DVDBeaver Newsletter - June 2nd, 2008

Isenmesez! - 11 more eclectic new reviews this week - 3 Blu-rays, 2 themed multi-film boxsets, classic TV, the weird and the wonderful. Some interesting calendar updates, a new contest with a BIG prize, sales listings and more.


FEATURE DVD OF THE MONTH chosen for June...


BLU-RAY BLOWOUT HERE - up to 50% OFF! Ex. Blade Runner (Five-Disc Complete Collector's Edition) [Blu-Ray] is $19, Eyes Wide Shut [Blu-ray] (1999) is $14.45 and many more... and also big savings on BLU-RAY bundles HERE


JUNE 2nd CONTEST - identify this CLIP AND June 9th's CLIP (posted next week) to win brand new Dirty Harry Ultimate Collection in Blu-Ray! Best of luck all! NOTE: Pleased wait to send both answers at once (this week and next weeks) after June 9th!


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

J'accuse! (Abel Gance, 1919) Flicker Alley

Rat-Trap (Adoor Gopalakrishnan, 1981) - R2 UK Second Run

Fukasaku Trilogy - Blackmail Is My Life, Black Rose Mansion and If You Were Young - R2 UK Tartan

Still Life (Zhang Ke Jia, 2006) R2 UK Bfi Video

Richard Attenborough - Screen Icons Collection - The Ship That Died Of Shame, Brighton Rock, Dunkirk, The Man Upstairs and Angry Silence - R2 UK Optimum

Girl on the Bridge (Patrice Leconte, 1999) Legend Films

Big Dreams Little Tokyo (Dave Boyle, 2006) Echo Bridge

Perhaps Love (Peter Chan, 2005) Tai Seng

Beowulf Director's Cut [Blu-ray] (Robert Zemeckis, 2007) Paramount

Tokyo Decadence (Ryu Murakami, 1991) Cinema Epoch

Marco Ferreri: The Collection - El Cochecito (1960)The Seed of Man (1969), La Grande Bouffe (1973), Don't Touch the White Woman (1974), Bye Bye Monkey (1978), Seeking Aylum (1979), Tales of Ordinary Madness (1981), The House of Smiles (1988) - Koch/Lorber

Joy House (Les Felins) (René Clément, 1964) Koch/Lorber

The Mummy [Blu-ray] (Stephen Sommers, 1999) Universal

Clear and Present Danger [Blu-ray] (Phillip Noyce, 1994) Paramount

Top Gun [Blu-ray] (Tony Scott, 1986) Paramount

Patriot Games [Blu-ray] (Patriot Games (1992) Paramount

The Hunt for Red October [Blu-ray] (John McTiernan, 1990) Paramount

The Sum of All Fears [Blu-ray] (Phil Alden Robinson, 2002) Paramount

Dirty Dancing (Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray] (Emile Ardolino, 1987) Lions Gate

Challenge of The Masters (Chia-Liang Liu, 1976) Tokyo Shock

21 (Robert Luketic, 2008) Sony Pictures

21 [Blu-ray] (Robert Luketic, 2008) Sony Pictures

Ken Russell at the BBC (3-disc - The Debussy Film, Dante’s Inferno, Always on Sunday, Isadora: The Biggest Dancer in the World, A Song of Summer, Dance of the Seven Veils) - BBC Warner

"Oppenheimer" (Barry Davis, 1980)- BBC Warner

Busby Berkeley Collection 2 - Gold Diggers of 1937 (1936), Gold Diggers in Paris (1938) , Hollywood Hotel (1937) and Varsity Show (1937) – Warner

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



ONE VOICE (not Ellsworth Monkton Toohey): We're running out of steam here folks. The short and sweet - Akasen Chitai / Yokihi is a must own DVD for anyone having an inkling to Mizoguchi and classic Japanese cinema. I really 'got into' Dirty Harry Ultimate Collection BR and recommend. The Catherine Deneuve Collection has great value - many previously unreleased films-to-DVD (for English locked audiences). I've always loved The Red Violin and the new LionsGate is the best of the three compared. Broken Trail BR is a great western and a reference quality image. Personally, I can't seem to get enough of both The Fugitive and Popeye the Sailor - 1938-1940. Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs remains fun, but a shade pricey.


New Reviews:

The Nude Vampire - Rollin's exploitation films could be seen as the link between the "traditional" French New Wave and the works of the more experimental Alain Robbe-Grillet (whose La Belle Captive quotes images from the later half of this film) with its surrealist-on-the-cheap touches and decadent Russian Roulette-playing upper class versus communal vampire hippies plot. Not as explicitly erotic as Rollin's later films - like LA VIOL DU VAMPIRE, LA VAMPIRE NUE still uses nudity as a teasing element - this is still quintessential Jean Rollin in its triumph of imagination over budgetary limitations.

The Catherine Deneuve Collection - Lions gate brings another pragmatic and valued Boxset with Deneuve in thriller with Alain Delon, a comedy with Yves Montand, director André Téchiné's Hôtel des Amériques with Patrick Dewaere. Another with Jean-Claude Brialy and one more with the giant-nosed Depardieu. Films included are Manon 70 (1968), Le Sauvage (1975), Hôtel des Amériques (1981), Le Choc (1982) and Fort Saganne (1984). DVD Release Date: June 10th, 2008

The Recruit BR - The Recruit was written primarily by Roger Towne - not to be confused with Robert Towne (Chinatown; Shampoo), whose major credit thus far was his screenplay adaptation of Malamud's novel, The Natural. He was helped in this endeavor by Kurt Wimmer and Mitch Glazer. The "nothing is as it seems" line is repeated as a mantra of sorts by Al Pacino's character. Walter Burke is a recruiter for the CIA. Or, is he? Burke aggressively recruits James Clayton (Colin Farrell), whose father disappeared years ago in what may have been a government covert operation. Did he? Was he? Was it? Blu-Ray Release date: June 3rd, 2008

Popeye the Sailor - 1938-1940 - Popeye is not your typical superhero: He is old. He is bald. He is short. He only has one eye. He constantly smokes his corncob pipe. He does not have teeth. He has tattooed, bulging forearms. He is illiterate and unrefined. Yet, these oddly unique qualities have helped this simple straight-talking, hard-hitting sailor win the hearts of many generations around the world. Popeye was a true hero of his time. By the mid-1930s, he surpassed even Disney's Mickey Mouse in popularity. With his charming "I Yam What I Yam" philosophy, the one-eyed sailor proudly expressed his genuineness, integrity, and take-charge personality, which made him stand out during the Depression era. DVD Release Date: June 17th, 2008

The Red Violin - Cremona, 1693: master violin maker Nicolo Bussotti (Cecchi) loses both wife and child to a difficult birth and adds their blood to the varnish on his latest and finest instrument. The tarot cards had, however, foretold a long life for the mother, a prediction with an element of truth as we follow the violin's across continents and centuries. In 1990s Montreal, Charles Morritz (Jackson) is appraises a collection of instruments for auction. He is about to stumble across the find of his career, the original, fabled 'Red Violin', but can he really bear to see it sold off for millions of dollars? From the team of Girard and McKellar, this is almost as rigorously structured as their earlier film, Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould. While the soundtrack playing of Joshua Bell and the keening, multifaceted orchestral score provide a connecting thread, the individual vignettes are rarely powerful enough to create a cumulative emotional pull. However, just when the proceedings seem in danger of drifting into exquisite academicism, along comes Jackson's intensely focused performance to demonstrate just why the enduring power of musical expression matters so much. DVD Release Date: June 3rd, 2008

Lisa and the Devil - Elke Sommer (Baron Blood) stars as Lisa, a young woman who finds herself lost in a large and imposing European city. Unable to find her way, she runs across a rich man (Eduardo Fajardo), his wife (Sylva Coscina) and their chauffeur (Gabriele Tinti). This unhappy trio (the wife, Sophia is having an affair with the chauffeur, George—and the husband knows it) offer Lisa a ride—which she willingly accepts. However, their car breaks down in front of a desolate old mansion—a house where a blind countess (Alida Valli) lives with her mentally disturbed son Max (Alessio Orano), and a manservant with a penchant for making mannequins who just may be Satan himself (Telly Savalas—who even sucks on a lollipop in this film).

Broken Trail BR - Robert Duvall stars as "Print" Ritter, an old cowhand who inherits his sister's ranch. She left it to him rather than to her own son, Tom Harte (Thomas Haden Church). To make things right again, Print decides to buy a team of mustangs and transport them across country to sell to the British army; the money they'll earn will be split evenly. Hence, Broken Trail becomes a road movie, complete with all the road movie staples. They meet all kinds of odd characters, from nasty villains to friendly musicians, but the key to Broken Trail is that they also meet five Chinese girls on their way to be sold into sexual slavery (an unusual, nostalgia-busting commentary on the too-recent past). Our two cowboys save the girls' lives and take them along on their journey. Blu-Ray Release Date: June 10th, 2008

Dirty Harry Ultimate Collection BR - Harold Francis "Dirty Harry" Callahan is a fictional San Francisco Police Department inspector in the films Dirty Harry (1971), Magnum Force (1973), The Enforcer (1976), Sudden Impact (1983), and The Dead Pool (1988). Clint Eastwood plays Callahan in all five films. From his debut in Dirty Harry, Callahan became the template for a new kind of movie cop: a borderline vigilante who doesn't hesitate when crossing professional and ethical boundaries in pursuit of his own vision of justice. The "Dirty Harry" archetype does not shy away from killing, either; all of the Dirty Harry films feature Callahan killing criminals. He justifies such conduct by saying that it "gets results" in cutting down crime. This rationale rarely impresses his superiors, who have threatened Callahan with suspension and firing many times. Blu-Ray Release Date: June 3rd, 2008

The Fugitive - Season Two Vol. 1 - I suspect the other trait that I am so keen on is The Fugitive's link to Film Noir. It is not a strong association but it does share some of the 'black cinema' style with an ex-convict character, occasional flashbacks, the heavy use of shadowy confine sequences and frequent circumstances of the economically depressed. Kimble floats from menial job to job (fruit-picker, cleaning man, farm hand, boxing cut-man etc.) meeting and helping often desperate characters - played by enduring stars (from season two - vol. 1) like Ed Begley, Suzanne Pleshette, Dabney Coleman, Kurt Russell, Leslie Nielsen, Tuesday Weld, Ed Binns , Ron Howard, Richard Anderson, Warren Oates and Strother Martin! DVD Release Date: June 10th, 2008

Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs - The Planet Express crew must work to fix rips between their universe and another inhabited by a planet-sized, tentacle alien which soon takes over the Earth and uses it's ability to control Fry to command an entire religion which takes over and convinces the inhabitants of Earth to abandon the Earth to live in a pseudo-heaven, leaving the robots of the world to inherit the planet! DVD Release Date: June 24th, 2008

Akasen Chitai / Yokihi - In Akasen Chitai director Kenji Mizoguchi once again explores the lives of the courtesans of Tokyo's Yoshiwara pleasure district but forgoes his customary lyricism, taking a more harshly realistic view than in earlier films as SISTERS OF THE GION. Set in a brothel ironically dubbed Dreamland, the film allows five of its occupants to unfold their lives. Yokihi is a panoramic period romance about the legendarily beautiful and graceful common-born woman loved by the last T'ang Emperor. The pure love shared by the royal couple is offset by the political turmoil and corruption of the 8th century, as a dynasty breathes its last dying gasps. DVD Release Date: May 26th, 2008

Next 2 weeks on the Calendar:

Week of June 2nd, 2008

A Bridge Too Far [Blu-ray] (Richard Attenborough, 1977) MGM/Fox

Angels One Five (George More O'Ferrall, 1952) R2 UK - Optimum Home Entertainment

Battle of Britain [Blu-ray] (Guy Hamilton, 1969) MGM/Fox

Control (Anton Corbijn, 2007) Weinstein

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

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

Dirty Harry (Ultimate Collector's Edition) (Dirty Harry Special Edition, Magnum Force Deluxe Edition, The Enforcer Deluxe Edition, Sudden Impact Deluxe Edition, The Dead Pool Deluxe Edition) Warner Home Video

Dirty Harry (Ultimate Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray] (Dirty Harry Special Edition, Magnum Force Deluxe Edition, The Enforcer Deluxe Edition, Sudden Impact Deluxe Edition, The Dead Pool Deluxe Edition) Warner Home Video

Diva - Meridian Collection -ReMastered (Jean-Jacques Beineix, 1981) - Lionsgate

Face/Off [Blu-ray] (John Woo, 1997) Paramount

The Godfather Trilogy: Remastered Collection - R2 UK Paramount Home Entertainment

Hitler: The Last Ten Days (Ennio De Concini, 1973) Paramount

Houdini (George Marshall, 1953) Paramount

John Mills Centenary Collection V2 (8-disc - Car Of Dreams, Forever England, The Way To The Stars, The Long Memory, Above Us The Waves, The Vicious Circle and Tiger Bay) R2 UK ITV DVD

The Longest Day [Blu-ray] (Ken Annakin, 1962) Fox Home Entertainment

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

Mandingo (Richard Fleischer, 1975) Paramount Studios

The Optimists (Anthony Simmons, 1973) Paramount

Patton [Blu-ray] (Franklin J. Schaffner, 1970) Fox Home Entertainment

The Possession of Joel Delaney (Waris Hussein, 1972) Paramount

The Recruit [Blu-ray] (Roger Donaldson , 2003) - Buena Vista

The Sand Pebbles [Blu-ray] (Robert Wise, 1966) Fox Home Entertainment

Signs [Blu-ray] (M. Night Shyamalan, 2002) - Buena Vista

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


Week of June 9th, 2008

Ballad of Narayama (Shohei Imamura, 1983)

Broken Trail [Blu-ray] (Walter Hill, 2006) - Sony Pictures

The Bucket List (Rob Reiner, 2007) Warner Home Video
The Bucket List [Blu-ray] (Rob Reiner, 2007) Warner Home Video

Catherine Deneuve Collection (Manon 70, Le Sauvage, Hotel Des Ameriques, Le Choc and Fort Saganne) LionsGate

The Diving Bell And The Butterfly (Julian Schnabel, 2007) R2 UK Pathe Dist.

Edge Of Heaven (Fatih Akin, 2007) R2 UK Artificial Eye

The Fugitive: Season Two Vol 1 - Paramount Home Video

High Noon 2-disc Collector's Edition (Fred Zinnemann, 1952) - Lionsgate

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

Invisible Target (Benny Chan, 2007) Dragon Dynasty

The List (Gary Wheeler, 2007) Fox Home Entertainment

The Other Boleyn Girl (Justin Chadwick, 2008) - Sony Pictures
The Other Boleyn Girl [Blu-ray] (Justin Chadwick, 2008) - Sony Pictures

The Professionals [Blu-ray] (Richard Brooks, 1966) Sony Pictures

The Signal (David Bruckner, 2007) - Magnolia

The Signal [Blu-ray] (David Bruckner, 2007) - Magnolia

Sophia Loren 4-Film Collection (Carosello Napoletano, Attila, Madame Sans-Gene and I Girasoli - aka Sunflower) Lions Gate

Summer '04 (Stefan Krohmer, 2006)

Wayward Cloud (Ming-liang Tsai, 2005) Strand Home Video

"It is hard enough to remember my opinions, without also remembering my reasons for them!" -Friedrich Nietzsche
Enjoy sunshine!