Newsletter - FOR THE WEEK

OF November 28th, 2011

  This Week's Highlights
Khawi ka in dah na rat?  - Blu-rays of film by Anthony Mann, Vincente Minnelli, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Jerzy Skolimowski, Seijun Suzuki, Ernst Lubitsch and Powell and Pressburger! Calendar Updates including  Blu-rays of Jean Renoir, more Ernst Lubitsch, Frank Tashlin, Barry Levinson, Terence Davies, John Huston, Giuseppe Tornatore, Jean Negulesco films. Some Cyber Monday deals: 5 Warner Archive DVDs for $50 (1000 different titles) - we've reviewed about 150 discs HERE and lots of Amazon Blu-ray and DVD deals HERE. (some listed on our homepage HERE,). We also have a new Clips contest with a Criterion Blu-ray prize. “Open the pod bay doors, HAL.”


Cyber Monday deals: 5 Warner Archive DVDs for $50 (1000 different titles)

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FEATURE DVD and Blu-ray of the MONTH chosen for NOVEMBER! HERE


November 28thCONTEST - identify the clip on the CONTEST PAGE to win a Criterion Blu-ray of Island of Lost Souls 


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La grande illusion [Blu-ray] (Jean Renoir, 1937) RB FR StudioCanal

To Be or Not to Be [Blu-ray] (Ernst Lubitsch, 1942) RB FR StudioCanal

Rodgers and Hammerstein Box set [Blu-ray] - The Sound of Music, The King and I, South Pacific, Oklahoma!, Carousel, State Fair - R2 UK 20th Century Fox

9 1/2 Weeks [Blu-ray] (Adrian Lyne, 1986) Warner Home Video

The Mill and the Cross [Blu-ray] (Lech Majewski, 2011) Kino

Billy Elliot [Blu-ray] (Stephen Daldry, 2000) Universal Studios

When Harry Met Sally... [Blu-ray] (Rob Reiner, 1989) MGM

Rock-a-Bye Baby [Blu-ray] (Frank Tashlin, 1958) Olive Films

The Geisha Boy [Blu-ray] (Frank Tashlin, 1958) Olive Films

Boeing Boeing [Blu-ray] (John Rich, 1965) Olive Films

King of Devil's Island (Marius Holst, 2010) Film Movement

Disclosure [Blu-ray] (Barry Levinson, 1994) Warner Home Video

9 1/2 Weeks [Blu-ray] (Adrian Lyne, 1986) Warner Home Video

InSight (Richard Gabai, 2011) Phase 4 Films

Mandrill [Blu-ray] (Ernesto Díaz Espinoza, 2009) Magnolia

I Melt with You [Blu-ray] (Mark Pellington, 2011) Magnolia

Underdog: The Complete Series - Shout! Factory

Woody Allen: A Documentary (Robert Weide, 2011) Docudrama

Tales From the Golden Age (Cristian Mungiu, 2009) Zeitgeist Films

388 Arletta Avenue [Blu-ray] (Randall Cole, 2011) RB UK Optimum

The Deep Blue Sea [Blu-ray] (Terence Davies, 2011) RB UK Artificial Eye

Get Shorty [Blu-ray] (Barry Sonnenfeld, 1996) R2 UK 20th Century Fox

Casino Royale [Blu-ray] (Ken Hughes, John Huston etc., 1967) R2 UK 20th Century Fox

A Bronx Tale [Blu-ray] (Robert De Niro, 1993) RB UK Optimum

Malèna [Blu-ray] (Giuseppe Tornatore, 2000) RB UK Optimum

Arrietty [Blu-ray] (Hiromasa Yonebayashi, 2010) RB UK Optimum

Titanic [Blu-ray] (Jean Negulesco, 1953) R2 UK 20th Century Fox

Garden State [Blu-ray] (Zach Braff, 2004) RB UK Optimum

The Killing Fields [Blu-ray] (Roland Joffém, 1984) RB UK Optimum

Her Private Hell [Blu-ray] (Norman J. Warren, 1968) RB UK BFI

The Student Comedies (The Ozu Collection) - Days of Youth, 1929, I Flunked, But... 1930, The Lady and the Beard, 1931, Where Now are the Dreams of Youth, 1932 - R2 UK BFI

The Decameron [v] (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1971) RB UK - BFI

The Canterbury Tales [Blu-ray] (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1972) RB UK - BFI

Arabian Nights [Blu-ray] (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1974) RB UK - BFI

Rolling Thunder [Blu-ray] (John Flynn, 1977) RB UK Optimum Home

China Girl [Blu-ray] (Abel Ferrara, 1987) [Blu-ray] RB FR Inconnu

From Noon Till Three [Blu-ray] (Frank D. Gilroy, 1976) RB DE Koch

Margin Call [Blu-ray] (J.C. Chandor, 2011) RB DE Koch

Death Hunt aka Yukon [Blu-ray] (Peter R. Hunt, 1981) RB DE Koch

Contagion [Blu-ray] (Steven Soderbergh, 2011) Region Free DE Warner

What's Eating Gilbert Grape [Blu-ray] (Lasse Hallström, 1993) RB DE Concorde

This Must Be the Place [Blu-ray] (Paolo Sorrentino, 2011) RB DE Euro Video

London Boulevard [Blu-ray] (William Monahan, 2010) Region Free DE Universal

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


ONE VOICE (not Ellsworth Monkton Toohey): Love the older films in 1080P resolution. Starting with Minnelli's Meet Me in St. Louis Blu-ray which is a true gem - presentation-wise. Anthony Mann's iconic Man of the West remains one of the most important westerns of all time and to have it on Blu-ray is a wonderful treat. Ernst Lubitsch is one of the all-time greats and Criterion have given us his Design For Living masterpiece - a film peppered with Coward's mischievousness - in a wonderful Blu-ray package. Seijun Suzuki's Tokyo Drifter has more style in a dozen frames than most Hollywood trash today - and Criterion have transferred it the new format. Pasolini's Medea gets the a/v bump from the BFI. Always a time to celebrate with Powell and Pressburger on Blu-ray - and The Battle of the River Plate - a lesser effort is still library-worthy. Skolimowski's Deep End comes in a new French-friendly high-def disc - a film that continues to grow on me. DVD coverage is lean this week with Gregory exposing two limited transfers - low-low budget noirish crime-drama C-Man and with dark cinema leanings Guest in the House also salaciously known as Satan in Skirts. Eric reviews the comedy mix Hoax for the Holidays. "Time to have a martini. Shaken, not stirred."


Meet Me in St. Louis BD - It seems pretty strange to think now that nobody concerned really wanted to make this movie, or wasn't happy shooting it either, since it has long since achieved the status of a particularly evergreen classic. Like the considerably inferior White Christmas, made 10 years later, we can't seem to do without it. But whereas you need nostalgia to get through White Christmas, you can be the vilest cynic and still like Minnelli's fluent four-act examination of a nice, middle-class St Louis family and its ups and downs circa 1903. Blu-ray Release Date: December 13th, 2011

Man of the West BD - The settings in Man of the West -- a western town, a train bound for Fort Worth, a farmhouse in a valley, a desert, and a ghost town (the latter two filmed in California's Red Rock Canyon) -- lack the formal purity of those in The Naked Spur. As a result, Man of the West veers much closer to the grimness of Greek tragedy, its mountains and rock formations often suggesting the silent witness of an ancient amphitheater. (The connection isn't accidental; another of Mann's late interviews is peppered with references to Oedipus Rex and Antigone, and one of his best early westerns is entitled The Furies.) Blu-ray Release Date: November 4th, 2011

Medea BD - A mythical tale of love, betrayal and revenge, Medea is a fascinating collision of Freudian and Marxist themes from Italy's most controversial director, Pier Paolo Pasolini. Adapted from the Euripides drama, Pasolini's disturbing vision of personal and national conflicts stars operatic legend Maria Callas in the title role, offering an extraordinary performance as the high priestess Medea whose love is threatened by corrupt political ambition. A vivid and aesthetically challenging vision, Medea is a complex blend of classical mythology and contemporary social criticism. Blu-ray Release Date: December 5th, 2011

Design For Living BD - Gary Cooper, Fredric March, and Miriam Hopkins play a trio of Americans in Paris who enter into a very adult “gentleman’s agree­ment” in this continental pre-Code comedy, freely adapted by Ben Hecht from a play by Noël Coward and directed by Ernst Lubitsch. A risqué relationship story and a witty take on creative pursuits, the film concerns a commercial artist (Hopkins) unable—or unwilling—to choose between the equally dashing painter (Cooper) and playwright (March) she meets on a train en route to the City of Light. Design for Living is Lubitsch at his sexiest, an entertainment at once debonair and racy, featuring three stars at the height of their allure. Blu-ray Release date: December 6th, 2011

The Battle of the River Plate BD - Michael Powell's 1956 war movie, originally called The Battle of the River Plate in the UK, is mainly distinguished by its lack of action: a crippled German battleship has to put in at a neutral port in South America, while the local British authorities use fair means and foul to keep her pinned down. Though it's mostly a waiting game, the film is tense and involving, thanks to Powell's fluid shifting of the point of view--you root for the Germans as much as for the Allies. It isn't one of Powell's best films, though as an inactive actioner, it's typical of his contrary-minded approach to moviemaking--he sets himself impossible problems and then solves them, brilliantly. Blu-ray Release Date: August 16th, 2010

Deep End BD - The Swinging Sixties are over and the long, grey morning after has only just begun. But there are still eye-opening new experiences in store for wet-behind-the-ears teenager Mike (John Moulder-Brown) when he takes a job at a rundown London swimming baths. After one of its more mature visitors steamily attempts to take advantage (Diana Dors, in a superb cameo), he gradually wises up to find himself adrift with an increasingly obsessive interest in sassy, self-assured, co-worker Susan (played by a seductive Jane Asher). Giddily he follows her into the grimy underbelly of Soho for a long dark night of the soul -- soundtracked with great intensity by legendary Krautrock band Can. Will Mike sabotage Susan's relationship with her fiancé and get together with her instead? BFI Blu-ray November 28th, 2011

Tokyo Drifter BD - In this free-jazz gangster film, reformed killer “Phoenix” Tetsu drifts around Japan, awaiting his own execution until he’s called back to Tokyo to help battle a rival gang. Seijun Suzuki's “barrage of aestheticised violence, visual gags, [and] mind-warping color effects” got him in more trouble with Nikkatsu studio heads, who had ordered him to “play it straight this time.” Instead he gave them equal parts Russ Meyer, Samuel Fuller, and Nagisa Oshima. Blu-ray Release Date: December 13th, 2011

C-Man - C-Man is a New York story told in the warts-and-all, in-your-face style of the following year's The Tattooed Stranger or Guilty Bystander (the latter also directed by Joseph Lerner) – a low-down, dirty town. The location shooting takes us to as many liquor stores as Ray Milland patronized in The Lost Weekend (Jagger is tracking down Carradine, who has a taste for pricey Benedictine), to jazz cellars and fleabag hotels (the one `penthouse' we visit is dowdily middle-class). Part of the grunge can be laid to a desperately low budget, but the filmmakers turn their liabilities into pungent atmosphere. DVD Release Date: March 28th, 2006

Hoax for the Holidays - Young Casey McCullen (Martha MacIsaac, the LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT remake) lives with her father in an economically-depressed Nova Scotia town. She has not forgiven herself for the accident that put her sister Meg into a coma the year before, and her father Donald (Callum Keith Rennie, EXISTENZ) has spent more time at Meg's hospital bedside than selling Christmas trees to families that can't afford them (he is even seen giving away trees without Casey's knowledge). The bills are piling up and Casey has to struggle to hold onto her minimum wage job at Krowne Donuts - the only successful business in the town - run by the very un-warm "Uncle Bob" (Don Allison, A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE). DVD Release Date: November 1st, 2011

Guest in the House - Six years before entering film history in the title role of All About Eve – as duplicitous, back-stabbing ingenue Eve Harrington – Ann Baxter took a trial run in John Brahm's Guest in the House. Her character proves to be even more spiteful, that of a malingering but controlling waif in whose mouth a pat of butter would stay as hard and cold as her supposedly bum ticker. DVD Release Date: December 27th, 2005

 Next 4 weeks on the Calendar

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 (BEAVER REVIEW)

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 (Danièle 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


Arabian Nights [Blu-ray] (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1974) RB UK - BFI (BEAVER REVIEW)

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

The Canterbury Tales [Blu-ray] (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1972) RB UK - BFI (BEAVER REVIEW)

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

The Decameron [Blu-ray] (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1971) RB UK - BFI (BEAVER REVIEW)

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

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 (BEAVER REVIEW)

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

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 Samouraï [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 caffè 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 (BEAVER REVIEW)

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 (BEAVER REVIEW)

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


December 19th, 2011


Blackthorn [Blu-ray] (Mateo Gil, 2011) Magnolia

Captain America: The First Avenger [Blu-ray] (Joe Johnston, 2011) RB FR Paramount (BEAVER REVIEW)

Catch .44 [Blu-ray] (Aaron Harvey, 2011) Anchor Bay/Starz

Colombiana [Blu-ray] (Olivier Megaton, 2011) Sony Pictures

A Farewell to Arms [Blu-ray] (Frank Borzage, 1932) Kino Classics Edition

Futurama: Vol. 6 [Blu-ray] - Fox Home Entertainment

Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008) Olive Films

Midnight in Paris [Blu-ray] (Woody Allen, 2011) Sony Pictures

My Dog Tulip [Blu-ray] (Paul Fierlinger, Sandra Fierlinger, 2009) New Yorker Films

Mysteries of Lisbon [Blu-ray] (Raul Ruiz, 2011) Music Box Films

Nothing Sacred [Blu-ray] (William A. Wellman, 1937) Kino Classics Edition

The World is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner (Stephan Komandarev, 2008) Olive Films



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