DVDBeaver Newsletter - September 1st, 2008

Ni midhikidh! - 18 newly penned reviews uploaded the past week. From the extravagance of Kill Bill(s) to the simplicity of Chandu the Magician - from running a Gauntlet with Clint to bowling a frame with Ida - fighting a killer virus with Dustin to obliterating Zombie's with a prosthetic machine gun. Yes, you must be at DVDBeaver....


PLEASE NOTE: For those who pre-ordered (via our links) - The original ASIN#’s for both Bottle Rocket and Chungking Express were switched  by Amazon after our first Calendar Update posting - Meaning what was listed as the Blu-ray is now the SD (and vice-versa). The correct links are as follows:

Chungking Express [Blu-ray] (Wong Kar-wai, 1994) Criterion

Chungking Express (Wong Kar-wai, 1994) Criterion,

Bottle Rocket [Blu-ray] (Wes Anderson, 1996) Criterion

Bottle Rocket (Wes Anderson, 1996) Criterion

If you pre-ordered please check to make sure you have the right selection. Sorry for the inconvenience.


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


SEPTEMBER 1st CONTEST - identify this CLIP to win a BRAND NEW - SEALED World War II Heroes Film Collection (Run Silent, Run Deep / The Great Escape / A Bridge Too Far / The Battle of Britain) Best of luck all!


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

Murnau, Borzage, & Fox Boxset (12-disc) - Sunrise (1927), City Girl (1930), Borzage films: Lazybones (1925), Seventh Heaven (1928), Street Angel (1928), Lucky Star (1929), They Had to See Paris (1929), Liliom (1930), Song O' My Heart (1930), Bad Girl (1931), After Tomorrow (1932) and Young America (1932) - Fox Home Entertainment

Sunset Boulevard (2pc) (Rmst) (Billy Wilder, 1950) Paramount

The Day the Earth Stood Still (Scott Derrickson, 2008) Fox Home Entertainment

I Dream of Jeannie: Complete Series (20pc) (Jon Anderson, 1965) Sony

Harry Potter Years 1-5 [Blu-ray] (2008) - Warner Home Video

Incredible Hulk 3 Disc Special Edition (Louis Leterrier, 2008) Universal Studios

The Third Man [Blu-ray] (Carol Reed, 1949) Criterion

Incredible Hulk [Blu-ray] (Louis Leterrier, 2008) Universal Studios

Budd Boetticher Box Set 5-disc (The Tall T., Decision at Sundown, Buchanan Rides Alone, Ride Lonesome and Comanche Station) Sony

Casino [Blu-ray] (Martin Scorsese, 1995) Universal

The Story Of O [Blu-ray] (Just Jaeckin, 1975) Somerville

Straw Dogs [Blu-ray] (Sam Peckinpah,1971) RB UK Fremantle Home Entertainment

Hidden [Blu-ray] (Michael Haneke, 2005) RB UK Artificial Eye

Zatoichi [Blu-ray] (Takeshi Kitano, 2003) RB UK Artificial Eye

California Dreamin' (Cristian Nemescu, 2007) R2 UK Artificial Eye

Caught (Max Ophüls, 1949) R2 UK Second Sight

House Of Flying Daggers [Blu-ray] (Zhang Yimou, 2004) RB UK Pathe Distribution

La Ronde (Max Ophüls, 1950) R2 UK Second Sight

Black Christmas [Blu-ray] (Bob Clark, 1974) Somerville

The Bird People of China [Blu-ray] (Takashi Miike, 1998) Arts Magic

TAE GUK GI-Brotherhood of War [Blu-ray] (Je-gyu Kang, 2004) BMG/Arista

American Gangster [Blu-ray] (Ridley Scott, 2007) Universal Studios

Eastern Promises [Blu-ray] (David Cronenberg, 2007) Universal Studios



ONE VOICE (not Ellsworth Monkton Toohey): What with the bulk of our reviews coming from others (Leonard, Henry, Pepsi) - I don't have too much to say this issue. I'll probably nab that Amazon two-for of Kill Bill - Volumes 1 & 2 [Blu-ray]. I didn't require Henry's enthusiasm for the MoC titles (L'enfance Nue and Judex) but it's great to have confirmation that they are up to snuff. Personally, I was very impressed with the value offered by Fox Horror Classics Vol. 2 and of course the Fox Noirs are no-brainers - Road House, Moontide, and Boomerang. I've already ordered Breillat's The Last Mistress, but it hasn't reared its... lips? (thanks to Per-Olaf for his review). Finally, I've become quite a fan of Planet Terror and the Japanese Grindhouse set is quite a package. On the Blu-ray front I was keen on Monster House BR and perhaps less so on both The Gauntlet BR and Outbreak BR - but can see the appeal for some.


New Reviews:

Kill Bill Vol. 1 BR - Much has already been written about Quentin Tarantino and his extended essay in the ultra-violent: Kill Bill, the two volumes conceived as a single film, but released theatrically just six months apart. I imagine it's no accident that the second part doesn't really have a title card. The movie begins with a brief recap of the opening of Volume 1 where Bill shoots The Bride, then a quick cut to where that film leaves off: Ms Thurman driving in her convertible declaring that she's killed a lot of people to get to this point and she finds him, she's gonna kill Bill. Then the title card: Vol. 2. Cool, huh. Blu-ray Release date: September 9th, 2008

Kill Bill Vol. 2 BR - Taken together, the two parts of Kill Bill sets up the how and, later, the why, of The Bride's revenge for Bill having let loose her former assassins in arms (I like to think of them as Charlie's Devils) on the day of her wedding, killing everyone in the church, and leaving the place a lot more holey than they entered it. The first volume is as bloody as a manga: lots of killing – and for good reason. The second volume is a philosophical essay by comparison. Blu-ray Release date: September 9th, 2008

Ghost in the Shell 2 - Innocence (AE) - BR - Following upon his first Ghost in the Shell animé feature film, as if two entire TV series did not exist between them, Mamoru Oshii picks up after Major Kusanagi retires herself (sort of like Dr. Who, I always thought). Batou, her bionic partner in the special police unit known as Section 9 that investigates cybercrime, together with Togusa, one of the younger, mostly human, cops (with a family, no less), is now looking into the murders of owners of robot-dolls by the dolls themselves who, in turn, self-destruct. Blu-ray Release date: August 6, 2008


Then She Found Me BR - For such a small movie, it is curious to find 13 producers, among them: Helen Hunt, who also gets two (count them) writing credits for adapting the original novel by Elinor Lipman. Lipman's novel first appeared around 1991 and was quickly optioned. Hunt says she had been trying, mostly unsuccessfully, to bring it to cinematic reality for ten years. For all her trouble, I would have thought there would be more to show for it. It's not that there is anything wrong with the movie or its adaptation from the book. I think the worst that can be said about it is that it comes off calculated while it wants to seem natural and spontaneous. Blu-ray Release date: September 9, 2008

Delicious Proposal - What starts off as an over-the-top comedy, soon settles down into a garden-variety love story of the Romeo & Juliet kind. That said, Delicious Proposal does a better than average job in blending romance, drama and comedy into a savory confection, if I may be permitted the mix of gourmet perspectives. Typical of Korean soaps of this period (they were still in their infancy in 2001) the plot doesn't stand up to close scrutiny, and it misses out on the dramatic potential of two plot developments. DVD Release Date: July 29, 2008

The Last Mistress - French director and provocatrice extraordinaire Catherine Breillat is finally tamed by a partially stilted adaptation of an early 19th century literary classic in Une vieille maîtresse. Asia Argento stars in the title role of Spanish courtesan who imperils the happiness of a young married couple, though it is model-turned-actor Fu'ad Aït Aattou as the married man and her doomed former lover who steals the show -- and not only because he has the biggest lips this side of Angelina Jolie. DVD Release Date: Aug 25th, 2008

L'enfance Nue - One of the earth-shaking feature debuts in the history of cinema, Maurice Pialat’s L’Enfance-nue [Naked-Childhood] provides a perspective on growing-up that rejects both sentimentality and modish cynicism. Its unflinching, but also warmly accommodating, outlook on childhood attracted François Truffaut to take on the role as co-producer of Pialat’s film — which, ironically, exists as much as a response to Truffaut’s own debut The 400 Blows as that film was to the ‘cinema of childhood’ that came before the New Wave. DVD Release Date: September 22nd, 2008

Monster House BR - Twelve-year-old DJ Walters always knew there was something strange about the house across the street: toys mysteriously disappeared when they wound up on its lawn, and Mr. Nebbercracker himself acted like he had a secret to hide. But this Halloween the house has become a living, breathing monster, and people have started to disappear! The trouble is that no one believes DJ and his friends. So they vow to find out what's inside the house and how to defeat it. But can they do it before it destroys the entire neighborhood and gobbles up every trick-or-treater in sight?...

Judex - The magical, rarely seen Judex -- directed by the great Georges Franju (Eyes Without a Face) -- was largely unappreciated at the time of its release in 1963. This lyrical and dreamlike picture, a putative "remake" of Louis Feuillade's own 1916 Judex, is as evocative of the silent master's own works as it is the later films of Jean Cocteau and Salvador Dalí. A French reviewer wrote in 1963: "The whole of Judex reminds us that film is a privileged medium for the expression of poetic magic". Starring the magician Channing Pollock, the divine Edith Scob, and the mesmerising Francine Bergé, Judex concerns a wicked banker, his helpless daughter, and a mysterious avenger. It plays like a fairy tale -- one in which Franju creates a dazzling clash between good and evil, eschewing interest in the psychological aspects of his characters for unexplained twists and turns in the action. DVD Release Date: August 25th, 2008

Dragonwyck - Originally to be directed by Ernest Lubitsch, he fell ill and Mankiewicz, who wrote the adaptation, was offered the directors chair. From a production point of view, a very safe first film. The book was a bestseller and the chemistry between Gene Tierney and Vincent Price had already been proven solid twice before in “Laura” by Otto Preminger in 1944 and in “Leave Her to Heaven” by John Stahl in 1945, for which Tierney got an Oscar nomination. DVD Release Date: September 9th, 2008

Fox Horror Classics Vol. 2 - Chandu the Magician (1932) Megalomaniac and would-be world dominator Roxor has kidnapped Robert Regent, along with his death ray invention, in hopes of using it to degenerate humanity into mindless brutes, leaving himself as Earth’s supreme intelligence. Dr. Renault's Secret (1942) A young man visits his fiancée in a remote French villa where her scientist father (George Zucco) resides. There he meets Noel (J. Carrol Naish), Dr. Renault’s mysterious assistant, who has a strange attraction to Renault’s daughter. Dragonwyck (1946) When Miranda Wells was invited to live with her dark and charming distant cousin Nicholas Van Ryan in order to school his daughter at Dragonwyck manor she was a naive farm girl. As she watches the dark secrets of the house unfold, she becomes more aware of selfishness, desire, and insanity while becoming more involved with Nicholas. DVD Release Date: September 9th, 2008

Outbreak BR - Wolfgang Petersen's "Outbreak" is a clever, daunting thriller about such a possibility. It follows the career of a microscopic bug that kills humans within 24 hours of exposure by liquefying the internal organs. Not a pretty picture. The bug is based on fact; an account of something similar can be found in Richard Preston's new book, The Hot Zone. The thriller occupies the same territory as countless science fiction movies about deadly invasions and high-tech conspiracies, but has been made with intelligence and an appealing human dimension. Blu-ray Released: September 2nd, 2008

The Gauntlet BR - Explanations aren't really necessary. "The Gauntlet" has nothing to do with reality and everything to do with Clint Eastwood fiction, which is always about a Force (Mr. Eastwood) that sets things straight in a crooked world. It is a movie without a single thought in its head, but its action sequences are so ferociously staged that it's impossible not to pay attention most of the time. It's not simply that the film is noisy. It has a kind of violent grace, as when a house, which has been bombarded by the heavy artillery of the police, quietly gives up and collapses into fine rubble. Blu-ray Released: September 2nd, 2008

Boomerang - The first of Louis de Rochemont's documentary-styled dramas (he was the producer of the newsreel series The March of Time). Dana Andrews, the honest DA of a corrupt New England town, defends an innocent man accused of killing a priest. This 1947 film is limited in scope and feeling, but the superficial dramatics work well enough. The direction is the work of a young Elia Kazan, a few years before he found himself. DVD Release Date: September 2nd, 2008

Moontide - A “brooding account of beachcombers and strays in a Southern California coast town” (New York Herald Tribunal) and a surprising romance that motivates a life-long drifter to settle down for good. In his first U.S. on-screen performance, acclaimed French actor Jean Gabin plays Bobo, a free-spirited wanderer who docks in a Pacific seaside town with his buddy Tiny (Thomas Mitchell), a sponge who wants to leave. After a night of drunken debauchery, Bobo awakens on a strange barge wearing the cap of a dead man. Afraid he has committed the crime, Bobo prepares to skip town with Tiny but is delayed when he meets Anna (Ida Lupino) who he rescues from drowning herself in the surf. They fall in love and open a business together selling bait. Jealous and desperate to leave, Tiny attempts to ruin the relationship and when Anna learns that Tiny has been keeping a dark secret, it’s clear only one of them will survive. DVD Release Date: September 2nd, 2008

Road House - Jefty Robbins (Richard Widmark) owns a road house near the Canadian Border which is managed by his playboy buddy Pete Morgan (Cornel Wilde) and cashier Susie Smith (Celeste Holm). After a trip to Chicago, Jefty brings back Lily Stevens (Ida Lupino), a chanteuse with whom he is obviously smitten. At first Pete is loathe to hire another one of Jefty’s girls but Lily proves her talent is worth the paycheck. When Jefty goes on a hunting trip with some pals and prepares to ask Lily to marry him, Pete and Lily share some intimate time together and realize they are in love. The news sends Jefty into a psychopathic tailspin. He devises a plan to frame Pete and manically begins a game of endless torture and brutality, making “the lovers suffer and suffer – until their cup of bitterness runs over” DVD Release Date: September 2nd, 2008

Black Mask BR - Action has a new superhero - Black Mask - in this dazzling and explosive martial arts extravaganza! Following his harrowing escape from a secret, superhuman commando unit known as Squad 701, Black Mask takes on a new identity as a quiet librarian named Tsui Chik. His life of normalcy is shaken when a murderous rampage against all of Hong Kong's drug dealers is linked to Squad 701, forcing him to return as the Black Mask in order to stop their campaign of murder before it's too late!... Blu-ray Released: September 2nd, 2008

Planet Terror - That Mr. Rodriguez and Mr. Tarantino are motivated by a sincere love of the movies they send up can hardly be doubted, but the affection is expressed in different ways. Mr. Rodriguez revels in badness for its own sake. Planet Terror is intoxicated by its own absurdity; it tries to raise incompetence to the level of craft, if not art. The random close-ups, the lurching cuts, the off-kilter framing -- all of this is obviously intentional.

Next 2 weeks on the Calendar:

Week of September 1st

Art of Travel (Thomas Whelan, 2007) First Look

Before I Forget (Jacques Nolot, 2007)- Strand Releasing

BFI 75 10 DVD Box Set - European Cinema (Limited to 500 copies - Exclusive to Amazon.co.uk) - La Kermesse Heroique , Les Dames Du Bois De Boulogne, Partie De Campagne, The Threepenny Opera, Regarde La Mer And Other Short Films, Le Cercle Rouge, Celine And Julie Go Boating, Tristana, Distant Voices Still Lives, The Innocents - Jack Clayton - R2 UK BFI

Boomerang! (Elia Kazan, 1947) 20th Century Fox (so far listed only in Canada)

Carry On - The Ultimate Collection [all 30 films] R2 UK ITV DVD

The Case of the Grinning Cat (Chris Marker, 2004) Icarus Films

Derek (Isaac Julien, 2008) Kino

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

Fist of Legend (Gordon Chan, 1994) Dragon Dynasty (Weinstein)

Das Fräulein (Andrea Staka, 2006) Film Movement

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

La Ilusion Viaja en Tranvia/Nazarin (Luis Buñuel) Lionsgate

The Last Bolshevik / Happiness (Chris Marker;Alexander Medvedkin) Icarus Films

Moontide (Archie Mayo, Fritz Lang, 1942) Fox Film Noir

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

Remembrance of Things to Come (Chris Marker, Yannick Bellon) - Icarus Films

Road House (Jean Negulesco, 1948) Fox Film Noir

The Sixth Side of the Pentagon / The Embassy (Chris Marker) - Icarus Films

Transformers [Blu-ray] (Michael Bay, 2007) Paramount

War Requiem (Derek Jarman, 1989) Kino

Water Lilies (Celine Sciamma , 2007) Koch Lorber Films

The Wolves (Hideo Gosha, 1972) Animeigo


Week of September 8th, 2008

California Dreamin' (Cristian Nemescu, 2007) R2 UK Artificial Eye

Caught (Max Ophüls, 1949) R2 UK Second Sight

Cool Hand Luke [Blu-ray] (Stuart Rosenberg, 1967) - Warner Home Video

Day Watch [Blu-ray] (Timur Bekmambetov, 2006) - 20th Century Fox

The Fall (Tarsem Singh, 2006) Sony

The Fall [Blu-ray] (Tarsem Singh, 2006) Sony

The Forbidden Kingdom (Two-Disc Special Edition) (Rob Minkoff, 2008) Lions Gate
The Forbidden Kingdom [
Blu-ray] (Rob Minkoff, 2008) Lions Gate

Fox Horror Classics Collection 2 (Dragonwyck, Chandu the Magician, Dr.Renault's Secret) - 20th Century Fox

How the West Was Won : Special Edition (John Ford, Henry Hathaway and George Marshall, 1962) Warner Home Video

How the West Was Won: Special Edition [Blu-ray] (John Ford, Henry Hathaway and George Marshall, 1962) Warner Home Video

Jerry Maguire [Blu-ray] (Cameron Crowe, 1996) - Sony Pictures

Kill Bill - Volume 1 [Blu-ray] (Quentin Tarantino, 2003) Disney
Kill Bill - Volume 2 [Blu-ray] (Quentin Tarantino, 2004) Disney

Kill Bill - Volumes 1 & 2 [Blu-ray] (Quentin Tarantino, 2003-2004) Disney

Night Watch [Blu-ray] (Timur Bekmambetov, 2004) - 20th Century Fox

Omen Collection (4pc) [Blu-ray] - 20th Century Fox

La Ronde (Max Ophüls, 1950) R2 UK Second Sight

Rudy [Blu-ray] (David Anspaugh, 1993) Sony

TAE GUK GI-Brotherhood of War [Blu-ray] (Je-gyu Kang, 2004) BMG/Arista


"Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart."
Enjoy your time,


P.S. - HELP!!: Laying the blame on no one but myself - and my poor business acumen for not squirreling away funds to outlast the Summer DVD-purchasing lulls - DVDBeaver are in trouble. I've thought of little else the past many day and have come up with, what I believe is, a decent solution. If you have not subscribed to Amazon Prime - you may have a FREE one month trial (Unlimited FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of Amazon.com Items, shopping with no minimum order size, ability to share benefits with up to 4 household members, 1 Month Free Trial etc.)... and JUST using our link to simply subscribe to that FREE 'trial' - we will receive $12. I believe in Amazon Prime - if you will purchase more than 35 DVDs (or 35 anything) in a 365 day period it makes excellent financial sense... but if all who are eligible (those residing in the Continental US) JUST TAKE THE FREE TRIAL! - we may have some sustenance to battle our every-increasing bandwidth charges, hosting fees and the vast array of DVD selections we purchase for review.

There are always alternatives and I'd hate to succumb to the obvious one looming overhead these past few years. We could become a 'private' membership site - password protected - charging an annual fee for accessibility. To be honest this is this a last resort and I'd probably consider packing it in ahead of going this route. I'm feeling pretty old and tired these days. Your consideration for this 5-minute FREE subscription would be very much appreciated folks. Thank you.