Newsletter - FOR THE WEEK OF October 12th, 2009


This Week's Highlights

Okonia! - 23 new reviews or comparisons and what a crazy mix of directorial talent with Costa-Gavras, Enzo Castellari, Sam Mendes, Mira Nair, Atom Egoyan, Joel Schumacher, Lucio Fulci, Michael Mann, a hint of David Mamet and enough William Castle to choke a ghoul. There are some Blu-ish Calendar Updates, new sales and a slightly harder contest (with two excellent prizes) and more...
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October 12th CONTEST - identify the clip on the CONTEST PAGE to win a brand NEW sealed - Criterion DVD of The Friends of Eddie Coyle AND a second prize of a Blu-ray of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory -  Best of luck all!


FEATURE DVD and Blu-ray of the Month chosen for October HERE

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If there are DVD titles you'd like us to cover - please feel free to recommend!

Gary at 2ze dot com


60% OFF OVER 100 Blu-rays HERE

HEFTY SALE on Blu-rays at HERE

2001: A Space Odyssey [Blu-ray] (69% OFF!)
Batman Begins [
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True Blood: The Complete First Season (HBO Series) [
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Unforgiven [
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V for Vendetta [
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Bullitt [
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The Shining [
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Pan's Labyrinth [
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The Departed [
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The Dirty Dozen [
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The Aviator [
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Appaloosa [
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The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford [
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The Cowboys [
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And there is Up to 70% OFF UK Blu-rays HERE

Amazon Blu-ray Blowout HERE

The Movies & TV Boxed Set Sale (up to 60% OFF!)

Blu-rays half price at Amazon UK HERE


• SALES: US Blu-ray up to 53% OFF        

•  Amazon France Blu-ray SALE (BUY 1 get 1 FREE!)

LATEST ADDITIONS to the Calendar: (PRE-ORDER & save!):

The Burning Plain [Blu-ray] (Guillermo Arriaga, 2008) Magnolia

(500) Days of Summer [Blu-ray] (Marc Webb, 2009) Fox Searchlight

Ballast [Blu-ray] (Lance Hammer, 2008) Kino

World's Greatest Dad [Blu-ray] (Bobcat Goldthwait, 2009) Magnolia

Julie & Julia [Blu-ray] (Nora Ephron, 2009) - Columbia/Tri-Star

Ichi [Blu-ray] (Fumihiko Sori, 2008) Funimation

Mystic River [Blu-ray] (Clint Eastwood, 2003) Warner

The Music Man [Blu-ray] (Morton Dacosta, 1962) Warner

Paper Heart [Blu-ray] (Nicholas Jasenovec, 2009) Anchor Bay

While She Was Out [Blu-ray] (Susan Montford, 2008) Starz/Anchor Bay

Hunchback of the Morgue (Javier Aguirre, 1972) MYA Communications

Family Scandal (Mario Sabatini, 1980) MYA Communications

Waterworld [Blu-ray] (Kevin Reynolds, 1995) Universal

James Bond 10-Pack [Blu-ray] (Quantum of Solace, Die Another Day, The World is Not Enough, For Your Eyes Only, Moonraker, Live and Let Die, Thunderball, Goldfinger, From Russia With Love, Dr. No) MGM

Ink [Blu-ray] (Jamin Winans, 2009) Indieblitz Releasing

Mesrine - Parts 1 & 2 [Blu-ray] (Jean-François Richet, 2008) R'B' UK Momentum Pictures

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs [Blu-ray]  (Phil Lord + Chris Miller, 2009) R'B' UK Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

The Horseman [Blu-ray] (Steven Kastrissios, 2008) R'B'UK Spirit Entertainment

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ONE VOICE (not Ellsworth Monkton Toohey):  There is a decent amount of recommendable this week. Let's start with Criterion's DVD of Costa-Gavras' unforgettable political thriller Z. Right up there though is the wonderful Blu-ray of Easy Rider - looks and sounds impressive! How immersive was it to see 8 William Castle features - almost consecutively and then a fact-filled documentary on the man? The William Castle Film Collection would be endorsed even if it only had The Tingler , Homicidal and Joan Crawford's axe wielding Strait-Jacket. Speaking of sharp-tooled weapons Fulci's The New York Ripper takes a dramatic presentation bump on Blu-ray. The animated 1966 How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is a staple of the Holiday season but the barren Warner Blu-ray gives some pause whether or not to indulge. The big attraction of The Hannibal Lecter Collection - may actually be, the start of it all, Michael Mann's Manhunter in 1080P - although not the Director's Cut! I may be one of the few people on the planet who enjoyed Land of the Lost - so what - you wanna step outside? Mendes' Away We Go is heart-warming and humorous - a real treat. Eagles Over London is one of the apparent peaks of its macaroni-combat sub-genre. Reviewer Brian reminds us of the value of Egoyan's The Sweet Hereafter (did I ever relate my Sarah Polley babysitting story?) and the nostalgic purity of The Tarzan Collection. Gregory remind us of the quality, or lack of, in Alpha's Noir 'Dark Mountain' and Eric continues to probe his expertise with titles like The Hanging Woman, Island of the Fishmen and Tinto Brass' Attraction. Better not forget Criterion's Monsoon Wedding and the wealth of short features from Nair that fill the supplements....


The William Castle Collection - Iconic horror director William Castle created a simple, but winning formula for his films: a little comedy, a lot of scares, a preposterous gimmick, and a clear sense that fright films should be fun. This even meant Castle would, like Hitchcock, appear in his trailers and even the movies themselves. Though his career spanned 35 years and included everything from westerns to crime thrillers, he'll always be remembered for his horror films from the late 50s to the mid-60s. And now Sony presents all eight of his Columbia features - three making their DVD debut, the rest newly-remastered - in one "spook-tac-ular" collection. And as a bonus, it includes the award-winning feature-length documentary, Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story. DVD Release Date: October 20th, 2009

The New York Ripper
BR - A blade-wielding psychopath is on the loose, turning The Big Apple bright red with the blood of beautiful young women. As NYPD detectives follow the trail of butchery from the decks of the Staten Island Ferry to the sex shows of Times Square, each brutal murder becomes a sadistic taunt. In the city that never sleeps, he's the killer that can't be stopped! Written and directed by acclaimed horror maestro Lucio Fulci (ZOMBIE, CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD) and filmed on location in the mean streets of New York City, this is one of Fulci's most savage and controversial thrillers. Now remastered in blood-soaked High-Definition from its original camera negative, THE NEW YORK RIPPER is presented completely uncut and uncensored with exclusive new Extras! Blu-ray Release date: September 29th, 2009

Easy Rider
BR - If you follow the story closely in "Easy Rider," you find out it isn't there. The rough-cut of the movie reportedly ran over three hours, and Hopper edited it to a reasonable length by throwing out the story details and keeping the rest. So the heroes are suspended in an invisible story, like falcons on an invisible current of air. You can't see it, but it holds them up. Blu-ray Release date: October 20th, 2009

Land of the Lost
BR - To the extent that the Ed Wood–on-acid TV series Land of the Lost has endured, it’s been through a combination of nostalgia and cult appeal; few other TV shows have looked as if they were shot in someone’s yard, with each episode seemingly planned in less time than it takes to watch. That sets the bar pretty low for a film version, which would exceed expectations simply by not inspiring a desire to have one’s face clawed by Grumpy the T. rex. So breathe easy: The new Land of the Lost exceeds expectations. Blu-ray Release date: October 13th, 2009

How the Grinch Stole Christmas - 2000
BR - In 1957 Random House published "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" penned and illustrated by the beloved Theodore Seuss Geisel (aka: Dr. Seuss). In 1966 Geisel gave his blessing to Chuck Jones' 26-minute animated version of the story, which has since become a television Christmas classic. In 2000, the year before al Qaeda trumped the Grinch by actually stealing Christmas and a good deal besides, Ron Howard & Brian Grazer introduced what they hoped would become another instant classic: a feature length live-action version of Dr. Seuss' story of a heart found. Blu-ray Release date: October 13, 2009

Eagles Over London
BR - Nine years before his WWII classic 'Inglorious Bastards', Enzo Castellari virtually invented the 'Macaroni Combat' genre with this over-the-top saga of valor, vengeance and machine- gun mayhem. Hollywood legend Van Johnson ('The Caine Mutiny') and Frederick Stafford (Hitchcock's 'Topaz') star as military officers pursuing a merciless team of Nazi saboteurs through war-ravaged London, featuring Castellari's jaw-dropping recreations of the evacuation of Dunkirk, the Battle Of Britain and more. Francisco Rabal ('Nightmare City'), Ida Galli ('The Psychic') and Luigi Pistilli ('The Good, the Bad & the Ugly') co-star in this explosive epic – also known as 'Battle Squadron' – now restored on Blu-ray for the first time ever in the U.S! Blu-ray Release date: October 13th, 2009

Attraction - A quiet day in the park leads to delirious, rock-scored encounters with the counter-culture by married Barbara (Anita Sanders) which take the form of a black man (Terry Carter). More random and less apocalyptic than Brass' subsequent THE HOWL (L'URLO), the vignettes of ATTRACTION (NEROSUBIANCO) are structured around twelve songs by Freedom, a British rock band featuring members of Procol "A Whiter Shade of Pale" Harum (although there are fourteen songs on the soundtrack and an oft-reported running time of 89 minutes for the film). DVD Release Date: September 29, 2009

The Unit - Season Four
BR - manly show about super-secret Special Forces officers and the women who love them, this muscular hour is neither the recruiting film it initially appears to be nor the gruff look at soldiering that might have been anticipated given its production auspices. Foremost, "The Unit" plays like "Mission: Impossible" for the war-on-terror age, with the humanizing twist of simultaneously focusing on military wives who sweat out each mission at home, relying on each other for emotional support. . . Despite teaming David Mamet, who wrote the premiere, with "The Shield's" Shawn Ryan, the series isn't all about testosterone, making a concerted effort to appeal to women. Blu-ray Release date: September 29, 2009

The Hanging Woman - Serge (Stan Cooper aka Stelvio Rosi) arrives in the rustic village of Skopji from London too late for the funeral of his uncle, the Count Mihajli. As it is nearly nightfall, Serge finds no transport to the village and must walk there via the cemetery road where he bumps into the hanging corpse of his cousin Mary (Aurora de Alba), who was shown creeping into the tomb to retrieve some documents from her father's corpse. Serge becomes a suspect when it is learned that he is the count's heir and it is learned that the woman was dead before she was hanged. DVD Release Date: September 29, 2009

Away We Go
BR - Directed by Sam Mendes (an Oscar winner for "American Beauty") from an original script by Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida, "Away We Go" is graced with an endearing central couple, apprehensive about their impending parenthood. Unfortunately, most of the other people in the film add to that anxiety by being smugly self-involved and a trial to endure. Blu-ray Release date: September 29th, 2009

Z - A pulse-pounding political thriller, Greek expatriate director Costa-Gavras’s Z was one of the cinematic sensations of the late sixties, and remains among the most vital dispatches from that hallowed era of filmmaking. This Academy Award winner—loosely based on the 1963 assassination of Greek left-wing activist Gregoris Lambrakis—stars Yves Montand as a prominent politician and doctor whose public murder amid a violent demonstration is covered up by military and government officials; Jean-Louis Trintignant is the tenacious magistrate who’s determined not to let them get away with it. Featuring kinetic, rhythmic editing, Raoul Coutard’s expressive vérité photography, and Mikis Theodorakis’s unforgettable, propulsive score, Z is a technically audacious and emotionally gripping masterpiece. DVD Release Date: October 27th, 2009

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)
BR - Every Who down in Who-ville likes Christmas a lot & ; But the Grinch who lived just north of Whoville did NOT! So the cuddly as a cactus Grinch (with termites in his smile and garlic in his soul) tries to wipe out Christmas for the cheerful Who-villians, only to discover: Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more! Magnificently narrated by Boris Karloff and animated by cartoon legend Chuck Jones, it's an award-winning Who-roast-beast-feast of a holiday classic! Blu-ray Release Date: October 6th, 2009

Monsoon Wedding
BR - Cultures and families clash in Mira Nair’s exuberant Monsoon Wedding, a mix of comedy and chaotic melodrama concerning the preparations for the arranged marriage of a modern upper-middle-class Indian family’s only daughter, Aditi. Of course there are hitches—Aditi has been having an affair with a married TV host; she’s never met her husband to be, who lives in Houston; the wedding has worsened her father’s hidden financial troubles; even the wedding planner has become a nervous wreck—as well as buried family secrets. But Nair’s celebration is ultimately joyful and cathartic: a love song to her home city of Delhi and her own Punjabi family. DVD and Blu-ray Release Date: October 20th, 2009

Island of the Fishmen - A lifeboat carrying a group of convicts and the ship's doctor Claude (Claudio Cassinelli) crashes against some rocks in the fog. The survivors make their way to an island inhabited by wealthy Edmond Rackham (Richard Johnson), beautiful Amanda (Barbara Bach), her scientist father (Joseph Cotten), a voodoo priestess (Beryl Cunningham, THE WEEKEND MURDERS), and a horde of natives. Although warned away by Amanda, the convicts and Claude are given shelter by Rackham. When one of the convicts disappears (after trying to rape Amanda), Claude starts investigating and believes that Edmond and Amanda are hiding something (the titular fishmen, I'm guessing, given the title). DVD Release Date: July 28, 2009

Child's Play
BR - So here we are, 21 years and 5 sequels later (and still counting), the original movie makes its bow on Blu-ray. We note, with some satisfaction that, at first there was no “Chucky” in the title or subtitle. All that changed with Child’s Play 2: Chucky’s Back the following year. It was clear who the star of this story was, and he would soon lay his claim in no uncertain terms. But let us return to more halcyon days when the filmmakers hadn’t yet realized what they had on their hands... Blu-ray Release date: September 15th, 2009

My Name is Earl - Season 4
BR - Starting with the fourth and final season of this broad, yet wry little comedy – a sort of Li’l Abner meets Raising Arizona – Fox does the Blu-ray thing for a show that has already made its presence known on DVD. The Blu-ray has the advantage of a better picture and sound, but the extra features are the same. Blu-ray Release date: September 15th, 2009

Italian Sex - Diana (Pilar Velasqeuz) is a university student defending her thesis on prostitution. In order to study it, she became a prostitute and explains her experiences to an alternately outraged and excited panel including 2 women and a priest. In a series of vignettes, Diana relates encounters with lesbians, lunatics, a politician with a trigger-happy wife, an industrialist, and a gay waiter among others. Diana helps a businessman diagnose that his son can only get aroused by women in mens clothing so he hires masculine-looking secretaries but it works too well and his son gets all of the secretaries pregnant. Diana also has encounters with a man whose recently deceased wife is still lying in state in the house's parlor and a man who role plays as her father outraged to discover his daughter is a prostitute. DVD Release Date: September 29, 2009

The Bad and the Beautiful - The rise, fall and resurgence of a loutish Hollywood producer, as told through the eyes of three people he made then alienated. This quintessential movie on movies is an engrossing, seductive Minnelli epic, graced with superb performances.

The Number 23
BR - Since this is a thriller, there must be a twist. One goes into a movie like The Number 23 with this expectation. However, not only is the twist telegraphed early but it is presented in a clumsy and unconvincing manner. Other films have employed a similar plot device to good effect. (I will refrain from naming titles since that would constitute unnecessary spoilerage.) The Number 23 shows how not to do it. The film has a few things going for it. Matthew Libatique's cinematography is evocative and there are isolated individual scenes that work when dissociated from the movie as a whole. But as a cohesive piece of entertainment, The Number 23 is largely a failure. Blu-ray Release date: October 6th, 2009

The Sweet Hereafter - A cold, dark hillside looms above the Bide-a-Wile Motel, pressing down on it, crushing out the life with the gray weight of winter. It is one of the strongest images in Atom Egoyan's ``The Sweet Hereafter,'' which takes place in a small Canadian town, locked in by snow and buried in grief after 14 children are killed in a school bus accident....To this town comes a quiet man, a lawyer who wants to represent the residents in a class action suit. Mitchell Stephens (Ian Holm) lacks the energy to be an ambulance chaser; he is only going through the motions of his occupation....This story is not about lawyers or the law, not about small-town insularity, not about revenge (although that motivates an unexpected turning point).

The Tarzan Collection - Johnny Weissmuler. Maureen O'Sullivan. He Tarzan, she Jane - the most memorable pair ever to portray Edgar Rice Burroughs' jungle hero and heroine. All 6 of the stars' vine-swinging teamings are in this 3-disc set. The Lord of the Apes swoops Jane Parker into his life in the trendsetting Tarzan the Ape Man. He man, she woman in the sensual pre-Code Tarzan and His Mate, a tale that includes the sacred elephant graveyard. Next, Tarzan Escapes when a vile bwana aims to exploit him as a sideshow freak. A rift over how to raise Boy (John Sheffield) divides treehouse-sweet-treehouse when Tarzan Finds a Son! Then, so-called civilized folks clash over gold, a metal not worth a coconut to the Ape Man in Tarzan's Secret Treasure. And a different jungle awaits in Tarzan's New York Adventure. Hold that taxi: ungawa!

Dark Mountain - 1944 hard hitting crime story with an all-star ''B-movie'' cast. Beautiful young bride is implicated in a murder case & discovers her husband is the mobster who committed the hit, culminating in a perilous high-speed chase scene. Starring Robert Lowery, Elen Drew, & Regis Toomey.

The Hannibal Lecter Collection
BR - The films in Fox’s Hannibal Lecter Collection are all drawn from specific novels written by Thomas Harris. The novels are chronological, as are the movies, each directed by a major auteur: respectively: Michael Mann, Jonathan Demme and Ridley Scott. The first, Manhunter, is based on Harris’s Red Dragon. Both Manhunter and The Silence of the Lambs place the investigator front and center. Psychiatrist and serial killer, Hannibal Lecter is already in prison in the first movie and makes good his escape in the second. Blu-ray Release date: September 15th, 2009

Next 2 weeks on the Calendar


Week of October 12th, 2009


Adoration [Blu-ray] (Atom Egoyan, 2008) Sony Pictures

American Violet [Blu-ray] (Tim Disney, 2008) Image Entertainment

Eagles Over London [Blu-ray] (Enzo G. Castellari, 1970) Severin (BEAVER REVIEW)

Eclipse Series 18: Dušan Makavejev Free Radical - Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW)

Land of the Lost [Blu-ray] (Brad Silberling, 2009) Universal Studios (BEAVER REVIEW)

Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown [Blu-ray] (Frank H. Woodward, 2008) - Cinevolve Studios

The Proposal [Blu-ray] (Anne Fletcher, 2009) Touchstone Home Entertainment


Week of October 19th, 2009


The 39 Steps [Blu-ray] (Alfred Hitchcock, 1935) R'B'UK ITV DVD

The Adventures of George the Projectionist (Tim Higham, 2006) Cheney Films Releasing

Black Rain (Shohei Imamura, 1989) Animeigo

Cheri (Stephen Frears, 2009) Miramax

Easy Rider [Blu-ray] (Dennis Hopper, 1969) Sony (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Elephant King (Seth Grossman, 2006) E1 Entertainment

The Complete Fritz Lang Mabuse Box Set - Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler, 1922 - The Testament of Dr. Mabuse, 1933 - The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse, 1960 - Eureka Masters of Cinema

Fados (Carlos Saura, 2007) Zeitgeist Films

Gaumont - le cinéma premier, vol. 2 - Paramount Home Entertainment

Hamlet [Blu-ray] (Laurence Olivier, 1948) R'B' UK ITV DVD

Henry V [Blu-ray] (Laurence Olivier, 1944) R'B' UK ITV DVD

Ichi the Killer [Blu-ray] (Takashi Miike, 2001) Tokyo Shock

It's Garry Shandling's Show: The Complete Series - Shout! Factory

Monsoon Wedding (Mira Nair, 2001) - Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW)

Monsoon Wedding [Blu-ray] (Mira Nair, 2001) - Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW)

Moon in the Gutter (Jean-Jacques Beineix, 1983) Cinema Libre

Phantom/Die Finanzen Des Großherzogs - R2 UK - Masters of Cinema

Seven Samurai  [Blu-ray] (Akira Kurosawa, 1954) R'A' Toho YesAsia, CDJapan, Amazon.JP

Summer Storm (Douglas Sirk, 1944) VCI Entertainment

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (Two-Disc Special Edition) [Blu-ray] (Michael Bay, 2009) - Paramount\

Waterworld [Blu-ray] (Kevin Reynolds, 1995) Universal

Wicked Wife (Bob McNaught, 1953) Music Video Dist

The William Castle Film Collection (13 Frightened Girls / 13 Ghosts / Homicidal / Strait-Jacket / The Old Dark House / Mr. Sardonicus / The Tinglerand/ Zotz!) - Sony Pictures (BEAVER REVIEW)

X-Men Origins: Wolverine [Blu-ray] (Gavin Hood, 2009) R'B' UK - 20th Century Fox


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