Newsletter - FOR THE WEEK

OF December 19th, 2016

  This Week's Highlights

Xewani! A very strong week with Blu-ray reviews of films by Bernardo Bertolucci, Howard Hawks, Woody Allen, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Robert Siodmak, Elia Kazan, Otto Preminger, Jack Garfein, Henry Hathaway, Andrzej Zulawski and more. Our Calendar has March Criterion listings including films by Michelangelo Antonioni, Hal Ashby, John Waters, Felipe Cazals, Andrew Haigh and more. Feature Blu-ray and DVD is posted for DECEMBER. We have a CONTEST posted with a brand new Criterion Blu-ray prize. Enjoy!!


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Feature Blu-ray and DVD chosen for the Month of DECEMBER!

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(Week of) December 19th CONTEST  identify the clip HERE to win a Brand New prize of Criterion's Blu-ray of The Asphalt Jungle Best of luck!

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Blow-Up [Blu-ray] (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1966) Criterion

Being There [Blu-ray] (Hal Ashby, 1979) Criterion

Multiple Maniacs [Blu-ray] (John Waters, 1970) Criterion

Canoa: A Shameful Memory [Blu-ray] (Felipe Cazals, 1976) Criterion

45 Years [Blu-ray] (Andrew Haigh, 2015) Criterion

Woody Allen: Seven Films - 1986-1991 [Blu-ray] - Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), Radio Days (1987), September (1987), Another Woman (1988), Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989), Alice (1990), Shadows and Fog (1991) - RB UK Arrow Academy

El Sur [Blu-ray] (Víctor Erice, 1983) RB UK BFI

A Man for All Seasons [Blu-ray] (Fred Zinnemann, 1966) RB UK Masters of Cinema

The Unknown Girl [Blu-ray] (Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, 2016) RB UK Artificial Eye

Charlie Chaplin: The Essanay Comedies [Blu-ray] - BFI

Cover Girl [Blu-ray] (Charles Vidor, 1944) RB UK Masters of Cinema

Nocturnal Animals [Blu-ray] (Tom Ford, 2016) Universal Pictures UK

Black Orpheus [Blu-ray] (Marcel Camus, 1959) UK Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

His Girl Friday [Blu-ray] (Howard Hawks, 1940) UK Criterion

Knife in the Water [Blu-ray] (Roman Polanski, 1962) RB UK Screenbound Pictures

Repulsion [Blu-ray] (Roman Polanski, 1965) RB UK Screenbound Pictures

Cul-De-Sac [Blu-ray] (Roman Polanski, 1966) RB UK Screenbound Pictures

Francofonia [Blu-ray] (Aleksandr Sokurov, 2015) RB UK Artificial Eye

The Mercenary [Blu-ray] (Sergio Corbucci, 1968) RB UK 88 Films

Seven Dead in the Cat's Eye [Blu-ray] (Antonio Margheriti, 1973) RB UK 88 Films

The Beyond [Blu-ray] (Lucio Fulci, 1981) RB UK Arrow

Tower of London [Blu-ray] (Roger Corman, 1962) RB UK Arrow

Hannah and Her Sisters [Blu-ray] (Woody Allen, 1986) RB UK Arrow

Radio Days [Blu-ray] (Woody Allen, 1987) RB UK Arrow

La Bamba [Blu-ray] (Luis Valdez, 1987) RB UK Eureka

Willie Dynamite [Blu-ray] (Gilbert Moses, 1974) RB UK Arrow

Runaway Train [Blu-ray] (Andrei Konchalovsky, 1985) Arrow Academy (BEAVER REVIEW)

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back [Blu-ray] (Edward Zwick, 2016) Universal Pictures UK
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back [4K UHD
Blu-ray] (Edward Zwick, 2016) Universal Pictures UK

Inferno - Limited Edition Steelbook [Blu-ray] (Ron Howard, 2016) Sony UK
Inferno [4K UHD
Blu-ray] (Ron Howard, 2016) Sony UK

Veep - Season 5 [Blu-ray] - UK Warner

My Darling Clementine [Blu-ray] (John Ford, 1946) RB UK Arrow

Antropophagus [Blu-ray] (Joe D'Amato, 1980) RB UK 88 Films

Absurd [Blu-ray] (Joe D'Amato, 1981) RB UK 88 Films

Beyond the Darkness [Blu-ray] (Joe D'Amato, 1979) RB UK 88 Films

Finding Forrester [Blu-ray] (Gus Van Sant, 2000) RB UK Eureka

War on Everyone [Blu-ray] (John Michael McDonagh, 2016) RB UK ICON Entertainment

Mildred Pierce [Blu-ray] (Michael Curtiz, 1945) Criterion

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown [Blu-ray] (Pedro Almodóvar, 1988) Criterion

The Before Trilogy [Blu-ray] (Before Sunrise - 1995, Before Sunset - 2004, Before Midnight - 2013) Criterion

Cameraperson [Blu-ray] (Kirsten Johnson, 20160 Criterion

The Tree of Wooden Clogs [Blu-ray] (Ermanno Olmi, 1978) Criterion Collection

The Man Who Fell to Earth (3-disc Limited Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray] (Nicolas Roeg, 1976) Lionsgate

The Man Between [Blu-ray] (Carol Reed, 1953) RB UK Studiocanal

Sudden Fear [Blu-ray] (David Miller, 1952) Cohen

Variety [Blu-ray] (Ewald André Dupont, 1925) RB UK Masters Of Cinema

Colors [Blu-ray] (Dennis Hopper, 1988) Shout! Factory

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari - Limited 2-disc Blu-ray SteelBook edition (Robert Wiene, 1920) RB UK Masters of Cinema

Snowden [Blu-ray] (Oliver Stone, 2016) Universal Studios

David and Bathsheba [Blu-ray] (Henry King, 1951) Kino

The Blue Lamp [Blu-ray] (Basil Dearden, 1950) RB UK Studiocanal

The Wages of Fear [Blu-ray] (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1953) RB UK BFI

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia [Blu-ray] (Sam Peckinpah, 1974) RB UK Arrow

The Glass Shield [Blu-ray] (Charles Burnett, 1994) RB UK BFI

The Girl on the Train [Blu-ray] (Tate Taylor, 2016) Universal Studios

American Honey [Blu-ray] (Andrea Arnold, 2016) Lionsgate

Battleship (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray) (Peter Berg, 2012) Universal Studios

Suicide Squad [Blu-ray] (David Ayer, 2016) Warner Home Video

Denial [Blu-ray] (Mick Jackson, 2016) Universal Studios

The Vessel [Blu-ray] (Julio Quintana, 2016) Outsider Pictures

The Unholy Four [Blu-ray] (Enzo Barboni, 1970) Kino

Ouija: Origin of Evil [Blu-ray] (Mike Flanagan, 2016) Universal Studios

Who? [Blu-ray] (Jack Gold, 1974) Kino

The Internecine Project [Blu-ray] (Ken Hughes, 1974) Kino

The Whole Truth [Blu-ray] (Courtney Hunt, 2016) Lionsgate

Cheers for Miss Bishop [Blu-ray] (Tay Garnett, 1941) Olive Films

Antibirth [Blu-ray] (Danny Perez, 2016) Shout! Factory

King Cobra [Blu-ray] (Justin Kelly, 2016) Shout! Factory



ONE VOICE (not Ellsworth Monkton Toohey): Criterion lead the way this week with their Blu-ray editions of Howard Hawks's His Girl Friday (which includes a brand-new restoration of the Lewis Milestone’s famous pre-Code adaptation - 1931's The Front Page,) Jack Garfein's psychologically complex Something Wild and Rainer Werner Fassbinder's cynical social commentary Fox and His Friends - all exceptional Blu-ray packages. Man Facing Southeast, on Blu-ray from Kino, is one of the great science-fiction films of the 1980s. Noir fans will appreciate Kino's Blu-rays of Robert Siodmak's dark crime melodrama Cry of the City, Elia Kazan's brilliant docu-drama Boomerang and Henry Hathaway's tense mystery thriller The House on 92nd Street. Kino also upgrade other 20th Century Fox vintage films to Blu-ray with The Lodger - immersed in the fogbound London of Jack the Ripper plus Otto Preminger's fascinating romance melodrama Daisy Kenyon with with Joan Crawford , Dana Andrews and Henry Fonda. We have to applaud Eureka's stacked Blu-ray version of 80's fan-favorite horror Fright Night. Andrzej Zulawski's last film, the challenging, Cosmos gets a region 'A' Blu-ray treatment from Kino - as does Bernardo Bertolucci's 1979, Oedipal parable, La Luna. Rich and deep. Hollywood Ending is one of my favorite Woody Allen films and we reviewed the only Blu-ray I'm aware of (Scandinavian) - ditto for his brilliant Bullets Over Broadway (Japan) - both great examples of his genius. Something, though, that we can't recommend - or only to a tiny niche - is the 1969 softcore exploitation flic The Stewardesses 3-D with its inherent Grindhouse elements. Truly it's horrible. On DVD this week, Eric covered the Eastern European Christmas holiday classic Three Wishes For Cinderella from Second Run in the UK and I reviewed two more Essential Noirs - Dennis O’Keefe and Gale Storm expose a baby-selling racket in Abandoned and Drug pushing and gambling set the stage for murder in The Sleeping City with Richard Conte and Coleen Gray. Delicious dark cinema.

"What do you know about anything? You probably had your bread buttered on both sides since the day you were born.” - Raw Deal


Hollywood Ending BD - When he is thrown off his latest effort (a deodorant commercial being filmed in the frozen north), he desperately seeks a real movie project. Out of the blue, Val receives an offer to direct a big-budget blockbuster movie to be set in New York City. However, the offer comes from his former wife (Tea Leoni) and her current boyfriend (Treat Williams), the studio head who stole Val's wife from him. Pushed by his agent (Mark Rydell), Val agrees to the project, but a psychosomatic ailment strikes him blind just before production is to begin. The movie plays out with an aging director struggling to regain his vision, both metaphorically and literally a... Hollywood Ending. Blu-ray Release date: September 27th, 2011

The Lodger BD - One of the great evocations of that strange lost city of Hollywood imagination, the fogbound London of Jack the Ripper. It might almost be a continuation of Pandora's Box as a blind man haltingly taps his way through Whitechapel past posters announcing a reward for the Ripper's capture, a hulking figure prowls in the obscurity, a woman's screams are accompanied by animal panting while the camera stares blindly into a dark hole in the wall. Blu-ray Release Date: December 13th, 2016

Daisy Kenyon BD - A high-40s women's picture, with Joan Crawford as a fashion designer torn between two lovers--calculating Dana Andrews and wholesome Henry Fonda. Otto Preminger, the slightly miscast director, sets the choice up like a murder trial, carefully balancing the arguments on both sides. His sober approach and his fluid camera style do much to redeem the material, for which he has no apparent sympathy. It's a Preminger film purely by accident, but it is a fine example of studio craft. Blu-ray Release Date: November 15th, 2016

Cry of the City BD - Martin Rome (Richard Conte) drives the law crazy - he is a beautiful loser, defying death, the great charismatic anti-hero of Siodmak's masterpiece of law and disorder. Adapted from a novel by Henry Edward Helseth, Cry of the City tells the tale of a charismatic New York criminal and his nemesis, the dogged cop and one-time friend who chases him down with a neurotic possessiveness as though in pursuit of his own evil twin. Kino Blu-ray Release Date: November 15th, 2016

Boomerang BD - Elia Kazan's brilliant docu-drama about an innocent man brow-beaten into confessing to the murder of a minister. Andrews is the D.A. who decides to dig deeper into what seems like an open-and-shut case. Look for playwright Arthur Miller in the suspect line-up. Based on an article by Anthony Abbott in Reader's Digest. Credits Cast: Dana Andrews Director: Elia Kazan Synopsis This melodrama, based on the true story of an unsolved murder, carefully combines fact with fiction in semi-documentary style. When a prosecuting attorney investigates the killing of a Connecticut clergyman, he begins to suspect that the accused man is innocent -- and sets out to prove it. Kino Blu-ray Release Date: November 15th, 2016

The House on 92nd Street BD - Taut and tense mystery thriller that paved the way for many imitators and was one of the first 'Hollywood' pictures to use real locations. Hathaway used advanced camera techniques and a semi-documentary style to tell the tale of a Nazi spy ring in Washington DC during the early years of the Second World War. When college graduate Dietrich (Eythe) is recruited by the Nazis, he runs straight to the FBI and Inspector Briggs (Nolan). Turned into a double agent, Dietrich is sent back out to find the head of the spy ring. Blu-ray Release Date: November 15th, 2016

Fox and His Friends BD - A lottery win leads not to financial and emotional freedom but to social captivity, in this wildly cynical classic about love and exploitation by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Casting himself against type, the director plays a suggestible working-class innocent who lets himself be taken advantage of by his bourgeois new boyfriend and his circle of materialistic friends, leading to the kind of resonant misery that only Fassbinder could create. Fox and His Friends is unsparing social commentary, an amusingly pitiless and groundbreaking if controversial depiction of a gay community in 1970s West Germany. Blu-ray Release date: January 17th, 2017

Something Wild (1961) BD - A complex exploration of the physical and emotional effects of trauma, Something Wild stars Carroll Baker, in a layered performance, as a college student who attempts suicide after a brutal sexual assault but is stopped by a mechanic (Ralph Meeker)—whose kindness, however, soon takes an unsettling turn. Startlingly modern in its frankness and psychological realism, the film represents one of the purest on-screen expressions of the sensibility of the intimate community of artists around New York’s Actors Studio, which transformed American cinema in the mid-twentieth century. With astonishing location and claustrophobic interior photography by Eugene Schüfftan, an opening-title sequence by the inimitable Saul Bass, and a rhythmic score by Aaron Copland, Jack Garfein’s film is a masterwork of independent cinema. Blu-ray Release date: January 17th, 2017

His Girl Friday BD - One of the fastest, funniest, and most quotable films ever made, His Girl Friday stars Rosalind Russell as reporter Hildy Johnson, a standout among cinema’s powerful women. Hildy is matched in force only by her conniving but charismatic editor and ex-husband, Walter Burns (played by the peerless Cary Grant), who dangles the chance for her to scoop her fellow news writers with the story of an impending execution in order to keep her from hopping the train that’s supposed to take her to Albany and a new life as a housewife. Blu-ray Release Date: January 10th - 16th, 2017

Fright Night (Eureka) BD - Charley (Ragsdale) has seen a coffin being carried into the house next door and a corpse being dragged out, but no one will take him seriously. In desperation he enlists a TV vampire killer, who's initially charmed by neighbour-from-hell Jerry (Sarandon), before noticing the absence of his reflection in a mirror. A farrago of cartoonish exaggeration (mouthfuls of fangs, razor-sharp talons and eyes like burning coals), knowing humour and '80s camp, it shouldn't even begin to work, and yet, strangely, it does, sort of, thanks to the assured handling of writer/director Holland, and two performances in particular - Geoffreys as Charley's pal Evil, and McDowall as the timid vampire killer. Eureka Blu-ray Release Date: April 10th, 2017

Bullets Over Broadway BD - Struggling 1920s playwright David Shayne (John Cusack), having failed to secure financing for his latest work, reluctantly makes a deal with mob boss Nick Valenti (Joe Viterelli): a Broadway debut, with the chance to direct, as long as Nick's flibbertigibbet girlfriend, Olive (Jennifer Tilly), plays one of the lead roles. As Olive and star Helen Sinclair (Dianne Wiest) attempt to upstage each other, Olive's gangland bodyguard Cheech (Chazz Palminteri) starts suggesting changes to David's script. Blu-ray Release date: May 5th, 2012

The Stewardesses 3-D BD - Perhaps the ultimate softcore exploitation film of the late '60s, this staggeringly popular 3-D sex comedy stars Christina Hart and made over $6 million, quite a sum in those days. Dealing with the sexual adventures of a group of pretty stewardesses during an extended layover, the film features LSD hallucination sequences, lesbians, Vietnam veterans, go-go dancers, rock music, and a surprising murder-suicide just to keep things interesting. Blu-ray Release date: December 13th, 2016

Cosmos BD - The final film by the late Andrzej Zulawski, director of the legendary Possession (the only Cannes-winning arthouse film to be officially classified as a video nasty), Cosmos adapts Witold Gombrowicz's legendarily challenging novel into a beguilingly witty combination of (deceptively) lighthearted French farce and a complex, knowing reflection on the absurdities both of humanity itself and the way that we define our notion of the universe according to our individual hang-ups. Kino Blu-ray Release date: November 15th, 2016

Man Facing Southeast BD - A man named Rantes (Hugo Soto) suddenly appears in a Buenos Aires psychiatric hospital expertly playing theorgan. But who is he this man with no recorded identity? Doctor Denis (Lorenzo Quinteros) dismisses Rantes' claim of being an alien visitor as a case of paranoid delusion. Beatriz (Ines Vernengo), his only visitor, sees him as an intimate and knowing companion. And the other patients, intrigued by his mysterious intelligence, see him as their only source of hope. Inspiring, mystical, and unforgettable, Man Facing Southeast is one of the great science-fiction films of the 1980s. Blu-ray Release date: December 13th, 2016

La Luna BD - Like the final act of "Last Tango in Paris," the whole of Bernardo Bertolucci's 1979 film "La Luna" is more compelling than it is emotionally coherent. With his story about a recently widowed opera singer whose attempts to wean her teenage son off heroin (with his syringes perhaps serving as a stand-in for the teat) lead to a fully realized sexual relationship between them, Bertolucci seems to be endeavouring to make the ultimate psychosexual statement here without having a lucid thesis in mind. The behaviours of the characters are always tantalizing and interesting, but frequently implausible, and by the end, the viewer is left with a jumble of half-baked notions about Oedipal love, motherhood, and emotional need that appears to come full-circle because the film has structural closure, but really doesn't. Blu-ray Release Date: December 6th, 2016

Three Wishes For Cinderella - One of the most beloved films in all Eastern European cinema, Václav Vorlí ek's reworking of the classic Cinderella tale is both delightful and unconventional. Deviating from the original story, yet retaining an air of real magic and beauty, Three Wishes for Cinderella takes the familiar fairytale and invests it with a feisty and rebellious Cinderella who - far from being some passive beauty - rides a horse, knows how to hunt and actively pursues her handsome Prince. DVD Release Date: December 5th, 2016

The Sleeping City - Drug pushing and gambling set the stage for murder in The Sleeping City, a hardboiled film noir thriller shot on the streets of New York. When a doctor is shot dead outside Bellevue Hospital, detective Fred Rowen (Richard Conte) is assigned to find the killer. Posing as an intern, Rowen is befriended by the hospital’s elevator operator (Richard Taber) and a ward nurse (Coleen Gray) he begins to date. As his investigation continues and potential witnesses wind up dead, Rowen finds himself next on the murderer’s list when he uncovers a narcotics ring. Suddenly, everyone is a suspect and he doesn’t know whom he can trust!. DVD Release Date: November 23rd, 2016

Abandoned - Dennis O’Keefe and Gale Storm expose a baby-selling racket in the searing crime drama Abandoned, co-starring Jeff Chandler and Raymond Burr. When Paula Considine (Storm) arrives in Los Angeles to find her sister Mary, she soon learns the unwed mother is dead and her newborn infant is missing. Teaming up with cynical reporter named Mark Sitko (O’Keefe), Paula discovers Mary was the victim of a black market adoption ring run by Mrs. Leona Donner (Marjorie Rambeau) and her sleazy assistant Kerric (Burr). Hoping to entrap the pair, Paula and Sitko devise a plan but the sting operation proves to have deadly consequences. DVD Release Date: November 15th, 2016

 Next 4 weeks on the Calendar

December 19th, 2016


The Guyver [Blu-ray] (Screaming Mad George and Steve Wang, 1991) Arrow (BEAVER REVIEW)

Hell Comes to Frogtown [Blu-ray] (Donald G. Jackson, R.J. Kizer, 1988) RB UK Arrow (BEAVER REVIEW)

Hitchcock/Truffaut [Blu-ray] (Kent Jones, 2015) Universal Studios


December 26th, 2016


American Honey [Blu-ray] (Andrea Arnold, 2016) Lionsgate

The Devonsville Terror [Blu-ray] (Ulli Lommel, 1983)  RB UK 88 Films

The Dressmaker [Blu-ray] (Jocelyn Moorhouse, 2015) Broadgreen

Ghost Town [Blu-ray] (Richard McCarthy, 1988) RB UK 88 Films

The House That Screamed [Blu-ray] (Narciso Ibáñez Serrador, 1970) Shout! Factory

In a Valley of Violence [Blu-ray] (Ti West, 2016) Universal Studios

Seven Dead in the Cat's Eye [Blu-ray] (Antonio Margheriti, 1973) RB UK 88 Films

Snowden [Blu-ray] (Oliver Stone, 2016) Universal Studios

Toshiaki Toyoda: The Early Years (Pornostar, Unchain, 9 Souls) Limited Edition [Blu-ray] - RB UK Third Window Films


January 2nd, 2016


13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi [Blu-ray] (Michael Bay, 2016) Universal Pictures UK

The Chamber [Blu-ray] (Ben Parker, 2016) RB UK Studiocanal

Denial [Blu-ray] (Mick Jackson, 2016) Universal Studios

The Internecine Project [Blu-ray] (Ken Hughes, 1974) Kino

Loophole [Blu-ray] (James Quested, 1981) Kino

Maigret [Blu-ray] (Ashley Pearce, 2016) RB UK 2entertain

The Man Between [Blu-ray] (Carol Reed, 1953) RB UK Studiocanal

Stryker [Blu-ray] (Cirio H. Santiago, 1983) Kino

Who? [Blu-ray] (Jack Gold, 1974) Kino


January 9th, 2016


The 400 Blows [Blu-ray] (François Truffaut, 1959) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

La Bamba [Blu-ray] (Luis Valdez, 1987) RB UK Eureka

Black Orpheus [Blu-ray] (Marcel Camus, 1959) UK Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

Broadway Danny Rose [Blu-ray] (1984) RB UK Arrow (BEAVER REVIEW)

David and Bathsheba [Blu-ray] (Henry King, 1951) Kino

Dead of Winter [Blu-ray] (Arthur Penn, 1987) Shout! Factory

His Girl Friday [Blu-ray] (Howard Hawks, 1940) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

His Girl Friday [Blu-ray] (Howard Hawks, 1940) UK Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

Ixcanul [Blu-ray] (Jayro Bustamante, 2015) Kino

Scavenger Hunt [Blu-ray] (Michael Schultz, 1979) Kino

The Unholy Four [Blu-ray] (Enzo Barboni, 1970) Kino

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