DVDBeaver Newsletter - September 4th, 2007


Kia ora! - Apologies - a short week as we prepared for a long weekend away - only 9 new reviews - 1 comparison... Godard, Mizoguchi, Allen, 5 new format DVDs, a new article, Feature DVD of the Month... calendar updates, our 3rd clip (of 5) for the contest etc.


LATEST ARTICLE:  A Few Points on the New Format DVDs by Gary Tooze



His films have been called raw, outrageous, sensational, and daring. In four decades of directing, Samuel Fuller created a legendarily idiosyncratic oeuvre, examining U.S. history and mythmaking in westerns, film noirs, and war epics. And characteristically, it all began with a bang: after printing the legend with the elegant B-pictures I Shot Jesse James and The Baron of Arizona, he got himself into hot water with the FBI on The Steel Helmet, the first American movie to portray the Korean War. These three independent films showed off Fuller’s genre diversity, gutter wit, and subversive force, and pointed the way to a controversial career in studio moviemaking.

Reviewed HERE Purchase HERE


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


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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?):

There is some selected stuff I may indulge in for comparison - The Sheltering Sky, Close Encounters of the Third Kind 30th Anni/Ult Edition [Blu-ray], The Omega Man [Blu-ray] and especially Star Trek: The Original Series - The Complete First Season - 1966 [HD DVD] - and a few interesting titles - The Flying Scotsman, Girl 27, A Mighty Heart, Things That Hang from Trees, Glue, The Hottest State, 7 Días, Broken and especially Max Mon Amour. Here are the rest:

The Flying Scotsman (Douglas Mackinnon, 2006) MGM

The Land of Hunted Men (S. Roy Luby, 1943) Jef Films

Girl 27 (David Stenn, 2007) Westlake

The Reaping [HD DVD] (Stephen Hopkins, 2007) Warner Home Video

My Best Friend (Patrice Leconte, 2006) IFC

A Mighty Heart (Michael Winterbottom, 2007) Paramount Home Video

Mr. Brooks [Blu-ray] (Bruce A. Evans, 2007) MGM

The Reaping [Blu-ray] (Stephen Hopkins, 2007) Warner Home Video

Erik the Conqueror (Mario Bava, 1961) Starz / Anchor Bay

Black Sunday (Mario Bava, 1960) Starz / Anchor Bay

Goliath & the Sins of Babylon (1963)/Colossus & the Amazon Queen (1960) - Infinity Resources

The Sheltering Sky (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1990) R2 DE - Kinowelt Home Entertainment

Life of Brian (Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray] (Terry Jones, 1979) Sony Pictures

Life of Brian (Collector's Edition) (Terry Jones, 1979) Sony Pictures

Things That Hang from Trees (Ido Mizrahy, 2006) Universal

Glue (Alexis Dos Santos, 2006) Picture This

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

The Girl Next Door (Richard Sale, 1953) 20th Century Fox

Bloodhounds of Broadway (Harmon Jones, 1952) MGM

Day One (Joseph Sargent, 1989) Acorn Media

Max Mon Amour (Nagisa Oshima , 1986) Lions Gate Home Entertainment

Star Trek: The Original Series - The Complete First Season - 1966 [HD DVD] Paramount Home Video

Tremors [HD DVD] (Ron Underwood, 1990) Universal

Broken (Alan White, 2006) First Look Pictures

7 Días (Fernando Kalife, 2005) Uni Dist Corp

The Omega Man [Blu-ray] (Boris Sagal, 1971) Warner Home Video, In the Winter Dark (James Bogle, 1998) Bfs Video, Pirates of the Caribbean - At World's End [Blu-ray] (Gore Verbinski, 2007) Walt Disney Pictures

The Hottest State (Ethan Hawke, 2006) Velocity / Thinkfilm

Pirates of the Caribbean - At World's End (Two-Disc Limited Edition) (Gore Verbinski, 2007) Walt Disney Pictures

20 Million Miles to Earth 50th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray] (Nathan Juran, 1957) Columbia/Tri-Star

Ratatouille [Blu-ray] (Brad Bird, 2007) Walt Disney Video

City of Violence (Ryu Seung-wan, 2006) Weinstein Company



New Reviews:

Kung Fu Hustle BR - Two plot lines unfold at very different rates and meet just before the climax. The notorious Axe Gang has taken over the city – all but one square block, the appropriately named "Pig Sty Alley." When Chow and a buddy, hopelessly chronic wannabe gangsters, try to pass themselves off as members of the notorious Axe Gang in what they expect will be an extortion pushover, they are met with unexpected kung-fu. When the real Axe Gang shows up to reclaim their authority, they, too, are met with even more massive kung-fu resistance from three kung fu masters posing as local shopkeepers.

The Usual Suspects BR
- The story is told to Customs Agent Kujan in jagged flashbacks by Verbal Kint (Spacey) following his narrow escape with death at the hands of Sozé. He's a believable, if initially reluctant witness. Kint spins a dizzying tale – harder to follow than The Big Sleep – filled with rouses and double crosses. Lurking in the background is the sadistic and mysterious Keizer Sozé, who seems to be pulling more strings than Leonard Susskind. Along the way, we meet the other "suspects" - why "usual" I haven't a clue (uh, right, it's just another distraction) - and various police agents played with meaty flair by the likes of Kevin Pollak, Stephen Baldwin and Dan Hedaya and Pete Postlethwaite as the daring Kobayashi, played with the kind of confidence you can usually find only at the gates of heaven.


A Married Woman - The French were scandalized when this came out, with even General de Gaulle himself commenting that he didn't like any film that portrayed French women as faithless. Godard's story is relatively harmless by today's standards. It's a day in the life of a wife (Meril) who tries to choose between her pilot husband (Leroy) and lover (Noél), interspersed with debates about the nature of love, marriage and sex.

Taira Clan Saga - One of Mizoguchi's two late films in colour, this describes a conflict between three power groups in feudal Japan: the priests, the court, and a clan of samurai. The samurai embody ideals of individual integrity, just service, and male prowess; the court, ideals of rightful authority, but equally, the faults of ministerial corruption; the clerics, the degeneration of institutionalized religion into factional Fascism (gang-like violence in support of political ends). Characteristically, the tale of the conflict is hinged round a courtesan figure's relations with the three groups ('mother' for the samurai, 'mistress' for the court, 'whore' for the priests). DVD Release Date: May 1st, 2007

Stardust Memories - Allen considers this to be one of his best films in addition to The Purple Rose of Cairo and Match Point. Considered by some to be an homage to 8½ by Federico Fellini, the film is shot in black-and-white in the style of Fellini's surrealist films of the 1960s, and examines the semi-autobiographical story of a famous filmmaker, played by Allen, who is plagued by fans who prefer his "earlier, funnier movies" to his more recent artistic efforts, while he tries to reconcile his conflicting attraction to two very different women, the mercurial and unstable Dorrie (Charlotte Rampling), and the earnest, intellectual Daisy (Jessica Harper). Allen, however, denies that this film is biographical and regrets that audiences interpreted as such.DVD Release Date: Jul 16th, 2007

Dawn of the Dead: Unrated Director’s Cut HD - Movie logic dictates that you shouldn't remake a classic, but Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead defies that logic and comes up a winner. You could argue that George A. Romero's 1978 original was sacred ground for horror buffs, but it was a low-budget classic, and Snyder's action-packed upgrade benefits from the same manic pacing that energized Romero's continuing zombie saga. Romero's indictment of mega-mall commercialism is lost (it's arguably outmoded anyway), so Snyder and screenwriter James Gunn compensate with the same setting--in this case, a Milwaukee shopping mall under siege by cannibalistic zombies in the wake of a devastating viral outbreak--a well-chosen cast (led by Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Weber, and Mekhi Phifer), some outrageously morbid humor, and a no-frills plot that keeps tension high and blood splattering by the bucketful. HD-DVD Release Date: August 28th, 2007

Notting Hill HD - Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) is the world s most famous movie star. Her picture has been plastered on the cover of every magazine, and every time she makes a move, the entire world knows about it. William Thacker (Hugh Grant) owns a travel bookstore in the quaint neighborhood of Notting Hill. His business is stagnant, he has the roommate from hell and his love life is completely nonexistent. Then one day, their paths cross and the couple comes to face the ultimate question: can two people fall in love with the whole world watching? HD-DVD Release Date: August 28th, 2007

Children of Men HD - Presenting a bleak, harrowing, and yet ultimately hopeful vision of humankind's not-too-distant future, Children of Men is a riveting cautionary tale of potential things to come. Set in the crisis-ravaged future of 2027, and based on the atypical 1993 novel by British mystery writer P.D. James, the anxiety-inducing, action-packed story is set in a dystopian England where humanity has become infertile (the last baby was born in 2009), immigration is a crime, refugees (or "fugees") are caged like animals, and the world has been torn apart by nuclear fallout, rampant terrorism, and political rebellion. In this seemingly hopeless landscape of hardscrabble survival, a jaded bureaucrat named Theo (Clive Owen) is drawn into a desperate struggle to deliver Kee (Clare-Hope Ashitey), the world's only pregnant woman, to a secret group called the Human Project that hopes to discover a cure for global infertility. Hd-DVD Release Date: March 27, 2007

Heroes - Season One HD - Arguably the most talked-about television show of the 2006-2007 season, the Emmy-nominated fantasy Heroes gives viewers blends comic book-style adventure with plotting and characters as rich and layered as any graphic novel or drama series. Creator Tim Kring's premise is deceptively simple – ordinary individuals in locations around the globe discover that they have, for lack of a better term, super powers, and wrestle with this reality while facing challenges both global (the destruction of New York City, for one) and personal (indestructible cheerleader Hayden Panetierre has family issues – serious ones, as the true identity of her adoptive father reveals; Milo Ventimiglia's Peter Petrelli, who absorbs other powers, must overcome his own insecurities). The seven HD disc set of Heroes: Season One offers a wealth of extras for fans especially the cast commentaries, which are featured on half of the episodes. HD-DVD Release Date: August 28th, 2007

Next 2 weeks on the Calendar:


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


Week of September 10th, 2007

Away From Her (Sarah Polley, 2006) Lions Gate Home Entertainment

The Aki Kaurismaki Collection - (Shadows in Paradise, 1986; Ariel, 1988; The Match Factory Girl, 1990) R2 UK Artificial Eye

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

Blueprint For Murder / Man In the Attic (2-disc) - Fox Home Entertainment

Brass Monkey (Thornton Freeland, 1948) Televista

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

Carolina Moon (Stephen Tolkin, 2007) Sony Pictures

Chosen Survivors / The Earth Dies Screaming (2-disc) - Fox Home Entertainment

Devils Of Darkness / Witchcraft (2-disc) - Fox Home Entertainment

Even Money (Mark Rydell, 2006) 20th Century Fox

Few Days in September (Santiago Amigorena, 2006) Koch International

Flandres (Bruno Dumont, 2006) R2 UK - Soda Pictures

The Fly Collection (The Fly [1958] / Return Of The Fly [1959] / The Curse Of The Fly [1965]) -Fox Home Entertainment

The Food of the Gods (Bert I. Gordon, 1976) MGM

From Beyond (Unrated Director's Cut) (Stuart Gordon, 1986) MGM

Gorilla at Large/Mystery at Monster Island - 20th Century Fox

The Graduate (2-disc Aniv. Collectors Edition) MGM

Griffin & Phoenix (Ed Stone, 2006) 20th Century Fox

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Collector's Edition) (Philip Kaufman, 1978) MGM

The Lost World (Special Edition) (Irwin Allen, 1960) Fox

María Candelaria (Emilio Fernández, 1944) Grupo Nuevo Imagen

Masada - The Complete Epic Mini-Series (Boris Sagal, 1981) Koch Vision

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

Phantom of the Paradise (Brian De Palma, 1974) 20th Century Fox

Punish Me (Angelina Maccarone, 2006) Picture This

Private Property (Joachim Lafosse, 2006) New Yorker Films

The Replacement Killers [Blu-ray] (Antoine Fuqua, 1998) Sony

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

The Return of the Living Dead (Collector's Edition) (Dan O'Bannon, 1985) MGM

Snow Cake (Marc Evans, 2006) Ifc

Spray of Plum Blossoms (Wancang Bu, 1931) /Two Stars in the Milky Way (Tomsie Sze, 1931) - Cinema Epoch

Tales From the Crypt/Vault Of Horror (Roy Ward Baker, 1972) Fox Home Entertainment

Triad Election (Johnny To, 2006) Tartan Video

Tryst (John Ashmore, 2005) Maverick Entertainment

Vincent Price - MGM Scream Legends Collection (Abominable Dr. Phibes , Dr. Phibes Rises Again, Tales of Terror, Twice Told Tales, Theater of Blood, Madhouse, Witchfinder General, Bonus disc) MGM

Wall Street (20th Anniversary Edition) (Oliver Stone, 1987) 20th Century Fox

Wings of Honneamise (2-disc) (Hiroyuki Yamaga, 1987) [HD DVD/SD Combo] GENEON

Wings of Honneamise (2-disc) (Hiroyuki Yamaga, 1987) [Blu-ray] GENEON

Witchfinder General (Michael Reeves, 1968) MGM

Yes, But (Yves Lavandier, 2001) Synkronized USA

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

Wishing you all a great week (especially those who are starting school again)