DVDBeaver Newsletter - August 20th, 2007


Kaixo! - Admittedly a slower week for our brand of eccentric DVD tastes with only 8 new reviews - 2 of which are comparisons... but we have an exciting new contest (and winner announced of the past NOIR CLIPS one), 45 new calendar listings, a new article, news and more...



The Korean Wave... Or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Korean Drama by Leonard Norwitz



Berlin Alexanderplatz (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1980), The Lady Vanishes REMASTERED (Alfred Hitchcock,1938), Sawdust and Tinsel (Ingmar Bergman, 1953) and Drunken Angel (Akira Kurosawa, 1948).


NOIR CLIPS CONTEST WINNER (of Film Noir Classic Collection, Vol. 4!) is: Grant Jerkins!

ANSWERS WERE: 1. Impact, 2. Double Indemnity, 3. D.O.A., 4. Brute Force, 5. Cry of the City, 6. Thieves Highway, 7. The Blue Dahlia, 8. Detour and 9. Criss Cross


NEW CONTEST: Identify the Five Quotations from film clips (what films is it? - we will post one per week on the homepage for five weeks) and win a new Toshiba HD-A2 HD DVD Player: (up to a $400 value!).


Just subscribe to our Free Weekly Newsletter (for hints and the winner announcement) and email all 5 answers to contest@DVDBeaver.com


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?):

Too much: Stuff I'll be buying (perchance reviewing) - Chase a Crooked Shadow has been a longtime friends fav film and I can now see it. Other stuff - Mandy, Tell No-One, Confess, LOL, With a Song in My Heart, Hadzihalilovic's Innocence with hopes it will better existing releases, American Silent Horror Collection, The Designated Mourner, Dumont's Flanders, Mulligan's Up the Down Staircase, Paris, je t'aime, and to sate my desire for vintage television - Mission: Impossible - Season 3. The complete list:

Payroll (Sidney Hayers, 1961) R2 UK - Optimum

John Ford Director's Collection - The Grapes of Wrath (1940), My Darling Clementine (1946) and Horse Soldiers (1959) - R2 UK - Universal Pictures UK

The Long Arm (Charles Frend, 1956) R2 UK - Optimum

Fear Is the Key (Michael Tuchner, 1972) R2 UK - Optimum

Chase a Crooked Shadow (Michael Anderson, 1958) R2 UK - Optimum

The Crow [Blu-ray] (Alex Proyas, 1994) R2 UK - Entertainment in Video

Mandy (Alexander Mackendrick, Fred F. Sears - 1952) R2 UK - Optimum

Night of the Demon (Jacques Tourneur, 1957) R2 UK - Dd Home Entertainment

Angels One Five (George More O'Ferrall, 1952) R2 UK - Optimum

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (Gore Verbinski, 2007) R2 UK - Buena Vista Home Entertainment

Ocean's Thirteen (Steven Soderbergh, 2007) R2 UK - Warner Home Video

Tell No-One (Guillaume Canet, 2006) R2 UK - Momentum Pictures Home Ent

Fantastic Four - The Rise Of The Silver Surfer (2 Disc Special Edition) (Tim Story, 2007) R2 UK - 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Confess (Stefan C. Schaefer, 2005) Mti Home Video

Erik the Conqueror (Mario Bava, 1961) Anchor Bay

LOL (Joe Swanberg, 2006) Ryko Distribution

Snake Woman's Curse (Nobuo Nakagawa, 1968) Synapse Films

The Blood Rose (Claude Mulot, 1969) Mondo Macabro

The Hurricane [HD DVD] (Norman Jewison, 1999) Universal Studios

Red Road (Andrea Arnold, 2006) Tartan Video

Princess Iron Fan (Wan Guchan, 1941) Koch International

Heeere's Johnny: The Definitive DVD Collection from The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson (12-disc) - Carson Entertainment

Pixar Short Films Collection-V01 [Blu-ray] (13 short films) - Buena Vista Home Video

Pixar Short Films Collection-V01 (13 short films) - Buena Vista Home Video

With a Song in My Heart (Walter Lang, 1952) Fox Home Entertainment

Innocence (Lucile Hadzihalilovic, 2004) Home Vision

Little Chicago (Richard Clabaugh, 2005) Loose Cannon Films

American Silent Horror Collection (The Man Who Laughs, The Penalty, The Cat and the Canary, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Kingdom of Shadows) Kino

The Designated Mourner (David Hare, 1997) Urban Works

The Two Jakes (Special Collector's Edition) (Jack Nicholson, 1990) Paramount Home Video

Flanders (Bruno Dumont, 2006) Koch

Up the Down Staircase (Robert Mulligan, 1967) Warner Home Video

Battle of Okinawa (Kihachi Okamoto, 1971) Koch

Paris, je t'aime (Assayas, Coens, van Sant etc., 2006) First Look

Mission: Impossible - Season 3 (1966) - Paramount Home Video

Beowulf & Grendel (Sturla Gunnarsson, 2005) VT

Heavens Fall (Terry Green, 2006) Allumination

The Deadly Breaking Sword (Chung Sun, 1979) Image Ent.

Blame It on Fidel (Julie Gavras, 2006) Koch

Leading Ladies Collection Vol. 2 (I'll Cry Tomorrow/Shoot the Moon/Rich and Famous/ Up the Down Staircase/A Big Hand for the Little Lady) Warner Home Video

The Devil Came on Horseback (Ricki Stern, Anne Sundberg, 2007) New Video Group

The Amicus Collection (3-disc) (Asylum / And Now The Screaming Starts / The Beast Must Die) Dark Sky Films

Journey from the Fall (Ham Tran, 2006) Imaginasian

Jackie Chan's the Myth (Stanley Tong, 2005) Sony

Asi Del Precipicio (Teresa Suarez, 2006) Lions Gate Home Entertainment

The Devil (Andrzej Zulawski, 1972) Facets Video


RECOMMENDATIONS: Just my opinions:

I SAY: I didn't see enough this week to make any bold recommendations although there were a few that I enjoyed.

New Reviews:

Face/Off - Due to small budgets, rushed shooting schedules, and a variety of other reasons, John Woo’s Hong-Kong productions--even the best ones--have a certain sloppiness/unfinished feel. True, Face/Off doesn’t have Chow Yun-fat, but it has a completeness and emotional resonance that puts it at the top of Woo’s oeuvre with A Better Tomorrow, The Killer, and Once a Thief. The duality and male-bonding themes are there, but Face/Off also benefits from an examination of two families on opposite sides of the law. Female characters are often presented as comical sidekicks or bumbling meddlers in Woo’s movies, but in Face/Off, they’re as serious, tough, and passionate as the men. The opponents want to destroy each other, of course, but the resolution brings the families together in a way that heals them. After years filled with “heroic bloodshed”, Woo showed us the “heroic healing” in which he believes. DVD Release Date: September 11th, 2007

Crime Story - Crime Story is based on the real-life kidnapping of a Hong-Kong tycoon, and it’s a serious, straight dramatic thriller without the comedic elements that frequently make their way into a Jackie-Chan movie. (The action choreography is toned down compared to most of Chan’s other efforts, but this is about a real-life detective and not a superman.) As with the other times he has played policemen, Chan delivers a very good performance, one mixed with genuine emoting, solid stunt work, and conviction. I’m not sure why Chan is drawn to playing policemen, but he’s frequently shown the Hong Kong Police at its best. DVD Release Date: August 7th, 2007

A World Without Thieves - They are the perfect Bonnie and Clyde: Bo, a master pickpocket from Hong Kong, and Li, a femme fatale grafter from Taiwan. Partners in crime and passion, the couple swindle their way across China until one day Li suddenly decides to call it quits, both to her egregious lifestyle and to her entanglement with Bo. It is at this crossroad in their lives that they run into Fu Gen, a humble peasant -- an encounter that will alter their fate forever… DVD Release Date: July 24th, 2007

Partition - A brilliantly executed and intense drama based around the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 and the transfer of power from British to Indian hands. Based on Saadat Hussan Manto's famous short story about partition, McMullen's film focuses on the historical footnote that inmates of lunatic asylums were also transferred - Muslims to asylums in Pakistan, Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan to India. The film is set in both an asylum on the border and the conference rooms of the rulers, and the same actors play both the rulers and the inmates of the asylum, with events in the asylum mirroring the actions of the ruling order. The film's structure is complemented by superb cinematography and set design and the cast list reads like a who's who of Indian acting talent. DVD Release Date: August 27th, 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. Optimum DVD Release Date: August 20th, 2007

Reel Talent: First Films by Legendary Directors - A compilation of 12 short films by directors who would go on to make Star Wars (George Lucas), Forrest Gump (Robert Zemeckis), and Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly), Reel Talent is an eclectic collection of work that shares one thing in common: all nine of the directors attended film school at the University of Southern California. Though Lucas gets the most play with 3 shorts--including the exhilarating 1:42:08 - A Man and His Car--it's Zemeckis' work that shines. He exhibits subtle nuances and a keen eye for storytelling with The Lift, which hints at both sci-fi and the supernatural with its tale of an old elevator that seems to operate on its own whim. DVD Release Date: August 21st, 2007

Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars - Directors Zach Niles and Banker White avoid any significant political engagement (though they do show some grim archival footage of the civil war) in favor of an uplifting portrait of the intrepid musicians. Surely the filmmakers didn’t know any better than the All Stars whether the temporary peace in Sierra Leone would last, making the attempt to film the return home quite a challenge, but Niles and White strike the right balance of optimism and ambivalence. Most of the band members decide to return to home, though Mohamed understandably holds out. DVD Release Date: August 14th, 2007

The Lives of Others - You can pick out the works of others in Von Donnersmarck’s drama—America’s paranoid ’70s thrillers, British espionage flicks and various dour nail-biters featuring overcoated spies coming in from the cold. But it’s the performances (especially Mühe’s compartmentalized spook) and the film’s sharklike forward momentum that make The Lives of Others a compelling look at the psychic toll incurred by a society obsessed with security. The relentless pace resembles a noose tightening; like the claustrophobic Army of Shadows, the movie frames its compositions for maximum constriction. It’s too soon to tell whether this young German filmmaker is our generation’s Jean-Pierre Melville, but judging from how he sustains a piano-wire tautness down to the final freeze-framed shot, the director has undeniably perfected the art of turning the screw. DVD Release Date: August 21st, 2007

Next 2 weeks on the Calendar:


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


Week of August 27th, 2007


3:10 to Yuma Special Edition (Delmer Daves, 1957) Sony Pictures

Antibodies (Two-Disc Special Edition) (Christian Alvart, 2005) Dark Sky Films

The Blood Rose (Claude Mulot, 1969) Mondo Macabro

The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros (Auraeus Solito, 2005) TLA

Citizen Dog (Wisit Sasanatieng, 2004) Tai Seng

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

Confess (Stefan C. Schaefer, 2005) Mti Home Video

Cry of the City (Robert Siodmak, 1948) R2 Uk Bfi Video

The Deadly Companions (Sam Peckinpah, 1961) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment

Deadly Dames-Film Noir Collectors Set (Naked Kiss, Slightly Scarlet, Blonde Ice) VCI

Erik the Conqueror (Mario Bava, 1961) Anchor Bay

Xperimental Eros (2007) - OTHER CINEMA

Flower and Snake (Masaru Konuma , 1974) Tokyo Shock

Heroes - Season 1 (2006) Universal

Heroes - Season 1 [HD DVD] (2006) Universal

Horrors of Malformed Men (Teruo Ishii, 1969) Synapse Films

The Hurricane [HD DVD] (Norman Jewison, 1999) Universal Studios

LOL (Joe Swanberg, 2006) Ryko Distribution

Masters of Horror: Season One Box Set (Ws) (DVD) - Anchor Bay

My Way Home (Jancso, 1965) R2 UK Second Run

The Night of the Sunflowers (Jorge Sánchez-Cabezudo, 2006) R2 UK YUME PICTURES

Offside (Jafar Panahi, 2006) Sony Pictures

On the Silver Globe (Andrzej Zulawski, 1988) Polart

Red Road (Andrea Arnold, 2006) Tartan Video

The Seventh Seal [Special Edition] (Ingmar Bergman, 1957) R2 UK Tartan

Snake Woman's Curse (Nobuo Nakagawa, 1968) Synapse Films

True Heart Susie & Hoodoo Ann - (D.W. Griffith, 1919) (Lloyd Ingraham, 1916) - Image Entertainment

Verhoeven Collection (5 Disc) R2 UK Tartan

Weiss-O-Rama - VCI Entertainment

Who the Hell Is Juliette? (Quien Diablos es Juliette?) (Carlos Marcovich, 1997) Facets Video

Women Behind Bars (Jesús Franco, 1975) Blue Underground


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


Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily.....