DVDBeaver Newsletter - October 8th, 2007
Ohayou gozaimasu! - 18 new reviews - 3 Criterion, Eclipse, Silent, Classic TV, New Formats, multi-film boxsets etc., our recommendations, sales, a contest winner and a new contest!
CONTEST ACTIVITY: Last week's contest was not so easy (quite a few got it - yes, André De Toth's' 'Pitfall') and the prize of Criterion's DVD of Robinson Crusoe on Mars! goes to the Winner: Chris McCann of Wappingers Falls, NY. Congrats!
This week's contest is not really tough one and many should get it...
Those who identify the NEW CLIP posted HERE (and on our homepage) will have a shot any winning a sealed copy of Criterion's DVD of Gus van Sant's Mala Noche! Let's see how many get the correct answer this time.
NOTE: Not all our future quote clips will be Film Noir - but we are in that groove at present.
Reaction -The winner of new Toshiba HD-A2 HD DVD Player was Pat Pilon. He is also in possession of a Blu-ray player and says...'My first, gut impression, of HD-DVD vs BD is that HD-DVD is much more stable and overall a more complete format. The S300 is very flimsy and the A2 looks a lot better and a lot faster. I can tell you this much: updating firmware is a lot simpler with the A2 (the HD).'
Just subscribe to our Free Weekly Newsletter (for hints and the winner announcement) and email all 5 answers to contest@DVDBeaver.com
4-for-3 DVD and CD sale at Amazon.UK HERE
This includes another strong deal - Godard Volume 1 from Optimum is 43% OFF and includes Made in USA, Passion, Alphaville and Breathless seems a decent deal at GBP 22.97 or about US $46.00.
FORD AT FOX EDITIONS AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER
Ford at Fox - Collection - 20th Century Fox (SPECS HERE), Ford at Fox: The Silent Epics (5pc) (Silent) - 20th Century Fox, Essential John Ford Collection (6pc) - 20th Century Fox, John Ford's American Comedies (4pc) - 20th Century Fox
New Gloria Grahame photo (small and large - clickable) added to our article: "Beauty Lurking in the Shadows - Favorite Women of Film Noir" NOTE: I intend on adding Lizbeth Scott, Faith Domergue and Peggy Cummins although the latter two have only one exceptionally strong Noir entry each.
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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!)
Updated stuff I may indulge in: Not a lot listed this week but the is Ford at Fox - Collection alone enough. I've be indulging in The Simpsons Movie too for a diversion.
LATEST Additions to the Release Calendar
Martin Scorsese Presents: Val Lewton - Warner Home Video
Val Lewton Collection (we assume Cat People / The Curse of the Cat People / I Walked with a Zombie / The Body Snatcher / Isle of the Dead / Bedlam / The Leopard Man / The Ghost Ship / The Seventh Victim / Shadows in the Dark plus 6th disc of Scorsese documentary) - Warner
The Simpsons Movie (David Silverman, 2007) Fox Home Entertainment
The Simpsons Movie [Blu-ray] (David Silverman, 2007) Fox Home Entertainment
Ford at Fox - Collection - 20th Century Fox (SPECS HERE)
Ford at Fox: The Silent Epics (5pc) (Silent) - 20th Century Fox
Essential John Ford Collection (6pc) - 20th Century Fox
John Ford's American Comedies (4pc) - 20th Century Fox
From last week:
Ingmar Bergman: Four Masterworks: The Seventh Seal (1957), Smiles of a Summer Night (1955), The Virgin Spring (1960) and Wild Strawberries (1957) - Criterion
Two-Lane Blacktop (Monte Hellman, 1971) Criterion
The R.W. Fassbinder Collection - 1973-1982 (8-discs) (Fear Eats the Soul; Effi Briest Fox and his Friends; Mother Kusters goes to Heaven; Fear of Fear; Satan's Brew; Chinese Roulette; The Marriage of Maria Braun) - R2 UK - Arrow Films
The R. W. Fassbinder Collection - 1969-1972 (9-discs) (Love is Colder Than Death; Katzelmacher; Gods of the Plague; The American Soldier; Niklashauser Journey; Rio des Mortes; Beware of a Holy Whore; The Merchant of Four Seasons; The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant) - R2 UK - Arrow Films
The Ghost Goes West (René Clair, 1935) R2 UK - Network
Alec Guinness - In The Frame Collection (Bridge On The River Kwai, Our Man In Havana, The Prisoner. HMS Defiant, Cromwell and Murder By Death) - R2 UK - Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
John Mills - The Screen Icons Collection - The Baby And The Battleship (Lewis, 1956), It's Great to Be Young (Frankel, 1956), Lady Caroline Lamb (Bolt, 1972) and The Gentle Gunman (Dearden, 1952) - R2 UK - Optimum Home Entertainment
The Aviator [HD DVD] (Martin Scorsese, 2004) Warner
The Aviator [Blu-ray] (Martin Scorsese, 2004) Warner
Die Hard [Blu-ray] (John McTiernan, 1988) - 20th Century Fox
Die Hard Collection (4-disc) [Blu-ray] - 20th Century Fox
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire [HD DVD] (Mike Newell, 2005) - Warner Home Video
That's Entertainment Trilogy [HD DVD] (3-disc) - Warner Home Video
That's Entertainment Trilogy [Blu-ray] (3-disc) - Warner Home Video
Twister [HD DVD] (Jan de Bont, 1996) Warner
Twister [Blu-ray] (Jan de Bont, 1996) Warner
I saw a lot of stuff I enjoyed this
past week; Top Shelf recommendations go to the wonderful
Fox Horror Classics boxset,
Alfred Hitchcock Presents Season 3 (with two, count'em two, episodes directed by Robert Altman), Criterion's magnificent package of Godard's Breathless, Carlos Saura's Flamenco Trilogy (Eclipse 6). Days of Heaven looks awesome if you are at all keen on the film. Family fun with The Jungle Book. Not for everyone but Mala Noche has appeal. Definitive Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
I'm constantly asked what the best image DVD image I have ever seen and I can definitively state that its National Geographic - Relentless Enemies BR.
What looks good (I didn't review) - Viva Las Vegas BR.
National Geographic - Relentless Enemies BR - Relentless Enemies takes you deep into the action as a wall of angry buffalo thwarts a lion attack. Filmed in High Definition, Relentless Enemies watches from the air as competing strategies for attack and defense unfold. Then, get up close as cubs go missing, competitive prides encroach on Tsaro territory and the future of the pride hangs in the balance
Jailhouse Rock BR
- Jailhouse Rock is not really a musical in the usual sense since the songs are
worked into the plot naturally: Elvis picks up a guitar in jail and sings a
small ballad. Later, he tries his luck at a recording studio, and further on he
sings at a party where, as a successful recording artist, his character is
expected to sing. There are relatively few songs, but they are of a generally
higher caliber than your average Elvis movie. DVD Release Date: September
Viva Las Vegas BR - Viva Las Vegas has Ann-Margret. I think it's no exaggeration to say she's the star of the movie. Mr. Pond notes that Colonel Parker was particularly concerned with this, and her glory may have contributed to the fact that Elvis's movies from then on had no competing females. Ann-Margret seems to get most of the screen time with more costume changes than a rattlesnake in a time warp. Besides her jaw-dropping good looks and sex appeal, what boggles the mind about Ann-Margret is her boundless energy – evident not only in her spirited dancing but in her limitless facial expressions, not one of which isn't gorgeous or portentous of . . . well, you know. DVD Release Date: September 18th, 2007
The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Victor Hugo's tragic tale of the deformed bellringer and his love for Esmeralda, a doomed gypsy girl, has been filmed so many times that an accurate count of all the versions would probably be difficult to pinpoint but it's not hard to see the film's ageless appeal. While you may find movie lovers who cite the 1939 Charles Laughton version or even the 1996 Disney animated version as favorite interpretations, the general consensus among actors (Burt Lancaster and Orson Welles to name a few) is that Chaney remains the definitive Quasimodo. DVD Release Date: October 9th, 2007
Twilight Zone: The Movie - These revamped episodes from the old supernatural TV series begin splendidly with Aykroyd and Brooks driving down a dark road at night, singing along to Creedence Clearwater and trying to guess TV theme songs. Four episodes follow, and it's ironic that producer Spielberg's geriatric remake of Peter Pan set in an Old People's home is easily the weakest of the lot, exhibiting all the churning sentimentality of a great film-maker going OTT. The others have a comic strip zeal which makes them intensely watchable, but ultimately it's left to Mad Max wizard Miller to steal the show with an extraordinary remake of Richard Matheson's story about an airline passenger who spies a demon noshing the starboard engine. DVD Release Date: October 9th, 2007
Fox Horror Classics - Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment celebrates three classic chillers from director John Brahm. ‘The Undying Monster,’ ‘The Lodger’ and ‘Hangover Square’ showcase a director who has hit his stride working with the confines of a genre. Brahm’s 1944 remake, ‘The Lodger,’ is widely considered a superior thriller to the silent Jack-the-Ripper fable originally directed by Hitchcock back in 1927. ‘Hangover Square’ has a legion of fans, making the movie one of Fox’s most requested titles for DVD release. DVD Release Date: October 9th, 2007
Breathless - There was before Breathless, and there was after Breathless. With its lack of polish, surplus of attitude, crackling personalities of rising stars Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg, and anything-goes crime narrative, Jean-Luc Godard's debut fashioned a simultaneous homage to and critique of the American film genres that influenced and rocked him as a film writer for Cahiers du cinema. Jazzy, free-form, and sexy, Breathless (A bout de souffle) helped launch the French new wave and ensured cinema would never be the same. DVD Release Date: October 23rd, 2007
Transformers - On the face of it Transformers is a story as old as the Greeks versus the Trojans, the difference being that these warriors are visitors from another planet, the 1980s-sounding Cybertron, and there isn’t a jot of poetry, tragedy, beauty, meaning or interest in this fight. The Autobots are trying to locate some all-important cube that looks like a Borg starship from Star Trek: The Next Generation before it’s found by the Autobots’ villainous alien brethren, the Decepticons. During their mission the Autobots blend into the earthly backdrop by turning into zippy cars and mondo trucks, a strategy that works particularly well in Southern California. Curiously, though the toys originated in Japan, no robot changes into a Toyota. DVD Release Date: October 16th, 2007
The New Babylon - The New Babylon is a metaphorical clash of glittering surfaces and deep social cynicism that marked the climax of Grigori Kozintsev and Leonid Trauberg's experimentations with the conventions of the Soviet silent cinema. Taking their thematic inspiration from the story of the Paris Commune of 1871, the two directors fashioned a highly conceptualized allegory of social strata under pressure that transcends its historical roots to form a sardonic comment on the human condition. DVD Release Date: August 3rd, 2007
Poltergeist - Credited to Hooper, but every inch a Spielberg film, this is a barnstorming ghost story, set in one of the small suburban houses Spielberg knows and loves, where the family canary is called Tweety, and the kids read Captain America comics and eat at the Pizza Hut. Gradually this impossibly safe world is (in a truly ingenious plot development) invaded by something inside the family television. Soon the plot takes off into a delirious fight with demonic forces suggestive of nothing so much as a Walt Disney horror movie; and although the sub-religious gobbledegook (including a tiresome midget medium) is hard to take, it is consistently redeemed by its creator's dazzling sense of craft. For this one, Spielberg has even contrived a structural surprise which leaves the audience spinning like one of his house's haunted rooms, and arguably matches the opening of Psycho in its impudent virtuosity. DVD Release Date: October 9th, 2007
Days of Heaven - One-of-a-kind filmmaker-philosopher Terrence Malick has created some of the most visually arresting movies of the twentieth century, and his glorious period tragedy Days of Heaven, featuring Oscar-winning cinematography by Nestor Almendros, stands out among them. In 1910, a Chicago steel worker (Richard Gere) accidentally kills his supervisor and flees to the Texas panhandle with his girlfriend (Brooke Adams) and little sister (Linda Manz) to work harvesting wheat in the fields of a stoic farmer (Sam Shepard). A love triangle, a swarm of locusts, a hellish fire—Malick captures it all with dreamlike authenticity, creating at once a timeless American idyll and a gritty evocation of turn-of-the-century labor. DVD Release Date: October 23rd, 2007
Mala Noche - With its low budget and lush black-and-white imagery, Gus Van Sant's debut feature Mala Noche heralded an idiosyncratic, provocative new voice in American independent film. Set in Van Sant's hometown of Portland, Oregon, the film evokes a world of transient workers, dead-end day-shifters, and bars and seedy apartments bathed in a profound nighttime, as it follows a romantic deadbeat with a wayward crush on a handsome Mexican immigrant. Mala Noche was an important prelude to the New Queer Cinema of the nineties and is a fascinating time capsule from a time and place that continues to haunt its director's work. DVD Release Date: October 9th, 2007
Carlos Saura's Flamenco Trilogy (Eclipse 6) - One of Spanish cinema's great auteurs, Carlos Saura brought international audiences closer to the art of his country's dance than any other filmmaker, before or since. In his Flamenco Trilogy—Blood Wedding, Carmen, and El amor brujo—Saura merged his passion for music with his exploration of national identity. All starring and choreographed by legendary dancer Antonio Gades, the films feature thrilling physicality and electrifying cinematography and editing—colorful paeans to bodies in motion as well as to cinema itself. DVD Release Date: October 16th, 2007
Emmanuelle - Soft-core classic with Sylvia Kristel as the inexperienced wife of a diplomat who embarks on an erotic journey of self-discovery in the steamy climes of Bangkok. The superbly monikered Just Jaekin made porn semi-respectable with his adaptation of Emmanuelle Arsan's steamy underground classic. He also practically invented lipstick lesbianism, fuelled the fantasies of teenage boys everywhere and created an unlikely feminist icon in the process (well, in the sense that Emmanuelle is sexually liberated - lets not stretch that point too far). DVD Release Date: October 9th, 2007
Alfred Hitchcock Presents Season 3 - Season 3 continued to boast performers who would later become much more famous, some who already were, and many strong bit players in Universal camp including - Vincent Price, William Shatner, Joseph Cotten, Jack Klugman, E.G. Marshall, James Gregory, Peter Lorre, George Peppard, Michael Rennie, Jessica Tandy, Pat Hitchcock and more. In 1962, Alfred Hitchcock Presents was expanded to one hour and was shown under the title the The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. We anxiously await!, A true gem of TV gone by. DVD Release Date: October 9th, 2007
Szamanka - Director Andrzej Zulawski's adaptation of Manuela Gretkowska's controversial screenplay tells the story of an anthropology professor Michal's (Boguslaw Linda) who as the movie progresses develops two overwhelming obsessions. The first one is a mummified, 3,000 year-old, perfectly preserved body of a Shaman he and his colleagues have recently dragged out of a swamp, and the second – an enigmatic student (Iwona Petry) he meets by chance at Krakow Railway Station. In exactly a minute after they meet, they have passionate but joyless sex "The Last Tango in Paris" style.
A Mighty Heart - A Mighty Heart is yet another message movie from a clearly socially-conscious activist. (Paramount’s box-office experience with Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center should’ve warned studio execs away from another post-9/11 on financial grounds, but with Jolie’s boyfriend Brad Pitt producing, I guess studio head Brad Grey just wanted to make his former production-company partner happy.) Unfortunately, Jolie doesn’t seem to understand that her approach to social activism is too in-your-face to be effective. It’s not that she’s confrontational...it’s just that her efforts impart a “holier-than-thou” attitude. DVD Release Date: October 16th, 2007
The Jungle Book - One of the most popular Disney films ever, THE JUNGLE BOOK is a song-filled celebration of friendship, fun, and adventure set in a lush and colorful world. Inspired by Rudyard Kipling's "Mowgli" stories, Disney's 19th animated masterpiece was the last animated feature that had Walt Disney's personal touch. The jubilant adventure begins when Mowgli, a little boy raised by wolves, is urged by his friend Bagheera, a wise old panther, to seek safety in the man village. Feeling very much at home in the jungle, Mowgli resists and runs off. DVD Release Date: October 2nd, 2007
Next 2 weeks on the Calendar:
Week of October 8th, 2007
12:08 East of Bucharest (Corneliu Porumboiu, 2006) Tartan Video
28 Days Later... [Blu-ray] (Danny Boyle, 2002) 20th Century Fox
28 Weeks Later (Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, 2007) 20th Century Fox
28 Weeks Later [Blu-ray] (Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, 2007) 20th Century Fox
Alfred Hitchcock Presents-Season 3 - Universal
The Aki Kaurismaki Collection Vol.2 - R2 UK Artificial Eye
Allegro (Christoffer Boe, 2005) Koch Lorber
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
Best of MGM Musicals Collection (6-disc) (West Side Story/Guys and Dolls/Fiddler on the Roof/A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum/How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying/Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) MGM
The Captive Heart (Basil Dearden, 1946) R2 UK - Optimum Home Entertainment
Crossed Swords (Richard Fleischer, 1977) Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Edward Scissorhands [Blu-ray] (Tim Burton, 1990) 20th Century Fox
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
Emmanuelle (Just Jaeckin, 1974) Lions Gate Home Ent.
Fantastic Four - The Rise Of The Silver Surfer (2 Disc Special Edition) (Tim Story, 2007) R2 UK - 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Fox Horror Classics Collection (Hangover Square, The Lodger, The Undying Monster) - Tcfhe
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner 40th Anniversary (Stanley Kramer, 1967) Columbia/Tri-Star
The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (Ultimate Edition) (Wallace Worsley,1923) Image Entertainment
Mala Noche (Gus Van Sant,1985) Criterion
Man Push Cart (Ramin Bahrani, 2005) Koch Lorber
Poltergeist (25th Anniversary Edition) (Tobe Hooper, 1982) Warner
RoboCop [Blu-ray] (Paul Verhoeven, 1987) Sony
The Sheltering Sky (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1990) R2 DE - Kinowelt Home Entertainment
Shinobi no mono (Satsuo Yamamoto, 1962) Animeigo
Sid & Nancy (30th Anniversary Edition) (Alex Cox, 1986) MGM
Stanley Kramer Box Set (Guess Who's Coming to Dinner / The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T / Wild One / Member../ Ship of Fools) (6-disc) - films to be announced - Columbia/Tri-Star
Tell No-One (Guillaume Canet, 2006) R2 UK - Momentum Pictures Home Ent
Three Days of Rain (Michael Meredith, 2003) Uni Dist Corp
Twilight Zone - The Movie (Joe Dante, John Landis, George Miller, Steven Spielberg, 1984) Warner Home Video
Twilight Zone - The Movie [HD DVD] (Joe Dante, John Landis, George Miller, Steven Spielberg, 1984) Warner Home Video
Twilight Zone - The Movie [Blu-ray] (Joe Dante, John Landis, George Miller, Steven Spielberg, 1984) Warner Home Video
The Virgin and the Gypsy (Christopher Miles,1970) Televista
You Kill Me (John Dahl, 2007) IFC
Week of October 15th, 2007
A Mighty Heart (Michael Winterbottom, 2007) Paramount Home Video
Goodbye Bafana (Bille August, 2007) R2 UK - Paramount (UK)
Casshern (Kazuaki Kiriya, 2005) Paramount Home Video
Cry of the City (Robert Siodmak, 1948) R2 UK Bfi Video
Demetrius and the Gladiators (Delmer Daves, 1954) Fox Home Entertainment
Displaced (Martin Holland, 2006) Mti Productions
Eclipse Series 6 - Carlos Saura's Flamenco Trilogy (Blood Wedding, Carmen, and El amor brujo) - Criterion
Family Guy Season 6 - R2 UK 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
The Ghost Train (Walter Forde, 1941) Jef Films
Girl 27 (David Stenn, 2007) Westlake
The Hoax (Lasse Hallström, 2006) Miramax
Hollow Man (Director's Cut) (Paul Verhoeven, 2000) Sony Pictures Home Ent
Hollow Man (Director's Cut) [Blu-ray] (Paul Verhoeven, 2000) Sony Pictures Home Ent
Icons of Horror - Sam Katzman (The Giant Claw, Zombies of Mora Tau, The Werewolf and Creature with the Atom Brain) Sony
The Jazz Singer (Three-Disc Deluxe Edition) (Alan Crosland, 1927) Warner Home Video
Kiss of Death (Henry Hathaway, 1947) R2 UK BFI
Land of Hunted Men (S. Roy Luby, 1943) Jef Films
Lights in the Dusk (Aki Kaurismäki, 2006) Strand Home Video
My Best Friend (Patrice Leconte, 2006) IFC
Other Conquest (Salvador Carrasco, 1998) Anchor Bay
Planet Terror - Extended and Unrated (Two-Disc Special Edition) (Robert Rodriguez, 2007) Weinstein
The Princess Bride (2-disc - 20th Anniversary Edition) (Rob Reiner, 1987) MGM
The Reaping (Stephen Hopkins, 2007) Warner Home Video
Romuald et Juliette (Coline Serreau, 1989) R2 UK - Optimum Home Entertainment
Spider-Man 3 [Blu-ray] (Sam Raimi, 2007) R2 UK Sony Pictures Home Ent. UK
Spider-Man Trilogy [Blu-ray] R2 UK Sony Pictures Home Ent. UK
Spider-Man 3 (Sam Raimi, 2007) R2 UK Sony Pictures Home Ent. UK
Spider-Man 3 with Limited Edition 'Symbiot' Sleeve Design and Slipcase (Exclusive to Amazon.co.uk) R2 UK Sony Pictures Home Ent. UK
Tell No-One (Guillaume Canet, 2006) R2 UK - Momentum Pictures
Transformers (Michael Bay, 2007) Paramount
Transformers [HD DVD] (Michael Bay, 2007) Paramount
Treasures III: Social Issues in American Film, 1900-1934 - Image Entertainment
The Trials of Darryl Hunt (Ricki Stern, 2006) Velocity / Thinkfilm
Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East? (Bae Yong-Kyun, 1989) New Yorker
No, it is not dangerous to confuse children with angels,