DVDBeaver Newsletter - August 27th, 2007


Hejsa! - A powerhouse week for DVDBeaver with 21 new reviews - 4 of which are comparisons... Criterions, Norman Jewison, Ken Loach, Jim Jarmusch, classic westerns, Arthouse, Asian... 4 HD and 2 Blu-ray, 45 new calendar listings, the 2nd of 5 quotes for our contest and more...



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).


NEW FORMAT STUFF - Paramount (Viacom) and DreamWorks Animation have chosen to drop Blu-ray and will now release exclusively HD-DVD discs (in addition to the standard definition DVDs, of course.) see article HERE.


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 probably indulging in (perchance reviewing) - Killer of Sheep, Looks and Smiles, Twin Peaks - The Definitive Gold Box Edition, I've heard only good things and my own judgment would be unsupported so I might get - Battlestar Galactica - Season One - 2004 [HD DVD], we will surely compare Close Encounters of the Third Kind 30th Anni/Ult Edition, I must say I am pretty surios about Poisonous Seductress #1, #2 and #3, - a highly regarded rendition; Pride & Prejudice, we will obviously review the 4 November Criterions - Fassbinder's Berlin Alexanderplatz , compare The Lady Vanishes REMASTERED, Bergman's Sawdust and Tinsel and Kurosawa's Drunken Angel, I suppose we better compare Battleship Potemkin, Paris, je t'aime (2-disc Limited Collector's Edition), and lastly - a guilty distraction - Futurama the Movie - Bender's Big Score. Here is the whole list:

Killer of Sheep (Charles Burnett, 1977) New Yorker Films Video

Looks and Smiles (Ken Loach, 1981) Image Entertainment

Twin Peaks - The Definitive Gold Box Edition (Seasons 1 & 2, Pilot) (David Lynch, 1990) Paramount Home Video

Ratatouille (Brad Bird, 2007) Walt Disney Video

Seinfeld Season 9 - Sony Pictures Home Ent

Seinfeld-Complete Series Box Set - Sony Pictures Home Ent.

Battlestar Galactica - Season One - 2004 [HD DVD] - Universal Studios

Cars [Blu-ray] (John Lasseter, 2006) Walt Disney Video

The Jack Nicholson Collection (Chinatown / The Two Jakes) - Paramount Home Video

Natasha (Jag Mundhra, 2006) Maverick Entertainment

Close Encounters of the Third Kind 30th Anni/Ult Edition (Steven Spielberg, 1977) - Sony Pictures Home Ent

Cannibal Man (Eloy de la Iglesia,1972) Blue Underground

Legends of the Poisonous Seductress #1: Female Demon Ohyaku (Nobuo Nakagawa, 1968) Ryko Distribution Partners

Legends of the Poisonous Seductress #2: Quick Draw Okatsu (2007) (Nobuo Nakagawa, 1969) Ryko Distribution Partners

Legends of the Poisonous Seductress #3: Okatsu the Fugitive (Nobuo Nakagawa, 1969) Ryko Distribution Partners

Pride & Prejudice (2005) (2-disc) (W/Book) (W/CD) (Joe Wright, 2005) - Universal Studios

The Ritchie Boys (Christian Bauer, 2004) New Video Group

Manufactured Landscapes (Jennifer Baichwal, 2006) Zeitgeist Films

Monsieur Hire (Patrice Leconte, 1989) Kino

Sin (Pooja Bhatt, 2003) Image Entertainment

Futurama the Movie - Bender's Big Score (Dwayne Carey-Hill, 2007) 20th Century Fox

A Cottage on Dartmoor (Anthony Asquith, 1929) Kino Video

A Drowning Man (Naoki Ichio, 2000) Pathfinder Home Ent.

The Departed [HD DVD] (Martin Scorsese, 2006) Warner Home Video

Lady in the Water [HD DVD] (M. Night Shyamalan,2006) Warner Home Video

12:08 East of Bucharest (Corneliu Porumboiu, 2006) Tartan Video

Elvis: Blue Suede Collection 10-disc (Jailhouse Rock/Viva Las Vegas/It Happened at the World's Fair / Kissin' Cousins/Girl Happy/Live a Little, Love a Little/Elvis: That's the Way It Is/This Is Elvis) - Warner Home Video

Man Push Cart (Ramin Bahrani, 2005) Koch Lorber

Adventures of Young Indiana Jones - Vol. 1 - Paramount Home Video

Battleship Potemkin (2pc) Ultimate Edition (Sergei Eisenstein, 1925) Kino Video

Black Mirrors: Forough Farrokhzad (2-disc) – Facets

In the Land of Women (Jon Kasdan, 2006) Warner Home Video

Trantasia (Jeremy Stanford, 2006) TLA

The Eroticist (Lucio Fulci, 1972) Ryko Distribution

Berlin Alexanderplatz (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1980) Criterion

The Lady Vanishes REMASTERED (Alfred Hitchcock,1938) Criterion

Sawdust and Tinsel (Ingmar Bergman, 1953) Criterion

Drunken Angel (Akira Kurosawa, 1948) Criterion

Paris, je t'aime (2-disc Limited Collector's Edition) (Assayas, Coens, van Sant etc. 2006) First Look

Allegro (Christoffer Boe, 2005) Koch Lorber

Kozintsev Collection (W/Book) King Lear (1971) - Hamlet (1964) Facets

Shinobi no mono (Satsuo Yamamoto, 1962) Animeigo

Poltergeist (25th Anniversary Edition) (Tobe Hooper, 1982) Warner

Inside Man (Spike Lee, 2006) Universal Studios

Inside Man [HD DVD] (Spike Lee, 2006) Universal Studios

King of New York [Blu-ray] (Abel Ferrara, 1990) Lionsgate


RECOMMENDATIONS: Just my opinions:

I SAY: Of what I saw - STRONG recommendations for 3:10 to Yuma Night on Earth, LOL, The Wind That Shakes The Barley and Stranger Than Paradise,  the I liked (but some did not): Citizen Dog, The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros (poor DVD - good film), Secret of the Cave  (kiddie fare ... but good), The Hurricane and She,. What I haven't seen (in the format) but intend to; The Host BR,  (I thought the SD  of Mutiny on the Bounty was amazing - Matthew is high on the HD) and Jani may have sold me on Memories of Matsuko.

New Reviews:


The Host BR - The Host is one wild and crazy movie. The first fifteen minutes crosses more genres in less time than an entire Benny Hill season. It is, by turns, a low comedy, a horror movie in the grand 1950s tradition, a scary film in the Alien and Jaws tradition, a parody of American authoritarianism in one moment and absurd heroism in another, and a psychologically sympathetic study of a dysfunctional family. All this peppered by some pretty clever special effects, one cool monster, and one of the scariest rivers you'll ever see want to keep your distance from. Blu-ray DVD Release Date: July 24, 2007

Mutiny on the Bounty HD - Robert Surtees, Cinematographer on Ben-Hur, The Last Picture Show, The Sting, The Graduate and The Cowboys just to name a few, shot the film in 65mm Panavision and set one of the grandest scales he could for such a majestic film and earned a Best Cinematography Oscar Nomination for his work. He may not have won that year the honor went to Freddie Young for his luminous work on a modest film called Lawrence of Arabia.

Kamikaze Girls - Momoko is an ordinary girl, living an ordinary life. Ordinary, that is, if you define ordinary as wearing elaborate lolita dresses from the Rococo period in 18th Century France. A complete fish out of water in her rural and sleepy Japanese town, where everyone buys their clothes (and everything else) at the same store and no one understands her, Momoko's life is one of sugared sweets and frilly treats.

A Tale of Two Sisters - That Asia is making great horror films should be obvious to everyone now, especially after Hollywood have begun remaking them by the numbers. The wave began with Nakata’s “The Ring” in 1998 and even though I’m not a particular fan of it, it’s influence and impact is so strong, that most horror films today are weighted by it, as “A Tale of Two Sisters”, which on its cover says, “The most frightening film since RING”. Personally I find “A Tale of Two Sisters” a far better horror film, and judging from the films we’ve seen over the recent years, Asian horror is still developing and we can expect many more great horror films in the years to come.

Night on Earth - Five cities. Five taxicabs. A multitude of strangers in the night. Jim Jarmusch assembled an extraordinary international cast of actors (including Gena Rowlands, Winona Ryder, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Beatrice Dalle, and Roberto Benigni) for this hilarious quintet of tales of urban displacement and existential angst, spanning time zones, continents, and languages. Jarmusch's lovingly askew view of humanity from the passenger seat makes for one of his most charming and beloved films. DVD Release Date: September 4th, 2007

Memories of Matsuko - That director is Tetsuya Nakashima, whose previous film Kamikaze Girls was a particular favorite of mine when it played two years ago, and the style of the two films are very similar: Bright colors, fanciful compositions, larger-than-life personalities and a great deal of jumping back and forth in time. While many might choose to tone things down for the darker subject matter of Matsuko, he instead adds an extra layer of exuberance, with elaborately staged musical numbers. It works - with the high points of the title character's life so beautiful, the lows become even more ghastly. DVD Release Date: January 11th, 2007

The Hurricane HD - "Hate put me in prison. Love's gonna bust me out." Those words, spoken by Rubin "Hurricane" Carter (Denzel Washington), form the thematic foundation of Norman Jewsion's latest film, The Hurricane. Alternatively tragic and triumphant, it is an exhilarating trip through the life and times of the title character, a championship boxer from Paterson, New Jersey, who spent 19 years behind bars for murders he did not commit. The Hurricane not only details the crime and the miscarriage of justice that followed, but shows how Carter survived the long, lonely years in prison, and how the devotion of a small group of Canadians led to his redemption. HD-DVD Released: August 28th, 2007

LOL - “LOL” is about three men who are way too attached to their electronic devices. Tim, who does some kind of work via computer, alienates his girlfriend Ada by never closing the damn laptop. When it is closed, his ear is fixed to a cell phone. When the two actually speak to one another, Tim seems lost and confused. Alex is a musician (more on that later) who is so fixated on a girl he’s met through an adult website, he simply cannot relate to a real-life girl named Walter who really seems to dig him. Then there’s Chris. Chris has moved to Chicago for work and has left behind girlfriend Greta in New York. As the two try and keep a spark alive through cell phones and cell phone photos, they become increasingly lonely and detached from one another. DVD Release Date: August 28th, 2007

The Lives of Others BR - A meditation in claustrophobia, paranoia, and the relationship between art and censorship. A story about three men in love with the same woman: each in their own way: one, accepting and nurturing; another, imaginary but invasive; and a third, objectifying and extortive. All this told in a tight, suspenseful, quiet thriller in the context of the waning years of the repressive [East] German Democratic Republic and its infamous secret police: the Stasi. Blu-ray Release Date: August 21st, 2007

The Wind That Shakes The Barley - ...in watching “The Wind That Shakes the Barley,” his new film (which won the top prize at Cannes last year), it is possible to appreciate both Mr. Loach’s passion and his sense of nuance. Set in Ireland in the 1920s, the film paints history in stark colors and observes as they blur and bleed. Mr. Loach and Paul Laverty, the gifted screenwriter with whom he regularly collaborates, leave no doubt as to who the villains are in this tale. DVD Release Date: September 4th, 2007

Confess - Writer-director Stefan Schaefer's high-concept script, "Confess," which snagged the Hamptons' scribe prize, never quite transcends its own cleverness. A black, downwardly mobile computer genius abducts corporate and governmental VIPs and taunts them into "confessing" the racism, exploitation and naked self-interest behind their smooth official facades. He then uploads their confessions onto an increasingly popular Web site. But, pic's underdeveloped characters never deliver any fully coherent political beliefs, which allows Schaefer -- in the guise of exploring the ambiguous implications of new electronic forms of social activism -- to hedge his bets in all directions. Gimmicky video imagery could score on cable. DVD Release Date: August 28th, 2007

Citizen Dog - A rare Thai cult film, Citizen Dog criticizes various aspects of the modern society with surrealistically colored visuals and a daring plot that can only originate from the most imaginative brain. Director Wisit Sasanatieng, after his creative Tears of the Black Tiger, adapts a story written by his wife into an acclaimed movie, officially selected for the Toronto Film Festival and the Pusan Film Festival. Citizen Dog was awarded the Bronze Prize for the Best Asian Film at the Fantasia Film, Montreal. DVD Release Date: August 28th, 2007

The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros - There aren’t many love stories about a rookie cop and a 12-year-old boy, but in many ways that’s what young Filipino director Auraeus Solito’s debut feature offers. Maxi (Nathan Lopez) is an unapologetically effeminate Manila lad who gets on surprisingly well with his gangster pa (Soliman Cruz) and street-thug brothers, teasing each other or taking in a DVD in the modest home that Maxi keeps with pride when not swishing fabulously around the slum streets. Tension arrives in the beefy shape of new man on the force, Victor (JR Valentin), who presents Maxi with an appealingly robust model of manhood by determining to overcome the laissez-faire corruption that, problematically, allows his family to thrive. DVD Release Date: August 28th, 2007

3:10 to Yuma (1957) - A classic Western scenario, adapted from a short story by Elmore Leonard. For $200, the sum he desperately needs to save his land from drought, a small-time farmer (Heflin) agrees to escort a notorious outlaw (Ford) to the state penitentiary in Yuma; holed up in a hotel to await the train, with the outlaw's gang gathering in force outside, the escort finds himself in effect the prisoner; nevertheless, although the financial inducement evaporates (he's offered more to let matters slide by both the outlaw and the town's alarmed mayor), he insists on fulfilling his contract. It's of necessity a talkative film, with Ford working on Heflin's nerves in a stream of Machiavellian banter, but one held in perfect balance by Daves, who keeps the tension strung taut (especially in the gauntlet-running final walk to the station) while at the same time elaborating a subtle psychological conflict. DVD Release Date: August 28th, 2007

Stranger Than Paradise - Rootless Hungarian emigre Willie (John Lurie), his pal Eddie (Richard Edson), and visiting sixteen-year-old cousin Eva (Eszter Balint) always manage to make the least of any situation, whether aimlessly traversing the drab interiors and environs of New York City, Cleveland, or an anonymous Florida suburb. With its delicate humor and dramatic nonchalance, Jim Jarmusch's one-of-a-kind minimalist masterpiece, Stranger Than Paradise, forever transformed the landscape of American independent cinema. DVD Release Date: September 4th, 2007

We Are Marshall - We Are Marshall is precisely what one expects from a true sports story: it's uplifting and inspiring. Although the film does not ascend to the pinnacle of its genre (arguably occupied by Hoosiers), it's not too far down the mountain and the added ingredient of a town's grief allows director McG to explore some issues not normally tackled in this sort of motion picture. We Are Marshall stays surprisingly true to the facts, keeping embellishments to the minimum necessary to make the story cinematic. (The opening caption states "This is a true story" not "This is based on a true story" or "This is inspired by a true story.") As feel-good stories go, this is more successful than some of its higher profile multiplex competition. DVD Release Date: September 18th, 2007

Secret of the Cave - A young American boy, Roy Wallace, knows that his dad is Irish yet never thought he would be spending his precious summer vacation in a tiny fishing village in Ireland. He feels a long way from home but before long unexplainable events begin to occur and murmurs of ghosts sweep through the village. Determined to solve the mystery and disprove the superstition of the villagers, Roy takes on the case. When all signs point towards the sea cave, Roy faces his fears and discovers the Secret of the Cave. DVD Release Date: September 4th, 2007

Broken English - It is that rare romantic comedy in which women can actually see themselves. Most of them are either popcorn fantasies or ridiculously reductive, strictly Hollywood constructs that never come completely alive. That is happily not the case with Broken English, Zoe Cassavetes' witty feature debut that smartly outlines the dilemma of the heart facing one lonely Manhattan single, a character who is only too real in her romantic fumbling. DVD Release Date: August 21st, 2007

Erin Brockovich HD - Erin Brockovich is one of Soderbergh’s social-message efforts, but it’s better than the others because the material has a definite answer--that is, industrial companies that pollute and harm people should pay for their crimes. This stands in sharp contrast to Traffic, which is a sprawling mess about how nobody has any answers, so we should empathize with people with drug addictions. In addition to actually saying something, Soderbergh resisted the temptation to act like a cinema-geek, so there aren’t any annoying camera or editing tics. He let the material speak for itself, and the movie condemns industrialists without haranguing the audience into submission. HD-DVD release: August 14th, 2007

What Dreams May Come HD - Mr. Ward has created a film that at its most visually evocative portrays its characters’ lives and afterlives as a kind of hall of mirrors, in which the lines between dream and reality, memory and eternity are continually blurring as one gives way to another. At its most seductive, the film portrays heaven as a magical, hallucinatory extension of the physical world that has been left behind. It is a place flooded with dim golden light and thick with flowers, of misty peaks and crags, where people and objects float through the sky and great distances can be breached with a single leap (of faith, of course). HD-DVD release: August 14th, 2007

She - This sumptuous Hollywood adaptation of H Rider Haggard's classic fantasy by producer Merian C. Cooper (who had previously brought King Kong to the screen) was long held to have been a lost film until the last surviving print turned up in, of all places, Buster Keaton's garage. So we can travel once again through icy wastelands to the kingdom of She Who Must Be Obeyed and bathe in the flames of eternal life. Plot and acting are sheer hokum and there's much unintentional humour, but the gargantuan set design is amazing and Max Steiner's musical soundtrack pulses with mystery and romance. DVD Release Date: August 21st, 2007

Next 2 weeks on the Calendar:


Week of August 27th, 2007


3:10 to Yuma Special Edition (Delmer Davis, 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


Week of September 3rd, 2007

Aaltra (Gustave de Kervern, Benoît Delépine - 2004) Film Movement

Alibi (Roland West, 1929) Kino International

Believe in Me (Robert Collector, 2006) Gaiam

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

Dr. No (1962) (Remastered) (Terence Young, 1962) MGM

Francois Ozon: A Curtain Raiser & Other Shorts - Kino International

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

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

Kill Bill Vol. 1 [Blu-ray] (Quentin Tarantino, 2003) R2 UK Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Kill Bill Vol. 2 [Blu-ray] (Quentin Tarantino, 2004) R2 UK Buena Vista Home Entertainment

Ministry of Fear (Fritz Lang, 1944) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment

Night on Earth (Jim Jarmusch, 1991) Criterion

Ping Pong (Fumihiko Sori, 2002) Viz Video

Pulp Fiction [Blu-ray] (Quentin Tarantino, 1994) R2 UK Buena Vista Home Entertainment

Scene of the Crime (André Téchiné, 1986) Kino Video

Secret of the Cave (Zach C. Gray, 2006) First Look Pictures

Special Day (Ettore Scola, 1977) Televista

Stranger Than Paradise (Jim Jarmusch, 1984) Criterion

Stephanie Daley (Hilary Brougher, 2006) Liberation Ent

They Call Me Trinity (Enzo Barboni, 1970) Hens Tooth

Trinity Twin Pack (They Call Me Trinity / Trinity is Still My Name) - Hens Tooth

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

Those most successful (personally and financially) will be those who accept change as an inevitability.....

Peace out!