DVDBeaver Newsletter - November 5th, 2007
Wimafa shoo! - 17 new and scattered reviews this week. We are really all over the place this newsletter from Godard to Pixar animation - from Korean drama to Lynch TV. Thanks to many review contributors. Two new contests, sales, calendar updates, recommendations... are you with us?
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FEATURE DVD OF THE MONTH (NOVEMBER): Director Stanley Kubrick's heralded masterpiece '2001: A Space Odyssey' immediately informs the viewers of its grandeur with a realistically derived vision of human evolution. The first segment entitled "The Dawn of Man" documents our ancestors maintaining sustenance through clan support, and food foraging. The story, based on the Arthur C. Clarke novel, naturally includes a strong fictional element proposing a single event that initiated the turning point of the ascension of humankind. Reviewed HERE Available to order at Amazon - Blu-ray + HD-DVD
Hi-Def News: Could be what many have been waiting for - Samsung's upcoming BD-UP5000 HD DVD/Blu-ray dual high-definition player. Coming this January.
SALE (Thanks Irina!): The David Lean Collection 9 films! (Brief Encounter, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, Madeleine, The Passionate Friends, The Sound Barrier, Hobson's Choice, This Happy Breed, and Blithe Spirit) From R2 UK - ITV DVD is 60% OFF! at Amazon UK HERE.
SALE: Save up to 50% on DVD Boxed Sets including - Alfred Hitchcock - The Masterpiece Collection (52% OFF!), The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection (53% OFF!), Preston Sturges - The Filmmaker Collection (53% OFF!) and many more HERE!
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PRIZE: A sealed Barbra Stanwyck Signature Collection
I'm sure easy for many... Clip for the week of November 5th is HERE (WMV FORMAT)
and you must besubscribed to our Free Weekly Newsletter and email the answer to contest@DVDBeaver.com
LAST WEEK: Winner identifying the 3 clips from the week from Oct 29th (Whirlpool, Spider-Man 2 and The Best Years of Our Lives) was Sean Gleason (wins a sealed Warner 3-disc boxset of The Jazz Singer (1927)) Congrats Sean!
SECOND CONTEST: Also see another new CONTEST in Leonard's Dae Jang Geum review HERE!
Beaver citing: Michael Philip's article in Chicago Tribune Oct 31st, 2007 HERE
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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!) Well Paradjanov, Lana Turners' Portrait in Black & Madame X, finally Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse, a second Joan Crawford set, Criterion's Miss Julie, and a bump of Kramer's Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. Amazing stuff for so few releases listed. The rest:
Black Sun (Gary Tarn, 2005) R2 - UK Second Run
Portrait in Black (Michael Gordon, 1960) & Madame X (David Lowell Rich, 1960) - Universal
Ashik Kerib (Special Edition) (1988) (Sergei Paradjanov, 1988) - Kino
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (40th Anniversary Edition) (Stanley Kramer, 1967) - Sony Pictures
The Films of Sergei Paradjanov (Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors/The Color of Pomegranates/The Legend of Suram Fortress/Ashik Kerib) - Kino
The Legend of Suram Fortress (Special Edition) (Sergei Parajanov, 1984) - Kino
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (Special Edition) (Sergei Parajanov, 1964) Kino
Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (Fax Bahr, 1991) Paramount
Miss Julie (Alf Sjöberg, 1951) Criterion
Joan Crawford Collection Volume 2 (Flamingo Road/Strange Cargo/Torch Song/others) Warner
From what I reviewed I loved Twin Peaks - The Definitive Gold Box Edition , Potemkin, and (as I've been called a 'stooge' many times) The Three Stooges Collection, Volume One: 1934-1936(Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk). Thanks to Per-Olaf I'll be getting Do You Remember Dolly Bell and Dans Paris. I look forward to Pixar Shorts Vol. 1 and Ratatouille (arrive tomorrow). A big thanks to Michael's review of Nais and Eric's for Red Psalm. Leonard's got me keen on Korean drama and I may indulge with Dae Jang Geum. Thanks to Matthew for warning me to avoid Excalibur HD. Ditto for Leonard with Mr. Brooks BR - I saw in SD and it was the worst Hollywood film I've seen in a decade.
Twin Peaks - The Definitive Gold Box Edition
(The Complete Series) - From three-time Academy-Award nominee for directing
David Lynch ("The Elephant Man," "Blue Velvet," and "Mulholland Drive") and Mark
Frost comes the wildly imaginative, darkly comic mystery-thriller series that is
one of the most acclaimed events in television history, "Twin Peaks"... DVD
Release Date: October 30th, 2007
Dae Jang Geum - Dae Jang Geum was the show that introduced me to Korean television drama in 2005 and it set the bar high for all that followed. I am fond of describing it to the unsuspecting as a kind of Upstairs, Downstairs scenario where a considerable amount of the drama plays out in the kitchen. In some ways, it's not a facile comparison, for they are almost exactly the same length - except that the BBC production, which took over five years to film, suggested more a play than a movie. Not so with this Korean series, which boasts production values second to none for a TV show from any country.
Excalibur HD - Then I saw it on DVD for the first time in 1999 and was brought right back to that place I was as a child, reliving the magic and wonder of it all. At that time I wasn’t paying attention to grain and mosquito noise, I was simply watching a rewind to my youth. For the first time I was able to watch it in widescreen and the TV I was watching it on was a 27 inch Sony Vega, I was starting to understand that widescreen was everything and pan and scan was the devil.
Mr. Brooks BR - Ordinarily I am less than fond of Kevin Costner, but here his default monotone personality is used to advantage as a prosperous, high profile businessman and family man who is also an effective serial killer. What's interesting about our Mr. Brooks is that he sees his murderous ways as an addiction that requires the help of a 12-step program to keep in check. Of course, he doesn't admit to his addiction, so he never gets past Step 1, a point that the filmmakers never seem to grasp. What they do understand is that there is an attraction to his killing that trumps all efforts to overcome it. Blu-ray Release Date: October 23rd, 2007
Do You Remember Dolly Bell - Do You Remember Dolly Bell? filmed 1981, is the first feature film directed by Emir Kusturica. Showing early signs of the stylistic flair that Kusturica was to effectively deploy in later works, it is a coming of age story that many of his fans consider a must-see.
Dans Paris - Throughout the film, Paris looms large as a beautiful, vibrant city whose inhabitants are getting ready for Christmas and the jazzy score by Alex Beaupain hits just the right note in this consistently entertaining and stylish film.
Red Psalm - East Side Story, a recent documentary about communist musicals, assumes that communist-bloc directors were just itching to make Hollywood extravaganzas and invariably wound up looking strained, square, and ill equipped. But Red Psalm (1971), Miklos Jancso’s dazzling, open-air revolutionary pageant, is a highly sensual communist musical that employs occasional nudity as lyrically as the singing, dancing, and nature; within its own idioms it swings as well as wails. Set near the end of the 19th century, when a group of peasants have demanded basic rights from a landowner and soldiers arrive on horseback, Red Psalm is composed of less than 30 shots, each one an intricate choreography of panning camera, landscape, and clustered bodies.
Two or Three Things I Know About Her - Two or Three Things I Know About Her was the second of three features by Jean-Luc Godard to open in 1967. It was followed by Weekend and has been surpassed by few films, then or now, for plastic dynamism and intellectual spark.
Nais - It's easy to see why Marcel Pagnol was attracted to Zola's tale of Naïs Micoulin. Naïs, a country girl, is seduced by a young man from the city. Her over-possessive father opposes the relationship, while a local factory worker, Toine, a hunchback played by the popular comic actor Fernandel, pines in secret for Naïs. These are themes that Pagnol had explored already, notably in Angèle and La Fille du puisatier, and to which he would return in Manon des sources. Pagnol wrote the adaptation and dialogue for Naïs and closely supervised the production, involving himself to such an extent that he was effectively co-director with Raymond Leboursier. DVD Release Date: September 15th, 2007
Pixar Shorts Vol. 1 - Pixar Short Films Vol. 1 is the first collection of short movies that Pixar Animation Studios produced. Vol. 1 begins in 1984 with “The Adventures of Andre and Wally B.” and ends in 2007 with “Lifted”. Some of these shorts were created for the short-films market, but many of them began appearing before Pixar features in movie theatres. With the explosion of DVD extras came short films that were created specifically to augment a feature film’s debut on home video. DVD Release Date: November 6th, 2007
Ratatouille - The moral of Ratatouille is delivered by a critic: a gaunt, unsmiling fellow named Anton Ego who composes his acidic notices in a coffin-shaped room and who speaks in the parched baritone of Peter O’Toole. “Not everyone can be a great artist,” Mr. Ego muses. “But a great artist can come from anywhere.” Quite so. Written and directed by Brad Bird and displaying the usual meticulousness associated with the Pixar brand, Ratatouille is a nearly flawless piece of popular art, as well as one of the most persuasive portraits of an artist ever committed to film. It provides the kind of deep, transporting pleasure, at once simple and sophisticated, that movies at their best have always promised. DVD Release Date: November 6th, 2007
The Two Jakes - The people involved with Chinatown wanted to make a trilogy. The first is about stealing water. The second is about stealing oil. The second did poorly at the box office and didn’t catch most critics’ fancy, so there is no Part III. The Two Jakes (aka Chinatown II) itself had such a rough time getting to the big screen that no less than Jack Nicholson had to step into the director’s shoes in order for the project to be completed. DVD Release Date: November 6th, 2007
Nashville - The funniest epic vision of America ever to reach the screen. Robert Altman's movie is at once a GRAND HOTEL-style narrative, with 24 linked characters; a country-and-Western musical; a documentary essay on Nashville and American life; a meditation on the love affair between performers and audiences; and an Altman party. In the opening sequences, when Altman's people-the performers we associate with him because he has used them in ways no one else would think of, and they've been filtered through his sensibility-start arriving, and pile up in a traffic jam on the way from the airport to the city, the movie suggests the circus procession at the non-ending of 81. But Altman's clowns are far more autonomous; they move and intermingle freely, and the whole movie is their procession.
First Name: Carmen - "I'm the girl who shouldn't be called Carmen," says the voice of Maruschka Detmers following the title card. Godard's modern variation on Prosper Merimee's CARMEN (also done by Otto Preminger with CARMEN JONES  and Radley Metzger with CARMEN, BABY ) begins with Carmen asking her voluntarily institutionalized eccentric filmmaker uncle (Godard himself in a funny performance) for the use of his house by the beach to make a film (actually she plans to use it as a hideout after a heist). The ensuing heist leads to the meeting of Carmen and security guard Joseph (Jacques Bonnaffe) who fall in love. Joseph joins the gang in plans to abduct an industrialist and hold him for ransom but its Joseph's obsession and Carmen's faithlessness (here more of an alienated response) that brings about the tragic ending more so than the kidnapping - which Godard's character turns up to direct - gone wrong.
The Rape of the Vampire - Three strangers arrive at a chateau inhabited by four women believed to be vampires. But are they vampires or are they under the hypnotic machinations of an old man? Rollin shot the first part of this film as a short subject to be billed with an American vampire film bought by a distributor that just over an hour (it too was designed for double billing). His producers were impressed with what he accomplished with next to nothing and asked him to expand the film to feature length. Thus, the first half hour (part one) is an intriguing short that makes the most of its found locations, make-shift production design, and available lighting (and a very early example of a turntable effect around two arguing actors to heighten the intensity of the scene).
Battleship Potemkin - Probably one of the most surprisingly unwatched of the classic genre films, Sergei Eisenstein’s Bronenosets Potyomkin ( Battleship Potemkin ) made in 1925 has not maintained a distinctive impact on modern audiences. It was voted the greatest film of all time at the Brussels, Belgium, World's Fair in 1958 and the following year ``Citizen Kane'' had its giant re-release and went to the top of the list for the next 40+ years. DVD Release Date: October 23rd, 2007
The Three Stooges Collection, Volume One: 1934-1936 - Up until now the Three Stooges on DVD has been a real mix'n match hodge-podge of un-restored titles and illogical entries. This new Sony boxset - The Three Stooges Collection, Volume One: 1934-1936 seems to be the first concert effort to categorize their huge body of work chronologically with many shorts seeing the digital light for the first time. DVD Release Date: October 30th, 2007
Next 2 weeks on the Calendar:
Week of November 5th, 2007
After Life (Hirokazu Koreeda, 1998) R2 UK - Soda Pictures
The Aviator [HD DVD] (Martin Scorsese, 2004) Warner
The Aviator [Blu-ray] (Martin Scorsese, 2004) Warner
Battle of Okinawa (Kihachi Okamoto, 1971) Koch
Beowulf & Grendel (Sturla Gunnarsson, 2005) VT
Beowulf & Grendel [Blu-ray] (Sturla Gunnarsson, 2005) Anchor Bay
A Big Hand for the Little Lady (Fielder Cook, 1966) Warner Home Video
Blame It on Fidel (Julie Gavras, 2006) Koch
Cars [Blu-ray] (John Lasseter, 2006) Walt Disney Video
Chase a Crooked Shadow (Michael Anderson, 1958) R2 UK - Optimum Home Entertainment
Chinatown (Special Collector's Edition) (Roman Polanski, 1974) Paramount Home Video
Cloistered Nun: Runa's Confession (Masaru Konuma, 1976) Kino
The Day of the Triffids (Ken Hannam, 1981) BBC Warner
The Deadly Breaking Sword (Chung Sun, 1979) Image Ent.
Draculas: 4 Film Favorites (2-disc - Horror of Dracula, Dracula has Risen from the Grave, Taste the Blood of Dracula, Dracula AD 1972) - Warner Home Video
Election (Johnny To, 2005) Tartan
Erotic Diary of an Office Lady (Masaru Konuma, 1977) Kino
Fear Is the Key (Michael Tuchner, 1972) R2 UK - Optimum Home Entertainment
Flanders (Bruno Dumont, 2006) Koch
The Ghost Goes West (René Clair, 1935) R2 UK - Network
Heavens Fall (Terry Green, 2006) Allumination
Heeere's Johnny: The Definitive DVD Collection from The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson (12-disc) - Carson Entertainment
Help! (2-disc SE) (Richard Lester, 1965) - Capitol
Help! (DELUXE) (Richard Lester, 1965) - Capitol
I Don't Want to Sleep Alone (Ming-liang Tsai, 2006) Strand Releasing
I'll Cry Tomorrow (Daniel Mann, 1955) Warner Home Video
The Jack Nicholson Collection (Chinatown / The Two Jakes) - Paramount Home Video
John Ford Director's Collection (4-disc - The Informer (1935) The Fugitive (1947) Mary of Scotland (1936) and Wagonmaster (1950) R2 UK - Universal Pictures UK
The Killer (John Woo, 1989) Weinstein - Dragon Dynasty
Leading Ladies Collection Vol. 2 (I'll Cry Tomorrow/Shoot the Moon/Rich and Famous/ Up the Down Staircase/A Big Hand for the Little Lady) Warner Home Video
Legends of the Fall [Blu-ray] (Edward Zwick, 1994) - R2 UK - Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Life of Brian (Collector's Edition) (Terry Jones, 1979) Sony Pictures
Life of Brian (Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray] (Terry Jones, 1979) Sony Pictures
The Long Arm (Charles Frend, 1956) R2 UK - Optimum Home Entertainment
Martial Arts: 4 Film Favorites (2-disc - Militant Eagle, The Prodigal Boxer, Moon light sword and Jade Lion, The Bloody Fists) - Warner Home Video
Natasha (Jag Mundhra, 2006) Maverick Entertainment
Ocean's Thirteen (Steven Soderbergh, 2007) R2 UK - Warner Home Video
Ocean's Thirteen [HD DVD] (Steven Soderbergh, 2007) R2 UK - Warner Home Video
Ocean's Thirteen [Blu-ray] (Steven Soderbergh, 2007) R2 UK - Warner Home Video
Oldboy [Blu-ray] (Chan-wook Park, 2003) Genius Products
Out of Balance (Karl Bardosh, 2007) Cinequest
Payroll (Sidney Hayers, 1961) R2 UK - Optimum
Pixar Short Films Collection-V01 (13 short films) - Buena Vista Home Video
Pixar Short Films Collection-V01 [Blu-ray] (13 short films) - Buena Vista Home Video
Pretty Things (Gilles Paquet-Brenner, 2001) Synkronized
Princess Iron Fan (Wan Guchan, 1941) Koch International
Private Fears In Public Places (Alain Resnais, 2006) R2 UK Artificial Eye
Ratatouille (Brad Bird, 2007) Walt Disney Video
Ratatouille [Blu-ray] (Brad Bird, 2007) Walt Disney Video
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 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
Rock Haven (David Lewis, 2007) TLA
Seinfeld-Complete Series Box Set - Sony Pictures Home Ent.
Seinfeld Season 9 - Sony Pictures Home Ent
Tattooed Flower Vase (Masaru Konuma, 1976) Kino
Time (Ki-duk Kim, 2006) - Lifesize Ent
The Tree Of Wooden Clogs (Ermanno Olmi, 1978) R2 UK - Arrow Films
Twenty Thousand Streets Under The Sky [Blu-ray] (Simon Curtis, 2005) - R2 UK - 2 Entertain Video
The Two Jakes (Special Collector's Edition) (Jack Nicholson, 1990) Paramount Home Video
Up the Down Staircase (Robert Mulligan, 1967) Warner Home Video
Wife to Be Sacrificed (1975) / Sadistic and Masochistic (2000) (Masaru Konuma) Kino
Week of November 12th, 2007
Amazing Grace (Michael Apted, 2006) 20th Century Fox
Berlin Alexanderplatz (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1980) Criterion
Black Sun (Gary Tarn, 2005) R2 - UK Second Run
Bloodhounds of Broadway (Harmon Jones, 1952) MGM
Cannibal Man (Eloy de la Iglesia,1972) Blue Underground
Close Encounters of the Third Kind 30th Anni/Ult Edition (Steven Spielberg, 1977) - Sony Pictures Home Ent
Close Encounters of the Third Kind 30th Anni/Ult Edition [Blu-ray] (Steven Spielberg, 1977) - Sony Pictures Home Ent
Day One (Joseph Sargent, 1989) Acorn Media
Descent (Talia Lugacy, 2007) City Lights Home Video
Flywheel (Alex Kendrick, 2003) Sony Pictures
The Girl Next Door (Richard Sale, 1953) 20th Century Fox
Glue (Alexis Dos Santos, 2006) Picture This
Golden Boy (Rouben Mamoulian, 1939) Sony Pictures
Innocence (Lucile Hadzihalilovic, 2004) Home Vision
It's A Wonderful Life 2-disc Collector's Edition with colorized and b/w (Frank Capra, 1947) Paramount Home Video
Fox Legend (Ma Wu, 1991) Image Ent.
Killer of Sheep (Charles Burnett, 1977) New Yorker Films Video
La Vie en Rose (Extended Version)(Olivier Dahan, 2007) Warner
The Lady Vanishes REMASTERED (Alfred Hitchcock,1938) Criterion
Legends of the Poisonous Seductress #1: Female Demon Ohyaku (Nobuo Nakagawa, 1968) Ryko Distribution Partners
Legends of the Poisonous Seductress #2: Quick Draw Okatsu (2007) (Nobuo Nakagawa, 1969) Ryko Distribution Partners
Legends of the Poisonous Seductress #3: Okatsu the Fugitive (Nobuo Nakagawa, 1969) Ryko Distribution Partners
Little Chicago (Richard Clabaugh, 2005) Loose Cannon Films
The Man from Earth (Richard Schenkman, 2007) Video Treasures
Marketa Lazarová (Frantisek Vlácil, 1967) R2 UK - Second Run
Ocean's Eleven, Twelve & Thirteen Gift Set - Steven Soderbergh - Warner Home Video
Ocean's Eleven, Twelve & Thirteen Gift Set [HD DVD] - Steven Soderbergh - Warner Home Video
Ocean's Eleven, Twelve & Thirteen Gift Set [Blu-ray] - Steven Soderbergh - Warner Home Video
Perry Mason: The Second Season Vol 2 - Paramount Home Video
Pride & Prejudice (2005) (2-disc) (W/Book) (W/CD) (Joe Wright, 2005) - Universal Studios
Pride & Prejudice [HD DVD] (Joe Wright, 2005) Universal Studios
Prison Break [Blu-ray] (6-disc) (Paul Scheuring, 2005) - 20th Century Fox
Return to Innocence (Rocky Costanzo, 2001) LifeLine Entertainment
Shrek The Third (Chris Miller, 2007) Paramount Home Video
Shrek The Third [HD DVD] (Chris Miller, 2007) Paramount Home Video
That's Entertainment Trilogy [HD DVD] (3-disc) - Warner Home Video
That's Entertainment Trilogy [Blu-ray] (3-disc) - Warner Home Video
Things That Hang from Trees (Ido Mizrahy, 2006) Universal
This Happy Breed (David Lean, 1944) R2 UK - Network
This Is England (Shane Meadows, 2006) IFC
With a Song in My Heart (Walter Lang, 1952) Fox Home Entertainment
Have a great week,
STAY TUNED FOR UPCOMING CLASSIC RELEASES: Forbidden Hollywood: Volume 2 (six films plus pre-Code documentary), Gangsters Collection: Volume 2 (Picture Snatcher/Lady Killer/Smart Money/The Mayor of Hell/others), Joan Crawford Collection Volume 2 (Flamingo Road/Strange Cargo/Torch Song/others), The Lana Turner Collection, Lon Chaney Collection Volume 2 (The Unholy Three/The Unholy Three/Tell It to the Marines/He Who Gets Slapped/Tod Browning doc.), Night Nurse (Barbara Stanwyck), The Day the Earth Stood Still Special Edition (dir. Robert Wise, USA 1951), An Affair to Remember 50th Anniversary Edition (dir. Leo McCary, USA 1957), The Robe Special Edition (dir. Henry Koster, USA 1952), Daisy Kenyon (dir. Otto Preminger, USA 1947), Dangerous Crossing, (dir. Joseph Newman, USA 1953), Black Widow (dir. Nunnally Johnson, USA 1954), Boomerang! (dir. Elia Kazan, USA 1947), Charlie Chan Vol 4 (starring Sidney Toler), The Naked Prey (1966) Criterion. Bette Davis 100th Anniversary Set (titles TBD), Bette Davis Collections: Volume 3 (includes All This, And Heaven, Too/ Dangerous/In This Our Life/The Corn Is Green/Watch On The Rhine/more), David Lean Collection (Blithe Spirit/Brief Encounter/Great Expectations/In Which We Serve/Madeleine/Oliver Twist/Passionate Friends/This Happy Breed) and more...