INTERESTING UPCOMING REGION 2 - Van Sant's Mala Noche, Tykwer's Perfume - The Story Of A Murderer, Verhoeven's Black Book, Lynch's Inland Empire and The Sicilian Clan with Jean Gabin!

BOUT' TIME - Esther Williams Collection


The Andrei Tarkovsky Companion - R2 UK - Artificial Eye Film Company Ltd.

Mala Noche (Gus Van Sant, 1985) R2 FR - MK2

Perfume - The Story Of A Murderer (Tom Tykwer, 2006) R2 UK - Pathe Distribution Ltd

Black Book (Paul Verhoeven, 2006) R2 UK - Tartan Video

Raymond Bernard - Eclipse Series 4 (Wooden Crosses - 1932 and Les misérables 1934) - Eclipse/Criterion

Shinsengumi: Assassins of Honor (Tadashi Sawashima, 1969) Animeigo

Twelve O'Clock High - Special Edition (Henry King, 1949) 20th Century Fox

The Sand Pebbles (Robert Wise, 1966) 20th Century Fox

Von Ryan's Express - Special Edition (Mark Robson, 1965) 20th Century Fox

Inland Empire (David Lynch, 2006) R2 UK - Optimum Home Entertainment

The Films of Alejandro Jodorowsky 6-disc -(El Topo, The Holy Mountain and Fando Y) R2 - UK Tartan

Esther Williams Collection (Bathing Beauty/Easy to Wed/On an Island with You/Neptune's Daughter/Dangerous When Wet) - Warner Home Video

Black Kiss (Macoto Tezuka, 2004) R2 UK Terra Entertainment

Katharine Hepburn Collection - On Golden Pond/African Queen/Iron Petticoat/Clive James Interview - R2 UK - ITV DVD, Little Red Flowers (Yuan Zhang, 2006) R2 UK Eureka Entertainment Ltd

Tomorrow at Ten (Lance Comfort, 1964) R2 UK - Odeon Entertainment Ltd

The Stranger (Orson Welles, 1946) MGM

The Sicilian Clan (Henri Verneuil, 1969) R2 UK - 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

The Woman in the Window (Fritz Lang,1944) MGM

A Bullet for Joey (Lewis Allen, 1955) MGM

Kansas City Confidential (Phil Karlson, 1952) MGM

Three Films By Hiroshi Teshigahara (Pitfall, Woman in the Dunes, The Face of Another) Criterion Collection

Ace in the Hole (Billy Wilder, 1951) Criterion Collection

Ivan's Childhood (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1962) Criterion Collection

Les Enfants Terribles (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1950) Criterion Collection


RECOMMENDATIONS: This week our highest recommendation goes to The Films of Alejandro Jodorowsky. Just when you think you've seen it all - yet another level of cinematic pleasure!

NOIR NEVER DIES:  A little hokey - maybe - but I LOVED Sirk's Sleep My Love.

Siodmak is a noir icon but only get the Robert Siodmak Boxset is you don't have the Criterion The Killers.

SUBMIT!: I don't *think* I have ever seen a Mario Bava film but after some research, and Gregory's fab comparisons, I will definitely pick up the Mario Bava Collection Vol.1.

CRITERION UPS THE ANTE - Although the Masters of Cinema has the superior extras, Criterion gives us a dramatic curve ball on the image for Imamura's Vengeance is Mine. Hmmm... it really does look so much better.

NOT TO BE SNEEZED AT: Loved Classic Western Round-Up, Vol. 1 and can't wait for Vol. 2. Plus high entertainment value in all three - Little Children, Bedazzled and most of The Leos Carax Collection.



New Reviews:


Breaking and Entering - Anthony Minghella gets to the relationship heart of darkness in “Breaking and Entering,” his ode to the evils of attraction and the vulnerability of desire. Sharply observed human interaction is found in every corner, along with performances to back up all this heartache. The ending blows, but there’s so much to feast on prior to it that a little rough patch doesn’t hurt the film’s stride in the least.

Pirates of the Golden Age Movie Collection - Universal compartmentalize 4 also-ran pirate film starring Errol Flynn, Maureen O'Hara, Anthony Quinn, Yvonne DeCarlo and Donald O'Connor. The films are Against All Flags (1952), Buccaneer's Girl (1950),Yankee Buccaneer (1952) and Double Crossbones (1951).

Gregory Meshman has compared the 5 films of the Mario Bava Collection Vol.1:
• Knives of the Avenger - Italian director Mario Bava is best known for his stylish low-budget horror pictures, but he excelled at many genres--mystery, comedy, western, sci-fi, action--and this excellent 1966 feature, which he took over from another director and scripted under the name John Hold, reimagines Shane as a Viking adventure. A fearsome knife-throwing warrior (Cameron Mitchell in a fine performance) rides into a village and rescues a beautiful woman (Elisa Pichelli) and her preteen son (Luciano Pollentin) from attackers; later he realizes that he raped her many years earlier, while avenging himself against the village for the murder of his wife and child, and begins to form an attachment to the woman's son, who bears a striking resemblance to him. Bava started out as a cameraman, and his dramatic Techniscope framing of the majestic beach at Tor Caldara near Anzio and the village of Monciana near Rome might well have influenced the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone. The Bava Boxset was released April 3, 2007
• Black Sunday - Secluded castles, musty hallways, tree branches that reach like hands, mist-shrouded forests, stranded travelers, duplicitous lovers who conspire to murder, secret passageways that descend to deteriorating crypts--this is the stuff of Italian gothic horror, one of the most exciting and atmospheric sub-genres of film, and Mario Bava was one of its greatest practitioners. The Bava Boxset was released April 3, 2007
• Black Sabbath - Vintage Bava in which Karloff introduces three adaptations from famous tales of the supernatural (and also stars in the last): The Drop of Water by Chekhov, The Telephone by Howard Snyder, and The Wurdalak by Tolstoy. Pictorially it's amazing, and even the script and dubbing are way above average. If only Amicus, who subsequently cornered the horror omnibus market, had taken heed they might have got some ideas as to what can be done with the format. The Bava Boxset was released April 3, 2007
• The Girl Who Knew Too Much - There's a beautiful shot in this movie of the light shining through two bullet holes in a door; it is a great example of where some of the appeal lies in Mario Bava movies in its exemplary use of light and dark. THE EVIL EYE is not a good title in itself; the alternate title, THE GIRL WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, is both a better description and makes manifest a certain Hitchcockian feel to this movie. Though the tale itself is quite suspenseful, particularly in a sequence where the heroine follows a voice in an old building, there is a surprising amount of humor in this movie; there's even schtick involving John Saxon's broken thumb at several points. The Bava Boxset was released April 3, 2007
• Kill, Baby... Kill - This oppressive and visually overwhelming exercise in the conjuring of atmosphere allowed Mario Bava to crank the gothic stylistic tendencies of Black Sunday into overdrive, finally permitting him to churn out scene after scene of hallucinatory intensity with only the barest threads of a plot to hold it all together. The avenging demonic forces of his past films have been distilled here into the single, chilling image of a ghostly young girl, rolling a sinister pale ball down hallways and street corners as she drives those around her to certain death. Rarely has a more haunting or unforgettable specter graced the horror cinema, and even had he never made another film after this, Bava would have already proven himself as a master filmmaker. The Bava Boxset was released April 3, 2007

Classic Western Round-Up, Vol. 1 - Relive all the gunfights, barroom brawls and romance with The Texas Rangers, Canyon Passage, Kansas Raiders and The Lawless Breed. Starring Hollywood favorites Rock Hudson, Fred MacMurray, Audie Murphy and Dana Andrews, this action-packed collection features some of the most exciting films ever to hit the silver screen! The Texas Rangers (1936) Two crooks (Fred MacMurray and Jack Oakie) reluctantly enlist in the Texas Rangers as a means of staying one-step ahead of the law. Canyon Passage (1946) Adventure awaits when a pack-mule express owner (Dana Andrews) escorts a young woman (Susan Hayward) home to a remote Oregon town. Kansas Raiders (1950) Jesse James (Audie Murphy) and his brothers join William Quantrill (Brian Donlevy) and his vengeful raiders in an effort to save the Confederacy. The Lawless Breed (1953) When famed outlaw John Wesley Hardin (Rock Hudson) is released from prison, he gives an in-depth account of his scandalous life to a local newspaper. DVD Release Date: May 8th, 2007

The Leos Carax Collection - Leos Carax made several short films and also wrote film criticism, then at the age of 24 years made a very strong first feature Boy Meets Girl (1984). The film played at the 1984 Cannes film festival and was a critical triumph. It paved the way for Carax's second feature Mauvais sang (1986) (Bad Blood or The Night is Young). That film was a giant step forward in the same direction that he was going in with his first film. Both films were visual stunning and focused on young love and also alienation. With his reputation and talent at it's peak, he set out to make what seemed it seemed like would be another triumph. Les Amants du Pont-Neuf (1991) (The Lovers on the Bridge) was the result of three long years of a very difficult production, Carax spent a fortune building some of sets and filming some mind-blowing sequences. Unfortunately neither critics or audiences favored what was a truly grand vision of the themes he dealt with in his first 2 films. Carax went into an a 8 year long exile, but finally returned with Pola X (1999). DVD Release Date: 23 April 2007

Little Children - Todd Field’s follow-up to his debut ‘In The Bedroom’, ‘Little Children’ is another literary adaptation about American bourgeois discontent brought to the surface by dark deeds. The setting is the wealthy suburb of East Wyndam, Massachusetts. Kate Winslet is Sarah, frustrated housewife to a little-seen businessman. Patrick Wilson (‘Angels in America’) is perennial law student and stay-at-home dad Brad, whose prom-king looks make him an object of playground fascination for Sarah and the coven of moms with whom she shares afternoon breaks. Neither, it turns out, is best pleased with their lot or ready to entirely relinquish their wellbeing and desires to their children’s. Meanwhile, a sex offender has been released into the gossipy community, where finger-pointing takes precedence over self-examination... DVD Release Date: May 1st, 2007

Rabid Dogs - Rabid Dogs is a 90 minute roller coaster ride of a film from start to finish. Excellent score by Stelvio Cipriani (The Great Alligator, City of the Walking Dead) helps to enliven the immediacy of the whole premise, and works perfectly to establish the growing tension between the killers as well as between them and the hostages. Excellent cinematography (also by Mario Bava) adds to the feel as well to create some sort of dreamlike quality to the film. As many of you may know, this was the only film Mario Bava ever directed which supposedly occurs in the real world, although I beg to differ as Bay of Blood seemed right along the same lines (although it was undoubtedly quite inferior). The only annoying visible flaws in Rabid Dogs were the anemic gun sound effects and some very sketchy editing at times. Otherwise, this is a great movie, much more interesting and exciting than any of Quentin Tarantino's similar fast-paced crime films, and certainly a step above most of the rest of the crop of 70's Italian crime flicks (besides High Crime of course). DVD Release Date: April 3, 2007

Bedazzled - In general, Donen’s films may lack psychological depth and moral complexity, but “Bedazzled” succeeds on an intellectual level and as entertainment. Created during Donen’s most fruitful period, following “Two for the Road” (1967)--a sublime exercise in style, “Bedazzled,” like Richard Lester’s “Petulia” (1967), captures society’s fragmentation in the 1960s. Where Lester is concerned with class divisions, Donen explores the role of desire in human lives. For sheer film value, the recent DVD release is among the most exciting releases of 2007. DVD Release Date: April 3, 2007

The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes - A sinister cloud of enchantment hangs over Droz's castle, where everything from dust motes to kitchen utensils is alive and possessed of dubious intent. As in dreams, extraordinary things happen regularly and are treated as business as usual by the people experiencing them. The character of Droz incorporates aspects of Dracula and Frankenstein, and like many great villains, he drags a pair of innocent lovers into his web. As was the case with the Quays' first live-action film, Institute Benjamenta (1995), the protagonist is played by Gottfried John, a German actor best known for his work with Rainer Werner Fassbinder. John has one of those unforgettable Fassbinder faces, etched with all the sorrows of centuries of humankind, and he has a perverse flair for comedy that's delicious to watch. DVD Release Date: April 24th, 2007

The Films of Alejandro Jodorowsky - Alejandro Jodorowsky was born in Iquique, Chile on February 7, 1929. In 1942 he moved to Santiago where he attended university, was a circus clown and a puppeteer. In 1955 he went to Paris and studied mime with Marcel Marceau. He also befriended the surrealists Roland Topor and Fernando Arrabal, and in 1962 these three created the "Panic Movement" in homage to the mythical god Pan. As part of this group Jodorowsky wrote several books and theatrical pieces. In the later 1960s he directed avant-garde theater in Paris and Mexico City, created the comic strip "Fabulas Panicas", and made his first "real" film, the surrealist love story Fando y Lis (1967) , based on a play by Arrabal. In 1971, El Topo (1970) was released and became a cult classic, as did The Holy Mountain (1973). This 6-disc boxset (2 of which are CDs) is one of the best of the year - fabulous restorations of clandestine art masterpieces. DVD Release Date: May 1st, 2007

Vengeance is Mine - Based on the true story of Iwao Enokizu (Ken Ogata) and his murderous rampage which sparked a 78-day nationwide manhunt, Shohei Imamura's disturbing gem Vengeance is Mine won every major award in Japan on the year of its release. Both seducing and repelling with its unusual story and grisly humour, Imamura uncovers a seedy underbelly of civilized Japanese society. Unfolding through multiple flashbacks, Ogata delivers a career-defining performance as a day-labourer and smalltime con-artist who, after killing two of his co-workers, embarks on a psychopathic spree of rape and murder. Eluding the police and public, Japan's infamous "King of Criminals" passes himself off as a Kyoto University professor, only to become entangled with an innkeeper and her perverted mother. Five years in the making, Vengeance is Mine transcends the limitations of run-of-the-mill criminal studies by presenting a portrait of a killer imbued with a poignant, tragic banality. The Criterion DVD release date is May 15th, 2007

Robert Siodmak Boxset from France includes the director's Phantom Lady (1944), Cobra Woman (1944) and The Killers (1946). Defined as Siodmak's first all-out Noir effort ,"Phantom Lady" in 1943, was to give a glimmer of the stylistic and thematic characteristics that are readily apparent in his later noirs. Siodmak, while at Universal, carved out a defining niche for himself with the pulpy black cinema style (directing 12 in all - with many quintessential gems like The File on Thelma Jordon (1950), Criss Cross (1949), Cry of the City (1948), and The Dark Mirror (1946) ), but one of the most cited was "The Killers" in 1946. Successful at the box office and with critics, it earned Siodmak his only Oscar nomination for direction in Hollywood (NOTE: German production, "Nachts, Wenn Der Teufel Kam," would be nominated for best foreign film in 1956). "The Killers" is also notable for being Burt Lancaster's debut film. DVD Release Date: April 4th, 2007

Sleep My Love - Quintessential Sirk Noir on DVD from Germany. This is the old Gaslight plot about a husband trying to get his wife to believe she's going mad so he can acquire her money and marry his mistress, but it is not as hackneyed as this sounds. The screenplay is full of unexpected twists and Sirk's direction has some exciting Hitchcockian touches, with a cliffhanging climax against the background of Brooklyn Bridge. Usually seen in more lightweight fare, Colbert and Ameche are suitably angst-ridden and smooth respectively. He is giving her hypnotic drugs while carrying on with seductive Brooks. Coulouris, behind thick spectacles, makes a sinister phoney psychiatrist. DVD Release Date: April 27th, 2007

Next 2 weeks on the Calendar:


Week of April 30th, 2007


The Films of Alejandro Jodorowsky (El Topo, The Holy Mountain and Fando Y) Anchor Bay

Black Book (Paul Verhoeven, 2006) R2 UK - Tartan Video

Borderline (Kenneth MacPherson, 1930) R2 UK BFI

Circus of Horrors (Sidney Hayers, 1960) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment

El Topo (Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1971) Anchor Bay

Henri-Georges Clouzot Collection - (Quai Des Orfevres, Le Corbeau and The Wages Of Fear) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment

Holy Mountain (Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1973) Anchor Bay

Jean Cocteau Collection (Le Sang D'un Poete (Blood Of A Poet), Testament D'orphee (The Testament Of Orpheus) And Cocteau Cineaste Documentary) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment

Le Jour se lève (Marcel Carné, 1939) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment

Little Children (Todd Field, 2006) New Line Home Video

Mala Noche (Gus Van Sant, 1985) R2 FR - MK2

Night of the Eagle (Sidney Hayers, 1962) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment

Old Joy (Kelly Reichardt, 2006) Kino Video

Perfume - The Story Of A Murderer (Tom Tykwer, 2006) R2 UK - Pathe Distribution Ltd

The Masque of the Red Death (Roger Corman, 1964) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment

Tyrone Power: Swashbuckler Box Set - The Black Rose (1950), Blood and Sand (1941), Captain from Castile (1947), Prince of Foxes (1949), Son of Fury: The Story of Benjamin Blake (1942) - 20th Century Fox


Week of May 7th, 2007


Big Road & Queen of Sports (Chinese Classics Series) - Cinema Epoch

Blissfully Yours (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2002) Strand Releasing

Breaking and Entering (Anthony Minghella, 2007) Weinstein Company

Classic Western Round-Up, Vol. 1 (The Texas Rangers / Canyon Passage (Tourneur) / Kansas Raiders / The Lawless Breed) - Universal Studios

Classic Western Round-Up, Vol. 2 (The Texans / California / The Cimarron Kid - Budd Boetticher / The Man from the Alamo - Budd Boetticher)- Universal Studios

Comedy of Power (Claude Chabrol, 2006) Koch Lorber Film

Crossroads & Daybreak (Chinese Clasics Series) - Cinema Epoch

Dark Command (Raoul Walsh, 1940) /Lady Takes a Chance (William A. Seiter, 1943) Lions Gate

David and Lisa (Frank Perry, 1962) Homevision

Mandy (Alexander Mackendrick, 1952) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment

The Painted Veil - 2006 /The Painted Veil - 1934 (Naomi Watts/Greta Garbo) Warner

Pirates of the Golden Age Movie Collection (Against All Flags / Buccaneer's Girl / Yankee Buccaneer / Double Crossbones) - Universal Studios

Sands of Iwo Jima (Allan Dwan, 1949) / Flying Tigers (David Miller, 1942) Lions Gate

Saraband for Dead Lovers (Basil Dearden, 1948) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment

Shinsengumi: Assassins of Honor (Tadashi Sawashima, 1969) Animeigo

Song at Midnight (Weibang Ma-Xu, 1937) Cinema Epoch

Springtime in a Small Town (Weibang Ma-Xu, 1937) Cinema Epoch

Street Angel/Twin Sisters (Yuan, Mu-jih, 1937) Cinema Epoch

The Third Part Of The Night (Andrzej Zulawski, 1971) R2 UK Second Run

To Catch a Thief - Special Collector's Edition (Alfred Hitchcock, 1955) Paramount Home Video

Violette (Claude Chabrol, 1978) Koch Lorber Films




50 CLASSIC TV SHOWS ON DVD - best of vintage TV!






- Best of the Best!



Enjoy your week!,




P.S. DVD of the Year - 2006 still remains a popular place to peruse.


P.P.S. - Amazon UK sales (all from our TOP 100 LIST!): The Naked Island (Kaneto Shindô, 1960) 45% OFF!, Naruse Box Set Volume One 30% OFF!, Three Colours Blue [Kieslowski, 1993] 38% OFF!, Chungking Express [Wong, 1995] 35% OFF!, Metropolis [Lang, 1927] 45% OFF!, Stalker [Tarkovsky, 1979] 67% OFF!, Last Year At Marienbad [1961] 53% OFF!

STILL: Max Ophuls' DVDs of Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948), The Reckless Moment (1949), Le Plaisir (1952) and Madame De...   are now 65% OFF HERE

Brighton Rock [1947] 56% OFF!, The Heart Of The Matter [1953] 63% OFF!, Belle de Jour - 40th Anniversary [1967] 70% OFF!, Europa Europa [1992] 70% OFF!, Vera Drake [2004] 70% OFF!, L'Enfer (2005) 70% OFF!, Détective (1985) 70% OFF!, L'Appartement [1995] 67% OFF!, The Tree of Wooden Clogs [1978] 60% OFF!, Pepi, Luci, Bom [1981] 67% OFF!, The Man Without A Past [2003] 70% OFF!, Goodbye Lenin! [2002] 73% OFF!, A Matter Of Life And Death [1946] 75% OFF!, Wuthering Heights [1939] 66% OFF!, The Deadly Affair [1966] 58% OFF!, The Battle Of The River Plate (Digitally Remastered Edition) [1956] 62% OFF!, The Way Ahead [1944] 60% OFF!, Blithe Spirit [1945] 60% OFF!, The Red Shoes - Plus Documentary [1948] 69% OFF!, Tiger Bay [1959] 66% OFF!, City Lights [1931] 57% OFF!, The Black Windmill [1974] 69% OFF!, The Blue Lamp [1950] 46% OFF!