Newsletter - FOR THE WEEK

OF December 3rd, 2012

  This Week's Highlights
Shimboni! - Holiday season is fast approaching - this week we cover Criterion and Masters of Cinema Blu-rays with important films by the likes of Yasujiro Ozu, Terry Gilliam, Josef von Sternberg, Michael Powell and more. Blu-rays on the upcoming Calendar by Otto Preminger, Raoul Walsh, Leos Carax, Sergio Corbucci, Mario Bava! We continue with our CONTEST clips with a brand new Criterion Blu-ray prize as well as our FEATURE DVD and Blu-ray of the MONTH chosen for DECEMBER!.

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

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December 3rd CONTEST - identify the clip on the CONTEST PAGE to win a brand new Criterion Blu-ray of Trilogy of Life


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Laura [Blu-ray] (Otto Preminger, 1944) 20th Century Fox

The Thief of Bagdad [Blu-ray] (Raoul Walsh, 1924) Image Entertainment

Westworld [Blu-ray] (Michael Crichton, 1973) Warner

Decasia + Light is Calling [Blu-ray] (Bill Morrison, 2002) Icarus Films

Holy Motors [Blu-ray] (Leos Carax , 2012) Indomina

The Nest (BluRay/DVD Combo) [Blu-ray] (Terence H. Winkless, 1988) Shout! Factory

A Man Vanishes (Shôhei Imamura, 1967) Icarus Films

The Hunt [Blu-ray] (Thomas Vinterberg, 2012) RB UK Arrow

The Imposter [Blu-ray] (Bart Layton, 2012) RB UK Revolver Entertainment

Django [Blu-ray] ( Sergio Corbucci, 1966) RB UK Argent Films

Lisa and the Devil [Blu-ray] (Mario Bava, 1974) RB UK Arrow

The Late Mathias Pascal (Feu Mathias Pascal ) (1926) - Flicker Alley

Highlander II: The Quickening [Blu-ray] (Russell Mulcahy, 1991) Olive Films

Innocent Bystanders [Blu-ray] (Peter Collinson, 1972) Olive Films

Julius Caesar [Blu-ray] (Stuart Burge, 1970) Olive Films

Live Nude Girls [Blu-ray] (Julianna Lavin, 1995) Olive Films

The Monster Squad [Blu-ray] (Fred Dekker, 1987) Olive Films

Night of the Demons 2 [Blu-ray] (Brian Trenchard-Smith, 1994) Olive Films

Chronicle of a Summer [Blu-ray] (Edgar Morin, Jean Rouch, 1961) Criterion

Chronicle of a Summer (Edgar Morin, Jean Rouch, 1961) Criterion

Sansho the Bailiff [Blu-ray] (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1954) Criterion

Ballad of Narayama [Blu-ray] (Keisuke Kinoshita, 1958) Criterion

Ballad of Narayama (Keisuke Kinoshita, 1958) Criterion

The Kid with a Bike [Blu-ray] (Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, 2011) Criterion

The Kid with a Bike (Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, 2011) Criterion

On the Waterfront [Blu-ray] (Elia Kazan, 1954) Criterion

On the Waterfront (Elia Kazan, 1954) Criterion

The Quiet Man [Blu-ray] (John Ford, 1952) Olive Films

Forbidden Games [Blu-ray] (René Clément, 1952) RB UK Studio Canal

Tess [Blu-ray] (Roman Polanski, 1979) RB UK BFI

To Rome with Love [Blu-ray] (Woody Allen, 2012) Sony

Les Misérables [Blu-ray] (Jean-Paul Le Chanois, 1958) Olive Films



ONE VOICE (not Ellsworth Monkton Toohey): This week I was very impressed by seeing Teinosuke Kinugasa's Gate of Hell on Blu-ray from The Masters of Cinema group. Beyond the extraordinary colors - this is great cinema. From Criterion it is satisfying to finally have Terry Gilliam’s 142-minute director’s cut of Brazil on stunning Blu-ray. How can we not be thrilled with more Ozu to 1080P - MoC have brought us 1959's Floating Weeds in a highly authentic hi-def transfer. Von Sternberg's The Blue Angel gets a Blu-ray rendering - not overwhelming but definitely improved over SD - and the film's desperate themes seem even more morose. It is exciting to see Alexander Korda's boyhood fantasy The Thief of Bagdad reach the new format. Always a great film experience - even with the limitations of exporting Technicolor to Blu-ray. Godfrey Reggio’s Koyaanisqatsi in 1080P combines unforgettable visuals with Philip Glass' perfect score to create a timeless presentation - worthy of every collection. Eric has brought us coverage of the BFI's extensive Ghost Stories For Christmas 5-disc package as well as a comparison for Polisse as well as Giorgio Ferroni's 70's film The Night of the Devils. Gregory has graciously provided detailed reviews of Noir-leaning titles like The Las Vegas Story with Jane Russell, Victor Mature and Vincent Price - plus the tense Southside 1-1000. Also we are treated to Warner's Pre-Code packages, Forbidden Hollywood - Volume 4 and Volume Five with stars such as Jimmy Cagney, Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Blondell, Loretta Young, George Brent and William Powell. Time to do a little Holiday Season preparation!


Koyaanisqatsi BD - An unconventional work in every way, Godfrey Reggio’s Koyaanisqatsi was nevertheless a sensation when it was released in 1983. This first work of The Qatsi Trilogy wordlessly surveys the rapidly changing environments of the Northern Hemisphere, in an astonishing collage created by the director, cinematographer Ron Fricke, and composer Philip Glass. It shuttles viewers from one jaw-dropping vision to the next, moving from images of untouched nature to others depicting human beings’ increasing dependence on technology Koyaanisqatsi’s heterodox methods (including hypnotic time-lapse photography) make it a look at our world from a truly unique angle. Blu-ray Release Date: December 11th, 2012

Ghost Stories For Christmas - The British Film Institute’s GHOST STORIES FOR CHRISTMAS: THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION actually contains two separate releases. The first is THE M.R. JAMES COLLECTION which includes all of the original Lawrence Gordon Clark-helmed M.R. James adaptations for the series (he also directed CASTING THE RUNES for Yorkshire Television, but that is not included here) as well as the 1968 OMNIBUS adaptation of WHISTLE AND I’LL COME TO YOU (often lumped in with the “Ghost Story for Christmas” films), a 2010 adaptation of that story, as well as recent adaptations of A VIEW FROM A HILL and NUMBER 13, and three episodes of GHOST STORIES FOR CHRISTMAS with Christopher Lee. The DEFINITIVE COLLECTION also contains a separate single disc feature the three “Ghost Story for Christmas” films that were not based on James stories (Charles Dickens’ THE SIGNALMAN and the original stories STIGMA and THE ICE HOUSE). DVD Release Date: October 29th, 2012

Forbidden Hollywood - Volume 5 - After the dawn of sound and before the Production Code, Hollywood ran wild and free. Fearlessly and frankly tackling subjects and scenes that would quickly become forbidden to a generation of filmmakers, these seldom-seen pre-Code wonders are both revelatory and sin-sational. This fifth volume takes a walk on the wild side with a foursome that sees Jimmy Cagney (Hard to Handle), Warren William (The Mind Reader), Barbara Stanwyck (Ladies They Talk About) and Joan Blondell (Miss Pinkerton) in tales of swindlers, crooks and crimebusters. DVD Release Date: July 10th, 2012

The Las Vegas Story - Jane Russell and Victor Mature play it as it lays in this hardboiled thriller co-starring Vincent Price. Linda Rollins' (Russell) luck has gone from bad to worse. A casino owner's been bumped off, her diamond necklace is missing and her shady husband (Price) is suspected of the crimes. So when her bitter ex-flame, police lieutenant Dave Andrews (Mature), takes charge of the case, all bets are off when the killer kidnaps Linda and threatens to cash in all her chips. Originally set in Miami, the movie's locale was changed to Las Vegas when RKO studio chief Howard Hughes decided to publicize the city in which he'd recently taken a financial interest. Highlighted by one of the earliest helicopter/car chases ever filmed, The Las Vegas Story also features three songs by costar Hoagy Carmichael: "The Monkey Song," "My Resistance Is Low" and "I Get Along Without You Very Well," the latter two performed with Jane Russell. DVD Release Date: August 21st, 2012

Southside 1-1000 - Locked up in a federal pen, a top-notch forger pores over his Bible until lights out, when he whisks out his engraving tools and etches the plates for `queer.' Smuggled out, they go on the presses turning out counterfeit bills to be uttered at race tracks and Vegas poker parlors. G-Man Don DeFore (an avuncular figure familiar from television - Ozzie and Harriet, Hazel) goes undercover to track down and infiltrate the source of the funny money. Middleman Barry Kelley goes down (literally, through a window) but the brains of the operation stay at large. Then, as a big-spending good-time Charley, DeFore catches the eye of Andrea King, daughter of the old jailbird. But his cover is blown at his moment of greatest peril.... DVD Release Date: August 21st, 2012

Forbidden Hollywood - Volume 4 - An enticing trio of suave silver screen seducers lies at the heart of this fourth collection of pre-Code sensations whose subject matter would soon be forbidden by the infamous Production Code. William Powell, Kay Francis and David Manners prove that sophistication and sexiness once walked hand in hand – ably abetted (and abedded!) by the likes of Joan Blondell, Loretta Young and George Brent. Powell headlines in Jewel Robbery and Lawyer Man, while his Jewel costar Francis works late with David Manners in Man Wanted (all three directed by cinema maestro William Dieterle), who in turn teaches innocent Loretta Young just why They Call It Sin. From the simply frank to the jaw-droppingly shocking, this forbidden foursome promises nights of delight. DVD Release Date: July 10th, 2012

The Blue Angel BD - On the surface the story is a simple one — about the ruin and degradation of a respected high school professor by an erotic but disreputable cabaret singer, Lola Lola, but there is more: Subsequent history has shown The Blue Angel to be a fascinating documentary of the decadence of the fast-evaporating post-WWI Weimar Republic that would come crashing down with the advent of Adolph Hitler in 1933. Professor Rath (Emil Jannings) represents the staid German tradition while decadent Lola Lola represents the perilous forces that will bring Germany to her knees in the not-too-distant future. For another look at this interesting time period, the viewer is directed to the excellent Cabaret starring Liza Minelli. Blu-ray Release Date: December 4th, 2012

Brazil BD - Bureaucratic paper-pushers and massively obtrusive ductwork run amok in the story of a clerical error that leads to the imprisonment of a shoe-repairman named Buttle. It should have been Harry Tuttle, illegal renegade Heating Engineer. Daydreaming Sam Lowry, part of the bureaucratic cogs, follows the face or a girl he loves and gets branded as a terrorist. He becomes hunted by the Big-Brother state while trying to correct the error. Criterion Blu-ray Release Date: December 4th, 2012

The Thief of Bagdad BD - Legendary producer Alexander Korda's marvel The Thief of Bagdad, inspired by The Arabian Nights, is one of the most spectacular fantasy films ever made, an eye-popping effects pioneer brimming with imagination and technical wizardry. When Prince Ahmad (John Justin) is blinded and cast out of Bagdad by the nefarious Jaffar (Conrad Veidt), he joins forces with the scrappy thief Abu (the incomparable Sabu, in his definitive role) to win back his royal place, as well as the heart of a beautiful princess (June Duprez). With its luscious Technicolor, vivid sets, and unprecedented visual wonders, The Thief of Bagdad has charmed viewers of all ages for decades. Blu-ray Release Date: November 15th, 2012

Gate of Hell BD - One of the key works of the early 1950s wave of Japanese films to first reach foreign markets, director Kinugasa’s sumptuous period drama astonished audiences with its dramatic force and spectacular colour cinematography. During feudal unrest in the 12th century, samurai warrior Moritô (Kazuo Hasegawa) manages to thwart a palace rebellion and save the life of the empress, using loyal subject Lady Kesa (Machiko Kyô) as a decoy. When Moritô is offered anything he should desire as reward, he requests Kesa’s hand in marriage. Informed that she is already married to a fellow samurai (Isao Yamagata), he refuses to withdraw his request, setting in motion a tragic chain of events. Blu-ray Release date: December 3rd, 2013

The Night of the Devils - Gianni Garko plays an insane man admitted to a psychiatric institution that no one can identify. While in ward, he starts having flashbacks of what brought him there. He starts to remember how his car broke down and when he went looking for help he came upon a strange man burying his dead son. Strange scenes of the macabre ensue leading up to the gruesome night with this backwoods family who secrets are slowly revealed. What strange curse is this family hiding? DVD Release Date: January 21st, 2013

Polisse - Based on real child investigation cases, POLISSE follows the lives of a tight-knit team of men and women working in the Child Protection Unit of the Parisian police. In this realm of some of society's worst criminals, the pressures of the job are matched only by the pressures in the personal lives of the officers - breakdowns, divorce and adulterous relations within the force join with unending arrests, interrogations, and confessions on the street to threaten the cohesion of the unit. Only by putting aside their individual differences can they find the strength necessary to make a positive change in the community. DVD Release Date: October 30th, 2012

Floating Weeds BD - When a travelling theatre troupe brings their show to a seaside port, Komajuro (Ganjiro Nakamura), an ageing actor, is reunited with his former lover, sake bar owner Oyoshi (Haruko Sugimura), and his illegitimate son Kiyoshi (Hiroshi Kawaguchi), to the distress of his current mistress Sumiko (Machiko Kyo). From this simple scenario, Ozu builds, one exquisite image at a time, a saga of profound humanity and rich understanding. Encompassing a novelistic range of emotions and tones with the utmost delicacy, Floating Weeds stands tall even amidst a body of work as extraordinary as Ozu's. Blu-ray Release Date: December 3rd, 2012

 Next 4 weeks on the Calendar

December 3rd, 2012


Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry [Blu-ray] (Alison Klayman, 2012) MPI

Alps (Giorgos Lanthimos, 2011) Kino

Angry Boys [Blu-ray] (Chris Lilley, 2011) HBO Studios

The Blue Angel [Blu-ray] (Josef von Sternberg, 1930) Kino (BEAVER REVIEW)

Brazil [Blu-ray] (Terry Gilliam, 1985) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

Dark Crimes - Film Noir Thrillers (The Glass Key, Phantom Lady, The Blue Dahlia) TCM (BEAVER REVIEW)   (BEAVER REVIEW)   (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Dark Knight Rises [Blu-ray] (Christopher Nolan, 2012) Warner (BEAVER REVIEW)

Decasia + Light is Calling [Blu-ray] (Bill Morrison, 2002) Icarus Films

eXistenZ [Blu-ray] (David Cronenberg, 1999) Miramax Echo Bridge

Finding Nemo [Blu-ray] (Three-Disc Collector's Edition: Blu-ray/DVD in DVD Packaging) (Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich, 2003) Walt Disney (BEAVER REVIEW)

Finding Nemo [Blu-ray] (Five-Disc Ultimate Collector's Edition: Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD + Digital Copy) (Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich, 2003) Walt Disney (BEAVER REVIEW)

Finding Nemo [Blu-ray] (Three-Disc Collector's Edition: Blu-ray/DVD in Blu-ray Packaging) (Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich, 2003) Walt Disney (BEAVER REVIEW)

Floating Weeds (Yasujirô Ozu, 1959) R2 UK Masters of Cinema
Floating Weeds [
Blu-ray] (Yasujirô Ozu, 1959) RB UK Masters of Cinema (BEAVER REVIEW)

Francis Ford Coppola: 5-Film Collection [Blu-ray] (Apocalypse Now/Apocalypse Now Redux/One From the Heart/Tetro/The Conversation) - LionsGate

Gate of Hell (Teinosuke Kinugasa, 1953) R2 UK Masters of Cinema
Gate of Hell [
Blu-ray] (Teinosuke Kinugasa, 1953) RB UK Masters of Cinema (BEAVER REVIEW)

Hope Springs [Blu-ray] (David Frankel, 2012) Sony

Oklahoma! [Blu-ray] (Trevor Nunn, 1999) Image Entertainment

Purple Noon (René Clément, 1960) Criterion

Purple Noon [Blu-ray] (René Clément, 1960) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

Simpsons: Season 15 [Blu-ray] - 20th Century Fox

Suddenly [Blu-ray] (Lewis Allen, 1954) Image Entertainment (BEAVER REVIEW)

Tell No One [Blu-ray] (Guillaume Canet, 2006) Music Box Films (BEAVER REVIEW)

Zombie Flesh Eaters [Blu-ray] (Lucio Fulci, 1979) RB UK Arrow Films (BEAVER REVIEW)

Zombie Flesh Eaters Steelbook [Blu-ray] (Lucio Fulci, 1979) RB UK Arrow Films (BEAVER REVIEW)



December 10th, 2012


Babes in Toyland [Blu-ray] (Jack Donohue, 1961) Walt Disney

Baron Blood [Blu-ray] (Mario Bava, 1972) Kino

Bill Cunningham New York [Blu-ray] (Richard Press, 2010) Zeitgeist Films

The Bourne Legacy [Blu-ray] (Tony Gilroy, 2012) Universal

The Ultimate Buster Keaton Collection [15-Disc Blu-ray Box Set] Kino

The Colditz Story [Blu-ray] (Guy Hamilton, 1955) RB UK Studio Canal

The Dardenne Brothers Collection - The Kid with a Bike, The Silence of Lorna, The Child, The Son, Rosetta and La Promesse. - R2 UK Artificial Eye

Death Valley [Blu-ray] (Dick Richards, 1982) Shout! Factory

Dick Tracy [Blu-ray] (Warren Beatty, 1990) Touchstone

Following (Christopher Nolan, 1998) Criterion

Following [Blu-ray] (Christopher Nolan, 1998) Criterion

The Island [Blu-ray] (Michael Ritchie, 1980) Shout! Factory

The Joy Luck Club [Blu-ray] (Wayne Wang, 1993) Hollywood Pictures

Life Just Is (Alex Barrett, 2012) R2 UK Independent

A Man Vanishes (Shôhei Imamura, 1967) Icarus Films

Manufactured Landscapes [Blu-ray] (Jennifer Baichwal, 2006) Zeitgeist Films

Mouchette (Robert Bresson, 1967) R2 UK Artificial Eye

The Portrait of a Lady [Blu-ray] (Jane Campion, 1996) Shout! Factory

Rabid Dogs [Blu-ray] (Mario Bava, 1974) Kino

The Qatsi Trilogy - Koyaanisqatsi, 1983 - Powaqqatsi, 1988 - Naqoyqatsi, 2002 - Criterion Collection

The Qatsi Trilogy [Blu-ray] - Koyaanisqatsi, 1983 - Powaqqatsi, 1988 - Naqoyqatsi, 2002 - Criterion Collection (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Wild Geese [Blu-ray] (Andrew V. McLaglen, 1978) Severin Films


December 17th, 2012


Death Ship [Blu-ray] (Alvin Rakoff, 1980) Scorpion Records

Futurama: Volume 7 [Blu-ray] - 20th Century Fox

Hans Christian Andersen [Blu-ray] (Charles Vidor, 1952) HBO

SOKUROV: EARLY MASTERWORKS [Blu-ray] (Whispering Pages / Stone / Save and Protect) Cinema Guild

Sometimes a Great Notion [Blu-ray] (Paul Newman, 1970) Shout! Factory

This Dear Month of August [Blu-ray] (Miguel Gomes, 2008) Cinema Guild

Total Recall [Blu-ray] (Len Wiseman, 2012) Sony

Trouble With the Curve [Blu-ray] (Robert Lorenz, 2012) Warner

The Well Digger's Daughter [Blu-ray] (Daniel Auteuil, 2011) Alive Mind




December 31st, 2012


Berberian Sound Studio [Blu-ray] (Peter Strickland, 2012) RB UK Artificial Eye

Cosmopolis [Blu-ray] (David Cronenberg, 2012) Ent. One

The Double [Blu-ray] (Michael Brandt, 2011) RB UK High Fliers Films

The Thompsons [Blu-ray] (Mitchell Altieri, Phil Flores, 2012) Anderson Merchandisers

Who Dares Wins [Blu-ray] (Ian Sharp, 1982) RB Arrow Video

The Wild Geese [Blu-ray] (Andrew V. McLaglen, 1978) RB Arrow Video


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