Newsletter - FOR THE WEEK OF July 6th, 2009


This Week's Highlights

Hola! - 15 DVDs or  Blu-ray covered this week. Woody Allen, Quentin Tarantino, Mike Figgis, Emir Kusturica, classics with Henry Fonda, Gary Cooper and Kirk Douglas - Silents, Criterion and some upcoming selections from the 'Universal Backlot Series'!  There are fresh Calendar Updates, another easy new contest, new sales codes 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!)
July 6th CONTEST - identify the clip on the CONTEST PAGE to win brand new sealed DVDs of Cassavetes' Faces and Shadows -  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


Use Amazon code SONYPIC5 for $5 off Dr. Strangelove on Blu-ray

• Use Amazon code GHOSTBLU for $5 off Ghostbusters on Blu-ray

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!):

The Red Shoes: Restoration Edition [Blu-ray] (Michael Powell+Emeric Pressburger, 1948) R'B UK - ITV DVD

A Christmas Carol [Blu-ray] (Brian Desmond Hurst, 1951) VCI Entertainment

Tulpan (Sergey Dvortsevoy, 2008) Zeitgeist Films

Le jour se lève (Marcel Carné, 1939) Criterion - Essential Arthouse

Mayerling (Anatole Litvak, 1936) Criterion - Essential Arthouse

Gervaise (René Clément, 1956) Criterion - Essential Arthouse

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer [Blu-ray] (John McNaughton, 1986) Mpi Home Video

Sin Nombre (Cary Fukunaga , 2009) Universal

Munyurangabo (Lee Isaac Chung, 2007) Film Movement

TCM Spotlight: Esther Williams, Vol. 2 (Thrill of a Romance / Fiesta / This Time for Keeps / Pagan Love Song / Million Dollar Mermaid / Easy to Love) – Warner

Lymelife [Blu-ray] (Derick Martini, 2008) Screen Media

X-Men Origins: Wolverine [Blu-ray] (Gavin Hood, 2009) - 20th Century Fox

State of Play [Blu-ray] (Kevin Macdonald, 2009) Universal Studios

Chaplin Keystone Collection - R2 'UK' BFI

The Big Switch [Blu-ray] (Pete Walker, 1969) - RB 'UK' BFI

All the Right Noises [Blu-ray] (Gerry O'Hara, 1969) - RB 'UK' BFI


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):  With a few French 'unfriendly' Blu-rays this newsletter (Match Point, Arizona Dream + Pulp Fiction) my number one pick this week would be for the Dalton Trumbo penned Lonely Are the Brave starring Kirk Douglas, in, admittedly, one of his favorite roles. I quite enjoyed The Trail of the Lonesome Pine as well with Fonda, MacMurray and the lovely Sylvia Sidney and was blown away by the image quality. Less so on both counts for the campy Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. While I like Beau Geste - we strongly suggest buying the Gary Cooper Movie Collection Boxset as opposed to the individual release. Silent film fans shouldn't think twice about another delightful Flicker Alley package: Bardelys The Magnificent, Monte Cristo. Criterion has shown us the heights of presentation for Al Reinert's inspiring For All Mankind. The Deep is no masterpiece but I must admit to enjoying the film more than I was expecting after so many years. Leaving Las Vegas improves on Blu-ray but the limitations of the 16mm roots produce an unremarkable appearance. Burn Notice - Season 2 received a decidedly authoritative thumbs down from Leonard, but there is approval for Stephen Fung's House of Fury kung-fu parody. 


Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves - Prepare to be dazzled as all the wonder, excitement, triumph, and treachery of the Arabian Nights come vibrantly to life in Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves! Orphaned as a young child and adopted by a band of notorious thieves, now-grown Ali Baba (Jon Hall) sets out to avenge his father’s murder, reclaim the royal throne, and rescue his beloved Amara (Maria Montez) from the iron fist of his treacherous enemy. Lushly shot in glorious Technicolor® and featuring a cast of thousands, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves is a cinematic feast for the senses to be enjoyed time and again. DVD Release Date: July 7th, 2009

Match Point
BR - Match Point is sexy, mysterious, suspense-driven, eventful and essentially quite unforgettable. The performances are basically one dimensional - aside from the moral slippage of the protagonist - conveniently reading Crime and Punishment in the beginning of the film. Scarlett Johansson has never looked better (as good as any female has a right to look) and her character generously gives to Rhys Meyers - an extremely important cog in the brilliant evolution of this story. Obvious comparisons are made to Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors - the sterility of murder and the cold blanket of its cumulative effect. For me this is a favorite film of the past few years and one I should have added to this article had I seen it first. Nothing short of perfection and we should be enormously grateful to have Allen as a working filmmaker. Don't miss out on this masterpiece! Blu-ray Release Date: November 27th, 2008

Jonas Brothers 3-D Concert Experience
BR - So who are these guys? The brothers are: Kevin (21), he’s the one with serious sideburns; Joe (19), the lead singer, who thinks he’s Mick Jagger on stage (another revolting bit of marketing); and Nick (16) the most talented of the trio, but who might not have gotten anywhere on his own if someone on high didn’t get the bright idea of using the three of them. They’re all moderately talented, if limited and harmless. They radiate a peculiar Mousketeerian cheeriness and godly cleanliness that makes their lyrics and their music agreeable to the point of meaninglessness. They have nothing to say, and they it say it with conviction. It must be reassuring to know who you are at that age. I didn’t. Blu-ray Release date: June 30, 2009

Bardelys The Magnificent, Monte Cristo - Today, more than 80% of silent cinema is considered lost forever. Some films were claimed by the flammable and unstable film stock of the day. Others were, once upon a time, thought to be worth less than the cost of keeping them. Yet, miraculously, unique copies of celebrated films previously thought lost are occasionally found and restored to delight a new generation. Bardelys the Magnificent joins Monte Cristo as two resurrected classics, both top-of-the-line productions starring John Gilbert, one of the most handsome, passionate and popular stars of the 1920s. DVD Release Date: July 14th, 2009

The Trail of the Lonesome Pine - Screen legends Henry Fonda and Fred MacMurray star in The Trail of the Lonesome Pine - one of the first films ever to be filmed outdoors in glorious Technicolor! Deep in the undeveloped backwoods of the Blue Ridge Mountains, two young men are caught in the midst of an ancient and bitter feud between two families and fighting for the romantic attention of a beautiful woman (Sylvia Sidney). One of the most breathtaking movies ever to hit the silver screen, The Trail of the Lonesome Pine is an exciting melodrama and a landmark cinematic achievement that continues to captivate audiences today. DVD Release Date: July 7th, 2009

Beau Geste - Academy Award winners Gary Cooper and Ray Milland star along with Robert Preston in the epic adventure Beau Geste. When three brothers join the Foreign Legion to escape a troubled past, they find themselves trapped under the command of a sadistic sergeant deep in the scorching Sahara. Now the brothers must fight for their lives as they plot mutiny against tyranny and defend a desert fortress against a brutal enemy. Nominated for 2 Academy Awards, Beau Geste has been universally acclaimed by generations of critics and audiences alike as a true motion picture classic. DVD Release Date: July 7th, 2009

Lonely Are the Brave - Dalton Trumbo wrote this elegy to the western. Kirk Douglas gives one of his finest performances as an out-of-place cowboy in the modern west--almost like a time traveller. The theme of the film is eloquently set up by the opening of the film in which we see Douglas reclining beneath a clear and spacious western sky. The peace and quiet is suddenly disrupted by the sound of a jet plane passing overhead. This brings a wry smile to the old cowboy's face. He rides his horse into Albuquerque to visit friends Kane and Rowlands. Rowlands tells him that her husband has been jailed for helping Mexicans enter the US illegally. Douglas starts a brawl in a saloon to get put into jail; there Douglas offers his friend Kane help in breaking out, but Kane tells Douglas that he wants to serve his brief time, intends to play out his hand with the law, and refuses to become a fugitive. Douglas is hurt but undaunted. He breaks out himself and heads for the hills, pursued by the compassionate technocratic sheriff Matthau and a posse. DVD Release Date: July 7th, 2009

The Deep
BR - This visually stunning action-adventure film, based on the best-selling novel by 'Jaws' author Peter Benchley, stars Nick Nolte and Jaqueline Bissett as a couple on a romantic holiday in Bermuda. New Yorkers, David Sanders (Nolte) and Gail Berke (Bissett) are enjoying a much-needed vacation; while diving one day they discover the sunken wreck of a WWII freighter and unearth a gold coin as well as a mysterious glass ampule. Excited, they believe their discovery could be a long lost treasure, but they soon learn that their most valuable discovery is actually an ampule of morphine, one of thousands left behind on the medical supply ship. This discovery leads them into the hands of Henry Cloche (Louis Gossett Jr.), an extremely dangerous and powerful Haitian drug dealer who will stop at nothing to unearth the dangerous treasure. With the help of Romer Treece (Robert Shaw), an old treasure hunter, David and Gail soon realize that they have made a much more important discovery than the morphine and set out to keep their actual treasure a secret. Suspenseful death-defying dives and exquisite underwater photography. The poster of Bissett underwater in a T-shirt adorned many a dorm wall in the late 1970s. Blu-ray Release date: July 7th, 2009

Leaving Las Vegas
BR - The man's name is Ben (Nicholas Cage). The woman's name is Sera (Elisabeth Shue). You will not see two better performances this year. Midway in the film someone offers Ben the insight that his drinking is a way of killing himself. He smiles lopsidedly and offers a correction: "Killing myself is a way of drinking." At one point, after it is clear that Sera really cares for him, he tells her, "You can never, ever, ask me to stop drinking." She replies in a little voice: "I know." The movie is not really about alcoholism. It is about great sad passion, of the sort celebrated in operas like "La Boheme." It takes place in bars and dreary rented rooms and the kind of Vegas poverty that includes a parking space and the use of the pool. The practical details are not quite realistic - it would be hard to drink as much as Ben drinks and remain conscious, and it is unlikely an intelligent prostitute would allow him into her life. We brush those objections aside, because they have nothing to do with the real subject of this movie, which is that we must pity one another, and be gentle. Blu-ray Release date: June 17th, 2009

Burn Notice - Season 2
BR - Only a few minutes into this series, I get this déjà-vu feeling. Where have I seen this before? Aha! It’s not the content so much as the style, reminiscent of Stephen J. Cannell’s The Rockford Files and Wiseguy. Rockford, a show synonymous with James Garner, was character-driven in hour-long self-contained formulaic episodes. Wiseguy less so, as it added a seasonal arc about how Ken Wahl’s character, Vinnie Terranova, is groomed to be accepted into the underworld. In both cases, the writing is what set them apart from everything else on TV at the time – that and the casting of the principals. When we see Bruce Campbell, King of B-pictures, in the all-important second banana position on the present instance, we can be comfortable that Burn Notice doesn’t have Cannellian aspirations. Blu-ray Release date: June 16th, 2009

Arizona Dream
BR - "Arizona Dream" is one of those movies that slips through the cracks. Hollywood bureaucracy has been established precisely to prevent films like this from being made. And yet it was made, and it is goofier than hell - you can't stop watching because nobody in the audience, and possibly nobody on the screen, has any idea what's going to happen next. The movie was directed by Emir Kusturica, a Yugoslavian (if such a place still exists), whose "Time of the Gypsies" (1989) won the best director award at Cannes. In his world, strange magic happens. People want to fly, and sometimes they can. Eccentricity is prized. That earlier film followed a gypsy family as it traveled through Yugoslavia and Italy, taking its occult knowledge with it. Blu-ray Release Date: June 17th, 2009

The Myth
BR - Jackie Chan takes on dual roles in his latest action spectacular, The Myth. Chan plays Jack, a modern day archeologist who is recruited by his old friend William (Tony Leung Ka Fai) to investigate some mysterious levitation activities at an ancient Indian shrine. Meanwhile, Jack is having vivid dreams that he is General Meng Yi, a high-ranking officer during the Qing Dynasty. After saving the life of beautiful Korean Princess Ok Soo (Kim Hee Sun), Meng Yi must safely guide her through the treacherous countryside to the safety of the royal palace. Blu-ray Release Date: May 4th, 2009

For All Mankind
BR - In July 1969, the space race ended when Apollo 11 fulfilled President Kennedy’s challenge of “landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.” No one who witnessed the lunar landing will ever forget it. Breathtaking both in the scope of its vision and the exhilaration of the human emotions it captures, For All Mankind is the story of the 24 men who traveled to the Moon—told in their words, in their voices, using the images of their experiences. Blu-ray Release Date: July 14th, 2009

Pulp Fiction
BR - Quentin Tarantino's second feature, Pulp Fiction, is at once immensely entertaining and remarkably weightless. The film's quintessential scene takes place outside the Jack Rabbit Slim's restaurant when Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) tells Vincent Vega (John Travolta) not to be a "square." Forget the irony (after a ten year acting rut that included three Look Who's Talking films, Pulp Fiction's success made Travolta reputable again), Mia's line could be the film's mantra. Samuel L. Jackson's Jules Winnfield is still Tarantino's most fascinating creation. More than a repository of disposable trivia and smart-alecky responses, Jules embodies the film's surface concern with righteousness and redemption. Blu-ray Release Date: March 19th, 2009

House of Fury
BR - From the opening scenes in which veteran dramatic actor Anthony Wong shows off some moves I didn't know he had, I expected more from this spoof of classic kung-fu movies. Its high-energy action sequences are clever and amusing. They are grounded in a certain degree of realism, thanks to the master, Yuen Wo Ping, and in director Stephen Fung's hands, they are sly and silly by turns, leaps and bounds. Blu-ray Release date: May 19th, 2009


Next 3 weeks on the Calendar


Week of July 6th, 2009


Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (Arthur Lubin, 1944) Universal Studios

Beau Geste (William A. Wellman,1939) Universal Studios

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon [Blu-ray] (Ang Lee, 2000) R'B' UK - Sony Pictures

The Deep [Blu-ray] (Peter Yates, 1977) Sony Pictures

Five Fingers (Laurence Malkin, 2006) Lions Gate

John Barrymore Collection (Sherlock Holmes / Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde / The Beloved Rogue / Tempest) - Kino

Knowing [Blu-ray] (Alex Proyas, 2009) Summit Entertainment

Lola Montès (Max Ophüls, 1955) R2 UK Second Sight

Lonely Are the Brave (David Miller, 1962) Universal Studios

Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea (2-disc - English Subtitles) (Hayao Miyazaki, 2008) - R2 JP Pony Canyon

The Red Shoes: Restoration Edition [Blu-ray] (Michael Powell+Emeric Pressburger, 1948) R'B UK - ITV DVD

The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (Henry Hathaway, 1936) Universal Studios



Week of July 13th, 2009


12 (Nikita Mikhalkov, 2007) Sony Pictures

Anti-Clock (Jane Arden + Jack Bond, 1980) R2 UK BFI Video
Anti-Clock [
Blu-ray] (Jane Arden + Jack Bond, 1980) R'B' UK BFI Video

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon / Curse of the Golden Flower / House of Flying Daggers Trilogy [Blu-ray] - Sony Pictures

Edge of Love [Blu-ray] (John Maybury, 2008) Image Entertainment

Eldorado (Bouli Lanners, 2008) Film Movement

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

For All Mankind (Al Reinert, 1989) - Criterion Collection

For All Mankind [Blu-ray] (Al Reinert, 1989) - Criterion Collection

Grey Gardens (Michael Sucsy, 2009) HBO

The Human Condition - 4-disc (Masaki Kobayashi, 1959) - Criterion Collection

Mad Men: Season Two [Blu-ray] - Lions Gate

The Other Side of the Underneath (Jane Arden, 1972) R2 UK BFI Video
The Other Side of the Underneath [
Blu-ray] (Jane Arden, 1972) R'B' UK BFI Video

Separation (Jack Bond, 1968) R2 UK BFI Video
Separation [
Blu-ray] (Jack Bond, 1968) R'B' UK BFI Video

This Is Spinal Tap [Blu-ray] (Rob Reiner, 1984) MGM

The Towering Inferno [Blu-ray] (John Guillermin + Irwin Allen, 1974) 20th Century Fox


Week of July 20th, 2009


2 or 3 Things I Know About Her (2 ou 3 choses que je sais d’elle) (Jean-Luc Godard, 1967) - Criterion Collection

9 Songs [Blu-ray (Michael Winterbottom, 2004) R'B' - Optimum Home Entertainment

An Empress and the Warriors (Ching Siu Tung, 2008) - Weinstein Company

Coraline (Henry Selick, 2009) Universal Studios

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

Echelon Conspiracy (Greg Marcks, 2009) Paramount

Echelon Conspiracy [Blu-ray] (Greg Marcks, 2009) Paramount

The Great Buck Howard [Blu-ray] (Sean McGinly, 2008) Magnolia

Made in U.S.A. (Jean-Luc Godard, 1966) - Criterion Collection

Midnight Express [Blu-ray] (Alan Parker, 1978) Sony Pictures

Prison Break: The Final Break [Blu-ray] - 20th Century Fox

The Unknown Woman (Giuseppe Tornatore, 2006) Image Entertainment

Watchmen (Director's Cut) [Blu-ray] (Amazon Exclusive Nite Owl Ship) - ( Zack Snyder, 2009) Warner Home Video


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