DVDBeaver Newsletter - May 12th, 2008

Ezender! - 18 new reviews this week - and depending on your definition, we have 6 westerns covered on DVD, plus Giallo, Noir, 50's Sci-fi, Blu-ray, Korean Drama, Kramer comedy and a sobering Woody Allen (there's a juxtapose). Big news is that Criterion have announced some upcoming Blu-rays! MoC have announced as well! We are moving forward. 26 new Calendar listings - some key Japanese film news, Contests, and so much more... Enjoy!


Criterion's first line of Blu-ray DVDs announced (October 08'): The Third Man, Bottle Rocket, Chungking Express, The Man Who Fell to Earth, The Last Emperor, El Norte, The 400 Blows, Gimme Shelter, The Complete Monterey Pop, Contempt, Walkabout, For All Mankind and The Wages of Fear.


Amazon's amazing Kindle? is back in stock - Read about the future of reading HERE


MAY 12th CONTEST -  identify this clip, celebrating all the western films coming to DVD this week, to win a Brand new Warner Classic Musicals From the Dream Factory Vol. 3 package (6 DVDs - 9 Films!) - $70 value!

Korean Drama (Damo - Lady Detective) contest started HERE.


JAPANESE CINEMA FANS!: One of the undisputed masters of Japan cinema, Shimizu Hiroshi (1903-1966) made well over 100 films in his career, ranging from children's films to lighthearted comedies to stories from the fringe. His outstanding cinematic achievements match that of contemporary great and lifelong friend Ozu Yasujiro, though the latter has eclipsed him in recognition. Shimizu's works have been near impossible to find outside of the festival circuit, but Shochiku is now finally releasing Shimizu's films on DVD with English subtitles.
Shimizu Hiroshi Collection - Part 1 Yamaai No Fukei - Arigatau-san (Mr. Thank You) (1936, B&W, 78min), Anma to Onna (The Masseurs and a Woman) (1938, B&W, 66min), Kanzashi (Ornamental Hairpin) (1941, B&W, 70min), Minato no Nihon Musume (Japanese Girls at the Harbor) (1933, B&W, 72min) - Released April 25, 2008 - Available from YesAsia, CDJapan and Amazon Japan.

Coming out on June 27, 2008 is Shimizu Hiroshi Collection - Part 2 Kodomo No Shiki (Four Seasons of Children) - Kaze no Naka no Kodomo (Children in the Wind) (1937, B&W, 86min), Nobuko (1940, B&W, 90min), Mikaheri no Tou (1941, B&W, 111min), Kodomo no Shiki (Four Seasons of Children) (1939, B&W, 146min). Available from YesAsia, CDJapan and Amazon Japan.

Reviews will be posted when I have time. CDJapan is cheaper than YesAsia (and fast in my experience) and English friendly - Amazon Japan (is not very English friendly) but is the least expensive (not taking into account shipping or Duty).


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

Mad Detective (Johnny To, Ka-Fai Wai ) R2 UK - Masters of Cinema,

Mad Detective [Blu-ray] (Johnny To, Ka-Fai Wai ) RB UK - Masters of Cinema

And Paramount have jumped back into Blu-ray (Universal next?)

There Will Be Blood [Blu-ray]  (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007) – Paramount

Lonesome Dove [Blu-ray] (2-Disc Collector's Edition) (Simon Wincer, 1989) - Genius Products

Pale Rider [Blu-ray] (Clint Eastwood, 1985) Warner

David Niven - Screen Icons Collection (Bonnie Prince Charlie, The Love Lottery, Happy Ever After, Eternally Yours And Happy Go Lovely) R2 UK – Optimum

Errol Flynn Westerns Collection ( Montana / Rocky Mountain / San Antonio / Virginia City ) - Warner Home Video

Irina Palm (Sam Garbarski, 2007) Strand Releasing

Complete InuYasha Series (Naoya Aoki, Yasunao Aoki, 2000) - Amazon Exclusive VIZ Video

Glitterbox: Derek Jarman x 4 (Caravaggio, Wittgenstein, The Angelic Conversation and Blue) – Zeitgeist

Jim Jarmusch Collection Vol.1 (Permanent Vacation, Stranger than Paradise and Down by Law) R2 UK Optimum

Death of a Salesman (Volker Schlöndorff, 1985) R2 UK Metrodome

The Man Who Watched the Trains Go By (Harold French, 1952) R2 UK Metrodome

Grace Is Gone (James C. Strouse, 2007) Weinstein

Icons of Adventure Collection (The Pirates of Blood River / The Devil-Ship Pirates / The Stranglers of Bombay / The Terror of the Tongs) - Sony Pictures

The Spiderwick Chronicles (Two-Disc Special Edition) (Mark Waters, 2008) Paramount

The Spiderwick Chronicles [Blu-ray] (Mark Waters, 2008) Paramount

Sleepwalking [Blu-ray] (Bill Maher, 2008) Anchor Bay

Persepolis [Blu-ray] (Vincent Paronnaud + Marjane Satrapi, 2007) Sony Pictures

Mandingo (Richard Fleischer, 1975) Paramount Studios

Alice Faye Collection Vol. 2 (The Great American Broadcast, Four Jills In A Jeep, Rose Of Washington Square, Hollywood Cavalcade and Hello, Frisco, Hello) - 20th Century Fox

City of Men (Paulo Morelli, 2007) Miramax

The Proposition [Blu-ray] (John Hillcoat, 2005) First Look Pictures

In Bruges (Martin McDonagh, 2008) Universal Studios

Classic British Thrillers (The Phantom Light / Red Ensign / The Upturned Glass) MPI

Invisible Target (Benny Chan, 2007) Dragon Dynasty

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



ONE VOICE (not Ellsworth Monkton Toohey): There are some good deals on great films this week. Let's talk westerns first - One of my favorite westerns has Peck in The Gunfighter (1950) and the Fox Western Classics has it - plus two more - with extras including one commentary for less than $15! Mann's Man of the West is essential and Wyler's The Westerner not far behind. As we determined, Duck You Sucker is the exact single disc of from the 2-disc SE, is very reasonable and still has the commentary! Moving on pardner...

The Classic Sci-Fi Ultimate Collection 1 & 2 has more fun per $ than any other boxset ... maybe ever? Tobor the Great is the same lovable genre. Personally, I really enjoyed Allen's grim Cassandra's Dream but others may take the high road. And I won't dismiss Coppola's Youth Without Youth BR as it's the type of films that could require multiple viewings - above all else it certainly was interesting. Honey and Clover has warmth. Leonard's very high on the Korean Drama cum deep culture; Damo - Lady Detective. We can thank Gregory for showing us the light with Bava's The Whip and the Body. Ditto for Eric with Belphegor. Finally, I'd pass on the new SD Indiana Jones Adventure Collection - dollars to donuts it's coming to Blu-ray soon enough anyway.


New Reviews:

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe BR - Given a smart adaptation –in terms of both storyline and dialogue – compelling performances, especially by the children, eye-popping production design and seamless effects, the potential for a successful aftermarket merchandizing blitz or quite possibly even good art, is palpable. To the extent that there is a religious subtext in Narnia, it is not really necessary to make it apparent in the screenplay. Even so, while offering more than a casual nod to the notion of Asaln as life-giver, the adaptation sidesteps most parallels to Catholic symbolism in favor of a titanic struggle between Good & Evil and a war to end all wars.  Blu-ray DVD Release date: May 13th, 2008


The Golden Compass BR - In the midst of inexplicable kidnappings of the local children, enters the seductive Mrs. Coulter (Nicole Kidman, who always works well as a blonde) who endeavors to keep Lyra close, believing that she might be an important cog in this drama, but the girl, sensing danger, escapes with a truth-telling Golden Compass. Along the way, with the aid of a giant, armored, white bear named Iorek Byrnison and an awesomely moustachioed pilot, Lee Scouresby (Sam Elliott – who else!) and others, Lyra learns what has become of the children and sets about on an episodic journey to the ice worlds of the north to rescue them. Blu-ray DVD Release date: April 29th, 2008

Youth Without Youth BR - Francis Ford Coppola returns to the realm of his mastery with a new film about growing young. A bolt of lightning strikes Dominic Matei (Tim Roth) so close to death that he begins to age backwards. When he grows from 70 to 40 in a week, he draws the attention of the Nazis and the world. Now he's running for his life with a new love and no hope of knowing his phenomenal fate. Blu-ray DVD Release date: May 13th, 2008

Untraceable BR - Billed as a sort of Silence of the Lambs for the Internet Age, Untraceable features Diane Lane as FBI Cyber Bureau agent Jennifer Marsh. She and her friend and colleague Griffen Dowd, played by Colin Hanks, search the Internet for possible crime of all sorts. She’s mostly interested in the nastier sort. But years of experience is hardly enough to prepare her for KillWithMe.com, a website where the more people watch, the faster the victim dies. It’s not that viewers want to see a quick death, but that they want to see it on live-TV. Blu-ray DVD Release date: May 13th, 2008

Damo - Lady Detective - Damo is an example of what could be termed "fusion" art, and as such, ran a huge risk of doing injustice to each of its several progenitors: the historical film, the legend, revisionist feminism, wire-fu, martial arts, love story triangles: all with a multiplicity of music genres, production design and camera tricks to support them. This goulash should have given us the most distasteful indigestion, but somehow it all works – perhaps because there is one form that conveniently embraces all of the above: the fantasy. That is how I responded to it, and may even have been the intention.

Fox Western Classics - Fox has packaged three strong westerns on separate DVDs; the iconic genre masterpiece; The Gunfighter (1950) - first western to confront the issue of the aging gunslinger - his reputation dogging his attempts at a settled lifestyle, Rawhide (1951) with Tyrone Power as a young Easterner, sent by his father to learn the Overland Mail business. He finds himself fighting for survival - along with a woman (Susan Hayward) and her dead sister's little daughter. Thirdly, Garden of Evil (1954) - where stranded in Mexico, three gold diggers, including Widmnark and Cooper, are hired by woman (Hayward again) in distress to help her wounded husband. DVD Release Date: May 13th, 2008

The Whip and the Body - The Whip and the Body is a gothic horror fantasy that finds Bava at the peak of his visual prowess. Though the giallo genre is often known for its reliance on graphic violence, Bava's film is noticeably tame. What with its captivating lighting schemes, ghostly death sequences and lurid compositions (passageways are downright vaginal), it's no wonder that Bava's fetishistic film has attained cult status.

Forgotten Noir Vol. 7 - Being VCI - we know we are not venturing in to premium-big-studio-Gene-Tierney-Richard-Widmark-type Film Noir. But I was keen to see Tom Neal (yes, from, my favorite black-cinema; Detour) and enjoyable bit-parter Hugh Beaumont - although he is actually the star of Danger Zone. We can easily dismiss David Harding, Counterspy as not encompassing even some 'broad' definitions of Noir, but both Danger Zone and The Big Chase made our listing HERE. VCI have some deal with the catalogue of impresario, and cinema chain owner, Robert L. Lippert (mostly B-films). DVD Release Date: April 29th, 2008

The Secret of Santa Vittoria - An enjoyable, albeit somewhat leisurely adaptation of author Robert Crichton's best-selling Second World War comedy from veteran director Stanley Kramer. Anthony Quinn plays Zorba the Italian (whoops! that should be Bombolini the Italian), a raucous drunk whose anti-fascist beliefs lead him to be elected mayor of a small wine-growing town, and who then conspires to hide a million bottles of their finest vintage from the occupying Nazis. DVD Release Date: May 13th, 2008

Duck You Sucker - Having already, in Once Upon a Time in the West, taken energetic liberties with the typical (John) Fordian Western, it's not surprising that Leone should have taken a sideswipe at another of the director's stereotypes, the revolutionary Irishman, in the second part of his trilogy of political fables. We can confirm that the May 2008 - single disc edition released by MGM is an exact duplicated of the first disc from the 2-disc Collector's Edition. Same menus, same extras, same image and audio (same VOB files). The single-disc comes out May 13th, 2008

Man of the West - The settings in Man of the West -- a western town, a train bound for Fort Worth, a farmhouse in a valley, a desert, and a ghost town (the latter two filmed in California's Red Rock Canyon) -- lack the formal purity of those in The Naked Spur. As a result, Man of the West veers much closer to the grimness of Greek tragedy, its mountains and rock formations often suggesting the silent witness of an ancient amphitheater. (The connection isn't accidental; another of Mann's late interviews is peppered with references to Oedipus Rex and Antigone, and one of his best early westerns is entitled The Furies.) The Region 1 MGM DVD Release Date: May 13th, 2008

The Westerner - Gary Cooper cemented his reputation as an icon of the Western screen in William Wyler's 1940 film The Westerner. He stars as Cole Hardin, a wandering horseman who is brought before the kangaroo court of the colorful but deadly Judge Roy Bean (Walter Brennan). Playing upon Bean's obsession with musical actress Lily Langtry, Hardin talks his way out of the hangman's noose, and strikes up a friendship with the hard-drinking, short-tempered, self-proclaimed "judge." Hardin soon learns that the territory is involved in violent range wars (a dispute between cattlemen and farmers over land rights) and lends his support to the homesteaders -- becoming attracted to Jane-Ellen Mathews (Doris Davenport), the daughter of an aging corn farmer (Fred Stone). DVD Release Date: May 13th, 2008

The Classic Sci-Fi Ultimate Collection 1 & 2 - 10 out-of-this-world adventures from the golden age of Hollywood. Loaded with innocently contrived special effects and captivating storylines these timeless tales will take you into the strange and shocking worlds including a giant Tarantula, The Mole People, The Incredible Shrinking Man, Dr. Cyclops, Cult of the Cobra and a Deadly (humongous) Mantis. Don't miss the fun! DVD Release Date: May 13th, 2008

Honey and Clover - Based on the hit anime of the same name, “Honey and Clover” deals with five college art students. While the premise may sound simple, it’s quite the opposite; the characters struggle through school, work, and love. All within the confines of a university, “Honey and Clover” showcases the journey that everyone must take from being a young adult and following the long and challenging road to becoming a full fledged adult. the new VIZ VIDEO is up to snuff and the DVD Release Date is May 13th, 2007

Cassandra's Dream - Cassandra's Dream is Allen's most grim and uncomfortable film to date, surpassing even Crimes and Misdemeanors and Match Point. At least in those films the upper class criminals get away with their deeds and get on with their lives (however psychically diminished those lives may be). Not so in Cassandra's Dream, where two lower-middle-class brothers commit a dark crime (almost a British translation of Before the Devil Knows You're Dead) that not only shatters their humanity but also destroys their family ties and much more. DVD Release Date: May 27th, 2008

Tobor the Great - An 11-year-old becomes attached to the robot (unimaginatively named "Tobor," or robot spelled backwards) invented by his grandfather, Holmes. Most of the plot concerns the relationship between the boy, the inventor, and the robot, which has feelings. Some anticommunist propaganda seeps in when Holmes and Chapin are captured by Reds. Of course, Tobor manages to rescue them, only to be rewarded with an eternal existence in space. Aimed solely at arousing sentiment. DVD Release Date: May 13th, 2008

Belphegor - Phantom of the Louvre - A sarcophagus with its name and face scratched out is discovered in an old storeroom of the Louvre during remodeling. An attempt at X-raying the mummy inside unleashes a demonic force which infiltrates the building's electronic systems. Shopkeeper Lisa (Sophie Marceau) discovers a hole in the basement of her apartment building made by the Louvre workmen that leads her and electrician boyfriend Martin (Frederic Diefenthal) into the museum after hours where she is possessed by the demon.

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark - You have to love a movie that is so devilishly clever as to make the hero's every effort, no matter how Herculean, irrelevant to the conclusion. Had Dr. Jones elected to go on an extended vacation to Mozambique and never have anything to do with the Ark of the Covenant, nothing would have changed. Jones doesn't save the day. In fact, he doesn't come close to rescuing it, unless one considers his having failed as being the key to success. (Although he does get the girl.) Yes, the movie ends with melting faces, but, underneath all of that liquefying flesh and exploding heads, there's an abundance of irony just waiting for the attentive movie-goer to unearth. Indiana Jones Adventure Collection Release Date: May 13th, 2008

Next 2 weeks on the Calendar:


Week of May 12th

A Matter of Taste (Bernard Rapp, 2000) Synkronized

Batad (Benji Garcia, 2006) Cinequest

The Big Trail (Raoul Walsh, 1930) 20th Century Fox

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid [Blu-ray] (George Roy Hill,1969) 20th Century Fox

Carve Her Name with Pride (Lewis Gilbert, 1958) United Artists

La Chinoise (Jean-Luc Godard, 1967) KOCH Lorber Films

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe [Blu-ray] (Andrew Adamson, 2005)

The Classic Sci-Fi Ultimate Collection Vol 1 & 2 - The Mole People (1956), Tarantula (1955), The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957), The Monolith Monsters (1957), Monsters on Campus (1958), Cult of the Cobra (1955), Dr. Cyclops (1940), The Land Unknown (1957), The Deadly Mantis (1957), The Leech Woman (1960) - Universal

Day of the Outlaw (André De Toth, 1959) - United Artists

Fistful of Dynamite (Sergio Leone, 1971) - United Artists

Fox Classic Western Collection (Rawhide / The Gunfighter / Garden of Evil) - 20th Century Fox

The Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly Collection (On the Town / Anchors Aweigh / Take Me out to the Ball Game) Warner Home Video

Frank Sinatra - The Golden Years Collection (Some Came Running / The Man with the Golden Arm / The Tender Trap / None but the Brave / Marriage on the Rocks) Warner Home Video

Frank Sinatra - The Early Years Collection (It Happened in Brooklyn / Step Lively / The Kissing Bandit / Double Dynamite / Higher and Higher) Warner Home Video

Gai savoir (Jean-Luc Godard, 1969) KOCH Lorber Films

The Gunfight at Dodge City (Joseph M. Newman, 1959) - United Artists

Honey & Clover (Masahiro Takada, 2006) Viz

Indiana Jones: The Adventure Collection (Indiana Jones And The Raiders Of The Lost Ark: Special Edition, Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom: Special Edition, Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade: Special Edition) Paramount

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Special Collector's Edition)

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom - Special Edition (Steven Spielberg, 1984) Paramount

Jim Jarmusch Collection Vol.1 (Permanent Vacation, Stranger than Paradise and Down by Law) R2 UK Optimum

John Wayne: The Fox Westerns Collection (The Big Trail, North to Alaska, The Comancheros, The Undefeated) - 20th Century Fox

Lost in Beijing (Yu Li, 2007) New Yorker

Man of the West (Anthony Mann, 1958) MGM

Man with the Gun (Richard Wilson, 1955) United Artists

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World [Blu-ray] (Peter Weir, 2003) - Fox

Mission: Impossible The Fourth TV Season - Paramount Home Video

Morning Departure (Roy Ward Baker, 1950) United Artists

Navajo Joe (Sergio Corbucci, 1966) MGM

The One That Got Away (Roy Ward Baker, 1957) - United Artists

Raiders of the Lost Ark - Special Edition (Steven Spielberg, 1981) Paramount

Rat Pack Ultimate Collector's Edition (Ocean's 11, Robin And The 7 Hoods, 4 For Texas and Sergeants 3) Warner

The Rat Patrol: The Complete Series (1966-68) - MGM

The Secret Invasion (Roger Corman, 1964) United Artists

The Secret of Santa Vittoria (Stanley Kramer, 1969) - United Artists

Shinobi: Heart Under Blade - Special Edition [Blu-ray] (Ten Shimoyama, 2005) Funimation

The Way West (Andrew V. McLaglen, 1967) MGM

The Westerner (William Wyler, 1940) MGM

Youth Without Youth (Francis Ford Coppola, 2007) Sony Pictures

Youth Without Youth [Blu-ray] (Francis Ford Coppola, 2007) Sony Pictures


Week of May 19th, 2008

Eclipse Series 9: The Delirious Fictions of William Klein - Criterion

Dirty Carnival (Ha Yu, 2006) Genius Products

Finishing the Game: The Search for a New Bruce Lee (Justin Lin, 2007) Genius Products

The Fire Within (Louis Malle, 1963) Criterion

Inglorious Bastards (Enzo G. Castellari,1978)
Inglorious Bastards Special Edition (Enzo G. Castellari,1978)

James Stewart Western Collection (6-disc Destry Rides Again, Winchester 73', Bend Of The River, The Far Country, The Night Passage and The Rare Breed) Universal

James Stewart: Columbia Screen Legends Collection - Sony

The Lovers (Louis Malle, 1958) Criterion

National Treasure [Blu-ray] (Jon Turteltaub, 2004) Walt Disney Video

National Treasure 2 - Book of Secrets (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) (Jon Turteltaub, 2007) Walt Disney Video
National Treasure 2 - Book of Secrets [
Blu-ray] (Jon Turteltaub, 2007) Walt Disney Video

There Will Be Blood [Blu-ray]  (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007) - Paramount

V for Vendetta [Blu-ray] (James McTeigue, 2006) Warner

The Willow Tree (Majid Majidi, 2005) New Yorker


"Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures." -Henry Ward Beecher

Have a wonderful week!