DVDBeaver Newsletter - September 24th, 2007


Namaskaram! - 16 new reviews - 2 multi-film boxsets, 3 Blu-ray, Peckinpah, Beatty, Corman, Oliver Stone, Stanley Donen, Raymond Bernard, 2 by William Friedkin... an extensive 28 new Calendar Updates, a contest winner and a new contest!


CONTEST: The winner of new Toshiba HD-A2 HD DVD Player: is Pat Pilon from Ottawa. 78 people entered with the correct answers.

Thanks to all who participated! The answers were, by the way :

1. Sunset Boulevard, 2. The Killing, 3. The Glass Key, 4. Key Largo  and  5. Lady in the Lake

We have a new contest clip available HERE - the prize will be a new DVD (announced after contest - next newsletter!)

Just subscribe to our Free Weekly Newsletter (for winner announcement) and email 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!)

NOTE: Be aware that the R2 UK Network Vampyr listed below is NOT the Koerber restoration that should be coming from Masters of Cinema later this year. Stuff I may indulge in:

Murnau's Tabu: A Story of the South Seas, Cahiers du cinéma gushed over Ferran's Lady Chatterley, Tsai's most tender offering is I Don't Want to Sleep Alone, Odette has Trevor Howard, Marius Goring and Petey Ustinov. Although Such Is Life is Facets this present day Mexican version of Medea sounds intriguing, ditto for Apted's highly lauded Amazing Grace - not premium Satyajit Ray but The Adversary may be worth a spin, suposedly stunning animation coming in Hi-def - Paprika . NOTE: The final four on the list by Konuma are 'pink' films - softcore Japanese stuff with some probably bondage for those that may be offended.

Guilty as charged - I'll be getting The Three Stooges Collection, Volume One: 1934-1936 too! The rest:


My Way Home (Miklós Jancsó, 1965) R2 UK - Second Run

Vampyr (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1932) R2 UK - Network (see above note)

Tabu: A Story of the South Seas (F.W. Murnau, 1931) - R2 UK - Masters of Cinema

Planet Terror - Extended and Unrated (Two-Disc Special Edition) (Robert Rodriguez, 2007) Weinstein

I Don't Want to Sleep Alone (Ming-liang Tsai, 2006) Strand Releasing

Lady Chatterley (Pascale Ferran, 2006) Kino

Odette (Herbert Wilcox, 1950) R2 UK - Optimum Home Entertainment

The Captive Heart (Basil Dearden, 1946) R2 UK - Optimum Home Entertainment

Waitress (Adrienne Shelly, 2007) Fox Home Entertainment

Such Is Life (Arturo Ripstein, 2000) Facets

Help! 2-disc (Richard Lester, 1965) Capitol

Help! Deluxe Edition (Richard Lester, 1965) Capitol

Amazing Grace (Michael Apted, 2006) 20th Century Fox

The Namesake (Mira Nair, 2006) Fox Home Entertainment

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

The Three Stooges Collection, Volume One: 1934-1936 - Sony Pictures

The Adversary (Satyajit Ray, 1972) R2 UK - Wrasse Records

Sunday Drive (Hisashi Saito, 1998) Pathfinder

Little Flower (Zheng Zhang, 1980) Chinese Film Audio & Video Press

Paprika [Blu-ray] (Satoshi Kon, 2006) Sony Pictures

Paprika (Satoshi Kon, 2006) Sony Pictures

Day of the Dead [Blu-ray] (George A. Romero, 1985) Anchor Bay

Dawn of the Dead [Blu-ray] (Zack Snyder, 2004) Anchor Bay

The Day After Tomorrow [Blu-ray] (Roland Emmerich, 2004) 20th Century Fox

Cloistered Nun: Runa's Confession (Masaru Konuma, 1976) Kino

Wife to Be Sacrificed (1975) / Sadistic and Masochistic (2000) (Masaru Konuma) Kino

Erotic Diary of an Office Lady (Masaru Konuma, 1977) Kino

Tattooed Flower Vase (Masaru Konuma, 1976) Kino


New Reviews:

What I liked? - short take - The Wild Bunch BR, The Classic Sci-Fi Ultimate Collection Vol. 2, The Mickey Rooney & Judy Garland Collection and Cruising.

Kinda liked too: Bug, Palms, Green Chair and Day Night Day Night

What looks good (I didn't review) - from new contributor Michael - Les Otages (The Mayor's Dilemma), The Intruder, Ten Canoes and Funny Face (Anniversary)


Les Otages (The Mayor's Dilemma) - Made on the eve of the Second World War, and looking back to 1914, Les Otages (literally, The Hostages) explores the crisis that arises when a French village is overrun by the German army. Raymond Bernard mixes humour and an unashamed propaganda message into a story of heroism in unexpected places. As in his great masterpiece Les Miserables (1933), Bernard uses expressionistic techniques of dramatic lighting and slanting camera angles to heighten the sense of danger and moral disorientation.


We Are Marshall BR - What is it about football that makes movies – especially when based on actual events about overcoming adversities – so irresistible? In the last couple of years, we've had Remember the Titans, Invincible, Gridiron Gang and, as if rushing for a bus about to leave for freedom, We Are Marshall. Baseball and Basketball movies don't quite score in this respect. Even with the venerable Hoosiers, the challenge was more the coach's more than the team's. The game itself wasn't so much the issue. I suspect it's the fascination we have with big men - their fall and their redemption - that makes their stories so compelling. And, in that regard, what could be more compelling than football – except, perhaps, war. DVD Release Date: September 18, 2007

The Classic Sci-Fi Ultimate Collection Vol. 2 - Cult of the Cobra (1955), Dr. Cyclops (1940), The Land Unknown (1957), The Deadly Mantis (1957) and The Leech Woman (1960). I enjoyed this package even more than Vol. 1 with Cult of the Cobra and The Deadly Mantis standing out as memorable highlights - the latter must have been the inspiration for Joe Dante's Matinee (1993). I've stated a few times that if I was to segregate DVDBeaver into a smaller niche - it would be either Film Noir, Antonioni or these flawed gems which resonate such innocence and evoke personal memories of childhood bliss. If these titles have any appeal for you then we can vouch that this DVD collection is great fun - the type of nostalgic cinema that I love to recommend! NOTE: Volume one is already out-of-print going for ridiculous prices in online auctions. DVD Release Date: September 11th, 2007

Reds BR - Is Warren Beatty's Reds a love story set against the backdrop of the Russian Revolution? Or a story of the rise of World Communism? Or a dramatic analysis of the relationship between the early twentieth century artist and the rise of the proletariat? An autobiographical metaphor for the rise and fall of it auteur? All of these things? None? Your answer would likely depend on your point of view, your investment in political history, and how you feel (or felt some 25 years ago) about Warren Beatty. Nominated for a whopping 13 Oscars, it won in 3 categories: Best Supporting Actress (Maureen Stapleton), Best Cinematography (Vittorio Storaro), and – surprising many at the time – Warren Beatty for Best Director – his only Oscar to date. Beatty also produced and co-wrote the film. Ambitious is hardly ambitious enough a word to describe the project.

The Intruder - Contrary to prevailing assumptions about critics, we actually find it pleasantly surprising to be wrong, especially when a movie that was expected to be bad turns out to be great. The Intruder is a small work, but it is tense and unflinchingly honest about an ugly part of American history. DVD Release Date: September 25th, 2007

Ten Canoes - You know this movie is going to be something special when Gulpilil begins his narration with “Once upon a time in a land far, far away…” only to break up with laughter: “No, not like that. I’m only joking.” The first feature film entirely in an Australian Aboriginal language, “Ten Canoes” combines ethnographic with old-fashioned story-telling to tremendous effect. The cast consists mostly of members of the Ramingining Aboriginal people who also co-wrote the script along with director Rolf de Heer with co-direction credit to Peter Djigirr. DVD Release Date: September 25th, 2007

Day Night Day Night - "Day Night Day Night ," an astonishing movie from Julia Loktev , begins in a state of heightened ambiguity. The camera trails behind a young American woman (Luisa Williams ), who is picked up by a stranger at a bus station somewhere. They ride in silence and have a meal in silence, too. She's deposited at a hotel, where she has a bath, eats a spring roll, and dozes off. Later a group of masked men in knit hats and jumpsuits arrives to handcuff and blindfold her. DVD Release Date: October 2nd, 2007

The Mickey Rooney & Judy Garland Collection - Mickey Rooney & Judy Garland were paired in 10 popular films in the 30's and 40's and this Warner DVD collection represents 4 of the best; Babes in Arms (1939), Strike Up the Band (1940), Babes on Broadway (1942) and Girl Crazy (1943). Frances Gumm (Garland) and Joe Yule, Jr. (Rooney) epitomized the pure, innocent and energetic adolescents of their era in some wonderful light-weight musicals. 'Song and Dance' numbers were often showcasing the climax of the positive and family-oriented films that grew to immense popularity in their era. It's hard to deny their appeal, even today, expressing basic growing pain fun (this is universal) or simply as vintage Americana nostalgia. DVD Release Date: September 25th, 2007

Death Proof - Mr. Tarantino is another story — a connoisseur, a scholar and a bit of a highbrow. Not a snob though. Quite the opposite: He combs through trash in search of art and has done a lot to teach American audiences (and critics) to appreciate the formal seriousness and aesthetic sophistication of, for example, Asian action movies. Death Proof is in part a sincere tribute to the work of Monte Hellman, whose films have ascended from the fetor of their low-rent origins into the purer air of art houses and museum retrospectives, which is where they belong. Mr. Hellman was always a serious filmmaker, and Mr. Tarantino is too. DVD Release Date: September 18th, 2007

Bug - Tracy Letts’s 2004 Off Broadway play about conspiracy theories and codependent relationships doesn’t exactly scream “comeback vehicle” for somebody like New Hollywood golden boy William Friedkin. It takes place entirely in a dingy motel room, which leaves scant opportunity to stage car chases down Brooklyn avenues or Los Angeles freeways; X-Files–ish rants or not, there’s no place to drop in a demonic 360-degree head turn. But Friedkin’s take on this tale about a lonely waitress (Judd), a mysterious stranger (Shannon) and some serious heebie-jeebies showcases the stylish, screw-tightening precision that made the director’s early-’70s work such a rush. Friedkin appears to have rediscovered a sense of purpose. You can say it, fans: Finally! DVD Release Date: September 25th, 2007

The Wild Bunch BR - From the opening sequence, in which a circle of laughing children poke at a scorpion writhing in a sea of ants, to the infamous blood-spurting finale, Peckinpah completely rewrites John Ford's Western mythology - by looking at the passing of the Old West from the point of view of the marginalized outlaws rather than the law-abiding settlers. Though he spares us none of the callousness and brutality of Holden and his gang, Peckinpah nevertheless presents their macho code of loyalty as a positive value in a world increasingly dominated by corrupt railroad magnates and their mercenary killers (Holden's old buddy Ryan). The flight into Mexico, where they virtually embrace their death at the hands of double-crossing general Fernandez and his rabble army, is a nihilistic acknowledgment of the men's anachronistic status. In purely cinematic terms, the film is a savagely beautiful spectacle, Lucien Ballard's superb cinematography complementing Peckinpah's darkly elegiac vision. BRD + HD Release Date: September 25th, 2007

Green Chair - Suh Jung (best remembered for her tragic role in Kim Ki Duk's controversial The Isle) offers another remarkable performance Green Chair. In Park Chul Su's (who won acclaim through his Best Artistic Contribution Farewell My Darling at the 1996 Montreal Film Festival) latest ambitious work she plays 30 plus year old Mun Hee that starts a daring relationship with the teenager called Hyun (Shim Ji Ho). While Mun gets caught and sentenced to a slight penalty of several days of community work for indecent behavior, Hyun waits in anticipation for her release. After their reunification the two fall in and out of love as Mun starts to become conscience-stricken about being together with a guy half her age. However, Hyun desperately clings to Mun causing their feelings to ignite once more… DVD Release Date: September 25th, 2007

The Hand - At the time of its cinema release, this early directorial outing for future A-list film-maker Stone, about a cartoonist (Caine) being haunted by his severed hand, was a welcome relief for horror aficionados from the apparently endless production line of identikit stalk 'n' slash movies that were clogging up local cinemas. Time, however, has not been kind to the movie. Stone tries hard to imbue Caine's plight with some psychological depth - is the hand real or just a figment of his vengeful imagination? - but that doesn't really excuse the film's rampant misogyny, nor its ineffably silly ending. Rumour has it that the reason the scenes featuring the animatronic crawling hand were shot in black and white was that it was the only way to mask the fact that said appendage looked about as convincing as something you'd buy in a novelty shop. DVD Release Date: September 25th, 2007

Cruising - Al Pacino is a naive policeman assigned to go undercover into New York's s&m demi-monde to find a man who haunts the bars, peepshows, and cruising areas of Central Park, picks up unsuspecting gay men, and ritually kills them. Friedkin shows us the killings in graphic detail, always punctuated by the killer's puzzling phrase, "You made me do that." As Pacino moves deeper into this world, he becomes nervous and overwrought, his relationship with his girlfriend (Karen Allen) disintegrates, he learns the significance of colored hankies, and he becomes friendly with — and jealous over — a non-s&m gay man named Ted, an aspiring playwright. With the help of his cynical boss (Paul Sorvino), Pacino eventually lures the killer into a tryst and stabs him when the killer moves against him. DVD Release Date: September 18th, 2007

Palms - In his words, with Palms, Aristakisyan presents a film of outsiders objectionable to the system. What makes them so? An answer comes at the beginning of Part Two with the epileptics, of whom he says that they “proved to be objectionable because they didn’t need to go anywhere. They were at the border between worlds and could see clearly.” It is this lack of need, this appetite only for necessities, that is objectionable. DVD Release Date: August 27th, 2007

Funny Face - All throughout Funny Face, Fred Astaire and Kay Thompson provide witty remarks that compensate for the sappiness inherent in musicals. Thompson’s performance as Maggie Prescott sometimes actually outshines Hepburn-Astaire coupling. She’s the spice in all this cream. The romance scenes tend to come to a halt, but thankfully, the film recovers with Prescott’s bam-bam-bam scenes. At first glance, the “Clap Yo’ Hands” song-and-dance sequence seems to be out of place (as if they needed another song in this musical), but it turns out to be a wise addition after all due to the excitement that Astaire and Thompson generate. DVD Release Date: October 2nd, 2007

Next 2 weeks on the Calendar:


Week of September 24th, 2007

10 Canoes (Rolf de Heer, 2006) Palm Pictures / Umvd

Bellissima (Luchino Visconti, 1951) R2 UK Eureka Masters of Cinema

Black Book (Paul Verhoeven, 2006) Sony Pictures

Black Book [Blu-ray] (Paul Verhoeven, 2006) Sony Pictures

Bug (Special Edition) (William Friedkin, 2006) Lionsgate Home Entertainment

The Cat O'Nine Tails (Dario Argento, 1971) Blue Underground

Cat People [HD DVD] (Paul Schrader,1982) Universal

Count Dracula (Philip Saville, 1977) BBC Warner

Cujo (25th Anniversary Edition) (Lewis Teague. 1983) Lions Gate Home Entertainment

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

Docurama Film Festival IV Platinum Package (2007) - New Video Group

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

The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid (Philip Kaufman, 1972) Universal Studios

Green Chair (Cheol-su Park, 2005) Imaginasian

The Hand (Oliver Stone, 1981) Warner Home Video

Half Nelson (Ryan Fleck, 2006) R2 UK - Axiom Films International Ltd

I Like Killing Flies (Matt Mahurin, 2004) New Video Group

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Don Siegel, 1956) R2 UK Universal Pictures UK

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

Lady Kung Fu ( Feng Huang, 1972) Weinstein Company

Memoirs of a Geisha [Blu-ray] (Rob Marshall, 2005) Sony Pictures

The Mickey Rooney & Judy Garland Collection (Babes in Arms / Babes on Broadway / Girl Crazy / Strike Up the Band) Warner

Mix-Up ou Meli-melo (Françoise Romand, 1985) Microcinema DVD

Mulholland Drive [HD DVD] (David Lynch, 2001) R2 UK Optimum Home Entertainment NOTE: There is no region or standard coding for HD DVDs - will play on any HD player!

Music for the Movies: Bernard Herrmann (Joshua Waletzky, 1992) Kultur Video

Next (Lee Tamahori, 2007) Paramount Home Video

Next [HD DVD] (Lee Tamahori, 2007) Paramount Home Video

Next [Blu-ray] (Lee Tamahori, 2007) Paramount Home Video

Oldboy [Blu-ray] (Chan-wook Park, 2003) Uk Tartan Video

Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea (Chris Metzler - Jeff Springer, 2004) New Video Group

Silence (AKA Chinmoku) (Masahiro Shinoda, 1971) R2 UK Eureka Masters of Cinema

Spider Baby (Special Edition) (Jack Hill, 1964) Dark Sky Films

Splinter (Michael D. Olmos,2006) Image Entertainment

Strike (Volker Schlöndorff, 2006) MPI Home Entertainment

Suspiria (2-Disc Special Edition) (Dario Argento, 1977) Blue Underground

This Sporting Life (Lindsay Anderson, 1963) R2 UK Network

Tekkon Kinkreet [Blu-ray] (Michael Arias, 2006) Sony

Twisted Terror Collection [Deadly Friend (Wes Craven), Dr. Giggles, Eyes of a Stranger, From Beyond the Grave, The Hand (Oliver Stone), Someone's Watching Me (John Carpenter)] Warner Home Video

Ushpizin, Ha- (Giddi Dar, 2004) R2 UK - Lions Gate Home Ent. UK Ltd

Vintage Erotica Collection 1920-1960 (5-disc with book) - Cult Epics

Who Was Kafka? (Richard Dindo, 2006) ARTE

The Wild Bunch [HD DVD] (Sam Peckinpah, 1969) Warner Home Video

The Wild Bunch [Blu-ray] (Sam Peckinpah, 1969) Warner Home Video

Woman Without Love (Luis Buñuel, 1952) CINEMATECA


Week of October 1st, 2007

1408 (Widescreen Edition) (Mikael Håfström, 2007) Weinstein Company

A Room with a View [HD DVD] (James Ivory, 1986) BBC Warner
A Room with a View [Blu-ray] (James Ivory, 1986) BBC Warner

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

Body & Soul (2-disc) (Moira Armstrong, 1993) Questar

Bram Stoker's Dracula (2-disc Special Edition) (Francis Ford Coppola,1992) Sony Pictures

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

Caligula (Unrated) (Tinto Brass, 1970) Image Entertainment

Caligula (R-Rated) (Tinto Brass, 1970) Image Entertainment

Caligula (Three-Disc Imperial Edition) (Tinto Brass, 1970) Image Entertainment

Cars [Blu-ray] (Disney, 2006) R2 UK Buena Vista Home Entertainment

Civic Duty (Jeff Renfroe, 2006) 20th Century Fox

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

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

Dawn of the Dead [Blu-ray] (Zack Snyder, 2004) Anchor Bay

The Day After Tomorrow [Blu-ray] (Roland Emmerich, 2004) 20th Century Fox

Day Night Day Night (Julia Loktev, 2006) IFC

Day of the Dead [Blu-ray] (George A. Romero, 1985) Anchor Bay

Death by Engagement (Philip Creager, 2005) Maverick

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

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

Fantastic Four - Rise of the Silver Surfer (Tim Story, 2007) Twentieth Century Fox

Fantastic Four - Rise of the Silver Surfer [Blu-ray] (Tim Story, 2007) Twentieth Century Fox

The Forest For the Trees (Maren Ade, 2003) Film Movement

Funny Face (50th Anniversary Edition) (Stanley Donen, 1957) Paramount Home Video

Galapagos [HD DVD] BBC Warner

Galapagos [Blu-ray] BBC Warner

Gangs Of New York [Blu-ray] (Martin Scorsese, 2002) R2 UK Entertainment in Video

Halloween [Blu-ray] (John Carpenter, 1978) Anchor Bay

The Jungle Book (Two-Disc 40th Anniversary Platinum Edition) (Wolfgang Reitherman, 1967) Walt Disney Video

The Films of Kenneth Anger, Vol. 2 (Scorpio Rising ,1964 - Kustom Kar Kommandos,1965 - Invocation of My Demon Brother,1969 - Rabbit's Moon,1979 - Lucifer Rising, 1981) Fantoma

King Lear (Ernest C. Warde, 1916) Televista

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

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

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World [Blu-ray] (Peter Weir, 2003) 20th Century Fox

The Most Dangerous Game (Irving Pichel, 1932) BW and colorized versions - Legend

Odette (Herbert Wilcox, 1950) R2 UK - Optimum Home Entertainment

Seven Days to Noon (John Boulting/Roy Boulting, 1948) R2 UK Optimum

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Complete Series (1987) Paramount Home Video

Top Gun [HD DVD] (Tony Scott, 1986) Paramount


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