DVDBeaver Newsletter - December 1st, 2006


Buon giorno! - Only 9 new reviews - but some pretty strong films represented as well as two classic TV series. Feature DVD of the Month (December) is posted, some new calendar listing and some Criterion PRE-ORDERs.  We will be focusing much of our collected energy on determining the top rankings for DVD of the Year - 2006 in the next few weeks. Stay Tuned!


OUR CURRENT 'A" STORES (more to come)








Easiest way to catch up is simply read the new Newsletter Archive HERE.


Tired of Region 1 messing you around with erratic boxset compilations? AMAZON UK are offering BUY ONE JAMES BOND DVD - GET ONE FREE - HERE


FEATURE DVD OF THE MONTH (DECEMBER) - Here, as in all his best work, Bertolucci addresses the issue of duality--of both sexual and political conflict. Marcello's personal contradictions parallel those of the Italian government, with his own decline taking place at the same time as Mussolini's, in 1943. Visually, THE CONFORMIST is stunning; its gliding camerawork, unusual camera angles and rich color perfectly evoke the baroque decadence of Marcello's world.


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LATEST Additions to the Release Calendar (PRE-ORDER!):

The Alice Faye Collection (That Night in Rio / Lillian Russell / On the Avenue / The Gang's All Here) - 20th Century Fox

The Eric Rohmer Collection - (The Sign of Leo, Suzanne's Career, The Girl at the Monceau Bakery) - R2 UK Artificial Eye

Peter Sellers Collection - (Pink Panther/What's New Pussycat?/The Party/Casino Royale/After The Fox/The World Of Henry Orien) - R2 UK MGM (Europe)

49th Parallel (Michael Powell , Emeric Pressburger - 1941) Criterion Collection

When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (Mikio Naruse, 1960) Criterion Collection

Bicycle Thieves (Vittorio De Sica, 1948) Criterion Collection

Green for Danger (Sidney Gilliat, 1946) Criterion Collection

Viva Pedro: The Almodovar Collection (Matador, Law of Desire, Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, All About My Mother, Bad Education, Live Flesh, The Flower of My Secret and Talk to Her) Sony Pictures


RECOMMEND: I endorse 5 DVD packages this week. Although not what it could be - The Premiere Frank Capra Collection is still essential cinema - Sony aren't fooling us - and we are still keen. Paramount have done themselves proud with two Bertolucci films transferred definitively to DVD - our wait for The Conformist seems to have stretched back many years, but its time to rejoice with a ridiculously reasonable priced disc. The transfer of Bertolucci's 1900 by Paramount towers over the existing PAL MGM release.

I'm starting to come to grips with it - TV on DVD can bring us great enjoyment. I was totally immersed in Mission Impossible: The Complete First Season and Columbo - Season 6 + 7 has never let me down yet. Intelligent, classic, television that is also great DVD value for the money! 


New Reviews:


The Premiere Frank Capra Collection - 6-disc collectible box set featuring five of Frank Capra’s best films. The new set includes Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, You Can’t Take it With You, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, It Happened One Night and American Madness. Our review details more... DVD Release Date: December 5th, 2006

1900 - An epic historical drama and meditation on class warfare Bertolucci's 1900 is also a metaphoric chronicle of the rise and fall of Facism in Italy during first half of the 20th century. Two men born on the same estate on the same day in 1901 portrayed by Robert De Niro as the landowner's heir and Gérard Depardieu as the son of a peasant grow up as friends and later become rivals during the time leading up to WW2. DVD Release Date: December 5th, 2006

Holiday - Barry's high-style comedy suited Hepburn wonderfully, and this satire on the egotism and selfishness of the upper classes (the wealthy) in the States gave her a vehicle so finely tuned that it paved the way for her even greater success two years later with an option on his The Philadelphia Story. Here she plays the older sister in a family which boasts an alcoholic brother and a younger sister engaged to a struggling lawyer (Grant) who brings a welcome note of dissension into the household. Naturally, he ends up with the sparky Ms Hepburn. Cukor's elegant grasp of the original drama ensures a silkily smooth transition from stage to screen. DVD Release Date: December 5th, 2006

Mission Impossible: The Complete First Season - An elite covert operations unit carries out highly sensitive missions subject to official denial in the event of failure, death or capture... The head of the "Impossible Missions Force", a top-secret government group of operatives, is secretly communicated his next assignment. The elaborate use of electronic gadgetry, masters of disguise and detailed plans that require split-second timing made this TV show an "on the edge of your seater"! In Season One Briggs (Steven Hill) assembles a team that includes a master of disguise (Martin Landau), a femme fatale (Barbara Bain), an electronics whiz (Greg Morris), an incredibly strong man (Peter Lupus) and an occasional guest star as a supplemental addition to the team! DVD Release Date: December 5th, 2006

The Conformist - Like The Spider's Stratagem, a subtle anatomy of Italy's fascist past, but here the playful Borgesian time-travelling is replaced by a more personal drive which heralds the Oedipal preoccupations that haunt Bertolucci's later work. Stripping Moravia's novel of all its psychological annotations except one - as a child, the hero suffered trauma at the hands of a homosexual - Bertolucci presents him simultaneously as a suitably murky protagonist for a film noir about political assassination, and as a conformist so anxious to live a normal life that he willingly becomes an anonymous tool of the state. DVD Release Date: December 5th, 2006

No Limit: A Search for the American Dream on the Poker Tournament Trail - Is high-stakes poker a metaphor for the American Dream? A bi-coastal couple, Susan and Tim, carry their independent film company and four-year-old son on an eight month ride through the world of tournament poker. Their plan: Play in six high-stakes poker tournaments. Win some money. Document their journey. Save their company. Business and formerly romantic partners, Susan and Tim often disagree. Susan is a self-directed, high energy gambler who has won poker tournaments before. Tim is her sensible but anxious mate and often her unwanted conscience. No Limit takes us through the highs and lows of their quest. DVD Release Date: October 10th, 2006

Columbo - Season 6 + 7 - Season 6 and 7 of Columbo proves again the strength of the writing and the wonderful character acting of Peter Falk. He dons his famous trenchcoat again as he returns in his 4-time Emmy award-winning role as everyone’s favorite Police Lieutenant in Columbo: The Complete Sixth and Seventh Season! He pesters with all the right questions in some of the most deceptive and deadly cases. The continuing final two seasons also features such acclaimed guest stars as William Shatner, Joyce Van Patten, Theodore Bikel, Ruth Gordon, Mariette Hartley, Nicol Williamson, Kim Cattrall, Louis Jourdan, Trish Van Devere, Laurence Luckinbill, and more. The landmark crime series returns, and no murderer can hide for long with Columbo on the beat. DVD Release Date: November 21st, 2006

O. Henry's Full House - John Steinbeck, looking and sounding disconcertingly like Ward Bond, hosts five tales by O Henry, of which only Hathaway's segment ('The Clarion Call') is devoid of interest. Negulesco and King both contribute sentimental valentines ('The Last Leaf' and 'The Gift of the Magi') in which love transcends the miseries of illness and poverty respectively. Hawks' 'The Ransom of Red Chief' is about two child-kidnappers who end up paying their victim's dad to take the little horror off their hands. It's noteworthy for the casting of the two most mournful comics of the day as a double act; and for the fact that the adventures of such unprofessional no-hopers interested someone like Hawks in the first place. At the front of the movie, Laughton characteristically generates his own atmosphere of benign fantasy, playing a bum trying to get himself jailed for the winter. This episode ('The Cop and the Anthem') also includes an encounter between two sacred monsters - Laughton's hobo and Monroe's hooker meeting on a windy street corner for a brief demonstration of the virtues of kindliness and respect. DVD Release Date: November 21st, 2006

Flying Down To Rio - Fred and Ginger teamed for the first time as featured artists in the big production number, 'The Carioca': 'I'd like to try this thing just once' says Fred, launching the movies' greatest partnership. Otherwise notable mainly for the non-stop opticals which turn the film into a series of animated postcards. The nominal star, the wooden Raymond, is swept off his feet by the exotic Del Rio (one of those actresses who age only ten years in forty-odd), of whom a Yankee girl cries, 'What have these South Americans got below the equator that we haven't?'. The Berkeleyesque aerial ballet is a gas. DVD Release Date: October 24th, 2006

Next 2 weeks on the Calendar:


Week of December 4th, 2006


20 centímetros (Ramón Salazar, 2005) Tla Releasing

1900 - Special Collector's Edition ( Bernardo Bertolucci, 1977) Paramount Home Video

The Architect (Matt Tauber, 2006) Magnolia

The Beales of Grey Gardens (Albert + David Maysles,2006) Criterion Collection

The Conformist: Extended Edition (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970) Paramount Home Video

The Eric Rohmer Collection - (The Sign of Leo, Suzanne's Career, The Girl at the Monceau Bakery) - R2 UK Artificial Eye

Forbidden Hollywood Collection 1 - Baby Face, Red Headed Woman, Waterloo Bridge (1931) - Warner Home Video

Holiday (George Cukor , 1938) Sony Pictures

The Last Days of Disco (Whit Stillman, 1998) R2 DE - Warner Home Video

Lubitsch in Berlin: Anna Boleyn (Ernst Lubitsch, 1920) - Kino Video

Lubitsch in Berlin: Oyster Princess & I Don't Want (Ernst Lubitsch, 1919) - Kino Video

Lubitsch in Berlin: Sumurun (Ernst Lubitsch, 1920) - Kino Video

Lubitsch in Berlin: The Wildcat (Ernst Lubitsch, 1921) - Kino Video

The Michael Haneke Trilogy: The Seventh Continent/Benny's Video/71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance - R2 UK - Tartan

Mikio Naruse - Three Films - Repast (1951) Sound Of The Mountain (1954) Flowing (1956) - R2 UK Eureka, MoC

Peter Sellers Collection - (Pink Panther/What's New Pussycat?/The Party/Casino Royale/After The Fox/The World Of Henry Orien) - R2 UK MGM (Europe)

The Premiere Frank Capra Collection - 6 disc - (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, It Happened One Night, You Can't Take It with You, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, American Madness and Frank Capra's American Dream) Sony Picture

Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton Film Collection - Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? - 2 disc, The Sandpiper, The V.I.P.s , The Comedians - Warner

Mission Impossible - The Complete First Season (1966) - Paramount Home Video

Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One (William Greaves, 1968) Criterion Collection

The Wim Wenders Collection, Vol. 2 - Room 666 (1984), The Scarlet Letter (1972), Tokyo-ga (1985), A Trick of the Light (1996), The Wrong Movement (1974) - Anchor Bay


Week of December 4th, 2006


Charlie Chan Collection, Vol. 2 (4-disc - Charlie Chan at the Opera, Charlie Chan at the Olympics, Charlie Chan at the Race Track and Charlie Chan at the Circus) - 20th Century Fox

James Bond Ultimate Collection 3 (Goldeneye, Live and Let Die, For Your Eyes Only, From Russia With Love and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service) MGM

James Bond Ultimate Collection 4 (Dr. No, You Only Live Twice, Octopussy, Tomorrow Never Dies and Moonraker) MGM

Loving Annabelle (Katherine Brooks, 2006) Wolfe Video

My Geisha (Jack Cardiff , 1962) Paramount Home Video

The Chronicles of Narnia - The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Four-Disc Extended Edition) (Andrew Adamson, 2005) - Walt Disney Video

À tout de suite (Right Now) (Jacquot, Benoît, 2004) - Home Vision

The Weeping Meadow (Theo Angelopoulos, 2004) New Yorker

Will Rogers Collection Volume 2 - Ambassador Bill (1931), David Harum (1934), Mr. Skitch (1933) and To Busy To Work (1932) - 20th Century Fox


Criterions Available for Preorder Savings:   49th Parallel (Michael Powell , Emeric Pressburger - 1941) Criterion Collection, When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (Mikio Naruse, 1960) Criterion Collection, Bicycle Thieves (Vittorio De Sica, 1948) Criterion Collection, Green for Danger (Sidney Gilliat, 1946) Criterion Collection, Border Radio (Allison Anders, Dean Lent, Kurt Voss 1987) - Criterion Collection, Monsters And Madmen (4 DVD Box Set) - (The Haunted Strangler, Corridors of Blood, The Atomic Submarine and First Man into Space) - Criterion Collection, Mouchette (Robert Bresson, 1970) - Criterion Collection, Sanjuro (Akira Kurosawa , 1963) - Criterion Collection, Yojimbo & Sanjuro: Two Films By Akira Kurosawa - Criterion Collection, Yojimbo (REISSUE) (Akira Kurosawa , 1961) - Criterion Collection


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DON'T FORGET: Craving the stuff you can't seem to get anywhere else? Beavers TOP YesAsia picks are listed HERE






Marlene Dietrich (6-disc - Screen Goddess Collection) - The Lady Is Willing (Dir. Mitchell Leisen, 1942), Shanghai Express (Dir. Josef von Sternberg, 1932), Foreign Affair (Dir. Billy Wilder, 1948), Destry Rides Again (Dir. George Marshall, 1939), Blonde Venus (Dir. Josef von Sternberg), Devil Is A Woman (Dir. Josef von Sternberg, 1935) - R2 UK Universal is 60% OFF HERE !

Stalker (1979) - 58% off!

The Cook Thief, His Wife And Her Lover (1989) - 69% off!

The Almodovar Collection (Vol.1) - 38% off!

The Girl on the Bridge (1999) - 65% off!

Battle In Heaven (2005) - 60% off!

La Haine (1995) - 55% off!

Bicycle Thieves (1948) - 28% off!

The Almodovar Collection (Vol.2) - 38% off!

Land And Freedom (1995) - 60% off!

Mirror (1974) - 60% off!

Innocence (2005) - 60% off!

Last Year At Marienbad (1961) - 55% off!

Kes (1969) - 69% off!

Sherlock Holmes - The Definitive Collection - 54% off

Sherlock Holmes - The Complete Collection (Jeremy Brett) - 60% off!


P.S.S. -


The Swimmer (1968) - 58% off!, Secret Ballot (2001) - 72% off!, The Luzhin Defence (2000) - 72% off, Nil by Mouth (1997) - 72% off!, Twin Falls Idaho (1999) - 71% off!, Young Adam (2003) - 66% off!, California Split (1974) - 60% off!, Once Were Warriors (1995) - 60% off!, Magnolia (1999) - 61% off! and

The Vertical Ray of the Sun (2000) - 72% off!, The Dreamlife of Angels (1998) - 71% off!, The Sweet Hereafter (1997) - 60% off!, Good Bye, Lenin! (2002) - 72% off!, Bonjour Tristesse (1958) - 72% off!, Death and the Maiden (1994) - 60% off!, Ripley's Game (2002) - 60% off!, Beijing Bicycle (2001) - 72% off!, The Lady and the Duke (2001) - 72% off!, The Man Without a Past (2002) - 72% off! , Happy Times (2001) - 72% off!, Va Savoir (2001) - 72% off!