DVDBeaver Newsletter - May 28th, 2007


Ohayou gozaimasu! - We have 13 new reviews (4 of which hold comparisons to alternate editions) with two major auteur multi-film boxsets, classic TV, essential westerns (pasta and classic flavored), a 70's hidden gem, modern Asian and independent - plus our continued calendar updates.


FORMAT WAR NEWS: Although Beaver has remained at arm's length on this topic - our discussion ListServ did voice its collective opinion recently. The jury is still out whether either format will survive beyond the high-tech crowd. The leaning, at this point, is to HD over Blu-ray for 2 major reasons:

1) HD is region free where Blu-ray continues to support that ridiculously unfair (to consumers) disc coding practice.

2) HD are producing more (if still few) classic film titles on their format (Searcher's, Robin Hood, Casablanca etc.) where the Blu-ray format are focusing more on modern blockbusters (if also having more titles at present).

NOTE: We feel that the fact that Blu-ray have not finalized their interactive component called Blu-ray Disc JAVA (BD JAVA) - scheduled for Oct 2007 - is not an important issue.


'LAST GASP' SALE': The following 30 Criterion DVDs are all 35% OFF !: Seven Samurai - 3-Disc Remastered Edition (1954), Grey Gardens (1976), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), The 400 Blows (1959), Amarcord (1974), Viridiana (1962), Playtime (1967), The Tin Drum (1980), Solo Con Tu Pareja (1991), Tanner '88 (1988), Late Spring (1949), Kind Hearts and Coronets (1950), Equinox (1970), My Own Private Idaho (1991), Naked (1994), Do The Right Thing (1989), Shoot the Piano Player (1962), 3 Women (1977), Young Mr. Lincoln (1939), The King of Kings (1927), Hoop Dreams (1994), Fanny and Alexander (The Theatrical Version) (1983), The Children Are Watching Us (1947), Harlan County, U.S.A. (1976), Slacker (1991), Smiles Of A Summer Night (1957), The Complete Mr. Arkadin (aka Confidential Report) (1962), Unfaithfully Yours (1948), Kicking & Screaming (1995), Monsters And Madmen (The Haunted Strangler / Corridors of Blood / The Atomic Submarine / First Man into Space) (1959)


CAN YOU HELP?: DVDBeaver would not exist without the support of many patrons - those who generously donate, and especially those who use our Amazon 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!):

NOTEWORTHY... or how to make a cineophile broke (more broke?):

The First Films of Samuel Fuller (I Shot Jesse James, The Baron of Arizona and The Steel Helmet) Criterion/Eclipse, House of Games (David Mamet, 1987) Criterion Collection, The Milky Way (Luis Bunuel, 1969) Criterion Collection

Cría cuervos (Carlos Saura, 1976) Criterion Collection, Zodiac (David Fincher, 2007) Paramount Home Video, Perfume - The Story Of A Murderer (Tom Tykwer, 2006) Paramount Home Video and Inland Empire (2-disc) (David Lynch, 2006) Absurda / Rhino


The First Films of Samuel Fuller (I Shot Jesse James, The Baron of Arizona and The Steel Helmet) Criterion/Eclipse

House of Games (David Mamet, 1987) Criterion Collection

The Milky Way (Luis Bunuel, 1969) Criterion Collection

Cría cuervos (Carlos Saura, 1976) Criterion Collection

The Host (Collector's Edition) (Bong Joon-ho, 2006) Magnolia Pictures

The Simpsons - The Complete Tenth Season - 20th Century Fox

Zodiac (David Fincher, 2007) Paramount Home Video

Perfume - The Story Of A Murderer (Tom Tykwer, 2006) Paramount Home Video

Inland Empire (2-disc) (David Lynch, 2006) Absurda / Rhino

Heroes - Season 1 [HD DVD] (2006) Universal

Heroes - Season 1 (2006) Universal

Les Bonnes Femmes (Claude Chabrol, 1960) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment

The Raging Moon (Bryan Forbes, 1971) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment

The L-Shaped Room (Bryan Forbes, 1962) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment

Twisted Nerve (Roy Boulting, 1968) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment

Brothers in Law (Roy Boulting, 1957) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment

Girl in the Headlines (Michael Truman, 1963) R2 UK Odeon Entertainment

Breakaway (Henry Cass, 1955) R2 UK Odeon Entertainment

Happy Is the Bride (Roy Boulting, 1958) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment

The Eiger Sanction (Clint Eastwood, 1975) R2 UK Universal Pictures UK


RECOMMENDATIONS: Only my opinion here folks - The films of Late Ozu are in cinema's stratosphere and the DVDs are the best in the world (English subbed) for these late Ozu masterpieces! You deserve this one...

MGM DOESN'T SCREW-UP? Duck, You Sucker makes the entire Leone Anthology Box look worthy!

HMMMM... : The image on the SE of Rio Bravo is a personal preference, but the extras make it a great deal.

WONDERFUL SURPRISE: Straight Time is a highly impacting experience. I strongly recommend it.

PURE JOY: Many know far better than I the value of Chantal Akerman - 70's Collection. A refreshing new level...

CLASSIC TV GOLD: Personally I could watch the original television series Mission: Impossible all day long.


New Reviews:


Late Ozu - Master filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu directed fifty-three feature films over the course of his long career. Yet it was in the final decade of his life, his “old master” phase, that he entered his artistic prime. Centered more than ever on the modern sensibilities of the younger generation, these delicate family dramas are marked by an exquisite formal elegance and emotional sensitivity about birth and death, love and marriage, and all the accompanying joys and loneliness. Along with such better-known films as Floating Weeds and An Autumn Afternoon, these five works illustrate the worldly wisdom of one of cinema’s great artists at the height of his powers. the set contains the best available DVD editions of Early Spring (1956), Tokyo Twilight (1957), Equinox Flower (1958), Late Autumn (1960) and The End of Summer (1961). DVD Release Date: June 12th, 2007


Slade in Flame - The rock’n’roll movie Flame first hit the cinemas in 1975 and although more then 30 years have passed, it still holds up. The plot is intriguing, the cast well chosen and the music great. The movie centres itself around the Wolverhampton-based rock group Slade, who in the early 1970’s was the best selling British act since the Beatles. In the film they don’t play themselves though, but a working-class band called Flame.

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. But the specific IRA background of Coburn's Sean is as ultimately unimportant as the specific Mexican setting: with characteristic flamboyance, Leone is more concerned to build a composite of the all-purpose, all-causes revolutionary 'John Doe' from Sean's informed commitment and the naïve brute force of Steiger's Juan. DVD Release Date: June 5th, 2007

Rio Bravo - Arguably Hawks' greatest film, a deceptively rambling chamber Western made in response to the liberal homilies of High Noon. Here the marshal in need of help is Wayne, desperately fending off a clan of villains determined to release the murderer he's holding in jail until the arrival of the state magistrate. Unlike Cooper, however, he rejects rather than courts offers of help, simply because his supporters are either too old (Brennan), too young (Nelson), female (Dickinson) or alcoholic (Martin). Thus the film becomes an examination of various forms of pride, prejudice and professionalism, as the various outcasts slowly cohere through mutual aid to form one of the director's beloved self-contained groups. DVD Release Date: May 22nd, 2007

Escape to Canada - Ever since I went to the Toronto International Film Festival last year, I’ve entertained dreams of escaping to Canada. Albert Nerenberg’s documentary/promotional video explains why you should want to as well. Provided that you are a gay-rights lovin’, pot-smokin’ liberal.... DVD Release Date: April 17th, 2007

Breach - One of the strengths of Breach, a thriller that manages to excite and unnerve despite our knowing the ending, is how well it captures the utter banality of this man and his world. Unlike Kim Philby, an aristocratic figure who swanned across the world while passing classified British and American information to the Soviets, Mr. Hanssen, played by the stellar Chris Cooper, comes across as a middle manager type, a drone in a suit. The real double agent practiced his tradecraft in Washington and New York, not Cairo and Istanbul, and delivered the goods — more than 6,000 pages — in garbage bags secured with tape. With his weekend casuals and Ford Taurus, he might have been just another suburban dad bagging leaves. DVD Release Date: June 12th, 2007

Straight Time - Hard-bitten crime thriller with a moral: make an ex-con feel like an ex-con, and he'll be back to his old tricks with a stocking and a jemmy before you can say recidivist. Hoffman is the troubled Max, just released from San Quentin; Walsh is the sadistic parole officer; Busey is another old lag whose incompetence brings the central criminal plot to a halt; Russell is a young secretary who attempts to find Max a steady job. The film's conclusion meanders into conventional heist-gone-wrong territory, but the first act, in which Max fails to re-enter normal society, is a fresh and brilliant study of urban alienation. DVD Release Date: May 22nd, 2007

Above the Law - It’s easy to associate Hong Kong cinema with names like Jackie Chan, Chow Yun-fat, and John Woo. However, Hong Kong has long had a super-busy movie industry that rivaled Hollywood and Bollywood in sheer volume. What Hong Kong lacked in Hollywood money it made up with spectacular, real stunts. DVD Release Date: May 29th, 2007

Shanghai Express - Occupying center stage is Sammo Hung, of course--and not just because he’s the director. Despite his rotund physique, Hung is extremely quick, agile, and flexible. I remember seeing him do back flips and somersaults without any apparent problems. Hung’s sense of comedic timing rivals that of Jackie Chan. DVD Release Date: May 29th, 2007

Chantal Akerman - 70's Collection - Akerman the filmmaker came of age at the same time as the new age of feminism, and her films became key texts in the nascent field of feminist film theory. Feminism posed the apparently simple question of who speaks when a woman in film speaks (as character, as director ...); Akerman insisted convincingly that her films' modes of address rather than their stories alone are the locus of their feminist perspective. The many arguments about what form a "new women's cinema" should take revolved around a presumed dichotomy between so-called realist (meaning accessible) and avant-garde (meaning elitist) work; Akerman's films rendered such distinctions irrelevant and illustrated the reductiveness of the categories. DVD Release Date: April 18th, 2007

Letters From Iwo Jima - Enter Letters From Iwo Jima, which was drafted on a lark by Eastwood. Why not show the other side, the veteran moviemaker wondered. Produced with a $15 million budget (Flags had $55 million at its disposal), Letters was intended to be an art-house booster to Flags during Oscar season. However, with Flags losing steam, Eastwood and Spielberg pushed for Letters to be released in December 2006. Perhaps the Japanese-language half of the Iwo-Jima saga could carry the day. DVD Release Date: May 22nd, 2007

Mission: Impossible Second Season - An elite covert operations unit carries out highly sensitive missions subject to official denial in the event of failure, death or capture...
The head of the "Impossible Missions Force", a top-secret government group of operatives, is secretly communicated his next assignment. The elaborate use of electronic gadgetry, masters of disguise and detailed plans that require split-second timing made this TV show an "on the edge of your seater"! In Season Two Jim Phelps (Peter Graves) assembles a team that includes a master of disguise (Martin Landau), a femme fatale (Barbara Bain), an electronics whiz (Greg Morris), an incredibly strong man (Peter Lupus) plus an occasional guest star as a supplemental addition to the team! DVD Release Date: June 5th, 2007

Regular Lovers - Shot in lustrous black and white, Regular Lovers is a melancholy meditation upon both the events of May 1968 in Paris and a doomed love affair. Writer-director Philippe Garrel's son Louis (star of Bertolucci's The Dreamers) plays 20-year-old poet and student protester François, who falls for the beautiful sculptor Lilie (impressive newcomer Clotilde Hesme) during the numbed aftermath of the revolution. DVD Release Date: May 22nd, 2007

Next 2 weeks on the Calendar:


Week of May 28th, 2007


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

L'Amore Molesto (Mario Martone,1995) - R2 - Arrow Films

Artemisia (Agnès Merlet, 1997) R2 UK - Bluebell Films

Circle of Iron (2-Disc Special Edition) (Richard Moore, 1978) Blue Underground

Climates (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2006) R2 UK Artificial Eye

Cousin, cousine (Jean Charles Tacchella, 1975) R2-UK Arrow Films

Dirk Bogarde - The Screen Icons Collection (Accident, The Servant, The Blue Lamp, King And Country And The Sleeping) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment

Eisenstein Collection Vol.1 [Battleship Potemkin, Strike And October] R2 UK Tartan Video

Four Films From Fellini - La Dolce Vita ; I Vitelloni ; 8 1/2 ; Giuliette Degli Spiriti - R2 - Nouveaux Pictures

Free Zone (Amos Gitai, 2005) New Yorker

The Frighteners: Director's Cut [HD DVD] (Peter Jackson, 1996) Universal Studios

The Green Man (BBC Mini-series) R2 UK Cinema Club

Harold Lloyd Collection [10-disc] R2 UK - Optimum Home Entertainment 

James Mason - The Screen Icons Collection (The Man Between, Five Fingers, Man In Grey And Odd Man Out) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment

Kasaba / Clouds of May (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 1998 -99) R2 UK Artificial Eye

Katharine Hepburn Collection (Morning Glory / Undercurrent / Sylvia Scarlett / Without Love / Dragon Seed / The Corn Is Green) Warner Home Video

King of the Hill (Steven Soderbergh, 1993) R2 UK Universal Pictures UK

The Moon and Sixpence (Albert Lewin, 1943) Vci Video

Napoléon Bonaparte (Abel Gance, 1934) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment

Scouts to the Rescue (Alan James, 1939) Vci Video

Two-Lane Blacktop (Monte Hellman, 1971) R2 UK Universal Pictures UK


Week of June 4th, 2007


36 Hours (George Seaton, 1965) Warner Home Video

Les Bonnes Femmes (Claude Chabrol, 1960) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment

Brothers in Law (Roy Boulting, 1957) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment

The Cowboys (Mark Rydell, 1972) [HD DVD] Warner

The Cowboys (Mark Rydell, 1972) [Blu-ray] Warner

Dr. Crippen (Robert Lynn, 1962) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment

Duck, You Sucker (2-Disc Collector's Edition) (Sergio Leone, 1972) MGM

The Eiger Sanction (Clint Eastwood, 1975) R2 UK Universal Pictures UK

Happy Is the Bride (Roy Boulting, 1958) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment

Fantastic Voyage - Special Edition (Richard Fleischer, 1966) 20th Century Fox

The Family Way (Roy Boulting, 1966) R2 UK - Optimum Home Entertainment

Ghidorah: The Three-Headed Monster (Ishiro Honda, 1964) Classic Media

The Hill (Sidney Lumet, 1965) Warner Home Video

Jean-Luc Godard Collection Volume 1 (A Bout De Souffle, Passion, Alphaville and Made in the USA) R2 UK - Optimum Home Entertainment

Jean Renoir Collection (La Grande Illusion, Le Caporal Epingle, La Merseillaise, La Bete Humaine, Le Testamant Du Docteur Cordelier, Dejeuner Sur Herbe, Elena Et Les Hommes And Boudu Saved From Drowning) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment

The L-Shaped Room (Bryan Forbes, 1962) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment

The Magic Box (John Boulting, 1951) R2 UK Optimum

Martin & Lewis Collection - Vol. 2 (You're Never Too Young / Artists and Models / Living It up / Pardners / Hollywood or Bust) - Paramount Home Video

Mission Impossible - The Second TV Season (1966) Paramount Home Video

The Raging Moon (Bryan Forbes, 1971) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment

Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks, 1959) [HD DVD] Warner

Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks, 1959) [Blu-ray] Warner

Robocop - Lenticular Edition (Paul Verhoeven, 1987) MGM

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

Sergio Leone Anthology (The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly / A Fistful of Dollars / For a Few Dollars More / Duck, You Sucker) MGM

Seven Days to Noon (John Boulting/Roy Boulting, 1948) R2 UK Optimum

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

Twisted Nerve (Roy Boulting, 1968) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment

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

Warrior of Light (Monika Treut, 2001) New Yorker

WWII Collection 2: Heroes Fight for Freedom (6-disc) - Air Force (1943), Command Decision (1948), Hell to Eternity (1960), The Hill (1965), 36 Hours (1964), Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944) Warner Home Video


Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily...




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