Newsletter - FOR THE WEEK

OF December 24th, 2012

  This Week's Highlights
Halló - Wishing our wonderful niche a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Happy Hanukah, Quanza, and... Festivus for the Rest of Us! etc. The site hasn't been overly active the past few weeks as I have been recovering from a, relatively, serious illness and I apologize for the limited reviews but am hoping 2013 will start and finish more positively. I am deeply grateful to those who used our links during the recent Criterion sale and throughout 2012. It keeps us going! As well thanks to our part-time reviewers, Eric and Gregory who, indeed, make a big difference. Being right before the major holiday - activity is more lean, but the upcoming Calendar  has March 2013 Criterion's including Robert Bresson, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, Charles Chaplin, Fritz Lang, and Terrence Malick. We continue with our CONTEST clips with a brand new Criterion Blu-ray prize.

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

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A Man Escaped [Blu-ray] (Robert Bresson, 1956) Criterion Collection

A Man Escaped (Robert Bresson, 1956) Criterion Collection

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp [Blu-ray] (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1943) Criterion Collection

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1943) Criterion Collection

Monsieur Verdoux [Blu-ray] (Charles Chaplin, 1947) Criterion Collection

Monsieur Verdoux (Charles Chaplin, 1947) Criterion Collection

The Blob [Blu-ray] (Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr., 1958) Criterion Collection

Ministry of Fear [Blu-ray] (Fritz Lang, 1944) Criterion Collection

Ministry of Fear (Fritz Lang, 1944) Criterion Collection

Badlands [Blu-ray] (Terrence Malick, 1973) Criterion Collection

Badlands (Terrence Malick, 1973) Criterion Collection

Beyond the Clouds (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1995) Olive Films

The Diary of a Chambermaid [Blu-ray] (Jean Renoir, 1946) Olive Films

Lady for a Night [Blu-ray] (Leigh Jason, 1942) Olive Films

A New Life [Blu-ray] (Alan Alda, 1988) Olive Films

The Red Menace [Blu-ray] (R.G. Springsteen, 1949) Olive Films

She Devil [Blu-ray] (Kurt Neumann, 1957) Olive Films

Strangers in the Night [Blu-ray] (Anthony Mann, 1944) Olive Films

La notte [Blu-ray] (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1961) RB UK Masters of Cinema

The Murderer Lives at Number 21 (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1942) R2 UK Masters of Cinema

The Murderer Lives at Number 21 [Blu-ray] (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1942) RB UK Masters of Cinema

Le Beau Serge (Claude Chabrol, 1958) RB UK Masters of Cinema

Le Beau Serge [Blu-ray] (Claude Chabrol, 1958) RB UK Masters of Cinema

Les Cousins (Claude Chabrol, 1959) R2 UK Masters of Cinema
Les Cousins [
Blu-ray] (Claude Chabrol, 1959) RB UK Masters of Cinema

Bakumatsu taiyô - den [Yûzô Kawashima, A Sun - Tribe Myth from the Bakumatsu Era] RB UK Masters of Cinema

Bakumatsu taiyô - den  [Blu-ray] [Yûzô Kawashima, A Sun - Tribe Myth from the Bakumatsu Era] RB UK Masters of Cinema

The Complete (EXISTING) Films of SADAO YAMANAKA - R2 UK Masters of Cinema

That Cold Day in the Park [Blu-ray] (Robert Altman, 1969) Olive Films

Argo [Blu-ray] (Ben Affleck, 2012) Warner Home Video

Wild River [Blu-ray] (Elia Kazan, 1960) 20th Century Fox

Gentleman's Agreement [Blu-ray] (Elia Kazan, 1947) 20th Century Fox

Searching for Sugar Man [Blu-ray] (Malik Bendjelloul, 2012) Sony

The Confrontation (Fényes szelek) (Miklós Jancsó, 1969) R2 UK Second Run

That Obscure Object of Desire [Blu-ray] (Luis Bunuel, 1977) LionsGate

Taken 2 [Blu-ray] (Olivier Megaton, 2012) 20th Century Fox



ONE VOICE (not Ellsworth Monkton Toohey): Easy-sneezy - I was overjoyed with Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom on Blu-ray. The Night Porter 1080P is improved over Criterion's non-anamorphic DVD but the greenish tinge on the Blu-ray image is distracting at times. Gregory covered some noirish crime-dramas including The Crooked Web centering on a fortune in stolen, buried gold. The Houston Story is of similar ilk with mobsters and large theft and The Brasher Doubloon has Chandler's Philip Marlowe involved in blackmail and stealing a rare doubloon. Eric covered the cute eroticism of Turn Me On Dammit! and a Chinese humanist drama entitled Speechless. Enjoy your time away from labouring.


The Crooked Web - [Frank Lovejoy] plays the owner of a curbside hamburger joint in The Crooked Web, and Mari Blanchard is the carhop he's engaged to. It's established early on that Stan (he's the man) is willing to take a gamble or two, so when Joanie's brother (Richard Denning) comes through town with a secret deal in the works, he (Stan) is more than willing to cut himself in. Of course, as is always the case in low budget crime films like this one, things do not go exactly as Stan has planned, and here is where my warning comes in, and let me repeat: Do not read another review of this film. You might not even want to read the writing on the poster. DVD Release Date: August 7th, 2012

The Houston Story - Wildcatter Gene Barry has ambitions that go beyond collecting his paycheck for working on the oil rigs. He dreams up a scheme for siphoning off oil from the big pipelines and selling it to fly-by-night distributors or foreign interests. He approaches Edward Arnold, local boss of a sinister "combine" based in St. Louis, who goes for the plan (meanwhile planning to dispose of Barry once the oil and the money start flowing). It turns out Barry is a bit smarter and more ruthless than he seemed; forty years later, he would have been a vice-president (at least) of Enron. Along with his slithering around to evade the various minions of the complicated syndicate, he finds romantic complications as well. On the right shoulder sits good-gal Jeanne Cooper, waitress in an eatery called The Derrick. But on the left side is Temptation, in the person of Barbara Hale. DVD Release Date: November 6th, 2012

The Brasher Doubloon - John Brahm's The Brasher Doubloon is a version of Chandler's The High Window and, unfortunately, the most disappointing of this crop. Troubles start with the running time; at 72 minutes, that's not enough time for Chandler's baroque structures to start to unfurl, unless you reduce them to mere plot (and plot is not Chandler's long suit). Second, there's George Montgomery trying to fill the shoes of Dick Powell, Humphrey Bogart and the other Montgomery, Robert. He doesn't. While he's pleasant enough -- as a light leading man -- he swallows line after line of the script smoothly where a more nuanced actor would have found a whole ham sandwich to sink his teeth into. Still, there are good points here, especially in Brahm's directing. The big old mansion with its twin, massive turrets is especially ominous with the Santa Ana winds whistling outside; Florence Bates, as its owner, knows how to grande-dame it with the best; and a striking series of sinister characters take us down meaner and ever meaner streets. With a better star and a more leisurely pace, this private-eye flick could have been a contender. DVD Release Date: December 18th, 2012

Turn Me On Dammit! - TURN ME ON, DAMMIT! is a whimsical and refreshingly honest coming of age story about the blossoming sexuality of a teenage girl. The feature debut of Jannicke Systad Jacobsen, the film won the Best Film prize at Norway's national film awards, the Amandas, as well as Best Screenplay at the Tribeca Film Festival and Best Debut Film at the Rome Film Festival. 15-year-old Alma (Helene Bergsholm) is consumed by her out-of-control hormones and fantasies that range from sweetly romantic images of Artur, the boyfriend she yearns for, to down-and-dirty daydreams about practically everybody she lays eyes on. Alma and her best friend Sara live in an insufferably boring little town in the hinterlands of Norway called Skoddeheimen, a place they loathe so much that every time their school bus passes the sign that names it, they routinely flip it off. After Alma has a stimulating yet awkward encounter with Artur, she makes the mistake of telling her incredulous friends, who ostracize her at school, until Sara can't even be seen with her. At home, Alma's single mother is overwhelmed and embarrassed by her daughter's extravagant phone-sex bills and wears earplugs to muffle Alma's round-the-clock acts of self-gratification. Laced with warmth and quirky humor, TURN ME ON, DAMMIT! is a light-hearted take on a story that is told so often about boys and so rarely about teenage girls. DVD Release Date: October 16th, 2012

Speechless - In a small town in southern China, a man of Western appearance is found naked on a riverbank. At the local hospital, Jiang, a handsome nurse's aide, takes an interest in the foreigner and the two develop a wordless bond. When Jiang learns the foreigner is to be sent to a mental institution, he risks everything by whisking him away to his uncle's country home where he uncovers secrets from the stranger's past. DVD Release Date: December 4th, 2012

The Night Porter BD - In Liliana Cavani's scintillating drama, a concentration camp survivor (Charlotte Rampling) discovers her ex-torturer/lover (Dirk Bogarde) working as a night porter at a hotel in postwar Vienna. When the couple attempt to re-create their sadomasochistic relationship, his former SS comrades begin to stalk them. Operatic and disturbing, The Night Porter deftly examines the cruelty and decadence of Nazi culture. Blu-ray Release Date: July 30th, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom BD - Set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, Moonrise Kingdom tells the story of two 12-year-olds who fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. As various authorities try to hunt them down, a violent storm is brewing off-shore - and the peaceful island community is turned upside down in every which way. Bruce Willis plays the local sheriff, Captain Sharp. Edward Norton is a Khaki Scout troop leader, Scout Master Ward. Bill Murray and Frances McDormand portray the young girl's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bishop. The cast also includes Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, and Bob Balaban; and introduces Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward as Sam and Suzy, the boy and girl. Blu-ray Release date: 2012

 Next 4 weeks on the Calendar

December 31st, 2012


Berberian Sound Studio [Blu-ray] (Peter Strickland, 2012) RB UK Artificial Eye

Cosmopolis [Blu-ray] (David Cronenberg, 2012) Ent. One

The Thompsons [Blu-ray] (Mitchell Altieri, Phil Flores, 2012) Anderson Merchandisers


January 7th, 2013


Driving Miss Daisy [Blu-ray] (Bruce Beresford, 1989) Warner

Forbidden Games [Blu-ray] (René Clément, 1952) RB UK Studio Canal

Game Change [Blu-ray] (Jay Roach, 2012) HBO Studios

Grand Hotel [Blu-ray] (Edmund Goulding, 1932) MGM

Hit & Run [Blu-ray] (David Palmer, 2012) Universal Studios

House at the End of the Street [Blu-ray] (Mark Tonderai, 2012) Relativity Media

The Imposter [Blu-ray] (Bart Layton, 2012) RB UK Revolver Entertainment

The Jazz Singer [Blu-ray] (Alan Crosland, 1927) Warner

Lost Films Of Herschell Gordon Lewis [Blu-ray] - Linda And Abilene (1969), Ecstasies Of Women (1969), and Black Love (1971) - Vinegar Syndrome

Mrs. Miniver [Blu-ray] (William Wyler, 1942) Warner

My Dog Tulip [Blu-ray] (Paul Fierlinger, Sandra Fierlinger, 2009) New Yorker Films

Samsara [Blu-ray] (Pan Nalin, 2001) MPI

Two-Lane Blacktop [Blu-ray] (Monte Hellman, 1971) Criterion Collection



January 14th, 2013


About Cherry [Blu-ray] (Stephen Elliott, 2012) MPI

The Blood Beast Terror [Blu-ray] (Vernon Sewell, 1968) AIS

Castle Freak [Blu-ray] (Stuart Gordon, 1995) RB UK 88 Films

Death Watch [Blu-ray] (Bertrand Tavernier, 1980) AIS

Farwell, My Queen [Blu-ray] (Benoît Jacquot, 2012) Cohen Media Group

Gentleman's Agreement [Blu-ray] (Elia Kazan, 1947) 20th Century Fox

Hannah and Her Sisters [Blu-ray] (Woody Allen, 1986) 20th Century Fox

The Late Mathias Pascal (Feu Mathias Pascal ) (1926) - Flicker Alley

Lightning Bug [Blu-ray] (Robert Hall, 2004) Image Entertainment

The Man Who Knew Too Much [Blu-ray] (Alfred Hitchcock, 1934) Criterion Collection
The Man Who Knew Too Much (Alfred Hitchcock, 1934) Criterion Collection

The Paperboy [Blu-ray] (Lee Daniels, 2012) Millennium

Perry Mason: The Eighth Season, Vol. 2 - Paramount

Sleeper [Blu-ray] (Woody Allen, 1973) Sony

Tabu [Blu-ray] (Miguel Gomes, 2012) RB UK New Wave Cinema

Taken 2 [Blu-ray] (Olivier Megaton, 2012) 20th Century Fox

The Tin Drum [Blu-ray] (Volker Schlöndorff, 1979) Criterion Collection

The Tin Drum (Volker Schlöndorff, 1979) Criterion Collection

To Rome with Love [Blu-ray] (Woody Allen, 2012) Sony

Wake in Fright [Blu-ray] (Ted Kotcheff, 1971) Image Entertainment

Wild River [Blu-ray] (Elia Kazan, 1960) 20th Century Fox



January 21st, 2013


Cujo [Blu-ray] (Lewis Teague, 1983) Olive Films

Deadly Blessing [Blu-ray] (Wes Craven, 1981) Shout! Factory

Django [Blu-ray] ( Sergio Corbucci, 1966) RB UK Argent Films (BEAVER REVIEW)

Don Giovanni [Blu-ray] (John Macurdy, 1979) Olive Films

Frontier Horizon [Blu-ray] (George Sherman, 1939) Olive Films

The Imposter (Bart Layton, 2012) Indomina

Indiscreet [Blu-ray] (Stanley Donen, 1958) Olive Films

It's in the Bag [Blu-ray] (Richard Wallace, 1945) Olive Films

Ivan's Childhood [Blu-ray] (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1962) Criterion Collection

King of the Pecos [Blu-ray] (Joseph Kane, 1936) Olive Films

Les Misérables [Blu-ray] (Jean-Paul Le Chanois, 1958) Olive Films

The Nest [Blu-ray] (Terence H. Winkless, 1988) Shout! Factory

New Frontier [Blu-ray] (George Sherman, 1939) Olive Films

Night of the Devils [Blu-ray] (Giorgio Ferroni, 1972) Raro Films

Pina [Blu-ray] (Wim Wenders, 2011) Criterion Collection
Pina (Wim Wenders, 2011) Criterion Collection

The Quiet Man [Blu-ray] (John Ford, 1952) Olive Films

Searching for Sugar Man [Blu-ray] (Malik Bendjelloul, 2012) Sony

The Seven-Per-Cent Solution [Blu-ray] (Herbert Ross, 1976) Shout! Factory

The Sex Thief [Blu-ray] (Martin Campbell, 1974) Redemption

A Thousand Cuts [Blu-ray] (Charles Evered, 2011) Lorber Films

Ticks [Blu-ray] (Tony Randel,) Olive Films

Trust [Blu-ray] (Hal Hartley, 1990) Olive Films


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