Newsletter - FOR THE WEEK OF June 1st, 2009


This Week's Highlights

Kaisan baari log! - another week of entertaining films-to-digital with a few solid recommendations  - 14 new reviews/comparisons in total. Murnau, Godard, Pixar animation, Clint Eastwood and more all touched upon this past week.... some Calendar Updates, a new contest (great prize) and more.....
TOOLBAR - 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 DVDBeaver homepage has a new look! It's wider, has an easily accessible  site search function and is marginally more organized (still working on the clutter!).
June 1st CONTEST - identify the clip on the CONTEST PAGE to win brand new sealed DVD of Masters of Cinema's Il Grido - 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


- Blu-rays from only £8.98 at Amazon UK HERE


• 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!):

Daisies (Vera Chytilová, 1966) R2 UK Second Run

Natural Born Killers (Unrated Director's Cut) [Blu-ray] (Oliver Stone, 1994) Warner

Sunshine Cleaning [Blu-ray]  (Christine Jeffs, 2008) Overture

Grey Gardens (Michael Sucsy, 2009) HBO

The Ninth Gate [Blu-ray] (Roman Polanski, 1999) Lionsgate

Chaos [Blu-ray] (Tony Giglio, 2005) Lionsgate

Paris 36 (Christophe Barratier, 2008) Sony Pictures

King Eagle (Cheh Chang, 1971) Image Entertainment

The Garth Method (Gregory Pakis, 2004) Vanguard

Andrzej Munk Trilogy – Facets

Phoebe in Wonderland (Daniel Barnz, 2007) Image Entertainment

Colorful (Ryutaro Nakamura, 2000) Adv Films

The Simpsons: The Complete Twelfth Season - Twentieth Century Fox

Explicit Ills - [Blu-ray] (Mark Webber, 2008) Peace Arch Home Entertainment

Coraline (Henry Selick, 2009) Universal Studios

Coraline [Blu-ray] (Henry Selick, 2009) Universal Studios

Goodbye Baby [Blu-ray] (Daniel Schechter, 2007) Cinevolve Studios

St. Elmo's Fire [Blu-ray] (Joel Schumacher, 1985) Sony Pictures

Starman [Blu-ray] (John Carpenter, 1984) Sony Pictures

The Class [Blu-ray] (Laurent Cantet, 2008) Sony Pictures

About Last Night... [Blu-ray] (Edward Zwick, 1986) Sony Pictures

Creepshow [Blu-ray (George A. Romero, 1982) Warner

Coraline [Blu-ray] (Henry Selick, 2009) Universal Studios


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):
Monster's Inc. in hi-def is probably the best looking digital animation I've ever seen. Period. I got quite a kick out of BFI's masterful rendering of The Bed Sitting Room in hi-def. Wonderful. And although a totally different film experience - ditto for their Blu-ray of Primitive London. Well, there aren't many surprises with Kino's treatment of Murnau and we're appreciative of Gregory identifying such with Tartuffe and Faust. I felt the similar when I looked at Koch-Lorber's Une femme mariée. I certainly don't dispute Leonard's conclusion regarding the image quality of Eastwood's Gran Torino - but I really warmed to the film in my subsequent viewings. Glory is an excellent film and faithful looking Blu-ray - same sentiments for Miracle. I liked the noirish Out of Time a lot more than many but I still shake my fist at MGM until they consistently utilize AVC! Spy Game and Fatal Attraction supply entertainment if nothing overly memorable. Paycheck probably to an even lesser degree.


Faust - In collaboration with the screenwriter Hans Kyser, Murnau fused Faust's script from German folk legend and the works of Goethe, Gounod, and Marlowe (particularly using the latter's tone). Faust's tale is a classic one of a man who sells his soul to the devil. In an attempt to gain control of the Earth, Mephisto (Emil Jannings) wagers an angel (Werner Fuetterer) that he can corrupt the soul of the elderly professor Faust (Gosta Ekman). As the Horsemen of the Apocalypse ride demonically through the sky, Mephisto towers over Faust's hometown unleashing a plague that spreads amongst its inhabitants. Faust, unable to find a cure for the citizens who are dropping dead around him, renounces both God and science invoking the aid of Satan through a mysterious book that he chances across. Kino DVD Release Date: March 17th, 2009

Tartuffe - Unjustly neglected for decades, perhaps because of its low-key nature compared with Murnau's more grand masterpieces, this delightful curiosity is more than a mere trifle. Tartuffe affirms Murnau as a master of multifarious cinematic disciplines: from the set-based dreams of Faust and Sunrise, to the naturalist landscapes of Nosferatu, City Girl, and Tabu. In Tartuffe we find an intimate Murnau, relying on close-ups and the performances of his actors to create magic. Kino DVD Release Date: March 17th, 2009

BR - Chevy Chase plays Irwin Fletcher, an investigative journalist based in Los Angeles. He's been researching drug dealing in the Venice area when he is approached by Alan Stanwyck (Tim Matheson) who contracts Fletch to kill him a week from now. Because Fletch has been disguised as a homeless beachcomber, Stanwyck assumes he has nothing or no one to live for and would be just the fellow to put him out of his misery and so avoid a painful death from some degenerative disease. Blu-ray Release date: June 2nd, 2009

BR - Nineteen seventy-nine wasn't a good year for the United States. In fact, the country was in such a severe state of political and economic turmoil that inflation was at an all-time high, and employment an all-time low. Between the gas shortage, the threat of nuclear weapons, the Iranian hostage crisis, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, America was hit badly during the height of the Cold War. Nothing it seemed could shake it from its sociopolitical slump. That is, until February 22, 1980, when a group of amateur athletes hit the ice to defeat the Soviet Union -- the world's greatest reigning hockey team -- and went on to win the gold medal at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, NY. Blu-ray Release date: June 16th, 2009

Out of Time
BR - Washington is one of the most likable of actors, which is essential to this character, preventing us from concluding that he's getting what he deserves. Mendes makes the ex-wife Alex into a curiously forgiving character, who feels little rancor for the straying Matt and apparently still likes him; maybe there would have been more suspense if she were furious with him. Saana Latham has a tricky role as Ann -- trickier the deeper we go into the plot -- and is plausible at many different speeds, and Dean Cain is convincingly vile as the violent husband. John Billingsley is Chae, the local medical examiner who is Matt's sidekick and supplies low-key, goofy support in some tight situations. Blu-ray Release date: June 2nd, 2009

Spy Game
BR - There are certain expected clichés for the genre, and most of them are present in Spy Game, which is not necessarily a bad thing. But we are spared one of the most common – in every sense of the word. The movie starts with what turns out to be a botched rescue attempt in a Chinese prison by Brad Pitt's character, Tom Bishop. (The person Bishop was trying to secure an early release for is not made known to us for quite some while.) Bishop is captured and tortured, and a bad outcome is expected sooner rather than later. His former colleague at the CIA, Nathan Muir (Redford), learns of this from a contact in Hong Kong on the day of his retirement from the company. (For some reason I keep seeing flashes of Joe Turner – the irony was irresistible.) Blu-ray Release date: May 26th, 2009

Gran Torino
BR - Gran Torino is set in a contemporary Midwestern town where the neighborhood has become gradually infested (I think that’s the right word) with aliens, specifically the Hmong – a refugee people from Southeast Asia. Eastwood, who had promised himself a few years back that he would retire to the other side of the camera, got caught up in this story and agreed to direct and to play its lead character, Walt Kowalski, a man haunted by what he saw or was part of during the Korean War and has since devolved into the very essence of the American racist. Blu-ray Release date: June 9th, 2009

Une femme mariée - Long out-of-circulation and unavailable on home video, Jean-Luc Godard’s 1964 masterpiece Une femme mariée, fragments d’un film tourné en 1964 en noir et blanc [A Married Woman: Fragments of a Film Shot in 1964 in Black and White] has, until now, represented the ostensibly ‘missing’ key work from the first, zeitgeist-defining phase of JLG’s filmography. The feature which bridges the gap between Bande à part and Alphaville, Une femme mariée is, nevertheless, a galaxy, or gallery, unto itself — a lucid, complex, profoundly funny series of portraits, etched with Godardian acids, of the wife that represents either a singular case, or a Masters of Cinema example, of “a”/”the” married woman, and the men in her orbit. Koch DVD Release Date: June 2nd, 2009

Primitive London
BR - Primitive London was a Xerox, by way of those jaunty "Look at Life" programme fillers, of Gualtiero Jacopetti's 1961 hit, Mondo Cane. Jacopetti travelled the world in quest of savage sexual rites to capture and expose. The world paid its respects at the box office. Klinger and Tenser, cinema owners, skin-flick promoters, spotted a trend. They signed on as executive producers of this daring new hybrid: part tit-show, part satire, part tabloid editorial. Primitive London never strayed far from its Soho roots - keeping the emphasis on that "prim". Miller produced, wrote and directed. Long (future director of Adventures of a Plumber's Mate, On the Game and Naughty) operated the camera. Blu-ray Release date: May 25th, 2009

Fatal Attraction
BR - ''Fatal Attraction,'' which opens today at the Paramount and other theaters, is a thoroughly conventional thriller at heart, but its heart is not what will attract notice. As directed by Mr. Lyne, who also made ''9 1/2 Weeks'' and ''Flashdance,'' it has an ingeniously teasing style that overrules substance at every turn. Mr. Lyne, who displays a lot more range this time, takes a brilliantly manipulative approach to what might have been a humdrum subject and shapes a soap opera of exceptional power. Most of that power comes directly from visual imagery, for Mr. Lyne is well versed in making anything - a person, a room, a pile of dishes in a kitchen sink - seem tactile, rich and sexy. Blu-ray Release date: June 9th, 2009

The Bed Sitting Room
BR - In 1968, United Artists gave Richard Lester a million-dollar budget and a free rein, out of which he made what must have been the most noncommercial film he could imagine. In the aftermath of World War III (which lasts for 2 minutes and 28 seconds), Sir Ralph Richardson finds himself mutating into a furnished apartment, Rita Tushingham gives birth to something or other, the BBC makes house calls, the British middle class spends its dying days riding in circles through the remains of the Underground, and civil defense officers Peter Cook and Dudley Moore periodically descend from a balloon to exhort the populace to "Keep moving! Keep moving!" Lester, not too surprisingly, didn't work again for five years, but this 1969 feature is one of his best efforts, a remarkably sharp and deadly satire. Blu-ray Release date: May 25th, 2009

BR - The usually vapid Ben Affleck plays Jennings, a computer genius who hires himself to various companies to figure out ways to get the jump on the competition. At the end of each assignment he gets a fat paycheck and a memory wipe – just the weeks involved in the R&D – hell, that might want to use this guy again some day. One day, zillionaire Rethrick (Aaron Eckhart) offers Jennings a chance for a job so huge he can permanently retire – well, not too permanently, he hopes. It is expected to take three years of his life inside a high tech compound, but who cares when you have no soul to begin with! When Jennings "wakes up" three years later he finds that the cool $92,000,000 he just earned disappears almost before his eyes. Worse yet, there are guys out there that want to kill him and the feds are on his trail. What 's up with that? Blu-ray Release date: May 19th, 2009

BR - Glory is, without question, one of the best movies ever made about the American Civil War (a.k.a. "The War Between the States"). The reason isn't just the way in which Kevin Jarre's script illuminates a frequent oversight of history books, nor is it the fine acting or epic feel that director Edward Zwick achieves on a modest budget - although those elements are part of Glory's effectiveness. Rather, it is the way in which the filmmakers weave an impressively large historical tapestry without ever losing sight of the characters that make up the individual threads. Glory has important things to say, yet it does so without becoming pedantic. Blu-ray Release date: June 2nd, 2009

Monster's Inc.
BR - But the creature Sulley most resembles is a human, thanks to John Goodman's soothing baritone and an emotive puss designed by the whizzes at Emeryville's Pixar. A big guy who slouches a bit as he schlepps off to his factory job, Sulley could be somebody's dad or grandpa, albeit one with more back hair than most. Blu-ray Release Date: May 20th, 2009


Next 2 weeks on the Calendar

Week of June 1st, 2009


Daisies (Vera Chytilová, 1966) R2 UK Second Run

Dark Blue [Blu-ray] (Ron Shelton, 2002) MGM

Defiance (Edward Zwick, 2008) Paramount
Defiance [
Blu-ray] (Edward Zwick, 2008) Paramount

Une Femme Mariee (Jean-Luc Godard, 1964) Koch Lorber Films

Glory [Blu-ray] (Edward Zwick, 1989) Sony Pictures

The Graduate [Blu-ray] (Mike Nichols, 1967) MGM

Out of Time [Blu-ray] (Carl Franklin, 2003) MGM

Revolutionary Road (Sam Mendes, 2008) Paramount
Revolutionary Road [
Blu-ray] (Sam Mendes, 2008) Paramount

Road House [Blu-ray] (Rowdy Herrington, 1989) MGM

Shallow Grave [Blu-ray] (Danny Boyle, 1994) R'B' 4dvd

Tender Mercies (Bruce Beresford, 1983) LionsGate


Week of June 8th, 2009


Être et avoir (Nicolas Philibert, 2002) R2 UK Artificial Eye

Fatal Attraction [Blu-ray] (Adrian Lyne, 1987) Paramount

Gran Torino (Clint Eastwood, 2008) Warner Home Video
Gran Torino [
Blu-ray] (Clint Eastwood, 2008) Warner Home Video

In Love We Trust (Wang Xiaoshuai, 2007) Film Movement

Indecent Proposal [Blu-ray] (Adrian Lyne, 1993) Paramount

The International (Tom Tykwer, 2009) Sony Pictures

The International [Blu-ray] (Tom Tykwer, 2009) Sony Pictures

Jack Lemmon Film Collection - Phffft! (1954) Operation Mad Ball (1957) Notorious Landlady, The (1962) Under The Yum Yum Tree (1963) Good Neighbor Sam (1964) - Sony Pictures

Partner (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1968) R2 UK BFI

Perry Mason: Season 4, Vol. 1 - Paramount

The Siege [Blu-ray] (Edward Zwick, 1998) 20th Century Fox

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