Newsletter - FOR THE WEEK

OF July 2nd, 2012

  This Week's Highlights
Hooy - What a week - iconic sci-fi, musical, noir and westerns - all in one newsletter! John Ford, Nicolas Ray, Stanley Donen, Fred Zinnemann, Martin Scorsese, Robert Rossen, Abraham Polonsky, Lucio Fulci, Don Siegel and more, plus an important listing on the Upcoming Calendar on Blu-ray of Universal's classics monster films including Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, Phantom of the Opera, Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man and Creature from the Black Lagoon plus more Hitchcock. We also have our CONTEST clip with another brand new Blu-ray prize and FEATURE DVD and Blu-ray of the MONTH for July!

FEATURE DVD and Blu-ray of the MONTH chosen for JULY! HERE

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DVD and Blu-ray of the Year 2011 HERE


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Dial M for Murder [Blu-ray] 2D + 3D (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954) Warner

Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection [Blu-ray] - Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Mummy (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), Phantom of the Opera (1943), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), The Wolf Man (1941), Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) - Universal

The Battle of Algiers [Blu-ray] (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1966) RB UK Argent Films

The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog [Blu-ray] (Alfred Hitchcock, 1927) UK Network

Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection [Blu-ray] - Saboteur (1942) Shadow of a Doubt (1943) Rope (1948) Rear Window (1954) -The Trouble with Harry (1955) The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) Vertigo (1958) Psycho (1960) The Birds (1963) Marnie (1964) Torn Curtain (1966) Topaz (1969) Frenzy (1972) Family Plot (1976) - Universal

Ed Wood [Blu-ray] (Tim Burton, 1994) Touchstone / Disney

Strangers On A Train [Blu-ray] (Alfred Hitchcock, 1951) Warner

Macbeth [Blu-ray] (Orson Welles, 1948) Olive Films

A Double Life [Blu-ray] (George Cukor, 1947) Olive Films

Cyrano de Bergerac [Blu-ray] (Michael Gordon, 1950) Olive Films

Love Exposure [Blu-ray] (Shion Sono, 2008) Olive Films

The Devil, Probably (Robert Bresson, 1977) Olive Films

Children of Paradise (Marcel Carné, 1945) Criterion Collection

Children of Paradise [Blu-ray] (Marcel Carné, 1945) Criterion Collection

Umberto D. [Blu-ray] (Vittorio De Sica, 1952) Criterion Collection

Devil's Advocate [Blu-ray] (Taylor Hackford, 1997) Warner

Les visiteurs du soir (Marcel Carné, 1942) Criterion Collection

Les visiteurs du soir [Blu-ray] (Marcel Carné, 1942) Criterion Collection

Eating Raoul (Paul Bartel, 1982) Criterion Collection

Eating Raoul [Blu-ray] (Paul Bartel, 1982) Criterion Collection

The Game (David Fincher, 1997) Criterion Collection

The Game [Blu-ray] (David Fincher, 1997) Criterion Collection

Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection [Blu-ray] - Saboteur (1942) Shadow of a Doubt (1943) Rope (1948) Rear Window (1954) -The Trouble with Harry (1955) The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) Vertigo (1958) Psycho (1960) The Birds (1963) Marnie (1964) Torn Curtain (1966) Topaz (1969) Frenzy (1972) Family Plot (1976) - Universal REGION FREE UK

Walkabout [Blu-ray] (Nicolas Roeg, 1971) Universal Pictures UK

The Navigator [Blu-ray] (Donald Crisp, Buster Keaton, 1924) Kino

Black Sunday [Blu-ray] (Mario Bava, 1960) Lorber Films

Hatchet For The Honeymoon [Blu-ray] (Mario Bava, 1970) Redemption

Confidence aka Bizalom (István Szabó, 1980) R2 UK Second Run

Elles [Blu-ray] (Malgorzata Szumowska, 2011) Lorber Films

Lisa and The Devil / The House of Exorcism [Blu-ray] - Lorber Films

Gerhard Richter - Painting [Blu-ray] (Corinna Belz, 2011) Lorber Films

Au Pair Girls [Blu-ray] (Val Guest, 1972) Redemption

A Thousand Cuts [Blu-ray] (Charles Evered, 2011) Lorber Films

Les enfants du paradis [Blu-ray] (Marcel Carné, 1945) RB UK Second Sight Films

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? 50th Anniversary [Blu-ray] (Robert Aldrich, 1962) Warner

Dead Ringer [Blu-ray] (Paul Henreid, 1964) Warner

Querelle [Blu-ray] (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1982) RB FR Gaumont

Ice Station Zebra [Blu-ray] (John Sturges, 1968) Warner

WarGames [Blu-ray] (John Badham, 1983) MGM


ONE VOICE (not Ellsworth Monkton Toohey): I had a number of great viewings this past week but the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray by Olive Films was the highlight. The film never seems to lose its value. I gained an entire new appreciation for Abraham Polonsky's Force of Evil by seeing it in 1080P and the pure joy of Singin' in the Rain in HD easily eclipses the previous DVD presentations. There is more - the iconic High Noon looking and sounding its best for Home Theater enjoyment via Blu-ray, Nicholas Ray's Johnny Guitar showing its the brilliance of its colors with the father of boxing picture, Body and Soul, in dour black and white and John Ford's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance looking pristine in the new format. Scorsese's Mean Streets gets a new Blu-ray treatment and offering trueness for the colors. Fulci's The House by the Cemetery gets a super-stacked release from Arrow films on Blu-ray and the sweet fantasy Phenomenon with Travolta looks impressive in hi-def. DVD has the hokey but appealing Master of the World Jules Verne tale, with Eric covering the lauded director Roy Andersson's A Swedish Love Story, the unusually titled ID:A and he compared the Thai horror The Victim. Gregory covered the star studded Death of a Scoundrel and Jules Dassin's Two Smart People - a surprising divergence for the director. Have a superb time till we talk again!


Phenomenon BD - Mr. Travolta plays George Malley, a name that by no coincidence summons thoughts of George Bailey in "It's a Wonderful Life." George is the nicest fellow in Harmon, a very nice Northern California town. A friendly but none too bright auto mechanic, he has a sweet simplicity that affects the whole film, and Mr. Travolta plays him with charismatic ease. Blu-ray Release date: July 3rd, 2012

Johnny Guitar BD - Somewhat unique for the western genre, this centers on two women conflicting in similar male-dominated gunslinger-type roles. Joan Crawford, is a saloon keeper fighting to keep her establishment alive against the wishes of the local land baron and chief manipulator (Emma Small) who remains her bitter enemy and who will seemingly stop at nothing to have Vienna (Crawford) condemned and forced out of town or better yet hanged for every unsolved misdemeanor in the books. In steps the old lover Johnny (Hayden) and the machismo sparks start to fly before the eventual catfight can ensue. Powerful genre and gender bending make for a pure classic of the screen. Blu-ray Release Date: July 31st, 2012

Force of Evil BD - Dark and brooding, FORCE OF EVIL offers one of Garfield's greatest performances as the cynical, hard-as-nails lawyer. Pearson, in her first of only two films, doesn't really register in a role that could use Shelley Winters or Ida Lupino rather than a June Allyson clone. Her presence is more than offset, however, by Gomez's marvelous performance and that of the suitably slimy Roberts. A tour de force for gifted writer Polonsky, FORCE was the only film he directed before he was blacklisted for being an uncooperative witness before HUAC in 1951; he didn't direct another feature for 21 years. At its best, FORCE achieves a style at once brutal and poetic, documentarian and noir. Blu-ray Release Date: July 31st, 2012

Body and Soul BD - Excellent account of ambitious boxer Garfield clambering his way to the top and selling his soul in the process. As a boxing movie it is probably responsible for coining a host of clichés but the fight of the little man against big business is convincingly told and Garfield is credible in the lead. The anti-capitalist message seems to have offended some; Garfield, director Rossen and scriptwriter Polonsky were rounded up by the Un-American Activities committee (and Polonsky and Rossen were eventually blacklisted). This is tight, hard-hitting entertainment, which inspired Rocky and Raging Bull. Blu-ray Release Date: July 31st, 2012

Mean Streets BD - The breakthrough film for Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel and of course, director Martin Scorsese. A common story of small time hoods, familial bonding, pervasive violence and the religious overtones while surviving in New York's Little Italy. We would see much more advanced, superior and mature works from all three in their future films and collaborations. Blu-ray Release Date: July 17th, 2012

Singin' in the Rain BD - Quintessential classic musical that features standard song and dance numbers. The plot is also somewhat of a historical expression for the film genre with the prevalent mention of the advent of talkies, how it was done and the technical bridges that were crossed in that era. An all-time family favorite and one of the most exhilarating musicals of all time. Its comedic attributes are often forgotten, but the fantastic script's dialogue is another reason for its successes... that and hard work put into the performances. It is shameful that we will never see anything like this again - it's not cost effective anymore. Blu-ray Release Date: July 17th, 2012

Master of the World - Master of the World was adapted by Richard Matheson from two Jules Verne novels, Robur le Conquerant (1896) and its... sequel, Maitre du Monde (1904)--with more than a little of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea thrown in. Set in 1868, the story is galvanized by an ominous warning of impending doom, delivered in a disembodied but resonant voice from a huge mountain just outside Morgantown, Pennsylvania. Hoping to find the source of the warning, the members of the Weldon Balloon Society, headed by munitions manufacturer Prudence (Henry Hull), send a motorized balloon to investigate. Also aboard Prudence's balloon is his daughter Dorothy (Mary Webster), her fiance Philip (David Frankham), and taciturn pilot Strock (Charles Bronson). Before long, the little party is captured by the brilliant but unbalanced Robur (Vincent Price), captain of the gigantic, state-of-the-art airship "Albatross." Robur explains that he is a man of peace, and that he is using his huge airship to wipe out all warfare by obliterating every weapon of mass destruction on earth--and never mind that a few innocent bystanders may also be killed in the process. DVD Release Date: May 14th, 2012

The House by the Cemetery BD - Shock gore master Lucio Fulci s The House by the Cemetery is one of the finest typically single-minded exercises in zombie terror. Its just a shame no-one told the Boyle family who move into a gothic style house (by a cemetery) with a bloody past and a guts spraying future, what is yet to come! You d think they d twig given the basement door is nailed shut that they should get the hell out. Instead they stay long enough to discover their zombified non rent-paying lodger, the cellar-dwelling, flesh-hungry Dr Freudstein. Blu-ray Release Date: May 31st, 2012

A Swedish Love Story - Two adolescents meet and cautiously fall in love in beautiful surrounds during the peak of an idyllic Swedish summer. Oblivious to social boundaries, they innocently create their own milieu in contrast to the distorted relationships, disillusionment, and world-weariness of adult life around them. Andersson’s feature debut is a sunny, optimistic work that has drawn comparison to the early films of Ingmar Bergman. DVD Release Date: March 14th, 2011

Death of a Scoundrel - George Sanders is the scoundrel in "Death of a Scoundrel," a 1956 film that, though it appears to be a low-budget, boasts a fine cast: Yvonne DeCarlo, Colleen Gray, Nancy Gates, Victor Jory, and Zsa Zsa Gabor. Supposedly the story is based on the antics and ultimate murder of Serge Rubinstein that hit the news around the time the film was made. The lead role was originally given to George Brent, but the actor became ill and couldn't do the role. Because the party scene had already been filmed, he can be spotted there. DVD Release Date: October 18th, 2011

Two Smart People - Anyone coming to Jules Dassin's Two Smart People in expectation of the hard-core noir of his Brute Force, The Naked City, Thieves' Highway or Night and the City will have a surprise in store. Here, Dassin betrays his continental roots in fabricating a light if poignant romance between two con-artists. And though the movie has a noir veneer, it's less suggestive of Fritz Lang or Robert Siodmak than of Ernst Lubitch – specifically the Lubitch of Trouble in Paradise, another elegant romance sparked between larcenous lovers. DVD Release Date: March 27th, 2011

ID:A - Aliena wakes up in a river in France with a bag with 2 million euros, a scar across her abdomen and no memory. She seeks refuge in the nearest town but soon discovers that mysterious men are following her. With the help of the French hotelier Pierre she temporarily gets away from the pursuers. Aliena discovers that her accent is Danish and decides to go to Denmark in the search for her identity. DVD Release Date: May 14th, 2012

The Victim - Ting (Pitchanart Sakakorn), an aspiring actress, is hired by the Thai police force to participate in the reenacting of murders and achieves great media success while hoping she is not upsetting the ghosts of those she portrays. When she is cast as missing-now-believed-dead former Miss Thailand winner Meen (Apasiri Nitibhon), Ting starts to believe that the dead woman is reaching out from beyond the grave to reveal that the murderer might be someone other than her estranged husband. Even then, things are not all that they seem as a mid-film reversal propels the viewer into an altogether different yet all-too-familiar Asian horror scenario. DVD Release Date: August 6th. 2012

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance BD - John Ford's epic western stars James Stewart as a U.S. senator who returns to his old home after 25 years for the funeral of old friend John Wayne. When asked about Wayne by a reporter, Stewart tells of the story of his friendship with Wayne and how he saved his life from sadistic outlaw Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin). Vera Miles, Edmond O'Brien, Andy Devine, and Woody Strode also star in this classic. Blu-ray Release Date: June 14th, 2012

High Noon BD - A Western of stark, classical lineaments: Cooper, still mysteriously beautiful in ravaged middle-age, plays a small town marshal who lays life and wife on the line to confront a killer set free by liberal abolitionists from the North. Waiting for the murderer's arrival on the midday train, he enters a long and desolate night of the soul as the heat gathers, his fellow-citizens scatter, and it grows dark, dark, dark amid the blaze of noon. Writer Carl Foreman, who fetched up on the HUAC blacklist, leaves it open whether the marshal is making a gesture of sublime, arrogant futility - as his bride (Kelly), a Quaker opposed to violence, believes - or simply doing what a man must. High Noon won a fistful of Oscars, but in these days of pasteboard screen machismo, it's worth seeing simply as the anatomy of what it took to make a man before the myth turned sour. Blu-ray Release Date: July 17th, 2012

Invasion of the Body Snatchers BD - There's something strange going on in Santa Mira. Children don't recognize their parents. Husbands have become estranged from their wives. Mass hysteria? Mass alienation more likely. Dr Kevin McCarthy discovers the secret: pod people are colonizing the earth, taking human form but dispensing with the soul. Shot in just 19 days, Siegel's economical adaptation of a Jack Finney story (script by Daniel Mainwaring of Out of the Past fame) is one of the most resonant sci-fi movies, and one of the simplest. It has been interpreted as an allegory against McCarthyism, though it could equally stand as anti-Communist. (In his book A Siegel Film, the director has nothing to say on the matter.) It's still a chilling picture, gaining over Phil Kaufman's smart remake by virtue of its intimate small town setting, and it has one of the greatest endings ever filmed. Too bad the studio insisted on adding a lame bookend framing device and voice-over narration to diffuse it. Blu-ray Release Date: July 17th, 2012

 Next 4 weeks on the Calendar

July 2nd, 2012


Barbarella [Blu-ray] (Roger Vadim, 1968) Paramount (BEAVER REVIEW)

Born on the Fourth of July [Blu-ray] (Oliver Stone, 1989) Universal (BEAVER REVIEW)

Cardillac (Edgar Reitz, 1969) R2 UK Bluebell Films

The Chessplayer (Yves Hanchar, 1994) R2 UK Bluebell Films

Django Kill If You Live Shoot [Blu-ray] (Giulio Questi, 1967) Blue Underground (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Golden Fleece (Alf Brustellin, 1972) R2 UK Bluebell Films

The House by the Cemetery [Blu-ray] (Lucio Fulci, 1981) RB UK Arrow Video (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Hunter [Blu-ray] (Daniel Nettheim, 2011) Magnolia Pictures (BEAVER REVIEW)

Lion of the Desert [Blu-ray] (Moustapha Akkad, 1981) RB UK Anchor Bay

The Message [Blu-ray] (Moustapha Akkad, 1977) RB UK Anchor Bay

The Most Dangerous Game (1932)/Gow The Headhunter (1928) [Blu-ray] - Flicker Alley

Phenomenon [Blu-ray] (Jon Turteltaub, 1996) Touchstone / Disney (BEAVER REVIEW)

The South Bank Show: Volume 1 (Ken Russell) - R2 UK Network

Under the Tuscan Sun [Blu-ray] (Audrey Wells, 2003) Touchstone / Disney

The Woody Allen 20 Film Collection [DVD] R2 UK Fox


July 9th, 2012


Altered States [Blu-ray] (Ken Russell, 1980) Warner (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Battle of Algiers [Blu-ray] (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1966) RB UK Argent Films

Brainstorm [Blu-ray] (Douglas Trumbull, 1983) Warner (BEAVER REVIEW)

Chariots of Fire [Blu-ray] (Hugh Hudson, 1981) Warner

Coma [Blu-ray] (Michael Crichton, 1978) Image Entertainment (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Devil's Needle and Other Tales of Vice And Redemption [Blu-ray] - Kino

Fallen Angels [Blu-ray] (Kar Wai Wong, 1995) RB UK Artificial Eye

Fela Kuti: Teacher Don't Teach Me Nonsense & Berliner Jazztage '78 (Double Feature) - Lorber

The Flowers of War [Blu-ray] (Yimou Zhang, 2011) Lions Gate

Le Havre [Blu-ray] (Aki Kaurismäki, 2011) RB UK Artificial Eye

John Carter [Blu-ray] (Andrew Stanton, 2012) RB FR Disney

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia [Blu-ray] (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2011) RB UK New Wave Films

Outland [Blu-ray] (Peter Hyams , 1981) Image Entertainment

Querelle [Blu-ray] (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1982) RB FR Gaumont

The Saphead [Blu-ray] (Herbert Blaché, Winchell Smith, 1920) Kino

Senna [Blu-ray] (Asif Kapadia, 2011) Arc Entertainment

Seven Minutes in Heaven (Omri Givon, 2009) Film Movement

Spawn [Blu-ray] (Mark A.Z. Dippé, 1997) Warner

The Straight Story [Blu-ray] (David Lynch, 1999) RA JP

Trishna [Blu-ray] (Michael Winterbottom, 2011) Artificial Eye



July 16th, 2012


The Blood Beast Terror [Blu-ray] (Vernon Sewell, 1968) Redemption

Burke & Hare [Blu-ray] (Vernon Sewell, 1972) Redemption

Camelot [Blu-ray] (Joshua Logan, 1968) Warner (BEAVER REVIEW)

Cellular [Blu-ray] (David R. Ellis, 2004) New Line

Chariots of Fire (30th Anniversary Limited Edition) [Blu-ray] (Hugh Hudson, 1981) RB UK 20th Century Fox

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie [Blu-ray] (Luis Buñuel, 1972) RB UK Studio Canal

Down by Law [Blu-ray] (Jim Jarmusch, 1986) Criterion

The Fairy [Blu-ray] (Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon, 2011) Lorber

Here (Braden King, 2011) Strand Releasing

High Noon [Blu-ray] (60th Anniversary Edition) (Fred Zinnemann, 1952) Olive Films (BEAVER REVIEW)

Invasion of the Body Snatchers [Blu-ray] (Don Siegel, 1956) Olive Films (BEAVER REVIEW)

Just Cause [Blu-ray] (Arne Glimcher, 1995) Warner

Mean Streets [Blu-ray] (Martin Scorsese, 1973) Warner (BEAVER REVIEW)

Murder In The First [Blu-ray] (Marc Rocco, 1995) Warner

A Perfect Murder [Blu-ray] (Andrew Davis, 1998) Warner

The Shakespeare Collection - Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet, Twelfth Night, King Lear - R2 UK Fremantle (BEAVER REVIEW)

Singin' in the Rain [Blu-ray] (Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly, 1952) - Warner (BEAVER REVIEW)
Singin' In The Rain: 60th Anniversary Collector's Edition [
Blu-ray] - Warner (BEAVER REVIEW)

Total Recall [Blu-ray] (Paul Verhoeven, 1990) (Triple Play Steelbook Edition) RB UK Studio Canal

The Turin Horse [Blu-ray] (Bela Tarr, 2011) Cinema Guild


July 23rd, 2012


Deep Blue Sea [Blu-ray] (Terence Davies, 2011) Music Box Films

Endeavour [Blu-ray] (Colm McCarthy, 2012) PBS

Eclipse Series 34: Jean Grémillon During the Occupation - (Remorques - 1941, Lumière d'été - 1943, Le ciel est à vous - 1944) - Criterion

Forever Marilyn Collection [Blu-ray] (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Seven Year Itch, How To Marry A Millionaire, Some Like It Hot) RB UK Fox Home Entertainment

Hawks and Sparrows (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1966) R2 UK Masters of Cinema

Island of Dr Moreau [Blu-ray] (John Frankenheimer, 1996) New Line

The Kid with a Bike [Blu-ray] (Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, 2011) RB UK Artificial Eye

The Last Days of Disco [Blu-ray] (Whit Stillman, 1998) Criterion

The Last of England [Blu-ray] (Derek Jarman, 1988) Lorber

Man of the Story (Kathapurushan) (Adoor Gopalakrishnan, 1996) R2 UK Second Run

Metropolitan [Blu-ray] (Whit Stillman, 1990) Criterion

Mystery Men [Blu-ray] (Kinka Usher, 1999) Universal

Pigsty (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1969) R2 UK Masters of Cinema

La ardilla roja (The Red Squirrel) (Julio Medem, 1993) Bayview

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season One [Blu-ray] - Paramount

They Made Me a Fugitive [Blu-ray] (Alberto Cavalcanti, 1947) - Kino


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