Newsletter - FOR THE WEEK

OF December 5th, 2011

  This Week's Highlights
Ma xatsakeuk - Kind of a lackluster week but still some Blu-rays worthy of a mention. We have a couple of above-average French thrillers, a darn entertaining Apes prequel, a retro-styled comic book, a sexy, but less satisfying Japanese mystery, a Scorsese-helmed biopic and the cinematic account of the bombing of Pearl Harbor - plus much more. There are Blu-rays on the upcoming Calendar of films by Robert Mulligan, Alfred Hitchcock, Woody Allen, Lewis Milestone, Fritz Lang, and Steven Soderbergh. New FEATURE DVD and Blu-ray for the MONTH of December and We also have a new Clips contest with a Criterion Blu-ray prize and are starting to get ready for the Year End Poll!. “Confidence is preparation. Everything else is beyond your control..”

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


December 5thCONTEST - identify the clip on the CONTEST PAGE to win a Criterion Blu-ray of 3 Women 


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To Kill a Mockingbird [Blu-ray] 50th Anniversary Special Edition (Robert Mulligan, 1962) Universal Studios

To Kill a Mockingbird [Blu-ray] (Robert Mulligan, 1962) Universal Studios

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

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

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

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

All Quiet on the Western Front [Blu-ray] (Lewis Milestone, 1930) Universal

Koyaanisqatsi [Blu-ray] (Godfrey Reggio, 1982) RB DE Koch Media

Striptease [Blu-ray] (Andrew Bergman, 1996) Warner

The Lorax [Blu-ray] (Hawley Pratt, 1972) Warner

Puzzle of a Downfall Child [Blu-ray] (Jerry Schatzberg, 1970) RB FR Carlotta

Scarlet Street [Blu-ray] (Fritz Lang, 1945) Kino

Contagion [Blu-ray] - single-disc (Steven Soderbergh, 2011) Warner

Contagion [Blu-ray] - 2-disc (Steven Soderbergh, 2011) Warner

The Buccaneer [Blu-ray] (Anthony Quinn, 1958) Olive Films

Story of a Love Affair: 2-Disc Special Edition (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1950) Lorber

Blank City (Celine Danhier, 2010) Lorber Films

Nijinsky [Blu-ray] (Herbert Ross, 1980) Olive Films

Spiders (Fritz Lang, 1919) Kino

Dream House [Blu-ray] (Jim Sheridan, 2011) Universal Studios

Las Acacias [Blu-ray] (Pablo Giorgelli, 2011) RB UK Verve Pictures

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


ONE VOICE (not Ellsworth Monkton Toohey): I enjoyed Rise of the Planet of the Apes - it's definitely worth checking-out and the visuals are impressive in 1080P. Tora! Tora! Tora! on Blu-ray gave me a great presentation and furthered my appreciation of the film. The Rocketeer is always fun but disappointing that they didn't make sequels! Of the two French thrillers covered this week - I lean to Point Blank as the superior flic but Rapt is riveting enough to indulge in. Though lacking some cohesiveness Guilty of Romance has other attributes. Helldriver is more excessive Zombie flatulence and the Kundun German transfer is fraught with weakness. Eric reviewed a few titles on DVD and I'm keen to watch The Pyx from the 70s' as well as Julie Bertucelli's The Tree. On more less-popular cinema Ward No. 6 sounds interesting - as does the lengthy-titled Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame and the Grindhouse Trailer Classics 3 sounds too funky to pass up. "You have to make it happen.."


Point Blank BD - Samuel is a nurse working at a hospital when his pregnant wife is kidnapped before his very eyes. Knocked unconscious, he comes to and discovers that a dangerous criminal named Sartet is responsible, and if he's ever to see his wife again, he must do Sartet's bidding. Samuel quickly finds himself pitted against rival gangsters and trigger-happy police in a deadly race to save the lives of his wife and unborn child. Blu-ray Release date: December 6th, 2011

Rapt BD - On a morning like any other a powerful business man, Stanislas Graff, is kidnapped outside his luxurious apartment building... by a gang of thugs. From there begins a terrifying ordeal that will last for several weeks. Despite being tortured and humiliated Graff resists his captors. He accepts his fate without complaint. Cut off from the world, receiving only glimpses of information from his captors, Graff fails to understand why nobody is willing to pay the ransom. Outside, his world is falling to pieces as details of his personal life are revealed -- exposed by the police investigation and media frenzy. Friends and family discover that the real Stanislas Graff may not be the man they thought they knew. Blu-ray Release date: December 6th, 2011

Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame - All hell breaks loose as the coronation of the first female emperor Empress Wu (Carina Lau, 2046) nears, with ruling clans and founding officials plotting revolts and important court officials spontaneously bursting into flames. The Empress is advised by the Imperial Chaplain's Magic Deer to bring Detective Dee (Andy Lau, INFERNAL AFFAIRS) - exiled for treason eight years prior - back to the palace to investigate the mystery of the "Phantom Flame" before her coronation. DVD Release Date: December 13th, 2011

Rise of the Planet of the Apes BD - Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a revolution; an action-packed epic featuring stunning visual effects and creatures unlike anything ever seen before. At the story's heart is Caesar (Andy Serkis), a chimpanzee who gains human-like intelligence and emotions from an experimental drug. Raised like a child by the drug's creator (James Franco), Caesar ultimately finds himself taken from the humans he loves and imprisoned. Seeking justice, Caesar assembles a simian army and escapes -- putting man and primate on a collision course that could change the planet forever. Blu-ray Release date: December 13th, 2011

Kundun BD - Praised as one of the best films of the year, KUNDUN is a motion picture masterpiece directed by five-time Academy Award(R)-nominated director Martin Scorsese. It's the incredible true story of one of the world's most fascinating leaders -- Tibet's Dali Lama and his daring struggle to rule a nation at one of the most challenging times in its history. Powerfully told and set against a backdrop of world politics -- the film's release created an international uproar! Blu-ray Release date: May 10th, 2010

The Rocketeer BD - Based on a retro-styled comic book hit of the 80s, this Disney film was meant to launch a whole line of Rocketeer films--but the series began and ended with this one. That's too bad because this underrated Joe Johnston film has a certain loopy charm. The story centres on a pre-World War II stunt pilot (Bill Campbell) who accidentally comes into possession of a rocket-propelled backpack much coveted by the Nazis. With the aid of his mechanic pal (Alan Arkin), he gets it up and running, then uses it to foil a plot by a gang of vicious Nazi spies (is there any other kind?) led by Timothy Dalton. Jennifer Connelly is on hand as the love interest but the real fun here is when the Rocketeer takes off. There's also a nifty battle atop an airborne blimp. Blu-ray Release date: December 13th, 2011

Helldriver BD - The absolutely insane Yoshihiro Nishimura, director of Tokyo Gore Police and the amazing Vampire Girl Vs. Frankenstein Girl, is back with another foray into disturbing wonder with the Japanese zombie movie Helldriver. An alien-spawned, mysterious mist blankets the northern half of Japan, transforming those who inhale it into ravenous, flesh-eating zombies. Plunged into chaos, Japan is torn in two: the southern half of the country, where the populace remains untouched by the deadly gas, lives behind a heavily-fortified wall, while the northern half is a lawless, zombie-infected wasteland. Blu-ray Release date: October 31st, 2011

The Tree - The second feature film from acclaimed director Julie Bertucelli, The Tree stars Award-winning actress Charlotte Gainsbourg (Melancholia, Antichrist) newcomer Morgana Davies, and Martin Csokas (The Lord of the Rings) Dawn (Gainsbourg) and Peter live together with their children in the Australian countryside. In the middle of their garden stands the kids' favorite playground : a massive Moreton Bay Fig tree, whose branches reach high towards the sky and roots stretch far into the ground. When Peter crashes into the tree and dies, Dawn is left alone with her grief and four children to raise. All of them naturally go looking for comfort in their protective tree, but can daughter Simone really hear her father whispering to her through the leaves? DVD Release Date: October 10th, 2011

Ward No. 6 - Simultaneously nihilistic and heartening, Ward No. 6 is based on a story by Chekov, in which a psychiatric doctor becomes a patient in his own asylum. Updated to contemporary Russia, the film is a cocktail of anxieties and riddles, showcasing how easy it is to become what we fear most. DVD Release Date: July 11th, 2011

Tora! Tora! Tora! BD - A Japanese-American co-production, director Richard Fleischer (SOYLENT GREEN) and two Japanese directors put together this ultrarealistic account of the bombing of Pearl Harbor as presented from the perspectives of both nations, as diplomatic tensions rise between the two countries. While the Japanese military plans its attack on American military installations, the American forces nearly stumble into a much greater calamity due to a series of errors and mistakes. As the two sides plunge closer to war, the tension escalates until the final, spectacular air raid, arguably the most realistic ever filmed. This ITA award winner has a fabulous cast, including Martin Balsam, Joseph Cotten, Jason Robards, James Whitmore, and E.G. Marshall. Blu-ray Release date: December 6th, 2011

Guilty of Romance BD - On a rainy day, a woman's dead boy is found in an apartment. Female detective Kazuko (Miki Mizuno) is in charge of the case. Although Kazuko has a happy life with her family, she can't disconnect her relationship with her lover. While trying to unravel the mysterious murder case, Kazuko finds out the secret of university assistant professor Mitsuko (Makoto Togashi) and Izumi (Megumi Kagurazaka) who is a devoted housewife. Her husband is a popular novelist. Blu-ray Release date: November 28th, 2011

The Pyx - Quebec detective Henderson (Christopher Plummer, THE SOUND OF MUSIC) and his partner Paquette (Donald Pilon, LEFT FOR DEAD) respond arrive at the scene of a hooker's mysterious fall from a penthouse balcony and suspect foul play (the dead woman - Elizabeth Lucy [Karen Black, BURNT OFFERING] - was wearing an inverted cross and clutching a pyx - a small brass vessel used to deliver to the host to the sick or dying who cannot come to church for communion - in her hand). The dead woman's madame Meg (Yvette Brind'Amour) is anything but helpful, but he does learn that the Elizabeth's good friend/fellow hooker Sandra (Louise Rinfret) mysteriously disappeared the week before. DVD Release Date: October 18th, 2011

Grindhouse Trailer Classics 3 - Turn out the lights, break out the pop-corn and soda (spill a bit a couple hours in advance so the floors will be sticky), and pop this disc in for a your very own grindhouse experience. Book a flight to Sweden with the SWEDISH FLY GIRLS to visit the "sex capital of the world" SWEDEN: HEAVEN AND HELL! While you're there, get an inside look at the SWEDISH WIFE EXCHANGE CLUB. Stop off in London to learn about the "new version of the good neighbor policy" in THE SWAPPERS. Or you can stay in the states and witness "the one moment that makes all women sisters under the skin" in THE FEMALE RESPONSE. See Veronica Lake brought slumming in her last feature FLESH FEAST! DVD Release Date: December 5th, 2011

 Next 4 weeks on the Calendar

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)

Design for Living (Ernst Lubitsch, 1933) Criterion

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

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

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

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 (BEAVER REVIEW)

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

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

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

Simpsons: Season 14 [Blu-ray] - Fox

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

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

The Interrupters (Steve James, 2011) R2 UK Dogwoof

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)

Rise of the Planet of the Apes [Blu-ray] (Rupert Wyatt, 2011) 20th Century Fox (BEAVER REVIEW)

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

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


December 26th, 2011


Apollo 18 [Blu-ray] (Gonzalo López-Gallego, 2011) Weinstein

City Under Siege [Blu-ray] (Benny Chan, 2010) Funimation

Dirty Country (Nick Prueher, 2009) Kino

Kill List [Blu-ray] (Ben Wheatley, 2011) StudioCanal

A Lonely Place to Die [Blu-ray] (Julian Gilbey, 2011) RB UK Kaleidoscope

Sid & Nancy [Blu-ray] (Alex Cox, 1986) MGM

The Skin I Live In [Blu-ray] (Pedro Almodóvar, 2011) RB UK Pathé

Tuesday, After Christmas (Radu Muntean, 2010) Lorber Films



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