DVDBeaver Newsletter - December 23rd, 2007


Geseënde Kersfees! - Our last letter before the Holidays officially 'kick off'. We want to wish our small community a healthy, safe and happy season of sharing. Reflect on how fortunate you are (we all are!) and express your joy to those you love.

Hopefully we make up for a slow week in new reviews (only 10) with almost 50 new Calendar Updates!. We have hi-def, Anime, Giallo, Watkins, Cronenberg, Fincher etc. Not bad if I do say so myself. Next newsletter Adam and I should have the DVD of the Year 2007 balloting tabulated and posted. 

Facebook-er?: join DVDBeaver-ite's Facebook group HERE. We can communicate video clips, film news etc.


AE in the UK will be releasing Robert Bresson’s The Devil, Probably (plus A Man Escaped and Lancelot du Lac) on April 21st, 2008. We will post links as soon as they are listed.



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THIS WEEK's PRIZE Warner Director's Series Kubrick Boxset - the CLIP is HERE!.

and you must be subscribed to our Free Weekly Newsletter and email the answer to contest@DVDBeaver.com

LAST WEEK's Winner (only 5 got it right!), identifying the DVDs from THIS PAGE (Answers HERE), was F. Gonzalez Jr. (Warner's 2-disc Special Collector's Edition of  Blade Runner) Congrats Felix!


Yunda Eddie Feng will no longer be reviewing for DVDBeaver. Best of luck Eddie!


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


LATEST Additions to the Release Calendar (PRE-ORDER!). I'm keen on a lot; El Cid - 2-Disc Limited Collector's Edition AE usually do stuff well - let's keep fingers crossed for their Les Vampires, Ang Lee's Lust, Caution, Gangsters Collection, Vol. 3 (YESSS!), Bonnie and Clyde in [HD DVD], Saved From The Flames - 54 Rare and Restored Films 1896 - 1944 certainly sounds interesting, can't pronounce his name but like his cinema - Syndromes and a Century, Losey's Accident makes itself available, MacKendrick's Mandy is a must, What about Rossellini's Era notte a Roma, ? and the bunch of Resnais' and Taverniers.

NOTE: Warner's Gangsters Collection, Vol. 2 appears to be the same as Tough Guys Vol.1 (from July 2006) but we understand it is packaged in transparent slim cases.

In the Valley of Elah [HD DVD] (Paul Haggis, 2007) Warner Home Video

In the Valley of Elah (Paul Haggis, 2007) Warner Home Video

El Cid - 2-Disc Limited Collector's Edition (Anthony Mann, 1961) - Miriam Collection

El Cid - 2-Disc Deluxe Edition (Anthony Mann, 1961) - Miriam Collection

Things We Lost in the Fire (Susanne Bier, 2007) Dreamworks Video

Things We Lost in the Fire [HD DVD] (Susanne Bier, 2007) Dreamworks Video

Go West (Ahmed Imamovic, 2005) Water Bearer

Les Vampires (Louis Feuillade, 1915) R2 UK - Artificial Eye

Partition (Ken McMullen, 1987) R2 UK - Second Run

Lust, Caution (Widescreen NC-17 Edition) (Ang Lee, 2007) Universal

Lust, Caution (Widescreen, R-Rated Edition) (Ang Lee, 2007) Universal

Taras Bulba (J. Lee Thompson, 1962) MGM

Kings of the Sun (J. Lee Thompson, 1963) MGM

Solomon & Sheba (King Vidor, 1959) MGM

Melo (Alain Resnais, 1986) Kino

Life Is a Bed of Roses (Alain Resnais, 1983) Kino

German Expressionism Collection (The Hands of Orlac / The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari / Secrets of a Soul / Warning Shadows) Kino

I Want to Go Home (Alain Resnais, 1989) Kino

Love Unto Death (Alain Resnais, 1984) Kino

The Invasion [Blu-ray] (Oliver Hirschbiegel, 2007) Warner

The Invasion [HD Combo DVD] (Oliver Hirschbiegel, 2007) Warner

Gangsters Collection, Vol. 2 (Bullets or Ballots / City for Conquest / Each Dawn I Die / G Men / San Quentin / A Slight Case of Murder) Warner

Gangsters Collection, Vol. 3 (Picture Snatcher, Lady Killer, Smart Money, Black Legion, Mayor of Hell and Brother Orchid.) Warner

Bonnie and Clyde (Two-Disc Special Edition) (Arthur Penn, 1967) Warner

Bonnie and Clyde [HD DVD] (Arthur Penn, 1967) Warner

Shaolin Intruders (Tang Chia, 1983)- Image Entertainment

Four Swords: Shaw Brothers Boxset - (Vengeance is a Golden Blade, Have Sword Will Travel, The Water Margin, The Wandering Swordsman) - Image Entertainment

The Round Up (Miklós Jancsó, 1966) R2 UK - Second Run

Opera Jawa (Garin Nugroho, 2006) R2 UK - Yume Pictures

Love On the Ground (Jacques Rivette, 1984) R2 UK Bluebell Films

Saved From The Flames - 54 Rare and Restored Films 1896 - 1944 - Flicker Alley

Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2006) Strand Releasing

Daratt (Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, 2006) R2 UK Soda Pictures

Accident (Joseph Losey, 1967) R2 UK Optimum

Era notte a Roma (Roberto Rossellini, 1960) R2 UK Optimum

The Long Arm (Charles Frend, 1956) R2 UK Optimum

Cry, the Beloved Country (Zoltan Korda, 1951) R2 UK Optimum

Ça commence aujourd'hui (Bertrand Tavernier, 1999) R2 UK Optimum

Horloger De Saint-Paul (The Clockmaker) (Bertrand Tavernier, 1974) R2 UK Optimum

Le Juge et l'assassin (Bertrand Tavernier, 1976) R2 UK Optimum

L.627 (Bertrand Tavernier, 1992) R2 UK Optimum

Mandy (Alexander Mackendrick, 1952) R2 UK Optimum

Odette (Herbert Wilcox, 1950) R2 UK Optimum

Seven Days to Noon (Boulting bros.,1950) R2 UK Optimum

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (Sidney Lumet, 2007) Image Entertainment

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead [HD DVD] (Sidney Lumet, 2007), Image Entertainment

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead [Blu-ray] (Sidney Lumet, 2007) Image Entertainment


New Reviews:

A Knight's Tale BR - I suspect Brian Helgeland was reflecting on the literary and pop culture successes of Shakespeare in Love and Buffy, the Vampire Slayer for his 2001 medieval adventure romance musical, A Knight's Tale. We know we're in for an unusual ride when just a few minutes into the movie, Brian May's "We Will Rock You" emerges, first as part of the soundtrack, then sung and pounded in massive unison by the entire audience at a jousting tournament. It's as brilliant and bodacious idea. If you're still smiling when the number is over then you are most likely going to enjoy the play, because there is more of the same in store: Contributions from Thin Lizzy, Sly & the Family Stone, Rare Earth, AC/DC, Eric Clapton, War, and a second number, "We Are the Champions," by Queen and Robbie Williams abound.

The Freethinker - A unique nonlinear biopic on August Strindberg (1849-1912); it tells in great detail about the life and work of the idealistic Swedish playwright (one of the fathers of modern theater), novelist, and painter. It covers his messy personal life and his revolutionary works of art that challenged the conventions of the time. It was produced and directed by Peter Watkins
("The War Game"/"Edvard Munch"/"Punishment Park") over a two-year period with the aid of 24 high school students from Sweden's Norden Folk High School. DVD Release Date: November 6th, 2007

Honey and Clover - Based on the hit anime of the same name, “Honey and Clover” deals with five college art students. While the premise may sound simple, it’s quite the opposite; the characters struggle through school, work, and love. All within the confines of a university, “Honey and Clover” showcases the journey that everyone must take from being a young adult and following the long and challenging road to becoming a full fledged adult.

Paprika BR - Three scientists at the Foundation for Psychiatric Research fail to secure a device they've invented, the D.C. Mini, which allows people to record and watch their dreams. A thief uses the device to enter people's minds, when awake, and distract them with their own dreams and those of others. Chaos ensues. The trio - Chiba, Tokita, and Shima - assisted by a police inspector and by a sprite named Paprika must try to identify the thief as they ward off the thief's attacks on their own psyches. Dreams, reality, and the movies merge, while characters question the limits of science and the wisdom of Big Brother. Blu-ray Release Date: November 27th, 2007

The Shawshank Redemption - The story of Andy Dufresne, Inmate 37927 and his struggle to maintain hope. Darabont's adaptation of a Stephen King novella is a throwback to the kind of serious, literate drama Hollywood used to make (Birdman of Alcatraz, say). We've added a new 2-disc Limited Edition from Euro video (in a metal case). It was released DVD Release Date: November 15th, 2007

The Psychic - Lucio Fulci was a versatile talent. Before he carved a name for himself in the early eighties with gory epics like The Beyond (1981) he made some Argento style gialli and this is one of the best. The film successfully blends a dreamlike quality with an intricate, multilayered story co-written by Fulci and the extremely hardworking Dardano Sachetti (let's face it the man must be a genius). DVD Release Date: October 30th, 2007

Eastern Promises - David Cronenberg's follow-up to A History of Violence--starring the same lead, Viggo Mortensen, in a very different part--lacks the theoretical dimension of its predecessor, but it's no less masterful in its fluid storytelling and shocking choreography of violence. A Russian Mafia tale with a London setting, scripted by Steven Knight (Dirty Pretty Things), it confirms Cronenberg's position as an old-fashioned, almost Dickensian moralist. He refuses to fetishize corruption the way the Godfather films do, while working wonders with a charismatic villain (Armin Mueller-Stahl in a remarkable performance) and creating a charged homoerotic atmosphere. DVD Release Date: December 23rd, 2007

Night Child - Former cinematographer Massimo Dallamano (For A Few Dollars More) follows up his crime films and thrillers (What Have You Done To Solange?) with this lyrical take on the child possession movies of the mid-seventies though he never resorts to Linda-Blairisms to convey the daughter's behavior. The wintry London and autumnal Spoletto locations are lovingly captured by Franco Delli Colli and Stelvio Cipriani's score largely eschews traditional horror music (the few instances of it anticipate his work with Goblin on Solamente Nero [1978]) in favor of variations on a romantic theme that infuse the story with a sense of inevitable tragedy.

Arctic Tale HD - March of the Penguins took the world to the South Pole to witness the extraordinary mating cycle of those birds in tuxedos. The world-wide financial and critical success of that movie undoubtedly inspired National Geographic Films to put its stamp of approval on Arctic Tale, which swings to the top of the world to follow the lives of polar bears and walruses. In the U.S., Warner marketed March of the Penguins as a story “As Told by Morgan Freeman”, and Paramount followed the same strategy by billing Arctic Tale as a story “As Told by Queen Latifah”. HD-DVD Released: December 4th, 2007

Zodiac (Director's Cut) - Zodiac returns to the serial-killer territory mined by Se7en, though this one is based on a real-life murderer who terrorized the San Francisco Bay Area during the 1960s and 1970s. The movie’s first half follows at least seven policemen and newspaper employees as they attempt to track down the Zodiac, whose killings are not necessarily bizarre but whose letters to area newspapers create an appreciable sense of panic among the public. As the leads grow cold, fewer and fewer people continue to track the Zodiac until only one--cartoonist Robert Graysmith (played by Jake Gyllenhaal)--begins writing a book about the entire ordeal. Graysmith gets closer to discovering the Zodiac’s real identity than anyone else, but since he’s not a law-enforcement officer, his options are limited. DVD Release Date: January 8th, 2008

Next 2 weeks on the Calendar:

 Week of December 24th, 2007

Cat People [HD DVD] (Paul Schrader,1982) Universal

Eastern Promises (Widescreen Edition) (David Cronenberg, 2007) Universal Studios

Eastern Promises [HD DVD Combo] (David Cronenberg, 2007) Universal Studios

The Kingdom (Peter Berg, 2007) Universal Studios

Lost and Found: The Harry Langdon Collection (4-disc/ 23 films) - Facets

Movieside Film Festival: 20 Award Winning Short Films from Around the World! - Microcinema

Pan's Labyrinth [HD DVD] (Guillermo del Toro, 2006) New Line Home Entertainment

Pan's Labyrinth [Blu-ray] (Guillermo del Toro, 2006) New Line Home Entertainment

Resistance[s]: Experimental Films from the Middle East and North Africa - Microcinema

Rush Hour 3 (Two-Disc Platinum Series) (Brett Ratner, 2007) - New Line Home Video

Rush Hour 3 [Blu-ray] (Brett Ratner, 2007) - New Line Home Video

Shattered (Mike Barker, 2007) Lions Gate


Week of December 31st, 2007

Postman in the Mountains (Jianqi Huo, 1999) Razor Digital

Shoot 'Em Up (Michael Davis, 2007) New Line Home Video

Shoot 'Em Up [Blu-ray] (Michael Davis, 2007) New Line Home Video

War (Philip G. Atwell, 2007) Lions Gate

War [Blu-ray] (Philip G. Atwell, 2007) Lions Gate


This X-mas I will not over-indulge in food!,

Happy Holidays,



STAY TUNED FOR UPCOMING CLASSIC RELEASES: Forbidden Hollywood: Volume 2 (six films plus pre-Code documentary), Gangsters Collection, Vol. 2 (Bullets or Ballots / City for Conquest / Each Dawn I Die / G Men / San Quentin / A Slight Case of Murder) Warner, Gangsters Collection, Vol. 3 (Picture Snatcher, Lady Killer, Smart Money, Black Legion, Mayor of Hell and Brother Orchid.) Warner,, Joan Crawford Collection Volume 2 (Flamingo Road/Strange Cargo/Torch Song/others), The Lana Turner Collection, Lon Chaney Collection Volume 2 (The Unholy Three/The Unholy Three/Tell It to the Marines/He Who Gets Slapped/Tod Browning doc.), Night Nurse (Barbara Stanwyck), The Day the Earth Stood Still Special Edition (dir. Robert Wise, USA 1951), An Affair to Remember 50th Anniversary Edition (dir. Leo McCary, USA 1957), The Robe Special Edition (dir. Henry Koster, USA 1952), Daisy Kenyon (dir. Otto Preminger, USA 1947), Dangerous Crossing, (dir. Joseph Newman, USA 1953), Black Widow (dir. Nunnally Johnson, USA 1954), Boomerang! (dir. Elia Kazan, USA 1947), Charlie Chan Vol 4 (starring Sidney Toler), The Naked Prey (1966) Criterion. Bette Davis 100th Anniversary Set (titles TBD), Bette Davis Collections: Volume 3 (includes All This, And Heaven, Too/ Dangerous/In This Our Life/The Corn Is Green/Watch On The Rhine/more), David Lean Collection (Blithe Spirit/Brief Encounter/Great Expectations/In Which We Serve/Madeleine/Oliver Twist/Passionate Friends/This Happy Breed) and more...