Newsletter - FOR THE WEEK

OF December 12th, 2011

  This Week's Highlights
Yo manymak wäwa - A lot of variety this week with DVDs and Blu-rays of all flavors. We have a modern western with classic overtones, a dramatic expose on Rio's most vicious gangs, a nation-shocking true-life crime story, Borzage does Hemingway, a B-Movie fantasy of brutal cop vengeance, glam rockers, and on DVD? -> rarities by Frankenheimer and Mulligan, plus more pulpy crime. There are Blu-rays on the upcoming Calendar of films by Kramer, Hiller, Bava. We also have a new Clips contest with a Criterion Blu-ray prize and moving ahead with our Year End Poll!. "The stuff that dreams are made of."

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December 19th CONTEST - identify the clip on the CONTEST PAGE to win a Criterion Blu-ray of Tokyo Drifter 


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Love Story [Blu-ray] (Arthur Hiller, 1970) Paramount

It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World [Blu-ray] (Stanley Kramer, 1963) MGM

The Thing [Blu-ray] (Matthijs van Heijningen Jr., 2011) Universal Studios

Baba Yaga [Blu-ray] (Corrado Farina, 1973) Blue Underground

Real Steel [Blu-ray] (Shawn Levy, 2011) Disney

Demons [Blu-ray] (Lamberto Bava, 1985) RB UK Arrow

Demons 2 [Blu-ray] (Lamberto Bava, 1987) RB UK Arrow

Beneath the Darkness [Blu-ray] (Martin Guigui, 2011) Image Entertainment

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


ONE VOICE (not Ellsworth Monkton Toohey): I'll admit to being pretty smitten with Borzage's take on Hemingway via A Farewell to Arms - now on Blu-ray. I loved the rich, thick appearance of the very impressive vintage film. Bravo! I also seemed to like the western Blackthorn more than some of the scattered reviews I read - this is some of the best of the genre I've seen since Meek's Cutoff. Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures is a definite improvement in 1080P bringing the tale of catastrophic teenage obsession to uncomfortably realistic levels. City of God has also benefitted by the Blu-ray bump - certainly a worthy purchase. While I was very indifferent to the transfer of Margin Call - I watched the film - voyeuristically - like someone rubber-necking a horrific, but well-dressed, accident. Maniac Cop is not top-of-the-schlock but it does have attributes that may appeal to some - and likewise Todd Haynes Velvet Goldmine is not to all tastes - but is a riveting visual production. DVD offers a unique Double Feature with Frankenheimer's playful 99 And 44/100% Dead starring Richard Harris plus the more polished The Nickel Ride directed by Robert Mulligan. Gregory covers more vintage murder-and-mayhem in The Shadow on the Window with pre-Beaver Jerry Mathers, gangster flic Gunman in the Streets and murderous suspicions in Crime Against Joe. "There's no place like home."


Velvet Goldmine BD - Set in London in the early '70's during the emergence of the glam-rock scene- this film follows the rise of Brian Slade,... a mythical rock icon who finds himself at the very epicenter of the pleasures and decadence of his day. At the peak of his fame, Brian and his wife Mandy cruise the nightspots of New York and mix with the likes of Ewan McGregor's Curt Wild, his spiritual twin and fellow glam rocker -- until Brian disappears after a publicity stunt gone wrong. Years later, British journalist Arthur Stuart delves into the mystery to uncover what happened. Blu-ray Release date: December 13th, 2011

Margin Call BD - Set in the high-stakes world of the financial industry, "Margin Call" is a thriller entangling the key players at an... investment firm during one perilous 24-hour period in the early stages of the 2008 financial crisis. When entry-level analyst Peter Sullivan unlocks information that could prove to be the downfall of the firm, a roller-coaster ride ensues as decisions both financial and moral catapult the lives of all involved to the brink of disaster. Expanding the parameters of genre, "Margin Call" is a riveting examination of the human components of a subject too often relegated to partisan issues of black and white.
Blu-ray Release date: December 20th, 2011

A Farewell to Arms BD - A tale of the love between ambulance driver Lt. Henry (Gary Cooper) and Nurse Catherine Barkley (Helen Hayes) during World War I. The action takes place in Italy and the two fall in love during the war and will stop at nothing to be together. The film also analyses Lt. Henry's feelings on war and the purpose of fighting.
Blu-ray Release date: December 20th, 2011

Blackthorn BD - It's been said that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were killed in a standoff with the Bolivian military in 1908. In BLACKTHORN, Cassidy (Sam Shepard) survived and is quietly living out his years under the name James Blackthorn in a secluded Bolivian village. Tired of his long exile from the U.S. and hoping to see his family again before he dies, Cassidy sets out on the long journey home. But when an unexpected encounter with an ambitious young criminal (Eduardo Noriega) derails his plans, he is thrust into one last adventure, the likes of which he hasn't experienced since his glory days with the Sundance Kid.
Blu-ray Release date: December 20th, 2011

99 And 44/100% Dead / The Nickel Ride [Double Feature] - 99 and 44/100% Dead: In a future where the laws of reality have been suspended, Harry Crown (Richard Harris) is a hit man who's been hired by Mafia don Uncle Frank (Edmond O’Brien) to eliminate Big Eddie (Bradford Dillman), a rival gangster who has been moving in on his turf. Big Eddie counters with his own enforcer, Marvin ’Claw’ Zuckerman (Chuck Connors), and as the rival killers attempt to destroy each other, some wild high-speed chases ensue. Directed by John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate, Seconds). The Nickel Ride: Cooper (Jason Miller, The Exorcist), known as the key man because of his large ring of keys, manages several warehouses containing the Mob’s stolen goods. When the Mob has stolen so much that they are running out of space, they send Cooper to negotiate for a new warehouse. His boss gets nervous and, believing the big-hearted key man to be more of a risk than an asset, orders him to be watched. Also starring Linda Haynes (Rolling Thunder) and Bo Hopkins (The Wild Bunch). Directed by Robert Mulligan (To Kill A Mockingbird). DVD Release Date: December 13th, 2011

City of God BD - A violent, thoroughly electrifying vision of Rio during the volatile 1970s, and possibly the first great crime film of the 21st century. There's nothing particularly heavenly about the "City of God," a housing development thrown up on Rio's outskirts during the 1960s to help alleviate the homeless overflow from the city's teeming slums. Over the next two decades, it'll become a breeding gang for some of Rio's most vicious gangs.
Blu-ray Release Date: December 13th, 2011

Heavenly Creatures BD - From acclaimed director Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings, King Kong) comes a true-life story of the shocking crime that stunned a nation. When circumstances bring together two imaginative teenage schoolgirls, they quickly form an unwavering bond, creating a fantasy world that only they can share. But then their parents become disturbed by the intensity of the friendship, and threaten to keep them apart. In retaliation, the girls vow to stay together, devising a secret plan that leads to shocking consequences. Thrilling and provocative, HEAVENLY CREATURES stars Academy Award® winner Kate Winslet in her screen debut.
Blu-ray Release date: December 13th, 2011

The Shadow on the Window - Musical-comedy legend Betty Garrett (My Sister Eileen) has a rare dramatic role in this incredibly tense thriller. Lisa Atlas (Garrett) and her seven-year-old son Petey (a pre-Beaver Jerry Mathers) witness the murder of her boss during a botched armed robbery by psycho Jess Reber (John Barrymore, Jr., While The City Sleeps) and his two pals. Stunned by what he saw, Petey wanders off, leaving the thugs holding his mom hostage. But what they don’t know is that her husband is a police detective (Phil Carey, TV’s Laredo) and will stop at nothing to get her back safely. Corey Allen and Paul Picerni co-star in this seldom-seen gem, skillfully directed by William Asher (Bewitched). DVD Release Date: September 21st, 2010

Gunman in the Streets - This 1950 suspense classic has been restored from the original 35mm fine grain masters with 7 censored shots reinstated for the first time since its release. Also known as "Gangster at Bay" and "Time Running Out," this gripping film noir boasts an all-star pedigree: director Frank Tuttle (This Gun For Hire, The Glass Key), stars Simone Signoret (Diabolique, Room at the Top) and Dane Clark (The Glass Key, Destination Tokyo), producer Victor Pahlen (Edgar Ulmer's "Pirates of Capri"), and cinematographer Eugen Schufftan (Ulmer's "Bluebeard," "Eyes Without a Face," "The Hustler"), filmed on location in Paris with a brilliant musical score by Joe Hajos. This film was remade in 1975 as "La Traque." Dane Clark plays an escaped gangster struggling to flee Paris as the police dragnet closes around him, with his former lover Simone Signoret caught in the crossfire. DVD Release Date: January 15th, 2002

Crime Against Joe - An innocent man is accused of murdering a cabaret singer. His loyal classmates, although suspicious of his guilt, provide him with false alibis. When the man investigates, to really clear his name he encounters a real threat to his life from those classmates. DVD Release Date: May 2nd, 2011

Maniac Cop BD - Notorious video nasty creator William Lustig and B-Movie legend Larry Cohen return to the dirty streets for a unique high speed collision of the slasher movie and police thriller in Maniac Cop, a blood splattered tale of brutal cop vengeance from beyond the grave.
Blu-ray Release date: October 31st, 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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