DVDBeaver Newsletter - December 22nd, 2008

Ran allim! - a paltry 8 new reviews this week - but 2009 is looking marvelous with many exciting calendar updates in this newsletter - we have an important sale still afloat and the DVDBeaver Toolbar remains our year-end gift and we are anxiously awaiting for YOUR input. Adam and I are continuing our preparations for DVD (and Blu-ray) of the Year. It is indeed 'exciting times' to be a 'DVDBeaver'.

"With the seasonal holidays imminently upon us it's time to reflect on the many areas we, far too frequently, take for granted. Age and experience tend to make us gratefully realize the gift of friends and family. Two commodities that we can never have in over-abundance. Those who support us through our adversities and those who we support, without second thoughts, are the only true meaning for our existence in this world. With profound humility I state that I have been truly blessed with immense fortune to be surrounded by so many generous and giving souls - finding each other through the small DVDBeaver community. I extend to each and every one of you the gifts of health and happiness - while wishing you prosperity in 2009... especially in these fearful economic times. Please do not worry - we will come through this together my friends. Happy Holidays."

THE 'DVDBeaver Toolbar'!
Give it a test drive! 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!)

DECEMBER 22nd CONTEST - identify this CLIP to win a brand new Blu-ray of Eagle Eye - 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

CRITERION SALE STILL ACTIVE (Note: percentages fall as individual orders rise - it's hard to keep the below deduction amounts perfectly accurate):

Seven Samurai - 3 Disc Remastered Edition 37% OFF, Eclipse Series 7 - Post-War Kurosawa Box 41% OFF,  Eclipse Series #3 - Late Ozu  41% OFF), Eclipse Series 5 - The First Films of Samuel Fuller  38% OFF), Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom  41% OFF), Vampyr  37% OFF), Ingmar Bergman - Four Masterworks  41% OFF), M - 2 Disc Special Edition  37% OFF), Breathless  37% OFF), The Thief of Bagdad  37% OFF), Ace in the Hole   37% OFF), Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters  37% OFF), The Lover  35% OFF), Trafic  37% OFF), Two-Lane Blacktop  37% OFF), Days of Heaven  37% OFF), The Ice Storm  37% OFF), The Third Man [Blu-ray]  32% OFF), If...  37% OFF), Elevator to the Gallows  37% OFF), Army of Shadows  37% OFF), Classe Tous Risques  35% OFF), The Furies  (37% OFF), Brand Upon the Brain!  37% OFF), Before the Rain  (37% OFF), Robinson Crusoe on Mars  (37% OFF), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas  37% OFF), Pierrot le Fou  37% OFF), Rashomon  37% OFF), Beauty and The Beast (Restored Edition)  42% OFF), Wild Strawberries  37% OFF), Man Bites Dog  40% OFF), RAN  37% OFF), The Tin Drum  37% OFF), Kagemusha  37% OFF), Children of Paradise  41% OFF), The Killers  37% OFF), Throne of Blood  37% OFF), Pandora's Box  37% OFF), Berlin Alexanderplatz  40% OFF), Coup de Torchon  35% OFF), Tokyo Story  37% OFF), Bad Timing  40% OFF), The Milky Way  40% OFF), 3 Films by Louis Malle  (39% OFF), Solaris  37% OFF), Naked City  37% OFF), La Jetee/Sans Soleil  37% OFF), The Threepenny Opera  41% OFF), The Firemen's Ball  35% OFF), Larisa Shepitko: Eclipse Series 11  40% OFF) etc


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!):

Eclipse Series 15 - Travels with Hiroshi Shimizu - Japanese Girls at the Harbor (1933), Mr. Thank You (1936), The Masseurs and a Woman (1938) and Ornamental Hairpin (1941) – Criterion

Danton (Andrzej Wajda, 1983) Criterion

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

The Last Metro (François Truffaut, 1980) Criterion

The Last Metro [Blu-ray] (François Truffaut, 1980) Criterion

Dodesukaden (Akira Kurosawa, 1970) Criterion

lI Generale della Rovere (Roberto Rossellini, 1959) Criterion

South Pacific [Blu-ray] (Joshua Logan, 1958) 20th Century Fox

The Robe [Blu-ray] (Henry Koster, 1953) 20th Century Fox

Treasures From American Film Archives V.4: Avant Garde - Image Entertainment

Pride and Glory (Gavin O'Connor, 2008) New Line Home Video

Pride and Glory [Blu-ray] (Gavin O'Connor, 2008) New Line Home Video

Primal Fear [Blu-ray] (Gregory Hoblit, 1996) Paramount

Battle in Seattle [Blu-ray] (Stuart Townsend, 2007) Universal Studios

2010: The Year We Make Contact [Blu-ray] (Peter Hyams, 1984) Warner

Final Destination [Blu-ray] (Jeffrey Reddick, 2000) Warner

Iraq in Fragments [Blu-ray] (James Longley, 2005) Typecast Releasing

RocknRolla [Blu-ray] (Guy Ritchie, 2008) Warner Bros.

Bound [Blu-ray] (Wachowski bros., 1996) Wint

Thunder Bay (Anthony Mann, 1953) - R2 UK Optimum,

The Thief Of Paris (Louis Malle, 1967) R2 UK Optimum

L'Air De Paris (Marcel Carné, 1954) - R2 UK Optimum

Divorce Iranian Style / Runaway (Kim Longinotto, Ziba Mir-Hosseini, 1998) R2 UK Second Run DVD

The Wind Will Carry Us (Abbas Kiarostami, 1999) R2 UK Artificial Eye

Claire Dolan (Lodge Kerrigan, 1998) R2 UK Artificial Eye

Elite Squad (José Padilha, 2007) - R2 UK Optimum

Elite Squad [Blu-ray] (José Padilha, 2007) - R2 UK Optimum

The Federico Fellini Collection  Nights of Cabiria (1957) La Strada (1954) The White Sheik (1952) - R2 UK Optimum

The Jean-Pierre Melville Collection - Army Of Shadows, De Doulos, Leon Morin Pretre, Le Cercle Rouge, Bob Le Flambeur and Un Flic - R2 UK Optimum

Barnacle Bill (Charles Frend, 1957) - R2 UK Optimum

The Honey Pot (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1967) - R2 UK Optimum

Sunday Bloody Sunday (John Schlesinger, 1971) - R2 UK Optimum

Somers Town (Shane Meadows, 2008) - R2 UK Optimum

Somers Town [Blu-ray] (Shane Meadows, 2008) - R2 UK Optimum

Jim Jarmusch Collection Vol.2 - Mystery Train, Night On Earth and Dead Man - R2 UK Optimum



ONE VOICE (not Ellsworth Monkton Toohey): Our only strong recommendation this week is Criterion's The Last Emperor BR. It is quite spectacular - even in 2:1. Entertaining in one, surface, sense - Eagle Eye BR could have really taken off but Hollywood's perpetual yoke has kept it from soaring. Being a Joss Whedon fan, Serenity BR sounds like my cup of tea. Personally, I liked The Duchess BR but it will obviously not suit all tastes. I haven't seen myself, but Leonard seems to endorse Burn After Reading BR to some degree but is much keener on the Korean Drama; The Grand Chef.   


New Reviews:

Serenity BR - You may recall that Serenity had its theatrical debut on the heels of the final installment of the much anticipated Star Wars Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. While I feel the tug, it's almost not fair to compare the two: the one derived from a television series famously cancelled in mid-season, with a budget of something like $40M; the other some 25 years in gestation, with five galactically successful movies before it and a budget of over $110M (and made nearly all of it back on the opening weekend!) The Lucas movie was pretty well trashed by the critics, whereas Joss Whedon film was generally given high marks. Even so, Serenity never came close to recouping its production and distribution costs. Blu-ray Release date: December 30th, 2008


The Cheetah Girls: One World BR - The Cheetah Girls: One World is the second sequel to the Disney Channel's 2003 hit TV movie. It's the first without Raven Symoné (sadly, many say) and it kicked off a ten week tour that began in October. Based on a series of books by Deborah Gregory, the movies are an excuse for the girls (Chanel: Adrienne Bailon, 25; Aqua: Kiely Williams, 22; and Dorinda: Sabrina Bryan, 24) to sing (though not really) and dance (more like an aerobics workout) and parade around in young fashions (as if born to the purple.) Blu-ray Release date: December 16th, 2008

Burn After Reading BR - The Coens maneuver about as far as possible from No Country for Old Men In this wild and crazy satire of the espionage business, married to equally wild and crazy attempts to find romance and a new body image to go with it: A kind of Ruthless People meets Blood Simple. John Malkovich plays Osborne Cox, who is summarily relieved of his position in at the CIA – not his job, just his position. Apparently his bosses and co-workers simply find him intolerable, as do we. Cox is so self-righteous and cox-sure of himself that he quits altogether, only to find that he is fit only to write his memoirs, and he's not much good at that, we wager. His doctor wife (Tilda Swinton) hates him and has been having an affair with philandering federal marshall, Harry Pfarrer (George Clooney) – a nut case with a gun. Blu-ray Release date: December 23rd, 2008

The Women BR - It would be so easy to jump on the bandwagon of those who trash this movie, especially in comparison to the MGM's 1939 film version. But I figure: enough is enough, so I shall content myself with a garbage pail with just two broad observations: Somehow, Diane English, Emmy Award winning writer for Murphy Brown (1989), managed to create a movie utterly devoid of edge. Even the MGM movie, hot on the heels of Clare Boothe Luce's popular play (1936), generally described as social satire, rounded and grounded their movie with lots of family warmth, especially between the mother & daughter's Mary. (I still have to close my eyes and ears for the last thirty seconds.) Blu-ray Release date: December 23rd, 2008

The Duchess BR - One of history’s most beguiling leading ladies, Georgiana Spencer (Keira Knightley) was married at 17 to the wealthy and influential William Cavendish (Ralph Fiennes), the fifth Duke of Devonshire -- and into a lavish world filled with shocking deceptions, decadent scandals and stifling demands of duty. As Duchess of Devonshire, she first indulged her considerable energy in high society -- outshining most of the aristocratic men around her with her incredible wit -- only to become one of the most impassioned political voices in all of 18th century Britain. Beloved by a nation but betrayed by her husband, Georgiana’s charisma, political savvy and distinct flair for fashion would make her the “It Girl” of her era… but a chance for personal happiness would remain elusive until she dares to discover love on her own terms... Blu-ray Release date: December 27th, 2008

Eagle Eye BR - Round two, then, of D.J. Caruso’s updating of Hitchcock classics using modern gadgetry, contemporary paranoia and Shia LaBeouf in for James Stewart/Cary Grant. After 2007’s entertaining Rear Window reboot Disturbia, Eagle Eye is North By Northwest 2.0., with an EveryShia accused of a crime he didn’t commit, forced to go on the lam with a beautiful gal (M:I-III’s Michelle Monaghan), building to a big climax at an American landmark. The result is a hugely enjoyable slice of nifty nonsense that revels in the pleasures of its plotting, and cleverly plays on everyday fears we all share: the fear of invasive technology, of terrorist cells, and of having William Sadler as your dad. Blu-ray Release date: December 27th, 2008

The Last Emperor BR - Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last Emperor won nine Academy Awards, unexpectedly sweeping every category in which it was nominated—quite a feat for a challenging, multilayered epic directed by an Italian and starring an international cast. Yet the power and scope of the film was, and remains, undeniable—the life of Emperor Pu Yi, who took the throne at age three, in 1908, before witnessing decades of cultural and political upheaval, within and without the walls of the Forbidden City. Recreating Ching dynasty China with astonishing detail and unparalleled craftsmanship by cinematographer Vittorio Storaro and production designer Ferdinando Scarfiotti, The Last Emperor is also an intimate character study of one man reconciling personal responsibility and political legacy. Blu-ray Release Date: January 6th, 2009

The Grand Chef - Bong Joo and Sung Chan are raised like brothers by the owner and head chef of one of Korea's most prestigious restaurants: Unamjung. Bong Joo is the blood son of aging Chef Oh and expects to take over the family business on his father's retirement, which is imminent. But Oh has a particular affection for his adopted son, Sung Chan, whose interest in becoming a master chef has not remained consistent over the years. As our story gets under way, Sung Chan has returned to Unamjung, evidently afire with a newfound determination to be the best that he can be. Bong Joo is the elder and the more ambitious of the two and he is also feels appropriately entitled to his inheritance, which entails marriage to the beautiful Joo Hee whose interest in the younger brother is not entirely clear. DVD Release Date: November 11, 2008

Next 3 weeks on the Calendar:

Week of December 22nd, 2008

Burn After Reading (Coen brothers, 2008) Universal Studios

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

Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas (Director's Cut) [Blu-ray] (Terry Gilliam, 1998) 101 Distribution

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


Week of January 5th, 2009

Bangkok Dangerous [Blu-ray] (Danny Pang, 2008) Lions Gate

Battlestar Galactica - Season 4.0 - Universal Studios

Blind Mountain (Li Yang, 2007) Kino

Days and Clouds (Silvio Soldini, 2007) Film Movement

Eden Lake [Blu-ray] (James Watkins, 2008) Weinstein

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

Friday Night Lights [Blu-ray] (Peter Berg + Josh Pate, 2004) Universal Studios

The Grocer's Son (Eric Guirado, 2007) Film Movement

Inheritance (James Moll, 2006) Docurama

Jim Jarmusch Collection Vol.2 - Mystery Train, Night On Earth and Dead Man - R2 UK Optimum

The Last Emperor [Blu-ray] (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1987) Criterion

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

Life Gamble [Blu-ray] (Chang Cheh, 1979) Navarre

Michael Powell Double Feature (A Matter of Life and Death (1946) Age of Consent (1969) - Sony Pictures
Opium and the Kung Fu Master [
Blu-ray] (Tang Chia, 1984) Navarre

Pineapple Express (David Gordon Green, 2008) - Sony Pictures

Pineapple Express [Blu-ray] (David Gordon Green, 2008) - Sony Pictures

Righteous Kill [Blu-ray] (Jon Avnet, 2008) Anchor Bay

The Wackness (Jonathan Levine, 2008) Sony Pictures
The Wackness [
Blu-ray] (Jonathan Levine, 2008) Sony Pictures

"It is what you do from now on that will either move our civilization forward a few tiny steps, or else...begin to march us steadily backward."
Patrick Stewart.
It's my sincere wish that you all have a safe and joyous Holiday Season,


P.S. 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!)