DVDBeaver Newsletter - July 28th, 2008

Dagot'ee! - An eclectic 17 new DVD reviews this week - a hunk of Blu-rays - plus our usual; a continued sale, a huge bargain for Bergman fans, a contest, some keeno calendar updates, and more...

- The Ingmar Bergman Archives - Hardcover + DVD 16.2 x 11.8 in., 592 pages. Contains previously unseen images from Bergman's films, and selected unpublished images from the personal archives of many photographers, plus written a narrative that, for the first time, will combine all of Bergman's working life in film and theater. It's $74 cheaper than the Taschen website at Pre-Order at Amazon HERE or at Amazon.UK HERE includes a DVD full of rare and previously unseen material, and a film strip from Fanny and Alexander.

- SALE ON FOR 3 MORE DAYS: CD Japan has a 70% OFF Clearance sale on DVDs HERE

- JULY 28th CONTEST - identify this CLIP to win a brand new sealed Blu-ray of The Sum of All Fears - Best of luck all!

- DESERVES REPEATING: Thanks to the Herculean efforts of Gregory Meshman (thanks Irina too!) - we present the definitive and updated Film Noir (on DVD) resource...  HERE!


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

The Alfred Hitchcock Premiere Collection (Rebecca, The Lodger, The Paradine Case, Spellbound, Notorious, Young and Innocent, Sabotage, and Lifeboat) - restored and remastered - MGM

The Ultimate Matrix Collection [Blu-ray] (Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski) Warner Brothers

Thunderball [Blu-ray] (Terence Young, 1965) Fox/MGM

NOTE: Boomerang! (Elia Kazan, 1947) 20th Century Fox (so far listed only in Canada for September 2nd, 2008)

Dr. No [Blu-ray] (Terence Young, 1962) Fox/MGM

From Russia with Love [Blu-ray] (Terence Young, 1963) Fox/MGM

The Simpsons - The Complete Eleventh Season – Fox

The Anderson Tapes (Sidney Lumet, 1971) Sony Pictures

The Boys in the Band (William Friedkin, 1970) Paramount

Paranoid Park (Gus Van Sant, 2007) Weinstein

Family Guy, Vol. 6 - 20th Century Fox

Woman Times Seven (Vittorio De Sica, 1967) Lions Gate

A Few Kilos of Dates for a Funeral (Saman Salur, 2006) Facets

Outbreak [Blu-ray] (Wolfgang Petersen, 1995) Warner Home Video

The Gauntlet [Blu-ray] (Clint Eastwood, 1977) Warner Home Video

Chronicle of an Escape (Adrián Caetano, 2005) IFC

Constantine's Sword (Oren Jacoby, 2008) First Run Features

Every Which Way But Loose [Blu-ray] (James Fargo, 1978) Warner Home Video

Speed Racer (Widescreen Edition) (Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski, 2008) Warner Home Video

Speed Racer [Blu-ray] (Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski, 2008) Warner Home Video

Daughters of Darkness (Harry Kümel, 1971) Blue Underground

The Paul Naschy Collection (Exorcism, Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll, Human Beasts, Horror Rises from the Tomb, Vengeance of the Zombies) Navarre Corporation

Witness to the Mob (Thaddeus O'Sullivan, 1998) Koch Lorber

August (Austin Chick, 2008) First Look

The Thing [Blu-ray] (John Carpenter, 1982) Universal Studios

Baraka [Blu-ray] (Ron Fricke, 1993) Mpi Home Video

Paris, je t'aime [Blu-ray] (Olivier Assayas, 2006) First Look Pictures

Sukiyaki Western Django [Blu-ray] (Takashi Miike, 2007) First Look Pictures

The Collected Films Of Takahiko Iimaru, No. 1 - Onan(1963, 7min.), White Calligraphy (1967, 11min), AIUEONN Six Features(1993, 7min.), Face(1968-69, 17min.), Filmmakers (1969, 28min.) - Microcinema DVD


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



ONE VOICE (not Ellsworth Monkton Toohey): I've had some Server maintenance time so I'll be brief:

ESSENTIAL: The Long Day Closes and Privilege

RECOMMENDED: La vie de Jésus, The Terence Davis Trilogy, The Tyrone Power Matinee Idol Collection, Lonesome Dove BR, Clear and Present Danger BR and The Hunt For Red October BR

SOME FUN:  Inglorious Bastards

UNSEEN BUT CURIOUS The Places Promised in Our Early Days BR, and Stargate Continuum BR

NOT REALLY: Voice, The Sum of All Fears BR and Vengeance BR

DEFINITE PASS: Man, Woman, and a Wall, and Beowulf BR


New Reviews:

The Terence Davis Trilogy - While at Coventry Drama School in the early 1970s, Terence Davies wrote the script for Children which he directed in 1976. He subsequently took up a place at The National Film School and with the support of the BFI Production Board, made his graduation film Madonna and Child (1980). Three years later, also part-funded by the BFI, he completed the Trilogy with Death and Transfiguration. DVD Release Date: June 23rd, 2008

Stargate Continuum BR - Stargate SG-1 has maintained a high level of competence out of the box from its launch on Showtime in 1997 until its move to the Sci-Fi Channel several years later, when production levels fell along with the budget.) The series, developed by Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner, picked up roughly where the original theatrical film with Kurt Russell and James Spader left off - with Col. Jack O'Neil and Galactic archaeologist, Dr, Daniel Jackson, now played by Richard Dean Anderson (who has also served as executive producer for about half the episodes) and Michael Shanks. Blu-ray Release Date: July 29th, 2008

Lonesome Dove BR - Based upon the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Larry McMurtry and set in the late nineteenth century, this sprawling epic of the Old West is the story of the last defiant frontier, a daring cattle drive, and an undying love. Featuring epic performances by Robert Duvall, Tommy lee Jones, Angelica Houston, Diane Lane, Danny Glover, Robert Urich, and Chris Cooper, Lonesome Dove continues to be a treasured classic for generations to come.... Blu-ray Released: August 4th, 2008

Beowulf BR - You don’t need to wait for Angelina Jolie to rise from the vaporous depths naked and dripping liquid gold to know that this “Beowulf” isn’t your high school teacher’s Old English epic poem. You don’t even have to wait for the flying spears and airborne bodies that — if you watch the movie in one of the hundreds of theaters equipped with 3-D projection — will look as if they’re hurtling directly at your head. You could poke your eye out with one of those things! Which is precisely what I thought when I first saw Ms. Jolie’s jutting breasts too. Blu-ray Release date: July 29th, 2008

The Places Promised in Our Early Days BR - The setting for The Place Promised in Our Early Days is an alternate timeline subsequent to the end WWII in which, as far as Japan was concerned, the northern island of Hokkaido was broken off from a Japan/U.S. Alliance into a political entity known only as the "Union" – a curious name, considering that the southern communities would have preferred no separation at all and, in fact, rebellious factions arise that would seek to achieve just that, by violent means if necessary. Blu-ray Release date: April 18th, 2008

The Long Day Closes - Eleven-year-old Bud (a heartbreaking performance from Leigh McCormack) finds escape from the greyness of '50s Britain through trips to the cinema and in the warmth of family life. But as he gets older, the agonies of the adult world; the casual cruelty of bullying, the tyranny of school and the dread of religion, begin to invade his life. DVD Release Date: July 28th, 2008

Clear and Present Danger BR - Taming the eyeball-glazing prose of Tom Clancy's "Clear and Present Danger" with the same brisk efficiency they brought to "Patriot Games," the makers of this latest espionage thriller have made their first-rate work look easy. And clearly, it was anything but. No amount of exercise under the hot sun will beat the workout involved in following this story, with its dozens of locations, interchangeable-sounding character names (Cutter, Ritter, Clark, Ryan, many more) and high-tech military jargon. A film with a "cellulose encased laser-guided bomb" for a conversation piece is not to be watched casually. Blu-ray Release Date: July 29th, 2008

La vie de Jésus - A shocker at Cannes because of its unromanticized coverage of real sex, Bruno Dumont's provocatively-titled, Cinemascope film is about a group of misdirected friends in the Northern French countryside. It centers on epileptic, chronically unemployed Freddy, his intense couplings with sexy Marie, and his motorcycle rides with his bored, nothing-else-to-do pals. One day, an Arab boy appears in the town, and has eyes for Marie. Racism and revenge follow. Dumont used local, non-professional actors to create a naturalistic portrait of rural Flanders for one of the most critically praised French films of recent years. The MoC DVD Release Date: July 21st, 2008

Inglorious Bastards - Product Description: "Whatever THE DIRTY DOZEN did," screamed the ads, "they do it dirtier!" INGLORIOUS BASTARDS is more than just the inspiration for Quentin Tarantino's long-rumored next movie; this 1978 international smash remains perhaps the biggest and most badass war movie in EuroCult history! Exploitation legends Fred 'The Hammer' Williamson and Bo Svenson star as the leaders of a gang of condemned criminals who escape from an Allied prison camp with a plan to blast their way to the Swiss border, only to find themselves 'volunteering' for a suicide mission deep inside Nazi occupied France. Academy Award nominee Ian Bannen co-stars in this explosive action epic from director Enzo Castellari, now fully restored from original vault elements for the first time ever in America! DVD Release Date: July 29th, 2008

Man, Woman, and a Wall - Yes, don't get your hopes up - no matter how it is marketed - there are no obvious artistic aspirations in this Japanese 'Red Shoes Diary' wannabe. Basically - it is a male sexual fantasy. This guy (Hiroto Kato) moves in next to this hottie neighbor (Aoi Sola - hardcore Japanese star) and the rest is straightening out her life (with eavesdropping) - while attempting to, hopefully, bed her. Although he finds that his unhealthy fantasies about her have a stronger appeal than actually getting her clothes off. Production values are a couple of notches above a student film and it's amusing while remaining a, perhaps unintentional, spoof of guy-oriented relationship goals. DVD Release Date: July 29th, 2008

Voice - The fourth film in the "Girl's High School Horror" series, this moving film is less emotionally compelling than MEMENTO MORI (the second in the series) but seems to have balanced the emotional and horrific elements better than the former film (in which the filmmakers disagreed about the horror component). That said, while the plot is diverting, the scripting itself is less subtle. The minutae of the relationships between the girls and their cliques is glossed over and contrasted with one very banal lecture by one of the male professors on the meaning of life being the pursuit of happiness (which is defined by a good job, good health, good credit, and sociability). In spite of that, VOICE is still a more worthy effort than most of the more recent and derivate J-horror, K-horror, and their American remakes and rip-offs. DVD Release Date: July 15th, 2008

The Sum of All Fears BR - The movie is based on another of Clancy's fearfully factual stories about Jack Ryan, the CIA agent, this time a good deal younger than Harrison Ford's Ryan in "A Clear and Present Danger" and played by Ben Affleck. It follows the ancient convention in which the hero goes everywhere important and personally performs most of the crucial actions, but it feels less contrived because Clancy has expertise about warfare and national security issues; the plot is a device to get us from one packet of information to another. Blu-ray Release Date: July 29th, 2008

The Hunt For Red October BR - "The Hunt for Red October" has more than a dozen important speaking roles, in addition to many more cast members who are crucial for a scene or two. Any film with a cast this large must depend to some extent on typecasting. We couldn't keep the characters straight any other way. What McTiernan does is to typecast without stereotyping. Blu-ray Release Date: July 29th, 2008

Privilege - Peter Watkins is the supreme master and very nearly the inventor of the pseudo-documentary, which he uses as an unorthodox way of recounting history or projecting contemporary trends into the near-future. This dystopian New Yorker release is about the fascist takeover of Great Britain, with a duped and manipulated messianic rock singer (Paul Jones, lead singer of Manfred Mann in his first film role) used as a political as well as marketing tool. This comes from Watkins’ greatest period to date, which also produced Culloden (1964) and The War Game (1965). DVD Release Date: July 29th, 2008

The Tyrone Power Matinee Idol Collection - Fox brings together 10 Tyrone Power features from a 15 year stint at that studio including Girls' Dormitory (1936), Love Is News (1937), Café Metropole (1937), Second Honeymoon (1937), Day-Time Wife (1939), Johnny Apollo (1940), This Above All (1942), The Luck of the Irish (1948) and That Wonderful Urge (1948) and I'll Never Forget You (1951). DVD Release Date: July 29th, 2008

The Perfect Storm BR - "The Perfect Storm" is a well-crafted example of a film of pure sensation. It is about ships tossed by a violent storm. The film doesn't have complex and involving characters, but they are not needed. It doesn't tell a sophisticated story and doesn't need to; the main events are known to most of the audience before the movie begins. All depends on the storm. I do not mind admitting I was enthralled. Blu-ray Released: July 22nd, 2008

Vengeance BR - VENGEANCE is the twin stories of young men Wut and Naso, both of whom are tied to a tragedy they experienced as boys and now each occupying opposite ends of the legal and moral spectrum. Wut is the captain of a small police force that follows Naso’s band of thieves and killers deep into forbidden mountains and jungles. Neither realizes that the large coin that Naso has in his possession is at the center of their misfortune and is the nexus of the evil that grips the cursed forests of the Thai-Myanmar border. As the chase descends more deeply into darkness, the groups are attacked by malevolent animals and even more malicious creatures, some of them not fully human. It is only when Captain Wut reaches the center of the paradox of his life that he is able to gain an empty victory over lawlessness and evil. Blu-ray Released: July 29th, 2008

Next 2 weeks on the Calendar:

Week of July 28th, 2008

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

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

Classic British Thrillers (The Phantom Light / Red Ensign / The Upturned Glass) MPI

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

Dark City [Blu-ray] (Alex Proyas, 1998) - Warner

Les Demoiselles De Rochefort (Jacques Demy, 1967) R2 UK BFI

Doomsday [Blu-ray] (Neil Marshall, 2008) Universal Studios

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

Inglorious Bastards (Enzo G. Castellari,1978)
Inglorious Bastards Special Edition (Enzo G. Castellari,1978)

The Long Day Closes (Terence Davies, 1992) R2 UK BFI

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

Perhaps Love (Peter Chan, 2005) Tai Seng

Perhaps Love [Blu-ray] (Peter Chan, 2005) Tai Seng

Privilege (Peter Watkins, 1967) New Yorker

Satyajit Ray Collection Vol.1 (Mahanagar, Charulata and Nayak) R2 UK Artificial Eye

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

Tai-Chi Master (Yuen Woo Ping, 1993) - Dragon Dynasty

The Terence Davies Trilogy - Children (1976), Madonna and Child (1980) and Death and Transfiguration (1983) - R2 UK BFI

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

Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2004) - R2 UK Second Run

Tyrone Power Matinee Idol Collection, 10-film (Girls Dormitory, Love is News, Second Honeymoon, Cafe Metropole, Daytime Wife, Johnny Apollo, This Above All, The Luck of the Irish, That Wonderful Urge, I'll Never Forget You) 20th Century Fox

Under the Bombs (Philippe Aractingi, 2007) R2 UK Artificial Eye

Violence at High Noon (Nagisa Oshima, 1966) R2 UK Yume


Week of August 4th, 2008

Belphegor: Phantom of the Louvre (Jean-Paul Salomé, 2001) - Lions Gate

The Counterfeiters (Stefan Ruzowitzky, 2007) Sony Pictures

The Counterfeiters [Blu-ray] (Stefan Ruzowitzky, 2007) Sony Pictures

Get Smart - Season 1 (1965) - HBO

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

Lonesome Dove [Blu-ray] (2-Disc Collector's Edition) (Simon Wincer, 1989) - Genius Products

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

Nim's Island (Mark Levin, 2008) 20th Century Fox

Nim's Island [Blu-ray] (Mark Levin, 2008) 20th Century Fox

Star Trek The Original Series - The Complete Second Season - Paramount

Tokyo Decadence (Ryu Murakami, 1991) Cinema Epoch


"True happiness is of a retired nature, and an enemy to pomp and noise; it arises, in the first place, from the enjoyment of one's self, and in the next from the friendship and conversation of a few select companions." - Joseph Addison
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily...,