DVDBeaver Newsletter - August 11th, 2006


Hello! - 10 new reviews (or comparison updates) including 3 new Boxsets (Clark Gable , James Stewart, and Jayne Mansfield) Our eclectic moniker shines through in this weeks newsletter edition...


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


SALE STILL ON!: Many Classic, Noir and more at 47% off IF YOU ARE CONTEMPLATING TAKING ADVANTAGE DON'T DELAY! HERE - great deals - we have reviewed most of the titles and the discounted price is a steal! Including: The Black Swan (1942), Laura (1944), The Keys of the Kingdom (1944). An Affair to Remember (1957). The Grapes of Wrath (1940), I Wake Up Screaming (1941), Somewhere in the Night (1946), Kiss of Death (1947), Fallen Angel (1945), A Letter to Three Wives (1949), The House on Telegraph Hill (1951), House of Strangers (1949), Nightmare Alley (1947), Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950), The House on 92nd Street (1945), No Way Out (1950), People Will Talk (1951), The Street with No Name (1948), Desk Set (1957), Whirlpool (1949), The Seven Year Itch (1955), Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964), The Song of Bernadette (1943), My Darling Clementine (1946), The Dark Corner (1946), Two for the Road (1967), The River's Edge (1957), Call Northside 777 (1948), Panic in the Streets (1950), Niagara (1953), House of Bamboo (1955), Week-End in Havana (1941), The Ox-Bow Incident (1943), Lady in Cement (1968), The Rains Came (1939), Laurel and Hardy Giftset (Great Guns / Jitterbugs / The Big Noise) (1944) and more...


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

Bing Crosby: Screen Legend Collection (Waikiki Wedding/Double or Nothing/East Side of Heaven/If I Had My Way/Here Come the Waves) - Universal Studios

Cary Grant: Screen Legend Collection - (Thirty Day Princess/Kiss and Make Up/Wings in the Dark/Big Brown Eyes/Wedding Present) Universal Studios - Universal Studios

Rock Hudson: Screen Legend Collection -(Has Anybody Seen My Gal?/A Very Special Favor/The Golden Blade/The Last Sunset/The Spiral Road) - Universal Studios

The Quiet Duel (Akira Kurosawa, 1949) Brentwood Home Video

Red Desert (Antonioni, 1964) R4 PAL AV Channel

Forgotten Noir Collector's Set V 1-3 (vol. 1 - Portland Expose, They Were So Young, vol. 2 - Loan Shark, Arson Inc., vol. 3 - Shadow Man, Shoot To Kill) VCI

Forgotten Noir Df Vol 2 (Loan Shark, Arson Inc) VCI

Forgotten Noir Df Vol 3 (Shadow Man, Shoot To Kill) VCI

Western Film Noir Df Vol 1 (Little Big Horn, Rimfire) VCI

Letter From An Unknown Woman (Max Ophüls, 1948) R2 UK Metrodome
The Reckless Moment (Max Ophüls, 1949) R2 UK Metrodome
Le Plaisir (Max Ophüls, 1952) R2 UK Metrodome
Madame De... (Max Ophüls, 1953) R2 UK Metrodome


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 Prime! You will get Free 2-day shipping on your purchases!


RECOMMENDATIONS: Oliver Groom has turned me into a Peter Watkins fan and New Yorker's new The War Game DVD with Culloden is a worthy purchase. For years now Beaver has advocated the value of boxset purchases and as a lover of classic Hollywood I enjoyed all three of the new 'star' collection - Clark Gable , James Stewart, and Jayne Mansfield. Masters of Cinema keeps churning out the weird and wonderful in pristine digital packages - Funeral Parade of Roses - is another in their long list.

As an aside - a purchase not for everyone - I enjoyed my experience with Naked Pursuit. The films roots and the frank commentary discussion gave me reason for interest.   


New Reviews:


Clark Gable Collection, Vol. 1 - three, first time to DVD, released films from the legendary William Clark Gable. - an adaptation of Jack London's inspiring adventure Call of the Wild (1935), mystery in the orient in Soldier of Fortune and a severely underrated western with Robert Ryan; The Tall Men. DVD Release Date: August 15th, 2006


The War Game - Few films have caused such controversy as Peter Watkins' The War Game, a drama documentary made for BBC TV in 1965 about a 'limited' nuclear attack on Kent, England. Blending fiction and fact to create a moving and startling vision of the personal as well as the public consequences of such an attack, Watkins exposes the inadequacy of the nation's Civil Defense programme and questions the philosophy of the nuclear deterrent. Project X and New Yorker have brought us the best digital version of the film - with Culloden as a supplement to the package. The excellent New Yorker DVD Release Date was July 25th, 2006


The James Stewart Signature Collection - In his early years, Jimmy Stewart came to personify the Everyman. "Hollywood dishes out too much praise for small things,'' Jimmy once said. "I won't let it get to me, but too much praise can turn a fellow's head if he doesn't watch his step.'' - Through a Hollywood career spanning 50 years James Stewart has thrilled, touched and delighted audiences with over 80 films. 6 new to DVD releases are Anthony Mann's masterful The Naked Spur, plus The FBI Story, The Stratton Story, The Spirit of St. Louis, The Cheyenne Social Club and Firecreek. DVD Release Date: August 15th, 2006

Funeral Parade of Roses - A feverish collision of avant-garde aesthetics and grind-house shocks (not to mention a direct influence on Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange), Funeral Parade of Roses takes us on an electrifying journey into the nether-regions of the late-'60s Tokyo underworld. In Toshio Matsumoto's controversial debut feature, seemingly nothing is taboo: neither the incorporation of visual flourishes straight from the worlds of contemporary graphic-design, painting, comic-books, and animation; nor the unflinching depiction of nudity, sex, drug-use, and public-toilets. But of all the "transgressions" here on display, perhaps one in particular stands out the most: the film's groundbreaking and unapologetic portrayal of Japanese gay subculture. DVD Release Date: August 21st, 2006


Atlantis (1913) - August Blom was one of Denmark’s most prolific directors of the silent era. His finest film, Atlantis (1913), was Denmark’s first major, big-budgeted, silent feature. Its sensational footage of an ocean liner sinking in mid-Atlantic made the name of its studio, Nordisk Films Kompagni, famous throughout the world. The picture starred Olaf Fønss, who later achieved fame, in Germany, in Homunculus (1916). Atlantis was adapted from the 1912 novel by Germany’s leading writer, Gerhart Hauptmann, which eerily predicted the Titanic disaster that took place only four weeks later.


Poseidon -  The mere existence of Wolfgang Petersen's 2006 Poseidon gives bona-fide proof that there are few, if any, new ideas in the major Hollywood motion picture industry. Innovation is hiding itself behind a rock. Probably a greater truism - the powers that be are more afraid than ever to takes chances on unproven cinema. With at least two previous incarnations of this fictional story, most have heard the plot by now - while ringing in the new year aboard a cruise ship, a giant wave crashes into the ship flipping it 180 degrees. A ragtag group of survivors realize their only chance is to make their way to the deepest bowels of the ship, now at the top, if they are going to have any chance of getting out. DVD Release Date: August 22nd, 2006


Breathless - Breathless isn’t regarded as a cinematic landmark because of its plot, which could most charitably described as flimsy. Debutant director Godard set out with the express intention of making a movie “as if no-one had ever made one before,” and he succeeded. Before Breathless, most pictures were just filmed scripts – Godard wanted instead to make his film represent his view of the world: jagged, fresh, unorthodox, unpredictable.


Black Peter - After two shorts in which he gave documentary material fictional form, Forman, in his first feature, gives his fictional material documentary form. Using non-professional actors, improvised dialogue and shooting parts of the story in the streets, Forman follows the uneventful life of teenage Peter, who finds he dislikes his first job as a trainee store detective. He also has problems with his conservative father and carefree Pavla, on whom he has a crush. The sharply observed, satirical and affectionate film brought new vitality to Czech cinema and marked the start of Forman's career, leading to bigger, rather than better, things in Hollywood.


Jayne Mansfield Collection - Sex, gangsters and rock 'n' roll blend in "The Girl Can't Help It" (1956), one of the '50s best comedies and the film that made Jayne Mansfield a star. A prim English gentleman (Kenneth More) befriends an unrefined saloon girl (Mansfield) when he becomes a reluctant lawman in an unruly American town, in the comedic western "The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw" (1958). Finally, "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?" (1957). Find out in this wildly funny spoof of Hollywood and Madison Avenue starring Tony Randall as a struggling New York ad man who saves his company when he convinces sexpot Mansfield to endorse a line of lipstick, only to become a celebrity himself when he's mistaken for her new beau. DVD Release Date: August 8th, 2006

Naked Pursuit - Well... my guess at what we have here is what started out as a reasonably serious, but limited, art film - that has been transformed and marketed as a Japanese sexploitation film ('pink' film). The original Japanese edition, with its frequent close-ups and occasional obtuse camera angles, has almost no dialogue but a sleaze-opportunist named Harry Novak created an American DUB that not only alters the intent of the film but egregiously exploits the more graphic scenes with 'voice-overs' representing the supposed thoughts of the characters. DVD Release Date: August 15th, 2006



Next 2 weeks on the Calendar:


Week of August 14th, 2006


Apocalypse Now - The Complete Dossier (2-Disc Special Collector's Edition) (: Francis Ford Coppola, 1979) Paramount Home Video

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (Nathan Juran, 1958) Infinity Media R2 UK

Cape of Good Hope (Mark Bamford , 2004) New Yorker Video

The Cheyenne Social Club/Fire Creek (Gene Kelly, 1970) Warner Home Video

Clark Gable Collection, Vol. 1 (Disc 1: Call of the Wild (1935) Disc 2: Soldier of Fortune (1955) Disc 3: The Tall Men (1955) ) 20th Century Fox

L' Enfant (Dardenne Bros.,2005) Sony Pictures

Eternity and a Day (Theo Angelopoulos, 1998) New Yorker Video

Funeral Parade of Roses (Toshio Matsumoto, 1969) Eureka - Masters of Cinema

Hammer Film Noir, Vol. 1 - Bad Blonde (1953) Man Bait (1952) - VCI Video

Hammer Film Noir, Vol. 2 -A Stolen Face (1952) - Blackout (1954) - VCI Video

Hammer Film Noir, Vol. 3 - Gambler and the Lady (1952) - Heat Wave (1954) - VCI Video

Hammer Film Noir Collector's Set, Vol. 1-3 - Bad Blonde (1953) Man Bait (1952) A Stolen Face (1952) - Blackout (1954) Gambler and the Lady (1952) - Heat Wave (1954) Vci Video

James Stewart - The Signature Collection (The Cheyenne Social Club / Firecreek / The FBI Story / The Naked Spur / The Spirit of St. Louis / The Stratton Story) Warner Home Video

Kings Row (Sam Wood, 1942) Warner Home Video

Knute Rockne All American (Lloyd Bacon, 1940) Warner Home Video

Masters of Horror: Dario Argento - Jenifer (Dario Argento, 2004) Anchor Bay

The Naked Spur (Anthony Mann , 1953) Warner Home Video

Rhinoceros Eyes (Aaron Woodley, 2003)

Ronald Reagan - The Signature Collection (Knute Rockne All American / Kings Row / The Hasty Heart / Storm Warning / The Winning Team) Warner Home Video

Six Moral Tales By Eric Rohmer (The Bakery Girl of Monceau, Suzanne's Career, My Night at Maud's, La collectionneuse, Claire's Knee, and Love in the Afternoon) Criterion Collection

The Spirit of St. Louis (Billy Wilder, 1957) Warner Home Video

The Stratton Story (Sam Wood , 1949) Warner Home Video


Week of August 21st, 2006


Angel Heart - Special Edition (Alan Parker, 1987) R2 UK Momentum Pictures

Clean (Assayas, Olivier / 2004) R2 UK Momentum Pictures

Do You Remember Dolly Bell? [Emir Kusturica, 1981] Artificial Eye R2 UK

Dunkirk (Leslie Norman, 1958) Warner Home Video

Elizabeth I (Tom Hooper, 2005) (TV) Hbo Home Video

Fantastic Planet (René Laloux, 1973) R2 UK Eureka - Masters of Cinema

Fateless (Lajos Koltai, 2005) R2 UK - Vital Distribution

Funeral Parade Of Roses (Toshio Matsumoto, 1969) R2 UK Eureka Masters of Cinema

Hunger (Henning Carlsen, 1968) New Yorker Video

Kicking and Screaming (Noah Baumbach ,1995) Criterion Collection

Lemming (Dominik Moll, 2005) R2 UK Artificial Eye

Red Angel (Yasuzo Masumura , 1966) Fantoma

State of the Union (Frank Capra, 1948) Universal Studios

When Father Was Away On Business [Emir Kusturica, 1985] Artificial Eye R2 UK



Criterion's October lineup
Sólo con tu pareja
(Alfonso Cuarón, 1991), Clean, Shaven (Lodge H. Kerrigan, 1994), Hands Over the City (Francesco Rosi, 1963), Sweetie (Jane Campion, 1989)


FASTER? - No patience for the Beaver homepage? - try the streamlined http://www.dvdbeaver-lite.com/ (a text version with all the same intrepid info!)


DON'T FORGET: Craving the stuff you can't seem to get anywhere else? Beavers TOP YesAsia picks are listed HERE


SALES: A few Criterions on sale at Amazon - Dazed and Confused (42% off), Viridiana (27% off), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (27% off), The Sword of Doom (27% off), Le Samourai (27% off), Harakiri (30% off), Hopscotch (27% off), Fat Girl (33% off)


and PRE-ORDERS (30% off or more)

Kicking and Screaming (Noah Baumbach ,1995), Seduced & Abandoned, Six Moral Tales By Eric Rohmer (The Bakery Girl of Monceau, Suzanne's Career, My Night at Maud's, La collectionneuse, Claire's Knee, and Love in the Afternoon), Seven Samurai - 3-disc, Amarcord 2-disc, Brazil 3-disc, Brazil 1-disc, and Playtime. Plus October's lineup - Sólo con tu pareja (Alfonso Cuarón, 1991), Clean, Shaven (Lodge H. Kerrigan, 1994), Hands Over the City (Francesco Rosi, 1963), Sweetie (Jane Campion, 1989)


'A Man a Plan a Canal Panama' (my favorite palindrome),



P.S. - Although the percentages keep juggling around you can still pick up some great deals at Amazon.UK!:

Laurel-Hardy 21-disc collection (42% off),  The Gospel According To St. Matthew (40% off), Jamon Jamon (60% off), Les Amants Du Pont-Neuf (65% off), Girl on the Bridge (70% off), Baise-Moi (56% off), The Seventh Seal (65% off), Central Station (68% off), Kes (62% off), The Adventures Of Priscilla Queen Of The Desert (2-disc) (70% off), Amelie (Two Disc Special Edition) [DTS] (72% 0ff), Pedro Almodovar Collection: Bad Education / Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down / Live Flesh / All About My Mother / Talk To Her (58% off), Visconti's Conversation Piece (61% off), The Fallen Idol (43% off), Sherlock Holmes - The Definitive Collection (54% off), Katherine Hepburn - 6-disc Screen Goddess Boxset (52% off), Rita Hayworth - 6-disc Screen Goddess Boxset (52% off), Barbara Stanwyck - 6-disc Screen Goddess Boxset (52% off), Sophia Loren - 6-disc Screen Goddess Collection (52% off), Marilyn Monroe - 6-disc Screen Goddess Boxset (52% off)