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Newsletter - FOR THE WEEK OF June 15th, 2009


This Week's Highlights

Day-own-day aim been! - a lighter week with Tati, Resnais, Burton, Criterion and BFI Blu-ray, digital animation, and Guinness and Gazarra in fine form. There are some fresh Calendar Updates, a new contest, sales 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!)
June 15th CONTEST - identify the clip on the CONTEST PAGE to win brand new sealed Blu-ray of S. Darko: A Donnie Darko Tale -  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


- Amazon Hi-Def Gold-Box - check out the 24-hour daily high-definition deals HERE

- 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!):

Artificial Intelligence: AI [Blu-ray] (Steven Spielberg, 2001) Warner Aus/Zoom

Billy Jack [Blu-ray] (Tom Laughlin, 1971) Image Entertainment

Contact [Blu-ray] (Robert Zemeckis, 1997) Warner

King Kong [Blu-ray] (John Guillermin, 1976) Universal Aus/Zoom

Leaving Las Vegas [Blu-ray] (Mike Figgis, 1995) Universal Aus/Zoom

The Boat That Rocked [Blu-ray] (Richard Curtis, 2009) Universal Aus/Zoom

The Dark Crystal [Blu-ray] (Jim Henson + Frank Oz, 1982) Sony Pictures

Labyrinth [Blu-ray] (Jim Henson, 1986) Sony Pictures

Ghost Ship [Blu-ray] (Steve Beck, 2002) Warner Home Video

Adam Resurrected [Blu-ray] (Paul Schrader, 2008) Image Entertainment

The Number 23 [Blu-ray] (Joel Schumacher, 2007) New Line Home Video

Children of the Corn [Blu-ray] (Fritz Kiersch, 1984) Anchor Bay/Starz

Werner Herzog - Natural World Boxset [Blu-ray] (includes Encounters at the End of the world, Grizzly Man, White Diamond, La Soufriere & Flying Doctors of East Africa) - R'B' - Revolver Entertainment

Punch-Drunk Love [Blu-ray]  (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2002) R'B' - Sony Pictures

The Deer Hunter [Blu-ray] (Michael Cimino, 1978) R'B' – Optimum


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.


ONE VOICE (not Ellsworth Monkton Toohey): I was very impressed with Criterion's Blu-ray of Last Year at Marienbad. It's easily the highest lauded release of the week while Dragon Hunters, a totally different film, may be the most pleasant surprise. Gomorrah is a sobering answer to the more romanticized cinematic takes on the Mafia-level criminals. Surely, a must-see film. We have at least 3 DVDs of very worthy films - but sub-standard image quality - with the rare film experience of The Strange One, the wonderful but dark Last Holiday and Tati's last film Parade. All three may require some form of restorative efforts that are not present at this time although the latter suffers from its more pragmatic production roots. Personally, I'm thrilled with the direction that BFI are taking with their 1080 releases - and Nighthawks  is a strong case in point. There is a lot to like about Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory whihc seems made from Blu-ray viewing and Leonard has definitely sold me on Generation Kill


John Adams BR - I don’t know about you, but the prospect of Paul Giamatti as an eighteenth century founding father and president of our country, a colleague and critic of Thomas Jefferson, a loving husband and proud father was asking a great deal of this viewer. It would truly be an interactive experience, a test I hadn’t enjoined since Bill Murray as Somerset Maugham’s Larry Darrell. How did you do? I still wince at the memory of Giamatti’s impersonation, but I certainly admire the effort and the craft. Blu-ray Release date: June 16th, 2009

Generation Kill
BR - There's an emotional punch to "Generation Kill" that war buffs and informed readers know is coming, but the series manages to build the inevitable nature of combat weariness into a compelling (and often damning) narrative. When we first meet the characters in "Generation Kill," they are clamoring to get in the action. They are tired of faux war games. They want to "get some." Part youthful exuberance, part pent-up warriors, they believe in the cause. They believe in kicking ass. There is a bursting-to-kill element that you know will, soon enough, come bluntly face-to-face with reality. It's the varied reactions when it happens that carry "Generation Kill" to great heights. Blu-ray Release date: June 16th, 2009

Parade - Jacques Tati's last - and least known - film, Parade, sees his return to the boisterous music hall world in which he began his career as a mime artist in the 1930s. Ostensibly nothing more than a series of circus acts hosted by Tati and preformed for a family audience, Parade is in fact a brilliantly conceived spectacle which blurs all distinctions between performers and audience, accomplished acrobats and children at play. Offering gloriously funny visual gags that flow beautifully from one act to another - including several of his most famous pantomimes - Parade is the perfect stage for Tati's comic genius. DVD Release Date: June 22nd, 2009

BR - Based on the book by Roberto Saviano, Garrone's crime epic is a powerful indictment of the corruption that is running rampant in Italy. His decision to present such a wide spectrum of characters enables him to show just how deeply everyone is impacted by this terrifying, unchecked display of criminal power. Cinematically, he employs a dizzying array of styles in order to further establish the frighteningly ungoverned atmosphere that pervades this community. GOMORRAH succeeds as both visceral entertainment and thoughtful social commentary.

Last Year at Marienbad
BR - Not just a defining work of the French New Wave but one of the great, lasting mysteries of modern art, Alain Resnais’ epochal Last Year at Marienbad (L’année dernière à Marienbad) has been puzzling appreciative viewers for decades. Written by radical master of the New Novel Alain Robbe-Grillet, this surreal fever dream, or nightmare, gorgeously fuses the past with the present in telling its ambiguous tale of a man and a woman (Giorgio Albertazzi and Delphine Seyrig) who may or may not have met a year ago, perhaps at the very same cathedral-like, mirror-filled château they now find themselves wandering. Unforgettable in both its confounding details (gilded ceilings, diabolical parlor games, a loaded gun) and haunting scope, Resnais’ investigation into the nature of memory is disturbing, romantic, and maybe even a ghost story. Blu-ray Release Date: June 23rd, 2009

Dragon Hunters
BR - “Dragon Hunters” is visually stunning. The Kingdom is a combination of real and imagined—the laws of gravity seem to be thwarted by magic of some sort. Everywhere parts of the earth around the characters are crumbling and floating away, and the players walk on the floating stones and bits of earth traveling from place to place. As Zoe, Lian Chu, Gwizdo, and their toothy pet Hector journey toward the World Gobbler, they encounter parts of the world that are becoming more and more in disarray, the environment is alive, almost enchanted. This approach helps the narrative and add colorfully to the fantastical look of the movie—it's all very wonderful. Blu-ray Release date: June 23rd, 2009

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
BR - Acclaimed director Tim Burton brings his vividly imaginative style to the beloved Roald Dahl classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, about eccentric chocolatier Willy Wonka (Depp) and Charlie, a good-hearted boy from a poor family who lives in the shadow of Wonka's extraordinary factory. Long isolated from his own family, Wonka launches a worldwide contest to select an heir to his candy empire. Five lucky children, including Charlie, draw golden tickets from Wonka chocolate bars and win a guided tour of the legendary candy-making facility that no outsider has seen in 15 years. Dazzled by one amazing sight after another, Charlie is drawn into Wonka's fantastic world in this astonishing and enduring story. UK Blu-ray Release Date: June 16th, 2009

The Strange One - Legendary actor Ben Gazzara made his feature film debut in The Strange One, recreating his Broadway role in Calder Willingham's gripping "End as a Man." Gazzara stars as Cadet Sgt. Jocko DeParis, a sadomasochistic bully in a Southern military academy who uses his magnetism and the school's own military code to manipulate his fellow cadets and officers. When he engineers the expulsion of a hated rival, his reign of terror begins to unravel. The film features a solid cast drawn from The Actor's Studio in New York, including Pat Hingle, Mark Richman, George Peppard (also in his film debut) and Larry Gates, and is directed by Jack Garfein and scripted by Willingham, based on his novel. Censored in its original theatrical release for its homosexual undertones, The Strange One is presented restored and uncut for the first time on DVD. DVD Release Date: June 16th, 2009

Last Holiday - Told by his doctor he has no more than a few months to live, drab British workingman George Bird (Alec Guinness) decides to spend his savings on lodging at a seaside resort. Once there, however, he finds his identity caught between upstairs and downstairs, the guests and the “help.” A droll social commentary as well as an unpredictable dark comedy about life, death, and luck, Last Holiday is one of Guinness’s finest moments. DVD Release Date: June 16th, 2009

BR - When Nighthawks was first released 30 years ago our world was undoubtedly a different place. Key gay rights had still yet to be won, and low-budget independent British films were influenced by international arthouse directors such as Pasolini, Fassbinder, Warhol/Morrisey, Wenders and Chantal Akerman. Nighthawks defies categorisation, its compelling cyclical structure interspersing the daily work of schoolteacher with his documentation of changing urban spaces and nights spent cruising bars and clubs in search of Mr Right. Leading a mixed cast of actors and non-professionals, Ken Robertson excels in a brave performance that confounded critics at the time. This stunning restoration by the BFI reveals Nighthawks to be one of the great undervalued films of the 1970s. BFI Blu-ray Release Date: March 30th, 2009


Next 2 weeks on the Calendar

Week of June 15th, 2009


Bergman Island (Marie Nyreröd, 2006) Criterion

The Diary of Anne Frank [Blu-ray] (George Stevens, 1959) 20th Century Fox

Disturbia [Blu-ray] (D.J. Caruso, 2007) Dreamworks Video

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb [Blu-ray] (Stanley Kubrick, 1964) Sony Pictures

The Family Guy, Vol. 7 - 20th Century Fox

Fracture [Blu-ray] (Gregory Hoblit, 2007) Turner Home Entertainment

Generation Kill [Blu-ray] (2009) - HBO

Ghost Busters [Blu-ray] (Ivan Reitman, 1984) Sony Pictures

The Greatest Game Ever Played [Blu-ray] (Bill Paxton, 2005) Walt Disney

L'important C'est D'aimer UNCUT Special Edition (Andrzej Zulawski, 1975) Mondo Vision
L'important C'est D'aimer UNCUT Premium Signature Edition (Andrzej Zulawski, 1975) Mondo Vision

The Italian Job 40th Anniversary [Blu-ray] (Peter Collinson, 1969) R'B' UK Paramount

"John Adams" [Blu-ray] (2008) HBO TV mini-series

Last Holiday (Henry Cass, 1950) Criterion

Lost: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] - Disney
Lost: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray] - Disney

Miracle [Blu-ray] (Gavin O'Connor, 2004) Walt Disney

No Way Back [Blu-ray] (Frank A. Cappello, 1995) Sony Pictures

Rockers [Blu-ray] (Ted Bafaloukos, 1978) MVD Visual

The Seventh Seal 2-disc (Ingmar Bergman, 1957) Criterion
The Seventh Seal [Blu-ray] (Ingmar Bergman, 1957) Criterion

Sexy Beast [Blu-ray] (Jonathan Glazer, 2000) R'B' UK 4 DVD

The Strange One (Jack Garfein, 1957) Sony Pictures

Striking Distance [Blu-ray] (Rowdy Herrington, 1993) Sony Pictures

The Three Stooges Collection, Vol. 6: 1949-1951 - Sony Pictures

What's Up Tiger Lily (Woody Allen, 1966) Image Entertainment



Week of June 22nd, 2009


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

The Andrzej Munk Trilogy: Eroica/Bad Luck/Man on the Tracks (Andrzej Munk, 1957) POLART

Andrzej Munk Trilogy - Facets

Colorful (Ryutaro Nakamura, 2000) Adv Films

Dragon Hunters [Blu-ray] (Guillaume Ivernel, 2008) - Peace Arch Home Entertainment

The Garth Method (Gregory Pakis, 2004) Vanguard

Last Year At Marienbad (Alain Resnais, 1962) Criterion
Last Year At Marienbad
[Blu-ray] (Alain Resnais, 1962) Criterion

My Dinner With Andre (Louis Malle, 1981) Criterion

Parade (Jacques Tati , 1974) R2 UK - BFI

Phoebe in Wonderland (Daniel Barnz, 2007) Image Entertainment

Tokyo Sonata (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2008) R2 UK Masters of Cinema

Tokyo Sonata [Blu-ray] (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2008) R2 UK Masters of Cinema

Waltz With Bashir (Ari Folman, 2008) Sony Pictures Classics
Waltz With Bashir [Blu-ray] (Ari Folman, 2008) Sony Pictures Classics

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