Newsletter - FOR THE WEEK

OF December 23rd, 2013

  This Week's Highlights

Merry Christmas - Our last newsletter before the holidays with Criterion Kurosawa, Masters of Cinema Fellini, Eric Rohmer, Joseph H. Lewis, Robert Aldrich on Blu-ray. DVD has plenty of Warner Archive courtesy of Gregory! The Release Calendar has been updated with March Criterions including Ingmar Bergman, Akira Kurosawa, Paolo Sorrentino, David Gordon Green films to Blu-ray ! There is a new CONTEST posted - good luck!

YOU are invited to participate in our year-end poll for best Blu-ray and DVD of the year - see HERE to enter YOUR selections! Thank you! (Polls close December 24th! - tomorrow midnight!)

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FEATURE Blu-ray and DVD of the MONTH selected for DECEMBER !



(Week of) December 23rd CONTEST  identify the clip on the CONTEST PAGE to win a Arrow Blu-ray of Big Trouble in Little China  

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Persona [Blu-ray] (Ingmar Bergman, 1966) Criterion Collection

The Great Beauty [Blu-ray] (Paolo Sorrentino, 2013) Criterion Collection

The Freshman [Blu-ray] (Fred C. Newmeyer and Sam Taylor, 1925) Criterion Collection

A Brief History of Time [Blu-ray] (Errol Morris, 1991) Criterion Collection

George Washington [Blu-ray] (David Gordon Green, 2000) Criterion Collection

The Hidden Fortress [Blu-ray] (Akira Kurosawa, 1958) Criterion Collection

Twin Peaks: Collection (ALL 30 episodes) [Blu-ray] David Lynch - Universal UK

Sleep, My Love [Blu-ray] (Douglas Sirk, 1948) Olive Films

Men in War [Blu-ray] (Anthony Mann, 1957) Olive Films

Sabrina [Blu-ray] (Billy Wilder, 1954) Paramount

The Pawnbroker [Blu-ray] (Sidney Lumet, 1964) - Olive Films

Samson and Delilah [Blu-ray] (Cecil B. DeMille, 1949) Paramount

Stranger on the Prowl [Blu-ray] (Joseph Losey, 1952) Olive Films

Breaking the Waves [Blu-ray] (Lars von Trier, 1996) RB UK Artificial Eye

The Fly - Limited Edition Steelbook [Blu-ray] (Kurt Neumann, 1958) RB UK 20th Century Fox

Wadjda [Blu-ray] (Haifaa Al-Mansour, 2013) RB UK Soda Pictures

The Inn of the Sixth Happiness [Blu-ray] (Mark Robson, 1958) 20th Century Fox

Dracula 3D [Blu-ray] (Dario Argento, 2012) MPI

Captain Phillips [Blu-ray] (Paul Greengrass, 2013) Sony Pictures

Come Back, Africa - The Films of Lionel Rogosin, Volume 2 [Blu-ray] (1959) - Milestone

The Returned [Blu-ray] (Frédéric Mermoud, 2012) Music Box Films

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 [Blu-ray] (Kris Pearn, 2013) Sony

Robbe-Grillet: Trans-Europ-Express [Blu-ray] (Alain Robbe-Grillet, 1967) Redemption

Robbe-Grillet: Successive Slidings of Pleasure [Blu-ray] (Alain Robbe-Grillet, 1974) Redemption

Betty Boop: The Essential Collection: Vol. 3 [Blu-ray] - Olive Films

RoboCop 4K Remastered [Blu-ray] (Paul Verhoeven, 1987) MGM

Charlie Countryman [Blu-ray] (Fredrik Bond, 2013) Millennium

Up the Junction [Blu-ray] (Peter Collinson, 1968) - Olive Films

On the Job [Blu-ray] (Erik Matti, 2013) Well Go USA

Bad Dreams / Visiting Hours [Blu-ray] - Shout! Factory

The Slumber Party Massacre [Blu-ray] (Amy Holden Jones, 1982) Shout! Factory

Machete Kills [Blu-ray] (Robert Rodriguez, 2013) Universal Studios

Demonic Toys [Blu-ray] (Peter Manoogian, 1992) MPI

Night Of The Demons [Blu-ray] (Kevin Tenney, 1988) Shout! Factory

The Visitor [Blu-ray] (Giulio Paradisi , 1979) New Video Group

The Year of the Cannibals [Blu-ray] (Liliana Cavani, 1970) Raro Video

Tourist Trap [Blu-ray] (David Schmoeller, 1979) RB UK 88 Films

Nostalghia [Blu-ray] (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1983) Kino

Wings [Blu-ray] (William A. Wellman, 1927) RB UK Masters of Cinema

White Dog [Blu-ray] (Samuel Fuller, 1982) RB UK Masters of Cinema

Fellini's Roma [Blu-ray] (Federico Fellini, 1972) RB UK Masters of Cinema

Hands Over the City [Blu-ray] (Francesco Rosi, 1963) RB UK Masters of Cinema

Wake in Fright [Blu-ray] (Ted Kotcheff, 1971) RB UK Masters of Cinema

Serpico [Blu-ray] (Sidney Lumet, 1973) RB UK Masters of Cinema
Serpico [Steelbook] [
Blu-ray] (Sidney Lumet, 1973) RB UK Masters of Cinema



ONE VOICE (not Ellsworth Monkton Toohey): Yes, yes, yes, the Gun Crazy package from Wild Side in France is pricey and has a beautiful book with only French text! It still has immense value - a Region FREE Blu-ray and the book is loaded with wonderful photographs. I can only imagine if every important, or great, film was treated like this. Wow. An easy choice for number one spot. Not far behind, and also from France, more positives for one of the impressive Eric Rohmer Blu-ray boxsets from Potemkine Films. I lean to the Comedies and Proverbs and, hence, have reviewed The Aviator's Wife, Boyfriends and Girlfriends and Le Beau Mariage. Imperfect Blu-rays but still giant strides ahead of the existing SD transfers. Criterion has put Kurosawa's Macbethian Throne of Blood to Blu-ray improving over their own DVD from, more than a decade, before. Fellini's Il Bidone is not discussed much in the director's magnificent oeuvre but it remains a classic, and impacting, film - now on Blu-ray from The Masters of Cinema. The French continue to prove their admiration and love of the 'dark cinema' and Carlotta has put Robert Aldrich's Kiss Me Deadly to a solid 1080P transfer. Very worthy. Gregory continues to fill our DVD coffers with more Warner Archive releases. He has covered silent era films, The Magician (1926) and The Circle (1925) - and interesting vintage cinema including Women in Bondage, the horror The Beast With Five Fingers and the highly lauded drama Intruder in the Dust. PLEASE consider participating in our year-end poll (ballot at the bottom of this newsletter!).and have a safe, warm and happy Holiday Season!


Le Beau Mariage BD - Headstrong Sabine (Beatrice Romand), who is working on her thesis in Art History, has tired of affairs with married men, such as Simon (Feodor Atkine). Playing cupid, her best friend Clarisse (Arielle Dombasle) introduces her lawyer cousin Edmond (Andre Dusollier) to Sabine. Encouraged by Clarisse, Sabine impetuously decides that she will marry Edmond and tells her mother (Thamila Megrah) and sister Lise (Sophie Renoir). When confronted by Sabine, Edmond is forced to explain why he is not ready for matrimony! Blu-ray Release Date: November 19th, 2013

The Aviator's Wife BD - La Femme de l'aviateur was the first in Eric Rohmer's celebrated Comedies and Proverbs series. Francois (Philippe Marlaud) loves Anne (Marie Rivière). However, his nightshift job at the post office means they rarely get to spend much time together. One day, he sees her leaving home with her ex, Christian (Mathieu Carrière), who had come to break up with her for good. Reeling from the news, Anne lets Francois fall prey to his jealous imagination. Obsessed with the idea that she may have cheated on him, Francois decides to stay up all night. As he wanders, desolate, through the streets of Paris, he comes across his rival sitting in a cafe with a blonde-haired woman. Intrigued, he follows them. A young woman catches on to what he's up to and accosts him in an alley off the Buttes-Chaumont... Blu-ray Release Date: November 19th, 2013

Il Bidone BD - Classic drama directed by Federico Fellini. A trio of crooks and con men, Augusto (Broderick Crawford), Picasso (Richard Basehart) and Roberto (Franco Fabrizi), make a living from playing elaborate tricks on the poor and the credulous. Their hard-hearted lifestyle is challenged however, when Augusto is unexpectedly reunited with his estranged daughter, and when Picasso is faced with his loving wife's impatience. Blu-ray Release Date: December 30th, 2013

Kiss Me Deadly BD - Kiss Me Deadly (1955), Robert Aldrich's hard-edged, stylistically innovative adaptation of the Mickey Spillane novel, features what may be the most violent and unsympathetic private eye in the history of cinema. As Mike Hammer, Ralph Meeker is like a bull in a china shop, lurching haphazardly from one deadly encounter to the next, often employing the same brutal tactics of the criminals he's pursuing. But as the plot of Kiss Me Deadly unfolds, Hammer goes from being just a cheap hood who specializes in divorce cases to serving as an unwitting accomplice in the retrieval of a mysterious box that holds "the great whatsit." Carlotta Blu-ray Release Date: November 20th, 2013

Boyfriends and Girlfriends BD - The characters in Boyfriends and Girlfriends are all self-centered and shallow. They rarely speak or think about anything deeper than their feelings, and never seek anything more substantial than transitory satisfaction. They are four young yuppies - twenty-somethings who have embraced the age of materialism and self-gratification that characterized the '80s. They live in a new, sleek Parisian suburb that has none of the old world charm of the ancient city. It's modern and sterile, and the closest it gets to Paris is a distant view of the Eiffel Tower peeking up over the horizon. Blu-ray Release Date: November 19th, 2013

Throne of Blood BD - A vivid, visceral Macbeth adaptation, Throne of Blood, directed by Akira Kurosawa, sets Shakespeare’s definitive tale of ambition and duplicity in a ghostly, fog-enshrouded landscape in feudal Japan. As a hardened warrior who rises savagely to power, Toshiro Mifune gives a remarkable, animalistic performance, as does Isuzu Yamada as his ruthless wife. Throne of Blood fuses classical Western tragedy with formal elements taken from Noh theater to create an unforgettable cinematic experience. Blu-ray Release Date: January 7th, 2014

Gun Crazy BD - While 1940s cinema was packed with devious dames, few can match Peggy Cummins’s hellcat sharpshooter Laurie Starr for sheer manipulative allure. Meeting Laurie at a small-town carny, clean-cut gun nut Bart (a perplexed John Dall) is transfixed by her charms and prowess with a pistol. The two cut a swathe through the Southern states, holding up banks and evading a tightening police dragnet. ‘Gun Crazy’ is a magnificently enjoyable film, distinguished by Joseph H. Lewis’s restless, catch-all directorial style; visually, the film ranges from classic gritty noir to hyperstylised modern gothic, to a startling single-take hold-up sequence shot on crowded streets. The filmmakers never miss a chance for a sly Freudian aside: from Bart’s little problem with guns (he can point, but he can’t shoot) to Laurie’s zealous lust for control, ‘Gun Crazy’ is awash with hysterical symbolism. A genuine treat. Blu-ray Release date: December 4th, 2013

The Magician (1926) - The heart blood of a virgin. That’s what deranged medical student Oliver Haddo needs for his malevolent scheme to create life. He finds it in a lovely sculptor he hypnotizes and spirits off preparing to rip her heart from her living body. DVD Release Date: September 21st, 2010

The Circle (1925) - Based on a play by Somerset Maugham, THE CIRCLE is a handsome film directed by Frank Borzage. The film opens in the 1890s as Lady Catherine is about to leave her husband (and son) and run off with her lover. The scene dissolves to 30 years later where young Elizabeth (pretty Eleanor Boardman) is facing the same decision: dull husband (Creighton Hale) or dashing lover (Malcolm McGregor). To make matters worse, Lady Catherine has been invited (along with husband) to visit! DVD Release Date: November 6th, 2012

Intruder in the Dust - A brilliantly accomplished "racial bias" cycle film of the 1940s. The earnest "social justice" melodrama is one of the best of that genre. It's adapted by writer Ben Maddow from a book by William Faulkner. It's set in a rural southern city (most of it shot in Faulkner's hometown of Oxford, Mississippi). This amazingly uncanny early reaction to southern racism is told in a lucid and straightforward manner; it avoids clichés in its subtle presentation of its miscarriage of justice theme. Under the steadying helm of Clarence Brown, a southerner, the familiar narrative is given a fresh face. Brown's low-key direction tastefully covers a series of ugly events that pits a white mob incited to lynch an innocent black man. DVD Release Date: February 1st, 2011

The Beast With Five Fingers - Film icon Peter Lorre turns in yet another memorable performance in this eerie classic set in a small town in Italy. Hilary Cummins (Lorre), the devoted secretary to wheelchair-bound piano virtuoso Francis Ingram (Victor Francen), has a passion for the occult. Poring through every book on the supernatural he can find in Ingram's vast library, Hilary begins to imagine strange and terrifying things. But after Ingram's tragic death, the line between reality and unimaginable terror is blurred as the severed hand from Ingram's corpse begins killing everyone in the villa! Also starring Robert Alda and Andrea King, The Beast with Five Fingers is filled with wit, thrills and shocking plot twists! DVD Release Date: October 1st, 2013

Women in Bondage - With her husband ordered to the Russian front, Margot Bracken (Gail Patrick) returns to Hitler's Germany for the first time in 10 years. Appointed section leader of the local youth movement, she finds herself responsible for the Nazification of a group of teenaged girls. Bearing witness to mercy killings, suicides, torture and pagan baptisms, Margot seeks to stop the atrocities before the SS puts an end to both her and her plans. A lurid exposé of the Reich's subjugation of women, Women in Bondage was one of Monogram's more elaborate productions, featuring inventive direction by Steve Sekely (Hollow Triumph) and a stellar cast that included Patrick (My Favorite Wife), Nancy Kelly (The Bad Seed) and H.B. Warner (Lost Horizon). Retiring from the screen in 1948, Patrick would later gain fame as the executive producer of Perry Mason, one of the most successful and longest-running courtroom mystery series in television history. DVD Release Date: June 11th, 2013

 Next 4 weeks on the Calendar

December 24th, 2013


More Than Honey [Blu-ray] (Markus Imhoof, 2012) Kino Lorber


December 30th, 2013


Attila [Blu-ray] (Anthony C. Ferrante, Emmanuel Itier, 2013) Asylum - Gaiam

Il Bidone [Blu-ray] (Federico Fellini, 1955) RB UK Masters of Cinema (BEAVER REVIEW)

Bullet Ballet [Blu-ray] (Shin'ya Tsukamoto, 1998) RB UK Third Window

Hell Baby [Blu-ray] (Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon, 2013) Millennium

Himalaya [Blu-ray] (Eric Valli 1999) Kino

Nightmare City [Blu-ray] (Umberto Lenzi, 1980) Raro

Sweet Vengeance [Blu-ray] (Logan Miller, 2013) Arc Entertainment


January 6th, 2014


The Act of Killing [Blu-ray] (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2012) New Video Group

Cassandra Crossing / Domino Principle [Blu-ray] - Shout! Factory

Eclipse Series 40: Late Ray (The Home and the World, An Enemy of the People, The Stranger) Criterion

The Following: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] (2013) - Warner

For Ever Mozart [Blu-ray] (Jean-Luc Godard, 1996) Cohen Media

Hail Mary [Blu-ray] (Jean-Luc Godard, 1985) Cohen Media

The Killing Fields [Blu-ray] (Roland Joffé, 1984) Warner Home Video

Many Wars Ago [Blu-ray] (Francesco Rosi, 1970) Kino

Tequila Sunrise [Blu-ray] (Robert Towne, 1988) Warner

Throne of Blood [Blu-ray] (Akira Kurosawa, 1957) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Wicker Man [Blu-ray] (Robin Hardy, 1973) Lions Gate


January 13th, 2014


The Bench [Blu-ray] (Shawn Martin, 2014) Joseph James Pictures

Buffalo '66 [Blu-ray] (Vincent Gallo, 1998) LionsGate

Café de Flore (Jean-Marc Vallée, 2011) Kino Lorber

Chances Are [Blu-ray] (Emile Ardolino, 1989) Image Entertainment

A Chorus Line [Blu-ray] (Richard Attenborough, 1985) MGM

The Great Beauty [Blu-ray] (Paolo Sorrentino, 2013) RB UK Artificial Eye

In the Heat of the Night [Blu-ray] (Norman Jewison, 1967) MGM

Promised Land [Blu-ray] (Gus Van Sant, 2012) Region FREE UK Universal Pictures

Querelle [Blu-ray] (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1982) RB UK Artificial Eye

Riddick [Blu-ray] (David Twohy, 2013) RB UK Entertainment One

Rififi [Blu-ray] (Jules Dassin, 1955) Criterion

The Spectacular Now [Blu-ray] (James Ponsoldt, 2013) LionsGate

Sunrise [Blu-ray] (F.W. Murnau, 1927) 20th Century Fox

Terraferma [Blu-ray] (Emanuele Crialese, 2011) Cohen Media Group

Thief [Blu-ray] (Michael Mann, 1981) Criterion

The Year of the Cannibals [Blu-ray] (Liliana Cavani, 1970) Raro Video


Thank you for participating in our Year End Poll! Polls close on December 24th, 2013!
Again, this year we WON’T be publishing Individual’s picks – but only the totals – and selected representative, comments.
Please type in the format below. To help us determine the exact release you mean, please adhere to the previous format below. The format is less important than us knowing which title, producer and region that you are referring to! Please send to
Adam Lemke
Jog your memory to see what was released in 2013 HERE

Partially completed ballots (less than 10 releases of either, or both, format) is completely acceptable! Don't stress out over this - have fun!

Top Blu-ray Releases
Title (Director, Year) Release company; Region code (RA, RB, or ALL) You may verify region codes here:


Top 10 SD-DVD Releases OF 2013
(NOTE: Please ONLY DVD releases that are NOT available on Blu-ray!)
1. Title (Director, Year) Release company; Region# (please list if the title is PAL)

Rants and Raves section
Please use this section to highlight ANY areas you feel have importance to the Poll including best commentary, best cover art, worst transfer etc.
This will be used to allocate Sundry Awards and will NOT be posted verbatim.


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