DVDBeaver Newsletter - December 15th, 2008

Nagapuam! - 14 new reviews this week - I'll be first to admit this is one of our weaker newsletters - We have a veritable slop of Blu-ray editions but at least two prominent and important DVD releases to recommend - Despite the lack of new DVD products to cover - we haven't been sleeping. The DVDBeaver Toolbar is ready for YOUR input. Adam and I are continuing our preparations for DVD (and Blu-ray) of the Year.

***PRESENTING THE 'DVDBeaver Toolbar'!
Hi friends! I've created a very simple toolbar for Film-Fans/DVD-o-philes/cinephiles. It embeds effortlessly within Internet Explorer 5.0+ (Windows Vista/XP/2000) and Firefox 1.0.1+ (Windows, Mac, Linux). It offers quick links to Searching both the Net (via Google) and DVDBeaver directly, Amazons, Forums (Criterion, Home Theater, AVS, Rotten Tomatoes, Film Noir), IMdb, DVDBasen, Beaver links, Cinephile Blogs/Journals (Rosenbaum, Kehr, Acquarello etc.). What do you think?
FOR MORE INFORMATION / DOWNLOAD SEE HERE *** (We can adjust this to suit popular opinion - on-the-fly - no re-install required!)

NOIR POSTERS - after my nagging a good friend has created two magnificent Film Noir posters now available on eBay - one for Edgar Ulmer's Detour and one for Jules Dassin's Brute Force. I can vouch for the high quality (see larger pictures HERE)!

Blu-ray SALE - 3 for 2! (307 choices!) HERE

GIVE: 'Tightening the belt' times indeed - but if you have money to spare this holiday season, please support the following, very worthy, institutions: American Red Cross, Doctors without Borders, International Federation of Red Cross/Red Crescent, Oxfam (US), Oxfam (UK), War Child, and Mercy Corps. You will feel great (I promise!)

WEEK OF DECEMBER 15th CONTEST - identify the clip on our CONTEST PAGE to win (2 prizes) brand DVDs of Criterion's Bottle Rocket and 2-disc Special Edition of The Day the Earth Stood Still - Best of luck all!!

Amazon and Sony are offering incredible values on high definition products such as Blu-ray players and movies, as well as PlayStation 3 consoles, games, and accessories. HERE


BIG THANKS!: DVDBeaver would not exist without the support of many patrons - those who generously donate, and especially those who use our Amazon, CD Japan and YesAsia links. That's it. When you go to Amazon - PLEASE use one of our links to get there (they are on every page - top and bottom - and we have 5000 webpages). It costs you absolutely nothing and we get a small commission on items you purchase. This helps pay our bills - in fact it's the only thing that pays our bills.

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!


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

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

The Sheltering Sky [Blu-ray] (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1990) R 'B' FR BAC

In Cold Blood [Blu-ray] (Richard Brooks, 1967) Sony

Brief Encounter [Blu-ray] (David Lean, 1945) R0 UK ITV

Fast Company [Blu-ray] (David Cronenberg, 1979) Blue Underground

Saturday Night, Sunday Morning [Blu-ray] (Karel Reisz, 1960) R'B' UK BFI

Gomorrah [Blu-ray] (Matteo Garrone, 2008) R'B' UK Optimum Home Entertainment

Who Killed Teddy Bear (Joseph Cates, 1965) R2 UK Network

City of Ember [Blu-ray] (Gil Kenan, 2008) R'B' UK Ent. in Video

Alexandra (Aleksandr Sokurov, 2007) R2 UK Artificial Eye

Murnau (Nosferatu / Faust / The Last Laugh / Tartuffe / The Haunted Castle / The Finances of the Grand Duke) (1921-1926) Kino

Faust (Restored 2-Disc Deluxe Edition) (F.W. Murnau, 1926) Kino

The Man Who Came Back (Glen Pitre, 2008) Lions Gate

The Last Legion [Blu-ray] (Doug Lefler, 2007) 101 DISTRIBUTION

The Flock [Blu-ray] (Wai-keung Lau, 2007) 101 DISTRIBUTION

Cranford [Blu-ray] (Sue Birtwistle, Susie Conklin - 2007) Warner

Rough Cut (Yeonghwaneun Yeonghwada) (Jang Hun, 2008) R3 Taewon Entertainment

Alone Across the Pacific (Kon Ichikawa, 1963) Masters of Cinema

The Devil and Daniel Webster (William Dieterle, 1941) R2 UK Masters of Cinema

Kokoro (Kon Ichikawa, 1955) R2 UK Masters of Cinema

Eagle Shooting Heroes (Jeffrey Lau, 1993) R2 UK Artificial Eye

Away With Words (Christopher Doyle, 1999) R2 UK Artificial Eye

I Served the King of England (Jirí Menzel, 2006) Sony

Nights in Rodanthe (George C. Wolfe, 2008) Warner Home Video

Nights in Rodanthe [Blu-ray] (George C. Wolfe, 2008) Warner Home Video

Body of Lies (Two-Disc Special Edition + Digital Copy) (Ridley Scott, 2008) Warner Home Video

Body of Lies [Blu-ray] (Ridley Scott, 2008) Warner Home Video

Quarantine (John Erick Dowdle, 2008) Sony

Quarantine [Blu-ray] (John Erick Dowdle, 2008) Sony

Gandhi [Blu-ray] (Richard Attenborough, 1982) Sony

Kramer vs. Kramer [Blu-ray] (Robert Benton, 1979) Sony Pictures

Akira [Blu-ray] (Katsuhiro Ôtomo, 1988) Infinity Resources Inc

Let The Right One In [Blu-ray] (Tomas Alfredson, 2008) Magnolia

Two Evil Eyes [Blu-ray] (Dario Argento / George A. Romero, 1990) Blue Underground



ONE VOICE (not Ellsworth Monkton Toohey): Not much to extol this week I'm afraid - Despite it's lack of anamorphicity and proper final credit sequence the Warner (France) edition of Antonioni's Zabriskie Point is the best available. Douglas Sirk Volume 2 is wonderful - surpassing the Universal UK and German editions. It has All I Desire (1953), There's Always Tomorrow (1956), Interlude (1957) and The Tarnished Angels (1958) and a little bird says "Criterion has no intentions for a  Sirk boxset" despite rumors to that effect. On the Blu-ray front Peter Weir's The Truman Show BR is the brightest star. Both Ghost BR and Home Alone BR have their loyal fanbase - as do the X-Files. Horton Hears a Who! BR certainly looks impressive and Days of Thunder BR will rattle your floorboards and windows (if such appeals to you.)


New Reviews:

Death Race BR - The time is not far in our future (2012) where, as the prescient forward to the movie tells us, the U.S. economy has collapsed, unemployment is rampant as is the crime rate. Prisons, having reached the breaking point, are now run by private corporations as for-profit enterprises. To this end, Terminal Island has created the Death Race – a monster, money-making Internet event where prisoners race around the prison island in hot cars armed with lethal offensive and defensive weapons that no one dares aim at anything other than a competitor. Blu-ray Release date: December 23, 2008

Event Horizon BR - The year is 2047. Years earlier, the pioneering research vessel Event Horizon vanished without a trace. Now a signal from it has been detected, and the United States Aerospace Command responds. Hurtling toward the signal's source are a fearless captain (Laurence Fishburne), his elite crew and the lost ship's designer (Sam Neill). Their mission: find and salvage the state-of-the-art spacecraft. What they find is state-of-the-art interstellar terror. What they must salvage are their own lives, because someone or something is ready to ensnare them in a new dimension of unimaginable fear. Costarring Kathleen Quinlan... Blu-ray Release date: December 30th, 2008

The Truman Show BR - He's the star of the show--but he doesn't know. Jim Carrey wowed critics and audiences alike as unwitting Truman Burbank in this marvel of a movie from director Peter Weir (Witness, Dead Poets Society) about a man whose life is a nonstop TV show. Truman doesn't realize that his quaint hometown is a giant studio set run by a visionary producer/director/creator (Ed Harris), that folks living and working there are Hollywood actors, that even his incessantly bubbly wife is a contract player. Gradually, Truman gets wise. And what he does about his discovery will have you laughing, crying and cheering like few film stories ever have... Blu-ray Release date: December 30th, 2008

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story BR - DodgeBall can't quite make up its mind if it wants to be a raunch in the park or a heartwarming comedy and therefore doesn't quite succeed at either. Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller are the owners of personal fitness gyms across the street from each other. They could hardly be thought of as competing since Vince has an attitude to success that would make "who cares" a step up. "Average Joe's" has maybe a half dozen regulars – all out of shape losers of one sort or another. Ben's "Globo Gym" is high tech and just bursting with pumped up hard bodies, while Ben's ad campaign is an exercise in self-parody. Blu-ray Release date: December 9th, 2008

Ghost BR - 'Ghost'' begins by presenting Sam Wheat, an improbably named investment banker (Mr. Swayze), and Molly Jensen, an up-and-coming artist (Ms. Moore), as an idyllically happy New York couple moving into a new loft. But an angel being hoisted into the loft's window, a news report of an airplane crash and even Molly's desire to see a performance of ''Macbeth'' - all these things foretell trouble. Sure enough, Sam and Molly are strolling amorously down a deserted street when a gun-toting mugger appears. Sam's number is up. Blu-ray Release date: December 30th, 2008

Horton Hears a Who! BR - With Dr. Suess's name above the title, it's hard to resist comparisons with the original and comparatively slight book. The look of the movie, especially in Whoville (all of which sequences I enjoyed more than Nool) is respectful of the good doctor, and the narration employs much of his language, if not precisely his rhythms and cadences. Plot points and characterizations necessarily are expanded. Blu-ray Release date: December 9, 2008

Douglas Sirk Volume 2 - Carlotta gives us a fabulous, almost essential, boxset - important films looking wonderful with extensive extras. All I Desire (1953), There's Always Tomorrow (1956), Interlude (1957) and The Tarnished Angels (1958). DVD Release Date: November 2nd, 2008

Days of Thunder BR - "Days of Thunder" is an entertaining example of what we might as well call the Tom Cruise Picture, since it assembles most of the same elements that worked in "Top Gun," "The Color of Money" and "Cocktail" and runs them through the formula once again. Parts of the plot are beginning to wear out their welcome, but the key ingredients are still effective. They include: 1. The Cruise character, invariably a young and naive but naturally talented kid who could be the best, if ever he could tame his rambunctious spirit. Blu-ray Release date: December 30th, 2008

X-Files - I Want to Believe BR - Not aliens this time, but paranormal processes in a sort of Prime Suspect meets Silence of the Lambs. A psychic leads FBI agents to the aftermath of dismembered victims. Mulder, who is in seclusion and no longer works for the FBI. He's called in by way of Scully to help vet the psychic. Mulder, who can't seem to operate without Scully as backup, tries several times to persuade her to put her medical work on hold. Blu-ray Release date: December 2nd, 2008

X-Files - Fight the Future BR - If you are familiar with TV series or the British TV Quatermass series or movies, then you have a good idea of the basic set-up here. Aliens came to Earth in our pre-history, and have been waiting in the ice for the right moment to assume their place, using humans a s a source of protein. In more recent times, a group of people have been secretly working on a vaccine to protect the species. Seems these guys don't feel that the people of our planet are ready to hear about all this so they keep their work secret to the point of murdering anyone who gets too close. Mulder & Scully enter through the side door, as usual, soon after one of these aliens is awakened accidentally. Blu-ray Release date: December 2nd, 2008

Zabriskie Point - With time having passed and perspective having come into focus, we can now look upon the defining films of the counter cultural late 60s and early 70s and see which movies really captured the zeitgeist and spirit of this turbulent era. One look at Michelangelo Antonioni's (almost) film maudit "Zabriskie Point" should answer all the questions to an open-minded viewer. DVD Release Date: December 3rd, 2008

The Heartbreak Kid BR - Ben Stiller stars as Eddie, the 40-year-old confirmed bachelor who finally says "I do" to the beautiful and sexy Lila (Malin Akerman). But during their honeymoon in Mexico, the woman of his dreams turns out to be a total nightmare, and the guy who could never pull the trigger realizes he's jumped the gun. Take home the Farrelly Brothers' hysterical twist on boy-meets-girl, The Heartbreak Kid, and prepare to have a blast! Blu-ray Release date: December 16th, 2008

Hot Rod BR - Amateur stuntman Rod Kimble (Andy Samberg) has a problem – his step-father Frank (Ian McShane) is a jerk. Frank picks on Rod, tosses him around like a rag doll in their weekly sparring sessions, and definitely doesn't respect him, much less his stunts. But when Frank falls ill, it's up to Rod to stage the jump of his life in order to save his step-father. The plan: Jump 15 buses, raise the money for Frank's heart operation, and then... kick his ass... Blu-ray Release date: December 16th, 2008

Home Alone BR - It's hard to believe this movie dates from almost twenty years ago, but it's not so hard to see Macaulay as a boy of nine, since that's the image I have of him even now. He just has one of those faces, I guess. The McCallister family with its 10 or 11 kids, cousins, an aunt and uncle and a full set of parents leave home for a holiday in France, but forget to take Kevin who had been sent up to the attic room the night before for crimes he didn't commit. Oh, the woes of being a younger child in a huge family: someone has to get blamed, and poor Kevin has been identified as all the usual suspects. Blu-ray Release date: December 2nd, 2008

Next 3 weeks on the Calendar:

Week of December 15th, 2008

The Banishment (Andrei Zvyagintsev, 2007) R2 UK Artificial Eye

Bottle Rocket [Blu-ray] (Wes Anderson, 1996) Criterion

Chungking Express [Blu-ray] (Wong Kar-wai, 1994) Criterion

Coach Carter [Blu-ray] (Thomas Carter, 2005) Paramount

Death Proof [Blu-ray] (Quentin Tarantino, 2007) Weinstein Company

Hot Rod [Blu-ray] (Akiva Schaffer, 2007) Paramount

Infernal Affairs I II III (3pc) [Blu-ray] - Mega Star

Into the Wild [Blu-ray] (Sean Penn, 2007) Paramount

The Man Who Fell to Earth [Blu-ray] (Nicolas Roeg, 1976) Criterion

Planet Terror [Blu-ray] (Robert Rodriguez, 2007) Weinstein

PTU [Blu-ray] (Johnny To, 2003) Mei Ah

The Third Man [Blu-ray] (Carol Reed, 1949) Criterion

Traitor [Blu-ray] (Jeffrey Nachmanoff, 2008) Starz / Anchor Bay

The Wedding Director (Marco Bellocchio, 2006) New Yorker


Week of December 21st, 2008

Burn After Reading (Coen brothers, 2008) Universal Studios

Burn After Reading [Blu-ray] (Coen brothers, 2008) Universal Studios

Rough Cut (Yeonghwaneun Yeonghwada) (Jang Hun, 2008) R3 Taewon Entertainment


Week of December 29th, 2008

Baghead (Duplass bros., 2008) Sony Pictures

Days of Thunder [Blu-ray] (Tony Scott, 1990) Paramount

The Duchess [Blu-ray] (Susanne Bier, Saul Dibb, 2008) Paramount

Eagle Eye (D.J. Caruso, 2008) Dreamworks Video
Eagle Eye [
Blu-ray] (D.J. Caruso, 2008) Dreamworks Video

Event Horizon [Blu-ray] (Paul W.S. Anderson, 1997) Paramount

Ghost [Blu-ray] (Jerry Zucker, 1990) Paramount

The Heartbreak Kid [Blu-ray] (Farrelly brothers, 2007) Dreamworks Video

Serenity [Blu-ray] (Joss Whedon, 2005) Universal

Towelhead (Alan Ball, 2007) Warner Home Video

The Truman Show [Blu-ray] (Peter Weir, 1998) Paramount

Woman on The Beach (Sang-soo Hong, 2006) New Yorker Video

"I don't care how much of a lama he is, he still needs his mother."
Maria Torres, Spanish woman whose 10-year-old son is believed by Tibetan monks to be a reincarnated lama.
Chill (but stay warm),