Newsletter - FOR THE WEEK

OF November 21st, 2011

  This Week's Highlights
Mwaramutse!  - Criterion (2) and other Blu-rays by Hitchcock, Peckinpah, Seijun Suzuki, Rainer Werner Fassbinder and a Cy Endfield/Harryhausen gem! as well as DVD reviews of films by François Ozon and other starring Orson Welles, Sabu and more... Calendar Updates (including February Criterions) include Blu-rays of Otto Preminger, more Fassbinder + Hitchcock, Louis Malle, Chris Marker, John Ford, William A. Wellman, Woody Allen, Billy Wilder, and John Schlesinger. The Criterion SALE with 50% OFF everything HERE continues at Barnes and Noble. We also have a new Clips contest with a Blu-ray prize. “"Here's looking at you, kid.”


ALL Criterions NOW 50% OFF at Barnes and Noble HERE

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November 21st CONTEST - identify the clip on the CONTEST PAGE to win a Blu-ray of Mysterious Island 


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Anatomy of a Murder (Otto Preminger, 1959) Criterion
Anatomy of a Murder [
Blu-ray] (Otto Preminger, 1959) Criterion

World on a Wire (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1973) Criterion
World on a Wire [
Blu-ray] (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1973) Criterion

Vanya on 42nd Street (Louis Malle, 1994) Criterion
Vanya on 42nd Street [
Blu-ray] (Louis Malle, 1994) Criterion

La Jetee/Sans Soleil [Blu-ray] (Chris Marker) Criterion

Three Outlaw Samurai (Hideo Gosha, 1964) Criterion
Three Outlaw Samurai [
Blu-ray] (Hideo Gosha, 1964) Criterion

Tiny Furniture (Lena Dunham, 2010) Criterion
Tiny Furniture [
Blu-ray] (Lena Dunham, 2010) Criterion

Fort Apache [Blu-ray] (John Ford, 1948) Warner Home Video

Notorious [Blu-ray] (Alfred Hitchcock, 1946) CA MGM

Wings [Blu-ray] (William A. Wellman, 1927) Paramount

Spellbound [Blu-ray] (Alfred Hitchcock, 1945) CA MGM

Rebecca [Blu-ray] (Alfred Hitchcock, 1940) CA MGM

Annie Hall [Blu-ray] (Woody Allen, 1977) CA MGM

The Apartment [Blu-ray] (Billy Wilder, 1960) CA MGM

Manhattan [Blu-ray] (Woody Allen, 1979) CA MGM

Midnight Cowboy [Blu-ray] (John Schlesinger, 1969) CA MGM

The Ides of March [Blu-ray] (George Clooney, 2011) - Sony

Restless [Blu-ray] (Gus Van Sant, 2011) Sony

Drive [Blu-ray] (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2011) Sony

The Piano [Blu-ray] (Jane Campion, 1993) Lions Gate

Frida [Blu-ray] (Julie Taymor, 2002) Miramax Lionsgate

Shakespeare in Love [Blu-ray] (John Madden, 1998) Miramax Lionsgate

The English Patient [Blu-ray] (Anthony Minghella, 1996) Miramax Lionsgate

Cold Mountain [Blu-ray] (Anthony Minghella, 2003) Miramax Lionsgate

Moneyball [Blu-ray] (Bennett Miller, 2011) Sony

Lady and the Tramp [Blu-ray] (Clyde Geronimi, 1955) Disney

The Devils (Ken Russell, 1971) R2 UK BFI Video


ONE VOICE (not Ellsworth Monkton Toohey): Although I'm a Ray Harryhausen junkie and Mysterious Island on Blu-ray made a fabulous start to my week - seeing Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes in 1080P was a tremendous treat that will appeal to more than The Master's devout following. And how about Suzuki's Branded to Kill on Criterion Blu-ray? Talk about an improvement over DVD! Fassbinder's Despair - the director's depiction of bourgeois madness is also bumped to the new format. Some say my call of 'worst Blu-ray transfer of the year' on Fremantle's Straw Dogs was harsh - but I'm going to stick with it. It is. Ughhhh. On DVD we have Eclipse Series 30: Sabu! - Korda sub-continent Kipling adventures are a wonderful step back in time. Tomorrow is Forever deserved a more extensive package but the MGM made-on-demand disc gives us the opportunity to see the classic film. Gregory also covered Inner Sanctum - a noir-esque mystery-thriller from the 40's. Eric does a comparison with Ozon's Ricky amusing comedic fantasy tale as well as the horror Panic Button, Atrocious and the goofy 1 in the Gun. "This week 'May the Force be with you'."


Branded to Kill BD - When Japanese New Wave bad boy Seijun Suzuki delivered this brutal, hilarious, and visually inspired masterpiece to the executives at his studio, he was promptly fired. Branded to Kill tells the ecstatically bent story of a yakuza assassin with a fetish for sniffing steamed rice (the chipmunk-cheeked superstar Joe Shishido) who botches a job and ends up a target himself. This is Suzuki at his most extreme—the flabbergasting pinnacle of his sixties pop-art aesthetic. Blu-ray Release Date: December 13th, 2011

The Lady Vanishes BD - In this best-loved of Hitchcock’s British-made thrillers, a young woman on a train meets a charming old lady (Dame May Whitty), who promptly disappears. The other passengers deny ever having seen her, leading the young woman to suspect a conspiracy. When she begins investigating, she is drawn into a complex web of mystery and high adventure. Blu-ray Release Date: December 6th, 2007

Eclipse Series 30: Sabu! - In the thirties and forties, the young Indian actor known as Sabu (born Selar Shaik) captured the hearts of moviegoers in Britain and the United States as a completely new kind of big-screen icon. Sabu was a maharaja’s elephant driver when he was cast in Elephant Boy, a Rudyard Kipling adaptation directed by documentary trailblazer Robert Flaherty and Zoltán Korda that would prove to be enormously popular. Sabu went on to headline a series of fantasies and adventures for the British film titans the Korda brothers, transcending the exoticism projected onto him by commanding the screen with effortless grace and humor. This series collects three of those lavish productions (which also included the classic The Thief of Bagdad): Elephant Boy, the colonialist adventure The Drum, and the timeless Jungle Book. DVD Release Date: November 29th, 2011

Despair BD - Based on the classic novel by Vladimir Nabokov with screenplay adaptation by Tom Stoppard. In early 1930s Germany, against the backdrop of the Nazis’ rise to power, Hermann Hermann (Dirk Bogarde), a Russian emigrant and successful chocolate magnate, starts experiencing mental breakdowns. He soon meets Felix, an unemployed laborer, who Hermann believes to be his doppelganger. He hatches up an elaborate plot, which he believes will free him of all his worries and nightmares. Cinematography by legendary DP, Michael Ballhaus (Goodfellas, The Departed). Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder (Berlin Alexanderplatz). Blu-ray Release date: November 15th, 2011

Tomorrow is Forever - WWI newlyweds Claudette Colbert and Orson Welles meet heartbreak when he goes missing in action and is written off as dead. Pregnant with Welles' child, she ultimately marries her boss, industrialist George Brent. Twenty years pass; war clouds are once more gathering over Europe. Brent brings over to work in his firm a Viennese chemist who turns out to be -- Orson Welles, bringing in tow a blonde, very young (her debut, in fact) Natalie Wood, speaking German. DVD Release Date: July 25th, 2011

1 in the Gun - Homeless artist Mickey Lewis (Steve Man, EXILES IN PARADISE) literally gets into a "cart accident" with sultry Katrina (Katherine Randolph, BLACK OPS) who takes an interest in his portfolio and offers him a job painting her home in exchange for food and lodging while her possessive husband Arthur (Steven Bauer, SCARFACE) is away. Things quickly heat up between the two and she plants in his head the idea of how they could be together despite the pre-nup that Arthur had her sign. One day, Mickey is apparently drugged by Katrina and he wakes to find her "gay friend" Ryan (Stephen W. Williams, CORPSES) ransacking the house and making off with Arthur's priceless Van Gogh painting to sell it to an unscrupulous art collector (Chriss Anglin, DEAD MEN WALKING). Mickey tails him and ends up in a gunfight in which he is the only survivor. DVD Release Date: November 8th, 2011

Inner Sanctum - The film's most horrifying moment is its very first: A man (Charles Russell) stabs a woman on a railroad siding and dumps her body like a sack of meal on the observation platform as the train pulls out. Alas, a bratty little boy (Dale Belding) is hanging around the tracks this stormy night and witnesses some of this; since Russell doesn't know how much, he tries but fails to silence the kid with a crowbar. The storm has washed out roads and bridges in the Pacific Northwest, so Russell hitches a ride to a town so little that there's no hotel, only a rooming house where it turns out the meddlesome boy lives with his harried mother (the wonderful Lee Patrick, midpoint between The Maltese Falcon and Caged). DVD Release Date: January 27th, 2004

Panic Button - Four users of the social networking site - single mother JO (Scarlet Alice Johnson, THE REEDS), nerdy Max (Jack Gordon, FISH TANK), trendy Gwen (Elen Rhys, SEASON OF THE WITCH), and obnoxious Dave (Michael Jibson, THE BANK JOB) - have won a trip on a private jet from London to New York, with the chance for more prizes if they play the special game devised by their host - voiced by Joshua Richard (TROY), who only appears as a talking alligator on video touchscreens at their seats. The first round is a quiz which asks each of them questions related to things posted on their profile, but the host reveals that he knows more about them than they think and exposes Dave as a cheat, Gwen as a hypocrite, Max as a stalker, and Jo as an alcoholic who desensitizes herself both in the virtual and real worlds. DVD Release Date: November 7th, 2011

Atrocious - Distilled from thirty-seven hours of video footage shot over a period of five days (March 30, 2010 to April 3, 2010) by siblings Cristian (Cristian Valencia) and July (Clara Moraleda) Quintinilla while spending the Easter holidays with their father Santiago (Xavi Doz), mother Debora (Chus Pereiro), and younger brother Jose (Sergi Martin) at their long derelict country house in Sitges (recently fixed up by family friend Carlos [Jose Masegosa]). It is the perfect opportunity for the "urban legend" enthusiast siblings to explore the local "Girl on the Road" legend (which is not the same as our "Girl on the Bridge" urban legend). The gist of the story is that a young girl got lost in the Garraf woods in 1940 and was never found (it was rumored that she fell down a well). Travelers who find themselves in the woods at night will see her and she will show them the way. DVD Release Date: October 25th, 2011

Ricky - Katie (Alexandra Lamy, MODERN LOVE) is a single-mother living in a depressing flat with her eight-year-old daughter Lisa (Mélusine Mayance, SARAH'S KEY) and works in factory assembly line packaging chemicals. A quickie stand with Spanish co-worker Paco (Sergi López, PAN'S LABYRINTH) results in the birth of Ricky (Arthur Peyret) and soon both Paco and Lisa feel neglected by Katie. When Katie returns to work and Paco stays home to take care of Ricky, Katie discovers a bruise on one of Ricky's shoulder-blades which Paco cannot explain. When a similar bruise appears on his other shoulder blade, Kate accuses Paco of hitting their son and Paco packs up and leaves. DVD Release Date: April 12th, 2011

Straw Dogs BD - 'A young American mathematician, David Sumner (Dustin Hoffman), and his English wife, Amy (Susan George), move to a Cornish village, seeking the quiet life. But beneath the seemingly peaceful isolation of the pastoral village lies a savagery and violence that threatens to destroy the couple, culminating in a brutal test of Sumner’s manhood and a bloody battle to the death. One of the most controversial films ever made, Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs is a harrowing and masterful investigation of masculinity and the nature of violence. Fremantle Blu-ray Release Date: Oct. 24th, 2011

Mysterious Island BD - Mysterious Island (1961) opens with a spectacular clash of signature Bernard Herrmann brass; from then on, it’s a headlong rush from one thrill-packed set-piece to the next. This classic fantasy adventure tale, the best of many screen adaptations of Jules Verne’s sequel to his own Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, is the inspired collaboration of a superb action director—Cy Endfield, who would give us one of the greatest of all true-life epics, 1964’s Zulu—and an authentic Hollywood genius: Ray Harryhausen, inventor of the film’s “SuperDynaMation” stop-motion animation process and a “total” filmmaker, spearheading the story, art direction, and design of such masterworks as The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958) and Jason and the Argonauts (1963). Blu-ray Release Date: November, 2011

 Next 4 weeks on the Calendar

November 21st, 2011


12 Angry Men (Sidney Lumet, 1957) - Criterion

12 Angry Men [Blu-ray] (Sidney Lumet, 1957) - Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

ESPN 30 for 30 Collector's Set [Blu-ray] - Team Marketing

The Birth of a Nation [Blu-ray] (D.W. Griffith, 1915) Kino (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 (Göran Olsson, 2011) R2 UK Soda Pictures

The Coen Brothers Collection [Blu-ray] - Universal Pictures UK

Dersu Uzala (Akira Kurosawa, 1975) R2 UK Artificial Eye

The Devil's Double [Blu-ray] (Lee Tamahori, 2011) Lions Gate

Godzilla Vs Megalon [Blu-ray] (Jun Fukuda, 1973) Tokyo Shock

Helldriver [Blu-ray] (Yoshihiro Nishimura, 2010) Well Go USA

Miklós Jancsó Box Set (3 Films) [DVD] - My Way Home (1964) , The Red & The White (1967)and The Round-Up (1969) - R2 UK Second Run (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)  (BEAVER REVIEW)

Perry Mason: Season 6 V.2 - Paramount

Phantom of the Opera [Blu-ray] (Rupert Julian, 1925) RB UK Park Circus

Rushmore [Blu-ray] (Wes Anderson, 1998) - Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

Sarah's Key [Blu-ray] (Gilles Paquet-Brenner, 2010) Weinstein

A Separation [Blu-ray] (Asghar Farhadi, 2011) Region 'B' UK Artificial Eye (BEAVER REVIEW)

Super 8 [Blu-ray] (J.J. Abrams, 2011) Paramount Pictures

These Amazing Shadows [Blu-ray] (Paul Mariano, Kurt Norton, 2011) PBS

Tetsuo: The Bullet Man [Blu-ray] (Shin'ya Tsukamoto, 2009) RB DE Koch Media

The Theo Angelopoulos Collection Vol 1 - 5 Discs - Days of '36 (1972) The Travelling Players (1975) and The Hunters (1977) R2 UK Artificial Eye

The Three Colours Trilogy [Blu-ray] (Blue, White, Red, Krzysztof Kieslowski) RB UK Artificial Eye

Way Down East [Blu-ray] (D.W. Griffith, 1920) Kino


November 28th, 2011


Another Earth [Blu-ray] (Mike Cahill, 2011) Fox Home Entertainment

The Art of Getting By [Blu-ray] (Gavin Wiesen, 2011) 20th Century Fox

Barfly [Blu-ray] (Barbet Schroeder, 1987) RB DE Koch Media

Barton Fink [Blu-ray] (Coen bros., 1991) RB DE Universal

Cave of Forgotten Dreams [Blu-ray] (Werner Herzog, 2010) MPI (BEAVER REVIEW)

Chillerama [Blu-ray] (Adam Green, 2011) Image Entertainment

Futureworld [Blu-ray] (Richard T. Heffron, 1976) RB DE Koch Media

Guilty of Romance [Blu-ray] (Shion Sono, 2011) RB UK Eureka

Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (Dmitry Vasyukov, 2010) R2 UK Second Sight Films

Horror Express [Blu-ray] (Eugenio Martín, 1972) Severin (BEAVER REVIEW)

Mildred Pierce [Blu-ray] (Todd Haynes , 2011) Region FREE UK HBO

Moses and Aaron (Daničle Huillet, Jean-Marie Straub, 1975) New Yorker Video

Poetry [Blu-ray] (Chang-dong Lee, 2010) RB UK Entertainment One / Arrow

Reel Injun (Neil Diamond, 2009) Lorber Films

Eclipse Series 30: Sabu! (Elephant Boy, 1937 - The Drum, 1938 - Jungle Book, 1942) - Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Six Million Dollar Man: Season 1 - MCA



December 5th, 2011


Bach: Well Tempered Clavier (complete) - [7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio Disc] [Blu-ray] - MediaInVision/ Surround Records

Bobby Fischer Against the World (Liz Garbus, 2011) Docudrama

Body Puzzle (Lamberto Bava, 1992) Raro

Come and See (Elem Klimov, 1985) - R2 UK Artificial Eye

Cowboys & Aliens [Blu-ray] (Jon Favreau, 2011) Universal Pictures

The Debt [Blu-ray] (John Madden, 2010) Miramax Films

Demons (Lamberto Bava, 1985) R2 UK Arrow

Design for Living (Ernst Lubitsch, 1933) Criterion

Design for Living [Blu-ray] (Ernst Lubitsch, 1933) Criterion

Diana Dors Double Bill: Miss Tulip Stays the Night / The Great Game - R2 UK BFI

The Dust of Time (Theodoros Angelopoulos, 2008) R2 UK Artificial Eye

Fernando Di Leo Crime Collection [Blu-ray] - Caliber 9 (1972), The Italian Connection (1972), The Boss (1973) and Rulers of the City (1976) - Entertainment One

Four Flies On Grey Velvet [Blu-ray] (Dario Argento, 1971) RB UK Shameless

Dragon Tattoo Trilogy: Extended Edition [Blu-ray] - Music Box Films

The Interrupters (Steve James, 2011) R2 UK Dogwoof

Jean-Luc Godard's Histoire(S) Du Cinema - Olive Films

The Lady Vanishes [Blu-ray] (Alfred Hitchcock, 1938) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

Legend of the Lost [Blu-ray] (Henry Hathaway, 1957) RB DE Koch Media

Medea [Blu-ray] (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1969) Entertainment One

Medea [Blu-ray] (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1969) Dual Format RB UK BFI

Milestones - Ice (Robert Kramer, 1970, 1975) Icarus Films

The Moon in the Gutter [Blu-ray] (Jean-Jacques Beineix, 1983) Cinema Libre

Naked Lunch [Blu-ray] (David Cronenberg, 1991) RB IT CDE

Navajo Joe [Blu-ray] (Sergio Corbucci, 1966) RB DE Koch Media

One-Eyed Jacks [Blu-ray] (Marlon Brando, 1961) RB UK Intergroove

The Overcoat (Il Cappotto) (Alberto Lattuada, 1952) Raro

Point Blank [Blu-ray] (Fred Cavayé, 2010) Magnolia

Portlandia - Season One [Blu-ray] (Fred Armisen, 2011) MVD

Rapt [Blu-ray] (Lucas Belvaux, 2009) Lorber Films

Reach For The Sky (Lewis Gilbert, 1956) VCI

The Salt of Life (Gianni Di Gregorio, 2011) R2 UK Artificial Eye

Le Samouraď [Blu-ray] (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1967) RB FR Pathe

The Scarlet Worm [Blu-ray] (Michael Fredianelli, 2011) Unearthed Films

Simpsons: Season 14 [Blu-ray] - Fox

The Theo Angelopoulos Collection Vol 2 - Reconstruction (1970) Days of '36 (1972) The Travelling Players (1975) and The Hunters (1977) - R2 UK Artificial Eye

Tora! Tora! Tora! [Blu-ray] (Richard Fleischer, Kinji Fukasaku, Toshio Masuda, 1970) 20th Century Fox

Venga a prendere il caffč da noi (Alberto Lattuada, 1970) Raro



December 12th, 2011


99 And 44/100% Dead / The Nickel Ride [Double Feature] - Shout! Factory

Branded to Kill (Seijun Suzuki, 1967) Criterion

Branded to Kill [Blu-ray] (Seijun Suzuki, 1967) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

City of God [Blu-ray] (Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund, 2002) Miramax

Daddy Longlegs (Josh and Benny Safdie , 2010) Zeitgeist Films

Heavenly Creatures (Uncut Version) [Blu-ray] (Peter Jackson, 1994) Miramax

Intruder [Blu-ray] (Scott Spiegel, 1989) Synapse Films

The Legend Is Born: Ip Man [Blu-ray] (Herman Yau, 2010) Funimation

Meet Me in St. Louis [Blu-ray] (Vincente Minnelli, 1944) Warner

The Rocketeer [Blu-ray] (Joe Johnston, 1991) Beuna Vista

Seven Chances [Blu-ray] (Buster Keaton, 1925) Kino Ultimate Edition

Sherlock Holmes [Blu-ray] (Albert Parker, 1922) Alive Mind

Stars and Stripes Forever [Blu-ray] (Henry Koster, 1952) 20th Century Fox

Tokyo Drifter (Seijun Suzuki, 1966) Criterion

Tokyo Drifter [Blu-ray] (Seijun Suzuki, 1966) Criterion

Velvet Goldmine [Blu-ray] (Todd Haynes, 1998) Miramax



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