DVDBeaver Newsletter - December 15th, 2006


Magandang tanghali po! - 9 new reviews in this weeks newsletter. Quite a mix with films-to-DVD by Angelopoulos, Rohmer, Linklater, Shyamalan, Bertolucci etc. Lots of new calendar listings as we wind down the year... DVD of the Year - 2006 selections and consensus posted the week of Christmas to New Years!


NEW ARTICLES: 'Dracula 75th Anniversary Edition Transfer Misfires' by Robert E. Seletsky




Criterion's NEW LABEL REVEALED: "Eclipse presents a selection of lost, forgotten, or overshadowed films in simple, affordable editions. Each series is a brief cinematheque retrospective for the adventurous home viewer." We want those films to be more readily available, and that’s why we’re creating Eclipse. "
"Each month we’ll present a short series, usually three to five films, focusing on a particular director or theme. There will be no supplements and the master materials will be the best we can find, but they won’t be full Criterion restorations. Retail pricing for each set will average under $15 per disc, and we are examining the logistics of making the sets available at an even more favorable rate on a subscriber or club basis. The goal here is to make these films available, to make sure that Criterion’s own work style doesn’t contribute to the continuing unavailability of these films. Once our producers and restoration crew get started on a Criterion edition, the project takes on a life of its own. Months later, with a little luck, we’ll have something really special to show for it, but at that rate we can’t make a dent in the number of important unreleased films that we’d like people to be able to see." (from the Criterion blog)


NOIR NEWS: Warner Film Noir Boxset 4 will have 10 films (instead of 5) - Act of Violence (MGM, 1949). Cornered (RKO, 1945), Crime Wave (WB, 1954), Decoy (Monogram, 1946), Illegal (WB, 1955), Mystery Street (MGM, 1950), Side Street (MGM, 1950), Tension (MGM, 1950), They Live By Night (RKO, 1949) and Where Danger Lives (RKO, 1950)
Eddie Muller says on his website that he already recorded commentaries for They Live By Night (together with Farley Granger) and Crime Wave (together with James Ellroy)!


BEAVER cited in Montreal Gazette article - see HERE


NOTE: There's a clearance sale going on at Yesasia.com with as much as 85% off on some titles. Check out our listing for titles to buy.



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!



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






- Best of the Best!



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.

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

Literary Classics Collection (Madame Bovary (1949), Captain Horatio Hornblower, The Three Musketeers (1948), The Prisoner of Zenda (1937 and 1952 Versions), Billy Budd) - Warner Home Video

Lie with Me (Clément Virgo, 2005) R2 UK - Metrodome Distribution Ltd

Container (Lukas Moodysson, 2006) R2 UK - Metrodome Distribution Ltd

The Silence of the Lambs (Collector's Edition) (Jonathan Demme, 1991) MGM

Michael Shayne - Private Detective Collection 1 - 20th Century Fox

Agnes and His Brothers (Oskar Roehler, 2004) First Run Features

The Weeping Meadow (Theo Angelopoulos, 2004) New Yorker Video

Bon Cop, Bad Cop (Eric Canuel, 2006) Park Ex Pictures Cn

Be with Me (Eric Khoo, 2005) Film Movement

Moscow Elegy (Aleksandr Sokurov, 1987) Ideale Audience

Seven Swords (Hark Tsui, 2005) Weinstein Company

Who's Camus Anyway? (Mitsuo Yanagimachi , 2005) Film Movement

Danika (Ariel Vromen, 2006) First Look Pictures

Men of the Mountains (István Szöts, 1942) Bunyik Entertainment

The Dr. Mabuse Collection (The Return of Dr. Mabuse, The Invisible Dr. Mabuse, The Secret of Dr. Mabuse) Image Entertainment

The Promise (Kaige Chen, 2005) Warner Home Video

The Glass Key (Stuart Heisler, 1942) R2 UK Universal Pictures Video

A Gorgeous Bird Like Me (François Truffaut, 1972) Cinema Club


RECOMMEND: I was keener than most on Shyamalan's Lady in the Water - a great film that some families may really enjoy this holiday season. Bertolucci's debut film, La Commare Secca, holds its own as a bona-fide film noir. Expect the usual Criterion efficiency. We finally have a good, English-friendly, version of Eternity and a Day. Linklater's A Scanner Darkly is innovative and worth a watch. We've seen the plot before - but A Tout de Suite has some merits. Charlie Chan Collection, Vol. 2 has the same appeal as Vol. 1 - so if you are keen indulge. Le Signe du lion makes its English-friendly debut on Eric Rohmer: The Early Works and the director's fans may wish to sample.


New Reviews:


Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton Film Collection - Four films from the on-again/off-again celebrated couple of the tabloids of days gone by. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) is the star with also-rans The V.I.P.s (1963), The Sandpiper (1965) and The Comedians (1967) giving support. DVD Release Date: December 5th, 2006

A Scanner Darkly - Filmed in live-action, and then animated using the same critically acclaimed process that Linklater used in his previous film, "Waking Life." A Scanner Darkly is closely adapted from a novel by Philip K Dick – in whose work the daily experience of future life is frequently exposed as a strategically constructed tissue of mollifying deception – ‘Scanner’ is set ‘seven years from now’ in a Los Angeles where a quarter of the population is dependent on the powerful and ultimately lethal mind-bender 'Substance D'. DVD Release Date: December 19th, 2006

Lady in the Water - Refusing the lure of Hollywood, Shyamalan is a family man whose craft is deeply informed by his rejection of the big studio draw. All of his films are set in his hometown of Philadelphia and indeed, the filmmaker refuses to shoot more than a twenty-minute drive from his family. If anything, Lady in the Water can be read as the manifestation of Shyamalan’s fears of losing his family to his career. For those who like to sit in the theater and be mindlessly entertained, or those who feel like they are above that and try to guess what will happen next, you will be sorely disappointed in this film. This is a contemplative film, one that asks you to look deeper and consider the implications of what is on-screen. It was screening at Shopping Malls nationwide, but this is an art-house work through and through. DVD Release Date: December 19th, 2006

La Commare Secca - The brutalized corpse of a Roman prostitute is found along the banks of the Tiber River. The police round up a handful of possible suspects and interrogate them, one by one, each account bringing them closer to the killer. In this, his stunning debut feature—based on a story by Pier Paolo Pasolini—Bernardo Bertolucci utilizes a series of interconnected flashbacks to explore the nature of truth and the reliability of narrative.

Eric Rohmer: The Early Works - Eric Rohmer blazed a trail for young filmmakers in France during the late 50s/early 60s. This collection of three of the French New Wave forefather’s early films, includes Le Signe du lion (1959), Le Boulangère de Monceau (1963) and Le Carrière de Suzanne (1963). DVD Release Date: Dec 4th, 2006

Eternity and a Day - Eternity And A Day follows the final days of Alexandre (Bruno Ganz), a celebrated Greek author as he prepares to leave his seaside home for what he feels is the last time. While preparing to depart, he finds a letter from his long-dead wife, Anna (Isabelle Renauld), who wrote about a memorable summer day they spent over thirty years ago. From that point, Alexandre embarks on a metaphysical journey through his past and present with the help of a young street urchin boy that crosses his path. Realizing that after spending his entire life chasing after the words of poems and novels, Alexandre wants one final chance to capture the lost precious moments of the true happiness that he know realizes, even if only for one day.

Charlie Chan Collection, Vol. 2 - Warner Oland reprizes his role... For Chan fans it is a no-brainer, but even for those yet to discover the enjoyment of the humble Asian detective can be fun and rewarding. Vol. 2 contains Charlie Chan at the Circus (1936), Charlie Chan at the Race Track (1936), Charlie Chan at the Opera (1936) and Charlie Chan at the Olympics (1937). DVD Release Date: December 5th, 2006

A Tout de Suite - A school girl falls for a charming young man. After news about a botched bank robbery in which a guard is killed, she learns that her boyfriend was one of the robbers. She decides to hide him and his friends and then they all sneak out of the country. After hiding out and spending all the money, tempers rise and the group splits up. This forces the girl to work her own way back home and deal with her actions and her separation from her boyfriend. DVD Release Date: December 12th, 2006

My Geisha - Although hampered by a transparent plot, a lean and implausible one-joke premise and a tendency to fluctuate uneasily between comedy and drama, the picture has been richly and elaborately produced on location in Japan, cast with perception and a sharp eye for marquee juxtaposition. DVD Release Date: December 12th, 2006

Next 2 weeks on the Calendar:


Week of December 18th, 2006


Agnes and His Brothers (Oskar Roehler, 2004) First Run Features

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

The Promise (Kaige Chen, 2005) Warner Home Video

The Weeping Meadow (Theo Angelopoulos, 2004) New Yorker Video

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


Week of December 25th, 2006


Be with Me (Eric Khoo, 2005) Film Movement

The Black Dahlia (Brian De Palma , 2006) Universal Studios

Bon Cop, Bad Cop (Eric Canuel, 2006) Park Ex Pictures Cn

Danika (Ariel Vromen, 2006) First Look Pictures

Factotum (Bent Hamer, 2005) IFC

Hammer Film Noir - Vol. 4 (Terror Street, Wings of Danger) VCI
Hammer Film Noir - Vol. 5 (The Glass Tomb, Paid to Kill) VCI

Men of the Mountains (István Szöts, 1942) Bunyik Entertainment

Moscow Elegy (Aleksandr Sokurov, 1987) Ideale Audience

The Spectator (Paolo Franchi, 2004) Syracuse Int'l Film

What Alice Found (A. Dean Bell, 2003) Wellspring Media

Who's Camus Anyway? (Mitsuo Yanagimachi , 2005) Film Movement


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


FASTER? - No patience for the Beaver homepage? - try the streamlined http://www.dvdbeaver-lite.com/ (a text version with all the same intrepid info!)


Hope you are preparing for a Happy Holiday season!,




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. -


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!