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  Newsletter - FOR THE WEEK

  OF MAY 18th, 2009


This Week's Highlights


Nyale! - 18 new reviews/comparisons this past week. Fritz Lang, Pasolini, Spike Lee on Blu-ray and more.... a Criterion announcement, some keen Calendar Updates, a new contest (great prize) and more.....


  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 etailors, Forums (Criterion, Home Theater, AVS, Rotten Tomatoes, Film Noir), IMdb, DVDBasen, Beaver links, Blu-ray information, Cinephile Blogs/Journals (Rosenbaum, Kehr, Acquarello etc.). What do you think? FOR MORE INFORMATION / AVAILABLE HERE *** (We can adjust this to suit popular opinion - on-the-fly - no re-install required!)




The Last Days of Disco (Whit Stillman, 1998)
Kagemusha -
Edition (Akira Kurosawa, 1980)
Blu-ray Edition (Jacques Tati, 1967)
Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
(Chantal Akerman, 1975)
I Am Waiting (1957), Rusty Knife (1958), Take Aim at the Police Van (1960), Cruel Gun Story (1964) and A Colt Is My Passport (1967)

CONTEST   May 18th  - identify the clip on the CONTEST PAGE to win brand new sealed Star Trek - The Motion Picture Trilogy on Blu-ray - Best of luck all!
BIG THANKS  DVDBeaver would not exist without the support of many patrons - those who generously donate, and especially those who use our Amazon(s), CD Japan, HKFlix 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

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

Gary at 2ze dot com





• SALE STILL ON FOR 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!)


• SALES: US Blu-ray up to 53% OFF        UK Blu-ray 2 for 3 SALE       Amazon France Blu-ray SALE (BUY 1 get 1 FREE!)

LATEST ADDITIONS to the Calendar: (PRE-ORDER & save!):

Katyn (Andrzej Wajda, 2007) Koch Lorber Films

Bill Douglas Trilogy [Blu-ray] (My Childhood, My Ain Folk, My Way Home) R'B' UK BFI

Comrades (Bill Douglas, 1986) R2 UK BFI

Comrades [Blu-ray] (Bill Douglas, 1986) R'B' UK BFI

British Cinema: Renown Pictures Crime & Noir (Blackout, Bond of Fear, Home To Danger, Meet Mr. Callaghan, No Trace, Recoil) - VCI Entertainment

The New World [Blu-ray] (Terrence Malick, 2005) New Line Home Video

12 (Nikita Mikhalkov, 2007) Sony Pictures

A River Runs Through It [Blu-ray] (Robert Redford, 1992) Sony Pictures

Echelon Conspiracy (Greg Marcks, 2009) Paramount

Echelon Conspiracy [Blu-ray] (Greg Marcks, 2009) Paramount

Catwoman [Blu-ray] (Pitof, 2004) Warner Home Video

The Postman [Blu-ray] (Kevin Costner, 1997) Warner

Dead Calm [Blu-ray] (Phillip Noyce, 1989) Warner Home Video

Gaumont Treasures: 1897-1913 – Kino

Julia (Erick Zonca, 2008) Magnolia Home Entertainment

Mirush (Marius Holst, 2007) Olive Films

Torso (Sergio Martino, 1973) Blue Underground




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




(not Ellsworth Monkton Toohey): Lang's Spy drama
Man Hunt is certainly the DVD of the week - a great price, restored with commentary and a fabulous classic film from a Master director. There are quite a few Blu-ray titles worth considering this week. One of which is Mendes' brilliant Revolutionary Road with DiCaprio and Winslet. While I loved Powder Blue - I am willing to accept that others may not - ex. most critics gave it a big thumbs down. So be it. BFI are doing some exciting things on Blu-ray - like Pasolini's Trilogy with The Decameron. The Machinist is broodingly strong and dark cinema with Noir sensibilities (Eddie Muller is even in the extras). Don't pass this film by. Spike Lee takes on the bank-heist genre with Inside Man (Clive Owen, Denzel, Jodie Foster and Christopher Plummer!). One of the more relentlessly intense works in recent memory if Cuaron's Children of Men. This Red(ford)bird is definitely threatened on the extinct list in Pollack's thriller; 3 Days of the Condor. I've previously extolled Taken and my more vengeful side continues to recommend. Terence Davies' Of Time and the City is a wonderful documentary very reminiscent of the director's visually-romanticized style. Leonard endorses Seabiscuit, Changing Lanes and True Blood - Season One. I say pass on the poor quality DVD of Time Limit and I've had enough of fiddling with T2 Judgment Day Skynet Edition (ba humbug).




T2 Judgment Day Skynet Edition BR - The Terminator is back, and he's almost human. His mission is protect the now adolescent John Connor from an even more indestructible Terminator - played by Robert Patrick with relentless intensity, though little of Arnold's menace. If it weren't for the bodies he indiscriminately leaves in his wake, Patrick's T-1000 would have more in common with Malkovich's Mitch Leary from In the Line of Fire than with Schwarzenegger's Terminator. But that's just one of the many ways Cameron made sure the audience would not come to feel that the sequel was merely a warmed over version of the original. Sarah Connor (again played by Linda Hamilton, now buff and brooding) is in a prison hospital for the criminally insane. She suffers from apocalyptic delusions and wants desperately to see her son. Dr. Silberman thinks she's too dangerous even for that, and would only try to make another escape. He's not wrong. Edward Furlong, at 14, certainly looked the part of Sarah's son, but I found him at times a little self-conscious (and who wouldn't be in such company in their first screen role), though in key moments he was just what Cameron and we needed. Blu-ray Release date: May 19th, 2009

BR  - The movie interweaves the stories of owner Charles Hunter (Jeff Bridges), trainer Tom Smith (Chris Cooper), jockey Red Pollard (Tobey Maguire) and the horse himself (more like eight different horses, depending on the mood and traits required in a given scene). It was an unlikely confluence of troubled lives - redeemed, as it were, by the horse himself. The horse became a national hero at a time when the country needed one, just as we were climbing out of the Great Depression. So, Gary Ross's movie is frankly ambitious, since it is not merely the story of the horse, or the men that brought him to glory, but a piece of our country's history and our love affair with Seabisuit and of heroes that he intends to tell. Blu-ray Release date: May 26th, 2009

Inside Man
BR  - The kind of intelligent entertainment that has not been Hollywood’s specialty for the past 40 years makes a comeback in the directorial hands of Spike Lee. Confounding all the expectations that could be formed for a movie in which, as a press release put it, “a tough cop, Detective Frazier (Denzel Washington), matches wits with a clever bank robber, Dalton (Clive Owen), in a tense hostage drama,” Inside Man is neither a formula commercial project nor the kind of cynical exercise that comes to life only in marginal winks and flashes. Lee and screenwriter Russell Gewirtz have made a film in which pleasures, tensions, and calculations that would be peripheral (at best) in a standard heist movie become central. Blu-ray Release date: May 26th, 2009

Revolutionary Road
BR  - The Wheelers, Frank and April, are blinded by love into believing life together will allow them to fulfill their fantasies. Their problem is, they have no fantasies. Instead, they have yearnings -- a hunger for something more than a weary slog into middle age. Billy Wilder made a movie in 1955 called "The Seven Year Itch" about a restlessness that comes into some marriages when the partners realize the honeymoon is over and they're married for good and there's an empty space at the center. Blu-ray Release date: June 2nd, 2009

The Machinist
BR  - Thanks to the amazing portrait by Bale and some stunning cinematography by Xavi Giménez, Anderson creates a haunting visual maze, a surreal reflection of Reznick’s state of mind, where he never misses an opportunity to give us hits by referring to Kafka, Dostoyevsky, Polanski and Hitchcock. “The Machinist” is a seductive journey beyond the borders of sanity and reality. Blu-ray Release date: May 19th, 2009

Children of Men
BR  - The time is the near future when our species becomes infertile - for what reason the movie remains mum. It has been 18 years already since the last birth of a human child. It is a time when every citizen makes the youngest person alive a celebrity of hope - for future generations, perhaps. The look of the film, the sets and art design, the photography, is as bleak as the chances for our survival. Anarchy is rampant. Immigrants are rounded up and caged as if they were prisoners of war. England, more a police state than anything resembling the parliamentary government of former times, has closed its borders to immigration and is at war with a rebel group who supports immigrant rights. Blu-ray Release Date: May 26th, 2009

The Decameron
BR  - The trilogy of The Decameron, The Canterbury Tales and the Arabian Tales of 1001 Nights create a mythical world where the nature of sex can be explored. The bawdy nature of the original stories helps to do this, but the fact that the originals are made up of many tales is important too. An effect that increases during the trilogy is the use of the frame. In The Decameron we see Pasolini, playing a pupil of the artist Giotto framing a scene with his hands. In the next scene we se e the people in the frame turned into a mural. Blu-ray Release Date: April 27th, 2009

Powder Blue
BR  - I felt compelled to write about Powder Blue as it game me a shade of Déjà vu for Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia. Another piece of cinema garnering divergent love/hate responses. While many critics seem to have panned with authority, Timothy Linh Bui written and directed offering, much of the general public seem less dismissive and some are even quite enamored. The film's heavy and obvious melodrama - almost reminiscent of the golden-age of Hollywood - will allow jaded viewers, who are unwilling to bend around its irrational conventions, the excuse to openly dismiss the film's objectivity. Some have become over-exposed to films with the prospect of another set of divergent characters who are depressed, withdrawn, lonely and who are markedly distinct in quality or character. Obviously they must intertwine and their bonding brings about revelation... maybe even happiness. And what is so wrong with that? Well, nothing really. Blu-ray Release date: May 26th, 2009

Changing Lanes
BR  - Changing Lanes touches on one of the core values of Western – and in particular, American – society. Despite the images under the opening credits (a car gradually drifting out of its lane) and its sardonic marketing (“One wrong turn deserves another”), Changing Lanes is not about changing lanes; it’s about doing whatever is possible to stay in one’s lane, no matter the cost. We all know what this feels like: to be so focused on an objective in this or that chapter of our life that we suffer nothing to derail us, even when that derailment provides a much needed opportunity for rethinking our goals. Blu-ray Release date: May 19th, 2009

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. Blu-ray Release date: May 12th, 2009

3 Days of the Condor
BR  - 1975 was a banner year for cinema, and Condor may have gotten a little lost alongside the likes of One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest, Shampoo, Dog Day Afternoon, Toute une vie, Barry Lyndon, Amarcord, Nashville, Jaws, L'histoire d'Adele H., and The Man Who Would Be King. Yet today I think the movie holds up quite well. The spy thriller machinations of the story do not embarrass; Owen Roizman's cinematography is state of the art in the truest sense and never brings attention to itself as was common in the early seventies (what with the love affair with the zoooom lens in bloom); there are no out of place Oscar-reaching songs; Sydney Pollack's direction of Robert Redford (this would be their 4th of 7 films together) and Faye Dunaway make the impossible: plausible. Blu-ray Release date: May 19th, 2009

M. Butterfly - Regardless of the fact that the film was adapted from a major, award-winning play and had a relatively high budget for a Cronenberg film (he was able, for the first time, to film outside of North America in locations as far-flung as The Great Wall of China, Budapest, and Paris), the film tanked in a major way at the box office at the end of 1993. For this, one can probably blame Warner Bros., who clearly had no idea how to market this film, but one can blame equally a viewing public whose response to two men kissing on screen (even if they are supposed to think one of them is a woman) is squeamish at best, and whose appetite for cross-dressing surprises, if it existed at all, was probably sated by Neil Jordan’s The Crying Game a year earlier. Since then, the film virtually has vanished from public memory and video store shelves, available only as a pan-and-scan videotape release and featureless laserdisc. DVD Release Date: May 26th, 2009

Of Time and the City - Terence Davies' ode to his native Liverpool has wowed audiences and critics alike after being hailed as the highlight of the Cannes Film Festival where it received its premiere. This is a spectacular return to form by Davies, long-hailed as one of Britain's greatest filmmakers. Of Time and the City is an illuminating and heartfelt work, powerfully evoking life in post-war Britain while exploring the nature of love, memory, and the toll that the passing years takes on the cities and communities that we cherish. This is no simple documentary; it is an entrancing piece of autobiographical cinema that reaches far beyond the city in which it is set, weaving a rich tapestry from archive and contemporary footage, music, voice, literary quotation, personal reminiscence and wickedly funny observation. BFI Release Date: March 30th, 2009

Circle of Iron
BR  - David Carradine says that Circle of Iron (1978) is among his personal favorites and adds that "To me it will always be The Silent Flute," a title he prefers over the studio picked Circle of Iron or the other popular alternate title, The Flying Fists of Horror. Director Richard Moore concurs with Carradine and thought Circle of Iron "too macho," but gamely bowed to the studio's wishes. Circle of Iron is billed as an adventure epic originally conceived of by Bruce Lee that was then taken to the next production level by actor James Coburn, and ultimately adapted to the screen by scribes Stirling Silliphant (who won an Academy Award for his script to In the Heat of the Night) and Stanley Mann (whose writing credits would later include Conan the Destroyer). Bruce Lee died before the film was made and David Carradine took on the project - a move that surely left a sour taste in the mouth of Bruce Lee fans that feel Lee was already wrongly usurped of his role in the Kung Fu television series by Carradine. Blu-ray Release date: May 19th, 2009

True Blood - Season One
BR  - HBO's True Blood is based on the Sookie Stackhouse series of Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris (which first saw the light of night in 2001, now at book #10.) Directed by Alan Ball (American Beauty, Six Feet Under), the series is another and very successful attempt at re-inventing the vampire mythology – something like Buffy for adults, with a little X-Men thrown in for good measure. Blu-ray Release date: May 19th, 2009

Time Limit - Directed by actor Karl Malden, Time Limit is a courtroom drama minus the courtroom. Army Colonel William Edwards (Richard Widmark) is investigating the case of Major Harry Cargill (Richard Basehart), accused of collaborating with the enemy while he and his unit were held captive in a Korean POW camp. Cargill freely admits his guilt, and evidence proves that he signed a germ-warfare confession, and broadcast anti-American speeches over Korean radio. In fact, it would be a simple open and shut case were it not for Basehart's refusal to defend himself. Arousing further suspicion is the fact that Basehart's collaboration with the enemy immediately followed the death of two of his soldiers, and the surviving members in the unit all recite an identical, rehearsed account of those deaths. Under enormous pressure to take his depositions and press for a swift court-martial, Edwards delves into the mystery, refusing to accept superficial explanations for the events in question. When the truth is finally revealed by Lieutenant George Miller (Rip Torn), it sheds a completely new light on Cargill's behavior. DVD Release Date: May 12th, 2009

Man Hunt - One of the best-loved of Lang's spy dramas, MAN HUNT is a superbly exciting, tightly constructed picture which stars Pidgeon, terrific as Thorndike, a big-game hunter in the Bavarian Alps who accidentally discovers that he has a chance to assassinate Hitler. Apprehended by Gestapo leader Quive-Smith (Sanders), he refuses to sign a confession and is beaten and left for dead. With the help of a friendly youngster (McDowall), Thorndike stows away on a Danish steamer. Also on board, however, is the mysterious, umbrella-wielding Mr. Jones (Carradine), who has Thorndike's passport and has taken his identity. Befriended by a friendly cockney prostitute (Bennett, rarely better) in London, Thorndike eventually has a memorable showdown with Jones in a subway tunnel. Our dashing hero isn't out of danger yet, though; Quive-Smith threatens as well, and it's up to a hatpin to save the day. DVD Release Date: May 19th, 2009

Lions For Lambs
BR  - But Michael Matthew Carnahan’s script and Redford’s assured direction have the smarts to make the static seem kinetic. The back-and-forth between Cruise and Streep, in particular, is electric; this will, if there’s any justice, see Cruise finally win an Oscar. Perhaps spurred on by working opposite the screen’s most accomplished actress, the world’s biggest star is on Magnolia form, bringing that almost creepy charisma to bear as a highly influential senator. Blu-ray Release Date: May 19th, 2009



Next 2 weeks on the Calendar

Week of May 18th, 2009

A Bug's Life [Blu-ray] (John Lasseter, 1998) Disney

Batman 20th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray] (Tim Burton, 1989) Warner

Catlow (Sam Wanamaker, 1971) Warner

Changing Lanes [Blu-ray] (Roger Michell, 2002) Paramount

Circle of Iron [Blu-ray] (Richard Moore, 1978) Blue Underground

El Dorado 2-disc SE (Howard Hawks, 1966) - Paramount

Electric Blanket (Assi Dayan, 1995) SISU Home Entertainment

The Friends of Eddie Coyle (Peter Yates, 1974) Criterion

Lions for Lambs [Blu-ray] (Robert Redford, 2007) United Artists

The Machinist [Blu-ray] (Brad Anderson, 2004) Paramount

Man Hunt (Fritz Lang, 1941) 20th Century Fox

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance 2-disc SE (John Ford, 1962) - Paramount

Paycheck [Blu-ray] (John Woo, 2003) Paramount

Pigs, Pimps & Prostitutes: 3 Films by Shohei Imamura - Pigs and Battleships (Shohei Imamura, 1962), The Insect Woman (Shohei Imamura, 1963), Intentions of Murder (Shohei Imamura, 1964) - Criterion

Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1960's Vol. 1 - Warner
Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1970's Vol. 1 - Warner

The Seventh Veil (Compton Bennett, 1945) R2 UK Odeon Entertainment

Spy Game [Blu-ray] (Tony Scott, 2001) Universal Home Video

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Skynet Edition) [Blu-ray] (James Cameron, 1991) Lions Gate
Terminator 2: Judgment Day Complete Collector's Set (for the Endoskull) [
Blu-ray] (James Cameron, 1991) Lions Gate Home Ent

Three Days of the Condor [Blu-ray] (Sydney Pollack, 1975) Paramount

True Blood: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] - Warner

Valkyrie (Single-Disc Edition) (Bryan Singer, 2008) United Artists

Valkyrie (Two-Disc Special Edition + Digital Copy) (Bryan Singer, 2008) United Artists
Valkyrie [
Blu-ray] (Bryan Singer, 2008) United Artists

Yonkers Joe (Robert Celestino, 2008) Magnolia


Week of May 25th, 2009

À l'aventure (Jean-Claude Brisseau, 2009) R2 UK Axiom

A Thousand Years of Good Prayers (Wayne Wang, 2007) Magnolia

All the Days Before Tomorrow (François Dompierre, 2007) Vanguard Cinema

Children of Men [Blu-ray] (Alfonso Cuarón, 2006) Universal Studios

Cinderella Man [Blu-ray] (Ron Howard, 2005) Universal Studios

Falling Down [Blu-ray] (Joel Schumacher, 1993) Warner

Field of Dreams [Blu-ray] (Phil Alden Robinson, 1989) Universal Studios

Il Grido (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1957) R2 UK Master of Cinema

Inside Man [Blu-ray] (Spike Lee, 2006) Universal Studios

Killshot (John Madden, 2008) Weinstein

Lola Montès (Max Ophüls, 1955) R2 UK Second Sight

M Butterfly (David Cronenberg, 2009) Warner Home 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

The Michael Haneke Trilogy (The Seventh Continent, Benny’s Video and 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance) - R2 UK Artificial Eye

Philippe Garrel x 2 (Two-Disc Set) - (I Can No Longer Hear the Guitar, Emergency Kisses) - Zeitgeist

Powder Blue [Blu-ray] (Timothy Linh Bui, 2009) Image Entertainment

Princess of Nebraska (Wayne Wang, 2007) Magnolia

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves [Blu-ray] (Kevin Reynolds, 1991) Warner

The State of Things (Wim Wenders, 1982) R2 UK Axiom

Sky Crawlers [Blu-ray] (Mamoru Oshii, 2008) Sony Pictures

Tokyo! (Joon-ho Bong, Leos Carax and Michel Gondry, 2008) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment

True Romance [Blu-ray] (Tony Scott , 1993) Warner

Zabriskie Point (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1970) Warner Home Video

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