DVDBeaver Newsletter - August 13th, 2007


Ahn nyeong ha se yo! - 13 new reviews this week - 3 comparisons, Criterions, Scorsese, Buñuel, Lynch, Mamet, Carlos Saura, Satyajit Ray (what are you kidding? - this is the place to be!) 40 new calendar listings, and more...

ABOUT: After the impact of the passing of both Bergman and Antonioni in the past 2 weeks, extensive discussion has gone on in our ListServ and other forums (websites, blogs, newspaper articles etc.) regarding each director's contributions and positioning in the historical scheme. Unfortunately as both died on the same day, often unnecessary, comparisons have surfaced. It is important to accept that we won't always agree and that, with the personal nature of their cinema, nothing much matters but how Bergman's and Antononi's films affected you as an individual. Let's respect our, frequently intimate, filmic bonding and rejoice in our appreciations. Google around and you'll find many opinions which always results in a lot of good information to digest.

LAST WEEK OF NOIR CLIPS CONTEST - Identify the nine short clips, on our homepage, from noir films and win a sealed copy of Film Noir Classic Collection, Vol. 4! WINNER POSTED NEXT WEEK! - LAST CLUE: Clip # 7 The pairing of the two actors was unfortunately their last lauded noir effort together.


• Warner Home Video Director's Series: Stanley Kubrick Collection on 23rd October 2007. 2001: A Space Odyssey (2pc Special Edition), A Clockwork Orange (2pc - Special Edition), Clockwork Orange [HD DVD], Clockwork Orange [Blu-ray], Eyes Wide Shut (2-Disc Special Edition), Eyes Wide Shut [HD DVD], Eyes Wide Shut [Blu-ray] 2001 - A Space Odyssey [HD DVD], 2001 - A Space Odyssey [Blu-ray], The Shining [HD DVD], The Shining [Blu-ray]
Full Metal Jacket: Deluxe Edition will also be released in Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD

• December, 2007, the collection, called "Ford at Fox," will consists of 25 features that Ford made for Fox, including five silents, 18 of which will be new to DVD. Priced at $299.98 it will also contain a new documentary on Ford by Nick Redman. (Source Dave Kehr)
• Blade Runner: The Final Cut will be included in three stunning DVD editions: a Two-Disc Special Edition (at $20.97 SRP), a Four-disc Collector’s Edition ($34.99 SRP) and the Five-Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition ($78.92 SRP) in Collectible “Deckard Briefcase” package, Blade Runner (Five-Disc Ultimate Collector's Edition) [HD DVD], Blade Runner (Five-Disc Ultimate Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray]
Burt Lancaster The Signature Collection on 23rd October 2007. The Flame and Arrow, His Majesty O’Keefe, South Sea Woman and Jim Thorpe - All American.
• Barbara Stanwyck The Signature Collection (5 discs) -- Annie Oakley, East Side, West Side, Executive Suite, My Reputation and a Double Feature disc, To Please A Lady and Jeopardy.


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.

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!






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?):

Too much: I'll be picking up all the upcoming Kubrick stuff in one of the new formats - most likely Blu-ray (2001 - A Space Odyssey [Blu-ray], Eyes Wide Shut [Blu-ray], Clockwork Orange [Blu-ray] etc.) and other stuff we will most likely review: Three Days of Rain, A Big Hand for the Little Lady, Chinatown (Special Collector's Edition), The Brute (El Bruto), Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East? and Executive Suite. The Ken Loach Collection Volume 1 and The Ken Loach Collection Volume 2 sound immensely appealing. For a different reason so do the upcoming Midnite Madness releases - Beast Within & Bat People, Return of Dracula & Vampire, Phantom From 10000 Leagues & Beast Million Eyes and Yongary Monster From the Deep / Konga. Tack Icons of Horror - Sam Katzman onto that list. Since I've become a new format junkie (to some extent) I'll also take a boo at Bram Stoker's Dracula [Blu-ray] , Carlito's Way [HD DVD] and Spider-Man 3 [Blu-ray]. Plus vintage TV is always a weakness for me: Perry Mason: The Second Season Vol 2 and maybe even I Love Lucy: The Complete Series. The full list of recent updates:

Icons of Horror - Sam Katzman (The Giant Claw, Zombies of Mora Tau, The Werewolf and Creature with the Atom Brain) Sony

Clockwork Orange [Blu-ray] (Stanley Kubrick, 1971) Warner Home Video

I Am Cuba: The Ultimate Edition (Mikhail Kalatozov, 1964) New Yorker Video

The Brute (El Bruto) (Luis Buñuel, 1952) Facets Video

2001 - A Space Odyssey [Blu-ray] (Stanley Kubrick, 1968) Warner Home Video

Eyes Wide Shut [Blu-ray] (Stanley Kubrick, 1999) Warner Home Video

Executive Suite (Robert Wise, 1954) Warner Home Video

The Cinema of Peter Watkins (5-disc) New Yorker

I'll Cry Tomorrow (Daniel Mann, 1955) Warner Home Video

The Day of the Triffids (Ken Hannam, 1981) BBC Warner

Chinatown (Special Collector's Edition) (Roman Polanski, 1974) Paramount Home Video

Shrek The Third (Chris Miller, 2007) Paramount Home Video

A Big Hand for the Little Lady (Fielder Cook, 1966) Warner Home Video

Full Metal Jacket: Deluxe Edition [HD DVD] (Stanley Kubrick, 1987) Warner Home Video

Twilight Zone - The Movie [Blu-ray] (Joe Dante, John Landis, George Miller, Steven Spielberg, 1984) Warner Home Video

Perry Mason: The Second Season Vol 2 - Paramount Home Video

Spider-Man Trilogy [Blu-ray] Sony Pictures

Eyes Wide Shut [HD DVD] (Stanley Kubrick, 1999) Warner Home Video

Director's Series 20 Pack (20 profiles of Hollywood's most highly acclaimed directors - Scorsese, Pollack etc.) Genius Products

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (Yves Simoneau, 2007) HBO Home Video

Three Days of Rain (Michael Meredith, 2003) Uni Dist Corp

Laura Smiles (Jason Ruscio, 2005) Lightyear Video

Yes, But (Yves Lavandier, 2001) Synkronized USA

Tryst (John Ashmore, 2005) Maverick

The Raven (Charles Brabin, 1915) Televista

The Sea Beast (Millard Webb, 1926) Televista

Little Church Around the Corner (William A. Seiter, 1923) Televista

Beast Within & Bat People (Midnite Madness Double Feature) MGM

Return of Dracula & Vampire (Midnite Madness Double Feature) MGM

Phantom From 10000 Leagues & Beast Million Eyes (Midnite Madness Double Feature) MGM

Yongary Monster From the Deep / Konga (Midnite Madness Double Feature) MGM

Bram Stoker's Dracula [Blu-ray] (Francis Ford Coppola,1992) Sony Pictures

Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East? (Bae Yong-Kyun, 1989) New Yorker

I Love Lucy: The Complete Series (1951-1957) Paramount Home Video

Carlito's Way [HD DVD] (Brian De Palma, 1993) Universal Home Video

Spider-Man 3 [Blu-ray] (Sam Raimi, 2007) Sony Pictures

Spider-Man 3 (2-disc SE) (Sam Raimi, 2007) Sony Pictures

Spider-Man 3 (Sam Raimi, 2007) Sony Pictures

Les Maîtres du temps (René Laloux) R2 UK Eureka - Masters of Cinema

Edvard Munch (Peter Watkins, 1974) R2 UK Eureka - Masters of Cinema

The Ken Loach Collection Volume 1 (8-disc - Kes, The Gamekeeper, Riff Raff, Raining Stones, Ladybird Ladybird, The Navigators, Bread and Roses and Poor Cow) R2 UK Sixteen Films

The Ken Loach Collection Volume 2 (8-disc - Cathy Come Home, My Name is Joe, Sweet Sixteen, Ae, Fond Kiss, Land and Freedom, The Wind That Shakes the Barley, Hidden Agenda and Carla’s Song ) R2 UK Sixteen Films

The Claude Chabrol Collection - Vol. 2 (6-disc) R2 UK Arrow Films

Verhoeven Collection (5 Disc) R2 UK Tartan

RECOMMENDATIONS: Just my opinions:

I SAY: First we should state that Losey's The Go-Between is presently only 4 Pounds at Amazon UK. I saw some great DVDs this week - Criterion's House of Games, Cría Cuervos and The Milky Way. Include the new 2-disc Taxi Driver  in your next purchase - very worthwhile. The Luis Bunuel Boxset  has good value. Lynch fans make appreciate his innovation/deviations of Inland Empire. Finally I LOVE The Fugitive - Season One, Vol. 1. And I think that is all I saw this past 7 days.

New Reviews:

The Lookout BR - Well-scripted screenplay, well-acted, photographed and scored. What more could you ask? The story itself doesn't win any honors for originality, but the execution is several cuts above your garden-variety melodrama-cum -thriller. There's an awful lot of talent out there, if only they could all come together in the same place. The Lookout is just such a place. O.K., it's not perfect: I'm not entirely convinced by all that happens in the bank during the heist, but it has savvy about all its characters. DVD Release Date: August 14th, 2007

The Queen BR - One of the better films of 2006, The Queen gives us only a glimpse into the complex private and public lives of the Royal Family (one wisecrack about the estranged Princess Margaret by Elizabeth is about all we get.) Watching this Blu-ray edition in the privacy and sharp focus of my high definition theatre, I found myself appreciating even more the subtleties of the performances by Helen Mirren (who took home the Oscar) as Elizabeth II and Michael Sheen (underrated, I thought, then and now) as Tony Blair, especially with the help of historian Robert Lacey's commentary. DVD Release Date: April 24, 2007
The Go-Between - Losey's adaptation of LP Hartley's novel is one of his more impressive later works. Together with screenwriter Harold Pinter, he creates another of his depictions of the destructive side of the English class system, as a love affair between the daughter of an affluent country family and a local farmer is tragically thwarted by prejudice and convention. Seen through the eyes of a young boy who acts as the instrument for the couple's assignations, the affair becomes the nexus for all the repression and unspoken manipulations brewing under the polite facade of an apparently civilised society; battle becomes personal on the cricket field, and the chink of teacups hides vicious whispers and plotting.
The Chess Players - The short-story irony of two nawabs playing interminable games of chess while their domestic domains crumble, and of a king wrapped up in his aesthetic pursuits while his territory is threatened by British expansionism, is decked out opulently enough (notably a lavish recreation of 1856 Lucknow); but it pales beside that of Ray's inability to distinguish a historical film from a mere costume drama. This has its moments as a gentle comedy, with Saeed Jaffrey in good form, but its nudging metaphors on queens and pawns provide a facile analysis of colonial politics. DVD Release Date: June 25th, 2007
A Crude Awakening - Ever since geologist M. King Hubbert proposed his peak oil theory in 1956, paranoid acolytes have been wondering that the era of fossil fuel energy and, by extension, Western civilization itself is coming to and end any day now. Hubbert’s controversial theory predicted that oil production would peak in America sometime in the late 60’s or early 70’s. He turned out to be right. In 1970, America produced over 10 million barrels per day; just 10 years later production was down to 7 million. Many other countries have experienced similar declines in oil production with the notable exception of Saudi Arabia, now producing over 12 million barrels per day. You were wondering why American presidents of the past 30+ years have loved their Saudi friends so dearly? DVD Release Date: July 31st, 2007
Speed BR - Many thrillers of recent decades, from the Bond franchise to Mission Impossible to the Schwarzenegger vehicles, make obvious and extensive use of ersatz science-fiction gadgetry or basic violations of the laws of physics. Speed sort of sneaks up on you, and you find yourself saying "No way!" a little too often. If that's your reaction, then Speed is not for you. On the other hand, if what you're looking for is a nonsensical thrill ride with some very trick stunts, a few explosions, a pretty fair script and some romance without sex, this might be just the ticket.
Cría Cuervos - Carlos Saura's exquisite Cria cuervos… heralded a turning point in Spain: shot while General Franco was on his deathbed, the film melds the personal and the political in a portrait of the legacy of fascism and its effects on a middle-class family (the title derives from the Spanish proverb: "Raise ravens and they’ll peck out your eyes"). Ana Torrent (the dark-eyed beauty from The Spirit of the Beehive) portrays the disturbed eight-year-old Ana, living in Madrid with her two sisters and mourning the death of her mother, whom she conjures as a ghost (an ethereal Geraldine Chaplin). Seamlessly shifting between fantasy and reality, the film subtly evokes both the complex feelings of childhood and the struggles of a nation emerging from the shadows. DVD Release Date: August 14th, 2007
Luis Bunuel Boxset - Gran Casino Set in the early 1900's, Bunuel's surprisingly mainstream and riveting romantic melodrama is the powerful tale of two escaped convicts, Gerardo (Jorge Negrete) and Demetrio (Julio Villarreal), who convince an Argentinian oil magnate to let them work on his rig. When he suddenly disappears, his sister (Libertad Lamarque) immediately suspects the two workers of foul play, but her attraction to Gerardo soon leads her to secretly team up with him to conduct their own murder investigation.
The Young One is a taut comedy-thriller from 1961, set on a game-preserve island off the Carolina coast, though shot, surprisingly, in Mexico. A northern black jazz musician (Bernie Hamilton), fleeing a trumped-up rape charge involving a white woman, arrives on the island and is briefly befriended by a young teenage orphan (Key Meersman), the granddaughter of a handyman who's just died. DVD Release Date: August 7th, 2007
Inland Empire - The movie flirts with the ostensible incoherence of Mulholland and Lost Highway, but the structure isn’t random. Empire may be the closest Lynch has come to a critique of his own tools. Characters are variously shown staring at a TV, standing in a movie theater and peering through cigarette-burn peepholes. The Polish scenes evoke the texture of decaying film stock. A squid-ink bullet wound matches icks with the best of Eraserhead. DVD Release Date: August 14th, 2007
The Fugitive - Season One, Vol. 1 - ...The much awaited (to DVD) TV series The Fugitive starring David Janssen has definite leanings to the latter with Dr. Richard Kimble as the Jean Valjean character doggedly, obsessively and unjustly pursued by Lt. Philip Gerard (Hugo's Javert). I suspect it is a small part of my passion for this classic television - the only TV show I actually copied every single episode to VHS (a medium from the past kids). I suspect the other trait that I am so keen on is The Fugitive's link to Film Noir. It is not a strong association but it does share some of the 'black cinema' style with an ex-convict character, occasional flashbacks (in this boxset see the episode 'The Girl from Little Egypt'), the heavy use of shadowy confine sequences (examples below) and frequent circumstances of the economically depressed. Kimble floats from menial job to job (fruit-picker, cleaning man, farm hand, boxing cut-man etc.) meeting and helping often desperate characters - played by enduring stars (from season one) like Bruce Dern, Jack Klugman, Brenda Vaccaro, Leslie Neilson, Sandy Dennis and Robert Duvall. NOTE: Noir legend Ida Lupino directs two episodes in this first boxset! DVD Release Date: August 14th, 2007
Taxi Driver - Taxi Driver is the definitive cinematic portrait of loneliness and alienation manifested as violence. It is as if director Martin Scorsese and screenwriter Paul Schrader had tapped into precisely the same source of psychological inspiration ("I just knew I had to make this film," Scorsese would later say), combined with a perfectly timed post-Watergate expression of personal, political, and societal anxiety. DVD Release Date: August 14th, 2007
The Milky Way - The first of what Luis Bunuel later proclaimed a trilogy (along with The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and The Phantom of Liberty) about "the search for truth," The Milky Way (La voie lactee) daringly deconstructs contemporary and traditional views on Catholicism with ribald, rambunctious surreality. Two French beggars, present-day pilgrims en route to Spain's holy city of Santiago de Compostela, serve as Bunuel's narrators for an anticlerical history of heresy, told with absurdity and filled with images that rank among Bunuel's most memorable (stigmatic children, crucified nuns) and hilarious (Jesus considering a good shave). A diabolically entertaining look at the mysteries of fanaticism, The Milky Way remains a hotly debated work from cinema's greatest skeptic. DVD Release Date: August 21st, 2007
House of Games - Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter David Mamet first sat in the director's chair for this sly, merciless thriller. Mamet's witty tale of a therapist and best-selling author (Lindsay Crouse) who must confront her own obsessions when she meets an attractive cardsharp (Joe Mantegna) is as psychologically acute as it is full of twists and turns, a rich character study told with the cold calculation of a career criminal. DVD Release Date: August 21st, 2007
Next 2 weeks on the Calendar:

Week of August 13th, 2007

A Midsummer Night's Dream (William Dieterle, 1935) Warner Home Video

51 Birch Street (Doug Block, 2005) Image Entertainment

Cautiva (Gaston Biraben, 2003) Koch International

Charlie Chan Collection Vol. 3 (Behind that Curtain (1929), Charlie Chan's Secret (1936), Charlie Chan on Broadway (1937) and Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo (1937) 20th Century Fox

Cría cuervos (Carlos Saura, 1976) Criterion Collection

The Executioner's Song (Lawrence Schiller, 1982) (TV) Paramount Home Video

The First Films of Samuel Fuller (I Shot Jesse James, The Baron of Arizona and The Steel Helmet) Criterion/Eclipse

The Fugitive - Season One, Vol. 1 (David Janssen, 1963) Paramount Home Video

Halloween - (Restored) (John Carpenter, 1978) Starz / Anchor Bay

Hamlet (Kenneth Branagh, 1996) Warner

Inland Empire (David Lynch, 2006) Absurda / Rhino

The Lookout (Scott Frank, 2007) Miramax

Othello (Stuart Burge, 1965) Warner Home Video

Romeo and Juliet (George Cukor, 1936) Warner Home Video

Shakespeare Collection (Hamlet 1996 / A Midsummer Night's Dream 1935 / Othello 1965 /

Taxi Driver (Limited Collector's Edition) (Martin Scorsese, 1976) Sony Pictures

The Trial (Orson Welles, 1963) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment

Vacancy (Nimród Antal, 2007) Sony Pictures

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

Week of August 20th, 2007

Broken English (Zoe Cassavetes, 2007) Magnolia

The Castle (Michael Haneke, 1997) Kino Video

House of Games (David Mamet, 1987) Criterion Collection

Immortal Beloved [Blu-ray] (Bernard Rose, 1994) Sony Pictures

Inland Empire (2-disc) (David Lynch, 2006) R2 UK - Optimum Home Entertainment

Akira Kurosawa (2pc) (Ran, Madadayo) Wellspring Media

The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2006) Sony Pictures

The Lives of Others [Blu-ray] (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2006) Sony Pictures

Michael Haneke Collection (The Piano Teacher/Funny Games/Code Unknown/The Castle/Bennys Video/The Seventh Continent/71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance)(7pc) Kino

The Milky Way (Luis Bunuel, 1969) Criterion Collection

Reel Talent: First Films by Legendary Directors (Lucas, Zemeckis, Foley etc) 20th Century Fox

She (Deluxe Two Disc Edition) (Irving Pichel, 1935) Kino Video

Toho Triple Feature: Mysterians, Varan and Matango - Tokyo Shock

The Way To The Stars (Anthony Asquith, 1945) R2 UK Network

Masters of Cinema DVD releases are still on sale at Amazon.UK!

 HERE including...

Le Silence de la mer (25% OFF!), Scandal (45% OFF!), Assassination (45% OFF!), Pitfall (45% OFF!), Humanity & Paper Balloons (45% OFF!), Kuroneko (45% OFF!), Kwaidan (35% OFF!), Faust (54% OFF!), Asphalt (45% OFF!), The Idiot (45% OFF!), The Face of Another (45% OFF!), Shoeshine (45% OFF!), Twenty-four Eyes (45% OFF!), The Naked Island (45% OFF!), Prisoner of Shark Island (45% OFF!), Vengeance is Mine (45% OFF!), Metropolis (45% OFF!), Francesco Giullare di Dio (45% OFF!), The Holy Mountain (54% OFF!), Sunrise (45% OFF!), Funeral Parade of Roses (45% OFF!)

and 4500 UK DVDs UNDER £5 HERE - Up to 70% OFF!

Calm Blue Ocean,