DVDBeaver Newsletter - December 8th, 2006


Zdravstvuite! - 18 new reviews (a whopping 9 of which are comparisons) - Killer holiday sales on and I'm storing DVDs like a diligent squirrel hiding nuts for the long upcoming winter... Check out this lineup - we could have our own soccer team - Panahi, Makk, Renoir, Wong Kar-Wai, Wenders, Roeg, Kurosawa, Hou Hsiao Hsien, Ichikawa, Carné, Keaton (obviously the goalkeeper), Kusturica ... happy viewing folks - DVD-ophiles may wish to live in the moment!


50% OFF CRITERION BOXSET SALE - These Amazon sales usually only last about 2 weeks - and we don't know when this one started. If you are keen to reap the benefits of the extensive savings offered we suggest you act sooner rather than later. I don't recall ever seeing these titles so cheap.

John Cassavetes - Five Films (Shadows / Faces / A Woman Under the Influence / The Killing of a Chinese Bookie / Opening Night ) - Criterion Collection - 50% OFF!

Fassbinder's BRD Trilogy (The Marriage of Maria Braun / Veronika Voss / Lola) - Criterion Collection - 50% OFF!

Rebel Samurai - Sixties Swordplay Classics - Criterion Collection - 50% OFF!

Eisenstein - The Sound Years (Ivan the Terrible Parts 1 & 2, Alexander Nevsky) - Criterion Collection - 50% OFF!

Andrzej Wajda - Three War Films (A Generation, Kanal, and Ashes & Diamonds) - Criterion Collection - 50% OFF!

Fanny and Alexander (Special Edition Five-Disc Set) - Criterion Collection - 50% OFF!

Stage and Spectacle - Three Films by Jean Renoir (The Golden Coach / French Cancan / Elena and Her Men) - Criterion Collection - 50% OFF!


OUR CURRENT 'A" STORES (more to come)

50 CLASSIC TV SHOWS ON DVD - best of vintage TV!







SEE OUR ESSENTIAL FILM-NOIR STORE! - 20 new listings added!


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


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


STRATEGIES: The best way to take full advantage of Amazon is to use PRE-ORDERs - lock in at the discount price by ORDERING - if perchance you decide against the purchase you have until the release date to cancel - at no charge.

AND  if you will purchase more than 35 DVDs (or anything) in a 365 day period (and live in the Continental US) it makes excellent financial sense to subscribe to Amazon Prime! You will get Free 2-day shipping on your purchases!


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

The Films of Kenneth Anger, Vol. 1 - Fireworks (1947), Puce Moment (1949), Rabbit's Moon (1950, the rarely seen original 16 minute version), Eaux d'Artifice (1953) and Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954) - Fantoma

Blume in Love (Paul Mazursky, 1973) Warner Home Video

Paul Robeson: Portraits of the Artist (The Emperor Jones / Body and Soul / Borderline / Sanders of the River / Jericho / The Proud Valley / Native Land / Paul Robeson: Tribute to an Artist) - Criterion Collection

The Luis Bunuel Collection (That Obscure Object Of Desire, The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie, Diary Of A Chamber Maid, The Phantom Of Liberty, Milky Way, Tristana, La Joven (aka La Jeune Fille) and Belle De Jour. ) - R2 UK - Optimum Home Entertainment


RECOMMEND: Personally I was blown away by the three 'new' entries in The Essential Art House - 50 Years of Janus Films collection - Itchjkawa's Fires on the Plain, Carne's Le Jour Se Leve, and Sjöberg's Miss Julie. Each are essential cinema in its own right. I'd better mention again that the Janus collection has all those Criterion DVDs (listed in the reviews) - but they are stripped of extras - just the films remain. Still, its a very reasonable purchase for any serious film fans. Treat yourself during the Holiday season I say - you won't regret it!

Second Run introduced me to Makk - and i haven't looked back - A Long Weekend in Pest and Buda is recommended!

The Wim Wenders Collection, Vol. 2 has it all - and enough director commentaries to get you intimate with the man. Some powerful stuff here.

IMPROVED EDITIONS - The Innocents - I am very high on this BFI edition and the commentary. Per-Olaf proves the new AE Three Times is superior. A memorable Roeg film - Don't Look Now - has a strong edition now available.

GREAT FILMS - LESSER DVD PACKAGES - highly anticipated Forbidden Hollywood Vol. 1 - perhaps expectations were too lofty. Its a classic film - Black Christmas - but a tube-worthy DVD. 

NEVER SEEN - It's not a great DVD by any stretch but I've always wanted to see Kurosawa's Sanshiro Sugata.


New Reviews:


The Innocents - "The best ghost movie I've ever seen" - Pauline Kael. The film's sinister atmosphere is carefully created - not through shock tactics, but through its cinematography, soundtrack, and decor: Freddie Francis' beautiful CinemaScope photography, with its eerily indistinct long shots and mysterious manifestations at the edges of the frame; an evocative and spooky soundtrack; and the grand yet decaying Bly House. BFI DVD Release Date: December 11th, 2006

As Tears Go By - Though as gritty as any 80’s Hong Kong gangster picture, As Tears Go By is a watershed film heralding one of the most auspicious directorial debuts in international cinema. Wong Kar-Wai’s visually stunning, tough and romantic 1988 first feature deftly smuggles the director’s now celebrated genius into an incendiary "Heroic Bloodshed" street opera of the John Woo mold. Tartan WKW Collection DVD Release Date: November 13, 2006

Underground - A great circus full of tragicomic satire, Underground is a visionary masterpiece where hope, laughter and the joy of living overcome the difficulties of survival. In the midst of war, Marko and Blacky - two opportunistic buddies sharing a spirited lust for women, booze and madcap brawling - attain riches and heroic praise dealing arms to the war's resistance fighters. Optimum DVD Release Date: October 23, 2006

Offside - Filmed in almost documentary style, using non actors, director Jafar Panahi has created a sparkling and provocative comedy about imposed social values and how the oppressed rebelled against them, and by using a “harmless” act as a soccer match, an allegory about women’s rights and human rights. DVD Release Date: September 18, 2006

Forbidden Hollywood Vol. 1 - First, a Canadian soldier is forced to give up the woman he loves when his well-to-do family learns she's a prostitute, in director James Whale's heartbreaking drama "Waterloo Bridge" (1931). Then, "Red-Headed Woman" (1932) is a saucy, pre-Production Code drama starring Jean Harlow as a golddigging secretary who hooks the company's married boss, while carrying on with chauffeur Charles Boyer. Finally, the daring-for-its-time romantic drama "Baby Face" (1933) stars Barbara Stanwyck as an amoral, greedy gal who sleeps her way up the corporate ladder in a New York bank, not caring who gets hurt. DVD Release Date: December 5th, 2006

A Long Weekend in Pest and Buda - reunites Károly Makk with Mari Törõcsik and Iván Darvas, who starred in his classic film Love which was made over 30 years ago. With them, Makk recreates that finely tuned sense of place, history, and intimate human stories that characterize his best films, showing a director still working at the height of his talent. Emotionally mature and profoundly moving, the film reveals how, despite our best efforts, we can never quite escape the past. DVD Release Date: December 4th, 2006

Black Christmas - This truly is a classic horror film that acts as a bridge of sorts between the horror movies of old and what was to come in the more modern ones. It is a throwback in that it never reveals many things, such as the killer’s past, their motives, or even shows the killings themselves. It’s all left to you to decipher. But while its means are of the old school, the story is all too modern – a male killer stalking young women, a loved holiday turned violent, and a heroine who must overcome her own fear to survive a madman who seems inhuman. Somerville DVD Release Date: December 5th, 2006

The Grand Illusion - The title reflects Renoir’s feeling of the “Illusion” of War. He displays his importance of values towards relationships in life and not towards the war’s victors. The bond of soldiers regardless of geographical border nationality, the bond of a man and a woman, and that of an adult and a child are all covered with beautiful subtlety. There are conversations in the film that are so “in place” in the respective scenes, it is only after the fact that they reflect heavily upon the viewer. Optimum DVD Release Date: November 13, 2006

Days of Being Wild - Days of Being Wild unfolds like a dream with color filters, unusual shadows, and the sights and sounds of Hong Kong's rainy nights and sweltering summers. Based on the director's memories from his childhood and admiration for the style of Argentinean novelist Manuel Puig (Heartbreak Tango), the film is a series of episodes involving six people who touch each other's lives. Tartan WKW Collection DVD Release Date: November 13, 2006

The Wim Wenders Collection, Vol. 2 - 8 Wenders films (all with director commentary) in one package - The Scarlet Letter (1973), Notebook on Cities and Clothes (1975), The American Friend (1977), The Wrong Move (1979), Lightning Over Water (1980), Tokyo-Ga (1985), Room 666 (1985) and A Trick of the Light (1995). DVD Release Date: December 5th, 2006

The Buster Keaton Early Shorts - During the 1920s, he put out a phenomenal array of rarified, perfectly judged features and shorts, a cinematic jewel-box featuring authentic period detail, is-he-really-doing-that? stunts and an enduring persona that qualifies as one of the most poetic reactions to life imaginable. Restrained, unpretentious, pure films, they belie his seemingly disorganized working methods, a series of disparate and largely unnecessary co-directors and the apparent self-destructiveness of his own personality. Masters of Cinema DVD Release Date: Nov. 20, 2006

Ran - With Ran, legendary director Akira Kurosawa reimagines Shakespeare’s King Lear as a singular historical epic set in sixteenth-century Japan. Majestic in scope, the film is Kurosawa’s late-life masterpiece, a profound examination of the folly of war and the crumbling of one family under the weight of betrayal, greed, and the insatiable thirst for power. Optimum Release Date: November 20, 2006

Don't Look Now - One of the most beautifully constructed opening sequences ever, edited by Graeme Clifford, it does not only set up the theme of colour red – which throughout the film stalks the images – and of time / space disorder, linked by the colour red; Roeg even cuts in the cover of the book Beyond the fragile geometry of space, as if to stress how space, time and reality are connected in disorderly ways, a theme he so elegantly sets up thru editing, by constantly cutting back and forth between the outside and inside, and by inverting elements. Optimum DVD Release Date: November 13, 2006

Three Times - Three Times marks Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao Hsien's sixth bid for the Cannes Palme d'Or. In 1993, he was awarded the Jury Prize for The Puppetmaster; his Good Men, Good Women was chosen for screening in the Official Selection in 1995, as were Goodbye, South Goodbye (1996), Flowers of Shanghai (1998), and Millennium Mambo (2001), the film where European audiences discovered actress Shu Qi, a star in Asia. Shu Qi takes the leading role in today's Three Times, alongside Chang Chen. Artificial Eye DVD Release Date: 13 Nov 2006

Fires on the Plain - Wandering in dazed retreat from the advancing American army, a Japanese soldier crosses the appalling devastation of a Philippine island, his life spared only because his tubercular condition makes him unfit for consumption by the starving, dehumanized masses who hide in the rubble. No other film on the horrors of war has gone anywhere near as far as Kon Ichikawa's 1959 Japanese feature; it's obsessionally fixed on the sheer horror of human existence, and the terror and hopelessness keep mounting. Essential Art House - 50 Years of Janus Films DVD Release Date: October 24th, 2006

Le Jour Se Leve - Possibly the best of the Carné-Prévert films, certainly their collaboration at its most classically pure, with Gabin a dead man from the outset as his honest foundry worker, hounded into jealousy and murder by a cynical seducer, holes up with a gun in an attic surrounded by police, remembering in flashback how it all started while he waits for the end. Fritz Lang might have given ineluctable fate a sharper edge (less poetry, more doom), but he couldn't have bettered the performances from Gabin, Berry, Arletty, and (as the subject of Gabin's romantic agony) Laurent. Essential Art House - 50 Years of Janus Films DVD Release Date: October 24th, 2006

Miss Julie - Sjöberg was head honcho in the post-war revival of Swedish cinema before Ingmar Bergman emerged. He began as a stage director, and his adaptation of August Strindberg's classic became his most admired film, sharing the Best Film Award at Cannes (with De Sica's Miracle in Milan) in 1951. The title role is magnificently played by Björk, and despite a slight opening-up of the play, the intensity never lets up. Miss Julie's humiliation of the valet Jean (Palme) and her oblique seduction of the underling, leading to tragedy, remain as the powerful central images from a drama about sexual repression and class. Essential Art House - 50 Years of Janus Films DVD Release Date: October 24th, 2006

Sanshiro Sugata - The Directorial debut from one of the screen's greatest ever Directors - Akira Kurosawa. SANSHIRO SUGATA is the tale of the emergence of the fighting art of Judo in old Japan. Set in the late 19th century, the film follows a wayward young man Sugata and his quest for knowledge. After witnessing some Ju-Jitsu bullies beaten by a man with a new fighting style , Sugata yearns to learn the emerging art of Judo. As Sugata aims to beat the Ju-Jitsu masters he also fights a battle with his inner self.

Next 2 weeks on the Calendar:


Week of December 11th, 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


Week of December 18th, 2006


Atomic Age Classics 5: C Is for Communist - Alpha Video

Best Foot Forward (Amazon Exclusive) (Edward Buzzell, 1943) Warner Home Video

Brooklyn Lobster (Kevin Jordan, 2005) Hart Sharp Video

Gabrielle (Patrice Chéreau, 2005) IFC

There Was a Crooked Man... (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1970) Warner Home Video

Illustrated Man (Jack Smight, 1969) Warner Home Video
Operation Crossbow (Michael Anderson, 1965) Warner Home Video
Presenting Lily Mars (Norman Taurog, 1943) Warner Home Video

Road Show (Hal Roach , 1941) Alpha Video
Up Periscope (Gordon Douglas, 1959) Warner Home Video

A Scanner Darkly (Richard Linklater, 2006) Warner Home Video

Lady in the Water (M. Night Shyamalan, 2006) Warner

When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (Spike Lee, 2006) (3-disc) Hbo Home Video

The Wicker Man 2-disc SE (Robin Hardy, 1973) Anchor Bay

The Wicker Man (Widescreen Unrated/Rated Edition) (Neil LaBute, 2006) - Warner Home Video


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


An incredible time to be alive!,




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

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