DVDBeaver Newsletter - July 23rd, 2007


Nei Ho! - We have 13 new reviews this week. Eclipse, Iwai, Dassin, Woo, Cacoyannis, Ichikawa, Zhang... 65 new calendar updates and more...


October Criterion/Eclipse available for pre-order: Mala Noche (Gus Van Sant,1985) Criterion, Eclipse Series 6 - Carlos Saura's Flamenco Trilogy (Blood Wedding, Carmen, and El amor brujo) - Criterion, Breathless (Jean-Luc Godard, 1960) Criterion, Under the Volcano (John Huston, 1984) Criterion, Days of Heaven (Terrence Malick, 1978) Criterion 


CONTEST - STILL LESS THAN 10 CORRECT ANSWERS!: Our contest is still running with some great prizes - new DVDs of Criterion's Teshingahara set (first place) and the Marker pairing (La Jetee and Sans Soleil) for second and if you come in third - a nice starter for any HD library - Rio Bravo. We have a short Windows Media Video on our homepage that contains 5 clips from films. You identify them (email to contest@DVDBeaver.com) - and qualify.

ANOTHER CLUE: The 5 clips are book-ended by Italian masterpieces (both on Criterion DVD).


BIG THANKS!: DVDBeaver would not exist without the support of many patrons - those who generously donate, and especially those who use our Amazon 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.

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



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

NOTEWORTHY... or how to make a cineophile broke (more broke?):

WOW: It seems every week we have reason to celebrate being any type of film fan - and this newsletter's calendar updates are vast enough to make most cineophiles swoon. Aside from the obvious Criterion's; Mala Noche, Breathless, Under the Volcano and Days of Heaven... there are some other auteurist leaning choices: Bunuels' Susana, Dumont's Flandres, Kaurismäki's Lights in the Dusk, von Trier's comedy The Boss of It All, Haneke's The Castle and John Cassavetes daughter's Broken English. Plus some undefined multi-film collections; Stanley Kramer Box Set ,Fox Horror Classics Collection (this will be good!), Catherine Deneuve Set, Best of MGM Musicals Collection and the encompassing Treasures III: Social Issues in American Film, 1900-1934. But this week's updates are steeped with many choices of the horror-exploitation-trashy genre - including, from known directors, Oliver Stone's The Hand, De Palma's Phantom of the Paradise, Friedkin's Bug, and Schrader's Cat People in HD and from the undisputed king - The Roger Corman Collection. Spicy viewing would include; Vintage Erotica Collection 1920-1960, Green Chair, Emmanuelle, Franco's Women Behind Bars, and a triumvirate of choices for Tinto Brass's infamous Caligula. On top of some of that I'm personally keen on Loren and Mastroianni's Special Day, and J. Rosenbaum lauded Mix-Up ou Meli-melo. Plus Hallström's The Hoax, Away From Her and Gröning's Into Great Silence. Ohhh... and many know of my love for vintage TV so I know I'll enjoy Alfred Hitchcock Presents-Season 3 (as I did the first 2 seasons).  


The Castle (Michael Haneke, 1997) Kino Video

Broken English (Zoe Cassavetes, 2007) Magnolia

The Boss of It All (Lars von Trier, 2006) Ifc

From Beyond (Unrated Director's Cut) (Stuart Gordon, 1986) MGM

Mix-Up ou Meli-melo (Françoise Romand, 1985) Microcinema DVD

Twisted Terror Collection [Deadly Friend (Wes Craven), Dr. Giggles, Eyes of a Stranger, From Beyond the Grave, The Hand (Oliver Stone), Someone's Watching Me (John Carpenter)] Warner Home Video

The Hand (Oliver Stone, 1981) Warner Home Video

Green Chair (Cheol-su Park, 2005) Imaginasian

Memoirs of a Geisha [Blu-ray] (Rob Marshall, 2005) Sony Pictures

Vintage Erotica Collection 1920-1960 (5-disc with book) - Cult Epics

Galapagos [HD DVD] BBC Warner

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Complete Series (1987) Paramount Home Video

Alfred Hitchcock Presents-Season 3 - Universal

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner 40th Anniversary (Stanley Kramer, 1967) Columbia/Tri-Star

Emmanuelle (Just Jaeckin, 1974) Lions Gate Home Ent.

Susana (Luis Buñuel, 1951) Facets

Stanley Kramer Box Set (6-disc) - films to be announced - Columbia/Tri-Star

Demetrius and the Gladiators (Delmer Daves, 1954) Fox Home Entertainment

Lights in the Dusk (Aki Kaurismäki, 2006) Strand Home Video

28 Weeks Later (Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, 2007) 20th Century Fox

Autumn Moon (Clara Law, 1992) Image Entertainment

The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (Ultimate Edition) (Wallace Worsley,1923) Image Entertainment

Mala Noche (Gus Van Sant,1985) Criterion

Eclipse Series 6 - Carlos Saura's Flamenco Trilogy (Blood Wedding, Carmen, and El amor brujo) - Criterion

The Hoax (Lasse Hallström, 2006) Miramax

Breathless (Jean-Luc Godard, 1960) Criterion

Into Great Silence (2-disc) (Philip Gröning, 2005) Zeitgeist Films

Under the Volcano (John Huston, 1984) Criterion

Days of Heaven (Terrence Malick, 1978) Criterion

Fantastic Planet (René Laloux,1973) Facets

Black Book (Paul Verhoeven, 2006) Sony Pictures

Black Book [Blu-ray] (Paul Verhoeven, 2006) Sony Pictures

Flandres (Bruno Dumont, 2006) R2 UK - Soda Pictures

"The Restless Gun" (TV - 1957) Timeless Media Group

Special Day (Ettore Scola, 1977) Televista

Sid & Nancy (Aniv) (Alex Cox, 1986) MGM

Civic Duty (Jeff Renfroe, 2006) 20th Century Fox

Wings of Honneamise (2-disc) (Hiroyuki Yamaga, 1987) [Blu-ray] GENEON

Best of MGM Musicals Collection (6-disc) MGM

Troy (2-disc Director's Cut) [Blu-ray] (Wolfgang Petersen, 2004) Warner Home Video

Citizen Dog (Wisit Sasanatieng, 2004) Tai Seng

The Wrong Box (Bryan Forbes,1966) R2 UK Dd Home Entertainment

3:10 to Yuma (James Mangold, 2007) Sony Pictures

Curse of the Golden Flower (Yimou Zhang, 2006) R2 UK Universal Pictures Video

The Jazz Singer (Three-Disc Deluxe Edition) (Alan Crosland, 1927) Warner Home Video

Women Behind Bars (Jesús Franco, 1975) Blue Underground

Ping Pong (Fumihiko Sori, 2002) Viz Video

Next (Lee Tamahori, 2007) Paramount Home Video

Phantom of the Paradise (Brian De Palma, 1974) 20th Century Fox

Catherine Deneuve Set (4pc) Wellspring Media

Caligula (Unrated) (Tinto Brass, 1970) Image Entertainment

Caligula (R-Rated) (Tinto Brass, 1970) Image Entertainment

Caligula (Four-Disc Imperial Edition) (Tinto Brass, 1970) Image Entertainment

Weiss-O-Rama - VCI Entertainment

Punish Me (Angelina Maccarone, 2006) Picture This

Inuyasha Complete Deluxe Movies Box Set (Limited Edition) (2007) Viz Video

Triad Election (Johnny To, 2006) Tartan Video

Spider Baby (Special Edition) (Jack Hill, 1964) Dark Sky Films

Roger Corman Collection - (A Bucket of Blood, Bloody Mama, The Trip, X- the Man With the X-Ray Eyes, The Premature Burial, The Wild Angels, The Young Racers, Gas-s-s-s) MGM

Gorilla at Large/Mystery at Monster Island - 20th Century Fox

Even Money (Mark Rydell, 2006) 20th Century Fox

Cat People [HD DVD] (Paul Schrader,1982) Universal

The Gymnast (Ned Farr, 2006) Wolfe Video

Devils Of Darkness / Witchcraft (2-disc) - Fox Home Entertainment

Treasures III: Social Issues in American Film, 1900-1934 - Image Entertainment

Bug (Special Edition) (William Friedkin, 2006) Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Fox Horror Classics Collection (Hangover Square, The Lodger, The Undying Monster) Tcfhe

Away From Her (Sarah Polley, 2006) Lions Gate Home Entertainment


and we understand Fox will be releasing these later this year:

With a Song in My Heart (dir. Walter Lang, USA 1952)

Bloodhounds of Broadway (dir. Harmon Jones, USA 1952)

The Girl Next Door (dir. Richard Sale, USA 1953)

The Day the Earth Stood Still Special Edition (dir. Robert Wise, USA 1951)

An Affair to Remember 50th Anniversary Edition (dir. Leo McCary, USA 1957)

The Robe Special Edition (dir. Henry Koster, USA 1952)

The Lodger (dir. John Brahm, USA 1944)

The Undying Monster (dir. John Brahm, USA 1942)

Hangover Square (dir. John Brahm, USA 1945)

Fox Horror Classics Collection (Hangover Square, The Lodger, The Undying Monster)

Daisy Kenyon (dir. Otto Preminger, USA 1947)

Dangerous Crossing (dir. Joseph Newman, USA 1953)

Black Widow (dir. Nunnally Johnson, USA 1954)

Boomerang! (dir. Elia Kazan, USA 1947)



I SAY: Number one for me this week was Raymond Bernard - Eclipse Series 4. It's very reasonably priced as well.

I also enjoyed Cinema, Aspirins and Vultures although the DVD is quite inferior. Don't let it stop you with this one IMHO.

Something about Cacoyannis Iphigenia that I can't forget. It's lingering very nicely.

If you were waiting for it in region 1 then MGM's Raise the Red Lantern is here although an anti-climax if you've owned the Asian re-mastered version for long.

It's comforting to know that Leonard (mostly) shares my views on new format editions of The Cowboys and The Searchers. I have the HD's and he just reviewed the Blu-ray but the encode is the exact same. By the way, The Searchers and Casablanca are two of the very best of the new format DVDs (both film and image are at the pinnacle).


New Reviews:


Unforgiven (BR) - Unforgiven is not in the same mold as the typical Western before it. The protagonists are, or have been, bad man – killers or on their way to becoming – and for money. The killing is slow and painful, but not made Peckinpah beautiful. The conversation is mostly about the ethics of killing and regret – and about that, not a great deal is resolved. There are no Indians on the warpath, no banks to rob, no cattle to rustle – just killing and dying.

The Searchers (BR) - John Ford's gorgeously photographed classic certainly has great locations, in color no less, going for it. And it has perhaps the grimmest performance ever by John Wayne. His Ethan Edwards is certainly a man difficult to like, though we can only sit in awe at his determination. Issues of the white man's rape of the red man aside, we can sympathize with Ethan's blatant racism that motivates his hatred of the Comanches who killed his family and kidnapped his nieces.

The Cowboys (BR) - You might think that movies about the passage from childhood to adult, and more specifically from boys to men, is a basic cinematic staple. But there really aren't all that many. Most seem to have to do with a first sexual encounter, but if we discount that group, what's left? How does a boy (or girl, for that matter) enter into the next phase of maturity if not through sex? There are certainly other ways, but not so many as make for good cinema. Stand By Me comes to mind, but that was back in 1986. (In its own way, I suppose we could count the first television season of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer.) Mark Rydell came across a novel by Wm Dale Jennings that cried out to him, pitched it and eventually made a fairly compelling movie on the theme. Blu-ray DVD Release Date: June 5th, 2007

Shooter (HD) - 2007’s Shooter is a return to respectable pure action--there’s no time-traveling, no espionage, no boosting, no joke-telling. Everyone plays it for “real” without winking at the audience. Mark Wahlberg has come a long way as an actor, and even though his role in this movie doesn’t challenge him much, he is a believable presence. HD DVD Release Date: July 31st, 2007

Hana and Alice - The beauty of Iwai's films are all the things that are not said. We gather so much subtle information about the characters (especially Alice) that, in a typical non-verbal, passive, Asian way - we are deeply drawn to her life growth and struggle. The friendship aspect of the film is more in regards to one friends outgoing nature persuading the other to pursue her dreams. This is a beautiful film, filled with brilliant camera work of obtuse angles and capturing emotionally clandestine moments. It is modestly paced, but it seems this is the only way to express this films narrative. It has Iwai's marketed female understanding signature written all over it. What a gorgeous viewing experience.

Disturbia - Alfred Hitchcock’s movies have been re-made several times--done straight (A Perfect Murder from Dial M for Murder), as action (Mission: Impossible 2 from Notorious), indirectly (much of Brian De Palma’s output), nearly shot-for-shot (Gus Van Sant’s color Psycho), etc. Disturbia is Rear Window for teenyboppers, and boy, lemme tell ya, this is as lame as “re-imaginings” can get. Mind you, I’m not even a fan of Rear Window (much too long for my tastes), but Disturbia has no genuine thrills. Rather, it substitutes a lot of loud noises for psychological shocks, so you’re jolted artificially rather than subconsciously. DVD Release Date: August 7th, 2007

Cinema, Aspirins and Vultures - Marcelo Gomes makes an impressive if sober feature helming debut in "Cinema, Aspirin and Vultures," set in Brazil's desert-like sertao in 1942 as the country prepares to enter war against the Axis. The friendship that springs up between two young men, one German and the other Brazilian, is etched with a quiet delicacy that deepens to touch their souls. Film's pared-down look has a stylish simplicity that should make it a contender for arthouse pickup, though auds will need to get into its minimalist rhythm. DVD Release Date: July 24th, 2007

10:30 P.M. Summer - Nobody had a good word to say for this adaptation of Marguerite Duras' novel which, though a potentially good script (by Duras and Dassin), is treated so heavily that it becomes risible. Finch and Schneider play a couple deciding whether to or not, while Finch's alcoholic wife (Mercouri) goes bananas to the point of being obsessed by a local crime passionel. Much of the blame can be attributed directly to Mercouri's barnstorming performance, though the inappropriately tarted-up Spanish postcard settings don't help either. Strange that a director like Dassin, who spearheaded the neo-realist movement in Hollywood after World War II, should look so completely out of touch with any level of reality in later years. DVD Release Date: July 24th, 2007

Hard Boiled - Violence as poetry, rendered by a master—brilliant and passionate, John Woo’s Hard Boiled tells the story of jaded detective “Tequila” Yuen (played with controlled fury by Chow Yun-fat). Woo’s dizzying odyssey through the world of Hong Kong Triads, undercover agents, and frenzied police raids culminates unforgettably in the breathless hospital sequence. More than a cops-and-bad-guys story, Hard Boiled continually startles with its originality and dark humor. DVD Release Date: July 24th, 2007

Iphigenia - Michael Cacoyannis, director of Electra (1962) and The Trojan Women (1971), has perhaps for the first time successfully brought the feel of ancient Greek theatre to the screen. Iphigenia (1977) is based on Euripedes's Iphigenia at Aulis, a story of an incident just prior to the Trojan War. Helen has run off to Troy with Paris. Agamemnon, brother to Menaleus, Helen's husband, will lead the Greek armies to the shores of Troy. But at the Bay of Aulis the armies wait for winds to carry their boats to Troy. This is where the film begins. DVD Release Date: July 24th, 2007

Kon Ichikawa's 47 Ronin - Being that this film bears the 47 moniker, and its Japanese title, Shijushichinin no shikaku, features no mention of Chushingura, one can discern that Kon Ichikawa was very much concerned with the real tale of the 47 Ronin. Furthermore, with his version, Ichikawa, a noted pacifist and iconoclast, sought to take the national myth down a notch or two. In his view, these 47 men were valorous with respect to carrying out their assumed duty, but were still very much flawed everyday men. It’s made no secret that Ichikawa feels Oishi may have forced his group into service, and even relied on insubstantial evidence as motive (the film shows the Edo offense only in flashes, with no concrete description of what offense actually took place). In one of the biggest departures from the regular canon, Oishi succumbs to the temptation of an extramarital affair (with a ditzy cutie pie, no less). DVD Release Date: July 17th, 2007

Raise the Red Lantern - Traditionally, the master lights lanterns outside the compound of the wife he wishes to spend the night with, and since Song Lian is the latest addition to the fold, it seems natural that the master would desire to spend most of his time with his beautiful new bride. However, during their first evening as a couple, the master is forced to rush away to console his third wife (He Caife), and from that moment onward, a wicked game of treachery and manipulation ensues among the wives as each vies for the master's attentions, no matter what the cost. Although Song Lian is not necessarily desirous of her husband, she soon comes to understand that her worth as a woman is measured directly against how well she is esteemed by the master!... DVD Release Date: July 24th, 2007

Raymond Bernard - Eclipse Series 4 - One of the greatest and least-known directors of all time, Raymond Bernard helped shape French cinema, at the dawn of the sound era, into a truly formidable industry. Typical of films from this period, Bernard's dazzling dramas painted intimate melodrama on epic-scale canvases. These two masterpieces—the wrenching World War I tragedy Wooden Crosses and a mammoth, nearly five-hour Les misérables, widely considered the greatest film adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel—exemplify the formal and narrative brilliance of an unjustly overshadowed cinematic trailblazer. DVD Release Date: July 17th, 2007

Next 2 weeks on the Calendar:


Week of July 23rd, 2007


10:30 P.M. Summer (Jules Dassin, 1966) MGM

A World Without Thieves (Xiaogang Feng, 2004) Genius Products

Avant-Garde 2: Experimental Cinema 1928-1954 (Films by Brakhage, Markopoulos, Mitry, Vogel, Broughton, Isou, Maas, Menken, Watson, Webber, Leni, Peterson, Kirsanof) Kino Video

The Big Bad Swim (Ishai Setton, 2006) Echo Bridge Home Entertainment

Blue (Derek Jarman, 1993) R2 UK Artificial Eye

Cashback (Sean Ellis, 2006) Magnolia

Cinema, Aspirins and Vultures (Marcelo Gomes, 2005) First Run Features

Classic Musicals From the Dream Factory, Vol. 2 - 5-disc (The Pirate/Words and Music/That's Dancing/The Belle of New York & Royal Wedding/That Midnight Kiss & The Toast of New Orleans (5pc) - Warner Home Video

Companeros (Sergio Corbucci, 1970) Blue Underground

The Contract (Bruce Beresford, 2006) First Look Pictures

Creature From the Black Lagoon (Jack Arnold, 1954) Universal Studios

Les Enfants Terribles (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1950) Criterion Collection

The Family Friend (Paolo Sorrentino, 2006) R2 UK Artificial Eye

Five Dedicated to Ozu (Abbas Kiarostami, 2003) Kino Video

Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man / House of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton, 1943) Universal Studios

Hard Boiled (Two-Disc Ultimate Edition) (John Woo, 1992) Dragon Dynasty

Hedda Gabler (Alex Segal, 1963) BBC Warner

Henry V (Kenneth Branagh, 1989) MGM

The Host (Collector's Edition) (Bong Joon-ho, 2006) Magnolia Pictures

The Host [HD DVD] (Bong Joon-ho, 2006) Magnolia

The Host [Blu-ray] (Bong Joon-ho, 2006) Magnolia

Iphigenia (Mihalis Kakogiannis, 1977) MGM

Ivan's Childhood (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1962) Criterion Collection

Jean De Florette / Manon of the Spring (Claude Berri ,1987) MGM

Land of the Giants - Full Series (The Giant Collection) - 20th Century Fox

Malpertuis (Harry Kümel, 1971) Barrel

The Monster Squad (Two-Disc 20th Anniversary Edition) (Fred Dekker, 1987) Lions Gate Home Entertainment

Perfume - The Story Of A Murderer (Tom Tykwer, 2006) Paramount Home Video

The Pirate (Vincente Minnelli,1948) Warner Home Video

The Rainmaker - Special Edition (Francis Ford Coppola, 1997) Paramount Home Video

Raise the Red Lantern (Zhang Yimou, 1991) MGM

Renaissance (Christian Volckman, 2006) Miramax

Roads to Koktebel (Boris Khlebnikov, Aleksei Popogrebsky - 2003) Film Movement

Scent of a Woman [HD DVD] (Martin Brest, 1992) Universal Studios

Sergeant Preston of the Yukon Complete Collection - Infinity Resources, Inc

Shadow Puppets (Michael Winnick, 2007) Anchor Bay

Streets of Fire [HD DVD] (Walter Hill, 1984) Universal Studios

Suspense: The Lost Episodes Collection, Vol. 1 (4-disc) Infinity Ent

That Midnight Kiss / The Toast of New Orleans (Norman Taurog, 1950) Warner Home Video

The Wind That Shakes the Barley (Ken Loach, 2006) Genius Products

Woody Woodpecker & Friends Classic Collection - Universal Studios

Zodiac (David Fincher, 2007) Paramount Home Video


July 30th, 2007


20 Million Miles To Earth (2-disc 50th Anniversary Edition) (Nathan Juran, 1957) Sony Pictures

300 (Widescreen Two-Disc Special Edition) (Zack Snyder, 2007) Warner

300 (Combo HD DVD and Standard DVD) [HD DVD] (Zack Snyder, 2007) Warner
300 [Blu-ray] (Zack Snyder, 2007) Warner

Blue Planet (IMAX) (Ben Burtt, 1990) [HD DVD] Imax

Blue Planet (IMAX) (Ben Burtt, 1990) [Blu-ray] Imax

Distant Voices, Still Lives (Terence Davies, 1988) R2 UK BFI

The Fallen (Ari Taub, 2004) R2 UK Scanbox Entertainment

The Film Noir Classics Collection: Vol 4 - Act of Violence (MGM, 1949), The Big Steal (1949), Crime Wave (WB, 1954), Decoy (Monogram, 1946), Illegal (WB, 1955), Mystery Street (MGM, 1950), Side Street (MGM, 1950), Tension (MGM, 1950), They Live By Night (RKO, 1949), Where Danger Lives (RKO, 1950) - Warner Home Video

Popeye the Sailor: 1933-1938, Vol. 1 - Warner Home Video


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Keep punch'in,